Author Interviews

Author Interview: Sol Stein, January 25, 1996

Sol Stein penned his first story on telegram blanks, stolen from Western Union. “My father took them from Grand Central Station because we couldn’t afford paper in the depths of the Depression,” Stein said. His first poem was then published in a school paper when he was seven. “I wrote my first book when I was thirteen and it was published when I was fifteen,” he said. “When I went to see the publisher, he asked why my father didn’t come himself.” More than two million copies of Stein’s novels have now been sold. Selected by major book clubs, they’re

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Author Interview: Aimee Thurlo, 02/14/97

Aimee Thurlo got fired. Frequently. “In 1980, I was super restless at home,” she said, “but I couldn’t find any job that interested me. I got fired from every conceivable job on the planet, too, because I was constantly daydreaming.” “Finally,” she added, “unable to settle on any career that suited me, I decided to try my hand at writing and I cajoled my husband David into joining me.” 

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Author Interviews: Tad Wojnicki 09/16/96

For Tad Wojnicki to write well, he needs to know that he’s evoking a feeling, identifying with the reader at a gut level. “What are we talking about here?” Wojnicki asks. “We are talking passion! Without passion, which is the heart of writing, we merely have cold facts.” He has recently followed his own advice in his first novel, Lie Under the Fig Trees, which he calls a thinly disguised autobiography. He leads us through the romance of Teddy and Rosie, starting with a passionate one night stand in Poland the night before Teddy flees the oppressed country. Arriving in

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Author Interviews: Susan Rogers Cooper, 02/15/96

Milt Kovak is in no mood for nonsense. The alcoholic wife of his best friend just committed suicide under mysterious circumstance and a beautiful, funny local celebrity has been brutally murdered in her car. Other suicides have been cropping up all over the county, too, in alarming numbers. And, Milt’s normally stable, reliable wife Jean is pregnant and her hormones are lost out in the ozone somewhere.  Yes, Milt is having a really, really bad day. To find out how the crusty sheriff tunnels his way through this awful mess, read Susan Rogers Cooper’s sixth Milt Kovak book, Doctors and

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Author Interviews: Joan Hess, 09/04/96

Joan Hess started writing as a lark. “In the early 1980s, a friend convinced me to try to write romance novels,” she said, “and I discovered I loved writing fiction.” Unfortunately, she also discovered that she was a dismal romance writer. “Too much plot,” she said, “not enough romance.” The experiment wasn’t a complete failure, but the going was rough. She made an early sale to Harlequin, but then she ran into trouble. “Ten manuscripts and three agents later,” Hess said, “I became a tad discouraged. I was planning to go back to graduate school when my agent suggested I

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Author Interviews: John Gilstrap, 06/14/97

This is one of the many author interviews I conducted in the mid- to late 1990s. John Gilstrap worries about falling asleep. He’s afraid of waking up and finding out that 1995 was only a dream. That extraordinary year was when Gilstrap sold his first novel, Nathan’s Run, to Harper Collins Publishers. His book earned a $400,000 advance with Warner Brothers snapping up the movie rights just two days after the book sold. The movie rights and paperback rights earned Gilstrap another $500,000, and the book will be translated and released in 13 foreign countries in 1996. When asked how his

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Author Interviews: Interview with Ellen Hart, 07/22/96

This is one of the many author interviews I conducted in the mid- to late 1990s. Who: Ellen Hart What: Started writing her first mystery novel at the age of 37 When: Summer of 1986 Where: University of Minnesota, where Hart worked as the kitchen manager of a sorority Why: She figured it was now or never “I had my summers off at that time, and I wanted to try my hand at writing mystery fiction,” Ellen Hart said. “I’d always been a pretty good academic writer, but that didn’t mean I had the skills to sustain plot, character, tension—everything

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