Monday, April 20, 2009

Welcome April Henry!

I'm doing a panel next month on social networking, and I get interviewed from time to time about my other blog. One of the things I love to point out about online networking is how great people can be to one another. Almost daily I'm amazed at the generosity people show to each other online, providing information and support to virtual strangers. The Girlfriends Cyber Circuit is just one example of that!

April Henry is a new member of the GCC, so let's give a big pajama gardener welcome to her! And check out this book...sounds like a mighty good read.

Face of Betrayal
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?

April co-wrote Face of Betrayal with Lis Wiehl, a legal analyst on FOX. They have a contract for three more Triple Threat mysteries. In March, April’s young adult thriller, Torched, came out from Putnam.

April Henry knows how to kill you in a two dozen different ways. She makes up for a peaceful childhood in an intact home by killing off fictional characters. April had one detour on her path to destruction: when she was 12 she sent a short story about a six-foot tall frog who loved peanut butter to noted children's author Roald Dahl. He liked it so much he arranged to have it published in an international children's magazine. By the time she was in her 30s, April had come to terms with her childhood and started writing about hit men, drug dealers, and serial killers. She has published six mysteries and thrillers, with five more under contract. Her books have gotten starred reviews, been on Booksense (twice!), translated into four languages, short-listed for the Oregon Book Award, and chosen as a Quick Pick by the American Library Association.

What others are saying about Face of Betrayal:

Publishers Weekly: “A sizzling political thriller… The seamless plot offers a plethora of twists and turns.”

Romantic Times:4.5 stars [and they don’t give out five stars] “Wiehl and Henry have penned a winner that seems to come straight from the headlines. Captivating suspense, coupledwith tightly written prose, will entertain and intrigue."

Ingram: "Readers are in for a treat as trial lawyer/commentator Lis Wiehl and mystery author April Henry team up for a political thriller."

And now to our Q&A:

Who do you picture in your mind when you write?
I really write for myself – someone who is busy and wants to be entertained and/or informed, or they’ll move on.

What's been your biggest surprised about getting published?
One surprise was that I imagined when you were published all your worries disappeared and you just sat back and cashed fat royalty checks. Another was that adult books only have about an 8-10 week window to succeed. (With children’s andYA books, that time is a lot longer.) A more recent discovery was just how different YA and adult publishing are from each other.

Is writing your main job? If not, what do you do for your real source of income and how does it impact your writing?
For a long time, I worked full time in health care as a writer. I wrote everything from ads to “What you need to know about ovarian cancer” [the answer to that one is: that you should hope to never, ever get it.] Having to write on deadline taught me about discipline. And I learned that what I loved best about writing was telling stories. I’m good at getting people to open up and tell me their stories.

Art or entertainment? Is one more valid or important than the other?
If art isn’t entertaining, then it won’t find much of an audience. But entertainment without substance is like trying to live on marshmallow fluff. There has to be a balance.

What comes most naturally for you to write, dialogue? plot? character? And what's hardest?
I often forget to have my characters do something while they talk. But it’s so important, because the right interaction with an object can really speak volumes without any dialog.

Thanks April!


LarramieG said...

I'm getting this book!

LadyLee said...

Sounds like it may be a great read! I gotta put it on my reading list!