It's been a long wait for fans of The Passage, but The Twelve is finally here. And for you Cronin fans, we have not just a review for you (don't worry, there are zero spoilers), but also a handwritten "Meet the Author" Q&A from Cronin himself.
The personable author (I had the pleasure of interviewing him in 2010) did a series of videos for Waterstones about The Twelve—here's his introduction of the book.
Are you excited about The Twelve?
We're just a month out from the publication of J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, on September 27. Little, Brown has been keeping details about the novel, other than the official description, top secret—sources say that only a select few have had time with the embargoed manuscript, and all cell phones and recording devices must be left outside the door.
That's not unusual for a big title (although it's less common for fiction), but the lack of pre-pub hype from the publisher is. As USA Today reports, there's been little to no push on this one—no promo materials, no midnight release parties—and stores are having a hard time figuring out how to get the word out, or what to tell their customers when asked about the book. The head buyer at R.J. Julia Booksellers is quoted as saying, "We had no posters … It hasn't been easy. People are curious, but they don't know what to expect."
The article goes on to say that the lack of a dramatic publicity onslaught is likely due to Rowling's own wishes, since rumor has it the world's best-selling author would prefer that her first adult novel stand on its own merit and not on her reputation. But a successful transition to adult fiction after becoming known as a YA author is a tricky one. Other YA authors who've made the jump in the last few years include Sara Shepard (Pretty Little Liars series), who released her first adult novel last year to little fanfare, and Ann Brashares, whose 2010 adult time-travel romance was the first in what looks like a stillborn series.
But perhaps the best comparison for a writer like Rowling is Stephenie Meyer, who moved to adult fiction after publishing the Twilight series. Her sci-fi novel The Host wasn't a big jump from the teen fantasy she is known for, yet it still sold just 2 million copies in hardcover (yes, an impressive figure, but the fourth Twilight novel, by comparison, sold 1.3 million copies on its first day of sale!). She has yet to publish the promised sequel, although perhaps that will be announced when the film version of The Host is released in March 2013.
The Casual Vacancy couldn't sound more different from the Harry Potter series, and although some people are sure to buy based on the Rowling name, its level of success will depend on the word-of-mouth response from readers. Stay tuned for our review on September 28!
Do you plan to read The Casual Vacancy?
Hyperion announced today that they'll be publishing The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom on August 28. This is a "magical" new novel about Father Time that casts the fairy-tale figure in a new light: as the person who first attempted to track time. It's the first novel in six years from Albom, who originally struck literary gold in 1997 with Tuesdays with Morrie, a memoir about the death of his friend and mentor, teacher Morrie Schwartz.
"We are excited once again to share a new Mitch Albom book with his beloved fans and readers," said Hyperion President and Publisher Ellen Archer. "Mitch taps into an issue we all struggle with these days—our time and what we make of it. His novel will spark a lot of conversation about how we live our lives now—and what we can't afford to forget."
Albom's modern-day parables have moved millions and The Time Keeper isn't likely to be an exception. Will you look out for it?
Related in BookPage: our past coverage of Mitch Albom's books, including an interview about his last novel, Have a Little Faith.
Best known for his 1983 masterpiece A Winter's Tale, Mark Helprin is returning this October with a novel that's equally epic in its scope and power, In Sunlight and Shadow. It's publisher HMH's lead fiction title for the fall.
Set in 1940s New York City, the novel follows a middle-class paratrooper who falls in love at first sight with a beautiful heiress. Their romance plays out against a backdrop of gangster dives, Broadway lights, luxurious mansions—the entire spectrum of modern-era America.
Will you read it?
The literati can't get enough of the short stories of Alice Munro, one of Canada's most celebrated author. This fall, she returns with a new collection Dear Life (Knopf).
"Suffused with Munro's clarity of vision and her unparalleled gift for storytelling, these stories (set in the world Munro has made her own: the countryside and towns around Lake Huron) about departures and beginnings, accidents, dangers, and homecomings both virtual and real, paint a vivid and lasting portrait of how strange, dangerous, and extraordinary the ordinary life can be," says the publisher description.
Will you be looking for this one on November 13?
Joanne Harris' delightful, magical 1999 novel Chocolat became a surprise bestseller and a major motion picture. She continued the story of chocolatier Vianne Rocher in 2008's The Girl with No Shadow. On October 2, she's sending Vianne and her daughters Rosette and Anouk back to the small town of Lansquenet, where it all began, in Peaches for Father Francis (Viking).
It's been eight years since Vianne left the small riverside village, and now her former nemesis, Father Francis, needs her help. There's a new woman shaking up the town: Inès Bencharki, part of a Muslim community called Les Maurads. "Hidden under her black veil, she seems as impervious to hostility as she is to gossip, scandal or offers of friendship. Even Vianne’s magic – even her chocolates — have no power over her," is Harris' intriguing description of this Moroccan woman.
I'm intrigued by the topical angle that Harris is taking here. Will you read it?
Related in BookPage: Reviews of Joanne Harris' previous books.
After the runaway success of Room, Emma Donoghue is returning this October with a collection of stories, Astray (Little, Brown). Like her (amazing) earlier collection, The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits, the stories in Astray are all based on real historical factoids,
Donoghue describes the book on her site as "a sequence of stories about travel (from the seventeenth century to the twentieth)"—are you looking forward to the journey?
Live By Night (Morrow) goes on sale on October 2 and is a sequel to The Given Day. It is set partially in Florida (if the Panama hat didn't give it away), and film rights have been sold: Rumor has it that Leo DiCaprio is being pursued for the lead.
Says the publisher: "Lehane delivers a masterful epic of Prohibition-era America told through the story of a charismatic young gangster on his rise through the glitz and the violence of the Roaring 20s."
Looking forward to this one?
Hachette has just announced that J.K. Rowling's first novel for adults will be published by Little, Brown on September 27, 2012. The Casual Vacancy is about a small British village that finds itself turned upside down during a tumultuous council election season.
"Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems," says the publisher annotation, which also describes the novel as "blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising."
Start the countdown!
We're adding another big name to our most anticipated releases calendar: Ian McEwan will return with Sweet Tooth (Nan Talese) on November 13. (In the US, at least—the UK pub date is August.)
Set in 1972, the book stars an intelligent bibliophile and Cambridge grad, Serena, who is recruited for the British secret service. As luck would have it, her first assignment has her tailing a writer on a mission codenamed "Sweet Tooth." As she gets to know him and his work, she discovers she has a taste for both. Can she reconcile her desires with her mission?