Kerrytown Bookfest presents Owen Laukkanen and Nick Petrie at the Ann Arbor District Library Tuesday

By Matt Giles - Associate Producer

Owen Laukkanen (Left) Credit: Ruth Sellers; Nick Petrie (Right) Credit: Troye Fox

ANN ARBOR - The Kerrytown Bookfest takes place Sept. 9. In the meantime, there are several events in Ann Arbor presented by the book festival. One event will take place at the Ann Arbor District Library on Tuesday at 7 p.m., where authors Owen Laukkanen and Nick Petrie will discuss not only their writing process, but Laukkanen's latest release, "Gale Force." 

The novel has been described as a maritime adventure that is an electrifying thriller of treachery and peril on the high seas featuring a dynamic new heroine. Laukkanen described "Gale Force" as a departure from his previous six Stevens and Windermere FBI thrillers. 

"I'm descended from a family of seafarers and I've always wanted to write a high seas adventure," Laukkanen said by email. "This book was a blast to research and write, and I think readers will really enjoy tagging along with my rookie captain, McKenna Rhodes, and her ragtag crew as they set out to save a capsized freighter with an eight-figure payday on the line -- and a mysterious stowaway who'll stop at nothing to avoid being discovered." 

Laukkanen is also excited to return to Ann Arbor and speak with Petrie. "Having grown up in southern Ontario, visits to Ann Arbor and the Kerrytown Bookfest have always felt like something of a homecoming. There's such a vibrant community of readers in the region and it's always a pleasure to come back and connect with them," Laukkanen said.

"I've been a fan of Nick's writing since I got my hands on an early copy of his debut, 'The Drifter,' and as much as I love his writing, I'm an even bigger fan of Nick the person. We don't get nearly enough excuses to hang out together, and I'm thrilled that he'll be joining me for this event. I'm sure the audience will get a kick out of our differing approaches to the craft."

Petrie is equally excited to speak with Laukkanen and is complimentary of the fellow author. "I'm really looking forward to talking with Owen about his work and the weirdness of the writing life. Owen is extremely talented, as well as the nicest guy on the planet, and his new book, 'Gale Force,' is a grand tale of modern adventure," Petrie said.

"I hope readers will bring their own questions, because Owen will bring live giant squid for the first five people who raise their hands. That's what his publisher told me, anyway," Petrie joked. 

Laukkanen and Petrie's conversation will take place at the AADL's downtown location in the fourth floor meeting room. The event will include a book signing, and books will be available for purchase courtesy of Aunt Agatha's

About Owen Laukkanen

Laukkanen is the author of six Stevens and Windermere novels, of which "The Professionals" was nominated for the Barry and International Thriller Writers Awards for Best First Novel. A former professional poker journalist and commercial fisherman, Laukkanen and his rescue pit bull Lucy divide their time between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Prince Edward Island. His most recent novel is "Gale Force."

About Nick Petrie

Petrie received his MFA in fiction from the University of Washington and won a Hopwood Award for short fiction while an undergraduate at the University of Michigan. His first novel, "The Drifter," won the 2016 Thriller Award and the 2016 Barry Award. His books in the Peter Ash series are "The Drifter," "Burning Bright" and "Light It Up." A husband and father, he has worked as a carpenter, remodeling contractor, and building inspector. He lives in Milwaukee. "Light It Up" is his most recent novel.

The Kerrytown Bookfest takes place on September 9. To learn more about the festival, including its upcoming events, visit 

Check out more Ann Arbor events on the A4 Community Calendar 

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