5 QUESTIONS

WITH KARIN SLAUGHTER

Our bookseller Sydne got the chance to ask one of her favorite authors five questions. Of course she couldn't stop at just five...
Karin Slaughter is the bestselling author of over a dozen thrillers, most recently Pretty Girls.
 
Pretty GirlsKarin Slaughter
Cop TownKarin Slaughter
CriminalKarin Slaughter

1. Conventional wisdom says “write what you know”. What is it that draws you to dark situations with peril and violence?


I think it’s the same thing that draws the majority of crime readers (which, actually, is the majority of readers because crime is by far the most popular genre). I want to know why people do bad things. I suppose this comes from growing up just outside of Atlanta during the time of the Atlanta Child Murders. I was certainly not the demographic of the victims, but I remember quite clearly having this epiphany that children could be hurt. That had never occurred to me before because I basically lived in Mayberry. This revelation was something that informed my reading as well as my writing.

5 QUESTIONS

WITH PAULA MCLAIN

Our bookseller Jenn got the chance to ask one of her favorite authors five questions. Of course she couldn't stop at just five...
Paula McLain is the bestselling author of The Paris Wife, and most recently Circling the Sun.
 
Circling the SunPaula McLain
Paris WifePaula McLain
A Ticket to RidePaula McLain
 
Stumble, Gorgeous,Paula McLain
 
Like FamilyPaula McLain
Less of HerPaula McLain
 
 
 
 

1. The women you write about have led such exciting and over the top lives, but they aren’t well known in history. How do you choose who to write about?


Actually, it feels a lot like my characters choose me rather than the other way around. I’d never heard Hadley’s name before she reached out to me through the pages of Hemingway’s memoir, A Moveable Feast. I suppose that was part of her appeal, that she was utterly new to me, but more than this even the shadow of her obsessed me instantly. I lunged at biographies, needing to know everything about her, and that’s how I found my way to Hemingway and 1920’s Paris and that entire world.
Nearly the same thing happened when I read Beryl Markham’s West With the Night. The same instant connection; the same recognition that something special was happening, and that I had to know everything I could, immediately, about Beryl. Though I’d just met her, I already knew she would change my life.

5 QUESTIONS

WITH JOHN IRVING

Our bookseller Len got the chance to ask one of his favorite authors five questions. Of course he couldn't stop at just five...
John Irving is the bestselling author of The Cider House Rules, A Prayer for Owen Meany, The World According to Garp, and most recently Avenue of Mysteries.
 
Avenue of MysteriesJohn Irving
A Widow for One Year John Irving
A Son of the CircusJohn Irving
 

1. Do you think men don't read fiction any more?


I never said men don't read fiction anymore. I've said, many times, that women have always read more fiction (and better fiction) than men read. I'm not talking about college students; at that age, I observe that the interest in literary fiction seems to be shared pretty equally between men and women. But women, as they grow older, continue to live more in their imaginations than most men do. Women are the ones I see reading good fiction; men mostly read nonfiction or bad novels. I can't tell you why. I just see this all the time—to the degree that when I do see a grown man reading good fiction, I have to restrain myself from hugging him in surprise and gratitude. Women readers are supporting quality fiction. I'm not alone in this observation. Ask Ian McEwan.

5 QUESTIONS

WITH ALAN BRADLEY

Our bookseller Sandra got the chance to ask one of her favorite authors five questions. Of course she couldn't stop at just five...
To find out more about Alan Bradley and to see a list of his books, click here.  

1. First of all, I want to thank you for sharing Flavia with all of us, she is a remarkable character! I understand that she made herself known to you as you were working on a separate project. How much time did you spend getting to know Flavia before her story was put to paper?


Flavia came pouring out of the pen like water from a faucet. Like the book’s ultimate readers, I only got to know her as she revealed herself on the page. It was as if she’d been waiting patiently for seventy years for someone to pick up a pen. It sounds facile, but that’s the way it happened.
Alan Bradley quote

5 QUESTIONS

WITH ERIK LARSON

Our bookseller Sandra got the chance to ask one of her favorite authors five questions. Of course she couldn't stop at just five...
To find out more about Erik Larson and to see a list of his books, click here.  

1. You are so talented in bringing history to life, have you ever considered teaching the subject? What other profession would you pursue if writing was not an option?


I’ll answer the second part first: I can’t imagine doing anything else, except maybe trying to make a living as a painter. So I’d probably go to art school and get an MFA and live under a bridge until my paintings started selling. No doubt I’d end up spending a lot of time sketching the underside of the bridge. As to teaching: If you mean have I ever considered teaching history, not really. There are people who are natural teachers. I am not one of them.
Erik Larson quote

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