The Back Room: Cocktails & Conversation With Your Favorite Authors
Time & Location
About the event
Limited Registration! Sign up HERE
Want to know more about the Back Room’s unique event format? Here’s what an evening in the Back Room is like:
The doors to the main Zoom room open five minutes before the program’s start time so folks can say hello to one another and to the featured authors. Chat is also turned on.
As the program begins, attendees’ mics are muted and the authors are spotlighted. After very brief introductions, the authors play a quick “get to know you” game of 20 questions using our custom-designed Back Room Question Cards. Recordings of these opening sessions are archived backstage at the Back Room. (Breakout sessions are never recorded.)
The opening session finishes with the authors’ book recommendations, and then attendees are divided into 4 breakout rooms, with one author assigned to each room.
Being assigned to a breakout room happens automatically. You don’t have to do anything except click the “join breakout room” invitation that appears on your screen. Each breakout room will have between 15 and 20 people, so we recommend joining the call from a laptop or a computer instead of a tablet or cell phone and using the gallery view so you can see everyone!
Attendees remain in their breakout room for the rest of the program, while the authors rotate through each room in turn. Everyone’s video is turned on and their mics are open. You’ll get fifteen minutes with each author to chat about whatever you like! It’s all very relaxed and casual and fun — like a virtual cocktail party!
Once all four authors have visited each breakout room, the event is over. Yes, Zoom is weird, and ends without any fanfare, but we hope you’ll give our Back Room format a try. We promise you’ll have a wonderful time!
Karen Dionne and Hank Phillippi RyanThe Authors
C. J. Box is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 27 novels including the Joe Pickett series. He won the Edgar Alan Poe Award for Best Novel (Blue Heaven, 2009) as well as the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 (France), the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, two Barry Awards, and the 2010 Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Award for fiction. He was recently awarded the 2016 Western Heritage Award for Literature by the National Cowboy Museum as well as the Spur Award for Best Contemporary Novel by the Western Writers of America in 2017. Over seven million copies of his books have been sold in the U.S. and abroad and they’ve been translated into 27 languages.
Box is a Wyoming native and has worked as a ranch hand, surveyor, fishing guide, a small town newspaper reporter and editor, and he owned an international tourism marketing firm with his wife Laurie. In 2008, Box was awarded the “BIG WYO” Award from the state tourism industry. An avid outdoorsman, Box has hunted, fished, hiked, ridden, and skied throughout Wyoming and the Mountain West. He served on the Board of Directors for the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo and currently serves on the Wyoming Office of Tourism Board. They have three daughters and two grandchildren. He and his wife Laurie live on their small ranch in Wyoming. Visit his website at cjbox.net.
Mary Kubica is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of six novels, including The Good Girl, Pretty Baby, Don’t You Cry, Every Last Lie, When the Lights Go Out and The Other Mrs. A former high school history teacher, Mary holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children.
Her first novel The Good Girl was an Indie Next pick in August of 2014, received a Strand Critics Nomination for Best First Novel and was a nominee in the Goodreads Choice Awards in Debut Goodreads Author and in Mystery & Thriller for 2014. Mary’s novels have been translated into over thirty languages and have sold over two million copies worldwide. She’s been described as “a helluva storyteller,” (Kirkus Reviews) and “a writer of vice-like control,” (Chicago Tribune), and her novels have been praised as “hypnotic” (People) and “thrilling and illuminating” (Los Angeles Times).
Learn more at marykubica.com.
Mia P. Manansala (MAH-nahn-sah-lah) (she/her) is a writer and book coach from Chicago who loves books, baking, and bad-ass women. She uses humor (and murder) to explore aspects of the Filipino diaspora, queerness, and her millennial love for pop culture.
She is the winner of the 2018 Hugh Holton Award, the 2018 Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award, the 2017 William F. Deeck – Malice Domestic Grant for Unpublished Writers, and the 2016 Mystery Writers of America/Helen McCloy Scholarship. She’s also a 2017 Pitch Wars alum and 2018-2020 mentor.
A lover of all things geeky, Mia spends her days procrastibaking, playing JRPGs and dating sims, reading cozy mysteries, and cuddling her dogs Gumiho, Max Power, and Bayley Banks (bonus points if you get all the references).
Her debut novel, Arsenic and Adobo, comes out May 4, 2021 with Berkley/Penguin Random House and is the first in the Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery series. Learn more at miapmanansala.com.
Peter Swanson is the author of six novels, including The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year; and his most recent, Eight Perfect Murders. His books have been translated into over 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Atlantic Monthly, Measure, The Guardian, The Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine.
A graduate of Trinity College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Emerson College, he lives in Somerville, Massachusetts with his wife and cat.
Learn more at peter-swanson.com.Your Hosts
Karen Dionne is the USA Today and #1 internationally bestselling author of the award-winning psychological suspense novel The Marsh King’s Daughter, published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in the US and in 26 other countries. Her follow up novel, The Wicked Sister (August 2020, G.P. Putnam’s Sons), is also an international bestseller and was chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of their Best Books of 2020.
Both The Wicked Sister and The Marsh King’s Daughter were selected by the Library of Michigan as Michigan Notable Books, and The Marsh King’s Daughter took home the Barry and the Crimson Scribe Awards for Best Novel. The Marsh King’s Daughter was also chosen as one of the best books of 2017 by iBooks, Hudson Booksellers, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Irish Independent, The Florida Sun-Sentinel, Library Journal, Shelf Awareness and many other booksellers and reviewers, and is in development as a major motion picture. Visit Karen at www.karen-dionne.com
Hank Phillippi Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of thirteen novels of suspense. She has won five Agathas, four Anthonys, two Macavitys, the Daphne, and the coveted Mary Higgins Clark award. National reviews have called her a “master at crafting suspenseful mysteries” and “a superb and gifted storyteller.” Her 2019 book The Murder List won the Anthony Award for Best Novel of the year. Her 2020 book is The First to Lie, of which the Publishers Weekly starred review said, “Stellar. Ryan could win a sixth Agatha with this one.” It is now a nominee for the Mary Higgins Clark Award.
Hank is also an award-winning investigative reporter at Boston’s WHDH-TV. In addition to 37 EMMYs and 14 Edward R. Murrow awards, Hank’s won dozens of other honors for her ground-breaking journalism. Hank is a founding teacher at Mystery Writers of America University and served as past president of national Sisters in Crime. Her upcoming novel, Her Perfect Life, will be published September 14, 2021. Learn more at www.HankPhillippiRyan.com.