Monday, September 19, 2011

Kelli Stanley

The first book in Kelli Stanley's Miranda Corbie series, City of Dragons, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. It was also named one of the 2010 Top Ten Mystery Thrillers by Oline Cogdill and one of the Top Ten Best Fiction by Bay Area Authors by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Her new novel City of Secrets.

A few weeks ago I asked Stanley what she was reading. Her reply:
I have a confession to make, and it’s a sad one.

I rarely get a chance to read for pleasure any more. Especially this year. Two book launches in one year is tough. Actually, one is tough and two are the equivalent of Lou Gossett, Jr.

On top of that—which is all good, more book launches mean more books published, which is, after all, the goal—on top of that, I’ve dealt with some personal stuff (like a home burglary). All in all, my life is compacted so tightly that I feel like one of those “socks in a pill” things that you dump in water during a sock emergency, only to find yourself the lucky owner of a pair of wearable (but wet) socks.

All this by way of saying that when I do read—which I do daily—it tends to be stuff I have to read. Mostly non-fiction research material for the book I’m working on (the third book in the Miranda Corbie series) or a novel another writer has asked me to blurb.

Today I’m reading a book called Secret Armies, by John L. Spivak.

This is a non-fiction expose, 1939-style. Written by leftist reporter Spivak, the book discloses fifth column activity at work in the U.S. and the dangerous affection between certain business elements (Henry Ford and others) and the Fascist powers.

Remarkably prescient, Spivak’s rat-tat-tat prose convincingly elucidates reasons why average, isolated Americans could no longer afford to be isolated ... and all this before World War II actually started.

I’d read another book of Spivak’s—The Shrine of the Silver Dollar—when I was researching City of Secrets, the second and newest novel in the Miranda Corbie series. He’s an eloquent writer and a convincing chronicler of dangerous times and an unsettled era, when the disposition of America was in flux and the outcome of a coming world war far from certain. It’s the world Miranda lives in. Books like Secret Armies help me make it come to life.
Visit Kelli Stanley's website and blog.

My Book, the Movie: City of Secrets.

The Page 69 Test: City of Secrets.

--Marshal Zeringue