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National Writers Series: An evening with Harlan Coben

Aug 6, 2015

Mystery and thriller writer Harlan Coben says a writer needs three things: inspiration, perspiration, and the most important, desperation. Harlan Coben's novels have debuted at the top of the New York Times bestseller list seven times. His book "Tell No One" was made into a French film of the same name. Coben's latest novel is "The Stranger." To start off the evening's event at the City Opera House, Traverse City mayor Michael Estes presented Harlan Coben with a key to the city. Doug Stanton began the conversation telling Coben he's had quite a year.

What makes someone want to live on an island?

Loreen Niewenhuis pondered this question in her book, A 1,000 Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure, which recounts her journey traveling to many of the islands in each of the Great Lakes. This is the third in her Great Lakes Adventure series and the last time she spoke with us she had just completed hiking the shorelines of all five Great Lakes.

When describing the previous ten years of her life, writer Kelley Clink explains, “Being a sister to him made me who I was. Losing him has made me who I am.”

Her brother's suicide in 2004 sent her on a journey of guilt, of mourning, of realizing that her brother is gone. And the feeling that she may be to blame.

Clink turned this emotional journey into a new memoir, A Different Kind of Same.

National Writers Series: An evening with Jeff Shaara

Jul 3, 2015

On this program from the National Writers Series, Jeff Shaara explains why General Sherman was so successful in the American Civil War. Even though Sherman is known for his "total war" strategy, Shaara says his tactics weren't as harsh as many people believe. Jeff Shaara is the author of six works of historical fiction about the Civil War. The latest is called "The Fateful Lightning." He talks this hour with Ed Tracy, CEO of Roxbury Road Creative.

    

Anyone with even a passing knowledge of world history knows about the horrors that came out of the Nazi attempt to exterminate the Jews of Europe.

Some six million of Europe’s Jews – 63% of Europe’s Jewish population at the time – killed in the Holocaust.

Barbara Stark-Nemon’s debut novel, Even in Darkness, is the true story of her great-aunt Klare Kohler and her experiences living through the Holocaust.


If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

When Brad Meltzer sent his first novel to 20 publishers, he got 24 rejection letters.

His next novel became a New York Times bestseller.

Meltzer has lived at the top of the bestseller lists ever since, and he’s just released his newest political thriller: The President’s Shadow.

Success has not made Meltzer forget his past. In fact, he draws directly on his initial failure for inspiration to continue writing.

Eighty-nine years after being banned, John Herrmann’s first book What Happens is finally being published.

Arguably Lansing’s best forgotten writer, Herrmann was part of the famous expat American writers’ crowd in Paris in the 1920s and called Ernest Hemingway a friend.

All photos are from a collection from Susan Brewster, niece of John Herrmann, and have not been published until now.

National Writers Series: An evening with Debbie Macomber

Jun 3, 2015

Debbie Macomber's "Cedar Cove" series has been turned into a TV show on the Hallmark Channel. She has more than 170 million copies of her books in print worldwide and her novels have spent over 750 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, with eight hitting number one. Macomber has also written bestselling cookbooks, inspirational and non-fiction works, and children's books. This hour she talks with Ron Hogan, acquiring fiction and nonfiction editor at Regan Arts.

How long do we carry wounds that we suffer early in life?

Can you find a pathway to healing and wholeness after you're broken and damaged, whether by tragedy or neglectful, uncaring parenting?

Can you recover and rebuild after missed chances, poor choices?

These are some of the questions Kelly Fordon explores in her new collection of short stories Garden for the BlindIt's part of the Made In Michigan Writer's Series.

In her latest memoir, writer Anne-Marie Oomen takes us back to growing up in the turbulent 1960’s on a her family’s Michigan farm. From school dances and sewing lessons to the Detroit riots and the Cuban missile crisis it’s all in her new book Love, Sex and 4-H. 

Maureen Abood left her big-city job in Chicago to follow her heart to culinary school.

After training in San Francisco, Abood came back home to Michigan and has dedicated her life to cooking and writing about Lebanese food.

Garth Stein's latest book, "A Sudden Light," begins from the perspective of a 14-year-old boy. Stein is fascinated with this stage of life at the edge of adulthood. His previous novel, "The Art of Racing in the Rain," has sold more than 4 million copies and spent three years on the New York Times bestseller list. He's interviewed by Sarah Bearup-Neal, a journalist and fiber artist from Glen Arbor.

As part of our series Poetically SpeakingScott Beal brings us “American Spring,” his brand-new poem that explores the current tensions surrounding police violence in America.

Dr. Jadwiga Lenartowicz Rylko was a Nazi prisoner for 15 months. She endured a women's prison, three concentration camps, four slave labor camps and a death march.

She and her fellow prisoners were liberated by the U.S. 87th Infantry Division 70 years ago this week.

After the war, she came to Michigan with her husband and daughter, seeking a new life.

She found that new life, but her Polish medical credentials had been lost in the war and she was never able to practice medicine in America. Instead, she worked as a nurse's aide at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

Being a father is both rewarding and challenging.  

But, being a black father can have its own challenges. That's what Curtis Ivery believes. 

Ivery, chancellor of the Wayne County Community College District, discusses the father’s role in a book he co-authored with his son Marcus Ivery, called Black Fatherhood: Reclaiming Our Legacy.

The book discusses the disintegration of the African-American family and the alarm it generates.

Erna Roberts has had a full life. As a survivor of the WWII Nazi takeover of her homeland, Latvia, as well as two separate Russian occupations, still living on her own at the age of 97 is the least of her feats.

Patricia Majher's book Great Girls in Michigan History profiles 20 girls in Michigan who accomplished great feats before the age of 20.

Majher says while the girls were from all over the state with different areas of expertise, they all shared some personality traits. She describes them as precocious, self-driven, and not allowing obstacles to stand in their way.

The book includes stories of Betty Ford's dedication to dance at a young age. Ford founded her own dance studio in Grand Rapids at the age of 15, where she taught little girls and their mothers too.  Her career eventually led her to dance at Carnegie Hall.

Michelle Balconi believes you can make economics something to “chat about” – and you can do it in a book aimed at children.

She’s a writer and a mother from Grosse Pointe Park who has teamed up with renowned Reagan administration economist Arthur B. Laffer and Clinton Township artist Mary Kinsora to create the book Let’s Chat About Economics, a nuts-and-bolts guide to economics.

Last spring’s Michigan Teacher of the Year, Melody Arabo, joined us today to talk about her first book, A Diary of a Real Bully.

Arabo’s book stems from her third grade classroom at Keith Elementary School in Walled Lake. There, she witnessed bullying and was shocked to find out which kids unveiled themselves as the bullies.

February 7th marks the 130th birthday of the American writer Sinclair Lewis, whose 1925 Pulitzer-prize winning novel Arrowsmith was the first novel to focus on the life of a medical scientist.

University of Michigan physician and medical historian Dr. Howard Markel says it's a wonderful historical analysis of everything that is great and problematic with American medicine.

This year's Sundance Film Festival has extra-special meaning for a University of Michigan professor.

Phoebe Gloeckner is a professor at the Stamps School of Art and Design. Her 2002 graphic novel The Diary of a Teenage Girl has been made into a feature film starring Alexander Skarsgard and Kristen Wiig that will premiere this weekend at Sundance.

Peace and quiet is in short supply for Nick Hoffman, the composition professor at the fictional "State University of Michigan," in the town of Michiganapolis. A mind-blowing encounter with the local police starts the action in the latest book from writer Lev Raphael.

Raphael has now written 25 books in many different genres. His latest, Assault with a Deadly Lie, is the eighth installment of his Nick Hoffman Mysteries.

Lev Raphael also teaches creative writing, popular literature and Jewish-American literature at Michigan State University.

Lobbyists aren't the most well liked people, but George Franklin, attorney and former lobbyist who became the Vice President of World Wide Government Relations for the Kellogg Company, would like to change your perception of them.

Franklin is currently the head of Franklin Public Affairs in Kalamazoo and recently wrote a memoir about his time in Washington entitled "Raisin Bran and Other Cereals: 30 Years of Lobbying for the Most Famous Tiger in the World."

Brian Castner and Brian Turner

Dec 12, 2014

On this program from the National Writers Series, Benjamin Busch talks with Brian Castner and Brian Turner. Brian Castner's book, "The Long Walk," draws on his experience as the commander of an explosive disposal unit in Iraq. Poet and professor Brian Turner's memoir, "My Life As a Foreign Country," retraces his time at war, from pre-deployment, to combat, homecoming, and its aftermath. Castner and Turner talk with former U.S. Marine Corps officer and actor Benjamin Busch, author of the memoir "Dust to Dust."


"Shopaholic" author Sophie Kinsella

Dec 3, 2014
Allen Kent

On this program from the National Writers Series, Sophie Kinsella. She has written seven books in her "Shopaholic" series, as well as over a dozen other novels. Her first books were written under her actual name, Madeleine Wickham. Sophie Kinsella is her pen name. Christal Frost and Colleen Wares from radio station WTCM talk to Kinsella about her latest book, "Shopaholic to the Stars."


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