All posts filed under: Words with the Author

Kendra Bean on Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, and ‘An Intimate Portrait’

Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait author Kendra Bean was so kind to take the time to answer some of my questions on the process of creating her book, as well as delving deeper into the complex lives of Vivien and Laurence Olivier. I’m loving her insightful and considerate responses to what makes Vivien’s story such an important one for our time and what it’s like to construct such a detailed illustrated biography in the age of technology. Enjoy!   You spent many, many years researching Vivien not only for this book, but also for your personal academic work. What was it about Vivien and her career that drew you to write about her in such detail? Vivien has been my favorite actress for years. Having been a cinema lover from a very young age, her films are certainly a huge part of her appeal for me. On screen, she was magnetic, beautiful, intriguing, ethereal, often tragic. These qualities were also part of who she was as a person. She was very complex and managed to …

Jon Land on Writing, the Texas Rangers, and Strong Rain Falling

Today I’m very happy to host Jon Land, author of the bestselling Caitlin Strong series (including the most recent addition, Strong Rain Falling). The Brown University alum and author of thirty books has some terrific insights to share on why he chose to write about the Texas Rangers and the art of crafting such a unique female protagonist as Caitlin Strong. Many thanks to Jon for taking the time to share these thoughtful answers! Author Jon Land “Rangers, believe it or not, stilldo a lot of the same thingsthey used to do…” Your depiction of the Texas Rangers – from the fictional to the historical – has no doubt required a great deal of research. What were some of the most surprising facts about the Rangers that your research led you to? Great question to start off and several things actually. First and foremost, in the case of the Texas Rangers, the legends and the mythos really are accurate. They started off as the quintessential frontier heroes, going up against vastly larger forces and coming …

Lauren Willig on Researching The Passion of the Purple Plumeria

As Lauren Willig’s The Passion of the Purple Plumeria hits bookstore shelves today the author has some insights to share on the research that went into the tenth novel in her Pink Carnation series. Incidentally, if you haven’t read the Pink Carnation series yet you can still enjoy Purple Plumeria on its own (though you’ll find yourself on a mad dash to get your hands on the early books soon after – I’m speaking from experience!). To make life blissfully easy she also has a guide to the suggested reading order of the books on her website. Enjoy!   Photo credit: © Sigrid Estrada What kind of research did you do for The Passion of the Purple Plumeria? Every book involves a mosaic of little bits and pieces of research, often on incredibly esoteric topics. Want to know about opera houses in Dublin in 1803, the practice of “mad-doctoring” in London in 1804, or the exact construction of Talleyrand’s bedroom furniture in 1805? I’m your woman. I wish I were joking about Talleyrand’s bedroom furniture, …

D.J. Williams on Travel, Fighting Child Trafficking, and The Disillusioned

Following yesterday’s review of The Disillusioned, I’m delighted to have author D.J. Williams on the blog today to discuss his upcoming novel and some of the subjects behind it. You can read about The Disillusioned and find my review of it over here. Thank you to Mr. Williams for kindly taking the time to answer these questions; The Disillusioned will be published on May 1, 2013 from WestBow Press and is available now for pre-order (links below). Author D.J. Williams“The disconnect between religion and the poor is what kept me writing…” Religion and child trafficking are the two central pillars of the The Disillusioned’s story. How did the concept for focusing on these two subjects come together? Did you know from the beginning that you wanted to draw the story into an African setting? When I started writing The Disillusioned I asked myself some tough questions about today’s religious landscape. I dialed in on a prestigious Christian family and the story took off from there. I’ve been behind the scenes of many churches and I’ve …

Ross Poore and Ryan Poore on Extremism, Civil Rights, and The Blood Doctrine

Joining us today on Literary Inklings are authors Ross Poore and Ryan Poore, a father-and-son team whose debut novel, The Blood Doctrine, is available today. The novel tells the story of a startling murder and the detectives who are on the case; Aaron Lee, a Mormon missionary, has murdered a homosexual man in the streets of Salt Lake City, an act that traces through the history of religious extremism and the archaic concept of blood atonement. The Blood Doctrine‘s authors kindly took the time to answer some of my questions on the inspiration for the book and how they handle the novel’s controversies. The Blood Doctrine, available today The Blood Doctrine‘s premise is a powerful and controversial one, which undoubtedly required a lot of confidence to purse. Could you talk a bit about the inspiration behind the novel? Ryan: One very strong influence for The Blood Doctrine came into play when the LDS Church backed Proposition 8 in California. This was the bill that would block same-sex marriage in the state if passed. I believe …

John A. Heldt on Time Travel Fiction, Historical Research, and the Northwest Passage Series

John A. Heldt independently published his debut novel, The Mine (reviewed 10/12) , in February of 2012. The novel told the story of Joel Smith, a fresh-faced college student whose trip into an abandoned mine sends him back in time to Seattle in 1941. Heldt continued his time travel series in November with The Journey (reviewed 12/12), which saw forty-something Michelle Preston lost in the 1960s with her high school self. Now, just over a year later, Heldt is releasing his third title in the Northwest Passage series, The Show. I’ve greatly enjoyed this series and I’m looking forward to reading The Show in the next few months, but today I’m very excited to be hosting the author for a Q&A to discuss the writing and researching that goes into a time travel story and his experiences with the Northwest Passage series at large. Many thanks to John for taking the time to share his answers! The Mine, part one in the Northwest Passage series “I’ve been able to write the kind of stories I’ve …

Author Q&A: Maxine Schnall & Ken Salikof (as Maxine Kenneth) on Jackie Bouvier and Spy in a Little Black Dress

Today I’m very excited to be hosting Maxine Schnall and Ken Salikof – the collaborative authors of Spy in a Little Black Dress and Paris to Die For as Maxine Kenneth. Maxine and Ken kindly took the time to answer a few questions exploring the concept of their series, which follows a young Jackie Bouvier through life as a CIA agent, and what the process of writing as a team has been like. Thanks to the authors for their insightful answers! Spy in a Little Black Dress was inspired by an actual letter Jackie wrote that indicated a job offer from the CIA. What motivated you to bring the “what-ifs” of Jackie’s potential spy life into the realm of creative fiction? Paris to Die For “The challenge would be to take the facts of her life…and blend them into an out-of-body existence.”– Maxine Schnall Maxine: It was Ken’s idea to do a “what-if” of Jackie as a spy after learning of 21-year-old Jacqueline Bouvier’s letter to Vogue stating that she was going to accept a …

Author Q&A: Marisol Murano on Cooking, Culture and Valentina Goldman’s Immaculate Confusion

Fabulous chef-slash-author Marisol Murano is fresh off the book tour of her new novel, Valentina Goldman’s Immaculate Confusion, and she’s taken the time to stop by Literary Inklings today for a little Q&A! The novel, about a spirited Venezuelan woman’s adventures (and misadventures) in the US, was published last month and has gone on to win acclaim from readers for its charm and heart. Goodreads members can currently enter for a chance to win the novel right here; the giveaway ends 10/15. Author Marisol Murano “Now I have the option of chopping onions to get through writer’s block.” In addition to writing novels you’re also a world-traveling chef. When did you know you wanted to pursue these two very different careers? I’ve loved the kitchen since I was a little girl, but I never thought of it as a career. I went to culinary school at a friend’s suggestion. One day over a great lunch that I kept raving about, my friend said, “If you like cooking so much, why not get paid for it?” …