WYSO

Vick Mickunas

Host - Book Nook

Vick Mickunas introduced the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1500 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities. Listen to the Book Nook with Vick Mickunas for intimate conversations about books with the writers who create them.  Vick Mickunas reviews books for the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News Sun.

Ways to Connect

I read a lot of crime novels and some of them are very good. Occasionally I'll read one that completely dazzles me. "The Butcher's Hook" by Janet Ellis is one of those books that made me perspire with shock and astonishment. And this is her literary debut! Amazing.

Have you ever heard of Mrs. Sherlock Holmes? I had not either. I had always assumed that our fictional sleuth was a devoted bachelor. Well, back in the early years of the 20th century there was a real living person who acquired the nickname "Mrs. Sherlock Holmes." Her name was Grace Humiston and she lived in New York City, not London.
 

Peter Hook returned to the program to discuss his latest music memoir. Some listeners will recall that Peter joined us a few years ago to talk about his Joy Division book. After Joy Division's vocalist Ian Curtis killed himself 37 years ago the band reformed as the New Order and Peter Hook carried on as their bassist for many years. New Order enjoyed great commercial success but as Peter relates in this new book their fame came with a heavy cost.

Harry Campbell
courtesy of the Ohio State University

The Book Nook is an author interview program. Over the years almost every guest I have featured on the show has had a new book out. On occasion I'll interview a guest who doesn't have a book. I will do this because I think our listeners will enjoy the interview and hopefully, a change of pace.

A number of years ago I interviewed a woman who called herself Julia Butterfly. She had not written a book. But I was holding out hope that she would because she was doing a very interesting thing at the time. When I interviewed her she was up in a tree. I'm not kidding.
 

We have had some famous astronauts on the program. John Glenn made an appearance that became the longest interview in the history of the Book Nook. It ran over an hour. I rolled over NPR's news headlines at the top of the hour because I was still talking to John on the telephone and it was a live interview!
 

Nobody had ever done this before. Julie Zickefoose spent years drawing pictures of baby birds from life. She studied these tiny creatures as they developed in the nest. Each day she would create new portraits of these delicate nestlings. Her paintings of birds are magnificently rendered.
 

Many years ago I was spending a quiet Saturday afternoon inside a music listening room at my high school. There were shelves jammed with old record albums in there along with a turntable and a set of headphones. For a young music buff who was just discovering jazz that was my version of heaven.
 

Lee Child is one of the most generous writers around. He is an advocate for other writers. He provides enthusiastic blurbs for books he has enjoyed reading. A blurb from Lee Child can really give an unknown author a boost. I have Lee Child to thank for turning me on to a writer named Nicholas Petrie. Lee returned to the program recently and I quizzed him about books that he has really liked. He responded with a hearty endorsement of the work of Nick Petrie.
 

Over the years I have had the opportunity to interview authors at various stages in their careers. Some of the writers that I have interviewed have gone on to become spectacularly successful. Nicholas Sparks comes to mind. When I interviewed him for "The Notebook," his first book, he seemed slightly dazed by the positive early reviews and he was reluctant to believe that fame was in his future. Well, he has sold a gazillion books since our first interview and he quit his day job as a pharmaceutical salesman many years ago.

Angie Grigaliunas has created a stunning imaginary world in her dystopian fantasy novel "Sowing." This is the first book in her "Purification Era" series. She is still planning the series and during this interview she stated that it will probably take at least eight books to complete it.
 

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