"I wanted to write about Wisconsin,” Nickolas Butler says of the genesis of his soulful first novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, which gave voice to his homesickness.
“My first semester at the [Iowa] Writers Workshop, I was down there alone. I was sleeping in this terrible apartment,” Butler says.
It’s a frigid day in Milwaukee when I call author-illustrator Lois Ehlert to talk about her newest book, The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life. Not surprisingly, she is inspired.
“It is these gray winter days that stir my creativity,” Ehlert says.
Louis Bayard blends historical narrative and otherworldly mystery in his reimagining of Theodore and Kermit Roosevelt’s 1914 Amazon expedition.
What was the initial inspiration for Roosevelt’s Beast?
That’s a bit shrouded in mystery.
Our Top Pick in Romance for February is Karen Rose's newest romantic suspense, Watch Your Back. While Baltimore detective and single mother Stevie Mazzetti is still recovering from a gunshot wound, she discovers that she's the target of a very persistent killer. When the clues lead Stevie to believe the trouble might be coming from inside her own department, she enlists the help of a sharp-minded former Marine, Clay Maynard.
All aboard Brian Floca's Locomotive, winner of the 2014 Caldecott Medal! Young readers will love exploring the early days of America's transcontinental railroad through this detail-packed and gorgeously illustrated book. Floca shared with us what it's like to win the Caldecott.
The mystery at the heart of Marcus Sedgwick’s labyrinthine Midwinterblood is so well hidden, it’s not even initially clear what the mystery is at all. Seven stories—from a young journalist in 2027 to a vampire in the 10th century—unfold in reverse chronological order on this magical island, revealing a dark and complex tale that is expertly told. Our young adult literature expert Jill Ratzan predicted Midwinterblood would earn the 2014 Printz Award, and indeed it won. British author Sedgwick answered a few questions for us about what it’s like to win the Printz.
At the risk of jinxing it, Kate DiCamillo is on a lucky streak. After being named as the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature (2014-2015), Camillo snagged her second Newbery Medal, for her hilarious and heartwarming middle grade novel, Flora & Ulysses. It's the story of a cynical 10-year-old girl who learns a thing or two when she befriends a strange poetry-writing squirrel. Our reviewer loved it: "Like all of DiCamillo’s books, Flora & Ulysses is filled with adventure, but also plenty of humor and soul." We asked DiCamillo a few questions after she heard the news.
As a veteran editor of Harlequin romance novels, Patience Bloom has had the enviable job of facilitating fairy-tale love stories between heroric hunks and whip-smart heroines for 16 years. When it came to her own affairs of the heart, though, Bloom's dating life was far from picture-perfect. In her 40s and after many short-term relationships that ended in disappointment, she nearly gave up on love—until reconnecting with a high school acquaintance offered a shot at her very own happily-ever-after.
What inspires a female writer whose work runs the gamut from a Pulitzer Prize-winning column to best-selling novels to thought-provoking essays? Anna Quindlen says she admires a number of female writers.
As a surgeon, Kelly Parsons has faced many dramatic life-and-death decisions. Probably none as chilling, however, as what chief resident Steve Mitchell must face in Parsons’ suspenseful debut novel, Doing Harm.
When Steve, the brilliant, young rising star of the surgical suite, becomes a pawn in a sociopathic killer’s master plan, he must make the unthinkable decision: save himself or save his patients.