Wednesday, April 14, 2010

GCC Author Interview: April Henry

I'm so excited today because we've got fellow GCCer April Henry here to chat! She's got a new book out-- HAND OF FATE-- with her co-author, Lis Wiehl, and it sounds super exciting.

Here's what it's about:

When the host of a popular radio talk show is murdered, the suspects almost outnumber his millions of listeners. Outspoken radio talk show host Jim Fate dies he opens a package and releases poisonous gas while his polarizing show, "The Hand of Fate," is on air. In the ensuing panic, police evacuate downtown Portland. Soon the triple threat of FBI Special Agent Nicole Hedges, crime reporter Cassidy Shaw and Federal Prosecutor Allison Pierce begin piecing together the madness, motive, and the mystery that lie behind Fate’s murder. While Lis has worked with Bill O’Reilly for years (often serving as the voice of reason or his liberal foil, depending on your point of view), the character is NO WAY based on O’Reilly.

This is the second in the Triple Threat mystery series, which has been optioned for TV. The first, Hand of Fate, one was on the New York Times bestseller list for four weeks! And in April 2011, readers can look for Heart of Ice, which traces the path of a destruction left by a sociopath - and based on a real-life case Lis prosecuted.

Sounds exciting, doesn't it?! But don't just take my word for it! Here's what Publisher's Weekly had to say about it:

"Exciting... readers will identify with these very real women as they try to uncover Fate's killer, and each battles a personal demon—Allison her fear of miscarriage, Nic her fear of her daughter's criminal father, and Cassidy her prescription drug addiction.”

I'm sold! So, without further ado, let's get to our questions!

When did you first begin writing?

I started writing when I was nine or ten - and Roald Dahl helped me get a story I wrote when I was 12 published. It was about a six-foot tall frog named Herman who loved peanut butter. I’ve since lost the story, but I still have the postcard Dahl sent me. I was convinced we were friends.

What are you working on right now?

The next book in the Triple Threat series, Heart of Ice, has gone through almost all the edits. It’s super scary and based on a real-life case Lis prosecuted. I’m editing The Girl in the Mini Cooper, a YA I wrote that is also based on a real life case about a pizza delivery girl who disappeared.

What are you reading right now?

Before I Fall, a young adult book about a girl who keeps reliving the last day of her life, trying to get it right. It’s a real page turner.

How do you fight writer’s block?

I will work on a different scene that falls later in the book. Sometimes I work on an entirely different book. Or I will just force myself to write crap, because you can edit crap, but you can’t edit nothing. Now that I make my living as a writer, I depend on making my deadline to eat, so that is a big motivator!

How do you usually begin your stories—with a character or with a plot?

It’s usually a plot that first inspires me - then I figure out who would be the most affected by that plot.

Thanks so much for stopping by, April! And I hope you'll all check out her latest release, HAND OF FATE.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

All about Ellen....

We here at Brenda's Blog just love Ellen Meister. We also love entering contests. And we love free stuff. So, what could be better than this: Ellen's giving away a free $25 gift card just for signing up for her mailing list!

Ellen has an exciting new book coming out next year and she wants you to know all about it. It's sure to be her breakout novel, so if you loved her last two books, or just want to discover a new author, you should check this out.

Sign up for her mailing list now and you will automatically be entered in a drawing for a $25 gift card.

Just click here, fill out the form, and remember to click through when you get the confirmation email. That's it. Ellen only sends out a few updates a year, so you won't be bombarded. Besides, I think you'll want to hear about her breakthrough novel, THE OTHER LIFE (Putnam/2011), which is already getting great early buzz:

"Gripping! A truly fascinating story of love, loss, and a magical place in between."
Beth Harbison, New York Times bestselling author of HOPE IN A JAR

"Intriguing, stimulating, original, unpredictable, frightening, utterly engaging--THE OTHER LIFE reminded me why I love to read. Ellen Meister is a writer with a limitless future."
–Michael Palmer, New York Times bestselling author of THE SECOND OPINION and THE LAST SURGEON

"In her riveting breakthrough novel, THE OTHER LIFE, gifted storyteller Ellen Meister doesn’t just peek in on a young mother who straddles between love and doubt, she blows it open with a story of one who straddles two parallel universes, each with its own perilous decisions. It is a brave and honest exploration of the precarious limits of motherhood that will make readers wonder if Meister followed them with a probe and felt their racing hearts and hopes. If you have ever second guessed the biggest decisions of your life (and who hasn’t), THE OTHER LIFE is a captivating homage to the question, does love conquer all?"
–Saralee Rosenberg, author of DEAR NEIGHBOR, DROP DEAD and FATE AND MS. FORTUNE

"Ellen Meister makes a big leap toward the literary in THE OTHER LIFE, a book where “What if” becomes the most powerful question in the world. This is the thinking woman’s beach read, a love story to the modern family, written with a deep and lovely understanding of mothers and daughters and the sacrifices they’ll make for each other."
–Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING

"THE OTHER LIFE is a provocative and unique tale of the road not taken. Ellen Meister puts a magical, masterful spin on one of my favorite questions: "What if?" What if you took both roads? You won't want to miss this one!"

–Sarah Addison Allen, New York Times bestselling author of THE GIRL WHO CHASED THE MOON

"I loved this emotional powerhouse of a novel that asks a daring “what if…” and manages to be as charming and funny as it is thoughtful and moving. Brava, Ellen Meister!”
–Melissa Senate, author of SEE JANE DATE and THE SECRET OF JOY

The funniest thing about all of these fabulous blurbs is that I am reading THE GIRL WHO STOPPED SWIMMING as we speak! Seriously. You can even check out my goodreads page!

Anyhoo, I hope you all enter to win the contest. I'm heading over there now!

Friday, April 2, 2010

So lost....

Last week there were two completely hilarious videos about Lost. The only problem is: I can't decide which one is funnier.

On the one hand, the montage of Sawyer saying "Son of a bitch" over and over again is just so classic. It starts out really funny, then gets to where you just sort of smile at each moment, then it just isn't funny anymore, but then wait: because it gets totally hilarious again.

On the other hand, the ode to Richard Alpert has some really classic lines. Clearly, I need to integrate "you wear the hell out of a button down" into my regular parlance.

And the bonus of each video is that they BOTH feature Lost hotties!!! So, as you watch, you get to stare at some of the best man-candy Lost has to offer.

I guess you could say it's a win-win.