Out of the shadows
The Lantern’s author shines
By Mark Anstead
BREAKING INTO THE American market is a
prize many British novelists seek in order to gain a
larger audience. Author Deborah Lawrenson has
achieved just that, thanks to a big stroke of luck with
her sixth book, The Lantern, a modern gothic homage to Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.
When her American agent, Stephanie Cabot, announced two years ago
she was leaving London’s William
Morris agency to return home to New
York, Lawrenson faced a choice. She
knew she’d rather remain with Cabot
than take a new agent at William
Morris, so the pair worked together on
ideas for her next book to try to ensure
it would appeal to readers in the States.
While she was writing The Lantern,
Lawrenson let her agent see drafts and
make suggestions. The tactic worked:
When the book was finished it quickly
won a publishing advance in America.
“I’m not saying I got it perfectly right,” says
Lawrenson, 51, speaking from her home in
Penshurst, Kent, where she lives with her husband,
Robert, a retired financial consultant, and their
daughter, Madeleine, 15.
“There are some things American reviewers
have criticized about the book,” she says. “But I
made the main character half American so she
would be more cosmopolitan, and I worked hard to
ensure her reserved British boyfriend was understandable to non-Brits.
“This is my sixth novel, and I am so glad
Stephanie moved back to America. This book has
finally lifted me out of obscurity.”
Lawrenson’s career has had a few false starts.
Her father worked as a foreign diplomat and she was
Signed book giveaway
COSTCO HAS 50 COPIES of Deborah Lawrenson’s The Lantern, with signed bookplates, to
give away. To enter, go to Costco.com, search
for “MarBookPick” and follow the instructions.
Or print your name, address and daytime
phone number on a postcard or letter and
send it to: Deborah Lawrenson, The Costco
Connection, P.O. Box 34088, Seattle, WA
NO PURCHASE, PAYMENT OR OPT-IN OF ANY KIND IS
NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES.
Purchase will not improve odds of winning. Sweepstakes is sponsored
by HarperCollins, 10 East 53rd St., New York, NY 10022. Open to legal
residents of the U. S. (except Puerto Rico) who are age 18 or older at the
time of entry. One entry per household. Entries must be received by
April 1, 2012. Winners will be randomly selected and noti;ed by mail on
or before May 1, 2012. The value of the prize is $17.99. Void where prohibited. Winners are responsible for all applicable federal, state and local
taxes. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.
Employees of Costco or HarperCollins and their families are not eligible.
A FEW YEARS ago a friend
of mine moved into a brand-
new condo. She told me it
meant she didn’t have to
worry about ghosts. I
couldn’t help but recall that
seemed silly at the time—
when I read The Lantern, a
gothic novel that is this
month’s Book Buyer’s Pick.
When Eve falls for the
mysterious Dom, their
whirlwind courtship leads
them to an abandoned
house in the South of
France. Each summer day
is pure perfection, but as
the season changes, the
temperature and Dom’s
passion cool. As Eve sets
out to uncover Dom’s secrets
a second story unfolds, con-
cerning the house’s history
and the tragic events that
took place within its walls.
If you don’t know the
history of your current
home, I imagine this book
will inspire you to ;nd out.
For more book picks,
see page 57.
Pennie Clark Ianniciello,
Costco book buyer