Books - Fiction

The opioid crisis is a national emergency. The scourge of opioid abuse and addiction has hit the Appalachian region especially hard. It has been documented that there's a town in West Virginia that was literally inundated with Oxycontin by the manufacturer. Southern Ohio has seen more than our share of overdoses and tragedy.

After Sue Grafton died last December I put together a special memorial program in her honor. You can locate that program in our podcast archive. I took excerpts from my first interview with Sue for her book "M is for Malice" and my third and final interview with her for "W is for Wasted."

Pamela Wechsler is a former prosecutor who has taken up a new career writing for television and penning crime novels. Her latest book is her third in a series set in Boston. Her protagonist is Abby Endicott, the chief homicide prosecutor for the city. The author is a former prosecutor in Boston so she is writing about matters that she knows rather well.

In 1999 I had the pleasure of conducting another interview with Virginia Hamilton. The first time I had Virginia on the program it was a rather unique experience because Virginia had been joined in studio for a joint interview with her husband the poet Arnold Adoff. For this second interview Virginia traveled the half mile or so from her home in Yellow Springs to our studios and I had the opportunity to converse with her again about her incredible body of work.

John Scalzi is probably the best known writer who lives in our area. Here's a review of his latest book that I wrote for the Cox Ohio newspapers:

John Scalzi just published "Head On," the follow-up novel to his 2014 book "Lock In." Scalzi, who resides in the village of Bradford (OH) is full of surprises and this book contains several. The author has recounted how years ago he determined at random whether to write mysteries or science fiction. Science fiction won out. Even so this new book contains elements of a murder mystery.

Allan W. Eckert was a legendary writer. He lived right in our region in Bellefontaine, but I only had this one opportunity to interview him. It was 23 years ago and he was on book tour for his historical novel "That Dark and Bloody River." The river he referred to in his title was of course, the Ohio River. Eckert was an authority on the early history of our region and he wrote numerous books about it.

In 1996 at the time this interview was recorded Virginia Hamilton was probably the best known author then living in Ohio. I had the opportunity to interview Virginia along with her husband, the poet Arnold Adoff, in conversation together with me. That was a very special day in the Book Nook.

With her third mystery novel "Let Me Lie" Clare Mackintosh has made it clear that her career transition from police officer to successful novelist is now complete. Her first novel "I Let You Go" announced to the world that she is an author to watch. It sold over a million copies. Her second novel "I See You" totally creeped me out-I was delighted to interview Clare about it.

She returned to the show to discuss her latest, another twisty turny edge of your chair cliffhanger of a thriller called "Let Me Lie." Mackintosh masterfully tricks her readers again. I had no clue whodunnit.

When Vince Flynn came out to Yellow Springs to record our first radio show together he was an author on the rise. During our first conversation he described how he had quit a lucrative job to focus on writing his first novel. Flynn would write during the day then tend bar in St. Paul during the evenings. Flynn self-published that first book and it did well, so well that it was picked up by a major publisher, Simon and Schuster, and reissued. At that point Vince Flynn was on his way.

In 1994 I started interviewing authors on the radio. I probably would never have decided to do that if it hadn't been for the fact that in those days in any given year there were hundreds of authors passing through Dayton on book tours. Now we are fortunate to have one or two in the area during any given week.

18 years ago an author from Edinburgh, Scotland passed through on a tour to publicize her historical novel "Gemini." Her name was Dorothy Dunnett. On the day that she came out to our studios in Yellow Springs it was the first and only time that she had ever been to Ohio. I had not been familiar with her work prior to reading "Gemini."

Over the course of our conversation that day I began to realize that she was very well regarded, that she had produced a prodigious body of work, and that she had a huge readership. I also discovered that before she became a novelist she had been quite well known as a portrait artist. As you listen to this interview I think you'll understand why I found myself to be totally charmed by this articulate and clever guest.