WYSO

Authors

Vick Mickunas and Chris Tebbetts
Peter Hayes / WYSO

Chris Tebbetts grew up in Yellow Springs. When he was in high school he worked as a page for the Yellow Springs Library. Chris is a novelist who has written a number of books for middle grade readers. Chris has found a niche as an author who collaborates with other writers. His best known partnership is as the co-author on a series for middle school readers with the novelist James Patterson. In this interview Chris talks about what it was like to grow up in Yellow Springs and how he became a writer. Chris was back in the area to teach at the Antioch Writer's Workshop.

Original air date September 10, 2001.
 

Over the years that I have been hosting this program I have had numerous opportunities to interview legendary novelists. I have learned that when such an opportunity presents itself I must do whatever I can to make it happen because I might never get another chance to speak to a particular writer.

Kent Haruf was one of the great American novelists that you might have never heard about. Haruf took a long time writing his books and he didn't even get published until late in life. His first book "The Tie that Binds" came out in 1984. That was followed in 1990 by "Where You Once Belonged." That second book only took him six years to write but he felt like he had to rush because he needed the money. He was so unhappy with it that before it even came out he wrote his editor a letter delineating all the flaws he felt were in it.

 

Over the years that I have been interviewing authors on the radio I have had the pleasure to converse with some of the more interesting people on the planet. One of my favorite guests has been Gene Logsdon. Gene made half a dozen appearances on the program.

On May 4, 1970 a terrible event transpired on the campus of Kent State University. Ohio National Guardsman fired their rifles into a crowd of students. Four students died and a number of others were injured. The carnage was the end result of a cascading chain of troubling events that had unfolded over one horrific weekend in northern Ohio.

In his book "67 Shots - Kent State and the End of American Innocence" Howard Means examines the escalating turbulence which ultimately led to this horror. It should have never happened. But it did. It is good to remember. Lest we forget.

Manhattan was once a place where ordinary people could afford to live. People with dreams. People with low paying jobs. Even starving artists. Molly Prentiss has set her debut novel in New York City as the 1970's are ending. Her book is populated by distinctive characters from the period; a barmaid who has followed her dreams and moved to the city from the wilds of Idaho, an art critic for the New York Times who has a rare perceptive gift, and a struggling painter who has fled the Dirty Wars in his native Argentina.

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline is our community-wide BIG READ selection this year and it was an excellent choice. The author came to Dayton for the kick-off of this year's BIG READ and when you listen to this interview you'll discover how she first found out about the orphan trains (they really existed) and why she decided to write the novel when she did. As it turned out her window of opportunity for conducting interviews with actual orphan train riders was closing fast. There are very few of them still living today.

Ian Rankin's series of crime novels featuring his sleuth John Rebus is one of my all-time favorites. His latest Rebus novel is one of the best ones yet. Here's my review that ran recently in the Cox Ohio newspapers:

Ian Rankin’s latest John Rebus detective novel, “Even Dogs in the Wild,” is out now and it is sensational.

The audience that obsesses over our media driven pop culture possesses an insatiable appetite. The celebrities who become the focus of all that attention are sometimes devoured in the process. The list of victims is long. The pressures of being a celebrity can be enormous. Say goodbye to your privacy. Guard your sanity. The paparazzi are lurking at every turn.

Paul Dickson returned to the program to discuss his nifty book about Prohibition and how the banning of liquor consumption in the United States ended up creating an alcoholic Renaissance of sorts as consumers of these illicit beverages were forced to go underground in a movement that created massive demand and the speakeasy culture of the Roaring Twenties.

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