Category

Writers on Writing

Fiction, Thriller, Writers on Writing

Jun 12: Ryan Steck with Out For Blood

A true warrior is not one who conquers others, but one who conquers their own fears. ~ Tu Lam, Retired Green Beret

Out For Blood with author Ryan Steck

Ryan Steck joins us to discuss Out For Blood – Ryan’s latest and third book in a trilogy that launched the Matthew Redd thriller series. A former Marine Raider, Matt is busy living life as a cattle rancher, husband, and new father when his past comes hurtling into town looking for blood. His blood.

We discuss the progression of the Matthew Redd series and how Ryan pulls his story lines together. How he researched a polar vortex for Montana, the key locale of his protagonist. Why he leverages those he knows (human and furry) for character inspiration. And the difference between relatives and family. Ryan also shares, how he manages his plot and the pacing of action scenes to keep readers interested and on the page in today’s world full of distractions.

Meet Ryan Steck, Thriller Author

Book editor and founder of The Real Book Spy, Ryan Steck is now a three-time author, with his fourth Matthew Redd manuscript already written and in the publishing process. A former sportswriter, Ryan experienced a life-changing diagnosis of Dyslexia that led him to Google “Dyslexic authors”, then to reading books to help improve his dyslexia, and eventually to authoring books. In addition to his Matthew Redd series, Ryan Steck is currently writing the legacy Alexander Hawke spy series following the death of the original author, Tedd Bell. Look for that next year, along with the fourth Matthew Redd story,

Continue reading
Fiction, Nature, Writers on Writing

May 01: Bestselling Author of The Music of Bees Returns with a Story of Hope, Healing, & Unexpected Friendship

Crow Talk A Novel Set in the Beautiful Pacific Northwest

Crow Talk with author Eileen Garvin

When three lost souls are thrown together in Eileen Garvin’s, Crow Talk, a journey begins for each protagonist in a story of love, grief, healing, and friendship. As each character struggles to reclaim their voice, they learn about the importance of family of choice, and the healing power of nature, in the darkest of times.

Eileen Garvin shares her inspiration for Crow Talk and her lead three key characters. Why she chose Mt Adams, Oregon, as the story location – and a baby crow as a catalyst to healing. We also discuss the writer’s-life, including the joys, challenges, and craft of writing. And why this author is now a committed bee-keeper.

Meet Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin is the national bestselling author of the Music of Bees, and has just released her second novel, Crow Talk. Born and raised in eastern Washington, Eileen lives in Hood River, Oregon. She and her husband share their home with a calico cat, a passionate Baja-mutt, four chickens, and about one hundred and twenty thousand honeybees.

Continue reading
Fiction, Suspense, Thriller, Writers on Writing

Apr 10: Lisa Gardner #1 NYT Bestselling Novelist on the Craft of Writing, Why She Took a Sabbatical, Her Latest Thriller

She Called Herself Death, But People Called Her The Devil  

Still See You Everywhere with author Lisa Gardner

Lisa Gardner joins us with her latest novel and third book in the Frankie Elkin series, Still See You Everywhere. Frankie Elkin is an expert at finding missing persons that the rest of the world has forgotten. But even she couldn’t have anticipated this latest request—to locate the long-lost sister of The Beautiful Butcher, a female serial killer facing execution in just three weeks.

We discuss everything from story concept to character development and how Lisa gets into the mind of a serial killer. How she keeps Frankie Elkin’s character evolving throughout a series. The difference between male and female serial killers, and some of the research Lisa dove into for this story. What it was like to return ‘to the chair’ after a year-long sabbatical. The easy bits, the not so so easy bits, of writing for this author. And, of course, craft … from a master storyteller.

Meet Lisa Gardner #1 NYT Bestselling Thriller Author

A self-described research junkie, Lisa Gardner has transformed her interest in police procedure and criminal minds into a streak of internationally acclaimed novels, published across 30 countries. She’s had four books become TV movies (At the Midnight Hour; The Perfect Husband; The Survivors Club; Hide) and has made personal appearances on TruTV and CNN. Lisa’s books have received awards from across the globe. Her novel, The Neighbor, won Best Hardcover Novel from the International Thriller Writers, and the Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle in France. More about Lisa Gardner.

Continue reading
Fiction, Historical, Writers on Writing

Apr 03: Jennifer Rosner Discusses Once We Were Home

National Jewish Book Award Finalist

Once We Were Home with author Jennifer Rosner

Based on true stories of children stolen in the wake of World War II, Jennifer Rosner joins us with her latest historical novel, Once We Were Home.

She raises questions around complicity versus responsibility, the struggle to find identity and belonging, how good intentions often create unforeseen consequences., And what home and family really means.

We also discuss the little-known, true-events that inspired Jennifer’s story including the Germanization of stolen children (Jews and Christians) under Nazi reign. How she kept track of her four key characters, with multiple changing timelines, and name changes. And what presented the author with the most challenge while writing Once We Were Home.

Meet Jennifer Rosner

Jennifer Rosner is the author of the novels Once We Were Home and The Yellow Bird Sings, both finalists for the National Jewish Book Award. She also wrote a memoir If a Tree Falls, and the children’s book, The Mitten String, a Sydney Taylor Book Award Notable. Jennifer’s short writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Times of Israel, The Massachusetts Review, The Forward, and elsewhere. In addition to writing, Jennifer has taught philosophy, and earned her Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Continue reading
Fiction, Thriller, Writers on Writing

Mar 27: A Killing On The Hill with Robert Dugoni

Inspired by a True Story Set in 1930s Seattle

A Killing on the Hill with author Robert Dugoni

Known for his crime mystery thrillers, Robert Dugoni joins us with an exciting genre shift. A Killing On The Hill is Robert’s long-awaited foray into historical fiction. Set in Seattle during the 1930’s Great Depression, think high-level corruption, prohibition, glamorous nightlife, and a real-life murder mystery.

We discuss what Seattle was like in the 1930s. How Robert discovered the story of the real-life murder of prizefighter, Frankie Ray, and accused murderer George Moore. How Robert adapted the true story for his thriller. Why he changed his original protagonist from lawyer to journalist, and how that drove the story. The challenges of staying true to the culture and vocabulary of the 1930s, while being sensitive to today’s cultural expectations … and more.

Meet Robert Dugoni

A critically acclaimed New York Times, Wall St. Journal, Washington Post, and Amazon Charts bestselling author, Robert Dugoni is the recipient of the Nancy Pearl Book Award for fiction, and a four-time winner of the Friends of Mystery Spotted Owl Award. Dugoni is best known for the Tracy Crosswhite police procedural series. He is also the author of the Charles Jenkins espionage series, the David Sloane legal thrillers, the Keera Duggan legal thriller series, and several standalone novels.

Continue reading
Fiction, Thriller, Writers on Writing

Mar 20: Why Brad Taylor Took Risks with A Dead Man’s Hand

Pike Logan Goes Head-to-head with Putin’s Henchman

Dead Man’s Hand with author Brad Taylor

Brad Taylor calls his latest thriller his riskiest project yet because, as he wrote, real-life events were unfolding around the world that could have obliterated his story — think Russia, Ukraine, Nato, and nuclear weapons.

Fortunately, this former special forces officer, managed to write ahead of the curve to create his 18th novel in the Pike Logan series. In Dead Man’s Hand special-ops officer Pike Logan attempts to avert nuclear war by facing down Putin’s right-hand man.

Brad shares the three big risk factors in telling this story. We discuss his travels to Sweden and Finland for ‘boots on the ground’ research. And learn where he found inspiration for the story concept, and where he took creative license with some little known historical facts.

Meet Brad Taylor

Brad Taylor, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.), is a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Army Infantry and Special Forces, includ­ing eight years with Delta Force. Taylor retired in 2010 after serving more than two decades and participating in Oper­ation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has written seventeen New York Times bestsellers and is a security consultant on asymmetric threats for various agencies.

Continue reading
Fiction, History, Thriller, Writers on Writing

Mar 06: Bestselling Thriller Author Steve Berry with The Atlas Maneuver

A Cotton Malone Novel

The Atlas Maneuver with author Steve Berry

Steve Berry joins us with his latest thriller that begins in the Philippines, then takes us from Switzerland to the Atlas Mountains, Morocco, and Luxembourg.

Today we unpack some of the little known historical facts included in the The Atlas Maneuver versus where and how Steve took creative liberties. We also discuss some of the international locations in the book, how neighbors at a charity event helped determine names for some of his characters – including his amoral sociopathic female protagonist.  How and why Steve learned about cryptocurrency and falconry. And what he’s working on now.

Meet Steve Berry

New York Times and #1 Internationally bestselling author Steve Berry has over 26 million books in print, translated into 41 languages. The Atlas Maneuver is Steve’s 23rd novel. Steve’s devotion to historic preservation was recognized by the American Library Association, which named Steve its spokesperson for National Preservation Week. Among his other honors are the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award; the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award given by Poets & Writers; the Anne Frank Human Writes Award; and the Silver Bullet, bestowed by International Thriller. Together with his wife, Steve Berry founded History Matters.

Continue reading
Children's Fiction, Fiction, Social Issues, Writers on Writing

Jan 24: Award Winning Author Veera Hiranandani with Amil & The After

Companion novel to Newbery Honor winning The Night Diary

Following the phenomenal success of The Night Diary, Veera Hiranandani returns to Conversations Live to discuss the much anticipated sequel, Amil and The After.

We discuss how Veera’s upbringing influences the kind of stories and subjects she chooses, and the multidimensional characters she writes about. She shares how she incorporates social issues like the partition of India, refugee life, loss of a parent, feelings of not belonging and seeking connection, relationships, and love into her storytelling. And we learn how she approaches the writing of such difficult topics to keep them accessible and entertaining for young readers. (8 – 12 years old)

Amil and the After with author Veera Hiranandani

About Veera Hiranandani

Veera Hiranandani is the award-winning author of several books for young people. Her most recent middle-grade novel, How to Find What You’re Not Looking For, received the 2022 Sydney Taylor Book Award, the 2022 Jane Addams Book Award, and was a finalist for the 2022 National Jewish Book Award. It was also named a Best Children’s Book of the Year by AmazonKirkus Reviews, Bank Street College, and Brightly. Veera’s Newbery Honor winning, The Night Diary, also received the 2019 Walter Dean Myers Honor Award, the 2018 Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children’s Literature, and several other honors and state reading list awards. The Night Diary was chosen as a 2018 Best Children’s Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, Amazon, School Library Journal, and Kirkus Reviews.

Continue reading
Essays, History, Non Fiction, Writers on Writing

Jan 10: Mystery Superfan & Foodie Turns Author

Recipes for Murder, 66 Dishes Celebrating Agatha Christie

Recipes for Murder with author Karen Pierce

Karen Pierce knew when she turned author that her book would somehow include food and mystery. She came up with the perfect solution in Recipes for Murder: 66 Dishes that Celebrate the Mysteries of Agatha Christie.

Karen shares what sparked the idea for her debut nonfiction book, sharing a peek into the life of Agatha Christie and the times she lived in. For example, did you know that when Christie went to cocktail parties, she only drank cream? And what about the burning question that many consider an unanswered mystery: What really happened when Christie herself mysteriously disappeared?

Superfan Karen Pierce did intense research for Recipes for Murder, and shares her insight on that and more today.

About Karen Pierce

Karen Pierce is a detective-fiction doyenne, food lover, and Agatha Christie Superfan. She’s made pilgrimages to Torquay and Greenway House, Christie’s hometown and home. Karen Pierce also attended and volunteered at several Anthony Boucher Memorial World Mystery Conventions. She lives in Toronto, Canada.

Continue reading
Fiction, Writers on Writing

Dec 13: Lesley Crewe with Recipe for a Good Life

A story of loneliness & belonging. A love letter to the women who’ve kept kettles warm & neighbors fed in rural Cape Breton.

Recipe for a Good Life with author Lesley Crewe

National bestselling, award winning author Lesley Crewe says if she hadn’t moved to a remote island off Novia Scotia she may never have become a writer. Today, Lesley joins us to to talk about her 15th book – Recipe for a Good Life.

We discuss how Lesley adapts ordinary moments and celebrates everyday things. How she develops her characters and who inspires them. What island life is really like, including community, connection, belonging, humor, and how Cape Breton features in her storytelling. And, of course, we share Lesley’s point of view on writing and what it means to be a writer.

About Lesley Crewe

Lesley Crewe is the Globe and Mail–bestselling author of 13 novels, including Nosy Parker, named one of Indigo’s Top 100 Books of 2022; The Spoon Stealer, longlisted for Canada Reads 2022; and Relative Happiness, which was adapted into an award-winning feature film. She has also published two collections of essays, the Leacock-longisted Are You Kidding Me?! and I Kid You Not! Lesley lives in Homeville, Nova Scotia. Recipe for a Good Life is Indigo Book’s 2023 Award Winning Book of the Year.

Continue reading