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Archives - September 2013

Interview: Marlen Suyapa Bodden, author of The Wedding Gift

Sep 27, 2013

Marlen Suyapa Bodden, a practicing lawyer at The Legal Aid Society in New York City, drew upon her knowledge of modern and historical slavery to write her debut novel, THE WEDDING GIFT. Since Bodden self-published the book to widespread success, it has been picked up by several major publishing houses around the world and garnered praise from readers and authors alike. Based on a real-life court case in 1840s Alabama, THE WEDDING GIFT is told through the eyes of two women --- a plantation mistress and a slave --- who both feel the impact as a suspected illegitimate child leads to a divorce, shaking the foundations of a powerful Southern family. In this interview with's Bronwyn Miller, Bodden shares her self-publishing experiences, her love for certain literary giants, and how her interest in history and work as a lawyer for the poor has inspired her writing.

Interview: Andrea Kane, author of The Stranger You Know: A Forensic Instincts Novel

Sep 27, 2013

In THE STRANGER YOU KNOW, New York Times bestselling author Andrea Kane continues her acclaimed Forensic Instincts series. A recent string of murders appear to follow the MO of a killer well known to the Forensic team --- one they have already imprisoned. Using a blend of supernatural talents and technological wonders, the mismatched team must tackle a case both eerily familiar and horrifyingly new. In this interview, conducted by's Joe Hartlaub, Kane shares the joy of writing about a team frequently at conflict with itself, the differences between crafting series and stand-alone novels, and how her writing habits have changed to reflect her daily schedule over the years.

Interview: Shona Patel, author of Teatime for the Firefly

Sep 27, 2013

Shona Patel, a successful graphic artist, drew upon her experiences growing up in India as the daughter of an Assam tea planter for her debut novel, TEATIME FOR THE FIREFLY. The story centers on a young woman, Layla, whose upbringing is not unlike that of Patel herself. As Layla comes of age in India during the tumultuous years after World War II, she meets a young man named Manik. Though they feel a connection, the two recognize the obstacles tradition presents to a potential romance. In this interview with's Roz Shea, Patel opens up about the inspiration she found in her childhood home, her journey to writing creatively, and what’s in the works now that her first novel has been published.

Author Talk: Melissa Jagears, author of Love by the Letter

Sep 18, 2013

Melissa Jagears, an ESL teacher by trade, is a stay-at-home mom on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house, whose passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly. She is the author of the full-length novel A BRIDE FOR KEEPS and the companion novella, LOVE BY THE LETTER, a romance about finding love in unexpected places. In this interview, Jagears opens up about the real collection of true mail-order bride stories that inspired her to write about the subject, how much of herself she puts into her characters, her addiction to Facebook, and the surprising reason she decided to write romance novels to begin with.

Interview: Jamie Ford, author of Songs of Willow Frost

Sep 13, 2013

Jamie Ford follows up his bestselling debut novel, HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET, with his second work of fiction, SONGS OF WILLOW FROST. William Eng, an orphan who becomes convinced that movie star Willow Frost is his mother, escapes from his orphanage with his friend Charlotte, and together they embark on an emotional journey of discovery. In this interview with’s Norah Piehl, Ford talks about why he decided to set his story in Seattle during the 1920s and 1930s, and the very personal reason he enjoys creating young characters on the brink of adolescence. He also opens up about the impact his childhood as a half-Chinese, half-Caucasian kid has on his work, and how writing about Chinese American history helps him take ownership of his own identity.

Interview: Diane Chamberlain, author of Necessary Lies

Sep 13, 2013

Diane Chamberlain is the bestselling author of 22 novels published in more than 11 languages. Her most recent book, NECESSARY LIES, is set in rural Grace County, North Carolina, in a time of state-mandated sterilizations and racial tension. In this interview with’s Alexis Burling, Chamberlain talks about why she felt so strongly about taking on the topic of eugenics, despite (or maybe because of) the controversy surrounding it. She also addresses the difficulties inherent in writing a first-person character in dialect, how her own experiences as a social worker and psychotherapist helped her create the character of Jane, and why the plots of so many of her novels hinge on moments in which her characters are forced to “face the truth.”

Interview: Nancy Bush, author of Nowhere Safe

Sep 13, 2013

Bestselling author Nancy Bush has been writing for over 30 years. In her latest book, NOWHERE SAFE, she confronts readers with the question of who’s more frightening: sexual predators or a vigilante hell bent on making them atone --- in blood? In this interview with’s Kate Ayers, Bush discusses the surprising reason it’s actually easier to write violent scenes, why she enjoys having her characters cross from one novel to another, and how writing for daytime television is like writing in front of a runaway train. Although she’s known for her bestselling thriller series, Bush got her start in romance, and she talks here about why that was and how she successfully has moved between genres.

Interview: Dianne Dixon, author of The Book of Someday

Sep 13, 2013

Screenwriter Dianne Dixon is the author of the highly acclaimed THE LANGUAGE OF SECRETS and, most recently, THE BOOK OF SOMEDAY, which introduces readers to Livvi Gray, who has always been haunted by a terrifying nightmare of an eerily beautiful stranger in a shimmering silver dress. In this interview, Dixon answers questions from’s Sarah Rachel Egelman, including the very personal inspiration behind Livvi’s nightmare and the challenges of writing a novel from three different perspectives. She also opens up about why it seemed only natural to include faith and spirituality as central themes in her story, how penning a novel is different from writing a screenplay, and her very own “someday.”

Author Talk: Cassandra King, author of Moonrise

Sep 6, 2013

Bestselling author Cassandra King’s fifth novel, MOONRISE, draws on the rich tradition of Gothic tales --- along with the author’s own roots in the American South --- to tell a story of isolation and intrigue. When Helen Honeycutt marries a recent widower, she finds herself being treated as an unwanted replacement by her husband's friends and family. With a Victorian manor and the Blue Ridge Mountains towering over a cast of unexpected characters, MOONRISE both honors and challenges the definition of the southern gothic. In this interview, King discusses how she drew inspiration for her work from the classic novel REBECCA--- and how her own heritage provided a unique spin to place upon a traditional genre. She also discusses the importance of research for fiction writers, and shares both the challenges and joys of marriage to a fellow author.