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Author News & Interviews

Author Talk: Alice Hoffman, author of Magic Lessons: The Prequel to Practical Magic

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.

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.