If you have been listening to Writers' Voices awhile, you probably know that co-host Caroline Kilbourn is single-handedly attempting to keep alive the lost art of letter-writing. You know, the kind written on paper (often by hand, with a pen), and actdually mailed? with a stamp? Well, perhaps not single-handedly, since the people she writes to often write back!
And there's also Shaun Usher, whose belief in "the importance and unrivalled charm of old-fashioned correspondence" led him to start a website in 2009 called lettersofnote.com. There are currently over 900 "letters, postcards,telegrams, faxes and memos" featured on the site, written by people both famous and ordinary. From this intriguing archive, Usher selected more than 125 letters to feature in this beautifully designed anthology. As one critic wrote, this books is "the literary equivalent of a box of chocolates - bite-sized and pure addictive pleasure."
Join us this week on Writers' Voices to learn how Usher finds the letters, how he chose which ones to include in the book, and the process of creating such a beautiful work of literary history.
Monica and Caroline welcomed debut novelist Rachel Urquhart to Writers' Voices July 17. Her book, "The Visionist" was recently published by Little, Brown to much acclaim. Set in 1842 during a time when young girls falling into trance states were revered as "Visionists", the story is told from multiple points of view and lays bare the struggles of the rural poor and the price paid to enjoy the relative prosperity of the Shaker communities where many sought refuge.
In this interview, Urquhart shares why the Shakers piqued her interest plus some of the details she uncovered in her research, the steps leading to her publishing success, and the influence of her grandfather, who won an Oscar for his screenplay for "Gone with the Wind" on her own writing.
I think there has never been a more exciting time to write for children. Start with an intriguing story, and you can end up with many forms. For our first guest today, William Joyce, the forms include short animated films and digital apps. And yet, the picture book itself is still the backbone of the multi-media experience.
Joyce, co-founder of Moonbot Studios in Shreveport, LA,
This story begins in the 1800's, but let's pick it up on June 22, 2014, the last day of the 2014 Fair Fest, which was sponsored by KRUU. That's the day that was partially rained out but the show went on in the Sondheim Theater, which is where I sat in the late afternoon for a while. Between sets, Denise Gallagher spotted me and, with great enthusiasm, told me about this writer who was in Iowa City for a reading of her recently published book about her great grandmother, and drove down to Fairfield to do research on the subject of her next book, her great-great grandmother Mrs. Doctor Keck.
Denise used my cell phone to call the writer, Greta Nettleton, right then and there, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Mrs. Doctor Keck, was "the quack" in "The Quack's Daughter: A True Story About the Private Life of a Victorian College Girl." She came to Fairfield as a young woman, married, bore children, and soon gained renown as a gifted healer; her medical knowledge probably based on her Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. Unfortunately, she ran afoul of the medical establishment of the time, and moved her family to Davenport, where she became a patent medicine millionairre and eventually sent her young daughter, Cora, east to Vassar College.
Greta discovered her great grandmother Cora's diary and a trunkful of memorabilia from her college days, and from that came this wonderful book.
To bring this story full circle - Fairfield is celebrating its 175th birthday this weekend, Julya 4 - 5! Greta will be back in town for Art Walk, with books to sign at the Fairfield Public Library's Art Walk booth. Anyone with an interest in Fairfield's history, or how the medical establishment got so established will enjoy speaking with Greta, or listening to this insightful interview.
If you have ever dreamed about publishing your first novel, you will definitely want to tune in to Writers' Voices this week as we speak with Amy Spitzfaden, co-winner of the first Inkfingerz Publishing Contest sponsored by Writers' Voices and 1st World Publishing, both of Fairfield Iowa.
It is really exciting for us to read this book and know that we helped make it happen!
She graduated with a literature and writing degree from Maharishi University of Management in 2012 and now lives in Temple, New Hampshire with her husband, Ravi. She works as editor and social media manager at PSCS Consulting in Peterborough.
Amy is back in Fairfield for a short time to launch her book. She will be reading and signing books at Revelations Saturday, June 28 at 1:30 pm so y'all come!
Tune in to Writers' Voices this week to hear the fascinating stories behind two great new books written by strong women.
First up, Heather Gray, with "Faith, Hope, Love & Deployment," a devotional for military families that she started writing with her husband David during his last deployment to Afghanistan. Sadly, he was killed in action, but inspired by his last letter home which began "To answer the question of why I'm willing to lay my life on the line for my country...", Heather finished this truly needed book.
The second half of this week's show features the truly impressive Lillian Darr, now 92 and a resident of Fairfield. Lilllian, author of a very entertaining look back on her life so far, "Memoirs of a 90-year Old Hippie," will be joining us live in the KRUU studio.
Caroline and Monica are delighted to bring these two wonderful women to Writers' Voices!
Bruce Joshua Miller has worked in the book industry for thirty-five years, much of it as a sales rep (he was named Publisher's Weekly Sales Rep of the Year in 2013). Miller previously edited two books and has written for public radio, the Chicago Tribune, and other publications. In "Curiosity's Cats: Writers on Research" Miller commissioned thirteen authors to write original essays that read like fiction and tell the real story behind the story. More than anything, these fascinating explorations of hands-on research make the case for the importance of libraries and archives even in today's wired world.
Curiosity's Cats was published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press.
Any writer who needs to research (and I think that means every writer), and readers who like to see behind the curtain will definitely want to tune in to this weeks Writers Voices!
Imagine that you decide to write a novel. A young adult fantasy suspense novel, set in the United Kingdom (where you live). But you are not J K Rowling, and your novel is not Harry Potter. It is darker, more realistic, and your hero is a sixteen year old who lives in a cage and is trained to kill. Like so many writers before you, when you are finished you try to get published.
Now imagine that your debut young adult novel, the first in a planned trilogy, attracts the attention of several major publishers and is auctioned to the highest bidder, sold in 45 countries, sets a world record for the most translated book by a debut author prior to publication, and is optioned to be made into a movie by FOX, with the producer of "Twilight" and "The Book Thief" at the helm.
Join us this week on Writers' Voices as we sit down with Sally Green and hear what it's like to write a dark fantasy and then live a light and joyful one.
This week on Writers' Voices we went to the archives and brought back our interview with Markos Moulitsas. Markos is the author of "American Taliban: How War, Sex,
Sin, and Power Bind Jihadists and the Radical Right." The book is a no holds barred treatise on the similarities between the radical conservatives in our own country and Islamic terrorists. Citing examples of fear of change, heavy use of militaristic solutions, disdain for non-traditional lifestyles, and their ultimate goals of imposing their own worldview on the rest of society.
Markos, the founder and publisher of the progressive community blog Daily Kos, was named "the single most successful entreprenuer of the progressive movement" by the New York Times magazine writer Matt Bai. He served in the U.S. Army from 1989 through 1992. He is also the author of two previous books.
"Shiny" is a powerful and touching novel by Rudy Wilson, co-winner of the 2013 Inkfingerz writing competition sponsofed by Writers' Voices and 1st World Publishing. Join us this week on Writer's Voices as Rudy tells the story behind "Shiny" and its long and winding path to publication. We will also delve into how Rudy stepped onto the writing path and what has kept him writing through its many ups and downs.
Rudy is the author of four books including "The Red Truck" and "Sonja's Blue," and has published widely in literary magazines and online (Check out some of his essays about writing and publishing on writersvoices.com. ) Among his many distinctions, Rudy was awarded an NEA fellowship for fiction and was nominated last year for the prestigious Pushcart Prize. He has an MFA from the University of Iowa's Writing Workshop and has taught fiction writing for many years. Rudy is a popular guest on Writer's Voices and we are glad to have him back!