Category

Writers on Writing

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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Creativity, Non Fiction, Personal Development, Writers on Writing

Jun 23: Start Realizing Your Creative Dreams with Matthew Dicks

Someday is Today: 22 Simple, Actionable Ways to Propel Your Creative Life

Like many of us, returning guest Matthew Dicks wears many hats, yet he is super creative and extremely prolific. So how does he get it all done?

Matthew shares some of his winning strategies to wipe out those excuses we make about being too busy or too tired. His goal is to help you go from dreaming to doing, from talking to creating. We discuss black holes, living a life of YES, performative productivity, the power of accountability, the importance of gathering your tribe … and much more.

About Matthew Dicks

Matthew Dicks is a bestselling novelist, nationally recognized storyteller, playwright, communications consultant, award-winning elementary schoolteacher, humor and advice columnist, minister, wedding DJ, and professional public speaker. He’s won multiple Moth GrandSLAM story competitions. And with his wife, Elysha, created the organization SPEAK UP. Vicki last talked with Matthew Dicks about his first book on creativity, Storyworthy – podcast. Today we discuss his latest, Someday is Today: 22 Simple, Actionable Ways to Propel Your Creative Life

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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, Writers on Writing

APR 20: Sylvain Neuvel’s Take Them to the Stars Trilogy

Until the Last of Me

Author Sylvain Neuvel sold the movie rights to his first book before it was even a book. How did that happen? We share that and much more about Sylvain’s road to literary success in today’s conversation.

We discuss the origins of his Take Them to the Stars Trilogy and how his ideas developed.  We look at book one A History of What Comes Next. And the latest in the trilogy, book two, Until the Last of Me. Sylvain shares how he plots. How he writes from female points of view. And some of the intense research he did to build a believable, yet speculative, world for his characters.

About Sylvain Neuvel

Sylvain Neuvel taught linguistics in India and worked as a software engineer in Montreal. His debut novel Sleeping Giants was described BY NPR as one of the most promising series kickoffs in recent memory. Until the Last of Me is the second and latest book in his Take Them to the Stars trilogy.

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Fiction, Suspense, Writers on Writing

Mar 30: Heather Gudenkauf with Overnight Guest

“Fully realized, wholly absorbing & almost painfully suspenseful…” ~ The New York Times

Thrilled to talk again with Heather Gudenkauf about her latest page turner, The Overnight Guest.

Heather shares the true story that sparked an idea for The Overnight Guest. Why she chose a true-crime writer as her protagonist. How she managed different timelines and multiple points of view – and how she did all that while setting a pace that fully engages readers and brings the stories together. Heather also reveals how she takes an ugly first draft and polishes it to become a riveting story and New York Times bestseller.

About Heather Gudenkauf

Heather Gudenkauf is an Edgar Award nominated, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author, and The Overnight Guest is her ninth novel. Heather lives in Iowa and in her free time enjoys having fun with family, reading, swimming, and hiking (with her very spoiled German Shorthaired Pointer, Lolo).

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Fiction, Suspense, Writers on Writing

MAR 23: Girl in Ice with Erica Ferencik

The ice caps of Greenland, a suspicious death, a frozen child who speaks a language no one’s heard of …

When linguist Val Chesterfield receives an urgent email asking for help, she reluctantly leaves the shelter of her books and studies, to head north.

Award-winning author Erica Ferencik spent a month in Greenland developing the backdrop for Girl In Ice. Today she shares highlights from the exciting boots on the ground, butt-in-the-kayak research expedition that informed her story. We also discuss character development, why she wrote the first draft before traveling to Greenland, and the inspiration behind Girl in Ice.

About Erica Ferencik

Erica Ferencik considers her MA in Creative Writing from Boston University just the beginning of her literary education. Her 35 years of writing — novels, short stories, essays, ghostwriting, 10 years of standup and sketch comedy, as well as dozens of screenplays, and a brief filmmaking stint — was her boots-on-the-ground training. Erica’s work has appeared in Salon and the Boston Globe, as well as on National Public Radio. Other novels include Into the Jungle and The River at Night.

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Fiction, Writers on Writing

Mar 16: Dinitia Smith with The Prince

A modern retelling of The Golden Bowl by Henry James

Inspired by Henry James’ story from 1904, England, The Prince is set in contemporary pre-pandemic times, from a grand mansion on the Upper East Side of Manhattan to a magical private island in Long Island Sound. Everything suggests that the wealthy Woodford family lives an idyllic life. But the reality is quite different.

How did author Dinitia Smith recreate James’ classic novel to make the story and characters her own? She shares what inspired her to reimagine The Golden Bowl, interesting facts  about the golden bowl itself; and why she writes about relationships.

About Dinitia Smith

For 11 years, Dinitia Smith was a reporter at the New York Times where she wrote on literary topics and intellectual trends. She is the author of four previous novels, including The Illusionist, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.  Dinitia’s won  numerous awards for her writing, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. She’s also written many short stories published in a wide range of magazines. Dinitia Smith’s Emmy Award winning film, Passing Quietly Through, was chosen for the New York Film Festival, and shown at the Whitney Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.

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Fiction, Writers on Writing, Young Adult Fiction

Mar 08: Sabaa Tahir with deeply personal novel – All My Rage

#1 NYT bestselling author of the Ember in the Ashes series

Sabaa Tahir describes All My Rage as the book of her heart. It’s a story that was 15 years in the making, and we find out why during our conversation.

Beginning in Lahore Pakistan, and moving to Juniper California, All My Rage is inspired by Sabba’s childhood growing up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel.

Sabaa shares what she means by being an honest writer and how that informs her work. Why she writes young adult fiction. How a playground friendship saved her. What challenges her most as writer. Why hope is important and failure is part of the journey. And why her new novel is called All My Rage.  

About Sabaa Tahir

Sabaa Tahir has been an author since 2015 . Before that, she was a journalist, and wrote her first book while working nights as a a copyeditor. All My Rage has received great reviews  from writers such as Jodi Picoult and Nicola Yoon, and a TV adaptation of the story is currently in the works with Picturestart.

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Fiction, Thriller, Writers on Writing

Feb 09: Brad Taylor with End of Days

Book 16  in the NYT Bestselling Pike Logan Series

Listener favorite Brad Taylor returns with his latest Pike Logan thriller, End of Days. While working to solve a brutal murder, taskforce operators Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill stumble upon the trail of a serial killer loose on the streets of Rome, and follow evidence leading to the exalted Knights of Malta.

We discuss Brad’s biggest challenge in writing End of Days. How – known for his active boots on the ground approach to research – Brad gathered details for End of Days during a pandemic. Why he included Covid. Where and why he took creative license. How Brad’s daughter inspired one of the scenes … and more.

About Brad Taylor

Brad Taylor retired as a Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel after serving 21 years, including including eight years in 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – popularly known as Delta Force. He’s the author of 16 New York Times bestselling books including American Traitor, Hunter Killer, and his latest, End of Days.

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Fiction, Writers on Writing

Jan 19: #1 NYT Bestselling Author Jacquelyn Mitchard with The Good Son

Her very first novel was also Oprah’s very first book pick!

Since then, Jacquelyn Mitchard has become one of America’s iconic storytellers. Today we talk about her amazing journey from newspaper reporter to bestselling author.

Jacquelyn shares how a dropped book in a coffee line inspired the story for The Good Son.  She shares why she keeps her characters “on a short leash”; how she created sympathetic characters even though they are heavily flawed. And why, after all her success, she still has a hard time introducing herself as an author.

About Jacquelyn Mitchard

Jacquelyn Mitchard is the New York Times bestselling author of 22 novels for adults and teenagers, and the recipient of Great Britain’s Talkabout prize, The Bram Stoker, and Shirley Jackson awards. Her first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean — the inaugural selection of the Oprah Winfrey Book Club — was later adapted into a feature film starring Michelle Pfeiffer.

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