Cheryl Fusco Johnson's blog

Poem and photo of dogCartoonist Francesco Marciuliano follows up on the success of his New York Times Bestseller I Could Pee on This and Other Poems by Cats with a funny and poignant new title, I Could Chew on This and Other Poems by Dogs. Francesco currently writes Sally Forth, an internationally syndicated family comic strip that appears in nearly 800 newspapers around the world. He's also a playwright and served as head writer for the highly praised PBS children's series SeeMore's Playhouse. This week on The Studio with Cheryl Francesco discusses the creative process and how his parents nurtured his talents and continue to feed his funny bone. Tune in! 

Double Double book cover For 10 years a special book project eluded famed mystery writer Martha Grimes' grasp. In 2012 she garnered the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award, and she's published at least one book a year for the last 30 years. Not until June 4, 2013, though, did she succeed in publishing a nonfiction book she'd pondered for years. Both Martha and her son Ken Grimes are alcoholics who've been sober for over two decades. Their experiences with alcoholism and their paths to sobriety differ radically, and that's one of the many intriguing facets of their inspiring memoir, Double Double: a Dual Memoir of Alcoholism. This week Ken Grimes chats on The Studio with Cheryl about his experiences as a student at the University of Iowa, how a 12-step program helped him achieve and maintain sobriety, and what he learned about writing from his very famous mother. Tune in!

Lee Starshine Profile Pic

Web marketing expert Lee Starshine explains ethical email newsletter strategies, how to segment email newsletters for maximum results, and her pioneering software usability study, "Critical Thinking and Hypertext in the Secondary School System." A skilled writer, computer expert, and computer trainer, Lee has an M.A. in Professional Writing and an undergraduate degree specializing in Computers and Learning. She's worked in writing, technical support, training, software design, and software testing. As the owner of Web Marketing Star, she provides online marketing services, such as search engine optimization, web hosting, and ecommerce development. Also, as the Newsletter Gal, Lee specializes in helping clients develop effective, ethical email newsletters and marketing campaigns. Tune in to The Studio with Cheryl this week for online marketing tips and a glimpse into how Lee's childhood fascination with Legos and Star Trek helped foster her development as a computer programmer and online marketing expert.

Over Labor Day Weekend, Maharishi University of Management's hosting a Literature Reunion to celebrate its Literature Department's 40th birthday. Current and former Lit. Dept. faculty from MUM will lead Master Classes open to the public. On The Studio with Cheryl this week, former Lit Dept. Chair Rhoda Orme Johnson and current prof Nynke Passe taut poetry's importance in the digital age. Also former MUM prof Tim Truby discusses acting, directing, and marketing. All three will lead classes over Labor Day weekend. For additional info, check out the Reunion's page on Facebook under Literature Reunion. 

Diane FrankPoets, professors, authors, and former students will celebrate 40 years of Maharishi University of Management's Literature Department August 30 through September 2nd on MUM's campus in Fairfield, Iowa. Literature Reunion celebrations will include book exhibits, readings, and master classes.

On The Studio this week, poets Diane Frank and Sylvia Farnell, who both taught in MUM's Literature Department, reminisce and discuss poetry's place in today's society. Terry Fairchild, the current Chair of MUM's Literature Department, is the third guest on this week's show. Frank, Farnell, Fairchild and other former faculty will present Master Classes during the Labor Day celebrations, which are open to the public for a small fee.

Guests on next week's show include more Literary Reunion speakers. Be sure to tune in!

Smitten Book CoverJames Gandolfini's advice helped inspire Sopranos actress Ariel Kiley's transformation into an author--and licensed yoga instructor. Ariel and her best friend, actress-turned-psychotherapist Simone Kornfeld, spent five years refining their dating philosophy. The result? A unique nonfiction dating guide called  Smitten: The Way of the Brilliant Flirt. Despite the lighthearted title and occasionally jocular tone, this attractive little black book contains some daunting but intriguing suggestions interspersed with tons of sensible guidance. Even happily established couples will find something helpful in this fun-to-read book. Tune in to The Studio with Cheryl and Ariel this week!

Kate McGuinness


To educate people about discrimination and sexual harrassment in the workplace, attorney Kate McGuinness self-published Terminal Ambition, a legal thriller.

By strategically blogging, newsjacking, and participating in Amazon's Kindle Direct program, Kate got her book into the hands of 32,490 readers.

Kate discusses her role as an advocate for women's rights and her successful book promotion strategies this week on The Studio with Cheryl.

Tune in!


NYT best-selling author D. J. MacHale reveals success secrets he's gleaned from celebrities and fans while directing films, executive producing TV series, and penning wildly popular young adult novels. Paraphrasing the famous (Alfred Hitchcock, Stephen King, Haig Manoogian) and the relatively unknown (a young fan, a school librarian, his 10-year-old daughter) D. J. dispenses crowd-sourced wisdom nearly every minute. How to deal with reluctant readers, wordsmithing vs. storythinking, long-haul truckers' reading preferences--it's all covered here!

You'll also hear D. J.'s thoughts on fan fiction, Skype school visits, and his brand new thriller (deemed "unputdownable" by Kirkus) Sylo. Don't miss this show!

B. K. Loren at Prairie Lights Book Store


B. K. Loren's novel Theft won the 2012 Reading the West Award for Adult Fiction from the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association. Like Theft, her new nonfiction book Animal, Mineral, Radical reflects sustainability, wildlife, food, family, and community issues in prose so lyrical and lively that it feels poetic.

For a peek into the mind of an independent thinker whose writing has been shaped by her work as a naturalist, a large predator monitor for Colorado State Parks, an asistant chef, a ranch hand, a furniture maker, a UPS driver, a college professor, and a professional brainstormer, tune in to The Studio this week! 


Marketing Strategist Frances Caballo provides online marketing tips for authors in her book Social Media Just for Writers and in Caballo is Social Media Editor for three large California writers' groups, has 25 years of communications and marketing experience, and owns ACT Communications.

A specialist in social media training, she sets up and manages clients' social media accounts, coaches clients on social marketing platforms, and blogs for clients. Her latest Kindle e-book is Blogging Just for Writers. Caballo accepts that  social media can be challenging but says, "It's the future and we all need to ride the wave and let it help us to reach our dreams." Learn how social media can help you reach your dreams--tune in to The Studio with Cheryl this week! Listen.

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