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Book

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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Creativity, Journalism, Non Fiction, Science

Jun 15: Inspired–Understanding Creativity with Matt Richtel

A Journey Through Art, Science, and the Soul

How do we define creativity? How does it work? Where does inspiration spark? How can we optimize our own creative potential? And what do great creators have to share with us?

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Matt Richtel takes a deep dive into the new science behind creativity and creative minds, and blends it with insight from great creators, and stories of his own. We talk about The Muse and Hope. Why intelligence doesn’t always factor into creativity.  How anyone can become more creative. And more delicious insight from  Inspired: Understanding Creativity, A Journey Through Art, Science, and the Soul.

About Matt Richtel

An American writer, narrative storyteller, and New York Times Science reporter Matt Richtel was awarded the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for a series on distracted driving. He’s the author of three narrative nonfiction books, several novels, and a daily comic strip. His latest book is Inspired: Understanding Creativity, A Journey Through Art, Science, and the Soul.

Catch our previous podcast with Matt Richtel right here A Deadly Wandering.

 

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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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Inspirational, Memoir, Non Fiction

May 18: Forever Boy with Kate Swenson

A Mother’s Memoir of Autism and Finding Joy

Every parent dreams of having the perfect child, the perfect healthy happy family. But sometimes life throws out challenges that test us. And that was true for Kate Swenson when her first born son was diagnosed with Autism.

Kate joins us today to talk about her inspiring, sometimes challenging, always loving journey to help her son live well in a world that often overlooks special needs and care. She says this journey has shown her that no matter what, life can be joyful, and that she’s exactly who she’s supposed to be … her son Cooper, is exactly who he’s meant to be.

About Kate Swenson

Kate Swenson’s work is all about helping to ease other families journey’s as they live with autism. She’s the founder of a popular blog called Finding Coopers Voice and is a frequent contributor to publications on autism, parenting, and motherhood. Her new memoir is  FOREVER BOY: A Mother’s Memoir of Autism and Finding Joy.

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Fiction, Humor

May 11: Unlikely Animals with Annie Hartnett

Spirits narrate. Animals talk. Humor, heartache,  love, & a missing girl … a magical tragicom filled with the messiness of family life and death.

Author Annie Hartnett‘s second novel wasn’t going too well. She wasn’t enjoying authoring it and wondered if all second novels were this difficult to write. But as she took a drive through New Hampshire, Annie spotted something that changed the direction of her story and brought Unlikely Animals to life … or raised it from the dead … because the folks in the cemetery narrate the story.

About Annie Hartnett

Annie Hartnett‘s first book, Rabbit Cake, was listed as one of Kirkus Review’s Best Books of 2017 and was a New England Book Award finalist. Annie was awarded fellowships and residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the Associates of the Boston Public Library. She holds degrees from the MFA program at the University of Alabama. Information for Book Clubs.

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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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Inspirational, Non Fiction, Self-help

APR 13: Christine Arylo with Overwhelmed and Over It

You possess the power to stay sustained and centered in a chaotic world

As the pandemic recedes, many of us are still dealing with feelings of being frazzled and overwhelmed.  Christine Arylo says “It’s not your fault … the systems we live and work in are built for burnout.”

We discuss why now is the perfect time to embrace a new approach to working, succeeding, and managing your full life that gives you the courage and clarity to makes choices that support and sustain you in both your day-to-day and longterm life.

About Christine Arylo

Christine Arylo has authored three bestselling books including Overwhelmed & Over It. She is a transformational leadership advisor who teaches workshops globally and is the host of Feminine Power Time. Christine’s new book is Overwhelmed & Over It: Embrace Your Power to Stay Centered & Sustained in a Chaotic World.

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Journalism, Non Fiction

APR 06: Author Michelle Black Exposes Military Cover Up in Sacrifice

A Gold Star Widow’s Fight for the Truth

Michelle Black went from wife and mom to investigative journalist when her Green Beret husband Bryan Black was ambushed and killed in Niger. She was met with a flood of military disinformation, where they blamed and shamed Black and his team for going rogue. The media blindly repeated the military’s version of the ambush, and that ignited widow Michelle Black‘s search for the truth — no matter what.

We discuss the Black’s life before the military, before the fatal mission. How leadership ignored the advice to abort, and the many challenges Michelle faced  interviewing survivors to get to the heart of the truth. But she never gave up trying to restore Bryan’s reputation, and eventually exposed the military cover up that left her children fatherless.

About Michelle Black

Michelle Black is mom to two boys, a Gold Star widow, and author. She has a degree in environmental sciences and horticulture. She’s been published in the New York Times, The Daily Beast, and Task & Purpose. Sacrifice: A Gold Star Widow’s Fight for the Truth is her debut book.

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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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