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Author News & Interviews

Author Talk: Christie Tate, author of Group: How One Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life

Oct 29, 2020

GROUP is November’s Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club pick. Here, Chicago-based writer and essayist Christie Tate details how she reluctantly chose to get psychologically and emotionally naked in a room of six complete strangers --- her psychotherapy group --- and in turn found human connection, and herself. In this interview, Tate discusses what inspired her to share her daring, exhilarating, painful and hilarious journey with the world; how her fellow group members have reacted to being featured in the book; her evolving relationship with her eccentric therapist, Dr. Rosen, and how she would encourage skeptical readers to embrace some facets of his unique approach; why she considers her memoir to be a bildungsroman; and her decision to end GROUP with a “Ten Years Later” update rather than with her wedding.

Author Talk: Alice Hoffman, author of Magic Lessons: Book #1 of the Practical Magic Series

Oct 22, 2020

Alice Hoffman traces a centuries-old curse to its source in MAGIC LESSONS, which unveils the story of Maria Owens, who is accused of witchcraft in Salem and is the matriarch of a line of the amazing Owens women and men featured in PRACTICAL MAGIC and THE RULES OF MAGIC. In this interview, Hoffman talks about her decision to return to the Owens family in the form of a prequel; the most fun part of her research for the story, which is rich with historical details; the two special ladies in her life who have inspired her the most; and her next novel, which likely will be the conclusion to the Practical Magic series.

Interview: Ayad Akhtar, author of Homeland Elegies

Sep 16, 2020

Ayad Akhtar is a novelist and playwright who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play “Disgraced” and whose debut novel, AMERICAN DERVISH, was named a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2012. His highly anticipated second work of fiction, HOMELAND ELEGIES, is about an immigrant father and his son who search for belonging --- in post-Trump America, and with each other. In this interview, conducted by reviewer Harvey Freedenberg, Akhtar talks about one of the book’s most powerful scenes --- Ayad’s description of his experience in Manhattan on 9/11 --- and how he went about recreating the terrible sights and overwhelming emotions of that day; what he thinks it will take for those who harbor suspicions about Muslims to view them with less hostility; and the pivotal role that dreams play in the novel.

Interview: Caroline B. Cooney, author of Before She Was Helen

Sep 10, 2020

Caroline B. Cooney is the author of more than 90 suspense, mystery and romance novels for teens, including THE FACE ON THE MILK CARTON, which has sold over three million copies and was made into a television movie starring Kellie Martin. Her latest thriller, BEFORE SHE WAS HELEN (which is aimed primarily at adults), brings decades-old secrets to life and explores what happens when the lie you've been living falls apart and you're forced to confront the truth.

In this interview, conducted by reviewer Rebecca Munro, Cooney explains her inspiration for writing the book and why she set it in a gated retirement community; offers some insight into her protagonist Clemmie, a tiny but spunky senior citizen who has managed to pull off a hidden identity for over 50 years; and reveals what she is working on next. Cooney is keeping herself quite busy these days, which is sure to please her countless fans!

Interview: Owen Laukkanen, author of Lone Jack Trail

Aug 13, 2020

Owen Laukkanen is a former professional poker journalist and the author of the Stevens and Windermere novels, which have been nominated for the Anthony, Barry, Edgar and Thriller Awards. His latest book, LONE JACK TRAIL, is the sequel to DECEPTION COVE, which kicked off a brand new series featuring Jess Winslow, a U.S. Marine turned trainee sheriff’s deputy, and Mason Burke, an ex-convict and Jess’ boyfriend. In this interview, Laukkanen talks to Michael Barson, who has worked in book publicity since 1984, about LONE JACK TRAIL’s feminist spin on the “drifter” trope in thrillers; hitting “the wall” in his writing career and pushing through it; HBO Max’s acquisition of his young adult novel, THE WILD; and his beloved pit bull mix, Lucy, who is featured in his Winslow and Burke series.