Annie's Book Stop of Worcester

The little bookstore that's bigger on the inside

 

 

Zetta Elliott, Black Feminist Author talks about her books and about writing in an interview for Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester. She writes books and poetry for children, teens and adults.

 

 

Credit: Claudio Marinesco

 

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is very happy to shine our Friday spotlight on Thriller author Brad Taylor. Brad Taylor, Lieutenant Colonel (ret), is a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Army Infantry and Special Forces, including eight years with the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta, popularly known as Delta Force.  Taylor retired in 2010 after serving more than two decades and participating in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, as well as classified operations around the globe. His final military post was as Assistant Professor of Military Science at The Citadel. Brad has written fifteen New York Times bestsellers. His 16th book, END OF DAYS, was released January 11, 2022. When not writing, he serves as a security consultant on asymmetric threats for various agencies. He lives in Charleston, SC with his wife and two daughters. 

 

Brad, where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester–though they should totally check here first!)

 

My books are available everywhere books are sold.

 

 

How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?

 

 

Please visit my website at www.bradtaylorbooks.com. I’m also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @bradtaylorbooks.

 

 

What kind of research went into writing your latest book, End of Days?  What cool facts and findings didn’t make it into the book, but you loved discovering?

 



Because of covid, I was unable to travel for research for END OF DAYS. Due to that I decided to use locations I’d already visited.  Luckily, only about 10% of my research trips actually make it into a book, and I mined that for this one. It was quite difficult, because I always like to get what the military calls, the “sights, sounds, and smell of the battlefield”, meaning you always learn more from being on the ground prior to an operation than just listening to someone talking about the culture or terrain.  Because I had never used most of my research, I had a treasure trove of pictures from previous research trips, so I was able to figure it out. 

 

 

 

 

 

What is your favorite research story?

 

 

As for my most “favorite” research story, it would be my trip to Lesotho, Africa for Operator Down.  I was rolled up as an American spy and held for about eight hours in interrogation.  It wasn’t fun, but it certainly helped the research.  While it was a bit unnerving at the time, every bit of information I gleaned from that experience made it into the book…right down to the decorations on the walls.

 

 

 

 

What is one thing that most people don’t realize about you?  

 



Most people don’t realize that I’m basically an introvert. I spent my entire military career in jobs I couldn’t discuss, and now I’m in a position where I have to be in the spotlight, to a certain extent.  I used to be the guy in the corner at a party who didn’t talk about what he did, now I’m supposed to get on stage and talk to hundreds.  It doesn’t come easy to me.

 

 

What has been your favorite adventure during your writing career?

 



Being able to travel the world with my wife, Elaine, whom I call the DCOE—Deputy Commander of Everything. We were separated a lot by deployments when I was in the Army, so being able to travel with her on book research trips all over the world and book tours has been great. My favorite adventure would probably be our spur of the moment hydrofoil trip from Hong Kong to Macau to see the casinos while researching The Widow’s Strike. We had a 24 hour layover and just decided to go – and then almost got on the wrong ferry to get home.  That, of course, also made it into a book.

 

 

 

 

 

What do you consider the most challenging part of the writing process? And how do you overcome that?

 



I’d have to say the most challenging aspect of the writing process at this point is keeping the tactical parts of my books fresh and new. There are only so many ways to track a terrorist, or write a fight scene. I’m constantly challenged on coming up with creative and unique methods to shape these scenes so that each book is exciting and different for the reader.  In the real world, it’s the same ol’ same ol’, because that’s just the way it is, but for a reader, I want to design something new each time.  And that’s hard.

 

 

Brad, thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions! Good luck with the rest of your book tour.

 

 

 

 

 

The beginning of February brings some books to our shelves that deal with some very hot topics of the day – MERCY STREET: A NOVEL by Jennifer Haigh deals with abortion issues, and AMERICAN DIRT by Jeanine Cummings, which is an Oprah’s book club book deals with the tragedy that people face when they are forced to become migrants.

 

 

The next series of books on the list deal with family relations. THE FAMILY CHAO by Lan Samantha Chang shows sides of the Asian American culture and family life. GIRL A: A NOVEL by Abigail Dean is a Psychological drama dealing with sibling relationships. THE VANISHING HALF: A NOVEL by Brit Bennett is a historical novel about black sisterhood, and THE VIOLIN CONSPIRACY by Brendan Slocumb is a Black/African American coming of age story as well as a mystery.

 

 

Then there are the non-fiction books:

 

 

AMORALMAN: A TRUE STORY AND OTHER LIES by Derek DelGaudio is a Biography, and THE POWER OF REGRET: HOW LOOKING BACKWARD MOVES US FORWARD by Daniel H. Pink is a Psychology book.

 

 

Beyond that, THE CHRISTIE AFFAIR by Nina de Gramont is a fictional tale based on the real life disappearance on mystery author Agatha Christie, and OTHER PEOPLE’S CLOTHES: A NOVEL by Calla Henkel is a Dark Humor Fictional story.

 

 

 

 

 

As always, thank you for making our shelves your destination.

 

Juvenile Speculative Fiction (Fantasy) author Henry Lien discusses his Peasprout Chen book series and answers questions from Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester’s Selina Lovett.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday spotlight on contemporary fiction author Kirthana Ramisetti.  My first question to you, Kirthana, is if you could please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing? How would you like us to introduce you?

 

As a former entertainment reporter for Newsday and the New York Daily News, I have written my fair share of stories about the lives (and deaths) of the rich and famous. I have a master’s degree in creative writing from Emerson College, and my work has been published in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, The Atlantic, and elsewhere. Dava Shastri’s Last Day is my first novel, and I live in New York City.

 

 


Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester–though they should totally check here first!)

 

 

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/a/2344/9781538703861

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781538703861

Libro.FM: https://libro.fm/audiobooks/9781549134111-dava-shastri-s-last-day

 

How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?

 

Website: https://kirthanaramisetti.com

Twitter: @popscribblings

Instagram: @kirthanaramisetti



For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect from Dava Shastri’s Last Day?

 

My novel is about a legacy-obsessed philanthropist who, after learning she has a terminal illness, gathers her family together during the holidays. Dava then makes two shocking announcements: she has a terminal cancer and has brought them together to say goodbye before she arranges for a doctor to help her take her own life; and she has leaked news of her death early so she can read her obituaries and learn how the world perceives her and her career. 

 

Dava is horrified when her plan backfires, because the news coverage of her death inadvertently reveals her two biggest secrets to the world. With the limited time she has left, Dava must make amends with her children, while also coming to terms with the choices she has made throughout her life.

 

 

What was the inspiration for Dava Shastri’s Last Day? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?

 

When I was an entertainment reporter, one of the stories we often had to cover was the deaths of celebrities. As a part of that coverage, we had to be attuned to the public response on social media. And each time I saw the collective outpouring of grief in response to the news, I was curious if other notable figures would see the reaction and wonder what would be said about them when they passed away.  

 

That led me to come up with my novel’s premise: What if there was a famous person so obsessed with their legacy that they leaked news of their death in order to read their obituaries? And I really wanted to know who this person would be, how she would be able to accomplish it, and what would drive her to do something so extreme. 



Because this was an intergenerational family saga with a timeline spanning several decades, before I started writing my book I did three things to prepare: a detailed character spreadsheet, a chronological timeline of Dava’s life and a plot outline. Having all this material helped me write and revise my book through multiple drafts.

 

 

 

 

While you’re writing, do you prefer music, silence, other? Please elaborate!

 

All of the above! It really depends on what I’m working on. With Dava, because the main character is so shaped by her love of music, I listened to a lot of albums while writing and revising the novel. I’m currently at work on a second novel, and in this case, it’s been more of a mix of things. Sometimes I have the TV on in the background, sometimes music and sometimes complete silence. I actually wrote about how my writing routine evolved since the pandemic for LitHub.

 

 

Thanks so much, Kirthana, for taking the time out of your day to answer our questions!

 

 

This week and next we will have a variety of book titles coming through our doors, in different genres, and from many best-selling authors. Since it’s very cold outside, I thought I would start with the thrillers, to get the blood running through your veins to keep you warm. We have:

ONE STEP TOO FAR: A NOVEL by Lisa Gardner (Thriller)

GREENWICH PARK by Katherine Faulkner (Thriller) and

ROBERT B. PARKER’S BYE BYE BABY by Ace Atkins  (Mystery)

 

Another book to keep you running is:

THE RUNAWAY by Nick Petrie (Adventure)

 

Historical fiction is becoming a very popular genre nowadays, and this week’s selections are no exception:

HER HIDDEN GENIUS: A NOVEL by Marie Benedict (Biographical Historical Fiction)

HOUR OF THE WITCH: A NOVEL by Chris Bohjalian (Historical Fiction)

VIOLETA by Isabel Allende (Fiction)

 

There are some interesting romance books out there for people who would like to read about romance in different settings or situations far from the mundane:

SAVAGE ROAD by Christine Feehan (Paranormal Romance)

BARBARIAN ALIEN BY Ruby Dixon  ( SF Romance)

 

And for those of us who want to be amused, there is a humorous book to help relax you on a particularly bad day:

HOW TO BE PERFECT: THE CORECT ANSWER TO EVERY MORAL QUESTION by Michael Schur (Humor)

 

 

 

 

 

As always, thanks for making our shelves your destination.

 

 

 

 

Christion Brecher is an author of Cozy mysteries. For those of you unfamiliar with Cozy Mysteries, they are mysteries in which the main character is usually an amateur sleuth. They could be a male or a female, although many of them are female. The sleuth could be a bookstore owner, librarian, teacher, dog trainer, baker, or be in some similar occupation. They usually take place in a small town, and generally have a wonderful cast of characters.

 

Christin’s books (so far) are called The Nantucket Candle Maker Mysteries. The main character is a female candle maker. They take place on Nantucket Island, off the coast of Massachusetts. There is a wide range of characters, and oh! Did I happen to mention that there is usually a murder in each cozy mystery?

 

Christin’s books are:

Murder’s No Votive Confidence

Murder Makes Scents

15 Minutes of Flame

 

Hope you enjoy the video of the interview with Christin!

 

 

 

 

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday spotlight on urban fantasy author David R. Slayton. When asked to tell us briefly a little about himself and his writing, this was his response:

 

I’m David R. Slayton. Like my main character, Adam, I grew up in a trailer in the woods outside of Guthrie, Oklahoma where and when it was very hard to find fantasy novels and finding books with diverse characters was downright impossible. I always wanted to read books about characters like me, with my background, so now I live in Denver, Colorado and write the books I always wanted to read.

 

 

Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester–though they should totally check here first!)

 

I love indie bookstores and libraries! If they don’t have it on the shelf, you can always order them. That said, my stuff is available online everywhere from Wal-Mart.com to all the ebook and audiobook places.

 

 

How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?

 

You’ll most easily find me at davidrslayton.com. Just don’t forget the r. You can sign up for my newsletter there and I’m also all over social media. The best place to find me for that is twitter, but I’m active on Instagram and Facebook too. My site has links to all my handles.

 

 

For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect from Trailer Park Trickster?

 

I write urban or rural fantasy and try for a deeper edge. I try to draw a lot on my background, though I don’t have any magic.

 

Adam Binder is a broke gay, witch from Guthrie, Oklahoma who’s estranged from most of his family. In White Trash Warlock he travels to Denver to help them out when his sister-in-law is possessed by an ancient, malevolent spirit. Things in Denver are much worse than Adam realizes and he’s forced to bargain with powers he’d rather not, including his first love, the elf who broke his heart.

 

Book Two, Trailer Park Trickster, takes Adam back to Guthrie to solve the biggest mystery left over from book one: who is the dark druid who is killing off Adam’s extended family and is he Adam’s missing father? Trickster is a bit of a different book but it includes one of my favorite things, a road trip through the spirit realm for two of the fan favorite characters from book one. All the secrets come to light, including quite a few Adam didn’t know people were keeping.

 

 

 

 

 

What kind of research went into writing this book?  What is your favorite research story? What cool facts and findings didn’t make it into the book, but you loved discovering?

 

I use a lot of my family history but also hidden history or things people might have forgotten. In White Trash Warlock I hinted at or used a lot of Denver’s more interesting history, like the two jarred heads of outlaws that went missing from our state capitol. Returning to Guthrie for Trailer Park Trickster, I wove in more of my family history, including a cold case from 1974 – my cousin’s murder. One thing I’d love to work into a book is the history of Denver’s Chinatown, which was destroyed in a race massacre in 1880. It’s an important thing few people know about.

 

 

What was the inspiration for Trailer Park Trickster? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?

 

Trailer Park Trickster is Adam’s journey home and his journey to finally bring all his family secrets to light. I started with my own family, the murder I mentioned above, and looking at how the sins or secrets of one generation can affect the next. From there I built the mystery and the plot while telling a more fantastic tale in the second plot with Vic and Argent’s trip through the spirit realm.

 

 

What has been your favorite adventure during your writing career?

 

The people I’ve met. It’s been incredible to meet authors I’ve admired so much, like K.D. Edwards (author of the fantastic Tarot Sequence) and find out they’re such great people. I’m still pretty starstruck when I’m on a conference panel with people like him. I’ve also been so lucky to find out that I’d missed connections with authors. For example, I met my friends Barbara Ann Wright and Helen Corcoran (both terrific authors) and after we got to know each other we realized that we should have met somewhere in our personal lives decades before. There’s something magical about it.

 

 

What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned, thus far, in your writing career?

 

Persistence. It’s so crucial to always keep writing, trying new things, and most importantly, never giving up. It’s so much more important than natural talent or really, anything else. Keep going, never give up, and especially never let anyone take your writing from you through rejection or discouragement.

 

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions, David!

 

 

 

 

This week’s new arrivals carry a lot of emotional weight. No wonder they were so heavy! First we have:

 

A LITTLE CLOSER TO HOME: HOW I FOUND THE CALM AFTER THE STORM by Ginger Zee, a Biography, followed by THE BETRAYAL OF ANNE FRANK: A COLD CASE INVESTIGATION by Rosemary Sullivan. The true crimes of the Third Reich are then followed by some great fictional thrillers/crimes:

 

END OF DAYS by Brad Taylor and

SOMETHING TO HIDE: A LINLEY NOVEL by Elizabeth George.

 

 

More fiction is available, with:

THE HORSEWOMAN by James Patterson and Mike Lupica (Animal Fiction) and

TO PARADISE: A NOVEL by Hanya Yanagihara  (Asian American Fiction).

 

 

These two novels show strong relationships and emotions, as do all of the next four novels. The first two,

FEELS LIKE FAMILY: A NOVEL by Sherryl Woods and

WAHALA: A NOVEL by Nikki May 

 

Are more about the ties of friendship, while:

ELECTRIC IDOL by Katee Robert and

LIGHTNING IN A MIRROR by Jayne Ann Krentz

Are considered romance.

 

 

 

 

As always, thank you for making our shelves your destination.

 

 

 

 

Some of you may not realize it, but Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester has a You Tube channel!

 

 

We currently have over 85 videos on the channel, most of them being interviews with best-selling authors. We decided to make it easy for our customers and friends to view them by including a blog each week containing one of these interviews. This week, we are playing our first interview, which was with Mary Robinette Kowal, a Hugo Award-winning author and puppeteer. She is the author of the Lady Astronaut duology and historical fantasy novels. Hope you enjoy the series of videos, and hope we can introduce you to many new authors, whose books you will enjoy in the years to come. Also, our phone number is (508)796-5613.

 

 

 

 

 

As always, thank you for making our shelves your destination!

 

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