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For Brad Parks, the event that inspired his latest novel, The Girl Next Door, was memorable as more than just the start of a literary endeavor.
It was also the day he realized he had reached the end of his newspaper career.
“We had all been summoned down from the newsroom to the classified area”, said Parks, then a reporter with The Star-Ledger, now an award-winning mystery author. “There, the publisher told us the paper was on life-support and would be closed down unless certain conditions were met. It was one of those moments where reality hits you in the face and tells you you’re about to do something different with your life”.
Parks will be coming to the Teaneck Public Library on Tuesday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m. to discuss The Girl Next Door and sign copies of the newly released book. His talk is free and open to the public.
Told in the voice of investigative reporter Carter Ross, The Girl Next Door deals with a newspaper in trouble, a contentious union negotiation, and a newspaper carrier—the “girl next door” referenced in the title—who gets caught in the middle.
The Girl Next Door is the third entry in a series that began with Faces of the Gone, the only book in history to have won both the Shamus Award and Nero Award, two of crime fiction’s most prestigious prizes. But it was the first novel Parks wrote after having taken a buyout from his job with the Star-Ledger. “I loved being a full-time novelist, it was just a little bewildering to not be going into the newsroom every day,” said Parks, 37, whose career also included stops at The Washington Post and The Boston Globe. “So it was comforting to be able to keep going there in my fiction.”
Brad Parks is also a big supporter of public libraries, having made numerous appearances across New Jersey. Come meet this engaging writer. For more information, call 837-4171.
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