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Author News & Interviews

Author Talk: Karen White, author of The Shop on Royal Street

Mar 31, 2022

THE SHOP ON ROYAL STREET is the opening installment in a spin-off series of Karen White’s New York Times bestselling Tradd Street novels. It stars Nola Trenholm, who is hopeful for a fresh start in New Orleans. But she must deal with ghosts from her past, as well as new ones. In this interview, White talks about why she decided to tell this story from Nola’s point of view, her “research” trip to the Big Easy (it was a tough job, but someone had to do it!), and some aspects of the new series that she thinks Tradd Street fans will love --- including several cameo appearances and the surprising reappearance of a character brought back into Nola’s life due to reader demand.

Interview: Joel Agee, author of The Stone World

Mar 3, 2022

Joel Agee, the son of acclaimed author James Agee, makes his fiction debut with THE STONE WORLD. This haunting novel depicts an American boy’s childhood in Mexico, ensconced in a world comprised of communist European exiles, local union activists, street children and avant-garde artists like Frida Kahlo. In this interview conducted by Michael Barson, Senior Publicity Executive at Melville House, Agee talks about his six-year-old protagonist, Peter Vogelsang, and how he imagined him; why it took nearly 15 years for the book to get published; and the importance of revising and rewriting to ensure that your work is truly “complete.”

Interview: Patrick Strickland, author of The Marauders: Standing Up to Vigilantes in the American Borderlands

Feb 24, 2022

In this interview conducted by Michael Barson, Senior Publicity Executive at Melville House, author, journalist and editor Patrick Strickland explains why he decided to write THE MARAUDERS, which tells the story of how citizens in a small Arizona border town stood up to anti-immigrant militias and vigilantes. He talks about the major obstacles he had to face during his time in and around Arivaca, Arizona while researching the book and how he tried to overcome them, the benefits and drawbacks of taking on this project as a freelance journalist, and his thoughts on the possibility of peace prevailing in the American borderlands.

Interview: Wil Haygood, author of Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films in a White World

Feb 3, 2022

Wil Haygood’s COLORIZATION examines 100 years of Black movies --- from Gone with the Wind to Blaxploitation films to Black Panther --- using the struggles and triumphs of the artists, and the films themselves, as a prism to explore Black culture, civil rights and racism in America. In this interview conducted by Michael Barson, Senior Publicity Executive at Melville House, Haygood explains how the idea for this deeply researched book came about, offers his thoughts on the late, great Sidney Poitier, names the one Black actor who he believes deserved an Oscar nomination but was sadly overlooked, and reveals which classic movie from Hollywood’s golden age he would like to see remade with a primarily Black cast.

Author Talk: Jessamine Chan, author of The School for Good Mothers

Jan 6, 2022

THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD MOTHERS is Jessamine Chan’s debut novel and this month’s “Read with Jenna” Today Show Book Club pick. It revolves around one lapse in judgment that lands a young mother in a government reform program where custody of her child hangs in the balance. In this interview, Chan talks about how she came to tell this particular story, her writing process and the research she conducted for the book, what surprised her the most when she became a mother, the concerns she had about motherhood and the impact it would have on her ability to write, the authors who have inspired her, and what she’s working on now.