Between the lines: Joyce Maynard next for Bee Book Club

Joyce Maynard is funny, multitalented and generous with her time, but also thrives on drama, is startlingly frank and doesn’t back off from her opinions. All those elements will be part of her presentation when she appears for the Sacramento Bee Book Club.

The New York Times best-selling author will take the stage at 6 p.m May 29 at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, 828 I St., Sacramento. This is a free event, but tickets are required. Get them at starting today (click on “Bee Events”). Information: (916) 321-1128.

Over her career, Maynard has been a journalist for The New York Times, a TV commentator, a nationally syndicated columnist, a writing coach, a college teacher, a familiar name in national magazines, an essayist, memoirist and author of eight novels.

She is perhaps best known for her intimate memoirs, especially “At Home In the World,” in which she painfully recounts her live-in affair with “Catcher in the Rye” author J.D. Salinger.

“At Home” was reissued with a new foreword in September. “It’s not a book about J.D. Salinger,” she told The Bee at the time. “It’s a book about my life and how one aspect of it changed everything.”

Her latest book, “After Her,” is part thriller, part coming-of-age (William Morrow, $14.99, 336 pages). It’s set in 1970s Mill Valley and is based on the case of convicted serial murderer David Carpenter, known as the Trailside Killer. Maynard’s 2009 novel “Labor Day” was released as a movie earlier this year, starring Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet.

See my Oct. 15 interview with Maynard at by searching the author’s name. Visit her at

Online auction returns

This may be surprising to fans of crime-mystery fiction, but the best-selling and most lucrative fiction genre is romance/erotica, say book-industry analysts. Last year it raked in $1.4 billion, compared to $728.2 million for crime-mystery.

Which leads to best-selling Carmichael romantic-suspense writer Brenda Novak’s 10th annual online auction benefiting diabetes research, inspired when her youngest son was diagnosed with the disease at age 5. So far, the auction has raised $2 million.

“It wouldn’t have been successful without the support of the romance reading and writing community,” Novak said. “I don’t know of another industry that would be quite so generous or receptive.”

Writers from other genres have pitched in as well.

Visitors to can bid on 2,000 items, including the chance to be a character in books by Novak, John Lescroart and David Baldacci; lunches with Lee Child, Catherine Coulter and Diana Gabaldon; a stay at Nora Roberts’ inn; tea with Debbie Macomber; and a Las Vegas getaway culminating in lunch with Sylvia Day.

As part of it, Novak pulled strings to arrange a limited-edition digital “boxed set” of romantic fiction by 14 best-selling authors, for $2.99. “A Sweet Life” includes stories by best-sellers Bella Andre, Barbara Freethy, Heather Graham and Susan Wiggs.

The auction will continue through May.

Indie works honored

The Northern California Publishers and Authors group “supports and encourages independent publishing in our region.” To that end, it gives awards in several categories to writers and poets, and did so recently at its annual awards banquet in Sacramento. Details are at

The winners in the fiction category are “Smelling Herself” by Terris McMahan Grimes (first place), “River of Red Gold” by Naida West (second), “Dying For a Daiquiri” by Cindy Sample (third) and “This Side of Forever” by Jo Chandler (honorable mention).

“Smelling Herself” is also a quarter-finalist in the $50,000 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards competition. Winners will be announced in June.

Authors to appear

Upcoming author appearances include:

Agatha Award-winner Catriona McPherson for “The Day She Died” – 7:30 p.m. Friday at Avid Reader, 617 Second St., Davis; (530) 758-4040.

Reginia McKinney-McGee for “Introspection” – Noon Saturday at Barnes & Noble, 3561 N. Freeway Blvd., Natomas; (916) 285-0387.

Erin Lindsay McCabe for “I Shall Be Near To You” – 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Face In a Book, 4359 Town Center Blvd., El Dorado Hills; (916) 941-9401.

The Gold Country Book Festival will occupy the Auburn Library from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 17. Featured will be 24 authors speaking on a variety of topics, including what aspiring writers need to know. Look for a workshop for young writers, plus storytelling and crafts. Auburn’s Hip Hop Congress will perform its original writings in bursts throughout the day. Details: The venue is at 350 Nevada St., Auburn; (530) 886-4500.

Hugo fiction nominees

In the sci-fi genre, one of the biggest awards is the Hugo. It was named after Hugo Gernsback, who founded the ground-breaking sci-fi magazine Amazing Stories, which helped launch the careers of some of the genre’s biggest names, including H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Ray Bradbury and Philip K. Dick.

The World Science Fiction Society has announced its nominees for the Hugos at The categories and nominees are numerous, with winners to be announced Aug. 17. Here’s the list for best novel:

“Ancillary Justice” by by Ann Leckie

“Neptune’s Brood” by Charles Stross

“Parasite” by Mira Grant

“Warbound” by Larry Correia

“The Wheel of Time” by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

“The Butcher of Khardov” by Dan Wells

“The Chaplain’s Legacy” by Brad Torgersen

“Equoid” by Charles Stross

“Six-Gun Snow White” by Catherynne M. Valente

“Wakulla Springs” by Andy Duncan and Ellen Klages