Category

Writers on Writing

Fiction, Women's Issues, Writers on Writing

Jan 25: Wendy Willis Baldwin with Debut Novel The Sisters We Were

Book cover The Sisters We Were, Wndy WIllis Baldwin, talking about this on Conversations LIve with Vicki St. ClairWhat brings two estranged sisters back together? How does their healing begin? What sets them free?

Inspired by the real-life experiences of author Wendy Willis Baldwin and her sister Tiffany, The Sisters We Were explores themes from sisterhood, to obesity, sexual abuse, buried rage, and how we cope differently with adversity. Most of all, the story is about how truth will set you free.

Wendy shares the journey of writing her debut novel, as well as the healing journey she shared with Tiffany.

About Wendy Willis Baldwin

Wendy Willis Baldwin is a freelance writer and author. She spent most of her professional life in the communications’ field. She currently cohosts The Life After Fat Pants podcast with sister, Tiffany.

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History, Non Fiction, Writers on Writing

Dec 21: Empire of Ice and Stone with Award-winning Author Buddy Levy

The True Story of the Canadian Arctic Expedition That Went Horribly Wrong

In his latest narrative nonfiction, Buddy Levy weaves the compelling story of the struggle to survive in extremely harsh conditions. He brings to life two very different characters–Captain Bob Bartlett and expedition leader Vilhjalmur Stefansson–showing how both men made decisions with profound implications for the fate of the ship and its members.

While history is divided on who’s to blame for the expedition’s tragedies, readers are left decide: What would YOU have done under the circumstances? Buddy also discusses some of his research for Empire of Ice & Stone: The Disastrous and Heroic Voyage of the Karluk, and how he approached telling this harrowing journey.

About Buddy Levy

Buddy Levy is the author of eight books—his latest, Empire of Ice & Stone: The Disastrous and Heroic Voyage of the Karluk. Levy’s work has been featured in The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalNPRUSA TodayThe Washington PostThe Washington Times, and more. He was the co-star, for 25 episodes, on HISTORY Channel’s docuseries, Brad Meltzer’s DECODED. And was a featured expert in Leonardo Di Caprio’s TV Series THE FRONTIERSMEN: The Men Who Built America. More about Buddy Levy.

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Fiction, Writers on Writing

Dec 14: Wendy Sand Eckel with Mystery at Windswept Farm

A Rosalie Hart Mystery

A love of organic farm-to-table food, Italian cuisine, and murder and mayhem in an intimate community … what’s not to love?

Today we discuss the third novel in the Rosalie Hart Mystery Series with author Wendy Sand Eckel. She shares how a minor incident in her teens led to a background in criminology. How she approaches her writing, develops her characters, and how she chose the antagonist for Mystery at Windswept Farm. We also discuss thoughts on the important Italian practice of “Il dolce far niente”.

About Wendy Sand Eckel

With degrees in criminology and social work, followed by years of clinical practice, Wendy Sand Eckel combines her passion for words, relationships, and meaning, through her stories.The award-winning author of the Rosalie Hart Mystery Series, Wendy is an active member of the Mystery Writers of America and the International Association of Crime Writers.

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Fiction, Suspense, Thriller, Writers on Writing

Nov 16: A Ghost of Caribou with Alice Henderson

Author’s love of wildlife inspired her Alex Carter suspense series

Alice Henderson created a strong, female protagonist whose career as a wildlife biologist gets her into all kinds of hairy situations, including murder. In A Ghost of Caribou Alex Carter arrives in the Selkirk mountains of northeastern Washington, and what begins as a search for an elusive caribou leads into mystery, suspense, and mayhem.

In addition to sharing snippets from her book and writing adventures, Alice shares insight into the plight of caribou and how climate change impacts them. We also discuss why we should reframe the way we look at climate change, and how we can  help create a better future.

About Alice Henderson

A Ghost of Caribou is the 3rd book in the Alex Carter series. In addition to being a prolific writer, Alice Henderson is a sanctuary monitor for the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, where she checks remote cameras, documents mapping, and delivers wildlife surveys to determine what species are present and that there’s no evidence of poaching. She’s surveyed for the presence of grizzlies, wolves, wolverines, jaguars, endangered bats, and more. Alice has also written media tie-in novels, including official novels for the TV shows Supernatural and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While working at LucasArts, Alice wrote content for Star Wars video games.

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Essays, Memoir, Non Fiction, Writers on Writing

Nov 9: Peter Orner – Still No Word From You: Notes in the Margin

Observations on books, stories, poems, and life by the author of Am I Alone Here?

He’s known as a writer’s writer, a triple threat — novelist, short story master, and prolific essayist. But if you ask Peter Orner what he really wants readers to take away from his work, it’s connection.

Still No Word from You: Notes in the Margin melds intimate stories from the lived life and reading life. We discuss how Peter’s stories are often built around small moments;  how he knows which moments will make a great story. Living the writer’s life. What challenges Peter as a writer, and more.

About Peter Orner

The author of two novels and several story collections, Peter Orner‘s work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, and more. His previous essay collection, Am I Alone Here? Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. Peter Orner is a 3-time recipient of the Pushcart Prize and has received numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Fulbright in Namibia. He is currently the director of creative writing at Dartmouth College.

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Memoir, Non Fiction, Writers on Writing

Oct 26: Tuesdays in Jail with Author Tina Welling

Book Cover Tuesdays in Jail by Tina WellingWhat I Learned Teaching Journaling to Inmates

When Tina Welling volunteered to teach journaling at her local county jail, little did she know how much she’d learn about herself, and how much she and the inmates had in common.

Eleven years into her teaching journey, Tina shares some of the stories from her new book Tuesdays in Jail. We discuss what she learned about even the most hardened criminals. What working with inmates taught Tina about self-awareness, and helped her overcome some of her own limitations, providing growth in ways she didn’t expect.

About Tina Welling

The author of the novels Cowboys Never CryFairy Tale Blues, and Crybaby Ranch, Tina Welling also wrote Writing Wild: Forming a Creative Partnership with Nature (listen to our podcast on Writing Wild.) Tina Welling is the recipient of a Wyoming Arts Council writing fellowship, and has been conducting Writing Wild workshops for ten years. She lives in Jackson, Wyoming. More on Tuesdays in Jail.

 

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Fiction, Non Fiction, Short Stories, Writers on Writing

Oct 19: Gary Lippman One Sentence Stories

Book jacket - We Loved the World But Could Not StayStories for People with Short Attention Spans

Why one-sentence stories? Because author Gary Lippman wanted to rise to the challenge, and “…because imperfection is easier to tolerate in small doses.”

He’s kidding about that last part, of course, and ended up writing more than 300 one-sentence stories. Some true, some partially true, some total fiction—all are well told, and full of wit and wisdom. So, what went into writing We Loved the World But Could Not Stay, and which stories are true? Listen up!

About Gary Lippman

We Loved the World But Could Not Stay is Gary Lippmans second book.  His first, a novel, Set the Controls for the Heart of Sharon Tate was published in 2019. Lippman’s play Paradox Lust ran off-Broadway in 2001, and his journalism has appeared in The Paris Review, Literary Hub, VICE, The New York Times, and Fodor’s Travel Guides. Gary Lippman has a law degree from Northwestern University, and has worked with New York City’s Innocence Project.

 

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Creativity, Non Fiction, Personal Development, Writers on Writing

Aug 31: Propel Your Creative Life with Matthew Dicks

Winning Strategies to Take You From Dreaming to Doing

Returning guest Matthew Dicks is a jack of all trades, but a master of … several? How does he wear so many hats yet still remain super creative and extremely prolific?

Matthew’s goal is to help you go from dreaming to doing, from talking to creating, wiping out those excuses of being too spent or not having enough time along the way. 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

It might be easier to list the things Matthew Dicks hasn’t done than those he has!  Among his accomplishments are 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. vv

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Arts, Children's Fiction, Fiction, Writers on Writing, Young Adult Fiction

Aug 17: Sometimes I Grumblesquinch with Rachel Vail

A Big Feelings Book Teaching Kids it’s OK to be You

Rachel Vail is the award-winning author of more than 40 books. Today we  discuss SOMETIMES I GRUMBSQUINCH, and why Rachel chose to write for children and young adults.

She shares some of the considerations that go into her storytelling. How she develops the characters in her books (hint, by getting into character herself). Why we need to teach kids they don’t need to be perfect. And the 5 Big Questions Rachel asks at the start of every book she writes … and continues to ask as the story develops.

About Rachel Vail

Rachel Vail‘s novels for middle-schoolers, teens, and tweens include BAD BEST FRIEND, UNFRIENDED, THE AVERY SISTERS TRILOGY, and the Friendship Ring series.

Her picture books include PIGGY BUNNY, and The BIG FEELINGS series, where Rachel  explores key social and emotional learning skills. Those books include SOMETIMES I’M BOMBALOO. And the picture story book we’re talking about today, SOMETIMES I GRUMBLESQUINCH.

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Fiction, Writers on Writing

Jul 27: #1 NYT Bestselling Novelist Susan Wiggs with Sugar and Salt

Everyone has a past. It’s who you are now that matters.

A long-time listener favorite joins us with a great new story just in time for summer. Sugar and Spice takes us back to Perdita Street (introduced in The Lost and Found Bookshop) with a tale of family, friendship, redemption, and love.

Susan Wiggs is known for weaving women’s issues into her storylines, and Sugar and Spice is no exception — including abortion, sexual abuse, and racism. Today we find out how Susan gets in the right headspace to write those challenging scenes. How she approaches writing multiple timelines. And how has she learned to draw readers into her books from page one.

About Susan Wiggs

Susan Wiggs is a #1 New York Times bestselling author. She’s authored more than 50 novels including the Lakeshore Chronicles series and the New York Times bestsellers The Lost and Found Bookshop, The Oysterville Sewing Circle, and Family Tree. Her award-winning books have been translated into two dozen languages.  Susan lives with her family on an island in Washington State’s Puget Sound.

 

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