Friday, April 17, 2009

April Henry's Latest Thrill Ride

After a cluster of great releases in the summer and fall, the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit took a bit of a break through the winter, with only a couple of new books out. But now spring's here and, with it, FACE OF BETRAYAL (Thomas Nelson, hardcover, April 2009), a fascinating political thriller from mystery author April Henry and FOX legal analyst Lis Wiehl.

Take a peek at the premise and you'll know why I'm so excited about this book: When 17-year-old Senate page Katie Converse goes missing on her Christmas break near her parents' white Victorian home in Portland, Ore., law enforcement and the media go into overdrive in a search for clues. Three friends at the pinnacle of their respective careers--Allison Pierce, a federal prosecutor; Cassidy Shaw, a crime reporter; and Nicole Hedges, an FBI special agent--soon discover that Katie wasn't the picture of innocence painted by her parents. Did Katie run away to escape their stifling demands? Was she having an affair with the senator who sponsored her as a page? Has she been kidnapped? Is she the victim of a serial killer?

I tend to scare easily when reading thrillers, but the mystery surrounding Katie Converse is so compelling, I'll chance it! I can't wait to pick up this novel--even if I have to read it with all the lights in the house on. :) April and Lis are under contract for three more "Triple Threat" mysteries and, in addition to April's many published adult works, she also just released her YA thriller TORCHED, which came out last month from Putnam. It's a pleasure to have April here today to talk about her latest novel. Welcome!

April, you and Lis co-wrote FACE OF BETRAYAL. What's one scene from the story you especially loved writing and/or working on together?
There’s a section where a runner finds a body part. We had written that scene, but then I started thinking we needed a second scene with him showing what he does next, even though he is just a walk-on character. So we worked on another scene where he realizes that he needs to take the body part with him (for reasons that might be spoilers). It was fun to write about his dawning horror.

What's your Writer Fantasy--i.e., to see your book make into a feature film, to be on the New York Times bestseller list for 40 consecutive weeks, etc.?
Um, can I have all of the above? I would love to have a great review in the New York Times. Once my name was in the NYT Book Review as part of an ad for PLAINSONG from Kent Haruf. I had reviewed the book for the Oregonian. The publisher quoted a variety of reviewers by name in the ad. I kept it on my desk for probably a year. (LOL! I'm sure I'd do the same. :)

Would your high school friends be surprised to discover you'd become a novelist?
My goal in life is to make sure that they know. I was a big reader in high school, but also kind of invisible. Getting published has made me more visible. I am probably the second most successful person from my small town high school. (The first being Lisa Rinna, who is married to Harry Hamlin and was on "Dancing with the Stars.")

Do your neighbors/hometown acquaintances know you're a published author or did you just choose to tell those closest to you?
I usually try to let is slip. It’s taking me a long time to own being a writer. Before I was published, I didn’t feel valid. After I was published, people often questioned why I was still working full time, not realizing it’s very hard to quit your day job. Now I have (barely). I’m very proud of what I do – it’s a dream come true – and I’ve gotten better about believing that it’s actually happened.

Do you have a favorite food?
I love potatoes in any form, from baked to potato chips. I should be Irish, but I’m more Heinz 57, as my mom says.

What's one piece of writing advice you've found valuable on your journey to publication?
I’ve realized that tenacity is just as important as talent. It was my second book that got my an agent, my fourth book that finally got me published, and my eight book that allowed me to quit my day job. If I had given up at any point (and there were lots of heart breaking rejections along the way) I wouldn’t be where I am today. (You're so right! Aside from working on craft, I think aspiring authors have to vow to outlast everyone who says no to them until they find the one who'll say yes... Glad you kept at it!!)

Thanks so much, April, and congrats on the new book!!


Pamala Knight said...

Thanks Marilyn and April, for the inspiring interview. Now I have another book to add to my TBR pile.


Nancy J. Parra said...

Wow- cool, I'm going to have go out and read this one.

Great interview, Marilyn, and nice to meet you April!

Marilyn Brant said...

Pamala~*waving back* Thanks for checking it out!

Nancy~thank you! I enjoyed getting to meet April, too :).

Hope you both have a wonderful weekend!! What do you think of this great weather?!

Caryn Caldwell said...

Great interview! And I'm always looking for new books in a huge variety of genres, so I'll have to look into this one.

Robin said...

Another great interview, Marilyn! And the book sounds very intriguing. I'll be sure to check it out too!

Marilyn Brant said...

Caryn and Robin~thanks so much, you two! It was really interesting getting to learn about a story in a genre so different from mine--her premise intrigues me...all that mystery surrounding the heroine :).

Happy Monday, btw! Hope you both had a great weekend!!

Vesper said...

Marilyn and April, thank you for such an inspiring interview. It made me feel so much better today... :-)

I'll have to read this book. Thanks for the review.