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Mike BarryEye on the Island

By Mike Barry
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Swapping Stories

The book publishing business is changing dramatically but one constant remains: the industry needs writers who can produce stories readers are willing to pay for.

Two of the marquee literary talents in the U.S., if not the world, reside in Nassau County, and they are gathering on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. for a joint appearance at Landmark on Main Street, 232 Main Street, Port Washington.

Billed as ‘An Evening with Nelson DeMille & Susan Isaacs,’ the two bestselling authors will engage in a free-wheeling conversation about their respective careers and their long list of novels. With both of them having published new books this year, they have plenty to talk about. Plus, you cannot beat the price of listening in next Wednesday. Admission is free.

DeMille, a longtime Garden City resident, released The Lion (Grand Central Hardcover) in early June. It was his 16th novel and the sequel to The Lion’s Game. By late June, DeMille’s The Lion was tied for first place atop The New York Times’ bestseller list with the late Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. One of DeMille’s signature creations, John Corey, is a former NYPD homicide detective who works with his wife, Kate Mayfield, as a special agent for the federal government’s Anti-Terrorist Task Force. Corey and Mayfield are key characters in The Lion and will reunite in DeMille’s next book, too.

“I’ve decided to get John and Kate out of New York and out of 26 Federal Plaza, and put them in Yemen,” DeMille wrote, in a message to his readers posted at www.nelson

demille.net. “Okay, why Yemen? Because it’s a really dangerous place—Al Qaeda guys, CIA, drone missile strikes, USS Cole bombing and other bad stuff. You might recall that in Night Fall John Corey was sent on assignment to Yemen and did not enjoy it. Now, he and Kate are being assigned together for a dangerous mission—think Indiana Jones meets James Bond.”

Meanwhile, Isaacs’ As Husbands Go (Scribner) hit the nation’s bookstores in early July and the Sands Point resident’s 12th novel introduced to the literary world a new character, Susan B. Anthony Rabinowitz Gersten. The story chronicles how Susan’s life is turned upside down when her husband, Jonah, a successful plastic surgeon, is found dead in a call girl’s apartment.

“Bestseller Isaacs draws on tony Long Island, gritty New York City, and a tabloid-friendly murder for this smart-alecky whodunit/surprisingly sweet love story… [a] fast and furious ride through wanton greed, fragile relationships, and love worth fighting for,” wrote Publishers Weekly, in its starred review of As Husbands Go.

There’s also a local angle to As Husbands Go, something Isaacs mentions on the book’s Acknowledgements page. Joan Smith, who owns a flower shop on Port Washington’s Main Street, provided source material to the author on floral design. The information proved useful because Susan Gersten, the novel’s protagonist, co-owns an upscale flower business.

Copies of books by both authors will be available for sale and signing at the event courtesy of Dolphin Book Shop, 299 Main Street, Port Washington.

Mike Barry, a corporate communications consultant, has worked in government and journalism. Email: MFBARRY@optonline.net