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Mark de Castrique is the author of a mystery series featuring Asheville, NC, private eyes Sam Blackman and Nakayla Robertson, an interracial couple and co-owners of the Blackman and Robertson Detective Agency. In this piece, de Castrique explains how a story told to him by a 90-year-old man served as inspiration for BLACKMAN’S COFFIN, the opening novel in the series, and the significance of the William Faulkner quote “The Past is never dead. It’s not even past” in relation to the sixth and latest installment, HIDDEN SCARS, which sees Sam and Nakayla enmeshed in the history of the revolutionary Black Mountain College, which was founded in 1933 and attracted world-renowned educators fleeing Nazi Germany.
September 21, 2017

Writing the Countess

Stephen Weeks is a writer, conservationist and filmmaker. For 30 years he lived in a 12th-century castle in Wales, which he restored, and has lived in Prague, Czech Republic for the last 14 years. In this essay, Weeks discusses how he laid his plans for his debut historical mystery series that kicks off with THE COUNTESS OF PRAGUE and introduces readers to Beatrice von Falklenburg (known to her intimates as Trixie), who will lead us from Prague through Europe and occasionally beyond on a 10-book set of investigations that begins in 1904 and finishes in 1914.  
The ultimate thrill for any reader is the opportunity to meet an author whose work they enjoy. When I saw an announcement that I could meet Louise Penny, I was ecstatic! I was introduced to Louise’s work long after her series was established; although I had certainly heard of her, I not read any of her books.
Triss Stein is the author of a series of mysteries set in Brooklyn, New York, and featuring Erica Donato, an amateur sleuth who is currently writing her PhD dissertation about changes in city neighborhoods. Conducting research for these books is always fun for Stein, as she has spent most of her adult life living and working in New York City. This was especially true for the fourth and latest installment in the series, BROOKLYN WARS, and here she explains why.
June 9, 2017

Photo Gallery: BookExpo 2017

Posted by tom
Below are just some of the many authors, industry professionals, booksellers and readers who Carol Fitzgerald met at this year's BookExpo.
June 2, 2017

BookExpo 2017 Buzz Books

Posted by tom
Carol Fitzgerald had the pleasure of interviewing the authors who wrote the 2017 BookExpo Buzz books. Below are descriptions of the books, which are sure to get lots of attention when they are published.
Wendy Walker is the bestselling author of the spellbinding and heart-pounding ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN, which was published last summer and will be available in paperback on July 18th. Her next thriller, EMMA IN THE NIGHT, will be in stores on August 8th. In it, two girls go missing. Three years later, only one comes home. What happened to Emma? This twisty and sharp novel explores what happens to a family when the mother is a narcissist. In our final Mother’s Day Author Blog piece, Wendy (whose own mother is loving and wonderful) shares with us a story of how books helped her fulfill the needs of her son, who always was looking for “something else.”
Lisa Ko is the author of THE LEAVERS, which is the winner of the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Fiction, awarded by Barbara Kingsolver for a novel that addresses issues of social justice. In this, her debut novel, an undocumented Chinese immigrant goes to her job at a nail salon --- and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her. Growing up, the stories Lisa’s mother told were legendary and provided Lisa with her “earliest lessons in narrative and point of view.” Read on to see how Lisa’s mother influenced Lisa’s storytelling with her own brand of telling tales.
Dinitia Smith’s most recent novel is THE HONEYMOON, which is based on the life of George Eliot, the famed author of MIDDLEMARCH. It shares Eliot’s passions and explores the meaning of love. In her own life, Dinitia has spent decades wanting to know more about her mother, who passed away when she was just four years old. She has missed her ardently and wished she knew more about her --- so much so that she wrote fiction about her in an effort to get to know her better.
We kick off this year’s Mother’s Day Author Blog series with Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, the author of more than a dozen books, including one of Carol Fitzgerald’s favorites, ONE AMAZING THING (a Bets On pick). Here, Chitra talks about her mother’s influence on her writing. And after reading this beautiful piece, readers will appreciate all the more that the grandmother in BEFORE WE VISIT THE GODDESS (which is now available in paperback) is modeled, in part, on her mother. This was the first book that Chitra wrote after her mother passed away.