Wednesday, August 18, 2010

You've the Right to Six Words - Week 14

After this week, we'll have two more weeks of memoirs for this season. Since this will probably be the end, at least for awhile, I thought we should blow it out in style. Sound good? I hope so because I've stacked the next three weeks with fabulous crime fiction writers.

Debut author, Carla Buckley was born in Washington DC but her childhood was spent in Nigeria and Thailand. She and her family returned to DC when she was 10 and for college, Carla made her way up to my neck of the woods; she attended Oberlin College, where incidentally, her daughter will be starting school very shortly.  Since Carla and her family are more in the central part of Ohio these days, it may make micro-managing her daughter's life a tad bit difficult.

Carla finished college and tried her hand at graphic arts, technical writing and marketing before staying home to raise her family, and start her writing career. In February of this year, Carla saw the fruits of all her labors in writers' groups and conferences and long hours of practice pay off. THE THINGS THAT KEEP US HERE was published by Delacorte Press. THE THINGS THAT KEEP US HERE had some roots in her family's decision to pick up and move to Columbus, Ohio, leaving friends, family and everything familiar behind. Carla's follow-up to THE THINGS THAT KEEP US HERE is due out in 2011 and is tentatively titled INVISIBLE. I'm fascinated by the fact that Carla tried writing many different kinds of books for years and when a dream - or rather a nightmare - about a pandemic left her shaken, she knew she wanted to write THAT book, it was something she truly felt passionate about. She

Kept trying keys until one fit.

And we can all be thankful for her determination to keep trying.

Kevin Guilfoile has spent time all over the Northeast corner of the U.S. He was born in New Jersey, raised in New York, attended college in Indiana, and worked for the Houston Astros all before helping to create the Coudal Partners design firm in Chicago. These days, however, Kevin is making his name as a writer. He's contributed to The Morning News, McSweeney's Quarterly Concer, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic and He's also a contributing blogger at The Outfit. In 2005 Kevin published his first novel, CAST OF SHADOWS, and he is preparing to release his sophomore novel, which Stephen White calls "part thought-provoking mystery, part flat-out thriller." Guilfoile fans have waited and on Tuesday, Kevin delivers THE THOUSAND. I also happen to know that Kevin is very serious about the pens he uses to sign his books. So if you meet Kevin at a signing, be sure to compliment him on his pen, which continues to write because

Every story has beginning, middle


Our next memoirist has no regrets. Together he and his wife raised four children; he enjoys playing tennis and wishes he was musical. When Peter Abrahams decided he would write a book about a detective and his dog, he knew the book would be in first person as told by the dog. But the dog couldn't be talking. He believes "anything that thinks and has memory must have a narrative going on inside." Thus DOG ON IT and the pen name Spencer Quinn were born. As Peter Abrahams, he published eighteen novels, earning a Best Novel Edgar nomination for his novel LIGHTS OUT, wrote the Echo Falls Mysteries series for young readers, and was referred to as "my favorite American suspense novelist" by Stephen King. Now as Spencer Quinn, living in Cape Cod with his family (which includes his dog Audrey), he's preparing to release the third Chet and Bernie novel, TO FETCH A THIEF. Working in his office located over the garage, Spencer brings to life the wonderful tales of Chet and his human partner Bernie. And as he heads off to his fifteen feet commute he says,

Into the dark with no regrets.

And rounding out this incredible week we have a woman who also won accolades from Stephen King who said, "her five novels are, simply put, the finest crime-suspense series I've come across in the last twenty years."

Meg Gardiner was born and raised in the United States. While in high school in California she was a mime, and while studying law at Stanford she competed in cross-country and track. Having grown up the daughter of an English professor, books and writing were a major part of Meg's life; she always wanted to write a novel, but she found her way there via law school, a legal career and a stint teaching law writing at the University of California. When she decided she didn't want to "argue for a living," she traded her arguing for lying. Meg writes a blog titled, "Lying for a Living."

Meg moved to the UK with her husband and children in the early 1990s and this was when she began writing. CHINA LAKE was her first published novel, finding bookstores in the UK in 2002. When it made its way to the US in 2008, Meg was rewarded with the 2009 Best Paperback Original Edgar win. Meg continued with Evan Delaney, her CHINA LAKE protagonist for another four books and in 2008 she published her first novel featuring forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett,  THE DIRTY SECRETS CLUB. This summer the third book in the Jo Beckett series, THE LIAR'S LULLABY was published.

So what does the three-time Jeopardy champ, escaped attorney, mother and author have to say about this array of accomplishments?

Love, kids, writing:
went for it.

And we are the great benefactors of her leap of faith. Many, many thanks once again to our wonderful authors for their time and enthusiasm. What absolute fun! I hope you all enjoyed this week's roundup. Man, is there ever a slew of great book titles in this post. Let us know which you've enjoyed or which you're going to check out now. And we'll see you back here next week for our penultimate week of memoirs.

Happy Reading!

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le0pard13 August 18, 2010 at 9:45 AM  

As usual, these are all great! Sorry to see this year's batch coming to a close soon. Hopefully, they'll be another group to look forward to in 2011. Thanks, Jen.

Dorte H August 18, 2010 at 2:51 PM  

They are all good, but this one is brilliant:
Every story has beginning, middle

I´ll try to remember that.

Naomi Johnson August 18, 2010 at 4:59 PM  

I can't believe it's been 30 years since Abrahams' "The Fury of Rachel Monette."

And I can't believe it's almost time to close out another 6-Word season. Where does the time go?

Pop Culture Nerd August 18, 2010 at 5:36 PM  

Creative memoirs, as always. Like Carla, I've tried lots of keys and while many have fit, I've changed the locks a few times and need new keys. I'm a pen freak like Kevin, I envy Peter's 15-feet (dang!) commute and the fact Meg has done all that and looks like Shania Twain.

CJ West August 19, 2010 at 9:36 AM  

Glad you went for it Meg!

The Dirty Secrets Club is one of my favorites.


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