Today is release day for the paperback edition of A Dangerous Fiction by Barbara Rogan, which I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing as an ARC earlier this year. I gave it five stars:
"It's cliched to say 'I couldn't put it down!', but that's how I felt about A Dangerous Fiction. Rogan brings an insider's keen view, pulling the reader into the New York publishing milieu with all of its jealousies, intrigue, excitement and larger-than-life personalities. At the heart of the story is a woman's need to uncover the truths about her own life, even as she's the target of malevolent foes she can't identify. Danger, suspense, romance and the deep bonds of friendship--A Dangerous Fiction has it all.
(Disclaimer--I received an advance review copy of this novel from the publisher)"
I also had the pleasure of doing a Q&A with Barbara in advance of today's release:
Q: Why does the New York literary scene make a good setting for a murder mystery?
A: It’s a natural fit, because publishing really is murder. Passions run high, rejection is rampant, and some people just can’t handle it. The incident that opens A DANGEROUS FICTION shows a literary agent, Jo Donovan, being stalked by an aggrieved writer. That’s a scenario that can happen and has happened in real life.
I also think the novel provides a useful portrayal of publishing from the inside, which is very different from the way it looks on the outside. I was a literary agent myself for many years, so I know that world from many angles, and I enjoyed the opportunity to immerse myself in it again. It’s a fun world to write about, because the characters need to be sharp, witty people who love to talk and do it well.
Q: Your heroine is a woman of a certain age, not an ingenue. Is the market ripe for protagonists who are past their 20's and have some life experience?
A: That may very well be true, since you are certainly describing the largest reader demographic for fiction. But Jo’s age, 35, was determined by the needs of the story. I wanted a heroine who was young for her position, but old enough to have been married ten years and widowed three.
Q: The ending of A Dangerous Fiction left the door open for further developments. What's next for Jo?
A: I’m not close to finished with Jo Donovan yet. She has a lot of secrets, not all of which were revealed in the first book. I’m discovering more of them now in the sequel, in which Jo’s friend and client Gordon Hayes gets into terrible trouble when one of his trained attack dogs kills a man. A lot of my favorite characters from A DANGEROUS FICTION return in the sequel, and Jo has an intense new relationship, so it’s a continuation of her story as well as a brand-new mystery.
Want more info? From the publisher:
In A DANGEROUS FICTION (Penguin Books; $15.00; ISBN: 978-0-143-12565-5; on sale July 29, 2014), Barbara Rogan delivers a nail-biting and deeply entertaining mystery—set in the heart of the New York City publishing world. Thirty-five-year-old Jo Donovan always manages to come out on top. Originally from the backwoods of Appalachia, she worked hard to achieve her dream of living amongst the literati of Manhattan as the wife of renowned author (and notorious playboy) Hugo Donovan. Upon Hugo’s untimely death, Jo becomes the owner of one of the most prestigious literary agencies in town, wheeling and dealing with charm, a biting wit, and a backbone of steel.
When a would-be client turns stalker, accosting Jo on the street one evening during a torrential rainstorm, she initially writes it off as just another occupational hazard. Since he was wearing a trench coat and fedora, Jo nicknames him “Sam Spade.” But when her agency is sabotaged and her authors fall prey to sadistic attacks, Jo senses something far more sinister is at work.
As her web of suspicion grows wider her circle of friends draws nearer; yet all signs point to an inside job. Then harassment escalates to murder and Jo turns to the authorities, supported by her client and friend, Max Messinger, a former FBI profiler turned bestselling thriller writer. At the police station she finds herself face-to-face with a handsome old flame—who is now an NYPD detective. He may still carry a torch for Jo…or a grudge. With little evidence to work with, everyone is a suspect, even Jo herself.
A DANGEROUS FICTION is a white-knuckle thriller, but it’s also a remarkable insider’s view of the book publishing world. Fast-paced, urgently suspenseful, and sparkling with wicked wit, Barbara Rogan’s superb storytelling will keep readers on their toes until the very last page.
About the Author:
Barbara Rogan is a former literary agent and the author of eight novels and coauthor of two
www.barbararogan.com/blog. Visit her atwwww.barbararogan.com and www.nextlevelworkshop.com.
A DANGEROUS FICTIONBy Barbara RoganPenguin Books; $15.00; ISBN: 978-0-143-12565-5On-Sale:
www.us.penguingroup.com or http://www.barbararogan.com/