Bestselling Author Harlan Coben is No ‘Stranger’ to Texas

Harlan Coben, author of the page-turning suspense novel “The Stranger,” is touring Texas to promote his latest book.

By Emily DonahueMarch 30, 2015 10:08 pm

Harlan Coben is a big name in the book world—all 27 of his novels are bestsellers. Among a bevy of projects, he’s currently juggling a film adaptation of his book “Six Years,” as well as a TV series based on his works in France and England.

Though his reputation has spread far and wide, he got his start right here in Texas – and makes sure to stop by on every book tour.

His latest book, “The Stranger,” starts off right away at a breakneck pace, wasting no time in getting to the meat of the plot. “Within the first three pages, Adam is given a devastating secret,” Coben says. “His life starts to spiral out of control and he just hangs on.”

Billed as a thriller, the book tells the story of a successful American living the perfect life, only to be flipped upside down when a random stranger walks up to him and tells him a secret.

“It’s sort of not a horror or any kind of scary book,” Coben says. “It’s almost that Hitchcockian thing of the ordinary man put in the extraordinary circumstance… I love taking the American dream and looking at how fragile it is – a nice, placid calm pool – even one little pebble can really cause ripples.”

When asked what the downside is to being a bestselling author, Coben replies, “Nothing! There’s really no downside. I mean, it sounds weird to say, but to knock this sort of luck, it’s bad karma.”

Coben says the real hardships of novel-writing stem from having too much downtime.

“You have to self-motivate, you feel guilty a lot when you’re not working all the time,” Coben says. “I don’t rest well, if I’m idle my mind goes in weird places so that’s why I’m able to write.”

Coben’s book was released in the third week of March. The New York Times bestselling author is touring the state for “The Stranger” at two events in Texas: Murder by the Book, in Houston, and Book People, in Austin. Coben says he has another book in the works, and looks forward to coming back to Texas to talk about it.

This post was prepared with assistance by Sarah Alerasoul