Category

Writers on Writing

Fiction, Suspense, Writers on Writing

Dec 16: Last Girl Ghosted with NYT Bestselling Author Lisa Unger

Think Twice Before You Swipe

Whether or not you’ve already dated online, Lisa Unger‘s Last Girl Ghosted will definitely make you think twice before you swipe. As well as the dangers of online dating, this suspense story touches on mental health, family abuse, and a survivalist lifestyle.

Today we talk about why Lisa says love is not an algorithm. How she crafted her protagonist,  flaws and all. The most challenging parts of writing … or not.  What Lisa’s mom asked her to change in the book. And … did she change it?

About Lisa Unger

Lisa Unger is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author. With books published in 30 languages and millions of copies sold worldwide, she is widely regarded as a master of suspense. Her latest novel is LAST GIRL GHOSTED.

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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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Fiction, Writers on Writing

OCT 20: Juliette Fay with Catch Us When We Fall

Catch Us When We Fall delivers a character who seems beyond help — but is anybody ever beyond reach?

Her characters first appeared in a dream, and today we learn how Juliette Fay always knew she’d write a story about an alcoholic.

Juliette shares her research into AA, recovery, and the fears addicts often have about getting sober. How childhood trauma can shape our lives. The development of  protagonists, Cass and Scott. And what’s coming next for this bestselling author.

About Juliette Fay

Juliette Fay is the bestselling author of five previous novels including City of Flickering Light and The Tumbling Turner Sisters, a USA Today bestseller. Her book awards include: Library Journal’s Top 5 Best  Books of 2012-Women’s Fiction, a Massachusetts Book Award Must-Read Book, and Indie Next pick. Juliette is a graduate of  Harvard University.

 

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Fiction, Writers on Writing

AUG 19: NYT Bestselling Novelist Heather Gudenkauf Shares Summer Reads

5 books to read & authors to look out for

Heather Gudenkauf takes a break from her busy schedule to share four of her summer reading recommendations with us — from laugh-out-loud funny to darker suspense, crime, and mystery.

And to complete the list we’re adding Heather’s most recent thriller, This is How I Lied.

Grab a pen and notepad, and listen up!

About Heather Gudenkauf

Heather Gudenkauf is the Edgar Award nominated, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Weight of Silence, These Things Hidden, Not A Sound, and This is How I Lied. Heather has worked with students of all ages during her career and continues to work in education as a Title I Reading Coordinator.

 

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Fiction, Poetry, Writers on Writing

AUG 11: Summer Reads & Celebrations with Susan Wiggs & Maggie Smith

One novelist. One poet. A whole lot of good reading!

“Even sitting closed on a shelf, a book had a life of its own.”
Susan Wiggs

Today #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs shares some of her favorite books for summer reading, authors to follow, and her best summer cocktail recipe.

Susan joined us last year with her latest novel, The Lost and Found Bookshop. Now she celebrates the premium edition, which includes special features, including book club resources. But Susan’s favorite feature of the new edition is the recipe in the back of the book. It’s ” … the best banana bread in the world!” she says.  Find earlier conversations with Susan Wiggs here.

Long-celebrated in the poetry community for her lyricism and style, Pushcart Prizewinning poet Maggie Smith gained star status in 2016 with her viral poem Good Bones.

Today, Maggie shares her latest collection, Goldenrod. Celebrating “the contours of daily life”, Goldenrod explores the space between thought and experience reminding us that we decide what is beautiful. Maggie reads and discusses a couple of her poems with us. And shares her writing journey, and why poetry is her chosen form.

About Susan Wiggs

Susan Wiggs’ novels have appeared in the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List, and have been translated into more than 20 languages, and read in over 30 countries. A former Harvard graduate, Susan Wiggs has been featured in the national media, including NPR, PRI, and USA Today.

Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith is the bestselling author of Good Bones, The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison, Lamp of the Body, and the national bestseller Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change. A 2011 recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Smith has received several awards including a Pushcart Prize.

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Fiction, Writers on Writing

JUL 21: Alka Joshi’s New Novel – The Secret Keeper of Jaipur

NYT Bestselling of Author of The Henna Artist

Set in India, The Secret Keeper of Jaipur is a tale of loyalty, ambition, and love that plunges readers back into the world of The Henna Artist – a world of power, money, and secrets.

Today, returning guest ALKA JOSHI shares detailed insight into the culture and traditions of India, that richly permeate her novels. We discuss creativity and how she approaches her work. Why, unlike many authors, she doesn’t consider a writing routine important. And – as a marketing and PR expert – Alka shares her best advice to authors and creatives about getting your work into the world.

About Alka Joshi

Born in Jodhpur, India, ALKA JOSHI has lived in the U.S. since she was nine-years-old. A Stanford University graduate, Alka worked in advertising and PR before starting her own marketing consultancy. In 2011, she earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the California College of Arts in San Francisco, California. The Secret Keeper of Jaipur is Alka Joshi’s second novel.

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Fiction, Writers on Writing

JUL 14: Eileen Patricia Curran with Hungry Hill

How The World’s Oldest Virgin inspired Hungry Hill

Degrees in finance, marketing, and design can go a long way to helping you independently publish your work. Today Eileen Patricia Curran discusses her journey from inspiration, to writing, and publishing her debut novel Hungry Hill.

Eileen shares some of the challenges of writing her first novel — including being a slow writer. We also explore why she chose to publish independently. How she plays with humor in a story of love, loss, and healing. And why, sometimes, we have to lose ourselves to find ourselves.

About Eileen Patricia Curran

EILEEN PATRICIA CURRAN was born in Massachusetts and spent much of her childhood in Connecticut. She has degrees in Economics and Finance, Marketing, and Interior Design. Hungry Hill is her first book.

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Fiction, Writers on Writing

MAY 26: Joani Elliott with The Audacity of Sara Grayson

“Do that thing that makes you feel alive.”

JOANI ELLIOTT believes in the magic of stories, a good cup of tea, and the power of living a creative life. So maybe it’s no surprise that her debut novel is about a writer who’s just landed the toughest assignment of her life.

Joani shares great insight into her creative journey, and some of the challenges she faced, while writing her debut novel. Like her willingness as a writer to step into the unknown. Why this former academic had to learn to tap into her own emotions, to gain the truth of her emotional scenes. How she came to terms with the messy process of writing…and more.

About Joani Elliott

Joani Elliott taught writing at the University of Maryland and Brigham Young University. The Audacity of Sara Grayson is her first novel. Find book club resources, virtual author chats, and more at joanielliott.com.

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Fiction, Writers on Writing

May 19: The Woman With The Blue Star by NYT Bestseller Pam Jenoff

A testament to the power of friendship & extraordinary will to survive

Today’s guest says, “After 25 years of studying World War II and the Holocaust, when I find a story that makes me gasp, I know I am onto something that will make my readers feel the same way.”

Pam Jenoff returns to Conversations Live to share how Jewish tunnel dwellers, hiding from Nazis, inspired The Woman with the Blue Star. We discuss why Pam had to rewrite her entire first manuscript–and how she did it during the height of a pandemic. How she used the themes of isolation, connection, and unlikely friendships to shape her story. And why she teaches fiction storytelling techniques to her law students.

About Pam Jenoff

Pam Jenoff is the author of 11 novels of historical fiction, including the international bestseller The Kommandant’s Girl. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international affairs, a master’s in history, and a JD. Jenoff’s novels are inspired by her experiences working at the Pentagon and as a diplomat for the State Department handling Holocaust issues in Poland.

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Fiction, Suspense, Thriller, Writers on Writing

APR 28: Cate Holahan’s New Psychological Suspense – Her Three Lives

USA TODAY Bestselling Novelist of The Widower’s Wife

With high-tech intrigue, Cate Holahan‘s new domestic thriller explores what happens when a social media influencer’s seemingly perfect world is turned upside down, following a savage home invasion.  Heads Up: It might make you think differently about the technology in your home.

Cate shares how she went from award-winning journalist to bestselling novelist. Why culture and heritage is important, and where it fits into her writing. What to consider when developing multicultural characters. The dangers of stereotyping. And why women shouldn’t quit work.

About Cate Holahan

Her Three Lives is Cate’s fifth novel. Her others include the USA Today bestselling The Widower’s Wife, One Little Secret, Lies She Told, and Dark Turns.  As an award-winning journalist, Cate Holahan wrote for publications such as The Record, Business Week, and the Boston Globe.

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