Cheryl Fusco Johnson's blog

Des Moines author Wendy Delsol discusses Flock, the third and last book in her young adult fantasy series about human stork, Katla Leblanc and her boyfriend Jack. Based on Norse mythology, the popular trilogy has met with critical acclaim as has Wendy's debut adult novel, The McCloud Home for Wayward Girls.

Coming late to her writing career, Wendy studied writing at UCLA and at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. She eschews the 'write-what-you-know' school of thought. "Write what you're interested in. Write what you want to know about. Have fun!" she advises. Clearly, she's having fun despite a grueling writing schedule that's enabled her to successfully publish and promote four books in the past three years. Tune in to learn how she does it.

  • Fri
    Sep 28
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    Oct 01
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Karen Thompson Walker, The Age of Miracles

 

Debut novelist and former Simon & Schuster editor Karen Thompson Walker wrote The Age of Miracles in the mornings before work. A graduate of UCLA and the Columbia MFA program and a recipient of the 2011 Sirenland Fellowship as well as a Bomb Magazine fiction prize, Walker sold this coming-of-age/dystopian novel in a seven-figure deal to Random House and 24 international territories.

Movie rights to the book have been optioned by River Road Entertainment, with Seth Lochhead slated to write the script and Bill Pohlad as producer. Despite her rapid rise to publishing superstardom, Walker remains levelheaded. Tune in to hear her thoughts on the creative process, publishing success, and books that inspire her.

 

  • Fri
    Sep 21
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    Sep 24
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Robert Wolf, Free River Press

Robert Wolf is the cofounder and director of Free River Press, a nonprofit publishing house currently headquartered in Decorah, Iowa. The press's motto is "Telling America's Story" and its primary mission is "to create an enduring collection of Americana, a literary mural, a mosaic, written primarily by people without literary ambition."

Cover of Aver Y Ahora

Besides encouraging ordinary people to record their stories, Robert has authored and edited many books, including An American Mosaic: Prose and Poetry by Everyday Folk and Jump Start: How to Write from Everyday Life, both published by Oxford University Press. Through Free River Press, he wrote and published The Triumph of Technique: The Industrialization of Agriculture and the Destruction of Rural America. In addition to leading writing workshops, Robert directs seminars and rural economic development projects through Free River Press.

Aired on Iowa Public Radio, his six-part commentary, Developing Rural Regional Economies won the Sigma Delta Chi Award for Best Radio Editorial of 1994. In 2007 a Free River Press book edited by Robert, Aver & Ahora (Yesterday & Today): Stories of Sant Fe and Northern New Mexico, won a New Mexico Heritage Preservation Award.

Tune in to learn Robert's sure-fire techniques for getting everyone writing and to hear his thoughts on improving rural economic conditions.

  • Fri
    Sep 14
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  • Mon
    Sep 17
    8:00 am -
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Mary Vermillion, Seminal Murder

Mary Vermillion, Seminal MurderTo highlight real social issues, Mary Vermillion writes a murder mystery series featuring fictional radio talk show host (and amateur detective) Mara Gilgannon. Each Mara Gilgannon mystery explores a different contemporary issue. The third and latest installment in the series, which is published by Regal Crest Enterprises, focuses on lesbian couples who seek the services of an artificial insemination clinic.

Set in Iowa, Seminal Murder was released in May of 2012. A Professor of English at Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Mary teaches a diverse range of courses, including Shakespeare, Creative Writing, and Law and Literature. Mary and her students often conduct book clubs with inmates at Anamosa State Penitentiary. She's also taken students on literary tours of England. Join us for a fascinating, wide-ranging discussion! 

  • Fri
    Sep 07
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  • Mon
    Sep 10
    8:00 am -
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Kate McGuinness, "Terminal Ambition"

Kate McGuinness studied writing at the University of Southern California under the tutelage of Janet Fitch, who authored the Oprah Book Club selection "White Oleander." Kate pursued further studies in creative writing at the University of California, Los Angeles. Previously she'd earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego. Before leaving the corporate world to tackle fiction-writing, Kate practiced law for 17 years at a major international law firm, where she was one of a handful of women to achieve coveted partnership status. Later, a Fortune 500 company recruited Kate to serve as its General Counsel. Today she's a full-time writer who advocates for women's rights. Her essays on women's issues have appeared in Forbes Woman, The Women's Media Center, Jezebel, Role/Reboot, Ms. JD, The Girls Guide to Law School, and Fem2pt0. Her first published novel, Terminal Ambition, a legal thriller that explores issues of sexual harassment and discrimination, was published by Kate's publishing company Two XX Press in 2012.

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