Authors

This surreal novel is set in a trailer park in the Mojave Desert. The author, R.A. Morean, is quite familiar with this locale. She used to live in the area. This is one of the most otherworldly and bizarre books that I have read in a long time. It defies genre. Fortunately I was able to interview the author about it and her insights and confessions really helped me to understand the story more clearly.

James Lee Burke returned to the program to talk about his latest novel "House of the Rising Sun." Burke turned 79 in December and while he may be slowing down ever so slightly he is still producing some of the greatest stories of our generation.

This latest book is the second one in a planned trilogy. The story was inspired in part by the escapades of one of Burke's ancestors on his mother's side of the family. But as he made clear in this interview; the story is fiction and all the characters are fictional.

Rita Gabis had fond memories of her Lithuanian grandfather. She knew that he had come to America as an adult and that he had lived in Lithuania during World War II. After he died she began to want to know more about his life. In particular, she was interested in what he had done during the war. Her grandfather had been a policeman and he had maintained his police duties during the German occupation of Lithuania.

In 1996 Robert Crais embarked on his first national tour for his novel "Sunset Express." He came through Dayton and stopped by the WYSO studios for a live interview on the Book Nook. That was his 5th novel. He was really just getting started as a novelist following a successful stint as a Hollywood screen writer for programs like "LA Law" and "Hill Street Blues."

Has our society got you down? Is our culture depressing you? Have you been unlucky in love? Are you tired of feeling like somebody's punching bag? I have just the book for you. The eminently quotable Cheryl Strayed has put together a self-help book called "Brave Enough." You might know Strayed as the writer who brought us the mega-memoir "Wild." She has a terse, pithy, and succulent mode of expression.

Perhaps you spurn the "self-help" category? I know that I do. Don't ignore this book. This is an inspiring collection of Cheryl's most resonant quotes. Here's an example:

Harold Holzer has dedicated much of his life to the study of one of our greatest presidents. Abraham Lincoln. Holzer has written many books about Lincoln and his recent book "Lincoln and the Power of the Press - the War for Public Opinion" was the one that finally delivered the ultimate honor for a Lincoln scholar. Holzer won the Lincoln Prize for it. 

Holzer writes exceptional books and he's an absolute delight to interview. I'm sure you'll understand what I mean as you listen to this one.

Kathi Reed makes her literary debut with this crime novel set in Cincinnati. Reed's sleuth, Annie Fillmore, is a mortgage loan officer at a big bank. She also has an uncanny talent for showing up right when murder victims are being discovered. In this case the dead body belongs  to her boss. Gosh, who  would  want to kill the most reviled man in the building? Lots of suspects. Very few clues. The cops want Annie to keep her nose out of this case.  But Annie just cannot stay away.

Chris Woodyard is the grand dame of "Haunted Ohio." Woodyard's dedication and devotion to unearthing the spookiest stories and superstitions have kept readers horrified,entertained and enthralled  for decades. For her latest collection Woodyard has excavated reams of creepy material from periodicals of the Victorian era. The Victorians could seem a bit obsessive about death.

These articles range from strange to bizarre, from chilling to mildly disturbing. Her passion for this  work shines through in her books  and in this interview.

Over the years that I have been conducting radio interviews I have had the opportunity to speak to some people who were in unusual locations. Cell phones are to blame. Back in the 1990's I called a woman who was living in a tree.  Julia Butterfly was perched high atop a redwood tree named Luna. A logging company in northern California was planning to chop the tree down. Julia had been living up in the tree for months to keep that from happening!

Anna Badkhen is one of my favorite writers. Her latest book is one of my favorite books of the year. My interview with Anna is one of my favorite interviews this year. I cannot wait for her next. Here's my review of her current book which ran in the Cox Ohio newspapers:

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