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becke_davis
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Guest Blog by Author Wendy Corsi Staub!

[ Edited ]

Today, in honor of 9/11, we have a guest blog by an author of suspense and thrillers who should be familiar to anyone who has followed the Mystery Forum for awhile - WENDY CORSI STAUB.

 

Wendy has joined us in the past - check out these links:

 

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Mystery/2-Featured-Authors-This-Week-Meet-WENDY-CORSI-STAUB/m...

 

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Mystery/JUNE-FEATURE-DEAD-BEFORE-DARK-by-Wendy-Corsi-Staub/m-...

 

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Mystery/Please-Welcome-Author-WENDY-CORSI-STAUB/m-p/603465/hi...

 

 

http://wendycorsistaub.com/

 

 

"IF YOU LIKE MARY HIGGINS CLARK, YOU'LL LOVE WENDY CORSI STAUB!" -- #1 NY Times Bestselling Author Lisa Jackson

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Author Wendy Corsi Staub!

 Wendy Corsi Staub

New York Times bestseller Wendy Corsi Staub is the award-winning author of more than seventy-five published novels and has sold more than four million books worldwide. Under her own name, Wendy achieved New York Times bestselling status with her single title psychological suspense novels. Those novels and the women's fiction she writes under the pseudonym Wendy Markham have also frequently appeared on the USA Today, Barnes and Noble Top Ten, and Bookscan bestseller lists.

Wendy’s latest suspense trilogy will be launched by Harpercollins in August 2012 with NIGHTCRAWLER, followed the next month by SLEEPWALKER, with SHADOWKILLER concluding the trilogy in February 2013. She is currently under contract with Harpercollins for a third suspense trilogy, the first of which is tentatively titled THE GOOD SISTER and will be published later in 2013 or early in 2014.

Wendy’s thriller LIVE TO TELL (Avon Books, March 2010) received a starred review in Publishers Weekly and was a finalist at the 2011 Mystery Writers of America Edgar Wards for the prestigious Mary Higgins Clark Award. The sequel, SCARED TO DEATH, (Avon Books, January 2011) was honored with the WLA Washington Irving Prize for Fiction and the trilogy concluded with the bestseller HELL TO PAY (Avon Books, October 2011). 

She contributed a short story, "My Father's Eyes," to the FIRST THRILLS anthology edited by Lee Child (Forge, June 2010).

As "Wendy Markham," her most recent title, THE BEST GIFT, is a sequel to the acclaimed 2006 Christmas Time Travel romance, IF ONLY IN MY DREAMS (both from Signet).

Wendy won the 2008 RT Award for Career Achievement in Suspense and the 2007 RWA-NYC Golden Apple Award for Lifetime Achievement. A proud recipient of the RWA Rita award, she has also been honored four times with the Westchester Library Association's Washington Irving Prize for Fiction and was recognized as one of WLA's Millennial Authors in 2000. Her Wendy Markham novel SLIGHTLY SINGLE was named one of Waldenbooks' 100 Best Fiction titles of 2002. Her novels SLIGHTLY SUBURBAN, THE LAST TO KNOW, and ASK ME AGAIN were nominated for RT Reviewers Choice awards, and five of her novels, DON'T SCREAM; THE LAST TO KNOW; MIKE, MIKE AND ME; HELLO, IT'S ME; and BRIDE NEEDS GROOM, were awarded a month's top pick review by the RT BOOK club magazine.

Her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages worldwide and her titles are regularly selected as features for Mystery Guild, Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, Large Print Book Club, and Rhapsody Book Club. 

Wendy grew up in a large, close-knit family in rural southwestern New York State and decided she wanted to become an author while in third grade. She worked in two independent bookstores during college, then moved alone to New York City at 21 to pursue her dream. After stints as a book editor for a Manhattan publishing house and an account coordinator for a major advertising agency, she sold her first novel, the supernatural young adult thriller SUMMER LIGHTNING. Early in her writing career, she published in various genres including suspense, horror, historical and contemporary romance, television and movie tie-in, and biography. She also co-authored a mystery series with former New York City mayor Ed Koch and has ghost-written for a number of bestselling authors and celebrities.

Wendy now lives in the New York City suburbs with her husband of twenty years and their two children. A 1986 graduate of the State University of New York at Fredonia, she proudly delivered the keynote commencement address at her alma mater in May 2008 and is serving a three-year appointment to the Dean's Advisory Council for the College of Arts and Sciences.

 

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Author Wendy Corsi Staub!

[ Edited ]

Nightwatcher  

 

Nightwatcher 

 

 

Overview

 

As the city sleeps in the early hours of September 10, 2001, the killer waits and watches, unaware of the cataclysm to come. Even the nightmare of 9/11 will not postpone his private reign of terror.

 

Allison Taylor adores her adopted city, New York, loving every minute of the invigorating urban hustle. But on a bright and clear September morning, the familiar landscape around her is savagely altered—and in the midst of widespread chaos and fear, a woman living upstairs from her is found, brutally slaughtered and mutilated.

 

For Allison . . . for her neighbor, James "Mack" MacKenna, desperately searching for news of his missing wife . . . for homicide detective Rocky Manzillo, hunting for a monster called "The Nightwatcher" amid the smoking ruins of a devastated city, this tragic day will hold a special horror. Because a different kind of terror has entered their lives . . . and it's coming to claim Allison Taylor as its next victim.

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Author Wendy Corsi Staub!

Guest Blog by

Wendy Corsi Staub

9/11/2012

 

Where were you on September 11, 2001? I’ll bet you know without even stopping to think about it. None of us will ever forget that tragic day, regardless of our proximity to Ground Zero or the Pentagon. Many details I personally recalled eventually made their way into my latest suspense novel, NIGHTWATCHER (Harper), from the drenching rain the night before and its impact on the Giants and Yankees games to the terrible sights, sounds and smells that ravaged my beloved city not just for days, but for months afterward.

 

That morning, after dropping my older son at first grade and picking up the sitter for my preschooler, I heard on the car radio that a plane had struck one of the twin towers. It was disturbing news to be sure, but I didn’t have time to dwell on it. I was running late to catch a commuter train from my suburban home to my then-editor’s office at the Woolworth Building in lower Manhattan. I do remember thinking that I hoped no one had been hurt, and, on the heels of that, with a New Yorker’s typical knee-jerk transit concerns, that I should probably take the subway instead of a cab downtown because some streets might be blocked off for fire engines. 

 

When the phone rang on my way out the door, I told the sitter to answer it. She called me back inside, saying it was my husband and it was urgent. He’d just watched the second plane hit the World Trade Center from his midtown office and warned me to stay home. “It’s a terrorist attack,” he insisted, sounding uncharacteristically shaken.

 

Like so many people in the insulated world that abruptly ceased to exist on that nightmarish morning, I couldn’t wrap my brain around what seemed like a ludicrous claim. I called my editor and, too embarrassed to admit the real reason I was cancelling, left a message saying that I had suddenly taken ill and couldn’t make it. At that very moment, she was on the other line, leaving me a harried message that the city was under attack and they were evacuating the building. (A few years later, when we ran into each other at an industry party, she said, “I always meant to tell you how lucky you were that morning that you were sick and you weren’t in the middle of the chaos.” Only then did I admit the truth—that A) I was running late and B) I wasn’t really sick, my husband basically forbade me to go.)

 

Communications were sketchy here as the morning wore on. I could get a call through to my parents in my hometown near Buffalo but not to my neighbor and certainly not to my husband in Manhattan. Land lines and cell phones were useless; he and I were only able to communicate by email. I also emailed with family, colleagues, and various friends—two of whom who were stuck in their office buildings directly across the street from the twin towers, watching them burn, watching people jump and fall to their deaths.

 

With bridges and tunnels closed and mass transit at a standstill, my husband and his colleagues watched the coverage on television in a conference room, worried about loved ones and trying to figure out how to escape the burning city. Misinformation was rampant. The trains were running; they weren’t running. A plane was headed for the Empire State Building; no, false alarm. The Pentagon had been hit—surely that, too, was a rumor. It was not.

 

 Thankfully, my husband was on the first commuter train out of Grand Central Terminal that afternoon when Metronorth resumed service. An exhausted, bewildered businessman completely covered in dust sank into the seat beside him. He’d escaped one of the towers, walking down all those stairs and then making his way up to midtown on foot. “What happened?” he asked my husband, dazed—and Mark had to tell him the grim news that terrorists had attacked and the towers had both fallen. And when Mark walked in the door at home, after fervently embracing him, I had to tell him the grim news that one of his closest friends had been told to evacuate his building on Vesey Street just minutes before the first tower came down, crushing everything in the vicinity. For long, uncertain hours, we assumed the worst. It turned out our friend had spent those hours walking, walking, walking uptown, unable to get a call through to let the world know he was alive.

 

That night, my family was safe under our own roof and our closest friends and relatives had been accounted for. But we were haunted by the harsh reality that countless lives, not just around us but across the country, had been shattered or lost. Glued to the local television news in the horrific aftermath, fearful about the fates of colleagues, friends and neighbors, I numbly registered a couple of details that triggered the creative process that’s always lurking in the back of my mind.

 

One was that authorities reported that the crime rate dropped drastically in the days following September 11th—and it was a good thing, because the NYPD was distracted and otherwise occupied amid the chaos. Two: mental health experts discussed the triggering effects a catastrophic event might have on anyone who had already been mentally and emotionally unbalanced. Three: well, I can’t tell you the third one, because it inspired the tremendous twist that readers won’t get to until the last line of SLEEPWALKER, the second book in the trilogy. 

 

Anyway, those details kicked the “what if” mechanism in my writer’s brain into overdrive and a premise took shape almost immediately. But I couldn’t process it then, in the midst of those grim days—it was all too raw. A full decade would pass before I’d finally allow myself to sit down to write NIGHTWATCHER, transforming it into a full blown trilogy that includes SLEEPWALKER (published back-to-back by Harper and on sale two weeks from today) and SHADOWKILLER (coming on January 29).

 

If you haven’t started reading the trilogy yet, rest assured that this is not a genre departure; it is not a political intrigue or global adventure tale about the September 11th terrorist attacks. NIGHTWATCHER is, like my other thrillers, a novel of domestic psychological suspense, filled with my usual plot twists and cliffhangers and ordinary people who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. And if you get halfway or even nearly all the way through and think you know whodunit—think again!

 

And now, coming full circle back to my original question…where were you on September 11, 2001? 

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Author Wendy Corsi Staub!

Wendy - Thanks so much for your very timely post. In my case, I was at home. My husband called at about 9 a.m. and said, "Turn on the TV." It took several minutes for me to register what I was seeing. I rarely have the TV on during the day so it reminded me of the last time he'd called and said, "Turn on the TV" which was when Challenger exploded in mid-air. The rest of the day passed in a daze. I wondered if what I was feeling was similar to what people felt in wartime - that nothing would ever be the same.

 

Since then I've read several books on 9/11 (some, but  not all, of the books I listed below) and watched TV specials with people's home movies of the events of that day. They weren't easy to read or watch, but it gave me a much clearer idea of what it was like.

 

9/11  

9/11  

TIME BEYOND 9/11  

The 9/11 Report  

9/11  

Day the World Came to Town  

The Eleventh Day  

Black 9/11  

9/11  

Debunking 9/11 Myths  

9/11  

Nine/Eleven  

9/11  

Remembering 9/11  

9/11 Ten Years Later  

The Towers  

9/11  

9/11 Culture  

Framing 9/11  

9/11  

The National 9/11 Memorials  

9/11 Deceptions  

American Culture Transformed  

The 9/11 Commission Report  

Fixed Ideas  

 

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dhaupt
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Re: Guest Blog by Author Wendy Corsi Staub!

Wendi, Thank God your family was safe. I was shaking in my shoes in the Midwest watching everything unfold and wondering like the rest of the world what would happen next.

thank you for sharing something so personal

 

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Wendy_Corsi_Staub
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Re: Guest Blog by Author Wendy Corsi Staub!

Becke, I've read quite a few of these as part of my research and wanted to add another. In August, I had the privilege of talking to Edie Lutnik, whose brother Howard is Chairman of Cantor Fitzgerald and whose brother Gary died in the WTC with most employees in the company. She is an amazing and inspirational person, warm and lovely, and I would encourage anyone interested in the Cantor Fitzgerald story to pick up a copy of her book, An Unbroken Bond. It was a tremendous help to me in my research as I have a character in NIGHTWATCHER (and later in the trilogy) who worked at CF, but it was, beyond that, a touching human interest story. 

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Wendy_Corsi_Staub
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Re: Guest Blog by Author Wendy Corsi Staub!

Debbie, I think no matter where we were on that awful day, we felt--and were--terribly vulnerable. Thank you for sharing your take on it. And where in the midwest are you? I just came home from a 3-week stocksigning tour through IL, IN, KY, OH, and MI! 

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Author Wendy Corsi Staub!


Wendy_Corsi_Staub wrote:

Becke, I've read quite a few of these as part of my research and wanted to add another. In August, I had the privilege of talking to Edie Lutnik, whose brother Howard is Chairman of Cantor Fitzgerald and whose brother Gary died in the WTC with most employees in the company. She is an amazing and inspirational person, warm and lovely, and I would encourage anyone interested in the Cantor Fitzgerald story to pick up a copy of her book, An Unbroken Bond. It was a tremendous help to me in my research as I have a character in NIGHTWATCHER (and later in the trilogy) who worked at CF, but it was, beyond that, a touching human interest story. 


Wendy - I read NIGHTWATCHER and I'm excited to hear the next book will be coming out soon. I barely caught my breath the whole time I was reading it! I'll definitely check out AN UNBROKEN BOND.  

 

An Unbroken Bond  

 

Thank you! Your research must have been heartbreaking. Some recent articles I came across are just devastating:

 

http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Father-s-note-changes-family-s-9-11-account-3850490.php

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2201409/9-11-anniversary-World-marks-11-years-September-11-a...

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Author Wendy Corsi Staub!


Wendy_Corsi_Staub wrote:

Debbie, I think no matter where we were on that awful day, we felt--and were--terribly vulnerable. Thank you for sharing your take on it. And where in the midwest are you? I just came home from a 3-week stocksigning tour through IL, IN, KY, OH, and MI! 


Will you be doing any Barnes & Noble book signings?

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maxcat
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Re: Guest Blog by Author Wendy Corsi Staub!

Wendy, I clearly remember where I was that awful day. I live in Charlotte, NC and was working for a blueprinting firm. We had a training session that I had to attend that morning not far from work. We had all just started the training session when someone walked in and told us the news about the first plane. The session was cancelled as the person who told us this news said that another plane was flying to Charlotte as we are one of the largest banking cities in the U.S. Well, we all panicked then. I got back to work and called my husband as he was due to come into town for volunteer work. He didn't believe what I was saying and had to turn the TV on. Downtown Charlotte was evacuated and rush hour was at 9:30 AM. I couldn't leave from work as the streets were clogged. I got home about noon and found out that Charlotte wasn't a target but the Pentagon was. It was such a horrible day and to see newscasters weeping as they are reporting is unheard of. it's something I won't forget!

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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dhaupt
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Re: Guest Blog by Author Wendy Corsi Staub!


Wendy_Corsi_Staub wrote:

Debbie, I think no matter where we were on that awful day, we felt--and were--terribly vulnerable. Thank you for sharing your take on it. And where in the midwest are you? I just came home from a 3-week stocksigning tour through IL, IN, KY, OH, and MI! 


Oh Wendi, you just missed me I'm in St. Louis 

BTW I can't wait to read your new novel

sorry all the anniversary talk made me forget to mention that

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maxcat wrote:

Wendy, I clearly remember where I was that awful day. I live in Charlotte, NC and was working for a blueprinting firm. We had a training session that I had to attend that morning not far from work. We had all just started the training session when someone walked in and told us the news about the first plane. The session was cancelled as the person who told us this news said that another plane was flying to Charlotte as we are one of the largest banking cities in the U.S. Well, we all panicked then. I got back to work and called my husband as he was due to come into town for volunteer work. He didn't believe what I was saying and had to turn the TV on. Downtown Charlotte was evacuated and rush hour was at 9:30 AM. I couldn't leave from work as the streets were clogged. I got home about noon and found out that Charlotte wasn't a target but the Pentagon was. It was such a horrible day and to see newscasters weeping as they are reporting is unheard of. it's something I won't forget!


The bad news just seemed to go on and on that day. Just when it seemed things couldn't get any worse - it did!

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dulcinea3
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Re: Guest Blog by Author Wendy Corsi Staub!

I had arrived at work and turned on the radio. Apparently, the first plane had hit between when I got out of my car and to my desk, so I heard about it then. Of course, they just thought it was a terrible accident, but then I heard the shock in the announcers' voices when the second plane hit. An Indian woman I worked with came into my office and asked if I had heard what was happening. I don't remember what else we said, because we were both just kind of stunned. Naturally, we were all glued to the radio as the situation developed and the Pentagon was hit. I remember worrying if there would be any targets in MA, although I didn't think I was in a location that would be in danger. Although I did consider that we were right near Raytheon. Of course I was watching the news that evening, and the part I found most disturbing and couldn't watch was when the people were jumping. How horrible it must have been to drive people to do that to escape.
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becke_davis
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dulcinea3 wrote:
I had arrived at work and turned on the radio. Apparently, the first plane had hit between when I got out of my car and to my desk, so I heard about it then. Of course, they just thought it was a terrible accident, but then I heard the shock in the announcers' voices when the second plane hit. An Indian woman I worked with came into my office and asked if I had heard what was happening. I don't remember what else we said, because we were both just kind of stunned. Naturally, we were all glued to the radio as the situation developed and the Pentagon was hit. I remember worrying if there would be any targets in MA, although I didn't think I was in a location that would be in danger. Although I did consider that we were right near Raytheon. Of course I was watching the news that evening, and the part I found most disturbing and couldn't watch was when the people were jumping. How horrible it must have been to drive people to do that to escape.

I remember the people jumping, too. I'd been up to the observation platform at the World Trade Center and knew how far up that was. I don't like heights to begin with, and I couldn't fathom anyone choosing to jump. After I read what it was like on those upper floors, I could ALMOST understand it. But it's still horrific to think of.

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Have you ever watched the MSNBC annual rebroadcast of the September 11 coverage on the Today show that morning? It's fascinating and chilling to see Katie and Matt and gang, all of whom live in NYC, reacting to the attacks in real time, not to mention each stage unfolding as a complete new shock, and the on-air speculation.

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To this day, the jumpers haunt me. If you have ever seen the documentary made a few years back by the pair of French brothers whose names I forget, you not only saw but heard the jumpers, and it is still haunting. 

 

By the way, Dulcinea...I love your name and always have. I wrote a little girl named Dulcinea into one of my earliest thrillers, IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE.

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Thanks, Debbie--I was actually in Saint Louis a year ago this month, for Bouchercon--with hundreds of other mystery authors and fans. Were you there? 

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I did a Barnes and Noble stocksigning a few weeks ago in N. Carmel, Indiana, and Barnes and Noble is catering the event in Massachusetts on Monday night so I'm sure I'll sign some stock for their local store!