November 21, 7 PM ET

Join authors Erica Ferencik, Derick Lugo, Jenny Milchman, and Carl Nixon along with Back Room hosts Karen Dionne and Hank Phillippi Ryan for an evening of great conversation!

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The Authors

 

Erica Ferencik has been a ghostwriter, editor, and screenwriter. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from Boston University, but also credits Grubstreet, the renowned creative writing center in Boston, not only for their brilliant classes but for their supportive writing community. Her work has appeared in Salon and The Boston Globe, as well as on National Public Radio. In the spring of 2019, my novel THE RIVER AT NIGHT, was optioned for film by Miramax.

The New York Times Book Review called Into the Jungle, one woman’s terrifying journey of survival in the Bolivian Amazon, one of the “Summer of 2019’s Best Thrillers.” Her debut bestseller, The River at Night, was a #1 Oprah Pick. Girl In Ice, set to pub in March, 2022, is about a linguist who ventures hundreds of miles north of the Arctic Circle to try to communicate with a young girl who has thawed from the ice alive – speaking a language no one understands. Learn more at ericaferencik.com.


Derick Lugo had never hiked or camped a day in his life. This Brooklyn-born, New York City urbanite hopped a train to Georgia, grabbed a taxi at the station, and told the cab driver to drop him off at the beginning of the Appalachian Trail. Then he did as he has always done — put one foot in front of the other and never looked back.

After hiking for more than 2,000 miles, he now feels invincible and plans to cross the Sahara barefoot. (Not really, but when an ambitious spirit is successful, it will strive for even greater accomplishments.)

The Unlikely Thru-Hiker is his debut memoir. Learn more at dericklugo.com.


Jenny Milchman is the Mary Higgins Clark award winning, USA Today bestselling author of five psychological suspense novels, including the wilderness thriller, Wicked River. Each of Jenny’s books contains some tie to nature and weather and all their dramatic potential.

Jenny serves as co-chair of International Thriller Writers’ debut authors program, is a member of the Sisters in Crime speakers bureau, and is known for taking her family on the road on what Shelf Awareness called the world’s longest book tour. Jenny gives talks nationwide about the importance of sticking to your dreams.

Learn more at jennymilchman.com.


Carl Nixon was born and still lives in Christchurch, in the South Island, New Zealand. He has a Masters in Religious Studies from the University of Canterbury. He is a full-time writer of short stories, novels, plays, and screenplays. Carl’s plays have been performed in every professional theatre in New Zealand and include both comedy and drama. His latest is, Matthew Mark, Luke and Joanne. Others are Kiwifruits, The Raft, The Birthday Boy, Two Fish n a Scoop, and The War Artist.

His short story collection, Fish “n’ Chip Shop Song and other stories was published in 2006 by Random House New Zealand. Since then has had four novels published by the same publisher, now Penguin Random House: Rocking Horse Road, Settler’s Creek, The Virgin and the Whale, and The Tally Stick. His novels have been published in translation in Germany, France, Taiwan and Hong Kong. The Tally Stick is published in the UK and USA by World Editions. Learn more at carlnixon.co.nz.


Authors’ Books

 

Girl In Ice by Erica Ferencik

Valerie “Val” Chesterfield is a linguist trained in the most esoteric of disciplines: dead Nordic languages. Despite her successful career, she leads a sheltered life and languishes in the shadow of her twin brother, Andy, an accomplished climate scientist stationed on a remote island off Greenland’s barren coast. But Andy is gone: a victim of suicide, having willfully ventured unprotected into 50 degree below zero weather. Val is inconsolable—and disbelieving. She suspects foul play.

When Wyatt, Andy’s fellow researcher in the Arctic, discovers a scientific impossibility­—a young girl frozen in the ice who thaws out alive, speaking a language no one understands—Val is his first call. Will she travel to the frozen North to meet this girl, and try to comprehend what she is so passionately trying to communicate? Under the auspices of helping Wyatt interpret the girl’s speech, Val musters every ounce of her courage and journeys to the Artic to solve the mystery of her brother’s death.

The moment she steps off the plane, her fear threatens to overwhelm her. The landscape is fierce, and Wyatt, brilliant but difficult, is an enigma. But the girl is special, and Val’s connection with her is profound. Only something is terribly wrong; the child is sick, maybe dying, and the key to saving her lies in discovering the truth about Wyatt’s research. Can his data be trusted? And does it have anything to do with how and why Val’s brother died? With time running out, Val embarks on an incredible frozen odyssey—led by the unlikeliest of guides—to rescue the new family she has found in the most unexpected of places.

Purchase at an independent bookstore near you.

Purchase online at www.bookshop.org.


The Unlikely Thru-Hiker, An Appalachian Trail Journey by Derick Lugo

Derick Lugo had never been hiking. He certainly couldn’t imagine going more than a day without manicuring his goatee. But with a job cut short and no immediate plans, this fixture of the New York comedy scene began to think about what he might do with months of free time. He had heard of the Appalachian Trail, but he had never seriously considered attempting to hike all 2,192 miles of it. Suddenly he found himself asking, Could he do it?

The Unlikely Thru-Hiker is the story of a young black man setting off from the city with an extremely overweight pack and a willfully can-do attitude. What follows are lessons on preparation, humility, race relations, and nature’s wild unpredictability. Through it all, Lugo refuses to let any challenge squash his inner Pollyanna, persevering with humor, tenacity, and an unshakeable commitment to grooming that sees him from Georgia to Maine.

Purchase at an independent bookstore near you.

Purchase online at www.bookshop.org.


The Second Mother by Jenny Milchman

Julie Weathers isn’t sure if she’s running away or starting over, but moving to a remote island off the coast of Maine feels right for someone with reasons to flee her old life. The sun-washed, sea-stormed speck of land seems welcoming, the lobster plentiful, and the community close and tightly knit. She finds friends in her nearest neighbor and Callum, a man who appears to be using the island for the same thing as she: escape.

But as Julie takes on the challenge of teaching the island’s children, she comes to suspect that she may have traded one place shrouded in trouble for another, and she begins to wonder if the greatest danger on Mercy Island is its lost location far out to sea, or the people who live there.

Purchase at an independent bookstore near you.

Purchase online at www.bookshop.org.


The Tally Stick by Carl Nixon

Up on the highway, the only evidence that the Chamberlains had ever been there was two smeared tire tracks in the mud leading into an almost undamaged screen of bushes and trees. No other cars passed that way until after dawn. By that time the tracks had been washed away by the heavy rain. After being in New Zealand for only five days, the English Chamberlain family had vanished into thin air. The date was 4 April 1978. In 2010 the remains of the eldest Chamberlain child are discovered in a remote part of the West Coast, showing he lived for four years after the family disappeared. Found alongside him are his father’s watch and what turns out to be a tally stick, a piece of scored wood marking items of debt. How had he survived and then died? Where is the rest of the family? And what is the meaning of the tally stick?

Purchase at an independent bookstore near you.

Purchase online at www.bookshop.org.


Your Hosts

 

Karen Dionne is the USA Today and #1 internationally bestselling author of the award-winning psychological suspense novel The Marsh King’s Daughter, published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in the US and in 26 other languages. Her follow up novel, The Wicked Sister (August 2020, G.P. Putnam’s Sons), is also an international bestseller and was chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of their Best Books of 2020.

The Marsh King’s Daughter was also chosen as one of the best books of 2017 by iBooks, Hudson Booksellers, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Irish Independent, Library Journal, Shelf Awareness and many other booksellers and reviewers, and is soon to be a major motion picture starring Daisy Ridley and Ben Mendelsohn.

Both The Wicked Sister and The Marsh King’s Daughter were selected by the Library of Michigan as Michigan Notable Books, and The Marsh King’s Daughter took home the Barry and the Crimson Scribe Awards for Best Novel. 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)

Purchase The Wicked Sister at an independent bookstore near you.

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

Hank Phillippi Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of thirteen novels of suspense.  She has won five Agathas, four Anthonys, two Macavitys, the Daphne, and the coveted Mary Higgins Clark award. National reviews have called her a “master at crafting suspenseful mysteries” and “a superb and gifted storyteller.” Her 2019 book The Murder List won the Anthony Award for Best Novel of the year. Her 2020 book is The First to Lie, of which the Publishers Weekly starred review said, “Stellar. Ryan could win a sixth Agatha with this one.” It is now a nominee for the Anthony Award  and the Mary Higgins Clark Award.

Hank is also an award-winning investigative reporter at Boston’s WHDH-TV. In addition to 37 EMMYs and 14 Edward R. Murrow awards, Hank’s won dozens of other honors for her ground-breaking journalism. Hank is  the co-host of First Chapter Fun, hosts the online mystery interview program for the acclaimed A Mighty Blaze, is a founding teacher at Mystery Writers of America University and served as past president of national Sisters in Crime. Learn more at www.HankPhillippiRyan.com.

Hank’s upcoming novel, Her Perfect Life, will be published September 14, 2021, with starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly.  “Superlative…this is a fast-paced, surprise-packed treat.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Purchase Her Perfect Life at an independent bookstore near you.

Purchase Her Perfect Life online at www.bookshop.org.


 

 

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