J.H. Gelernter discusses The Montevideo Brief

In a fascinating virtual event hosted by The Poisoned Pen, J.H. Gelernter discussed his latest historical fiction novel The Montevideo Brief, as well as his crime novel The Siberia Job. written under the name Josh Haven, with our founder Barbara Peters.

Gelernter also introduced his earlier works, described as “James Bond crossed with Patrick O’Brian.” Barbara delved into the details of Gelernter’s books, exploring their historical settings and intriguing characters. She particularly emphasized how Gelernter skillfully weaves history and adventure, making his novels a must-read for fans of heroes and espionage.

Gelernter’s discussion touched on various topics, from the influence of music in Vienna during the Napoleonic era to the real historical events that inspired his stories, like the Treaty of San Ildefonso. The conversation also offered insight into the author’s background, including his adventures in physics and his connection to the world of publishing.

Gelernter shared his inspiration for writing historical fiction, his fascination with the Napoleonic Wars, and his research process. He also talked about his interest in crime fiction and his love for writing heist and financial fraud stories.

During the event, Gelernter mentioned various historical fiction authors, such as Patrick O’Brien, Ken Follett, and C.S. Forester. He also discussed his background in magazine writing and his interest in exploring different genres, including fantasy and romance.

The Montevideo Brief is set during the Napoleonic Wars and follows Captain Gray as he becomes a double agent and gets involved in a covert war with foreign intelligence. The Siberia Job is a crime novel based on real events and follows a Czech investor and an American businessman as they navigate the Russian gas and oil industry. If you’re a fan of historical fiction with a dash of espionage and rich characters, Gelernter’s books might be your next literary adventure. You may also enjoy our Historical Fiction Book Club.

And if you enjoyed this virtual event with J.H. Gelernter and would like to see more exciting author interviews, subscribe to our newsletter for updates and book recommendations. And don’t forget to share this content with your fellow book lovers on social media!

Preston & Child discuss Dead Mountain

In this captivating event hosted by The Poisoned Pen Bookstore, bestselling authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child delve into their latest work, Dead Mountain, and share insights, anecdotes, and a few surprises.

The conversation began with a casual exchange between the authors about their surroundings. They later dived into the heart of the matter – their latest release, and the fourth installment in the Nora Kelly series.

Douglas and Lincoln touched on the evolving roles of their characters, especially FBI agent Corey Swanson, who’s been steadily taking center stage alongside Nora Kelly. They teased with the idea that Corey might be overshadowing Nora, adding layers of complexity to the series.

They mentioned the mysterious real-life events that inspired Dead Mountain – the infamous Dyatlov Pass incident, where experienced hikers met a tragic, unexplained fate in Russia’s Ural Mountains. Doug and Lincoln explored the eerie details of the case, from frozen bodies to missing eyes and tongues, adding an element of intrigue to their novel.

Later, they discussed how they transplanted the Russian mystery to the unique New Mexico setting for the book, complete with rugged landscapes and historical layers, drawing readers into a world of archaeological mysteries and FBI investigations. The authors also shared their fascination with the region’s rich history, where petroglyphs and hidden treasures abound.

As the conversation unfolded, it became clear that Dead Mountain is not only a gripping mystery but also a narrative that brings their beloved characters together in a way readers haven’t seen before.

While the release date for their next book remains undisclosed, readers can look forward to more exciting adventures from this dynamic writing duo, including the final book in the Pendergast series and a collection of true stories by Douglas Preston.

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Geri Krotow discusses The Kielbasa Killer

In a captivating virtual chat, author of humorous cozy mysteries Geri Krotow discusses The Kielbasa Killer, with John Charles from The Poisoned Pen. The session offers book lovers a peek into the creative mind behind the novel, along with a wealth of insights and anecdotes.

Prior to writing, Krotow served in the Navy as Intelligence Officer. She earned a Master’s Degree in Information Systems, got deployed to South America, Europe and Greenland and was the first female Intel officer on the East Coast to earn Naval Aviation Observer Wings.

In the interview, Krotow shares her military background and the process of getting published. “Mystery readers and the mystery genre allow me to put my mind in investigative mode, which is what I did in the Navy.” She also discusses her transition from romance writing to mystery writing. Throughout the chat, Krotow emphasizes the importance of enjoying the writing process and staying true to oneself as an author.  “I’ve learned to relax and not put as much pressure on myself” she said. “Instead, I focus on enjoying the writing process and staying true to my storytelling style.”

Her new mystery novel, The Kielbasa Killer, revolves around Lydia Winooski, a baker in Western New York who returns to her hometown to open her own bakery and cafe serving Polish American food. All is fine until a dead body turns up in her backyard smoker, making Lydia and her grandmother prime suspects, and setting the stage for a captivating mystery. As the story unfolds, Geri seamlessly weaves Polish-American culture into the narrative, introducing readers to a unique blend of traditions and festivities, while a blossoming romance adds a touch of warmth to the intrigue.

Geri’s meticulous research process comes to light as she shares her journey into Polish cuisine, butchering techniques, and historical elements. Drawing from personal memories and YouTube videos, she captures the essence of Polish dishes, tantalizing readers’ senses and immersing them in the cultural experience.

If this glimpse into The Kielbasa Killer and Geri’s storytelling resonated with you, spread the word for others to enjoy it too. If you’d like to explore other cozy mysteries, check out our Book Clubs. There’s one just right for you.

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Mari K Eder discusses her tribute to The Girls Who Fought Crime

In this virtual author chat, retired military general and writer Mary K Eder shared details about her latest book, The Girls Who Fought Crime, in conversation with John Charles from The Poisoned Pen.

The novel shines a long-overdue spotlight on the remarkable women who made significant contributions to law enforcement during World War II. 

Eder’s writing journey took a remarkable turn as she transitioned from her military career to crafting compelling crime fiction. “I’ve always been a writer, whether writing press releases or feature stories,” she reveals. The book emerged from her fascination with the unsung heroines of history, like the valiant members of the Masher Squad, who patrolled the streets and subways to protect women from harassment, inspired and led by Mary “Mae” Foley, the country’s first female investigator, who hunted rapists and serial killers before women had the right to vote.

Facing challenges in her research due to limited records, Eder turned to libraries, archives, historical sources, and newspapers to shed light on the often overlooked role of women in law enforcement during that era. Despite scant records, Eder’s meticulous research revealed their remarkable journey and unwavering dedication.

In the session, she invites the audience to explore the lives of these incredible women who defied norms and pushed boundaries. “Women make good actresses, so they can go undercover and no one will suspect them”. She also draws parallels between the past and the present, showcasing the potential of a more diverse police force in addressing modern challenges. “Research has shown that when women are involved in incidents, there is less chance of violence and more opportunities for better outcomes.”

Eder shared insights into her writing process, emphasizing the importance of consistency. Drawing inspiration from Maya Angelou, she emphasized the value of showing up to write every day, even if it means working on seemingly mundane aspects of the book. She also acknowledged the influence other authors had on her writing style, particularly for their ability to entertain readers while providing valuable insights, which made her aspire to deliver a similar blend in her own works.

Reflecting on her own journey, Eder urged young writers to persevere through challenges and setbacks, and stressed that although success might not come overnight, consistent effort and dedication can yield meaningful results. Finally, she reflected on the publishing process, whose pace she humorously compared to a glacier’s movement,  and shared some of the unique challenges and quirks of the industry.

The event offered a captivating insight into women’s impact on law enforcement, as depicted in her book The Girls Who Fought Crime, and into the mind of the woman behind it. Through meticulous research and passionate storytelling, Eder’s work offers a fresh perspective on history while celebrating the tenacity and contributions of remarkable women from the past.

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Jack Carr discusses Only the Dead

In an illuminating virtual session hosted by The Poisoned Pen, acclaimed author Jack Carr, took center stage to discuss his latest work -and longest so far, Only The Dead. He also shared details of his transition from military service to a successful writing career. His journey underscores the importance of purpose, dedication, and the unwavering support of loved ones.

Drawing inspiration from Stephen Hunter‘s The 47th Samurai, Carr crafted a novel of truth and redemption, exploring multi-generational characters to enhance his stories. Carr’s remarkable narrative style and in-depth research have contributed to his novels’ success, opening doors to adaptations like a spin-off series for Amazon starring Chris Pratt and Taylor Kitsch.

The session, hosted by our founder, Barbara Peters, unveiled Carr’s distinctive writing process. Unlike conventional trends, Carr’s narrative is fueled by authenticity rather than market pressures. His books delve into decision-making, redemption, and the human psyche’s intricate layers. His process involves using a dedicated computer and email account solely for idea cultivation, an innovative approach that reflects his commitment to his craft.

Carr announced his upcoming venture into a new dimension, crafting a series of narrative nonfiction. His upcoming book delves into the 1983 Beirut Embassy bombing, a gripping story poised to captivate audiences with a unique blend of authenticity and revelation.

If you enjoyed this insight into Jack Carr‘s journey, we encourage you to share on social media and subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated on the latest news from your favorite authors.

James Patterson discusses Cross Down

In this exciting virtual event from The Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona, renowned author James Patterson shared some insights about his latest book, Cross Down.

Patterson discussed the book’s origins, revealing it all began at the old Commodore Hotel in New York City and the suspense he felt after being told he won the Edgar Award for his first Alex Cross novel, thinking it was a hoax.

He also touched upon his collaboration with co-author Brendan Dubois and the process they go through to create their books. Patterson shared details about the storyline, including a retired CIA agent, Alex Cross, in Washington, D.C., dealing with jurisdictional disputes and a series of seemingly unrelated incidents.

Throughout the discussion, Patterson shared thought-provoking comments on themes such as trust, government, and societal divisions, and emphasized the importance of storytelling and research in his writing process.

In Patterson’s own words, “I’m not involved; I’m crazy involved.” He discussed the importance of keeping readers engaged and not letting the story become predictable. He also discusses his love for writing bookshots, which provide readers with a quick and accessible reading option.

Patterson also mentioned his involvement in various philanthropic efforts, including supporting independent bookstores and promoting reading among younger audiences.

If you found this conversation as fascinating as we did, consider sharing it on your social media. And if you want to stay up-to-date with more exciting book-related events, don’t forget to subscribe to The Poisoned Pen newsletter.

John Sandford and Dana Stabenow in conversation

In an event hosted by The Poisoned Pen, acclaimed authors John Sandford and Dana Stabenow engage in a lively discussion about their latest books, inspiration, and writing processes.

John Sandford, known for his popular Prey series, shared insights into his latest latest Letty Davenport novel, Dark Angel, humorously mentioning it could have been titled “Lady Gets Laid” due to a significant relationship development. He also announced he is currently working on a standalone book but can’t reveal much about it yet, other than that it is “a great story”.

Dana Stabenow, famed for her Alaskan-based mysteries, discussed her inspiration from the Alaskan wilderness and the challenges of capturing the essence of her characters. She also introduced her latest book in the Kate Shugak series, Spoils of the Dead, which is set in Alaska and revolves around a mystery involving gas sabotage and wealthy landowners.

Stabenow also touched on the controversial use of AI in book creation, emphasizing the importance of human creativity and the edge it brings to storytelling. Both authors voiced their concerns regarding AI-generated images and the evolving landscape of writing, and expressed their doubts about AI’s ability to write novels with the same level of authenticity and depth as human authors. They also emphasize the importance of creating relatable and diverse characters in their books.

Towards the end, Sandford and Stabenow treated the audience to a book giveaway, adding to the excitement of the event. It was a captivating conversation that showcased the authors’ wit, wisdom, and camaraderie.

If you enjoyed this discussion, feel free to share it on your social media channels and keep an eye out for more exciting events from The Poisoned Pen Bookstore. And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for the latest book news and updates.

Rhys Bowen and Clare Broyles discuss All That is Hidden

In an exciting event hosted by The Poisoned Pen Bookstore, authors Rhys Bowen and Clare Broyles took center stage to discuss their latest collaboration, All That is Hidden. In this delightful conversation, they shared insights into their writing process and the inspiration behind their historical mystery series featuring Molly Murphy and her daughter.

The authors revealed that the idea for All That is Hidden was born from their research into historical events. Their discussion touched on various aspects of their work, from historical accuracy to the challenges of writing together. They also gave fans a sneak peek into their upcoming projects, including a new Molly Murphy book set in the Catskills and Rhys’s World War II standalone, titled The Paris Assignment.

They talked about incorporating real history into the book, including the story of Tammany Hall. Clare also shared some interesting stories she found during her research, such as a fire on the Hudson River and a mailbag mishap. The authors discussed the challenges Molly Murphy faces in the book, and talked about Molly’s daughter, Claire, and her experiences at a new school. The authors mentioned that there is a crime in the book, but did not reveal any details. 

If you enjoyed the discussion between Rhys Bowen and Clare Broyles, be sure to share this post on social media and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated on all the latest books and author events.

C.J. Box discusses Storm Watch at The Poisoned Pen

Renowned author C.J. Box took the stage at The Poisoned Pen Bookstore to discuss his latest thriller, Storm Watch. The event was filled with humor, insights, and even a martini lesson or two, as Box engaged in conversation with our founder Barbara Peters.

Box started the evening with a nod to the in-person and online attendees, jokingly apologizing to those standing and hinting at the possibility of outdoor events in the future.

He then shared insights into his writing process, drawing inspiration from topics that interest him and weaving them into page-turning storylines. He highlighted how the Joe Pickett series always tackles current issues, this time delving into politics, resource management, energy, and environmental concerns. One intriguing plot twist involves an attempt to secede Wyoming from the Union, adding a thrilling layer to the story, among various issues addressed in the book, including cryptocurrency mining and the tension between states with federal lands.

Box expressed his approach of presenting both sides of controversial issues in his books and allowing readers to form their own opinions. Thus, the conversation didn’t shy away from the grittier aspects of the Western landscape, touching on rural poverty, meth addiction, and rising real estate prices due to tech entrepreneurs.

Throughout the discussion, the importance of ethics and doing what’s right in small communities resonated strongly. Box emphasized the unique dynamic of tight-knit Western communities, and how even in the face of disagreements, people must coexist and find common ground.

The conversation flowed seamlessly from character development to the challenges of writing and entering the world of TV adaptations. Box shared insights into his writing process, which includes having an ending in mind and writing a minimum of 1,000 words per day, his dedication to authenticity in his settings, and how his characters have evolved over the series.

In the final Q&A session, Box answered questions about his writing routines, his experiences as a journalist, and even shared a glimpse into the future of the Joe Pickett TV series.

If you missed this captivating event, don’t worry. The Poisoned Pen Bookstore regularly hosts engaging discussions with amazing authors. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates on future events and author discussions. And if you enjoyed the conversation, feel free to share your thoughts on social media and invite others to jump in.

James Rollins discusses The Cradle of Ice

In this captivating live event hosted byThe Poisoned Pen, acclaimed author of the Sigma Force series James Rollins discusses his book The Cradle of Ice, the second in a tetralogy set on a tidally locked planet. The event offered intriguing insights into the book’s origins and the creative process behind it.

Rollins explained the unique setting of the book: “It takes place on a tidally locked planet, where one side is always facing the Sun, and the other is eternally cold and shrouded in ice. The story revolves around a prophecy of the Moon crashing into the planet and the quest to prevent it.

He explained the inspiration behind the book’s title and its connection to the storyline of the Moon crashing into the planet, and shared how he developed the world and its different environments. Rollins highlighted the importance of maps in visualizing the world and how he worked with graphic artists to create them, stressing his philosophy of connecting with professionals in different fields to ensure the scientific accuracy of his novels. He also discussed the challenges of writing fantasy, including creating unique names and languages.

Rollins discussed the challenges of writing fantasy and balancing world-building with plot and character development and specifically delved into the challenges of writing fantasy and thrillers. “When writing fantasy, you want to be transported to that world and spend time there,” he said. “For thrillers, you need to provide more detailed descriptions, like describing a tavern.”

Towards the end, Rollins answered questions from the virtual audience, showcasing his passion for storytelling and the depth of research that goes into his novels.

If you enjoyed this amazing event that shed light into Rollins’s world-building process and the inspiration behind The Cradle of Ice, be sure to share on social media and subscribe to our newsletter for more author events and book recommendations.