Author Spotlight – Kyle Mills

Kyle Mills Pic

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday spotlight on Thriller writer Kyle Mills. With the release of Lethal Agent, He will be the writer of nineteen thriller novels encompassing everything from ecoterrorism to serial killers to rogue navy SEALS. He’s penned eleven of his own books as well as novels for other franchises—Robert Ludlum’s Covert-One series and currently Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp series. He answered the following questions for us:

Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester –though they should totally check here first!)

Bookstores, online. Pretty much everywhere.

How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?

My website is Kylemills.com. I publish blog posts on my site monthly. You’ll also see the stories behind each of my books, and you can sign up for my e-newsletter. Finally, I can be found at KyleMillsAuthor on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect from Lethal Agent?

These days I’m writing the Mitch Rapp series started by the late Vince Flynn. So expect edge-of-your-seat, action-packed stories about the CIA’s top operative.

What was the inspiration for Lethal Agent? What were the steps you took to bring it from initial inspiration to the finished book?

I think my main goal with this book was to go back to a classic Vince Flynn structure. My last book, Red War, had a scale that was much grander than a normal Mitch Rapp adventure. This one is more tightly focused on a threat from Islamic terrorists and the hell Mitch has to endure to stop them.

Lethal Agent

What character did you love or hate the most while writing? And why?

When I first took over the Mitch Rapp series, I struggled with the characters Stan Hurley and Louis Gould. The former because he seemed way too old to still be doing operations and the second because I couldn’t understand his relationship to the main character.

I really fought with how to incorporate them into the universe going forward, but then realized I didn’t have to. I was the author and I could just kill them. So I did.

What is/are your passions when you’re not writing? How do you make time for your non-writing hobbies/things you love?

I live in Wyoming and my great passion has always been outdoor sports. I started as a rock climber, then transitioned into a mountain biker and backcountry skier. I’m not as young as I used to be, but I still get out a few times a week.

What does your writing space look like? What do you need to have around you while writing or editing?

For me, it doesn’t matter—I get sucked into the world I’m writing about. I once wrote a chapter with my laptop propped on my table saw in the garage because we had guests running around the house.  I will say that I once wrote a chapter while floating down the Mekong River in Vietnam. That wasn’t bad…

What has been your favorite adventure during your writing career?

Probably the week I spent on the road between Las Vegas and San Francisco trying to figure out how to steal the money being transported from the casinos to the Federal Reserve Bank for The Second Horseman. There’s nothing I like more than a really big, elaborate heist and I was determined to come up with something I thought had a chance of really working.

The second Horseman

That must have been a lot of fun! Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to be with us, Kyle!

 

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New Arrivals Thursday: NYT Bestsellers, Prizewinning Picks, Reading Just For Fun!

Plenty of new titles on our displays this week… fiction books in all genres, non-fiction selections spanning memoirs, political analysis, self-help, and more.

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We congratulate the winners of the 2019, as well as those authors who have made it to the National Book Award shortlist.

In addition to the prize winners and nominees, you’ll find plenty of good general reading.  New in stock….

  • GHOSTER
  • LAST TRAIN TO LONDON
  • FULL THROTTLE
  • THE BUTTERFLY GIRL
  • HOW TO
  • WITCH HUNT
  • HOME WORK
  • OVER THE TOP

Thank you, as always, for making our shelves your destination.

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Speculative Fiction Tuesday: The Horror, The Horror!

“We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.”
― Stephen King

What gets classified as “genre” writing among booksellers and readers falls into the categories of mystery, fantasy, science fiction, and horror.  All of these often share space under the same umbrella known as “Speculative Fiction” – the stories that ask the question “What if..?” and help us escape reality.

Sometimes we want to get lost in wonder.

Sometimes we want to be thrilled, or to engage the “little grey cells”.

And sometimes, especially at this time of year, we just want to be scared right out of our shoes.

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[Maurice Sendak’s illustration for “Goblin Story”, written by Else Holmelund Minarik]

Some of the titles we’ve got on our seasonal display that will chill you down to your very marrow:

  • GOT YOUR BACK by John M. McIlveen
  • INVISIBLE CHAINS by Michelle Renee Lane
  • THE MOORE HOUSE by Tony Tremblay
  • FLOATERS by Kelli Owens
  • HOUSE OF WINDOWS by John Langan
  • SECOND LIVES by P.D. Cacek

And we have even more vintage creepy tales in our horror section.

Turn the lights down low and give yourself a good fright,

 

 

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Events Buzz Monday: Autumn Leaves And Fresh Asphalt

We’re midway through the month of October and are enjoying all the perks that come with cooler weather, changing colours on the trees, and the influx of publisher releases for the busiest season in the book trade.

The parking lot at 65 James Street, where you can find our little bookstore that’s bigger on the inside, is finally receiving its top coat of blacktop this week.  From Wednesday through Friday, the property managers have asked that customers use onstreet parking while paving is going on.  Weather permitting, they expect to reopen the lot on Saturday the 19th.

underconstruction

However, we WILL be open our regular hours this week.  We appreciate your patience and your patronage. And don’t forget.. we also offer “from our door to your door” mail order fulfillment, just one of the many ways in which we serve you, our customers, as Worcester’s full-service bookstore.


merrimackhalloween2019

We had a delightful time this past weekend at the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival at the Haverhill Public Library, visiting with a wide variety of established and newly published writers of urban fantasy, horror, dark fiction, and magical realism.  We brought back many titles to restock our shelves, and you’ll be seeing many of these authors doing blog interviews with us, as well as upcoming appearances!

A reminder as we start loading up events for our Fall and Winter calendars… if you cannot make it to one of our author signings but want an autographed copy held for you, please let us know!  We are happy to have prepaid books personalized and / or autographed for you at the event, and to hold them for pickup at your convenience, or to be mailed to you.

Here’s our schedule for upcoming events… As a reminder, the majority of our events here at ABSW are free and open to the public. Check out our page on SocialWeb.net!  


SPECIAL EVENT: Saturday, October 19, 6PM–8PM – Rainbow Readers Discusses THE LADY’S GUIDE TO CELESTIAL MECHANICS by Olivia Waite. The Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts is an LGBTQIA book club that meets once a month. All are welcome!

RECURRING EVENT: Monday, October 21, 7PM-9PM – Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social! Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

RECURRING EVENT: Tuesday, October 22, 7PM-9PM – Game Night! Join us weekly on Tuesday nights starting at 7PM for card games, board games and more. Best score of the night wins a $10.00 gift certificate!

SPECIAL EVENT: Saturday, October 26, 11AM–2PM – Spoooooky Crafts And Stories. Join us for Halloween-themed crafts for ages four and up as we read from some of our scary and not-so-scary favourites! Costumes definitely encouraged, we’ll be wearing ours.  Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

RECURRING EVENT: Sunday, October 27, 2PM-3PM – Doctor Who Monthly Meetup! Join us for a monthly meeting of fans as we talk about the world’s longest-running science fiction series and its classic and modern incarnations – television, novels, audios, comics, and more. This is a kid-friendly and adult-friendly gathering; all are welcome.

RECURRING EVENT: Monday, October 28, 7PM-9PM – The Free People’s Artists Workshop! This critique group meets on the fourth Monday of each month. Networking and feedback from other artists and creators of all types. Co-sponsored by the Worcester County Poetry Association.

RECURRING EVENT: Tuesday, October 29, 7PM-9PM – Game Night! Join us weekly on Tuesday nights starting at 7PM for card games, board games and more. Best score of the night wins a $10.00 gift certificate!

Exciting things are happening at our little bookstore that’s bigger on the inside… more opportunities to serve the Worcester community… more book talks, more author signings, and more workshops.  Keep an eye on the Events Calendar on our website for more details.

May your world be filled with wonderful words!

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Author/Artist Spotlight – Jerry Craft

Jerry Craft

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is very happy to shine our Friday spotlight on Jerry Craft, Author and illustrator of New Kid, a middle grade graphic novel published by HarperCollins that has earned five starred reviews, including one from Booklist magazine, which called it “possibly one of the most important graphic novels of the year.” Kirkus Reviews called it “an engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in America.”

Jerry is a co-founder of the Schomburg’s Annual Black Comic Book Festival. He was born in Harlem and grew up in nearby Washington Heights. He is a graduate of The Fieldston School and received his B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts.

Jerry stopped in to visit Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester the other day, and I later asked him if he could answer some of our Author Spotlight questions for us. Here are his answers:

Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester –though they should totally check here first!)

New Kid is almost anywhere you can buy books, including Target. But I always encourage people to support the Indie Bookstores first.

How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?

I’ve made that very easy, everything is just “jerrycraft.” My website is www.jerrycraft.com and jerrycraft is also my handle on all social media.

For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect from New Kid?

New Kid is the story of seventh grader Jordan Banks who loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. I think my readers will get a sense of what it’s like to be the “New Kid,” even when we feel it as adults, and I’ve added lots of teachable moments, conversation starters, and laugh-out-loud humor.

What kind of research went into writing this book? 

This was based on my four years of attending The Fieldston School in the Riverdale section of New York City, where I was one of the few kids of color. Plus, I saw this again, but this time as a Dad, when my sons went to a similar private school in Connecticut. But even in every job I’ve ever had, I’ve been one of the few people of color, so it’s basically a lifetime of research.

new kid

What was the biggest challenge in writing and putting out New Kid?  How did you overcome that challenge?

The biggest challenge was to tell a story to mainstream America (and beyond) that featured an African-American protagonist, and make him relatable. I think the kindness of the character as well as the humor in the book made that happen.

What draws you to the particular genre or style that you write? What do you think draws readers to these kinds of books?

I never had middle grade graphic novels as a kid, but I so wish I had. I would have enjoyed reading at a much earlier age. I feel like the pictures help to draw in even reluctant readers while the story and writing are on the same level as your favorite prose books. Graphic novels are definitely not a step down.

What is your favorite part of being both an artist and a writer? 

One is definitely working from home. Although it’s not as easy as people think. It takes a ton of discipline. The other favorite part is inspiring new readers, and has also helped to initiate some important conversations about race and class, which are two topics that tend to make people very uncomfortable.

And I LOVE the fact that I was able to write AND draw New Kid because it was EXACTLY the book that I wanted to do. I can marry the text and the images in a way that I MIGHT not be able to do if I had to work with another artist or writer. And since this was a personal story, I was ecstatic to be able to do it myself.

How important has the New England setting been to your writing?

As I mentioned, my sons’ school is in Connecticut, so there is a lot of New England kids’ fashion and sensibilities included.

What else can we expect from you in the near future?

Currently working on the next two books in the New Kid series.

While you’re writing, do you prefer music, silence, other? Please elaborate!

When I write, I like it to be quiet. But when I draw, I like to talk on the phone with friends or other book people. And there’s also plenty of Netflix!

Writers very often have furry or feathered or otherwise non-human companions to “help” them through their work.  Do you? What do you have? How do they “help” (or, “not-help”) with your writing?

I have two Beagles named Snoopy and Dexter. When I’ve been working too long, they start to nudge my drawing hand with their noses which forces me to take a break. Which is often needed.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions, Jerry! We hope to see you here next year when your next New Kid book comes out!

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Speculative Fiction Tuesday: New DOCTOR WHO Audios From Big Finish!

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A quick update this week for adventures in space and time.  We have received the following and look forward to exploring them with our fellow DOCTOR WHO fans:

  • Doctor Who Main Series #254 – “Emissary Of The Daleks”, featuring Colin Baker as The Sixth Doctor and Nicola Bryant as Peri Brown.
  • The War Master, Volume 3 – “Rage Of The Time Lords”, featuring Derek Jacobi as The Master and Paul McGann as The Eighth Doctor.
  • The limited edition boxed set of THE LEGACY OF TIME, a six-hour adventure featuring Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, and Paul McGann.

Thank you, as always, for making our shelves your destination.

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Events Buzz Monday: Spooktober!

“The wind outside nested in each tree, prowled the sidewalks in invisible treads like unseen cats.” —Ray Bradbury

Our monthly titles specials for October, one old favourite and one new release, are thematically linked to the spooky season. Stop in and receive 45% off copies of THE SPIDER AND THE FLY, a picture book illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi, and HALF-WITCH, a young adult novel by John Schoffstall.

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Come in to see our fresh new displays, have a complementary cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa with us, and see what’s new on our sidewalk sales carts while the weather holds out!

The Halloween towels are back!

halloween towels

We have also added some groovy sidelines from Out Of Print, which supports literacy efforts throughout the world.  Check out our selection of book-themed tote bags, enamel pins, and socks!

bags

sockspins

Our mission has always been and continues to be the value proposition for central New England and beyond.

  • Our New Arrivals shelf is overflowing with used book trade-ins, and we continue to add to our publisher displays of new books for children, teens, and adults, as well as our  vintage titles from the 1890s to the 1970s.
  • Our new books are ALWAYS discounted at either 20%, 25%, 30%, 40% and 50% off list prices for your shopping needs.  As always, our used books range from 50% to 90% off of cover price, and there are additional savings for our newsletter subscribers.  We also offer an educator discount for teachers, certified homeschoolers, and licensed daycare centers.
  • We have received a fresh stock of comics and magazine preservation supplies… comics bags for Golden Age, Silver Age, and Current Age titles, as well as Current Age backing boards. For a limited time, our prices are $3.75 per 100 bags, any size, and $7.50 per 100 backing boards. Compare that to the going rate of $14.00 to $18.00 per hundred.
  • Our selection changes daily, with customer trade-ins of used titles as well as shipments from publishers and wholesalers.  You are bound to find something for any interest, and we take special orders and do book searches as well.
  • Don’t forget! We also offer “from our door to your door” mail order fulfillment, just one of the many ways in which we serve you, our customers, as Worcester’s full-service bookstore.
  • And, very important as we start loading up events for our Fall and Winter calendars… if you cannot make it to one of our author signings but want an autographed copy held for you, please let us know!  We are happy to have prepaid books personalized and / or autographed for you at the event, and to hold them for pickup at your convenience, or to be mailed to you.

Here’s our schedule for upcoming events… As a reminder, the majority of our events here at ABSW are free and open to the public. Check out our page on SocialWeb.net!  


RECURRING EVENT – TONIGHT!: Monday, October 7, 7PM-9PM – Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social! Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

rainbowsnowcone

RECURRING EVENT: Tuesday, October 8, 7PM-9PM – Game Night! Join us weekly on Tuesday nights starting at 7PM for card games, board games and more. Best score of the night wins a $10.00 gift certificate!

Joker Background Illustration

SPECIAL EVENT [OFFSITE]: Saturday, October 12, starting at 10AM – Many of our author and publisher friends and colleagues will have tables at the 2019 Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival!  Support some of the most creative people in horror and dark fantasy!

merrimackhalloween

SPECIAL EVENT: Monday, October 14, 11AM–2PM – Winnie-the-Pooh Day Crafts and Activities. Spend your Monday holiday in the Hundred Acre Wood, playing games and doing crafts based on Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Owl and Rabbit! Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

classpoohletter

RECURRING EVENT: Monday, October 14, 7PM-9PM – Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social! Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

RECURRING EVENT: Tuesday, October 15, 7PM-9PM – Game Night! Join us weekly on Tuesday nights starting at 7PM for card games, board games and more. Best score of the night wins a $10.00 gift certificate!

SPECIAL EVENT: Saturday, October 19, 6PM–8PM – Rainbow Readers Discusses THE LADY’S GUIDE TO CELESTIAL MECHANICS by Olivia Waite. The Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts is an LGBTQIA book club that meets once a month. All are welcome!

waite-celestialmechanics

RECURRING EVENT: Monday, October 21, 7PM-9PM – Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social! Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

RECURRING EVENT: Tuesday, October 22, 7PM-9PM – Game Night! Join us weekly on Tuesday nights starting at 7PM for card games, board games and more. Best score of the night wins a $10.00 gift certificate!

SPECIAL EVENT: Saturday, October 26, 11AM–2PM – Spoooooky Crafts And Stories. Join us for Halloween-themed crafts for ages four and up as we read from some of our scary and not-so-scary favourites! Costumes definitely encouraged, we’ll be wearing ours.  Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

borisandbella

RECURRING EVENT: Sunday, October 27, 2PM-3PM – Doctor Who Monthly Meetup! Join us for a monthly meeting of fans as we talk about the world’s longest-running science fiction series and its classic and modern incarnations – television, novels, audios, comics, and more. This is a kid-friendly and adult-friendly gathering; all are welcome.

alldoctors

RECURRING EVENT: Monday, October 28, 7PM-9PM – The Free People’s Artists Workshop! This critique group meets on the fourth Monday of each month. Networking and feedback from other artists and creators of all types. Co-sponsored by the Worcester County Poetry Association.

RECURRING EVENT: Tuesday, October 29, 7PM-9PM – Game Night! Join us weekly on Tuesday nights starting at 7PM for card games, board games and more. Best score of the night wins a $10.00 gift certificate!

Exciting things are happening at our little bookstore that’s bigger on the inside… more opportunities to serve the Worcester community… more book talks, more author signings, and more workshops.  Keep an eye on the Events Calendar on our website for more details.

May your world be filled with wonderful words!

 

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