Articles tagged "interview"

An Interview with Jennifer Berry Hawes

After the tragic shootings at the Mother Emanuel AME church, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jennifer Berry Hawes knew this was a story that needed telling. In GRACE WILL LEAD US HOME: The Charleston Church Massacre and the Hard, Inspiring Journey to Forgiveness, she offers a moving portrait of the events and emotions that emerged in the massacre’s wake. Today, Hawes joins us to share more about her writing experience, to highlight a courageous librarian named Cynthia Hurd, and to talk about life as a Charlestonian since that terrible day in 2015.

***

How did you decide you wanted to write a book on the massacre?

I didn’t think about writing a book until five or six months after June 17, 2015. I had been covering the aftermath of the shooting for the newspaper I work for in Charleston and had begun to realize that, while the massacre itself had caused such unimaginable pain for the survivors and the victims’ loved ones, it was only the opening chapter of a much more complex story. I have since come to think of mass shootings as akin to tossing a rock into a pond. The initial impact disrupts the surface in obvious ways. But then ripple upon ripple of disruption spreads from that impact. This is what happens after these events, and happened here, from divisions among families and the church to divisions within families grappling with so much pain. Add in critical issues to our nation–race and gun violence–and this became a much more complicated story than we could tell in our newspaper. My editors agreed. As people who live and breathe Charleston, we wanted to bear witness to this deeper narrative.

Tell us a little about the librarian, Cynthia Hurd, one of the nine people killed in the church.

To me, the lush garden of climbing roses and overflowing window boxes that Cynthia meticulously tended outside of her home beautifully illustrates her essence. She was a helper, a nurturer, a warm spirit who greeted people with a wide, toothy smile. When her sister, Jackie, was diagnosed with cancer just a couple of weeks before the shooting, Jackie called Cynthia first. “I got you,” Cynthia promised, and everyone knew she meant it. When Cynthia agreed to stay at Bible study on June 17, she had plans to go with Jackie, who lived two states away, to meet with doctors and discuss her treatment options the following week.

readmoreremove

Booklist Interviews Debut Author Casey McQuiston

Romance + Comedy + LGBTQ + Debut = Casey McQuiston’s delightful RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE!

This big-hearted rom-com follows the First Son as he falls in love with the Prince of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends. Already a darling of the Macmillan Library department and gaining tremendous librarian support, Booklist joins the love fest with an exclusive interview with author Casey McQuiston.

Read the full interview here, and make sure to download the egalley from Edelweiss!

Maximum Shelf: THE DAUGHTERS OF TEMPERANCE HOBBS

This week’s featured Maximum Shelf Awareness pick is the bewitching and eagerly-awaited THE DAUGHTERS OF TEMPERANCE HOBBS by Katherine Howe!

New York Times bestselling author Katherine Howe returns to the world of THE PHYSICK BOOK OF DELIVERANCE DANE with a bewitching story of a New England history professor who must race against time to free her fiancé from a curse.

Connie Goodwin is an expert on America’s fractured past with witchcraft. A young, tenure-track professor in Boston, she’s earned career success by studying the history of magic in colonial America–especially women’s home recipes and medicines–and by exposing society’s threats against women fluent in those skills. But beyond her studies, Connie harbors a secret: She is the direct descendant of a woman tried as a witch in Salem, an ancestor whose abilities were far more magical than the historical record shows. When a hint from her mother and clues from her research lead Connie to the shocking realization that her partner’s life is in danger, she must race to solve the mystery behind a hundreds-years-long deadly curse. Flashing back through American history to the lives of certain supernaturally gifted women, THE DAUGHTERS OF TEMPERANCE HOBBS affectingly reveals not only the special bond that unites one particular matriarchal line, but also explores the many challenges to women’s survival across the decades–and the risks some women are forced to take to protect what they love most.

“Howe’s seamless blending of fantasy, history, suspense and romance–coupled with vivid characters, dynamic tone and a thrilling pace–result in a riveting novel. She has clearly unearthed the magic recipe for crafting superb fiction, and readers will reap the rewards.”–Shelf Awareness

See the full summary, review and interview with Katherine Howe on Shelf-Awareness.com. And enter to win an ARC!

Maximum Shelf: THE GUEST BOOK

Yesterday’s featured Maximum Shelf Awareness pick was the long-awaited and hotly-anticipated THE GUEST BOOK.

THE GUEST BOOK follows three generations of a powerful American family, a family that “used to run the world.” And when the novel begins in 1935, they still do. Kitty and Ogden Milton appear to have everything—perfect children, good looks, a love everyone envies. But after a tragedy befalls them, Ogden tries to bring Kitty back to life by purchasing an island in Maine. That island, and its house, come to define and burnish the Milton family, year after year after year. And it is there that Kitty issues a refusal that will haunt her till the day she dies.

In 1959 a young Jewish man, Len Levy, will get a job in Ogden’s bank and earn the admiration of Ogden and one of his daughters, but the scorn of everyone else. Len’s best friend, Reg Pauling, has always been the only black man in the room—at Harvard, at work, and finally at the Miltons’ island in Maine. An island that, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, this last generation doesn’t have the money to keep. When Kitty’s granddaughter hears that she and her cousins might be forced to sell it, and when her husband brings back disturbing evidence about her grandfather’s past, she realizes she is on the verge of finally understanding the silences that seemed to hover just below the surface of her family all her life.

“With THE GUEST BOOK, Blake gives readers a modern-day classic that shows how our personal and collective histories are inscribed upon our lives every single day. And once we recognize that, it is up to us to do right by that knowledge, as our actions become our legacy.”–Shelf Awareness

See the full summary, review and interview with Sarah Blake on Shelf-Awareness.com. And enter to win an ARC!

Celadon Interviews JOCO Library’s Gregg Winsor

First things first: if you haven’t checked out Celadon Books‘s gorgeous new website, do so NOW. They’ve got all sorts of interesting things there, particularly in the TBR (To Be Read) section, where we saw this great interview with Johnson County Library’s Gregg Winsor!

“Good librarians are like ninjas – we come in every day expecting the unexpected, and must be prepared for anything that the day can throw at us. Great librarians do all that, make it look easy, AND look fabulous while doing so.” — Gregg Winsor

Read the full interview here and find out what Gregg’s been #bookpushing, what he loves best about Kansas City, and who his book twin is.

readmoreremove

PW Spotlight on Araminta Hall

We know you love Araminta Hall—her new book, OUR KIND OF CRUELTY, is a May 2018 LibraryReads pick (available now from MCD/FSG and Macmillan Audio), and so does Publishers Weekly.

In a fascinating interview, Hall discussed her decision not to tell both sides of the story between her two young lovers…

“Switching perspectives almost would have been the easy thing to do, and then I just thought, what I’m writing about is how society judges women, and we still live in a very male society.”

…her unusual sources of inspiration—the Amanda Knox case and the 2016 presidential election…

“It really spurred me on because Hillary was judged so harshly, while Trump was caught on tape literally bragging about sexual assault. It’s that disparity between how women are expected to behave and be perfect, and men can be so much less than perfect.”

…and on writing a first-person male narrative. readmoreremove

Library Journal Debut Spotlight – L. Penelope

L. Penelope, author of SONG OF BLOOD & STONE (available now from St. Martin’s Press), was interviewed in last month’s issue of Library Journal.

In the interview, Penelope discussed her writing process…

“I’m a plotter, but my road map is very loose and allows for plenty of detours along the way.”

…her favorite books from when she was a child…

“Growing up I read widely. My favorites ranged from Frances Hodgson Burnett’s THE SECRET GARDEN and A LITTLE PRINCESS to Virginia Hamilton’s ‘Justice Trilogy.'”

readmoreremove

Stars for WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS

Last year Anna-Marie McLemore broke out on the literary YA scene with her debut novel, THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS, which was a finalist for the 2016 YALSA William C. Morris Award.

Now McLemore is back with WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS, a second stunning novel tinged with magic, about a girl with roses that grow from her wrist who happens to be hiding the truth, a boy with past secrets who paints moons and hangs them in trees, and four sisters rumored to be witches, who could ruin them both.

WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS is on the 2016 National Book Awards Longlist for Young People’s Literature and has THREE starred, rave reviews:

Love bests every opponent in this surreal exploration of familial bonds and sexual identity. Amid the ordinariness of the small-town setting, McLemore winds arabesques of magical realism. Readers who stick with this novel will be rewarded with a love story that is as endearingly old-fashioned as it is modern and as fantastical as it is real.” School Library Journal, starred review

“With luminous prose infused with Latino folklore and magical realism, this mixes fairy-tale ingredients with the elegance of a love story, with all of it rooted in a deeply real sense of humanity. Lovely, necessary, and true.” — Booklist, starred review

“McLemore mesmerizes once again with a lush narrative set at the thresholds of identity, family, and devotion. Luxurious language infused with Spanish phrases, Latin lunar geography, and Pakistani traditions is so rich it lingers on the tongue, and the presence of magic is effortlessly woven into a web of prose that languidly unfolds to reveal the complexities of gender, culture, family, and self. Readers will be ensnared in this ethereal narrative long before they even realize the net has been cast. ” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Read the Booklist interview with Anna-Marie about WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS.
readmoreremove

Barbara Taylor Bradford on Secrets from the Past and Audiobooks

SFTP audiobook#1 New York Times bestselling author Barbara Taylor Bradford has written everything from contemporary suspense to historical intrigue covering class, friendship, and forbidden love.

In her latest and in many ways most intimate novel, SECRETS FROM THE PAST, thirty-year-old American photojournalist Serena Stone is working on a biography of her celebrated father when she discovers that a former lover is in trouble overseas. Her travels take her back into her own past and into the past of her mother where she'll uncover family secrets long buried. 

Barbara was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about SECRETS FROM THE PAST (the book that is, not her personal secrets from the past... I'm not publishing an exposé here!).

BTBAli: You’ve been publishing with us for about 10 years and you’ve written almost 30 novels, what makes SECRETS FROM THE PAST special for you and your readers?

Barbara: What makes SECRETS special for me and my readers is that I've used the first person narrative. But this is only the third time in my writing career that I have done so. However, I believe writing in Serena Stone's voice gives great intimacy to the book, and therefore to the reader. I always give my female protagonist a job and I've never written about a war photographer before. So this is something else that's new. I am told by my earliest readers that the book has an enormous amount of immediacy and is very NOW.

Ali: Speaking of "now"... when a library patron returns SECRETS FROM THE PAST to his or her local branch and inevitably says, "I loved it! What do I read now?" Which books, audiobooks, and films would you want Readers' Advisory librarians to recommend?

Barbara: Of course I would always recommend A WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE as a book, an audiobook, and a movie. The movie stars Liam Neeson, Jenny Seagrove, Deborah Kerr and a cast of other great actors. It is available now on DVD from Acorn Video. The miniseries runs for 6 hours. Also available are the two sequels, HOLD THE DREAM and TO BE THE BEST. Other books I would recommend of mine are HER OWN RULES, REMEMBER, THE WOMEN IN HIS LIFE and LETTER FROM A STRANGER.

Ali: Fantastic. That sounds like a formidable stack of excellent stories. You mentioned audiobooks so let's talk briefly about the audiobook for SECRETS FROM THE PAST. The narrator Stina Nielsen has narrated everything from Chuck Palahniuk's RANT to Sarah Dessen's KEEPING THE MOON to Shannon Hale's MIDNIGHT IN AUSTENLAND. She did a particularly wonderful job with SECRETS FROM THE PAST (listen to a clip from chapter one here!). Tell us a little bit about your relationship with audiobooks. What's your ideal situation for listening to books read aloud?

Barbara: I always enjoy listening to the audiobooks. It's a wonderful way to relax, just sitting on a sofa and imagining all of the characters enacting the story.

Ideal, indeed! Thank you so much for your time, Barbara!  readmoreremove

The Wisdom of James Patterson

Mark Sullivan, the internationally bestselling author and bestselling co-author with James Patterson, tells all! 

...Or at least he tells us a lot of really great stuff, like what he learned about commerical fiction while working with Powerhouse Patterson.

Sullivan told Publishers Weekly,

"I thought I knew what I was doing when it came to commercial fiction. Working with Patterson, however, I discovered quickly that I didn’t. [...] What I’ve learned from the global bestselling author could fill a book, but here are some of the lessons that have changed my writing life." 

Read about those lessons at PublishersWeekly.com!

readmoreremove

css.php