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Monday, February 18, 2013

Interview of Author Lisa Gardner

Today we're pleased to present an interview of romance author Lisa Gardner.

Q: Hi! Thanks so much for coming today. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
A: I sold my first novel, a romantic suspense, when I was twenty years old. A mere ten years later I became an “overnight” success with the publication of my first thriller, The Perfect Husband. I’m now a #1 New York Times bestselling novelist with over 20 million books in print, but I’m mostly just the same old book geek, happiest when I’m either reading a great novel, or writing one.

Q: Tell us a bit about your book.
A: Touch & Go is a story about a family. Meet the Denbes. From the outside, they’re the family that has it all; Justin is the ruggedly-handsome husband who runs a hundred million dollar construction company, Libby is the beautiful, artistic wife who takes excellent care of their very expensive home, and Ashlyn is the fifteen-year old daughter doted upon by both. But in fact, the Denbes are in crisis, and that’s before three-masked men burst into their home and abduct them using Tasers. Now the Denbes must wise up, toughen up and straighten up, if they’re ever going to make it home alive.

Q: Is this part of a series?
A: Tessa Leoni (from Love You More) returns as the private investigator hired by Justin’s firm to find them. As a woman who once went to the ends of the earth to save her own daughter, she’s particularly well suited to race against the clock to rescue an entire family.

Q: What was your favorite part?
A: There’s a scene where the family members, exhausted, battered and broken down, finally confess all their various secrets. For the first time, it’s all on the table. The ways they love each other, the ways they’ve failed each other. The dreams they still have for their family. Their growing fears that it’s not meant to be. They are their own worst enemies, and even if they do make it home, what waits for them there might actually be scarier than anything their kidnappers can throw at them. I think it’s particularly powerful scene.Messy. Poignant. Real.

Q: Why did you choose to write romance?
A: You write what you love, and my favorite books growing up were the gothics. I’m fascinated with the whole notion of danger being closer than you think, that love is incredibly powerful, but also renders us incredibly vulnerable. Those themes definitely played into my first major novel, The Perfect Husband, which is about a wife realizing her abusive husband is a serial killer. Naturally, she plots his downfall, while finding true love along the way…

Q: Do you ever have any conversations in your head with your characters? If so, can you give us a hint of what you might talk about?
A: I don’t have conversations with my characters. It’s more like I see scenes out of movie, playing through my mind. My job is to type fast enough to get it all down.

Q: Rate your story in terms of steaminess (Make up your own fun scale here)
A: Touch & Go features Libby and Justin Denbe, who have reached a pivotal point in their eighteen-year marriage. I wouldn’t call it steamy, but Libby definitely longs for the days when a single look was all it took to ignite their once-fiery relationship.

Q: What are you reading right now?
A: I just finished reading the latest C.S. Harris novel for her Sebastian St. Cyr series. I love those books! Sebastian St. Cyr is one of the most interesting characters out there, and the love triangle that’s developed over the span of the series is incredibly well done. From the suspense elements which are like CSI set in 1812, to the intense family dynamics, the series keeps me guessing.

Q: I know this is like asking who is your favorite child, who is your favorite romance author (s)?
A: J.R. Ward. Love the Black Dagger Brotherhood!

Q: What is your favorite romance book or series?
A: I love Jayne Ann Krentz’s Arcane Society series, particularly the way she incorporates the series across her various nom de plums, with the contemporary storyline handled under Krentz, then the historical saga as Amanda Quick and the futuristic side by Jayne Castle.

Q: Who is your favorite romance character? If you could go on a date with that person, what would you do? Details please!
A: Jack Reacher is my favorite character, and I’m already blushing.

Q: Can you give a glimpse into your daily life as a writer?
A: I have an office just around the corner from where I live. No phone, no internet. Just me, a laptop and a mini fridge. I go there Monday through Friday and hope to make some magic happen.

Q: Do you have a special piece of clothing you wear when you write?
A: Umm, no. But I have a tea mug I like. It reads: What Deadline?

Q: What is next for you?
A: Boston Detective D.D. Warren returns. Unfortunately, she’s just been injured on the job. Now on medical leave, she struggles to remember what happened that night, while young girls continue to be murdered in Boston. Needless to say, D.D. is hardly going to sit on the sidelines.

These questions are for your main characters:
Q: What were your first impressions of each other?
A: Tessa Leoni: My first impression of Sergeant Wyatt was his laid back demeanor. Didn’t believe it for a second. In my experience, still waters run deep.
A: Wyatt Foster: My first impression of investigator Leoni was that she needed to loosen up her hair. A woman that pretty, with hair scraped back so tight? Practically begs a man to do something about it.

Q: What are your favorite parts about each other?
A: Tessa: His hands. Wyatt is a carpenter on the side and his hands are…very skilled.
A: Wyatt: Her eyes. Flat blue. Kind of gaze that’s seen too much. Which makes you wonder how much that gaze might change if you can just get her to smile.

Q: What’s next for you?
A: Tessa & Wyatt: We’re still in the getting-to-know-you phase, so you’re just gonna have to check back to find out.

Find out more about Lisa Gardner and her books at her author page at:

About Touch & Go by Lisa Gardner:
“This no-holds-barred stand-alone from thriller award–winner Gardner opens with the brutally efficient kidnapping of the Denbe family…The suspense builds as the action races to the spectacular conclusion and the unmasking of the plot’s mastermind."— Publishers Weekly

She has been called “one of the greatest psychological thriller writers in the business” (Associated Press), and “a writer who gets better and better with each new book.” (The Huffington Post). When writing about Catch Me, last year’s #2 New York Times bestseller, Oline Cogdill at the Florida Sun Sentinel raved “Lisa Gardner’s talent for showing ordinary people caught in the worst time of their lives and then dangling them over a polished to a high gloss.”

In her latest, TOUCH & GO (Dutton; February 5, 2013), Gardner ups the stakes by abducting an entire family in an edge-of-your seat thriller destined for the top of the bestseller lists yet again.

On the surface the Denbes look like they have it all – a luxurious Boston townhouse, a beautiful fifteen-year-old daughter, their own mega-construction company – but behind closed doors, their marriage is reaching breaking point. Justin and Libby return home from a much needed date night to find the door ajar and a group of intruders terrorizing their daughter. They are quickly overtaken, stripped of their personal belongings and thrown in the back of a van.

Tessa Leoni (who readers may remember from Love You More), now an investigator retained by Denbe’s construction firm, arrives at the crime scene to find Taser confetti in the foyer, scuff marks on the floor, and the pile of possessions on the kitchen counter. There are no witnesses, no ransom demands, no motive, simply an entire family gone without a trace.

“I have always wanted to kidnap a family,” says Gardner. “Abduction is a time-honored suspense hook. The issue was how to take such a classic set-up and make it fresh. Where would you hide this family? Then, one day I toured a moth-balled maximum security prison, and something in my writer’s mind immediately clicked.”

Held captive in an abandoned prison and fighting for their lives, the Denbes are quickly forced to confront hard truths about themselves and their so-called perfect family. For their kidnappers have clearly done their homework. They know everything about the family’s home, business and personal life. Including the most effective ways to make each of them pay.

Unfolding at a breakneck pace TOUCH & GO will keep readers guessing until the very end.

About the Author
Lisa Gardner is the New York Times bestselling author of fourteen previous novels. Her Detective D. D. Warren novels include Catch Me, Love You More, Live to Tell, Hide, Alone, and the International Thriller Writers' Award-winning novel The Neighbor. Her FBI profiler novels include Say Goodbye, Gone, The Killing Hour, The Next Accident, and The Third Victim. She lives with her family in New England.

About Dutton
Dutton is the U.S. member of the internationally renowned Penguin Group (USA). Dutton is home to many bestselling authors such as Harlan Coben, Ken Follett, Eckhart Tolle, Elizabeth George, Lisa Gardner, Tami Hoag, Eric Jerome Dickey, Linda Fairstein, Julie Garwood, Jonathan Tropper, T. Jefferson Parker, and Kelley Armstrong. Penguin Group (USA) is one of the leading U.S. adult and children’s trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Penguin Press, Berkley Books, Penguin, Gotham Books, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Plume, New American Library, Viking, Philomel, and Riverhead Books, among others. The Penguin Group (USA) is part of Pearson, plc, the international media company.

Interview conducted by Carrie Ann Ryan


Paris said...

Welcome, Lisa!

I have to say that Touch & Go features a fascinating premise and it's definitely going onto my TBR list.

Nicole Morgan said...

Welcome to Romance Books 4 Us, Lisa! Thank you so much for sharing with us today! Having read quite a few of your books in the past, this interview reminds me to never forget about some of my favorite authors! Now I have more to pile on top of my ever growing TBR pile! :)

Anonymous said...

Lisa, Touch and Go sounds like a great story filled with the kind of tension I love to read. And I agree with you about J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood books. Love that series!


Good morning, Lisa! I love your books and have read and recommended many of them. Your style is up my alley! And I like you are a regular geek. Keep up the good work.

Lynda Bailey said...


Great interview. Love your comment about "a mere ten years later" you were an "overnight success." Guess there's hope for us all, huh?

Best of luck with Touch and Go!

Cynthia Arsuaga said...

Great to meet you Lisa! Thanks for honoring us at RB4U. I envy how you can disappear into a private space for hours without distractions and write!

D'Ann said...

Hi, Lisa.
Been a fangirl for a very long time! This book's on my TBR list.

Carrie Ann Ryan said...

Hi Lisa! Thank you so much for answering my questions and stopping by the blog today!

Bobbye Terry said...

Your new book sounds great! My kind of book. BTW, I need one of those tea mugs.:)
Bobbye Terry

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

The idea of an office with no internet is brilliant! Thanks for visiting RB4U!

Nina Pierce said...

Thanks so much for stopping by Romance Books 4 Us, Lisa. I abaolutely LOVE your books. (And I got a chuckle out of the 10 year "overnight success".)

This one sounds like another great read!

Harlie Reader said...

Hi Lisa! I love all of your books.

JAK's Arcane series is the best! And you are right...she connects all of pen names beautifully in the series.


jean hart stewart said...

Enjoyed the interview very much. Your favorite authors intqigue me. I didn't know them all so will have to try them...And welcome to RB4U

Molly Daniels said...

Hi Lisa:) I enjoyed your book The Other Daughter and look forward to Touch and Go:)

Elf2060 said...

Great to get a glimpse of such a fascinating author who writes such gripping stories. Thanks for the interview.

Sandy said...

Great post! Loved hearing about what authors find interesting. Thanks for sharing.

M. S. Spencer said...

I'm looking for the D. D. Warren books--it's always fun to read stories set in places one has lived in. Thanks for the interview! M. S.

Berengaria Brown said...

"Still waters run deep". Oh yeah, I like that premise, too. Also, I had to laugh at the "10 years later I became an overnight success". It's just awesome the way that can happen! Congratulations!

Janice Seagraves said...

Welcome to Romance books 4 us.

I love the Black Dagger Brotherhood books too.

donnas said...

Sounds great. Looking forward to reading it.

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