historical fiction

The Last Woman Standing Book CoverA simple success strategy helped build the stellar reputation of acclaimed film critic and novelist Thelma Adams. Before putting pen to paper, she seeks commonality with the celebrities she profiles. She did this, too, with the historical figures who people her poignant new novel, The Last Woman Standing. Both Josephine Marcus, Wyatt Earp's wife for nearly 50 years, and Molly Fly, a wild west photographer who shot photos herself and preserved those of her more famous husband, are featured in Thelma's new book. For two decades, Thelma has written celebrity features and film criticism for high-profile publications. Her debut novel, Playdate, won high critical acclaim. For insight into successful interviewing and writing techniques, tune in this week to The Studio with Cheryl and Thelma Adams.

Julie BerryJulie Berry is an award-winning writer of novels for children and young adults, including The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place. 

The Passion of Dolssa

This week, Julie joins us on Writers' Voices to discuss her latest book, "The Passion of Dolssa," a historical novel for young adults set in 13th Century Provence, France.  It deals with some very adult topics - faith, love, fideltiy, and the power of the feminine.

And it is a great read!  Listen in - we'd love to have you.

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.

The Edge of Lost



This week, Monica and Caroline talk with Kristina McMorris, a novelist with a very interesting path to publication.

Her achievements include over 20 national literary awards, best-selling status, and recognition as one of Portland's "40 Under 40."  

Check out writersvoices.com for more on this great young writer.

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"Backlands" - a Tale of Brazilian Folk Heroes by Victoria Shorr

Backlands When historical fiction is done well, the reader gets the opportunity to live in a different time and place; to be absorbed in the sights, the sounds, and the smells; to feel what it might be like to life a completely different life.

Victoria Shorr

Join us this week on Writers' Voices to learn how Victoria Shorr painted the backlands of Brazil in her novel, "Backlands."  Based on the legendary bandits, Lampiao and Maria Bonita, who ruled the desolate outback known as the Sertao in the early 1900's, Shorr evokes the romance and mystique, and foregone conclusion, of an era.

Grace Gillespie Carter, AuthorFriendship helped Grace Gillespie Carter access the fortitude to plan, write, revise & self-publish City of Three Rivers, her award-winning epic novel set in Dayton, Ohio. As school girls, she and lifelong friend Rachel Hyde bonded over their shared love of writing. Eventually, they vowed to support each other's efforts to get their books written and published. Now both have succeeded: in December Rachel released her novel, More than We Know.

Grace's book, City of Three Riverscontains an intriguing mix of colorful fictional and actual historic figures (like the Wright brothers and quirky entrepreneur John Patterson). This novel's setting in flood-prone Dayton heightens suspense. With deftly drawn characters and a multigenerational approach, Grace's novel has won accolades from Dayton's current mayor and a number of authors. It also captured second place in the inaugural Inkfingerz writing competition. 

For a glimpse of how two friends urged each other on to self-publishing success, tune in this week to The Studio with Cheryl and Grace Gillespie Carter.

Esther Ehrlich, Author of NestWhy do people's stories matter? Because they help us discover what it means to be human. They help us explore how to make good choices about how to live, too. So says oral historian and author Esther Ehrlich. Her recently released historical novel NEST is receiving well-deserved and widespread critical acclaim. Nest explores serious issues (family dysfunction, physical disability, depression, grief, and loss). Still, joy leaps off its pages, and the healing power of nature, friendship and art is stressed. For a glimpse into the creative journey of a gifted writer, tune in to The Studio with Cheryl and Esther Ehrlich this week.


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The Visionist - Historical Fiction at its Finest

The VisionistMonica 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.  

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Linda Sue Park, A Long Walk to Water

Linda Sue Park is probably best known for writing the 2002 Newbery winner, A Single Shard, for which she became the first Korean American to win the Newbery. That book and many of her others, including A Long Walk to Water, have been named to various best-book-of-the-year awards.

Linda Sue, herself, has been honored with the Boston Public Library Literary Lights Award, the Empire State Author Award, and Rochester, New York's Arts Council Literary Artist of the Year Award.

Ethel Barker's experEthel Barker at KRUUiences teaching remedial reading to Junior High students helped her recognize the need for books that educate while holding students' interest. In 1988 while reading an Iowa history magazine called The Palimpsest, she spotted an historic photo of three ragged boys asleep beside a trash pile on a New York City street.

The accompanying article, "The Orphan Train Comes to Clarion" triggered her interest in the orphan train movement and Iowa's involvement in it. Years of research and writing culminated in Ice Cube Press's recent publication of Ethel's debut juvenile novel, For the Love of Pete: An Orphan Train Story. Ethel will read from this book at Prairie Lights Book Store in Iowa City at 7 PM on November 15th.