Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Janie Chang | 20 Questions: THE LIBRARY OF LEGENDS
Author Guest / May 13, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  The Library of Legends 2–What is it about?  The story begins in 1937 when China and Japan are at war. The main character, Lian, must follow her university when they evacuate, before they get bombed out. The students, professors and staff begin a thousand-mile walk to safety, carrying their belongings, school supplies, even kitchenware. And they also carry the Library of Legends, a priceless ancient collection of Chinese myths.   It turns out the mythical creatures described in the Library of Legends are also on the move, and that a celestial being travels with the students. As for Lian, she finds friendships and possibly romance. But family secrets make her a victim of political manipulation and she must distance herself from her classmates. Especially when one of them is found murdered. 3–What word best describes your main character(s)?  Cautious. Because of her family’s past, she is careful who she associates with. 4–What makes your story relatable?  Readers are telling me that right now, the story echoes their own feelings about living in uncertain times. 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help?  Their classmates, who are their community….

Alison Hammer | Exclusive Interview: YOU AND ME AND US
Author Guest / April 10, 2020

Welcome to Fresh Fiction, Alison! Please introduce yourself and tell us about your debut novel, YOU AND ME AND US. Thanks so much for having me! My name is Alison Hammer, and during the day, I’m a VP Creative Director at an advertising agency in Chicago, and during nights and weekends—I write upmarket women’s fiction. You and Me and Us the story of a workaholic woman and her distant teenage daughter, and it’s about the way their relationship evolves as they go through a tough summer, losing the third member of their family. It’s a tearjerker, but there are parts that will make you laugh and smile, too! What had your publishing journey to your debut novel been like? What has surprised you about getting to the publication of your first book? While You and Me and Us is my debut novel, it isn’t the first book I wrote. I have a manuscript that I put in a drawer after trying to find an agent for about a year. While I was querying, I wrote and revised You and Me and Us. It took about seven months of querying to sign with my amazing agent Joanna—who happened to be the…

Linda Howard and Linda Jones | 20 Questions: AFTER SUNDOWN
Author Guest / March 30, 2020

We thought it would be fun to give our 20 Questions interview to the incomparable writing team of LINDA HOWARD and LINDA JONES and see their separate responses. Enjoy! LINDA JONES: 1–What’s the name of your latest release?  After Sundown 2–What is it about?  When a natural disaster hits, taking down the grid and bringing the world to a standstill, the community of Wears Valley comes together to survive. Sela and Ben are reluctant leaders who do what they can to in order to make it through the aftermath of a catastrophic solar storm. 3–What word best describes your heroine?  Introverted. Maybe cautious is a better word for her. 4–What makes your hero irresistible?  The shallow woman in me says, “His arms.” My more introspective self admires the way he gives in to his instinct to protect, even if he does so reluctantly. 5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help?  Ben turns to no one, at least in the beginning. Sela has friends and family to turn to, most specifically her Aunt Carol and her fifteen-year-old cousin, Olivia. 6–What do you love about the setting of your book?  I’ve been in love with Wears…

Maxine Mei-Fung Chung | 20 Questions: THE EIGHTH GIRL
Author Guest / March 16, 2020

1–What’s the name of your latest release?  The Eighth Girl: A Novel 2–What is it about?  The Eighth Girl is about a young woman named Alexa Wu who is living with DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) previously known as multiple personality disorder. Only three people know about her condition–her stepmother, Anna; her psychiatrist, Daniel and her best friend, Ella. When Ella starts work in a high-end gentleman’s club and catches the attention of its shark-like owner, Alexa finds herself the unwitting keeper of a nightmarish secret. With lives at stake, she follows Ella into London’s cruel underbelly on a daring rescue mission. Threatened and vulnerable, Alexa will discover (with the help of Daniel) whether her multiple personalities are her greatest asset, or her most dangerous obstacle. 3–What words best describes your main character(s)?  Alexa is a complicated heroine. While having survived trauma, she finds beauty in nature and small acts of human kindness which she records with her camera. She is also someone who others underestimate, and an advocate for the greater good. At the heart of Alexa is a longing for connection, a need to be understood. Daniel, who has also survived trauma at the hands of his alcoholic father…

Gretchen Berg | Exclusive Interview: THE OPERATOR + Giveaway!
Author Guest / March 11, 2020

Welcome to Fresh Fiction, Gretchen! Please tell us about yourself and your new novel, THE OPERATOR. The Operator is the story of Vivian Dalton, a nosy switchboard operator who eavesdrops on all the conversations of the residents in her small town.   Set in Wooster, Ohio in the 1950s, I read that this story is inspired by your own family’s history! Can you share the background and inspiration for THE OPERATOR? I’d been doing genealogy research on my mom’s side of the family, and combined a little of that with my grandmother’s occupation.       Vivian Dalton is one of the town’s switchboard operators and knows everything about everyone because she and the other operators secretly listen in on conversations. If you were in a similar occupation, would you listen in on conversations? Why or why not? I really don’t think I would. It’s so invasive. Vivian overhears a conversation that could be her downfall – she’d be humiliated in front of the entire town and she’s desperate to stop it from getting out. What do you think readers will love about Vivian? What do you think they will find frustrating about her? I know different readers will love & find frustrating…

Sophie Hannah | Exclusive Interview: PERFECT LITTLE CHILDREN
Author Guest / February 3, 2020

Welcome to Fresh Fiction, Sophie! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and new book, PERFECT LITTLE CHILDREN?  I’ve been writing psychological thrillers since 2006. This includes my Culver Valley police series and several standalone thrillers – Perfect Little Children is one of those. It’s about an ordinary woman, Beth, whose life takes a sudden, sinister turn when she witnesses a totally baffling scene involving her one-time friend, Flora. It’s been 12 years since their friendship ended. Then one day, unexpectedly, Beth sees Flora with her children, Thomas and Emily, who were five and three years old when Beth last knew them. Inexplicably, the children appear not to have aged at all. They are no taller, no older, and they’re even wearing the exact same clothes that Beth last saw them wearing. Why haven’t they grown? Beth, fearing something dangerous and terrible is going on, sets out to investigate… Beth painfully parted ways with her best friend Flora twelve years ago, but when she’s in Flora’s neighborhood, she can’t help but drive by Flora’s house, which leads to a whole host of other strange things. What inspired this setup?  It was inspired by a real-life situation I found myself…

Karin Slaughter | Exclusive Interview: THE LAST WIDOW
Author Guest / August 19, 2019

Welcome to Fresh Fiction! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your latest book, THE LAST WIDOW. THE LAST WIDOW is a Will Trent and Sara Linton book. But I wrote the story so that you don’t have to have read any of the previous books in order to know what’s the what. The stakes for Will and Sara are higher than ever before, as Sara is in imminent danger and has to do something she’s never done before–hurt people instead of trying to help them.  Which was fun!  The plot is really twisty, turny, sexy, and dark, with some moments of levity. It has some cult stuff. Some domestic terrorism. Some family drama. And a chihuahua. Everything you want in a good thriller. THE LAST WIDOW is the 9th book in your long-running and beloved Will Trent mystery series. How do you keep this series feeling fresh after so many books? Are there any advantages or challenges to writing about characters who are already so established?  Standalone and series novels each have their own challenges. It seems like it would be easier to write a Will Trent book because I’ve known him a long time, and I’ve…

Ashley Dyer | In My End Is My Beginning: The Cutting Room + Exclusive Excerpt
Author Guest / June 10, 2019

Here’s how it happened: I’d just submitted Splinter in the Blood to my agent (Felicity Blunt), expecting it to go out with more of a whimper than a bang—and it confounded my wildest expectations, receiving keen interest from publishers worldwide. This was 2017, the genre du jour was domestic noir, and Splinter was a serial killer thriller—my first, after publishing 12 crime and mystery novels, and the fulfillment of a twenty-year ambition. A self-indulgent treat that might be seen as self-destructive, given that it seemed the publishing world was focused elsewhere, but at that point, I wasn’t thinking beyond Splinter: you see, I’d convinced myself that novel #13 would be my last, so I thought, What the heck… The London Book Fair was just days away, interest was hotting up, and multiple bids were on the horizon. But one of the foreign rights scouts wanted to know about the next book. Did I have any ideas, Felicity wondered, “Even a para you could put together?” As a rule, I start jotting down notes and ideas about the next book two-thirds the way through the one I’m currently writing. This time, I had nothing—why would I, when book thirteen was sure…

Sonali Dev | Exclusive Interview: Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors
Author Guest / May 10, 2019

Thanks so much for chatting with us today! Can you tell us a bit about your new novel, Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors?      Thanks so much for having me! Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors is a gender swapped reimagining of the Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice, where she’s the Mr. Darcy and he’s the Lizzie Bennet. It launches a new series about the Rajes, an Indian American family descended from royalty (think the Indian Kennedys) who have built their lives in San Francisco. It’s the story of two strangers from completely different worlds that explores cultural assimilation, identity, and the meaning of the word home. Dr. Trisha Raje is an accomplished brain surgeon, working on the forefront of cutting edge medicine in her field, and yet, her family’s perception of her is still her biggest weakness. How did Trisha’s need for her family’s acceptance change throughout the novel? I believe that for all of us, our need to be accepted by those who make up our world follows our journey of self acceptance. How much you care about what those around you think of you is directly proportional to how much you accept yourself for who you are….

Taylor Adams | Exclusive Interview
Author Guest / February 4, 2019

Your latest novel has a young college student, Darby, traveling home to see her dying mom. So you are already feeling for this character, then, a snowstorm, an uneasy rest stop, and no cell reception, leaving her already with a lot of obstacles. Where did you get your inspiration for NO EXIT? Why a rest area? TA: I’ve spent several years driving to and from college, from Seattle to Spokane. It’s not a particularly long or harrowing drive, but there are quite a few rest areas along the way, and some of them are fairly remote, and can be quite unsettling when it’s late at night and you’re alone (or at least, you hope you’re alone!). Most everyone seems to have a personal horror story about an iffy experience they’d had at a rest stop, so as a setting, it seemed like an untapped resource for a thriller. Reading this novel had me scared of just the local Sheetz at the rest stops nearby. This is one that really sticks with you. I personally thought of Stephen King when I was reading your novel. Are there any authors that you read over time that influenced you to write such psychological…