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Author News & Interviews

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.

Interview: Michael Brandman, author of Stealth: A Buddy Steel Short Story

Jul 17, 2020

Michael Brandman is a New York Times bestselling author, screenwriter and producer. He has written, adapted and produced nine films based on his Jesse Stone novels, and has produced over 40 motion pictures. His e-book short story, STEALTH, is his latest Buddy Steel mystery and follows the acting sheriff as he races against the clock to solve a series of mysterious disappearances --- before a triple kidnapping becomes a triple homicide. Brandman talks to Michael Barson, who has worked in book publicity since 1984, about his approach to writing a short story versus penning a novel; the possibility of a Buddy Steel movie or television adaptation and his dream cast; and the effect of the global pandemic on his plans for future novels and films.

Interview: Greg Mitchell , author of The Beginning or the End: How Hollywood — and America — Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Jul 9, 2020

Greg Mitchell is a journalist, blogger and author of more than a dozen books. His latest title, THE BEGINNING OR THE END: How Hollywood — and America — Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, is about the MGM film that started as a cautionary tale of the dangers of a nuclear arms race, but was twisted by the Truman White House and military into pro-nuclear propaganda. In this interview, Mitchell talks to Michael Barson, who has worked in book publicity since 1984, about the “Hiroshima narrative” that promotes the idea that the two atomic bombs were the only way to end World War II; the falsehoods in the movie and the head of the Manhattan Project’s role in portraying these outright lies; and the ultimate failure of this 1947 epic.