monicahadley's blog

  • Fri
    Apr 29
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  • Mon
    May 02
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    9:00 am

"All Better Now" is a Relative Term for Emily Wing Smith

Emily Wing SmithAll Better Now From the "Weird Smart Girl," to the "Thank God She was Hit by a Car Girl," to "Woo-Head" and "Bad Hand" - there was always something wrong with Emily Wing Smith.  In this memoir, complete with pages from her childhood medical history, Emily Wing Smith faces describes the struggles she faced to become "All Better Now," how relative that is when dealing with physical and mental illness, and how important writing and story-telling have been in the process. 

In our coversation, Emily highlights the paradox of how we view mentail illness. When her behavioral problems were blamed on a near-fatal brain tumor, somehow that was less "her fault."

Join us on Writers' Voices for an insightful conversation with this brave and authentic author.


Amy Gottlieb

The Beautiful Possible

Amy Gottlieb's debut novel, "The Beautiful Possible" is a love story that crosses worlds - from Nazi Germany, to India, to America - and generations.  

Amy is a graduate of Clark University and the university of Chicago and has published poetry and short stories widely.  She has been called "a bright star in the firmament of 21st century Jewish writers."

Join us on Writers' Voices for a conversation with this author who wrote,"inside every story lies the hidden kernel of an infininte one." 

  • Fri
    Apr 15
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  • Mon
    Apr 18
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Michael C. White Explores Loss in "Resting Places"

Michael C. WhiteResting Places"Resting Places" is Michael C. White's seventh novel.  He also teaches in Fairfield University's MFA in Creative Writing program, which he founded - that's Fairfield, Connecticut, not to be confused with Fairfield, Iowa, the home of KRUU and Writers' Voices.

A few years ago, Michael noticed one of those roadside memorials, known in Spanish as "descanos", or resting places, along a road he had often traveled.  He stopped to check it out, and the inscription and belongings that had been left there suggested an entire story of a man who had died there.  From that experience grew this novel about a woman who loses her son in a mysterious accident, and sets out on a cross country journey to visit the site of his death.

Join us on Writers' Voices as we once again delve into the craft of writing.


  • Fri
    Apr 08
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  • Mon
    Apr 11
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Everyone Loves Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder

William Anderson

If you grew up in the USA during the 1960s, 70's or 80's, then chances are you have fond memories of "The Little House on the Prairie" TV Show, if not the books.

  Our guest this week on Writers' Voices, William Anderson, fell in love with "The Little House" book in the third grade, and became curious about the real lives of the people the book was based on.  He went on to write at least half a dozen books about Laura Ingalls Wilder and her work, plus over 20 other books, mostly history for young readers. His most recent book "The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder" brings this celebrated author to live in her own words, annotated with useful historical references.


Saeeda HafizThe Healing

When I see a book that is a memoir of someone who has embarked on a spiritual path (usually Eastern in origin),  and/or promoting a cleaner diet or exercise regime, I expect a rosy picture, filled with tantalizing rewards of living and eating "right." The newly pure are happier, healthier and more prosperous.

In Saeeda Hafiz's book "The Healing: A Memoir of Food, Family and Yoga" is more truthful. Such changes may come slowly and at times involve two steps forward, three steps back. The expected benefits don't always materialize, at least not in the way you expected.

Saeeda is an African American woman raised in an environment rife with poverty, addiction and domesitc violence.  In her memoir, she shares her authentic story of overcoming that legacy through food and yoga.  And lots of hard work.

Join us on Writers' Voices for another great conversation!


Ruta SepetysToday's guest on Writers' Voices, Ruta Sepetys, is the NYT bestselling author of the young adult historical novel and soon-to-be feature film, "Between Shades of Gray," set in Siberia in 1941.

Now, in her third book, "Salt to the Sea" she once again looks to her Eastern European roots and the WWII time periodSalt to the Sea to bring to light the little-known story of the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, where thousands of fleeing East Prussians, mostly children, lost their lives.

Ruta's books have been published in 45 countries and 33 languages. Join us to learn more about this oft-overlooked piece of history, and what goes into writing a historical novel.

FractureTo tell the truth, I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed this book - "Fracture: essays, poems and stories on fracking in america."  After all, it seems like a pretty dull subject. Turns out I was wrong about that! Taylor Brorby

This intriguing anthology was published by Iowa's own Ice Cube Press in North Liberty, a remarkable independent press which publishes books on how we can best learn to live in the Midwest.  (Here's a great article on Ice Cube from the Iowa Source.)

Our guest today is Taylor Brorby, coeditor with Stefanie Brook Trout, of "Fracture." Taylor is a much-published writer who is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State University in Ames.

  • Fri
    Mar 04
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  • Mon
    Mar 07
    9:00 am -
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Dr. James Doty Takes Writers' Voices "Into the Magic Shop"

James DotyThe title of this book pretty much says it all: "Into the Magic Shop:  A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart."  And if that doesn't get your attention, you might be intrigued by the fact that the author, Dr. James Doty, is a clinical professor in Neurosurgery at Stanford, and the director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research adn Education at Stanford University School of Medicine.Into the Magic Shop

In this book, Dr. Doty tells the story of how a wise woman took him, a struggling young boy, under his wing and trained him how to control his mind, open his heart, and control his destiny. He shows us how he applied the lessons he learned as a 12 year old, but also how he failed.

Dr. Doty was recently featured on the PBS series "On Being."  Join us this week on Writer's Voices as we speak with him about magic, compassion, and writing.

Kate Hamer

"Kate Hamer’s gripping debut novel immediately recalls the explosion of similarly titled books and movies, from Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and its sequels, to The Girl on the Train to Gone Girl … "—Michiko Kakutani, The New York TimesGirl in Red Dress

What is it like to write a book that takes you to the darkest, most fearful places?

Join us this week on Writer's Voices for this insightful discussion.

Michelle Gable

Writer's Voices welcomes Michelle Gable back to the air.  We first spoke with Michelle last September when her debut novel, "A Paris Apartment" was released.  It has now made thI'll See You in Parise NYT bestseller's list, as well as the USA Today list and #1 on all of Amazon.

While Michelle was researching "A Paris Apartment" she uncovered a character who inspired her new novel, "I'll See You in Paris."

You can listen to this interview at

Writers' Voices every Friday 1pm CT, rebroadcast Mondays at 8am.

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