I’m proud to announce The Lovers’ Tango has won the Gold Award in Popular Fiction for this year’s IPPA Benjamin Franklin Award. The award was announced last evening in Salt Lake City. It’s quite an honor. It’s wonderful when your own hard work and effort is recognized by others in the field–writers, librarians, bookstore owners, reviewers, designers, publicity managers, and editors.
‘Find Her,’ A Conversation with Lisa Gardner
Lisa Gardner is one of the best-known names in all of thrillerdom. She’s received praise from Lee Child, Karin Slaughter, Tess Gerritsen, among many others. With more than 22 million books in print, she’s written an FBI profiler series; the Detective D.D. Warren series; and a number of standalone novels.
In Find Her, Flora Dane shares the protagonist role with Detective D.D. Warren. Some years earlier, while on Spring Break in Florida, Flora found herself waking up in a pinewood box. In pain and disoriented, she began months of captivity at the hands of an abductor.
‘The Cartel’ A Conversation with Don Winslow
Don Winslow is known to thriller lovers everywhere, especially after his extraordinary novel, Savages, which was made into a film directed by Oliver Stone. Don grew up in Rhode Island, and at age seventeen, left to study journalism at the University of Nebraska, where he earned a degree in African Studies. While in college, he traveled to southern Africa, sparking a lifelong involvement with that continent. Later, he obtained a master’s degree in Military History.
“Disclaimer” A conversation with Renee Knight
Renee Knight worked for the BBC directing arts documentaries before turning to writing. She has had television and film scripts commissioned by the BBC, Channel Four, and Capital Films In April 2013, she graduated from Faber Academy, a school sponsored by the eponymous British publisher, and known for nurturing breakthrough talent. Its alumni include S.J. Watson. Disclaimer is Renee’s first novel.
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Robert B. Parker’s “Kickback” A Conversation with Ace Atkins
Ace Atkins is well-known to thriller-lovers everywhere. He was a Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist, has written standalone novels, and is known for his Nick Travers and Quinn Colson series. Ace’s writing style has been compared to that of Dennis Lehane and George Pelecanos. In 2011, Ace was chosen by the estate of Robert B. Parker to continue writing the Spenser series of novels. His latest, the 4th in the series, is Kickback.
Kickback begins with 17-year old Dillon Yates playing a prank by setting up a Twitter account in the name of his school’s vice principal. He’s charged with criminal activity and sentenced by Judge Joe Scali to a lockdown juvenile facility in Blackburn, Massachusetts, where there’s zero tolerance for even the most minor juvenile offenses. Dillon’s mother hires Spenser to learn the truth behind a rash of harsh sentences for kids who have committed minor transgressions. Spenser and his friend Hawk wend their way through the Boston underworld and other locales, uncovering a viper’s nest of corruption and greed.
Flesh and Blood: A Fascinating Talk with Patricia Cornwell
Patricia Cornwell is the internationally bestselling and award-winning author of 33 books, the most famous and widely read being the 22 novels of the “Kay Scarpetta” series.
In Flesh and Blood, Kay Scarpetta notices seven shiny pennies, all dated 1981, placed on the wall behind her Cambridge house. She soon learns of a shooting death nearby, where copper fragments are the only evidence left at the crime scene. Scarpetta links the murder to two other deaths in which the victims were killed by a serial sniper. The victims had nothing in common, but seem to have a connection to Scarpetta herself.
Don’t Knock Thrillers
Thrillers are often viewed as “lesser” literature than other genres. But is this a fair assessment?
Have you considered that Homer, Virgil, and Shakespeare were thriller writers? Let’s step back for a moment and define a thriller.
A thriller is a novel involving a threat to the life or well-being of the protagonist, the community, or even the world. Catastrophe will occur if the protagonist doesn’t act decisively, and if necessary, with violence. There’s a crushing urgency in a thriller—the clock is ticking—and the stakes are high. Reading a thriller may be described as a “heart-pounding” experience.
Wars of the Roses: A Talk with Conn Iggulden
Conn Iggulden is internationally known for his historical fiction. He’s written the Emperor series about the life of Julius Caesar, and the Conqueror series, based on the lives of Mongol warlords. He’s also written a series of children’s books called The Dangerous Book for Boys.
Now, he’s begun the Wars of the Roses series with the first of three books, Stormbird. This series focuses on the betrayals and machinations behind the story of the two royal families who plunged England into one of the most bloody and brutal periods of British history.
A Book-World Wish List for 2014
As 2014 approaches, I think about what I would like to see happen in the world of books. I know they often say, “Be careful what you wish for,” but here are my wishes for the coming year.
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‘What If?’: The Big Question
In a previous Huffington Post article, I discussed the almost dreamlike process by which I write a novel. There is a coalescence of past and present; the melding of my own and others’ experiences. The article concluded by saying that drawing from life and imagination is at the heart of my novels, but each story begins in a unique way.
I’ve often been asked how the concept for Love Gone Mad originated, given its twists, turns and many machinations. Readers want to know how the initial idea came into being. I recall a specific incident that led to the thought of the novel.