Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Guest Blogger: Koethi Zan & Giveaway

Summary: For years, best friends Sarah and Jennifer kept what they called the “Never List”:  a list of actions to be avoided, for safety’s sake, at all costs.  But one night, against their best instincts, they accept a cab ride with grave, everlasting consequences. For the next three years, they are held captive with two other girls in a dungeon-like cellar by a connoisseur of sadism.

Ten years later, at thirty-one, Sarah is still struggling to resume a normal life, living as a virtual recluse under a new name, unable to come to grips with the fact that Jennifer didn’t make it out of that cellar. Now, her abductor is up for parole and Sarah can no longer ignore the twisted letters he sends from jail.

Finally, Sarah decides to confront her phobias and the other survivors—who hold their own deep grudges against her. When she goes on a cross-country chase that takes her into the perverse world of BDSM, secret cults, and the arcane study of torture, she begins unraveling a mystery more horrifying than even she could have imagined.

A shocking, blazingly fast read, Koethi Zan’s debut is a must for fans of Karin Slaughter, Laura Lippman, and S.J. Watson. -- Pamela Dorman Books

Yesterday, I reviewed a pretty darn scary psychological thriller called THE NEVER LIST by Koethi Zan. This is Ms. Zan's debut novel and it's quite impressive, especially considering her career for the last fifteen years has been in entertainment law. I have a feeling that Ms. Zan is going to garner a lot of interest with THE NEVER LIST, and I'm so grateful that she's taken time from her busy schedule to share a few special things about herself.

Three Interesting Things—Koethi Zan 

1. I was once in a cult (sort of). While I was in college, I had a brush with a spiritual cult. My roommate and I went to regular meetings for a couple of months, where we were instructed in a bizarre cosmology and taught to be ‘present to the moment.’ It was an interesting life experience that we didn’t take very seriously. Then we reached the level where we were invited to attend a weekend retreat in honor of a visiting guru from New York City. We had to scrape the floors of a house we were renovating for the group, do special ‘sacred’ movements to music, and were expected to meditate for hours. I’m not ashamed to say I feigned illness, got out of there fast, and never went back.

2. I was a dancing queen.  When I was younger, I was a dedicated club kid.  I was too young to have lived the dream of Studio 54 in the seventies, but I was lucky enough to be living in Alabama when the gay club scene really caught fire.  And because it was still a little bit “underground,” it made it that much wilder.  My friends and I would dress up in elaborate costumes and dance all night, ending up at Waffle House at four in the morning.  We’d go to New Orleans for special weekends, hitting every kind of club: straight, gay, transvestite, fetish.  I kind of miss it.  Even now I never turn down the opportunity to dance.  I love weddings, fundraisers, and restaurant openings.  I might embarrass myself at this point, but I don’t care. I love it.

3. I’m running for political office.  Three years ago, I moved from Brooklyn to a tiny town in upstate New York. I’ve gotten very involved in the community: I’m on the boards of the hospital foundation, a child advocacy center, and my kids’ school; I started a not-for-profit to fight a high voltage power line; and I’ve been involved in a fight to stop the rebuilding of a toxic chemical plant.  Now I’m taking it a step further and running for Town Board.  One might think numbers one and two above would disqualify me from political office, but it’s 2013!  Let’s hope people are open-minded.  It’s definitely making for a hectic summer between promoting my book, going to public hearings, meeting with elected officials, and planning our canvassing efforts for my campaign.  But all of the work I’m doing now is incredibly satisfying.  I feel like I have a real purpose (or rather purposes) in life.  And yes, dancing is still one of them.

Koethi Zan was born and raised in rural Alabama, then moved to New York City after earning a JD from Yale Law School. She practiced entertainment law for more than fifteen years, working in film, television, and theater, most recently at MTV. She now lives in upstate New York with her hsuband and children.

Giveaway alert: Thanks to the publisher, I have a copy of THE NEVER LIST to share with one lucky reader. To enter, just fill out the form below before August 6th at 11:59 p.m. EST. I will randomly select and notify the winner the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. addresses only. Good luck!


bermudaonion said...

I bet that brush with the cult was fascinating, but scary! Since I've lived in two different places in Alabama (both of them small), I'm wondering where Zan is from.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Ms. Zan has had a whole lot of intriguing experiences in a rather short time! I know I have had my misgivings about this book (not the quality of the writing, but if I will be too squeamish for some of the scenes) but if I win I will read it :) Thanks for the chance!

Beth F said...

I agree that cult thing sounds scary -- glad Zan was smart enough to get out quick!!