g. p. putnam’s sons

Our 5 Nominees for 2018 Edgar Awards

Mystery Writers of America (MWA) has announced its nominees for the 2018 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction, and television published or produced in 2017.  Five books published by Penguin Random House imprints earned nominations in the following categories: 

  Best Novel PRUSSIAN BLUE by Philip Kerr (Marian Wood Books/G.P.Putnam’s Sons) THE TWELVE LIVES OF SAMUEL HAWLEY by Hannah Tinti (The Dial Press)   Best First Novel LOLA by Melissa Scrivner Love (Crown) IDAHO by Emily Ruskovich (Random House)     Best Fact Crime KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann (Doubleday) View the complete list of nominees here. This year’s Edgar Awards will be presented to the winners at MWA’s 72nd Gala Banquet on April 26 in Manhattan.


The Library of Michigan has announced its 2018 Michigan Notable Books honorees as part of its annual recognition program.  This year’s 20 books were chosen by Michigan librarians from a list of nearly 300 titles published in 2017.  Two of the books being honored are published by Penguin Random House imprints:

THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER by Karen Dionne (G.P. Putman’s Sons) THE KELLOGGS: The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek by Howard Markel (Pantheon Books) Congratulations to Ms. Dionne and Mr. Markel as well as their editors and publishers. View the complete list of 2018 Michigan Notable Books here. The Night for Notable celebration, hosted by the Library of Michigan Foundation and featuring author Richard Ford as keynote speaker, will take place in Detroit on April 7.  

Behind the Pages of THE IMMORTALISTS with Sally Kim and Chloe Benjamin

Celebrating the publication of  THE IMMORTALISTS, one of the most highly anticipated books of 2018, we present a special “Behind the Pages” interview with the novel’s editor,  Sally Kim, Vice President, Editorial Director, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, and author Chloe Benjamin.

On sale from Putnam on January 9, this profoundly moving and compulsively readable family love story asks the question: If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?  Beautifully rendered in Benjamin’s lucid, magical prose, THE IMMORTALISTS  is a sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, probing the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next.  It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds. Read on to go Behind the Pages of THE IMMORTALISTS. Sally Kim: How did you discover Chloe Benjamin and what were the first things that struck you about THE IMMORTALISTS manuscript?
[caption id="attachment_9111" align="alignright" width="199"] Sally Kim[/caption] I was lucky that Chloe’s agent included me on her submission list, and I remember loving the book from its pitch alone. (I think I might have even sent her an idiotic note like, “I love this book already!”)  There are 101 things I love about this book, but what struck me right away is how Chloe takes such a high concept (to continue that overused term) and completely delivers on the page-turning story level, but also just slays you with her beautiful writing, line by line. I remember having to pause at times, just to fully savor a turn of phrase or a stunning moment. It’s so rare to have both strengths—both incredibly hard to accomplish—live in one novel. How would you describe the editor/author process as this book reached its final form? It may sound funny, but we started the editing process even before the auction! I’ll always remember that first call with Chloe, when I was trying to woo her, and we jumped right into talking about changes for certain characters, amping up a story’s thread…what if we tried this, and what about that.  We clicked right away and talked for over an hour, and I knew I’d love working with her.  She was smart, funny, humble – but she’d worked *hard* on this book, over many years, and was confident and firm in all the right ways: she was open, but also had a strong vision. In other words, my idea of the perfect collaborator! What elements of THE IMMORTALISTS do you think will resonate most strongly with readers? Another question with too many answers! But if I had to whittle it down to the one people continue to write in, comment, post about: It’s the way this book takes such large ideas—such as: Can you change your destiny? Can a story be real, just because you believe it to be true?—and gives you a way to examine them up close, with characters you live a lifetime with, without proposing to give you one final answer at the end. Chloe Benjamin: What was the inspiration behind THE IMMORTALISTS’ plot premise and creation of the primary storylines?
[caption id="attachment_9112" align="alignright" width="300"] Chloe Benjamin
(C) Nathan Jandl[/caption] I’ve always been drawn to big questions: What are the benefits and perils of knowledge? How can we live fully in the face of uncertainty? And how do we love through and despite the possibility of loss? These questions simmered in the background as I built the structure of THE IMMORTALISTS, which follows four siblings who, as children, receive prophecies about the dates that they will supposedly die. The structure of the novel–it’s told in four sections, one per each sibling, each picking up where the previous one let off–came to me very early. I also knew I wanted each sibling to be quite different, both in their life experiences and in their orientation toward the prophecy. All four required a great deal of research. How do you see readers identifying with your novel and its characters? A reader may not be a magician like Klara, or a gay man finding himself in 1980s San Francisco, like Simon–but the questions about life and loss that these characters struggle with are, I think, universal. Secretly, I hope that readers will connect with the siblings who are on the face of it quite different from them. We live in hard, fractured times, and books are rare in their ability to inspire empathy.

Sue Grafton, 1940 - 2017

The publishing world lost a legend and friend, Sue Grafton, #1 New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal– bestselling author of the ground-breaking Alphabet Mystery series featuring beloved Private Investigator Kinsey Millhone, died on Thursday, December 28 in Santa Barbara after a two-year battle with cancer of the appendiceil.  She was 77.

  Ivan Held, President of G.P. Putnam’s Sons, said, “Everyone who worked with Sue admired her, flipped for the books, and were in awe of her 25-book creation, Kinsey Milhone.  But on top of that -- we also all LOVED her.  With her wry, Kentucky accent she inspired a really deep and genuine love from everyone who worked with her in house.” Thirty-five years ago, Grafton launched one of the most acclaimed and celebrated mystery series of all time with A is for Alibi, and with it created the model of the modern female detective with Kinsey Millhone, a feisty, whip-smart woman who is not above breaking the rules to solve a case or save a life.  Like her fictional alter ego, Grafton was a true original, a model for every woman who has ever said the hell with this and struck out on her own independent way. Grafton’s books have sold untold millions and are published in twenty-eight countries and in twenty-six languages—including Estonian, Bulgarian, and Indonesian. Her most recent novel, Y IS FOR YESTERDAY, which published in August 2017, received with tremendous praise and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. News of her passing ran in outlets throughout the country (and world) including in the New York Times, Associated Press,  USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Fair, Vulture, NPR, and CNN.  The Washington Post wrote, “[Kinsey Millhone is] one of the most endearing, vivid and memorable characters in modern crime fiction … Ms. Grafton examines human character as deeply as any clues that might solve a crime. Critics noted that the stories often had an undercurrent of tender observation seldom found in the hard-boiled fiction of male writers.” There has been an outpouring of love on social media from fans including former president Bill Clinton, who tweeted, “RIP Sue Grafton. Hillary and I loved all your novels from A is for Alibi to Y is for Yesterday. We’ll miss Kinsey and you. Godspeed.” Fellow authors shared their fond remembrances of Sue including Louise Penny, who said, “Kinsey was a brilliant creation and a companion for many of us, for years. Thank you, Sue, for leading the way. And for always being so gracious to those of us who followed.” David Baldacci wrote, “To know Sue Grafton was an honor. To call her a friend was a thrill. She was a great writer, one of our absolute best in any genre, but she was an even greater person. 2018 will be far emptier without her.” And James Lee Burke, who said, “Everyone liked Sue. She had a great wit and knew how to bring the house down, without ever being grandiose. Her passing is a big loss. Sue was a real trooper, one of those who sets the standard. I think her greatest gift to others is the dignity and composure and confidence and perseverance that characterized her career. I think that's a pretty good legacy to leave behind. [caption id="attachment_9066" align="alignleft" width="179"] Sue Grafton
(c) Steven Humphrey[/caption] Anyway, here's to you, Sue. You're the best.” More remembrances came from the likes of C.J. Box, Robert Crais, Daniel Silva, Eric Jerome Dickey, Harlan Coben, Lisa Scottoline, Ruth Ware. Sandra Brown, Sara Paretsky, Jeff Abbott, Laura Lippman, Faye Kellerman, Debbie Macomber, Alafair Burke, and Meg Gardiner, to name a few. Sue and Kinsey will be remembered as international icons (both adored a peanut butter and pickle sandwich and a timeless black wrap dress) and treasured by millions of readers across lines of gender, geography, age, race, and creed. As Grafton’s daughter, Jamie, said in a statement on the author’s Facebook Page, “the alphabet now ends at Y.” A personal remembrance from Marian Wood, Sue Grafton’s longtime editor and friend: “In 1980, I got 60 pages of a manuscript. It was a snowy day and more bad weather was forecast, so I grabbed the 60 pages plus a couple of manuscripts and rode back to Brooklyn to enjoy a few snow days at home. “I can tell you, I was stunned by those 60 pages. I wanted more. I wanted the whole book. I wanted to publish this amazing writer. “But there was an obstacle. My publisher. “‘I don’t get it,’ he said after reading those sixty pages. Luckily, I had already given them to the marketing director, who did get it and we became a team, and the publisher caved.  That was the beginning of A Is for Alibi.  You might say the rest is history as the books took off and the market grew exponentially. “I’m a seat-of-the pants editor. When I read something and the bomb goes off in my head, I know it’s for me, I know it’s amazing, I know with backing, we can make it fly.  And so it was with the alphabet series. And sales multiplied with each new book. “Sue Grafton was a find all right. She was also an extraordinary human being. Already forty with a ton of experience being pushed around by movie personnel, all she wanted was control over her work—no interference from pseudo-smart twenty-five year old movie mavens. Books offered her that. Let me tell you, by the time we connected, she was a tough, smart, and dedicated craftswoman and also the most generous and kindest writer you could work with. And so, for forty years, we worked and laughed and loved Kinsey. And so did the world it seemed. “In truth, it was a marriage made in heaven though the then agent could never have known that. In my youth, I loathed Nancy Drew and could not tolerate Agatha Christie. But here, in Kinsey, was my dream character: sharp, funny, vulnerable, and tough. And a little off the grid when it came to relationships thanks to an irregular childhood and an aunt who sort of raised her. This was a new kind of detective: a woman with quirks but also with a sense of herself, with empathy but also with street smarts.   She opened a door for me and for thousands of women and, yes, men. It was a revelation how quickly men caught on to this oddball but terrific woman. She broke the gender barrier. There is a reason so many men and women named their daughters Kinsey over the years. “Thank you Sue: You made a real difference in the lives of so many men and women even as you entertained us with so many wonderful and sometimes really scary books. “My good fortune increased by the time Sue was ready to take on the next letter.  A Is for Alibi was selling like crazy, and Sue had gathered up her courage, left her agent, and took on Molly Friedrich, who has been with her—and me—since B Is for Burglar. I like to think we have made a really good team. “Sue died this December. She had finished the letter Y in the series. There will never be a letter Z.  Just as she did not want anyone tampering with her work and therefore forbade any movies made from her books, so she made it clear there would never be a ghost writer.  So with Y Is for Yesterday, the alphabet ends. "

Putnam Acquires Dacre Stoker’s DRACUL Novel as Screen Rights Sold to Paramount

Paramount Pictures has acquired the screen rights to the forthcoming Putnam novel DRACUL, a prequel to Bram Stoker’s classic Dracula.  Andy Muschietti, whose highly-anticipated adaptation of Stephen King’s It opens in theaters this weekend, is attached to direct. 

[caption id="attachment_7695" align="alignright" width="197"] Dacre Stoker
Credit: Todd Lisa Studio[/caption] Co-written by Bram Stoker’s great-grandnephew Dacre Stoker and author J.D. Barker, DRACUL is the first Dracula prequel to be authorized by the Stoker estate.  The story, which is based on the missing, never-published first 100 pages of the original Dracula manuscript, centers around a 21-year-old Bram Stoker meeting an ungodly, evil being, who he traps in an ancient tower for the longest, most horrific night of his life. This evil being goes on to be the subject of Stoker’s iconic novel. News of Putnam Executive Editor Mark Tavani’s book acquisition and the Paramount Pictures deal was featured in multiple outlets this week, including Deadline, Variety, i09, AV Club, Publishers Weekly and Publishers Lunch.  DRACUL is scheduled for publication by Putnam in Fall 2018.
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What Debut Novelist Sophie Chen Keller Found

At the heart of THE LUSTER OF LOST THINGS , the first novel by Putnam author Sophie Chen Keller, is Walter Lavender, Jr., silenced by a motor speech disorder but a master of finding, a son keeping vigil, twelve years and counting, for his lost father.  When the book at the root of magic served up at the family bakery, The Lavenders, vanishes, Walter, accompanied by his overweight golden retriever, journeys through New York City to find it—along the way encountering an unforgettable cast of lost souls.  

Sophie Chen Keller was born in Beijing, China, and raised in Ohio and California. Her fiction has won several awards and has appeared in publications such as Glimmer Train and Pedestal. After graduating from Harvard, she moved to New York City. To find out how Sophie created her wondrous book, in the process finding the voice of her characters and the magical world of THE LUSTER OF LOST THINGS, read this “Meet Our Author” interview. What inspired you to write THE LUSTER OF LOST THINGS?  In 2014, while camping on a volcano in Maui, I came across a “Lost” flyer for a camera that contained meaningful family photos. I began wondering whether that camera, with its silicon memory of lost moments, had been returned to its owner. I wondered who responded to flyers like that one. What if there were people out there who made it their mission to look for what others had lost? Why were they doing it? Was there something else people were looking for when they looked for a missing camera? That was when I had my first inkling of who Walter might be.  Aside from that, I knew I wanted my first book to be a celebration of childhood. My memories from then are some of my most vivid: humid summers that went on for ages, imaginary adventures in sandbox castles, PB&Js cut into triangles, bedtime stories that took me to magical places. Those days are lost now, but sometimes, when we start to feel suffocated by darkness, we could use a return to that time when the world was still bright and miraculous, and we could so clearly see the goodness that lived around us and in us. Walter reminds us to see beyond the surface – the “skin of the world,” as he calls it. The tale he tells is simple and uplifting, and at the same time layered with observations on what it means to live and be human. As you’re experiencing his journey, I hope you’re also savoring the search for the layers underneath, both inside and outside the pages; I hope that what you find will fill you with wonder. What was it like to write in Walter’s voice?  Is his speech disorder based on a real disorder?  Walter’s voice came pretty naturally. You could say that he found me, while I had to find his disorder in the course of my research; I spoke with parents, speech pathologists, professors, and doctors, who kindly shared with me their knowledge, experiences, hopes, and concerns. Walter’s condition is based on a type of motor speech disorder called childhood apraxia of speech, although the particulars of his case would be unusual. Childhood apraxia of speech is often misdiagnosed as autism, cerebral palsy, ADD or ADHD, an intellectual disability, or a developmental language disorder, among others. It’s actually a separate diagnosis—a neurological disorder where the brain has trouble coordinating the muscle movements required to produce the intended speech. The mind is a vast, complex and largely mysterious landscape, and in the case of apraxia, some wires have gotten crossed or short-circuited and signals sent by the brain aren’t getting through properly to, say, the lips or the tongue or the face. The novel celebrates the many different kinds of people who live in New York City. Why did you decide to set the story in Manhattan? I moved to New York City at a formative time in life, right after college, and I tend to write about places I understand and connect with on an instinctual level. I haven’t been to any other place where it’s quite so obvious how different people can be, and how similar, too. You’re reminded every day, in the curious combinations of smells and the unfiltered emotions spilling out onto the sidewalk. And you just might discover The Lavenders around the next corner. In my mind, the West Village especially takes on a shade of happy wonder, because that’s where my now husband lived—on a certain street named Carmine—when we first met.   The Lavenders is an unforgettable place. Why did you decide to set the novel in a bakery? Mostly because I like eating and watching shows about food; I figured I would also like writing about food. The novel is about connecting and belonging, and food is something we associate with coming together, or with being transported home, wherever and whenever that might be. I like discovering new places and trying different desserts, so The Lavenders is an amalgamation of various shops: the whimsical tiles from a chocolate shop in California, the classic brass finishes from a patisserie in France, the sugary sense of brightness from a bakery in downtown Manhattan, the dash of hominess from a Bäckerei in Germany, and any kind of edible treat you could imagine from everywhere—and there you are. What do you do when you’re not writing? I read. I travel. I dwell on things. Sometimes, when there’s a piano nearby, I play it. What’s next for you? I’m working on a second novel, and that’s about all I’ll say. Since I usually figure out things as I go, I have trouble talking about what I’m writing until it’s been written. 

How Jill Santopolo, Philomel Editorial Director and Putnam Author, Does It All

Jill SantopoloTHE LIGHT WE LOST, Jill Santopolo’s debut novel, is being published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons on Tuesday, May 9. The book unfolds in a series of vignettes over a decade and a half, as a young woman navigates the turbulent emotional waters of her first love.  With foreign rights already sold in 30 countries, striking a global chord, THE LIGHT WE LOST is a

testament to the lengths we go to pursue our dreams, the sacrifices we make for love, and the all-too-realistic facets of life that can suddenly and completely change our course. In addition to being an author (including three successful children’s and young adult series as well her new novel), Jill is the Editorial Director of Philomel Books, a Penguin Young Readers imprint. She is also an adjunct professor in The New School’s MFA program, and travels the world to speak about writing and storytelling.  Here Jill offers insights into how she makes it all happen as a multi-talented member of the Penguin Random House family. As an editor, author and teacher, how do you make and balance the time for all of your creative endeavors? The best time balancing tip I have is one I learned from a Penguin author, Jacqueline Woodson, who gave a talk about how she balances her writing with the rest of her life. She told the room that she literally schedules writing time into her calendar as if it were a party or a meeting, and then doesn’t ever cancel it. So I’ve taken that tip and used it, scheduling writing time, editing time, teaching time–and then scheduling running time and family time and friend time, too. It means I’ve often got a lot of on my calendar, but it has also helped me to figure out exactly how much time I need for any given task. And when things get especially busy, I employ what my father used to call The Suspension of the Unnecessary–where I put aside getting things done that don’t have to happen so that I can focus on whatever project needs to be completed by a certain deadline. 9780735212756What was the genesis of the idea behind THE LIGHT WE LOST and how did you find the voice of Lucy, the primary character in your book? THE LIGHT WE LOST was actually born out of a horrible break-up—the kind the turns your world upside down and makes you re-imagine your entire future—and I was trying to figure out a way to handle that experience. I ended up doing it by writing vignettes about another woman who was going through a different break-up, but whose thoughts and feelings were similar to mine. Lucy’s story is not my story, but the emotions she experiences are the same, and that’s how her voice emerged. I wanted to write someone who was wounded, but strong enough to overcome heartbreak–probably in the hope that I would be, too What are the most rewarding aspects of being part of the Penguin Random House family? I think just that–that it really does feel like a family, or a phamily as we call it a Philomel. I’ve been amazed by the support and love all of my Penguin Young Readers colleagues have shown for this book, and how wonderful it feels to be a PRH author. When my agent sent The Light We Lost out into the world on submission, I really hoped that it would end up here, and was absolutely thrilled that Putnam wanted my book on their list. (Thank you!) As THE LIGHT WE LOST goes on sale, media and fellow authors post words of praise: “[Jill] Santopolo explores passion, fate, love, and what it means to truly be a good person. She raises questions readers will find themselves pondering long after they’ve turned the last page: are our lives shaped by our own choices or by forces outside our control? Are first loves forever? And is it worth risking stability and comfort for a love that is unpredictable and explosive? A beautiful and devastating story that will captivate readers.” —Kirkus, Starred Review ”Jill Santopolo’s extraordinary debut novel is a love story–an emotional roller coaster–that follows the lives of Lucy and Gabe who meet in New York City on September 11, 2001. The event transforms and shadows their lives. How do they reconcile passion and security, dreams and reality? As The Light We Lost enchanted and compelled me, I found myself reconsidering my own choices, and wondering at the choices of my friends and the people around me–how did their dreams match their realities? And what if that dream can’t include the person you love the most?”  —Delia Ephron, New York Times bestselling author of Siracusa “What can be more devastating than love? In her adult debut, Santopolo explores thirteen tumultuous years in the lives of two unique lovers, the difference between what’s forever and what’s finite, and how what seems fated might not be fact. Gorgeously written and absolutely unforgettable, Santopolo’s novel has a beating heart all its own.”  —Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of YouIs This Tomorrow, and Cruel Beautiful World

Meet Our Author: Meg Howrey

meg howryAuthor Meg Howrey is a former dancer who performed with the Joffrey, Eglevsky Ballet, and City Ballet of Los Angeles. She toured nationally with the Broadway production of Contact, for which she won the Ovation Award in 2001 for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. During her writing career, Meg has been the author two novels for Pantheon/Vintage, Blind

Sight and The Cranes Dance, and the coauthor of two bestselling novels for Penguin, City of Dark Magic and City of Lost Dreams, published under the pen name Magnus Flyte. 9780399574634Ms. Howrey’s new book, THE WANDERERS, which goes on sale from G. P. Putnam’s Sons on March 14, has been described as “Station Eleven meets The Martian.” This brilliantly inventive novel is about three astronauts training for the first-ever mission to Mars, an experience that will push the boundary between real and unreal, test their relationships, and leave each of them—and their families—changed forever. Wonderfully imaginative, tenderly comedic, and unerringly wise, THE WANDERERS explores the differences between those who go and those who stay, telling a story about the desire behind all exploration: the longing for discovery and the great search to understand the human heart. In this “Meet Our Author” interview, Meg takes us inside the heart of her creative life: How would you describe your writing regimen and routines? I alternate writing sitting at a desk with standing up at a sort of jury-rigged podium. In both places there is much gesticulation and theatrical facial expressions and mumblings. Making a book is a form of performance art. I’m a slow starter and will spend months on the first one or two chapters. Whether I’m writing two hours a day or ten, each book feels like its own particular beast and requires different regiments of feeding, care, and grooming. Books can bite or run away so you have to stay calm and be patient. What was the genesis of and the inspirations behind your new novel, THE WANDERERS? I read a newspaper account of a study conducted by the Russian and European space agencies to investigate the psychological effects of a long duration space mission. I thought, “Well, that’s interesting but wouldn’t what you’d feel on an actual mission to Mars be substantially different from what you’d feel in a simulator?” And then, “Possibly not, if the simulation was very good,” and also, “That would make a cool setting for a novel,” followed by, “It’s too bad I can’t write that novel since I don’t know anything about space.” So, the beast of this novel entailed a lot of research. Some of the themes I’ve tried to work on in other books are here: consciousness, ambition, the constructs of family, the problem of deciding what is real, and what “real” means. How have you been able to find the time and the creative energy to achieve success as an author, dancer and actress? meg pull quote1A thing about dance is you start so young you can have had a ten-year career by the time you’re in your mid-twenties, especially if you don’t go to college, which I didn’t. The acting really came out of the dancing—every once in a while somebody needed a ballet dancer who actually wanted to speak, and there weren’t that many of us. (Basically, there was the really beautiful one, the one who could also sing, and me.) Whatever else I was doing I was always, always reading, and trying to write came out of that. With all these things—dancing, acting, writing—I never feel that I’ve arrived. I’m always squinting at goalposts. You are among a handful of Penguin Random House authors whose books have been published by multiple imprints, in your case Pantheon/Vintage, Penguin and Putnam.  How has this experience helped shape your writing career? An accurate reckoning in my “Acknowledgements” section would run to twenty pages.  THE WANDERERS exists because of the generosity of Shelley Wanger and everyone at Pantheon/Vintage, and Carolyn Carlson and many delightful Penguins, and now Tara Singh Carlson and a fantastic team at Putnam. Through five books I’ve been reinventing myself, and these people have given me the space to do it. There aren’t enough thank you cards.