Category

History

Fiction, History, Suspense, Thriller, Writers on Writing

JUN 29: The Omega Factor with NYT Bestselling Author Steve Berry

#1 International Thriller Bestseller Introduces New Character – Nicholas Lee

It’s been a decade since Steve Berry wrote a stand-alone novel and that’s what we talk about today with The Omega Factor. Why write a stand-alone now? Who is Nick Lee? How did Steve Berry learn about the legendary Ghent Altarpiece, a highly-violated work of art that’s been stolen, vandalized, or dismantled 13 times? Do the Maidens of Saint-Michael (think ninja nuns) really exist? Are they really at odds with the Vatican and Catholic Church? And, how and where did Steve take creative license and tweak historical truth to make a new thrill ride.

About Steve Berry

Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of 16 Cotton Malone novels, five stand-alone thrillers, and several works of short fiction. Steve serves as an emeritus member of the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board and was a founding member of International Thriller Writers (ITW). With his wife, Elizabeth, Berry is the founder of History matters, dedicated to historical preservation. The Omega Factor is Steve’s latest novel.

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Arts, Creativity, Essays, History, Non Fiction

JUN 08: Movie Historian John DiLeo – There Are No Small Parts

100 Outstanding Film Performances with Screen Time of 10 Minutes or Less

Today we dive into a few of the stories in John DiLeo‘s fascinating new book There Are No Small Parts.  And that means we’re heading to the movies – vicariously, through John’s book.

In There Are No Small Parts, film expert DiLeo focuses on 100 amazing performances where actors – including some very big names at the top of their game – were on screen for just 10 minutes or less. Why would big names appear in a film for less than 10 minutes? Tune in to find out!

About John DiLeo

Movie historian John DiLeo is the author of six previous books about classic movies. He has been a frequent participant in the Black Bear Film Festival in Pennsylvania, has conducted onstage interviews with many named actors, and is often heard on Sirius XM radio. As a book reviewer, John DiLeo has contributed frequently to the Washington Post.

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Fiction, History, Writers on Writing

May 05: NYT Bestselling Author Jenny Lecoat

Based on a true story of a courageous young Jewish woman trapped under Nazi occupation on the Isle of Jersey in WWII

Considering her background, fate may have decreed Jenny Lecoat’s first novel would spark a bidding war between two major publishers and become a New York Times Bestseller.

The Girl From the Channel Islands is based on the true story of Hedy Bercu. We discuss why Jenny told Bercu’s story via fiction versus nonfiction; where she took creative license and why. How Jenny’s background informed those decisions and shaped the story.  Jenny also shares some of the true anecdotes she encountered during her research. And what it took to go from successful screenplay writer to successful novelist.

About Jenny Lecoat

Born in the Channel Islands, Jenny Lecoat was raised among family who passed down their own stories of life in German occupied Jersey. Jenny dove into screenwriting following early career turns as a stand-up comic and writing features for periodicals.  Her feature film, Another Mother’s Son, was released in 2017.

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Fiction, History, Writers on Writing

DEC 08: Love, Theodosia with Lori Anne Goldstein

Historical love story inspired by Hamilton

LOVE, THEODOSIA takes place during the post-American Revolution era. After seeing the hit musical, Hamilton, author Lori Anne Goldstein started questioning “what if?” That led her to conjure a tale of Philip Hamilton and Theodosia Burr–a vibrant feminist, ahead of her time, who was lost at sea.

We discuss how Lori captured the essence of real life characters that she fictionalizes in Love, Theodosia. What went into her research. Some of the challenges her characters faced. And how Lori went from YA author to writing historical fiction.

About Lori Anne Goldstein

A creative writing instructor, Lori Anne Goldstein is the author of four young adult novels. She credits her journalism background with giving her the skills and desire to conduct the extensive research at the core of her adult historical debut, LOVE, THEODOSIA.

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History, Non Fiction, Travel & Adventure

DEC 01: Brad Ricca with True Raiders

The Untold Story of the 1909 Expedition to Find the Legendary Ark of the Covenant

When author Brad Ricca learned his favorite movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, might have been based on a real life expedition, he felt as though his “… face was melting off.” So maybe it was inevitable that one day he’d dig deeper into the story and write his own book about the true archaeological exploration.

We discuss some of the real life characters from the 1909 event, and how Brad researched the facts (and maybe a few conspiracies). How he chooses what to include and discard when storytelling for nonfiction. And how he managed to climb into the mindset of each character to share their point of view.

About Brad Ricca

The author of the Edgar Award-nominated Mrs. Sherlock Holmes, Olive the Lionheart, and Super Boys, Brad Ricca is also the winner of the Ohioana Book Award for Nonfiction. He won the St Lawrence Book Award for American Mastodon. And his latest book is True Raiders: The Untold Story of the 1909 Expedition to Find the Legendary Ark of the Covenant.

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History, Journalism, Memoir, Non Fiction

May 05: The Explorer Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World

ICEBOUND by Andrea Pitzer

In the 1500s, William Barents became the first Dutch polar explorer to set sail in an attempt to discover a northern route to China. Andrea Pitzer became fascinated by his story. So much so, that she did what all curious journalists would do—she set sail to retrace his journey.

We discuss what Andrea learned about Barents’ three Arctic expeditions, and some of the little known history around his challenges and successes. Andrea also shares how her own expedition to the Russian Arctic was life changing; what surprised her the most. And the highlight of her experience sailing on a tall ship, where she spent time high up the mast.

About Andrea Pitzer

Icebound: Shipwrecked At The Edge Of The World is the latest book by critically acclaimed author and journalist  Andrea Pitzer. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Review of Books, The Daily Beast, Vox, and Slate. Andrea’s two previous books are One Long Night and The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov.

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History, Non Fiction, Social Issues, Women's Issues

APR 14: The Agitators with NYT Bestselling Author Dorothy Wickenden

Three Friends Who Fought for Abolition and Women’s Rights

The Agitators tells fascinating stories surrounding America’s abolition, the Underground Railroad, and early women’s rights movements from the intimate perspective of three friendsMartha Coffin Wright, Frances A. Seward, and Harriet Tubman.

It took Dorothy Wickenden seven years to research and write The Agitators. Today she shares some of the challenges in the lives of these “agitators”, and how they were united in spirit, despite having very different backgrounds. We also discuss how Quakers led the first large movement to abolish slavery. Some of the research that surprised and delighted the author. And what she would ask these women, if she could.

About Dorothy Wickenden

Dorothy Wickenden is the author of Nothing Daunted and The Agitators, and has been the executive editor of The New Yorker since 1996. She also writes for the magazine and is the moderator of its weekly podcast Politics & More. A former Nieman Fellow at Harvard, Wickenden was national affairs editor at Newsweek from 1993-1995.

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Fiction, History, Writers on Writing

MAR 17: The Girl From the Channel Islands with NYT Bestselling Author Jenny Lecoat

Inspired by the true story of a young Jewish woman trapped on the Isle of Jersey under Nazi occupation in WWII

Based on her background, maybe Jenny Lecoat’s first novel was destined to start a bidding war and become a New York Times Bestseller.

The Girl From the Channel Islands is based on the true story of Hedy Bercu. We discuss why Jenny told Bercu’s story via fiction versus nonfiction; where she took creative license and why. How Jenny’s background influenced her; and how the book sparked a bidding war with two major publishers.  Jenny also shares some of the true stories she ran into during her research. And what it took to go from successful screenplay writer to successful novelist.

About Jenny Lecoat

Born in the Channel Islands, Jenny Lecoat grew up with family who passed down their own stories of life in German occupied Jersey. Following an early career in stand-up comedy, and writing features for periodicals, she became a screenwriter. Jenny Lecoat’s feature film Another Mother’s Son was released in 2017.

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Fiction, History, Thriller, Writers on Writing

FEB 24: Steve Berry with The Kaiser’s Web

New York Times & #1 International Bestselling Author

Steve Berry returns to Conversations Live with his latest book, which happens to be #16 in the Cotton Malone Series, and Berry’s 20th novel — The Kaiser’s Web. When a secret dossier from a World War II-era Soviet spy is exposed, it could rewrite history and impact Germany’s upcoming national elections, forever changing the political landscape of Europe.

Since Steve is an avid historian and travels extensively for his research, how is he handling pandemic restrictions? How did this impact background material  for The Kaiser’s Web? And what is Steve’s most important piece of marketing advice for authors?

About Steve Berry

History lies at the heart of every Steve Berry novel. His title’s include The Kaiser’s Web, The Warsaw Protocol, The Malta Exchange, and others. Berry’s books have been translated into 41 languages with 25,000,000 copies in 52 countries. They consistently appear in the top echelon of The New York Times,USA Today, and Indie bestseller lists. And in 2010, a NPR survey named The Templar Legacy one of the top 100 thrillers ever written.

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Biography, History, Non Fiction

FEB 03: Icebound with Andrea Pitzer

Shipwrecked At The Edge Of The World

“‘Icebound’ takes us back to the Arctic, in all its terror and splendor” — says The New York Times. And today Andrea Pitzer has two true stories to tell. The first about Dutch polar explorer, William Barents, who set sail in the 1500s to find a northern route to China.  The second, her own life-changing journey to sail in Barents’ wake.

We discuss the ancient explorer’s trials and successes during his three Arctic expeditions.  How Andrea sailed a tall ship and spent time high up the mast. How her expedition to the Russian Arctic changed her. And what surprised her the most.

About Andrea Pitzer

Critically acclaimed author Andrea Pitzer is a journalist whose writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Review of Books, The Daily Beast, Vox, and Slate. Her two previous books are One Long Night and The Secret History of Vladimir Nabokov. Her latest is Icebound: Shipwrecked At The Edge Of The World.

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