Cara Black & Alka Joshi, Paris – May 2023
This was the first time we’ve ever had two speakers at the same time. They hadn’t met each other before, nor had I met Alka Joshi before this. The synergy between them turned into a very exciting and fun event—two very accomplished and illustrious authors, both women, both writing fiction and experiencing the same publishing world that makes it difficult to be a successful author.
We had a packed house with almost as many men as women, also an unusual turn-out, especially with the speakers being women. After hearing them speak, we all couldn’t wait to run out, get their books and start reading. You will want to, too.
Here’s a bit more info about each of them and fortunately, with our recording, you can watch the event and pass it on to your friends.
Cara is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 20 books in the Private Investigator Aimée Leduc series, which is set in Paris. Cara has received multiple nominations for the Anthony and Macavity Awards, a Washington Post Book World Book of the Year citation, the Médaille de la Ville de Paris—the Paris City Medal, which is awarded in recognition of contribution to international culture—and invitations to be the Guest of Honor at conferences such as the Paris Polar Crime Festival and Left Coast Crime. With more than 400,000 books in print, the Aimée Leduc series has been translated into German, Norwegian, Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, and Hebrew.
Her love of all things French was kindled by the French-speaking nuns at her Catholic high school, where Cara first encountered French literature and went crazy for the work of Prix Goncourt winner Romain Gary. Her junior year in high school, she wrote him a fan letter—which he answered—which inspired her to make her first trip to Paris, where her idol took her out for coffee and a cigar. Since then, she has been to Paris many, many times. On each visit she entrenches herself in a different part of the city, learning its secret history.
Born in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India, Alka has lived in the U.S. since the age of nine. She has a BA from Stanford University and an MFA from California College of the Arts. She ran her own advertising and PR agency for 30 years. The Henna Artist was her first novel. Currently, she is working on the third book of the trilogy and a screen adaption of The Henna Artist.
For decades, Alka wrote advertising commercials and marketing copy. It was her husband who urged her to try fiction. He encouraged taking evening workshops, which she really enjoyed. When she enrolled in the MFA program in Creative Writing at the age of 51, her instructors were so generous with their praise that she began to feel like a semi-serious writer. It wasn’t until Alka’s literary agent notified her that MIRA Books, a division of Harper Collins, had sent a really good contract that she realized she’d become an author!
Even if you couldn’t be there, you don’t have to miss the session! Be sure to watch the video of the entire session.