Category

Writers on Writing

Humor, Memoir, Non Fiction, Writers on Writing

DEC 03: Sara Ruhl’s Letters From Max

Sara Ruhl is a distinguished playwright and author, Tony award nominee, and two time Pulitzer Prize finalist.  In 2012, exuberant and opinionated Max Ritvo took her playwriting class at Yale University, proving himself a highly gifted poet.  Max was also in remission from pediatric cancer.  Over the course of four years, Sara watched Max blossom as his illness returned and his health declined, exchanging a series of letters with him that changed the way she looked at life, death, and the unexpected connections one makes along the way.  She shares these urgency and humor filled exchanges in Letters From Max: A Book of Friendship.

Sara’s plays have won numerous awards, and have been produced all over the country and internationally, including on Broadway.

 

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Essays, Inspirational, Memoir, Non Fiction, Travel & Adventure, Writers on Writing

Nov 19: Anne Lamott on Almost Everything: Notes on Hope & Mary Ann Esposito’s Ciao Italia

She’s a writer’s-writer. A reader’s-writer. And with self-effacing humor, and ruthless honesty, Anne Lamott makes us think about what most of us don’t like to think about.

She’s known for writing and speaking about subjects that begin with Big Capital Letters. Today we’ll share her thoughts on Hate, Jealousy, Love, Hope, and preserving one’s Sanity.

A New York Times bestselling author and recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Anne Lamott has been inducted into the California Hall of Fame. She’s taught at UC Davis, as well as at writing conferences across the country.

Academy Award-winning filmmaker, Freida Mock, made a documentary on her called Bird by Bird with Annie. Anne Lamott’s latest book of essays is Almost Everything: Notes on Hope.

We’ll end today’s show chatting with the host of Ciao Italia, the longest-running cooking show on television, Mary Ann Esposito.  Find out the secret to the show’s success, her thoughts regarding pairing food and wine, and a few of her all time favorites for those who like to put an Italian spin on Thanksgiving.  Her latest book, Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy reads as both a cookbook and a love-letter to Italy.

Mary Ann’s 12 books have helped chefs and foodies understand authentic Italian ingredients and dishes.  She created and has hosted Ciao Italia on PBS since 1989.

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Fiction, Writers on Writing

NOV 05: Marie Lu’s WILDCARD, Lisa Unger’s Under My Skin, & Lou Berney’s November Road

#1 New York Times bestseller Marie Lu joins Vicki today to discuss her new book WILDCARD: It’s Time for a Rematch.  She’ll share how her experiences in the gaming industry aid her in creating rich and magnificent worlds that appeal to a wide spectrum of readers.

Marie emigrated to the US from China at 5, and to learn English her mother would make her take new words she learned every week and write a story with them.  She is now a bestselling author with a film deal for her novel, The Young Elites.

Next, throughout her career, Lisa Unger has toed the fine line between literary novels and commercial thrillers, all the while staying on the New York Times bestseller lists and earning critical acclaim.  Her latest book, Under My Skin, was named one of the most anticipated thrillers of the fall.

Lisa is a New York Times and international bestselling, award-winning author of sixteen novels.

Finally, award-winning author Lou Berney captures the precariousness of femininity in November Road.  His latest novel is a thriller, historical fiction, a love story, a work of feminism — above all it’s a compelling piece of storytelling.

Lou Berney is the author of three previous novels, and his short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New YorkerPloughshares, and the Pushcart Prize anthology.

 

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Fiction, Non Fiction, Writers on Writing

OCT 15: Joseph Olshan’s Black Diamond Fall & James Swallow’s Nomad

In a constantly changing publishing world, two writers and authors have managed to sustain thriving careers.  Today, we’ll find out how they stay ahead of the game.

First, Joseph Olshan returns to discuss how he drove the publishing path for his tenth book, Black Diamond Fall, without an agent, and whether or not it is a direction he would continue to go in.  Joseph is an award-winning author of 10 novels and is the editorial director of Delphinium Books.  He will be appearing at University Bookstore in Seattle on October 18 at 6pm.

Later, from videogames, to audio dramas, to science fiction, to the first in a new thriller series with his new book Nomad, there is virtually no writing genre too big for James Swallow.  Today he’ll share how he approaches writing a game differently than, say, a novel.  James is a British author and scriptwriter. A BAFTA nominee, Scribe Award winner, New York Times, Sunday  Times and Amazon bestseller, he is the author of over 45 original books and tie-in novels, along with numerous short stories, audio dramas and videogames.

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Fiction, Inspirational, Memoir, Social Issues, Women's Issues, Writers on Writing

SEP 24: Linda Kay Klein’s PURE and Joseph Olshan’s Black Diamond Falls

On the heels of the MeToo movement comes Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement that Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke FreeLinda Kay Klein shares how the system of mind-and-body shaming works, showing the connection between purity culture and rape culture, and the importance of facing your fears and standing up to sexual shaming.

Linda is the founder of Break Free Together, and has spent over a decade working at the cross section of faith, gender, and social change.

 Inspired by the actual disappearance of a student at Middlebury College and the vandalism of the nearby Robert Frost Homestead, Black Diamond Fall is an evocative portrait of love between a younger and older man.  Author Joseph Olshan joins us for part one of a two part conversation today to discuss this latest in his line of riveting mysteries.

Joseph is an award-winning author of 10 novels and is the editorial director of Delphinium Books.  He will be appearing at University Bookstore in Seattle on October 18 at 6pm.

 

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Fiction, Memoir, Social Issues, Writers on Writing

SEP 17: Ellen Keith’s The Dutch Wife & Sara Smarsh’s Heartland

Award-winning writer Ellen Keith joins us today to discuss how she found the inspiration for a great historical fiction novel in one of the worst moments of humanity’s history.  In The Dutch Wife, she chronicles a little known piece of World War II history, exposing the concentration camp brothels.

Ellen’s work has appeared in publications such as The New Quarterly and The Globe and Mail, and she has received the Anton Fiction Prize and the James Patrick Folinsbee Memorial Scholarship in Creative Writing.

Born a fifth-generation Kansas wheat farmer on her paternal side, and the daughter of generations of teen moms on her maternal side, Sara Smarsh was raised in a family of laborers trapped in a cycle of poverty.  In Heartland, she takes an uncompromising look at class, identity, and the perils of having less in a country known for its excess.

Sara has covered socioeconomic class, political, and public policy for numerous publications including Harpers.org, The Guardian, and NewYorker.com. She’s a recent Joan Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard and former professor of nonfiction writing.

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Fiction, Women's Issues, Writers on Writing

AUG 27: Summer Reads from Kristina McMorris, Kristan Higgins, & Lori Foster

“2 children for sale” reads the sign sitting on a farmhouse porch in 1931.  The sign is a last resort, but could be found anywhere in an era of breadlines, bank runs, and broken dreams.  Sold on a Monday author Kristina McMorris discusses how she weaves historical fact into fiction to create a powerful and compelling story.

Kristina is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Her novels have garnered more than two dozen prestigious awards and nominations.

Next, Kristan Higgins admits that most of her books have a dog in them , her logic being that life without a dog is pretty lonely to contemplate.  Her latest novel is Good Luck with That, a story of two women on a journey to self-acceptance.

Kristan is a New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 18 novels, and recipient of dozens of awards for her writing.

Finally, Lori Foster joins talks about the first novel in her Summer Resort Series, Cooper’s Charm, a tale of two sisters and how a summer in a lakeside resort brings redemption and healing.

Lori  is a New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than 100 titles.  She is the recipient of the prestigious RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Fantasy, and for Contemporary Romance.

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Humor, Non Fiction, Personal Development, Women's Issues, Writers on Writing

AUG 06: Matthew Dicks’ Storyworthy & Maxine Rosaler’s Queen for a Day

You’re already a storyteller.  Whether it’s on a date, a job interview, or relating something that happened on the way to work, we tell stories every day.  Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life through the Power of Storytelling by Matthew Dicks gives you straightforward tips and techniques to take your ability to tell your stories to the next level.

Matthew is a 35-time Moth StorySLAM champion and 6-time Moth GrandSLAM champion.  He is an international bestseller, and in addition to his novels he has written musicals, a rock opera, and comic books.

Next, who wouldn’t want to be Queen for a day?  What if that meant you get to compete against other potential Queens for the grand prize of … stainless steel silverware?  Maxine Rosaler uses 1950’s era nostalgia as inspiration in her new book, Queen for a Day, examining imperfect women with special needs children, living under enormous pressure. 

Maxine has had fiction and nonfiction published in several literary magazines and is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for Fiction.

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Fiction, Writers on Writing

JUL 30: Mary Kay Andrews’ The High Tide Club

Queen of the beach reads Mary Kay Andrews joins Vicki today to discuss The High Tide Club, a story shrouded in mystery, Spanish Moss, cocktails, 1940’s dinner dances, and love, both lost and found.  She’ll also reveal why the South makes the perfect setting for her tales, and how her career as a journalist prepared her for her career as a bestselling author.

Mary Kay is a New York Times bestselling author of 24 novels and one upcoming beach-themed cookbook.  She spent 14 years as a reporter for various Georgia newspapers, including the last ten at the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Today, we’ll also celebrate the 11th anniversary of Conversations Live with Vicki St. Clair with special giveaways and reflections on what our show has accomplished over the years!

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Fiction, Health & Wellness, Writers on Writing

JUL 09: Dan Millman’s Return of the Peaceful Warrior & Mary Simses’ The Rules of Love and Grammar

Dan Millman provides a calm harbor in the storm of today’s ever-changing daily news cycles and stresses in his new book, The Hidden School: Return of the Peaceful Warrior.  He intertwines fiction and autobiography, and shows how to stay centered, focused, and present.

Dan Millman is a former world champion gymnast, coach, martial arts teacher, and college professor, and has authored 17 books.

Later, Mary Simses gives a valuable lesson in the futility of striving for perfection in her second novel,  The Rules of Love and Grammar.  Bestselling author James Patterson calls it a “… smart, well-told story about memory, family, and of course, love.”

Mary Simses enrolled in a fiction writing course while working as a corporate attorney, and her experiences getting short stories published led her to write her first novel, which was adapted into a Hallmark movie.

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