Best-selling authors discuss art of 'the beach read'

NEW YORK — The "beach read" is short-hand for disposable page turners but Erin Hilderbrand and others who write them have long-held rules and standards: strong characters and narratives, and make the settings compelling and accurate.

Mary Alice Monroe, whose "Beach House for Rent" comes out in June, sets her work along the South Carolina coast and calls it a "personal pet peeve" when she reads a beach story and finds mistakes in the description of the landscape.

Hilderbrand's novels include "Beautiful Day," ''Here's To Us" and "The Matchmaker." Her next book, scheduled for June, is called "The Identicals" and uses the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard for a family drama about identical twins who are perhaps more alike than they want to admit.

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