Want to know more about the Back Room’s unique event format? Here’s what an evening in the Back Room is like:

The doors to the main Zoom room open five minutes before the program’s start time so folks can say hello to one another and to the featured authors. Chat is also turned on.

As the program begins, attendees’ mics are muted and the authors are spotlighted. After very brief introductions, the authors play a quick “get to know you” game of 20 questions using our custom-designed Back Room Question Cards. Recordings of these opening sessions are archived backstage at the Back Room. (Breakout sessions are never recorded.)

The opening session finishes with the authors’ book recommendations, and then attendees are divided into 4 breakout rooms, with one author assigned to each room.

Being assigned to a breakout room happens automatically. You don’t have to do anything except click the “join breakout room” invitation that appears on your screen. Each breakout room will have between 15 and 20 people, so we recommend joining the call from a laptop or a computer instead of a tablet or cell phone and using the gallery view so you can see everyone!

Attendees remain in their breakout room for the rest of the program, while the authors rotate through each room in turn. Everyone’s video is turned on and their mics are open. You’ll get fifteen minutes with each author to chat about whatever you like! It’s all very relaxed and casual and fun — like a virtual cocktail party!

Once all four authors have visited each breakout room, the event is over. Yes, Zoom is weird, and ends without any fanfare, but we hope you’ll give our Back Room format a try. We promise you’ll have a wonderful time!

Your hosts,

Karen Dionne and Hank Phillippi Ryan

“I just have to give a shout out to Hank Phillippi Ryan and Karen Dionne. They have really hit on something very special with this Back Room idea. This concept is brilliant and so much fun. I can’t think of an event that was this much fun since the pandemic began . . . give this concept a try; I think you will be pleasantly surprised. It’s so well-run and just a total blast.”

Kristopher Zgorski, BOLO BOOKS

Your Hosts

Karen Dionne is the USA Today and #1 internationally bestselling author of two psychological suspense novels set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula wilderness, The Marsh King’s Daughter and The Wicked Sister, both published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in the US and in dozens of other languages.

Praised by The New York Times Book Review as “subtle, brilliant, and mature,” The Marsh King’s Daughter is soon to be a major motion picture starring Daisy Ridley and Ben Mendelsohn.

Visit Karen at www.karen-dionne.com

Karen’s newest novel is The Wicked Sister. “Dionne paints a haunting portrait of a family hurtling toward the tragic destiny they can foresee but are powerless to stop.”–Publishers Weekly (starred review; best book of 2020)

Purchase The Wicked Sister online at www.bookshop.org.

Hank Phillippi Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of 14 psychological thrillers, winning the genre’s most prestigious awards: five Agathas, five Anthonys, and the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. She’s also investigative reporter for Boston’s WHDH-TV, winning 37 EMMYs. National book reviewers call her “a superb and gifted storyteller.”

Hank is the co-host of The Back Room and First Chapter Fun, as well as  host of her CRIME TIME interview show on A Mighty Blaze. She lives with her husband, a criminal defense and civil rights attorney, in Boston.

Learn more at www.HankPhillippiRyan.com.

Her newest is the page-turning standalone The House Guest – a story of psychological manipulation exploring the dark heart of marriage and friendship—it’s Gaslight meets Thelma & Louise. Publishers Weekly says, “Ryan is a master of suspense!” and the Library Journal starred review calls it “Binge-worthy.”

Purchase The House Guest online at www.bookshop.org.