WYSO

Books - Fiction

With the publication of "I Let You Go" last year Clare Mackintosh won the attention of over a million mystery readers who loved her tightly woven and spectacularly clever book. How does one follow up on a debut novel that sizzled like that one did?

For most of us life is one long series of compromises. We have to make compromises because we want to exist in a society that is often at odds with our own feelings, opinions, and beliefs.
 

In Laird Hunt's latest novel "The Evening Road" his character Ottie Lee has reluctantly allowed herself to make compromises just to get by. Her marriage has become a compromise. Her relationship with her boss involves compromises. And as this story builds her participation in a hideous spectacle, a lynching, becomes just another thing that finds her being swept along by events.

Thirty years ago the Scottish novelist Ian Rankin published the first book in his crime series that features the Edinburgh cop John Rebus. A few years ago Rankin tried to retire his ageing sleuth but Rebus and the many fans of these books would not go along with the plan. So even though Rebus continues to age in real time Rankin brought him back to work some cold cases.
 

Lara Elena Donnelly has just published "Amberlough." It is her debut novel. It was published by Tor Books, a major New York publisher. Lara grew up in Yellow Springs and had always wanted to be a writer. She has pursued her dreams with passion and now her determination and diligence is really paying off.

Listen to this interview to find out what her story is about and to learn about the journey that has brought her to this happy place in her life.

I read a lot of crime novels and some of them are very good. Occasionally I'll read one that completely dazzles me. "The Butcher's Hook" by Janet Ellis is one of those books that made me perspire with shock and astonishment. And this is her literary debut! Amazing.

Lee Child is one of the most generous writers around. He is an advocate for other writers. He provides enthusiastic blurbs for books he has enjoyed reading. A blurb from Lee Child can really give an unknown author a boost. I have Lee Child to thank for turning me on to a writer named Nicholas Petrie. Lee returned to the program recently and I quizzed him about books that he has really liked. He responded with a hearty endorsement of the work of Nick Petrie.
 

Over the years I have had the opportunity to interview authors at various stages in their careers. Some of the writers that I have interviewed have gone on to become spectacularly successful. Nicholas Sparks comes to mind. When I interviewed him for "The Notebook," his first book, he seemed slightly dazed by the positive early reviews and he was reluctant to believe that fame was in his future. Well, he has sold a gazillion books since our first interview and he quit his day job as a pharmaceutical salesman many years ago.

Angie Grigaliunas has created a stunning imaginary world in her dystopian fantasy novel "Sowing." This is the first book in her "Purification Era" series. She is still planning the series and during this interview she stated that it will probably take at least eight books to complete it.
 

Lisa Lutz gave us one of the standout novels of 2016. "The Passenger" was so clever, so enthralling, so devilishly twisted, that I had Lisa on the program for the hardcover release early in the year, then after I had spoken to her that first time I was so enchanted by her wit (and her novel) that I invited her back to the program for another visit when the book was issued in paperback later in the year.

James Church is a man of mysteries. The man known as James Church (it is a pseudonym) is the author of a series of mystery novels that feature the North Korean security officer Inspector O. The author of these books is clearly familiar with North Korea, spycraft, and the perils of espionage. The actual identity of the man who writes under the pen name of James Church remains clouded in a fog that is as thick as the one which obscures the workings of the regime that runs North Korea. Fortunately we have this series of books available to us.

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