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Up All Night with Harlan Coben

coben7Harlan Coben is no nonsense. He’ll sit down for an interview, give it his all, but he’s not the kind of guy to schmooze or waste time.

I want to keep you up all night”

An air of mystery surrounds him like an invisible cloak. Fangirls flirt with him at conferences, but you can always tell, though he might be flattered, they’re wasting their time. Because the one subject Harlan Coben will stop and talk about is his family and how much he loves them.

I sat down for an interview with Harlan and discussed how his own kids inspired him to write his Mickey Bolitar series. With twenty bestselling novels, every imaginable award, and over sixty million books in print worldwide, he’s a legend.

So much so that if you think I’m nervous interviewing this giant, you’re right. (Please, Harlan, forgive the insertion of an “R” into your last name. You must think me an utter fool, but were nice enough to never even correct me.)

His focus is amazing. Despite people knocking on doors and barging into the interview room, he never missed a beat. I am sure that’s what makes him the powerhouse he is. His take-no-prisoners, stick your butt in the chair and write, attitude means that he’s centered on quality product.

As he says in the interview,  “I want to keep you up all night, I want you to curse me in the morning, and that’s really my job.”

Boyer: Bloopers, Bombshells, & Harlan Coben

Getting a video right is hard.  Thinking up questions, focusing the camera, setting the lights  — trying to put someone else at easeDSC09755 when you are darn nervous yourself.  I’m usually pretty decent at dealing with these things — (although there was that time that Alma Katsu had to start the interview over twice when someone walked into the room , or when I ran out of film in the middle of an interview for Marcia Talley.  Sigh.)

But, what you never expect is to forget a fact — especially an author’s name — especially when that author is your very dear friend!  To be fair, I’d only done twenty interviews in a row that day (hey, either you grab authors at conferences or it’s hard to pin them down — and boy is my voice hoarse in the clip) — but seriously, how on earth do you forget your friend’s name?

So here in all it’s glory, at Susan’s insistence, is our Blooper outtake reel.  Have fun!

What Susan doesn’t know, is that Harlan Coben knows all about it.  This is a little souvenir that is coming to her by mail today!

Note to Susan Boyer from Harlan Coben

And here is footage from Susan’s Agatha acceptance speech (yes that is me shrieking next to her):

::::Drum roll::::

Now, the winner of Susan Boyer’s book:  Lowcountry Boil is:  Deborah D ! Please contact us within ten days to qualify for your prize.


Here’s a blurb from Lowcountry Bombshell, so hot off the presses, it sizzles!

Private Investigator Liz Talbot thinks she’s seen another ghost when she meets Calista McQueen. She’s the spitting image of Marilyn Monroe. Born precisely fifty years after the ill-fated star, Calista’s life has eerily mirrored the late starlet’s—and she fears the looming anniversary of Marilyn’s death will also be hers.

Before Liz can open a case file, Calista’s life coach is executed. Suspicious characters swarm around Calista like mosquitoes on a sultry lowcountry evening: her certifiable mother, a fake aunt, her control-freak psychoanalyst, a private yoga instructor, her peculiar housekeeper, and an obsessed ex-husband. Liz digs in to find a motive for murder, but she’s besieged with distractions. Her ex has marriage and babies on his mind. Her too-sexy partner engages in a campaign of repeat seduction. Mamma needs help with Daddy’s devotion to bad habits. And a gang of wild hogs is running loose on Stella Maris.

With the heat index approaching triple digits, Liz races to uncover a diabolical murder plot in time to save not only Calista’s life, but also her own.

♥ ♥ ♥

Join us next Tuesday when Manda gets the scoop on our own Lena Diaz’s latest book.

Lena Diaz

And on Wednesday we have a bonus visit from Allison Brennan and Laura Griffin. Gwen pins them down to talk about their collaboration, Crash and Burn.

Crash and Burn cover

And the WINNER is. . .

The Kiss-and-Thrill ladies would like to thank Harlan Coben again for visiting our site this week. We enjoyed hosting him and look forward to reading his books and watching movies of his books for years to come! We hope he’ll come back soon!

Now, it’s time to announce the winners!

(Note: Only commenters with a U.S. mailing address are eligible, so if anyone announced below does not provide a U.S. mailing address, we will choose another winner.)

The winner of one e-copy of LIVE WIRE is: Jillian Chantal

The winner of one e-copy of  SHELTER is: Steph Bochenek

CONGRATULATIONS! To redeem your free books – please send your email address to (or go to contact page for details). Remember, we must hear from you within 10 days.

Thank you all so much for commenting! We hope you will bookmark KissAndThrill and visit often or better yet, subscribe!

What’s next you ask?

December 20th, we host debut author Jessica Scott!

Jessica Scott is a career soldier (a company commander), a mom, and wife of a career soldier. She served in Iraq and blogged about it and has just published her first novel in a trilogy about a soldier coming home. Her debut novel Because of You released in November to wide acclaim.

Then, please join us on December 22 when we announce the winners of Jessica’s giveaway.

HARLAN COBEN: Carey spotlights the New York Times Best-Selling Author and Self-Proclaimed Snazzy Dancer

Be Patient. There’s an interview with Harlan Coben coming.

But first…What on earth, you wonder, you do wonder don’t you, is that?

That is my copy of GONE FOR GOOD by Harlan Coben.  Okay, that was back in the day when I used to color code the good parts in my favorite books in an effort to teach myself to write. By now I’ve forgotten what all the colors stand for, except I’m pretty sure pink is for emotion.  I’ve got this passage (page 64, Gone For Good) marked with a pink sticky, so let’s see:

If Mel was lying on her belly, her feet kicking in the air, she was talking about boys and parties and that nonsense. But when she lay on her back and stared at the ceiling, well, that was for dreams. I thought about her dreams. I thought about how none of them had come true.

“I love you,” I said.

And, as though she could see into my thoughts, Melissa started to cry.

I was right. Pink is for emotion. Which is sort of my point about Harlan Coben novels. You buy them for the twists and turns and wind up reading a love story. Not necessarily a boy-girl love story, but more often than not, what’s driving the protagonist forward throughout the book is love. Love for a wife, sweetheart, brother, or child. So if you think Harlan Coben doesn’t write romance, you either haven’t read Harlan Coben, or you have a very narrow definition of the term. So without further ado (no idea what ado is) here is my Q and A with Harlan Coben.

Harlan Coben, Photo by Miriam Berkley

With 50 million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben’s last four consecutive novels, LIVE WIRE, CAUGHT,  LONG LOST and HOLD TIGHT all debuted  at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and lists around the world. His first Young Adult novel SHELTER was just released this fall. His books are published in 41 languages around the globe and have been number one bestsellers in over a dozen countries. (Bio from

Carey:  If you were stranded on a desert island with one other author, yes the real author, not a book, who would it be and why?

Harlan: Boring answer: I’d rather be with a friend than a stranger.  Luckily, I have many writer-friends I admire – if I start listing them the interview will run too long – but they are all good company.

Carey:  You are known for your fantastic plot twists. What’s your secret recipe for keeping readers surprised?

Harlan: I wish there was a recipe.  It is more like a long hike through deep woods.  You have to cut a different path each time – so it’s harder.  But you know you’ve done it before – so it’s comforting.

Carey: Do you have a special way you order your food? For example, do you always hold the sprouts on your salad or ask for a side of cherries with your diet coke?

Harlan: I’m ridiculously low maintenance in that way.  So no.

Carey is about as low maintenance as a Real-New-Jersey Housewife: I’m the same! How did you come to write your first manuscript?

Harlan: I spent summers working as a tour guide in Spain for Americans traveling on vacation.  At some point I decided to write a book about the experience.  The book was horrible, but the writing virus – yes, that’s how I’d describe it – was unleashed.

Carey:  Do you have a personal hero?

Harlan: My father.

Carey: Perhaps that’s why you wrote so movingly about a father in your Father’s Day essay for the New York Times. Which of your series or which of your books is your favorite?

Harlan: It’s so hard to say.  I usually like the newer books.  I can see the seams in the old ones.  They’re like that college essay you thought was so brilliant and you find it now and think, “Wow, this doesn’t work at all.”  It’s like that with old books.

That said, TELL NO ONE was my first big bestseller and movie, so that will always hold a special place in my heart.  FADE AWAY won the Edgar and the Shamus and revealed how Myron Bolitar “became” Myron Bolitar.  So those are the two I’d pick.

Carey.   I recently finished your young adult novel, SHELTER. Mickey Bolitar tugged at my heart from the opening line. What motivated you to write a young adult novel, and will you spill any secrets about Mickey and his future?

Harlan: I have four kids, ages 17 to 10.  I wanted to write a novel for them.  I also had a great idea for a book, but the hero was only fifteen years old.  That means, yep, Young Adult.

 Carey: Your novel LIVE WIRE features Myron Bolitar, a beloved character from prior series who is also Mickey’s uncle. How do your storylines intersect?

Harlan: My stand-alone books and my series books take place in the same world.  Sometimes they intersect.  I think it’s fun when that happens.

Carey:  What do you like to read in your down time?

Harlan: It’s pretty varied, except for the fact that I read almost exclusively fiction.  Right now, for example, I’m reading a short story collection by Elissa Schappell.

Carey makes a note for her TBR pile. What scares you?

Harlan: Not much.  I get a lot of it out on paper and then I block a lot in real life.  Of course, once you have children, you always live with fear.

Carey: Please tell us about your upcoming release STAY CLOSE. Do you prefer writing series or stand alones?

Harlan: STAY CLOSE is a slightly darker tale.  Usually I have a romantic vision of the American dream and those who fight to get it.  This time, well, not so much.  It is, I believe, the best thing I’ve done.

Carey wonders where she can pre-order STAY CLOSE. Oh, here:

Harlan: I don’t have a preference between writing stand-alones or series.  They are both equally torturous.

Carey: Do you have a special cause that is close to your heart?

Harlan: Medical services for poor children.  My wife is a pediatrician and this is our big focus.  Anne runs a medical facility for foster children via Children’s Aid and Family Services in New Jersey .

Carey: Is there a story you are itching to write, but haven’t done so?

Harlan: No.  If I’m itching to write it, I write it.

Carey: TELL NO ONE is the first Harlan Coben book I ever read. It kept me up all night and kept me surprised to the last page. It’s been made into a movie and is currently available on DVD. What do you think about how the story transitioned onto the big screen?

Harlan: I thought the French (Guillaume Canet) did a wonderful job.  It was a critical and commercial success, getting nine nominations for the French Oscar (the Cesar) and winning four of them.  It’s also readily available on Netflix Instant, so give it a watch (with subtitles).  Ben Affleck is working on an American remake, and I’m very excited about his passion and ideas.

Carey is also excited about Ben Affleck….er…his passion and ideas.  I loved the book TELL NO ONE, and I am seriously stoked that it will be made into an American film. I don’t know why I haven’t seen the French version yet, but I know what subtitled film I’ll be watching this weekend.

Harlan, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today. It was truly an honor to have you here. And now I’d like to open things up for comments or questions.

We love Harlan’s books so much we are going to give away one e-copy of SHELTER and LIVE WIRE. There will be two winners. One book per winner. Be sure to check Friday’s blog to see if you are a winner.

Thank you to Cindy Gerard! Our next guest is ….Harlan Coben! And the winners are…

Thank you so much to CINDY GERARD! We had a great time and hope you’ll come back very soon! We want One-Eyed Jacks!

Readers, yesterday you heard about SEAL OF MY DREAMS a collection of stories by a group of 18! amazing authors- so there’s something for everyone. Remember ALL proceeds go to a nonprofit foundation supporting veteran’s medical research.

You can buy it  and read SEALed With A Kiss by Cindy Gerard. I dare you not to smile when you reconnect with Luke and Val (protagonists of WITH NO REMORSE) and when you meet Tango.  The story is short and sweet so I won’t spoil it, but be warned, there may be man-poetry involved :-).  Bring your scuba gear and take a wild dive!

Harlan Coben, Photo by Miriam Berkley

Tomorrow we are thrilled to host HARLAN COBEN. With 50 million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben’s last four consecutive novels, LIVE WIRE, CAUGHT,  LONG LOST and HOLD TIGHT all debuted  at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and lists around the world. His first Young Adult novel SHELTER was just released this fall. His books are published in 41 languages around the globe and have been number one bestsellers in over a dozen countries. (Bio from

WINNERS! Remember you must contact us within 10 days at to claim your prize. Please send your email address where you wish to have your e-book gift notice delivered.

The winners of an e-book for kindle are as follows:



LAST MAN STANDING (to be delivered as soon as it is released)- Donna Cummings (please note this will be delivered as soon as it is available).

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