It’s hard for me to explain this, but Make Your Home Among Strangers came to me almost fully formed one afternoon in March of 2010. I was sitting in a meeting as part of my then-job. Like a lot of unreasonably optimistic people, I gave the brightest years of my 20s to a nonprofit—an LA-based organization called One Voice, where I served as a counselor/mentor to first-generation college kids.
Sara Nickerson's new middle grade novel is full of summery secrets, but the inspiration behind The Secrets of Blueberries, Brothers, Moose & Me is an open book. Nickerson takes us to the blueberry-picking days of her childhood.
Ashley Rhodes-Courter spent most of her childhood in 14 different foster homes, a heartbreaking saga she documented in her inspiring memoir, Three Little Words. But for survivors of trauma, the work doesn't stop with a happy ending, and Rhodes-Courter continues her story with Three More Words, her new memoir about life after foster care.
Drawing on years of experience in the British armed forces, debut author K.T. Medina delivers a striking thriller that bores into the dark heart of postwar Cambodia, fraught with poverty and superstition. Her heroine descends into the killing fields in search of her husband’s killer—but as Medina reveals in the essay below, evil goes much deeper than murder.
Kelly Loy Gilbert's debut novel, Conviction, explores questions of faith and family through the nuanced story of Braden, a star pitcher whose world is turned upside down when his father is accused of murder. Gilbert shares her own relationship with religion and belief, her attempts to "flatten the world" and the complexities of her powerful novel.
Lawrence H. Levy's debut mystery takes readers to the late 19th century, where we meet Brooklyn's first woman detective, Mary Handley. She's investigating a murder with ties to Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, whose famous feud is even darker than you'd expect.
Having grown up in Wisconsin, I was surprised to learn that German prisoners captured during World War II were shipped across the Atlantic to my home state. They were housed in rural areas—vacated schools, fairgrounds, migrant worker camps—and were put to work in canneries and on local farms. Between 1942 and 1946, Wisconsin housed POWs in 39 camps across the state.
The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest was inspired by the two well-known stories, Robin Hood and Swan Lake. It was also partially inspired by the summer I spent in Germany, in a medieval town next to the heavily forested Harz Mountains.
Australian poet Robyn Cadwallader was researching a PhD thesis when she came across the story that inspired her first novel, The Anchoress, the richly told story of a woman who chose to live a very cloistered life in the name of religion. Here, Cadwallader explains how she stumbled upon one of history’s lesser known corners.
Kim Korson is your new favorite curmudgeon, a true Negative Nancy, the ultimate Debbie Downer. She's perfectly happy being unhappy, and she shares her path to negativity and all the merits of malcontent in her acerbic, witty memoir, I Don't Have a Happy Place. In a Behind the Book feature, Korson shares a bit on not being "wired for mirth."