BookBanter Episode 33 with Justin Cronin

Just Cronin


Justin Cronin

(L-R) Alex C. Telander of BookBanter, Justin Cronin and Kaye Cloutman of San Francisco and Sacramento Book Reviews (Photo by Kaye Cloutman)

This is the first of hopefully many co-interviews for BookBanter, with Kaye Cloutman of the San Francisco and Sacramento Book Reviews. Justin Cronin is the author of The Summer Guest and Mary and O’Neil, and the first book in a epic trilogy about vampires and a post-apocalyptic world called The Passage. In the interview, Justin talks about how he got started writing, where the ideas and storylines for The Passage came from (totally worth hearing), why he began writing The Passage, who some of his influences are, and how he feels readers should handle dealing with an almost 800 page book.

The Passage

For the first time, a BookBanter interview was recorded on video, which you can enjoy below, split into two parts:

For the next couple of weeks I’ll be on vacation, traveling to distant England and Sweden.  So with all things going according to plan, vis a vis Internet connection, the overdue written interview with Gardner Dozois should be up around August 15.

Gardner Dozois

Until then, keep reading!

Alex C. Telander


BookBanter Episode 27 with Seth Grahame-Smith



This episode features my interview with Seth Grahame-Smith, who is the author of the original mash-novel that swept the world by storm, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which is now being turned into a movie, as well as a graphic novel, and there’s even a prequel coming out soon. But most of our interview — after some initial discussion about Seth’s thoughts on zombies — was spent talking about his new book coming out March 2nd, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. In the interview, you learn where he came up with the idea for the book (which predates Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), how he went about writing the book with all the research. Seth also does a lot of TV work, which he talks about, as well as other projects he’s currently working on. There was a bit of an issue with the recording and sound quality, but the interview is clear enough and pretty interesting.

This episode features my reviews Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and the new book, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter :

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

This episode of BookBanter is brought to you by East Bay and Footlocker, leading world suppliers of athletic footwear, apparel and sports equipment, featuring top athletic brands such as Adidas, Reebok, Converse, and Nike.  Go to East and use the code AFBOOK15 to receive 15% off your order, or the code AFBOOK20 to receive 20% off your order of $75 or more.  Or go to and use the code AFBOOKFL to receive 15% off your order.

For more updates and news, as wells as thoughts and comments about books and writing, be sure to check out the BookBanter Blog.

Be sure to join me on the next episode of BookBanter, coming March 15th, where I’ll be talking with bestselling author Kim Stanley Robinson, and we’ll be talking all about his latest book, Galileo’s Dream.

Until next time,

Alex C. Telander.


Alan Jacobson’s Crush

A couple of days ago I finished up Crush by Alan Jacobson, which was released on September 22nd.  I originally met Alan about a year ago when he came into the store one day to talk about his debut novel, The 7th Victim.  We chatted for a while about his history in researching with the FBI which had led to the creation of his recurring and impressive character, Karen Veil, an FBI profiler.  He handed me an arc of the book which I read and enjoyed, and reviewed.

I remember I originally asked him if he would be doing a series involving Karen Veil, since he’d done so much research and Veil was such a great character.  At that point in time he said he wasn’t sure, but that he might.

Now I’m glad to see that Veil is back with Crush and this book is better than The 7th Victim.  Veil is on vacation at the start of the book in the wine country of Napa County, but then a body is discovered and even though she’s strictly “off duty,” her experience and profiling skills automatically kick into gear and she strategically maneuvers herself and get’s on the task force for the case.  The brilliant title of Crush comes from the link with grapes, and crushing them for wine, and all that jazz; coupled with the fact that the “crush killer” first kills his victims by strangling them to death.  Alan uses lots of place names so for any readers familiar with Napa and Sonoma counties (like I am), it’s a lot of fun recognizing the towns, places, and especially some of the wineries.  With this serial killer on the loose, Veil wants to get the word out to try and catch him, but with the wine industry supporting  a significant portion of the country’s economy, there are others who are very reluctant to do so.

Crush employs many different facets from government and politics, to wine county and wine drink — using real places — and a fast-paced plot line where the bodies start piling up and Veil has to do her very best to keep everyone in the loop and doing their best to find out just who this killer is.

After my initial reviewing of The 7th Victim, Alan and I have kept in touch over the year through email and Facebook, so I’ve been looking forward to Crush for some time (and was delighted to receive a copy without even asking!) and with somewhat of a cliffhanger, Alan is currently working on the third Karen Veil mystery.

While I plan to have my review for Crush up at soon, I have also arranged with Alan for an interview with BookBanter which we’ll be doing on October 27th.  At the moment the interview with Alan is scheduled to run December 15th.

For now, head on over to Alan Jacobson’s website where you can found out all about Crush as well as some extras and behind-the-scenes that add to the great story.  And he’s currently on his tour, so check and see if he’s coming a place near you, drop by, buy a book, and say hi.