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Please Welcome Author KATIA LIEF!

[ Edited ]

I'm thrilled to welcome an exciting new author, KATIA LIEF, as this week's featured guest!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: Please Welcome Author KATIA LIEF!

[ Edited ]

You can find an excerpt here: http://www.katialief.com/you-are-next.php

 

 

You Are Next 

 

You Are Next

 

Detective Karin Schaeffer was a happily married mother in New Jersey when her life was shattered by a serial killer who murdered her husband and daughter. Martin Price is known to the police as JPP for Just Plain Psycho because of the brutality of his attacks. To the press and the public he is known as The Domino Killer because he systematically murders whole families one by one, after leaving a trail of dominoes as clues.

 

Now JPP has escaped prison and is on his way to find Karin...but instead of fleeing, she waits for him in her new apartment in Brooklyn. After a failed attempt at suicide she has promised her family she will not try again to take her own life; instead, she will let JPP do it for her. But in the course of the attack she realizes that he won't stop with her but will go on to hunt other members of her family. She changes her mind, fights back and barely escapes.

 

With the help of her former partner and close friend, Mac MacLeary, she struggles to overcome despair and save her remaining loved ones. Layers peel away, unexpected truths surface and in a startling revelation they discover that JPP does not work alone. Then Karin's young niece vanishes, marking her as the next victim.

 

Now a child is missing and the bar is raised on the challenge to put a stop to this deadly team. Just as Karin and Mac close in—and as they begin to recognize tender shoots of love for each other—they find themselves in yet another ruthless trap. As the clock ticks on their lives, Karin has only moments to locate her niece, rescue Mac...and save herself.

  

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Re: Please Welcome Author KATIA LIEF!

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You will find an excerpt here: http://www.katialief.com/next-time-you-see-me.php

 

Next Time You See Me 

 

Next Time You See Me

 

Three years after a harrowing escape from the serial killer who took the lives of her husband and daughter, Karin Schaeffer is married to her former partner Mac MacLeary and they are living in Brooklyn with their young son Ben. Karin is finally pursuing a college degree, studying forensic psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. Mac, now a retired detective, has just been made a senior executive at Quest Security and an announcement has appeared in the newspaper...triggering a series of events that catapults their lives into perilous territory.

 

When Mac's beloved parents are murdered in what appears to be a botched home invasion, he sinks into despair and soon disappears. Two weeks later a car he rented turns up in the Long Island Sound with his shoe wedged beneath a seat.

 

But Karen cannot accept his presumed suicide without a body. She is plagued by the wishful thinking of a reluctant second-time widow. And then, suddenly, her world is upended once again when she believes she sees Mac at an airport. She hires a private detective to confirm or refute her sighting, and the information he turns up leads her to journey into the heart of darkness to rescue Mac.

 

Along the way, nothing is quite as it has seemed:

 

Her husband has a dark past she had never imagined, including a revelation that shocks everyone.

 

Enemies become heroes.

 

Friends reveal secret identities.

 

And Karin, as always impulsive to a fault, learns that even she has limits.

 

In a story that travels from a comfortable family life in Brooklyn to the glossy artifice of South Beach Miami to the lawlessness of drug-embattled Mexico to the gray isolation of Cape Cod in winter, Karin Schaeffer must first identify the enemy and then face him down in order to save her family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: Please Welcome Author KATIA LIEF!

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Re: Please Welcome Author KATIA LIEF!

Kate Pepper's picture

 

 

The first thing I ever wrote that received any notice was a one page story for my third grade English teacher. I don't recall what the assignment was, but I somehow found myself writing about a woman at a dinner party who suddenly realizes her teeth are invisible. She sits there, wedged between two chattering guests, wondering how she will eat, how she will talk, and generally how she will get out of the situation without having to open her mouth and reveal her dilemma. My teacher showed the story to my parents with a note to this effect: Katia could be a writer.


What if her note had instead encouraged me to be a dentist?

 

But it didn't. And so here I am.

 

I've been at it for a while and so far have published under three different names, in this order: Katia SpiegelmanKate PepperKatia Lief. At this point the best explanation I have for this triumvirate of identities can be found in my essay What's in a Name? which was mostly an attempt to explain it to myself.

 

Now, here, for you, in three nutshells:

 

Katia Spiegelman is the girl who was born in France to American parents, a musician and a teacher; who grew up along the East Coast with an older sister and younger brother; fled a boarding school by enrolling at Simon's Rock Early College at the age of fifteen; graduated from Sarah Lawrence College at the age of nineteen...and then ran off to Paris for lack of a better idea. Half a year later she returned to New York, got a job in publishing, followed by many other jobs in all kinds of businesses, earned a master's degree in literature and creative writing, and published two novels.

 

Kate Pepper is the front-woman who brought forth thrillers, when Katia Spiegelman had added Lief to her last name and decided the best way to stay home with her kids was to turn her love of writing into a paying job. Kate got the hang of it over four books, and then Katia decided it was time to take over...or as she told her husband, Oliver Lief, "I need to integrate."

 

Katia Lief is me: mother, novelist, teacher, reader, traveler, wise-cracker, insomniac, early morning grouch.

 

I have loved writing every one of my novels, and hope you will enjoy reading them.

 

 

 

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Re: Please Welcome Author KATIA LIEF!

 WHCR FM/NYC & KDEE FM/California
(The Adams Report to be aired week of 11/29/10)

WFIN/Ohio Interview with Chris Oaks
(11/2/10)

Featured contributor to the blog The Page 69 Test

Featured contributor to the blog Writers Read
(Katia reviews the Stieg Larsson trilogy)

Bookfinds (interview) 

Suspense Magazine (interview) (PDF)
"We don't often have the opportunity to see the excitement on the faces of publicists as they present new found treasures. Hearing about Katia's writing style, talent and personality first hand had us sold before the second drink was ordered and after reading her work, we're sure our fans will be sold too." (partial cover to right)

The Big Thrill webzine (interview by Sandra Parshall)

Killer Quiche (Katia shares her recipe on Authors & Appetizers)

Heartbeat (short story in Ellery Queen Magazine, January 2010)
EQMM debut short about a workplace relationship that sours during an office holiday party... [more]

Peppar Podcast (blog interview, 2007)
Being a crime writer is serious business. Too serious, sometimes. I thought it was time to lighten up a little and so I accepted an invitation to be interviewed by the notorious, hilarious, possibly insane "Dr. Rajiv Peppar." (At least that's what he calls himself.) If you're ready for a good laugh, read [more].

In Memory of a Friend (Mystery Scene Magazine, 2007)

What's in a Name? (Divatribe, 2005)
My name is Katia. Her name is Kate. We live at the same address, share the same family, and write the same books. On the scale of professional accomplishment, one being failure and ten being success, I hover comfortably around two. Kate is restless closer to six and has her eye on nine, minimum. [more]

If The Shoe Fits (Modern Mom, 2005)
"If I don't sell this novel, I'll open a shoe store." That's what I told my husband, and I meant it. Shoes were easy and fun—I quested for them on an intuitive level only a shoe lover would understand—whereas my career as a novelist, another passion, had been a struggle. [more]

First Pages (Buzzle.com, 2005) 
Context, character and conflict — I call them "the three c's." They are the essential fictional elements a writer should braid together on the first page of a story or novel in the quest for a sparkling beginning. If you save all the good stuff for page fifty, but you haven't held your readers' attention, no one will ever find out what a great writer you are because they will have already put your work aside. [more]

She's Come Undone (Working Mother, May 2003)

How to Wash a Gas Mask (Salon, December 2001) 
Our gas masks arrived last week in a large box, from Zurich, with a packing slip marked both "urgent" and "economy." It was a contradiction much like the state of affairs here at home: the urgency of imagining, and preparing for, the worst; the economy of resuming our daily lives. [more]

 

 

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Re: Please Welcome Author KATIA LIEF!

[ Edited ]

Katia's website is here: http://www.katialief.com/

 

And she's on Facebook here: 

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Katia-Lief/215564530265?v=wall&filter=3

 

And here: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1196721931

 

 

Autographs
Many readers write in for autographs. I'm happy to send them, but please make your request via snail mail (not e-mail):
Katia Lief
c/o Matthew Bialer
Sanford J. Greenburger Associates
55 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10003
Please include a self-addressed stamped envelope. Unfortunately, because I'm so busy writing my next novel, I won't be able to respond otherwise. Thanks!

 

Affiliations

Member: Author's Guild; International Thriller Writers; Mystery Writers of America; Sisters in Crime; Novelists Inc

 


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Re: Please Welcome Author KATIA LIEF!

Welcome to the Road to Romance

 

What’s in a Name?

by Kate Pepper and Katia Spiegelman

My name is Katia. Her name is Kate. We live at the same address, share the same family, and write the same books. On the scale of professional accomplishment, one being failure and ten being success, I hover comfortably around two. Kate is restless closer to six and has her eye on nine, minimum.

For years, much of my fiction has featured a heroine named Kate, Katie, Catherine, or Cat; there are seemingly endless common variations to the translation of my given name. French-born to American parents, I was given a Russian nickname no one can pronounce. On the first day of school, it was always my name nestled into the teacher’s awkward pause when reciting the class roster. I became accustomed to the frozen smiles of new acquaintances, and learned to annunciate my name when introduced, spelling it and breaking it down phonetically. Having often been asked, “Can I just call you Kaye?” I learned to answer, “You can call me whatever you want, but my name is Katia.”

I grew up hoisting that name around with the stubborn pride of a mother whose child is not quite right. The name on my master’s degree reads Katia Charna Spiegelman. The post-marriage name on my Social Security card reads Katia Charna Spiegelman Lief. In my life as a teacher, I remain Katia Spiegelman; as a mother, I am Katia Lief. Then, at the age of forty, I capitulated to the burdens of so many unpronounceable names, and in an impulsive gesture at reinvention, took a pseudonym.

Kate Pepper writes thrillers, extending a greater presence into the commercial world than I ever did. Below the surface of her uber-pronounceable name, she is my amalgam of self and lost-self; Kate being, as always, me, and Pepper being the beloved childhood cat lost, along with my innocence, in my parents’ divorce. Her name and work slips and slides effortlessly through the world, and in theory she is me, yet I feel she is someone else. Aside from the excuses about pronunciation and shielding myself and my family from either great success or great failure, I still question her invention. But now that she’s off and running, and it is clearly too late to pull her back, my need to understand her role in the new triumvirate of my identity has trumped any pretense of clarity or privacy.

You might say that my identity split in two long before I took a pseudonym. A lifelong feminist, I didn’t think twice when the clerk at the city hall where we went for our marriage license asked me what name I’d be using. Of course, I would keep my own name, and without hesitation answered, “Katia Spiegelman.” Less than a year later, pregnant with our first child, I decided I wanted to have the same last name as my children. It was an urge I didn’t analyze; perhaps it was a deep yearning for the intact family I didn’t have as a child. I went to the local Social Security office and added my husband’s last name to mine, officially becoming Katia Charna Spiegelman Lief. I spent a morning phoning all my credit cards, and slowly began to use my new name.

Even now, a decade later, it’s often confusing; I’m not always sure who I am in different situations. When I deal with medical insurance or any other legal process, the road gets particularly murky. Nurses search for my files. One of my children was mislabeled at birth by the hospital (we fixed that. Recently, a large check from my publisher was rejected as a deposit at my bank because it wouldn’t recognize Katia Spiegelman on an account that read Katia S. Lief.

More puzzling than the pas de deux of dancing through life with two names was the sense, as a married mother, that my relationship with society had changed. Instead of being an aspiring novelist and single woman -- double pox on me -- I was suddenly a devoted at-home mother who won nothing but approval and praise, even from strangers on the street. I was part of a club: it was Us versus Them, and We knew best because We valued family above all else. Well, I do value my family above all else, but through my decade of parenthood, I have come to understand how quickly mothers become invisible; you have your baby, get a huge round of applause, and the lights dim on your future. You come to understand how hard it is for the different sub-plots of your life to flow together. You learn to compartmentalize. It’s a deep, dark pitfall that the feminist movement of my youth urged married women to avoid by keeping our own names, as a claim on our original, authentic identities.

Given what I’d already experienced of the burdens in carrying two names, why did I then take on a third? I thought a pseudonym for my commercial novels might simplify my life, but in fact it had the opposite effect. I had already published two small-press novels and developed a teaching career as Katia Spiegelman. Meanwhile I had a busy family life as Katia Lief. People in the university knew little of me outside the classroom, and those in my domestic world were shocked if they found out about my writing life, which they rarely did -- not because I was uncomfortable telling them, but once you’re a mother, especially a home-bound mother, people just stop asking. I found this conspiracy of invisibility somewhat perverse, and came to take pleasure in the jaw-dropped response of acquaintances from my mommy life when they learned that I had not only written a novel, but it had sold in a bidding war to a major publisher. At the same time, I developed a sense of shame at my self-defying pseudonym and the secrecy under which I had come to veil my working life. I felt like a poster child for a feminist movement that had slipped far below its own standards. People continue to ask me, “Why do you publish as Kate Pepper?” I’m not sure what the answer is, exactly, but perhaps as both a woman and a novelist I have revised my self one too many times.

A novelist synthesizes the strengths and weaknesses of a society, and contemplates the vast potential of a life. We dissemble truths, strip them to their elements, then reassemble them into brighter expressions of themselves. We seek to unravel and reweave so that each thread carries vivid importance. In writing fiction, revision is essential. In real life, however, it comes at the cost of personal integrity.

To be integral is to be woven-in -- to a fabric, or a self, or a balanced society. Each strand of integrity we forfeit plucks another thread in a gradual dissemblance. Growing up in the nineteen-sixties and -seventies, I was supposed to have learned to hold myself together as a woman, thus in my core I feel shame at having quibbled with my own identity, my integrity, which in the end is all any of us really have to bank on.

Of course, there could be other ways to look at this. Maybe my betrayal of self embodies more than personal confusion, but is an expression of a uniquely American pride in adaptation. In our beloved country, the possibilities are endless. You can start out poor and end up rich, or vise versa; you can go from secretary to CEO; from infertility to parenthood; from slum to celebrity. It’s reassuring to think of my quandary as emblematic of the American mindset, but is it true?

Kate doesn’t worry too much about any of this; she thinks reinvention is fabulous and empowering. She’s out there, walking the walk. Katia stays home, worries and wonders, and does the heavy lifting. Questions bubble endlessly: How is it that hypocrisy can equal success? How have I become the heart beating in a soulless robber barren, who is also me? It’s always possible that in the voice of my pseudonymous self I have hit my best stride; when Kate writes about a psycho killer, Katia writes about every mother’s worst fears and the anxieties that haunt each of us when we lie in bed at night. Could it be that, together, we are a more integrated voice than mine alone?

But like everything else in life, it isn’t that simple.

After all these years of wishing for an easier name, I now feel nostalgia for the one I was born with. I can’t justify the confusion I’ve caused myself and my family. How do you explain to a seven-year-old that Katia Spiegelman is Katia Lief, and both are Kate Pepper? I am all three, all at once: a struggling literary writer; a successful commercial author; and a stay-at-home mom. The truth is it doesn’t make much sense. Why didn’t I just stick with one name?

I’ve fantasized about a dinner party with other identity-drifters who could discuss the complexities of being two or three people at once. Daniel Edward Agraluscasacra would be good for a laugh (ahem, Dan Aykroyd). And if being alive isn’t required, Nathan Birnbaum and Leonard Alfred Schneider (George Burns and Lenny Bruce) would certainly liven up the conversation. Truman Streckfus Persons and Giovanni Giacomo Girolomo de Seingalt (Truman Capote and Casanova) would keep things nicely weird. And back to the living, we might balance the evening with a meaningful film starring Edna Rae Gilhooly and Maurice Joseph Micklewhite (Ellen Burstyn and Michael Caine). If we get bored, we could ask Cherilyn Sarkisian La Piere (Cher) for a song.

This may not be the crowd to solve anyone’s identity crisis, but it would be a lot of fun, and for a few hours it might lighten the load of having split off from the authenticity of a given name.

As Katia Lief, I sometimes receive mail addressed to Katie Lies and I want to shout, “No, she doesn’t!” Then I think again and realize that, well, maybe she does.

Copyright © 2005 Kate Pepper

Author:
Kate Pepper is the pseudonym of author Katia Spiegelman, who teaches fiction writing at New School University and lives in Brooklyn,NY with her husband and two children. Her most recent novel, Seven Minutes to Noon, was published in May 2005 by Signet/Penguin,

 

For more information, please visit the author’s website at www.katepepper.com.

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Re: Please Welcome Author KATIA LIEF!

authorsandappetizers.com

 

 

Katia Lief’s Killer Quiche

 

The author of the thriller, You Are Next, drops by to share a mouthwatering quiche recipe. It makes two – and is perfect for last-minute get-togethers.

Katia Lief’s Killer Quiche

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 

Ingredients:

 

2 pie crusts (I use Oronoque brand frozen crusts)

1 good sized onion

A little olive oil

10 large eggs

@1/2 cup milk

1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained

1 7-oz. can boneless, skinless salmon

@ 1.5 cups grated cheddar cheese

dash of mustard powder

1 thinly sliced tomato, optional

dash of paprika, optional

2 T grated parmesan, optional

Putting it together:

 

Thaw the frozen pie crusts for @ ten minutes, prick the bottom and sides with a fork, and bake for @ ten minutes until slightly brown.  Remove from oven.

 

Meanwhile, chop the onion and sauté it in the olive oil.  While that’s cooking, whisk the eggs together in a large bowl, then add milk and a dash of mustard powder.  Add the grated cheddar cheese, drained spinach, and salmon to the eggs and mix together.

 

Spoon the sautéed onions equally into the bottoms of the two baked crusts.  Then pour in the egg mixture, divided equally.  This next part’s optional, but it looks nice and adds a little extra taste:  arrange the thinly slice tomatoes on top of the egg mixture, then sprinkle on some paprika (for color) and grated parmesan (for flavor).

 

Bake @ 45 minutes, or when it looks done.

 

Makes two quiche.

 

About the author

 

A third-grade teacher encouraged Katia Lief to become a writer after she penned a story about a woman at a dinner party whose teeth are invisible. She is published under the names Katia Lief, Katia Spiegelman and Kate Pepper. She is a mother, novelist, teacher, reader, traveler, wise-cracker, insomniac, and early morning grouch.

 

 

 

 

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Re: Please Welcome Author KATIA LIEF!

Please welcome KATIA LIEF!

 

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Mysterylover1138
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Re: Please Welcome Author KATIA LIEF!

Katia

 

Thanks for joining us here on the mystery web page :smileyhappy:  I look forward to picking your brain this week with a few questions, and to learning more about your books.  Hope you don't mind.

 

Now on to some questions.

 

Where do most of your ideas come from?  Is there a specific character who you resembled after yourself?

 

How long does your process normally take, from first idea to finished product?

 

Do you find that your sucess as a writer puts pressure on you to come up with even greater ideas for novels each time you begin to write?

 

Do you have any favorite authors? Favorite Genre to read when you are able to?

 

Are you more of a coffee drinker or a tea drinker?

 

Sorry for so many questions all at once, they just kinda came to me :smileyhappy:

 

Hope you had a great holiday weekend, and I can't wait to hear back from you.

 

Leigh

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Re: Please Welcome Author KATIA LIEF!

[ Edited ]

Leigh - thanks for kicking off Katia's visit with some interesting questions!

 

I've read both of these books and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Katia, were any of your characters inspired by real people? Were the plots based on anything that happened in real life?

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TiggerBear
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Re: Please Welcome Author KATIA LIEF!

[ Edited ]

Welcome Ms. Lief!  It's a pleasure to have you join us.

 

I actually have "You are Next" in my TBR pile.

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Re: Please Welcome Author KATIA LIEF!

 


TiggerBear wrote:

Welcome Ms. Lief!  It's a pleasure to have you join us.

 

I actually have "You are Next" in my TBR pile.


Tigger - both books are really intense, suspenseful reads. I hope we don't have to wait too long for Katia's next book to come out!

 

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lovesreading1
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Re: Please Welcome Author KATIA LIEF!

Hello Everyone!  I'm very happy to be here :womanvery-happy:

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lovesreading1
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Re: Please Welcome Author KATIA LIEF!

Let's start with the most important question, the answer to which is TEA!  I walk to a special place in my neighborhood in Brooklyn to buy loose Earl Grey tea by the pound, and I brew it fresh every morning (or my husband does...sweet man).  I have a cup of steaming fresh brewed tea next to me right now.

 

But now I'll tackle your 'real' questions about reading and writing books.

 

Where do most of your ideas come from?  Is there a specific character who you resembled after yourself?

 

My ideas come from anywhere and everywhere.  In the case of YOU ARE NEXT, I was reading an article in The New York Times one morning when I was riveted by an article about the high suicide rate among police officers. I sat back and thought about it, and all of a sudden the character of Karin Schaeffer popped into my mind...and the book went from there.

 

There's no single character modeled after myself, but I do channel myself into different characters in different ways, sometimes consciously, and sometimes not.  I gave Karin Schaeffer my willfulness, but I also gave her attributes I lack such as fearlessness.  Also, she's tall and I'm short, or shall we say 'petite.'

 

How long does your process normally take, from first idea to finished product?

Hmm...depends.  When I was young and starting out, I once wrote the rough draft of a novel in six days.  Yes, folks, that's six days, and I was working full time and in graduate school then...but I like to point out that it was a three day weekend.  That novel was PECULIAR POLITICS, a romantic comedy published five or six years later after a rewrite.  In retrospect, I have no idea how I wrote the first draft so quickly, and I'll never put myself through that again.  These days, I typically spend nine or ten months from the very start (idea) to the very finish (delivered manuscript).  I'm older now, and wiser, and make a point of not overdoing it.  Plus I have kids, and they have to eat from time to time :smileyhappy:

 

Do you find that your sucess as a writer puts pressure on you to come up with even greater ideas for novels each time you begin to write?

I usually don't have trouble coming up with new ideas.  In fact, I tend to feel impatient to finish what I'm writing so I can move on to the next idea that's already brewing.

 

Do you have any favorite authors? Favorite Genre to read when you are able to?

I read across the board, whatever I feel like reading, which means I read a little bit of just about everything.  Right now I'm reading Sophie Littlefield's A BAD DAY FOR SORRY, which I really like, and I'm also reading a novel with my son called IT'S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY by Ned Vizinni.  I recently finished P.D. James' THE CHILDREN OF MEN, which was beautifully written and quite an interesting futuristic short novel, and also I WANNA BE SEDATED, a collection of essays about living with teenagers. Before that, I read all three Stieg Larsson novels.  On my bedside table right now is WOLF HALL by Hillary Mantel.  Hmm, it sounds as if I read a lot, but actually it feels as if I never have enough time to read as much as I want to.

 

As for favorite authors, I have lots.  Because I'm a crime writer, though, and I advocate (to my students, and anyone else who will listen) weaving a strong story with great writing, my first suggestion as the perfect example of both a classic psychological suspense novel and superbly written novel is THE COLLECTOR by John Fowles.

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Re: Please Welcome Author KATIA LIEF!

Hi Becke!

 

The plots of YOU ARE NEXT and NEXT TIME YOU SEE ME were not specifically inspired by any specific real life events, but I definitely drew on real life and current news to create the characters and some of their challenges.  In YOU ARE NEXT, as I mentioned in another post, the story was inspired by a newspaper article about the high suicide rate among police officers, which got me thinking about what it might take for a cop to want to take his or her own life.  I wondered what it would take for me to feel that way, and of course for any mother the worst thing you could lose would be your family.  So I thought, if you take a woman who's a cop, and strip her of everything that's important to her, which would be her family and her work, she would probably be suicidally depressed. She's seen some pretty bad stuff in the course of her work, and now it's hit her personal life head on.  My protagonist Karin Schaeffer was forged in that very dark fire--a combination of reality and imagination.