Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: GIRLS OF BRACKENHILL by Kate Moretti
Author Guest / November 13, 2020

Jen: What was your inspiration behind Girls of Brackenhill? Kate: When I was a kid, we didn’t take big fancy vacations. Our only trip to Disney World lasted two days: we drove down in a rented car and stayed an hour away with my great grandparents in July. Instead of hotels and airplane trips, we went camping. Up and down the East Coast, to whatever state park was drivable. When I was about fourteen, we camped in the Catskills and drove through a town called Roscoe NY. My dad parked the car and led us up a steep incline to Dundas Castle. At the time, it was marked as private property, but it was abandoned and not monitored in any way. The doors were all unlocked and we spent (to my memory) hours there, exploring every square inch of this abandoned castle. Memory is a fickle thing but I do remember the basement being a series of very small rooms. I remember this day with more clarity and fondness than either of the two days I spent at Disney World. When I had to plan my next book, I really wanted to write a ghost-like story. The memory of the…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: IN THE DEEP by Loreth Anne White
Author Guest / October 23, 2020

Jen: What inspired you to write In The Deep? Loreth: Thanks for hosting me, Jen. In The Deep was inspired by a visit to my brother who lives in a small oceanside town in New South Wales, Australia. He’s a big wave surfer, and a man of the sea in every way, so of course we went out deep sea fishing in his tiny boat. When we were ten miles off the coast, heaving about on the white-veined swells of the deep blue waters of the Tasman Sea, with the Australian coastline just a distant purple haze, I got to thinking: Anything could happen out here, and there would be no one to witness it, and what if someone did go overboard, and maybe not by mistake. Later, while eating dinner outside under a vermillion sky, and listening to the flying foxes squabble overhead and the lorikeets and ‘cockies’ fighting in the gum trees, my brother regaled us with tales of some of his adventures, like the time he got a treble hook stuck in his neck. And he told us how the flying foxes–giant bats–can swarm in groups along the highway as they migrate, and more . . ….

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: MILLICENT GLENN’S LAST WISH by Tori Whitaker
Author Guest / October 9, 2020

Jen: What inspired you to write Millicent Glenn’s Last Wish? Tori: When I was around five years old, I was at a big family reunion and overheard some older, distant cousins allude to the tragedy that I’ve fictionalized here. That mental vision of what happened stayed with me throughout my life. Years after the woman who was involved had already passed, I asked three people close to her if she’d ever spoken about it. They each said they’d had but one conversation in all the time they’d known he–—and they each had a different detail to share with me. I took those few details and built a whole story around them. The novel is set in two time periods. How much research was needed in order for the story to ring true with readers? I began with a sweeping search for information about the late-WWII years and early 1950s. Besides learning about fashion, media, foods and so forth, I discovered things like the need for prefabricated houses for growing families, and I wove that into my story. I read accounts written from women of the period, too–some of whom felt confined in their suburban homes and by a society that…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewel’s Interview: THE SILENT CONSPIRACY by L.C. Shaw
Author Guest / September 25, 2020

Jen: What inspired you to write THE SILENT CONSPIRACY? LC: Jack and Taylor’s story wasn’t finished in THE NETWORK and I wanted to continue it with a new storyline in THE SILENT CONSPIRACY. Themes that I felt drawn to include were those of bias in the media, the health care crisis in this country, and the continuing theme of spiritual warfare. As both characters are investigative journalists, there are so many different stories that could pull them in. I’m also very attached to both characters and was excited to have the opportunity to have their journey continue. For those readers not familiar with THE NETWORK, what is the premise of the story? In THE NETWORK, a shadowy group is manipulating society through the media, entertainment, and legislature. Jack Logan, an investigative reporter, is drawn into the conspiracy when Senator Malcolm Phillips comes to him with a desperate plea to protect his wife, Taylor. Taylor is the one woman Jack truly loved, and when Jack hears the news that the senator has indeed been found dead, he springs into action. Jack and Taylor embark on a harrowing search for the truth as they are pursued by unknown assassins until they uncover…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels: DON’T LOOK FOR ME by Wendy Walker
Author Guest / September 11, 2020

Jennifer Vido: What inspired you to write Don’t Look for Me? Wendy Walker: The book began with a personal experience, which has never happened before! I was driving back from my son’s soccer game four hours from home. The game had been hard to watch – rough play, bad ref calls, jeering from the other team’s classmates that was cruel. I felt terrible for my son and realized, perhaps for the first time, that I could not protect my children from many of the uglier things in life. I was also in a difficult stage of my own life so this was coming on top of an already heavy emotional load. I was halfway home and had to stop for gas. Standing at the pump, unable to stop my spinning thoughts, I saw this long road flanked by cornfields. Out of nowhere, I had this flash of a thought to just leave everything and walk down that road. Of course, I didn’t do that and the thought left immediately. But the rest of the way home, I wondered where it had come from and if, perhaps, there was a bigger story there which other people might relate to. It turns…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: THE BOYS’ CLUB by Erica Katz
Author Guest / August 28, 2020

What inspired you to write The Boys’ Club? I started writing as a way to sort my thoughts and ease my anxieties about the world around me, not necessarily to publish a book. I felt that I was living through an inflection point in American history: Donald Trump had been elected president, Brett Kavanaugh had weathered his hearings and had been confirmed to the Supreme Court, and the #metoo movement had heated to a boiling point. I felt myself hoping that we came out on the right side of history, but I was dissatisfied with only hoping, I needed to get my thoughts out somehow. I’ve always loved to write and find my thoughts make more sense somehow when I write them down. The most fascinating thing to me was that for the first time in my life, my words came out in the form of fiction. I suppose, in retrospect, that makes sense as I was trying to understand thoughts and perspectives different from my own and in writing fiction, the writer really needs to understand all perspectives. My hope is that the book is fun enough for many people to read and, therefore provide fodder for very important…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels: CLEO MCDOUGAL REGRETS NOTHING by Allison Winn Scotch
Author Guest / August 14, 2020

Jen: What inspired you to write Cleo McDougal Regrets Nothing? Allison: Well, I wanted to write something that reflected how it feels to be a woman in this particular moment in history and time. I tried a different approach with a different manuscript – I rewrote about 100 pages of that book several times, and it just wasn’t working. I knew what I wanted to say, but I wasn’t quite sure how to get there. Then, as good ideas often do, the version of Cleo, the Senator, struck me one night, and from there, I looked for an interesting way to examine her life. Not as a politician, but as a human, and I settled on exploring her regrets, which wasn’t an approach I’d ever read. And thus, Cleo McDougal, unapologetic Senator, was born. What role does the word “power” play in relation to the story? Oh great question! For me, this book is not about politics at all. I worked hard to ensure that. Rather, it is about power in all of its iterations, which is something that I think so many women are considering now too. Who has it, who abuses it, who gives it generously, who takes…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: MUSICAL CHAIRS by Amy Poeppel
Author Guest / July 24, 2020

Jen: What inspired you to write your new release, ​Musical Chairs​? Amy: The countryside, family, wine, and a little Mozart! I was excited to write a book about a family spending the summer together in a house that has seen better days. And I wanted to include adult children who move back home with their messy problems, dogs, and habits. Also, since my children are all musicians, I decided to place several of the characters in the world of professional music. I wrote a book trailer that makes it pretty clear that there are certain elements of my real life that worked their way into the novel. You can watch it here: How would you describe Bridget and Will’s unique friendship? I remember watching Nora Ephron’s iconic movie When Harry Met Sally in 1989 and admiring the longtime friendship between the characters. In discussing male-female friendships, Harry says that “the sex part always gets in the way,” and I wondered. . .  Does it have to? I began writing MUSICAL CHAIRS in an effort to celebrate a male-female friendship, a solid, marriage-like bond between two characters, a bond that–one hopes–can withstand the test of time, conflict, old secrets, and…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: THE LIONS OF FIFTH AVENUE by FIONA DAVIS
Author Guest / July 10, 2020

Jen: What inspired you to write THE LIONS OF FIFTH AVENUE? Fiona: At author talks and book signings, readers often suggest New York City landmarks they’d like to see featured in my novels. The New York Public Library came up repeatedly, so I figured I’d do a little research into its construction and history. I learned that when it opened in 1911, the superintendent lived in a seven-room apartment deep inside the library with his wife and three children. The idea of a family living in this monument of marble that’s filled with books struck me as a perfect setting for a novel, and I was up and running–although I created a fictional family for the story.  What is the catalyst behind Laura’s decision to apply to the Columbia Journalism School?  Laura, the superintendent’s wife, has been living in the library for a couple of years, and feels stifled and lonely–it’s not like there are any neighbors to chat with or borrow milk from, as there would be in a regular New York City apartment building. She’s been writing a column about her life raising her two children in a library for the employee newsletter, and when she hears that…

Jennifer Vido | Jen’s Jewels Interview: THE HOUSE ON FRIPP ISLAND by Rebecca Kauffman
Author Guest / June 26, 2020

Jen: What inspired you to write The House on Fripp Island? Rebecca: The House on Fripp Island began as a challenge I set for myself to see if I could write something with a straightforward question (as introduced in the prologue), sustain interest in this question for an entire book, and accomplish interesting work with character development inside of this construct. I began with an ensemble cast in which I didn’t know whose personal arc would end up taking precedence, or providing the key to the mystery. Attempting something new with plot was really illuminating to me, craft-wise; I learned what aspects of storytelling tend to trip me up or send me spiraling in a wrong direction, and how to rein them in. Fripp Island is a beautiful place. (My family spent a week there last summer!) Why did you choose to set the story on the island? It is beautiful – lucky you! My mother-in-law has roots in South Carolina, and an aunt who owned a home on the island. That home is no longer in the family, but Fripp has remained a favorite family destination for her, and into my husband’s growing up years as well. We spent…