Tag

Historical Fiction

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, 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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Fiction, Writers on Writing

APR 02: Jamey Bradbury’s The Wild Inside, Veera Hiranandani’s The Night Diary, &

Jamey Bradbury, winner of the Estelle Campbell Memorial Award from the National Society of Arts and Letters, debuts her electrifying novel set in the Alaskan wilderness.  The Wild Inside is a fusion of psychological horror and coming-of-age tale, based in the world of dog-sled racing.  John Irving praises it as an ” … unusual love story and a creepy horror novel … think of the Brontë sisters and Stephen King.”

Based in Anchorage, AK, Jamey’s work has appeared in Black Warrior Review (winner of the annual fiction contest), Sou’wester, and Zone 3.   The Wild Inside is her first novel.

Next, Veera Hiranandani calls upon her father and his family’s journey for inspiration in The Night Diary.  The partition of India in 1947 spawned vicious xenophobia and caused the upheaval of more than 14 million lives overnight in what is known to be the single largest human migration in history.

Veera is a former book editor at Simon & Schuster, she now teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College’s Writing Institute.

And we’ll also be joined by Matt Killeen to discuss Orphan Monster Spy, a tale of a blonde, blue-eyed Jewish girl in 1939 Germany, whose act of resistance is about to change the world.

Hailing from Vicki’s home town of Birmingham, England, Matt attempted to make a living as an advertising copywriter and music and sports journalist, and now writes for the world’s best loved toy company.

 

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Fiction, Writers on Writing

FEB 12: Charles Todd’s The Gatekeeper, David Plante’s American Stranger, & Susan Meissner’s As Bright As Heaven

Writing a book is hard enough work, and collaborating on a novel and finding success is almost unheard of.  But the mother and son writing team operating under the pseudonym of Charles Todd have created a series with resounding success.  The Gatekeeper is the latest in their New York Times bestselling Inspector Rutledge series.

Charles and Caroline Todd are a mother-and-son writing team who share a rich storytelling heritage, both having enjoyed being regaled by years of tales from their fathers and grandfathers.

Next, National Book Award nominated writer David Plante joins us from Italy to discuss his latest novel, American Stranger, an  insightful story about the search for identity, and how our real lives are far more complex than our labels.

David is an acclaimed author of both fiction and memoirs.  He is a retired professor of creative writing at Columbia University.

Finally, award-winning author Susan Meissner set her latest novel, As Bright As Heaven, during the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic.  We’ll discuss how she found inspiration from this tragic moment in our history that claimed over half a million lives in a year’s time.

Susan is an author, speaker and writing workshop leader with a background in community journalism.  She has had her works named as both a Goodreads finalist for Best Historical Fiction and Booklist’s Top Ten Women’s Fiction titles.

 

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Fiction, Writers on Writing

DEC 04: James Rollins’ The Demon Crown

What do the British chemist who founded the Smithsonian and Alexander Graham Bell have in common with a primordial threat that could devastate humankind?  The bone-chilling answer lies in New York Times bestseller James Rollins latest Sigma Force novel, The Demon Crown.

James is a prolific author of international thrillers, blending historical fact with science fiction to create stories acclaimed for their originality.  His books have been translated into 40 languages.

Later, Vicki will help you get into the spirit of giving, (and maybe help you decide on a gift for that one person you can never figure out what to get), as she reveals our Conversations Live holiday gift book recommendations!

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Fiction, Non Fiction, Writers on Writing

NOV 06: Manhattan Beach with Pulitzer Winner Jennifer Egan & Technically Wrong with Sara Wachter-Boettcher

Set on the Brooklyn docks during the World War II era, Manhattan Beach seamlessly intertwines the stories of a man working for both the union and the mob, his daughter, the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s only female diver, and a shady, but charismatic, nightclub owner.

Jennifer Egan is the author of several novels and a short story collection, including  A Visit From the Goon Squad, which won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times book prize.

Also, Sara Wachter-Boettcher presents an informed and compassionate critique of the technology industry in Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech.

Sara Wachter-Boettcher is a Philadelphia-based consultant where she helps organizations make sense of digital content. She speak at conferences worldwide and has authored two previous books for web pros.

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Fiction, Writers on Writing

Oct 02: The Mapmaker’s Daughter & Lie to Me

She was one of the most remarkable women in history, yet her story is little known.  In The Mapmaker’s Daughter, debut novelist Katherine Nouri Hughes blends fiction with history, examining the desires and motives of a young Venetian girl who became wife to the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

Katherine, Iraqi-Irish by birth, attended Princeton University, receiving a Master’s Degree in Near Eastern Studies.  She currently serves her alma mater in an advisory capacity.

Also today, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes domestic noir and psychological thrillers, and her latest, Lie To Me, combines grief, betrayal, jealousy, and murder, gradually destroying the facade of the perfect literary couple.

J.T. has written 17 critically acclaimed novels, is coauthor of the “A Brit in the FBI” series with Catherine Coulter, and co-hosts the Emmy Award-winning A Word on Words.

 

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Fiction, Writers on Writing

Jul 31: The Essex Serpent & Tropic of Kansas

Today’s guest authors both created believable fictional universes — one gothic, one of a dystopian future. We’ll discuss what it takes to bring realism into fiction to help readers suspend their disbelief.

Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent delivers us into 1893 London, where an intrepid amateur naturalist sets out to prove a mythical, murderous beast, is actually an undiscovered species.  Sarah has turned her PhD in creative writing into a burgeoning career as a novelist, with The Essex Serpent, her second novel, winning the British Book Awards Book of the Year. 

Our second author, Christopher Brown, takes us into a haunting future where the United States has broken into warring territories and the center of the landmass is a ravaged wasteland known as the Tropic of Kansas.  Christopher is a lawyer and renowned short story writer whose work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies.

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Conservation, Environment, Fiction, Memoir

July 03: A Million Fragile Bones & #1 Bestselling Author Julia Quinn

Connie May Fowler lives “on the edge of the world, alone except for the occasional boyfriend or husband, always in the company of pets, books, art, friends, (and) sundry wildlife.”  On April 10th, 2010, her idyllic existence was torn apart as a nearby oil rig exploded, spewing over 200 million gallons of oil that impacted nearly 70,000 miles of coastline.

In her memoir, A Million Fragile Bones, Connie documents the heartbreak and loss suffered at the hands of this man-made disaster, and the beauty and peace that followed as nature proved resilient.  She is an award-winning novelist, screenwriter, and teacher.

Later, for those who believe romance novels are fluff, author Julia Quinn is here to dispel the notion that intelligence and romantic storytelling are mutually exclusive.  She’ll also share what it takes to pen a #1 New York Times bestseller and discuss her new book, The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband.

Julia Quinn is a bestselling author specializing in historical romance.  She is one of only 16 members of Romance Writer’s of America’s Hall of Fame.

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