Laura Vikmanis grew up in Dayton, Ohio. When she was in college she met a man who professed to love her. They married and had two children. Meanwhile their marriage was falling apart. Her husband verbally abused her. By the time Vikmanis got out of the marriage her self esteem had been damaged.
With his Tourist Trilogy of espionage novels Olen Steinhauer has elevated the spy genre to levels that have been rarely seen since the demise of the Soviet Union. When the Iron Curtain came down it also shut the door temporarily on the spy vs. spy intrigues of the Cold War.
Fortunately for fans of this genre time passes. Olen Steinhauer has studied well. In his latest, "An American Spy," we find that the top-secret American spy cell within the CIA, the so-called Department of Tourism, has been virtually obliterated through the machinations of a Chinese spy master.
James Renner is an investigative journalist from the Cleveland area. He specializes in investigating unsolved murders. A few years ago Renner came upon a case that he describes as an "unsolved suicide." That situation provided a seed that germinated into Renner's first novel, "The Man From Primrose Lane."
Kambri Crews grew up in a rather unusual family. Both of her parents are deaf. Kambri and her brother were granted extraordinary freedoms. Their parents couldn't hear what the kids were up to and Kambri and her brother could hear perfectly well. So they got into lots of mischief.
When Kambri was a young girl the family moved out to the middle of nowhere, a densely wooded Texas acreage. They lived in primitive conditions. Her parents were often on the verge of breaking up.
Andre Dubus III grew up in poverty in a decaying New England mill town. His parents were divorced when Dubus was young. His family struggled to get by. In "Townie," the author's first memoir, we learn how he was bullied until he decided to fight back. Dubus became a fighter before he ever thought of becoming a writer.