Posts Tagged ‘interview’

6th April
2011
written by Steph
For the April issue of BookPage, I pulled double duty and reviewed two new releases, one a debut novel (written by a septuagenarian!), and the other by one of those authors who perpetually finds herself on a the top of the NYT bestseller list.

First up: The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew. I fully admit that I wasn't convinced that I would like this novel when I agreed to review it, but I'm really glad that I kept an open mind because I ultimately found it to be a really powerful evocation of race relations in the South. I worried it would be too derivative of other similar titles, but there is no denying the strength of the narrative Mayhew has created, and it definitely stands on its own two feet (provided book have feet...). Fans of Southern fiction, or those who have enjoyed books like The Help or The Secret Life of Bees definitely need to check this one out. For more info, read my whole review here. And as an added bonus, I did a Q&A with the author which is pretty fascinating if I do say so myself!

As for the heavy-hitter author, I also covered Luanne Rice's latest novel, The Silver Boat. Featuring three sisters who come together to pack up their family summer house in preparation for its sale, this one is great for people who love family sagas filled with rifts and secrets. Check out my full review here!
10th February
2011
written by Steph

The lovely Ms. Harkness

A Discovery of Witches has spent the past few days in the Top 10 Bestsellers on Amazon (and demand is so high that orders are taking a few extra days to process as copies of the book are located) so it hardly needs my help in the publicity department. That said, I know many of you expressed interest in the book when I linked to my review earlier this month, so I have an added treat for those of you who are still on the fence (or who have already devoured the book and are going through withdrawal): I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Deborah Harkness for BookPage and my Q&A with her is now available online and can be read here. Talking to Deborah was such a pleasure — we wound up talking for 75 minutes, and the time just flew; Deborah was so warm and her answers were so thoughtful. I got lots of details on how the series evolved (as well as some hints about its future directions), Deborah's approach to reading and writing, and plenty of other juicy details so have at it and let me know what you think!
20th January
2011
written by Steph

I recently interviewed Ron Reagan, son of America's 40th president, Ronald Reagan, about his recently released memoir, My Father at 100 over at BookPage. Anyone who knows me knows that politics aren't really my shtick, and certainly not American politics, so I was super nervous going into this interview. I am happy to report that it went swimmingly and that Ron Reagan is a wonderfully nice guy with a great sense of humor and the entire thing wound up being a complete blast! For those of you interested in reading a no-holds bar conversation on Reagan's thoughts on the current state of the nation and what his father was really like, you can read my interview here. It's chock full of lots of juicy tidbits and Reagan doesn't pussyfoot around controversial issues, so it's a pretty fun read if I do say so myself!
2nd November
2010
written by Steph

This month, we've got a bounty of books for you to discover over at BookPage! In the November issue, Tony reviews the newest Dennis Lehane novel, Moonlight Mile, which is a must-read for any thriller/mystery buffs out there. I can say from personal experience, that Tony devoured this baby in two sittings, greatly neglecting his wife in the process... but isn't that what great books are all about? Making spouses jealous (because they aren't the ones reading said book... )? 😛 Check out his review in full here!

Also, I have a bunch of web-exclusive content that is now up. For fans of creepy Victorian era fiction (and really, who doesn't like that kind of stuff?), you might be interested in checking out my interview with Kathe Koja, where I ask her about her newest book, Under The Poppy. Koja's book is set in Brussels during the 1870s and involves brothels and puppet shows, amongst various other things... As if that wasn't enough of a reason to check out the interview, Koja is a Sarah Waters fan... Read her thoughts on historical fiction, the appeal of YA novels, and more here!

I also did a brief and extremely fun Q&A with author, Tilar J Mazzeo regarding the iconic perfume, Chanel No. 5, which is the focus of her newest work of non-fiction, The Secret of Chanel No. 5. Definitely something to read if you're hoping to add a little decadence to your life. Find out what goes into researching the most popular and intoxicating perfume across the ages, by reading the interview here.

Last but not least, I also reviewed Rose Tremain's most recent novel, Trespass, which you can read here. I'd never read anything by Tremain prior to this, but I loved the fast-paced narrative, lush French countryside setting, and the dark, disturbing secrets that she wove together here. I'll definitely be checking out more Tremain in the future!
1st October
2010
written by Steph

Nicole Krauss

You'll recall that a few months ago I was über excited by the interview I conducted with Nicole Krauss about her new novel, Great House, which will be released next Tuesday. To commemorate the event, my interview with her can be found in the October issue of BookPage, or can be read online here. Please check it out and let me know what you think! On a personal note, I have to say that Krauss was so lovely to speak to, answering my questions candidly and thoughtfully. I know that some interviews/articles on her have suggested she can be quite reserved, but I found her to be very open and warm, and speaking to her was a real pleasure. Definitely one of my interviewing highlights thus far! I know that a lot of people are eagerly anticipating Great House, so I hope this interview sheds some light on the story behind the book as well as providing some insight into a very exciting and provocative author. Enjoy!
4th August
2010
written by Steph

Tony and I have two reviews in the August issue of BookPage that might be of some interest to you, fair readers. My review of Rosecrans Baldwin’s debut novel You Lost Me There is in the debut fiction section, and can be read here. The novel centers on an Alzheimer researcher who struggles with the loss of his wife. It was a really interesting read for me, because I do have a bit of background in memory research, and it’s a topic I always enjoy exploring in fiction. For those familiar with The Morning News, Baldwin’s novel is what you might expect: quirky and intellectual. For those of you who want more “behind the book” info, I also did a quick Q&A with Baldwin for the web about his debut novel, which you can read here.

Finally, Tony reviews the debut novel from the mastermind behind the television hit Heroes, Tim Kring. Shift is cowritten by Kring and Dale Peck, and takes readers on a wild romp through the ‘60s, and will delight your inner conspiracy theorist. If you’ve been holding your breath for a book that tackles JFK and LSD in the same place, look no further! Except to read Tony’s review, which you can do so here. Enjoy!
1st July
2010
written by Steph

The July issue of BookPage is now out and with it comes my review of Carolyn Parkhurst’s new book, The Nobodies Album. This was a really interesting read as it looks at the way endings influence the way we reflect on a book as whole. It features an author who has decided that her newest book will simply be a collection of final chapters from all of her books, but all re-written. As we compare the new chapters with the old, we see how Octavia has changed and gain insight into her troubled relationship with her son… who has just been charged with the murder of his girlfriend. For more, check out my review here! Also, Tony & I have a few web exclusives for y’all. For those Fantasy fans out there, I know we don’t tend to cater to you all that frequently, but Tony read and reviewed a really fun series debut, The Left Hand of God that is being released this month. I admit I’m not really a Fantasy reader, but I love a religious conspiracy as much as the next atheist and I know Tony really enjoyed reading it. Read his review here. Tony also read Canadian author, Howard Norman’s newest book, What is Left of the Daughter. It was so good, he read the entire thing on a flight from New York to Nashville, so for any of you planning to take the skies this summer, this might be a good choice of in-flight entertainment! Check that review out here. And really, what better way to celebrate Canada Day than to check out some of its talented authors? I miss you Canada! 😀 Finally, I reviewed Justin Kramon’s debut novel, a coming-of-age tale entitled Finny. I’m a big fan of red-headed heroines (Anne Shirley was one of my childhood favorites), so Finny Short had me from the very beginning. This is a story that is sweet but not sickly so, and has plenty of sharp moments for all its tenderness.  See more on my thoughts here. If you’ve had enough reviews, why not check out some author interviews? I was a busy bee and talked to Lily King about her new book, Father of the Rain, and also talked to the two editors of Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads. With respect to the latter, I certainly know where I’ll be looking the next time I need inspiration for my next biblio-adrenaline hit! You can read my interview with King here, and my interview with David Morrell and Hank Wagner here! Phew! Enough already… I’d better let you go and read now! Have fun!
3rd June
2010
written by Steph

In the June issue of BookPage, I reviewed Ann Brashares' latest novel (the first in a trilogy), My Name is Memory. Fans of Twilight and The Time Traveler's Wife (so... not me! 😉 ) will likely love it to bits, and this one's already on the way to being a big hit.  The film rights for all three books have already ignited a huge studio bidding war, so it's only a matter of time before Memory makes it to a screen near you.  Of course, if you're anything like me, you'll want to read the book first! 😉 You can read a more in-depth review of the book here.

Even more exciting (for me), was the opportunity to read Aimee Bender's newest book, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, and then talk to her about the book.  My interview with her can be read here. It was a real treat to talk to her, as Bender is both charming and intelligent, and it was wonderful to converse with someone who is so creative and has such an interesting perspective on the world.  Obviously I enjoyed the book a good deal, and I look forward to reading more of her back catalog!  Quirky and weird, this was a book that I felt had tons of heart and was brimming with emotion. If you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary, I highly recommend it.
15th January
2010
written by Steph
I promised I would let you all know when my interview with Jasper Fforde was up on the BookPage website (I know you've all been on tenterhooks waiting), so I'm happy to let you know that the happy day has arrived!  Those of you coming down from your Shades of Grey reading highs will likely find this just the ticket to maintaining your Fforde buzz!  I think Friday just got a little bit happier! 😉 The interview can be read here!
8th December
2009
written by Steph
Ffantastic Mr. FForde

Ffantastic Mr. FForde

Forgive me, internet friends, but I have to do something I try very hard not to do: today, I'm gushing.  Why?  Because this morning I got to do a phone interview with Jasper Fforde!  I'm interviewing him for BookPage, and the interview will be posted on their site in January, so I can't spill too many beans here, which I realize is horrifically cruel of me, but them's the breaks. I will say that I was super nervous up to (and including) dialing his phone number (British numbers look so weird!), but you'll all be pleased to hear that I was the consummate professional and did not: a) hang up several times before finally going through with it like a 12-year-old girl; or b) propose matrimony.  And I only mentioned my über-fan status two or three times, and not in a scary way...  I had worried going in that I might not be able to keep up with someone as dazzlingly clever and charming as Mr. Fforde, but he was really very congenial and easy to talk to, and I think that all of my questions went over really well.  He was very candid and thoughtful, and it was so much fun to talk to one of my favorite authors about how he approaches writing as well as getting the inside scoop on some of the books.   We easily chatted for about an hour – one I would happily relive over and over again, because it just went by too quickly! While there are plenty of authors I’d love to interview if given the chance, I think Jasper Fforde was the best possible person to kick things off with… and if I never get to interview another author again, well, this will be enough.  Having seen him speak a few times previously, I knew he was extremely gracious and articulate, and well, we all know how I feel about a man with an accent... but it was so nice to find him that way in a one-on-one scenario as well. Consider my author crush intensified by 10,000!  Sigh.  I hope the ladies at BookPage let me keep the tape recording of us chatting (and that Tony doesn’t “accidentally” run the Mini Cooper over it)… So as not to be totally heartless, here are a few of the things that we discussed that will hopefully make my writeup in January (anything that doesn't but is trivia-worthy, I promise to post here):
  • Why did he feel it was time to branch out from the Thursday Next & NCD books?
  • The importance of comedy in fiction
  • Where the inspiration for Shades of Grey came from
  • The joys of book tours
  • Jasper gives some glimpses into the next Thursday Next book (slated for 2011 release!), and some of the books & well-loved characters he’s trying to cram in there
  • Which Thursday Next book is his favorite thus far
  • Why you should never visit Nashville on a Monday…
So much fun, guys!  I’m seriously on cloud nine right now (and wondering if I can swing a roadtrip to Atlanta on Jan 15 where Jasper will be doing a book signing and Q&A at the Buckhead Barnes & Noble.  P.S.  You should check and see whether he's coming to a city near you!)!  Tell me, if you could interview one author, who would you pick?  Any authorial crushes I should know about?
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