Best-selling author, originally from Danville, stopping for a literary event in Harrisburg | New

Danville native New York Times bestselling author Riley Sager will stop by Harrisburg on June 28 as part of her new book tour.

Sager, better known as Todd Ritter in the Montour County where he grew up, will appear at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore, 1302 N. Third St., Harrisburg, at 7 p.m. on June 28, where he will have an in-person conversation and a book signing on his new thriller, “The House Across the Lake.” Sager said he was hesitant to return to in-person book events two years into the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I miss meeting readers in person. There’s nothing quite like it,” said Sager, a 1992 graduate of Danville Area High School and current resident of Princeton, New Jersey. book that I was willing to brave travel in uncertain times to reach as many readers as possible.”

Born and raised in Danville, Sager still has family in the area. Her parents still live in the borough, her sister lives in Bloomsburg, and another family lives in the area. He attended Penn State University where he studied film and communications. He has lived in New Jersey since 1997, having worked at the Courier-News for 10 years and the Star Ledger for seven years.

“It’s always nice to discuss your book face to face with people, no matter where I am,” he said. “I think it will be especially nice to be back in Pennsylvania doing this.”

Sager is a New York Times bestselling author of six novels, including the most recent “Home Before Dark” and “Survive the Night.” Her debut novel as Sager, “Final Girls,” has been published in 30 countries and won the ITW Thriller Award for Best Hardcover Novel. His latest book, “The House Across the Lake,” will be published June 21 by Dutton Books.

Sager often mentions his home state of Pennsylvania and its communities in his novels. He specifically mentions Danville High School in 2019’s “Lock Every Door.” Main character Jules Larsen finds a class ring from someone who went missing from Danville in 2014.

“I like to pay homage to where I come from,” Sager said. “I didn’t live there for 25 years, but that’s where I grew up and it was a very formative time in my life. Danville is where I discovered a love of reading and spent far too many hours at the Thomas Beaver Library (free). It’s always fun to get a little nod to the region in there.

Midtown Scholar Book Store manager Alex Brubaker said he is looking forward to June 28.

“It’s always exciting to host a New York Times bestselling author, but to host an author with small-town Pennsylvania roots is really, really special,” Brubaker said. “Riley Sager has pulled it off and we can’t wait to welcome him back to his home country. Hopefully Riley is ready, because it’s going to be a packed house in Harrisburg.

“The House Across the Lake” is “Back window on a lake with big surprises,” Sager said. “It’s about an actress named Casey (Fletcher) who gets into publicity trouble and is banished by her mother to the family’s lake house in Vermont. There she meets the glamorous couple from the house of Across the Lake: Tom and Katherine Royce They’re perfect in every way, and Casey is a mess in every way.

Casey begins to observe the couple, discovering that the marriage is not as perfect as it seems. One day, Katherine disappears and Casey suspects Tom of foul play, he says.

“The book goes crazy after that,” Sager said. “I’m very proud of it. It’s not a new idea. Other authors have already done this sort of thing. Movies did – “Rear Window” being the greatest. I was very hesitant to do this voyeuristic story until I had an idea of ​​how to make it very unique and shocking.

People Magazine called it Sager’s best twist to date.

Sager said he finished his previous novel “Surviving the Night” and went on vacation to a lakeside house in Vermont, just like the one in the new book. He really wanted it to be a vacation.

“The first night there, I poured myself a bourbon, went to the back porch which was right by the water and looked at the houses across the lake,” said- he declared. “They were all lit up and beautiful and made me start thinking ‘Who lives there? What is their life? What secrets are they hiding? At that moment, I knew that “Back Window” on a lake could possibly be a book. »

He spent the whole vacation on that porch plotting the new book, he said.

Readers will notice that this book is from the perspective of a female protagonist, just like her other books.

“It started with ‘Final Girls,’ which had to be told from a woman’s first-person perspective,” Sager said. “It’s the trope in horror movies: the last girl. I didn’t even think about it, I just knew that was what had to happen for this story to be told. So I wrote it, and it was really successful and very well received.

When it came time to write more, he tried a similar voice, he said.

“The only reason I can really give is that I’m drawn to characters who are sort of underappreciated and looked down upon, who find a bit of strength that they didn’t know they had,” said Sager said. “For me, she’s an interesting character to explore. Not just a woman, but a woman who has to prove herself.

Sager said he writes thrillers because he likes being scared.

“I like being on the edge of my seat and being in suspense. I’m a big fan of thrillers. It’s also a lot of fun creating them. It’s very nice to find ways to slightly tighten the tension until keep people turning these pages.

Sager’s book tour kicked off Sunday with a virtual event. It will make stops in Texas, Arizona, Missouri, Ohio, Collegeville, Pennsylvania and Harrisburg. His latest event is a virtual session with Barnes & Noble’s Midday Mystery series.

Angela C. Hale