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MYSTERY GUY:
Behind the Books at BBD

Mystery Girl and Mystery Guy take a look at all things suspense, mystery, and thriller at Ballantine Bantam Dell, an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group. Check back for author guest posts, industry insight, behind-the-scenes looks at our office, and much more.

Posts tagged lit

On sale today, Dean Koontz’s Odd Apocalypse.

On sale today, Dean Koontz’s Odd Apocalypse.

#dean koontz #odd apocalypse #on-sale #lit
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[Top left: Karen Robards; Top right: a voodoo ritual; Bottom left: a voodoo altar; Bottom right: a ghost hunt in New Orleans]

Research by Karen Robards (author of THE LAST VICTIM)

One of the most fun things about writing THE LAST VICTIM, which is coming out in hardcover and e-book on August 7, was doing the research for it. I always do a lot of research: I feel that part of my job is to take my readers on a journey with my characters. This journey involves seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting and smelling much of what my characters do. Sometimes this is a lot of fun, especially when it involves travel or food. Sometimes not so much, like when Sam, the heroine in SHIVER, which is coming out in December, got hit with pepper spray. 

But what was unique about THE LAST VICTIM was that it required research into the paranormal. Ever seen a voodoo altar? Oh, I have now. Ever been on a ghost hunt? I’ve now done that, too. I’ve also hiked up a hillside path with a voodoo priest in the Dominican Republic, watched a spell being cast with blood in Jamaica, attended a séance in Miami and met with a medium who claimed to be in touch with my dead father. One psychic saw a shelf full of hardcover books in my future. (Okay, she was right, but you can Google me. Just saying.) Another kept doggedly insisting that my daughter (I only have sons) had been with me through many lives.

The Ouija Board I bought in the spirit of continuing my research at home was borrowed by my teenage niece, who had a party with her friends in the basement of my sister’s home and apparently conjured up – something. My sister is none too happy with me as a result, and the Ouija Board was thrown out with the trash. As for the shadowy figure that keeps walking through my bedroom in the middle of the night – let’s just say, his identity will remain unknown. Unless I decide to consult a psychic about it. Or buy another Ouija Board.  Not to worry, sister, it’s all in the name of research.

#karen robards #voodoo #psychic #research #book #lit #the last victim #suspense
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As I stood outside in Cow Lane, it occurred to me that Heaven must be a place where the library is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

No. Eight days a week.

—Alan Bradley, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

#lit #alan bradley #the sweetness at the bottom of the pie #quote
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We’ll be handing out limited quantities of our Mafia-themed The Twelve card game at SDCC. Can’t wait to play!!

We’ll be handing out limited quantities of our Mafia-themed The Twelve card game at SDCC. Can’t wait to play!!

#justin cronin #the twelve #sdcc #lit #card game
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What We Are Reading

         

I came to know the Beatles through the more kid-friendly stuff. My father, fiercely invested in avoiding kid music in the car at all costs, was shrewd enough to not start me off with “Tomorrow Never Knows” or “Revolution #9.” He went with the mid-period Beatles, the Sgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour Beatles, fun and candy-colored and full of drug references his son wouldn’t understand until his older sisters explained them to him minutes later. Growing older, I went back in time, and listened to the Beatles at the Cavern Club, and the ramshackle early albums, some full of cover songs. There’s a different energy to those, a band that burned quick and furious, here today, possibly gone tomorrow. Those mid-period Beatles knew that the public wanted another album, that their days in vans were over, and they could take the craft and art acquired thus far and, as good artists do, experiment. Compare Goodfellas Scorsese with Mean Streets Scorsese. It’s a fascinating and worthwhile exercise, when you really get into any type of artist, to go back and look at those earliest works.

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#the bellwether revivals #the quiet twin #what we're reading #lit #music #mystery guy
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On Author Readings:

When I first moved to New York, I was amazed by how many gorgeous, eclectic bookstores the city held. But, more than that, I was blown away by how many authors themselves traipsed through, signing books, talking on panels, doing readings, and mingling with their fans. I could meet an author? Out in the world? Seriously?

Predictably, my childhood had been full of bookstores, but they had always been quiet, cozy places of respite. Now, in New York, I was realizing that they could also be filled with pulsing energy, laughter, loud conversations, and droves of eager fans descending to hear their favorite authors speak. Author events were completely new to me, and while I thought I would hate them, that they would make my idols alarming real and fallible, I ended up being instantly enamored.

I will never forget the first time I saw Toni Morrison speak in the Union Square Barnes and Noble, her voice filled with a mysterious power that instantly hushed the entire room. Or the time Alice Hoffman enveloped me in a hug and took a picture with me at the adorable 192 Books in Chelsea. Or the time Amy Waldman filled a room with her wit and intelligence at Soho’s McNally Jackson. Author events have brought me closer to the words and stories that mean so much to me, and because of that, the thrill of meeting one of my literary gods will never get old.

But, that doesn’t mean it can’t take on more dimensions. Once I started working in publishing, I could go to readings and panels and book launch parties already knowing the guest of honor, already having worked with him on one of his books or hung out with her in our office (ahem, resident editor/author Jen Smith). And I expected it to put a damper on the whole process. What’s the point in going to a reading when you already talk to the author on a daily basis? Where’s the glamour, the mystique, the fun?

Well, as our debut author John Gapper's reading at Book Court last night proved, the glamour, mystique, and fun are still plenty alive. Not only do you get to see how excited the audience is for an author you worked so closely with, but you also learn more about him and his writing process through the Q&A section, get even more of a feel for his humor and wit (and let me tell you, John Gapper is one funny guy), and, I’m not going to lie, you feel kind of famous by association for being a part of the author’s inner circle.

It was a great reading last night, and I’m glad that knowing the authors hasn’t taken away at all from my literary stalking elation. Can’t wait for John’s next event at Greenlight Books in Brooklyn (7:30pm on July 2). Hope to see you there, just as awestruck as I am.

#john gapper #a fatal debt #mystery girl #lit #thriller
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We’d be down for an office redesign if it looked like this…

We’d be down for an office redesign if it looked like this…

(Source: bookporn)

#offices #mystery guy #books #bookshelves #lit
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We wish Matilda could read RAILSEA. Based on her love of MOBY DICK, we’re betting she would have loved it.

(via literatureismyutopia)

#lit #matilda #mystery girl
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progressive-brutal:

Andrew and Emma discuss their perfect double date. Hypothetically. 

"The four of us would hang out and have a night in and read together."
We love you, Andrew Garfield!

(Source: breathinginpairs, via aproperchat)

#lit
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housingworksbookstore:

Little dude leftover from the dinosaur-themed wedding on Saturday (via Instagram)

There are infinity things I like about this, but I’ll narrow it down to my top 2: (1) Bookstore wedding? Yes, please. (2) Dinosaur-themed? Oh my god!!!!

housingworksbookstore:

Little dude leftover from the dinosaur-themed wedding on Saturday (via Instagram)

There are infinity things I like about this, but I’ll narrow it down to my top 2: (1) Bookstore wedding? Yes, please. (2) Dinosaur-themed? Oh my god!!!!

#mystery girl #lit #housing works #reading
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