WYSO

Books - Fiction

John Sandford returned to the program to talk about his latest offering in the series that features his crime investigator Virgil Flowers. John has appeared on the program a half dozen times over the years and while we do spend a lot of time discussing each book and the story lines we also have had some conversations that have taken us to some other interesting places. In an interview many years ago John talked about something he enjoyed doing in his spare time; conducting archaeological digs in Israel.

Now and then a listener will ask me how I go about obtaining interviews with authors? The majority of the interviews that I book, probably 90%, are obtained by contacting publicists who work for the publishers of particular books. The most competent publicists will often send me advance copies of books that they think might be of interest to me. That gives me time to read books before they are actually available to the public.

Back in 2003 I was contacted by a book publicist in New York who wondered if I would be interested in interviewing a writer from Scotland who was going to be coming through Dayton on book tour? The author's name is Ian Rankin-he is the creator of a series of crime novels featuring an Edinburgh police detective, Inspector John Rebus. I had heard of the series but I had not read any of the books yet.

A new book by James McBride is an event. The last time he appeared on this program he had just published his novel "The Good Lord Bird." That extraordinary book went on to win the National Book Award. If you have not read it, you are missing out.

When the Irish writer Nuala O'Faolain was in her fifties she published her first book. It was a memoir called "Are You Somebody?" She came out to WYSO for an interview during her book tour. Her memoir is breathtakingly fabulous. And so was she. We had a lovely chat that day. I never expected to see her again. But fortunately I did see her again and we had more interviews.

Rene Denfeld returned to the program to talk about her second novel. As we enter the final months of this year I am putting together my lists of favorite reads from 2017. This incredible book will definitely be on my list for fiction. Wow! It is an amazing, uplifting story. Here's my review that ran recently in the Cox Ohio newspapers:

In the 13th book in her series that features Armand Gamache, now Chief Superintendent Gamache, we find him living peacefully in the quaint village of Three Pines. There's a Halloween Party and one of the guests in attendance is a mysterious figure. This person is robed and masked and nobody seems to know the identity of this silent person.

As I am interviewing authors I am always trying to think of the best questions to ask them. I want to keep things fresh and that can be a challenge. A number of years ago I interviewed C-Span's Brian Lamb. As the host of that network's Book TV program Lamb has distinguished himself as one of the best prepared author interviewers around. Like me, he's accustomed to being the one who is asking the questions. He seemed slightly uncomfortable with having that role reversed.

Once upon a time it was possible to live in Manhattan inexpensively. It wasn't that long ago really. There were neighborhoods like the Lower East Side where artists, club kids, and squatters were still able to eke out livelihoods in the vibrant city that continues to attract newcomers from every corner of the globe.

Tana French returned to the program to talk about her latest Dublin Murder Squad novel "The Trespasser."  Last year Tana did an interview for the hardcover release of this book and I could not resist the opportunity to talk to her again because I loved this story and she doesn't put out new books very often.

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