There are many paths to becoming a writer. Over the years we’ve interviewed people who have started as lawyers, as doctors, as teachers, as police officers, military professionals, historians and accountants but this is the first time we’ll have a chance to interview someone who’s first career was as a ballerina.
And not just someone who took a few ballet lessons at a local dance studio. Audrey Penn was a ballerina dancing with the National Ballet, New York City Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, and the Danny Diamond Dance Theatre. She also served as alignist and choreographer for the U.S Figure Skating Team in preparation for the Pan American Games (1973), and for the 1976 Olympic Gymnastics team. Unfortunately in 1980 she became too ill with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis to continue dancing.
She writes on her web page that because she had done a lot of children’s theatre and children’s dance, and had always enjoyed children’s literature, she turned to writing children’s books for her creative outlet.
The result has been rewarding for both her and for millions of readers.
Her latest book is Chester Raccoon and the Almost Perfect Sleepover. In the book, Chester is excited about going to his very first sleepover. After his mother drops him off at Pepper Opossum’s house with a Kissing Hand in his palm, Chester and his animal friends have a long day of playing games and eating snacks.
But when the animals decide to bed down, Chester can’t go to sleep. While his Kissing Hand has kept him from getting scared, he isn’t in his own bedroom, and he misses his family. When Chester returns home, Mrs. Raccoon welcomes her little cub and reassures him that his home is always there when he needs it.
To learn more, visit her website HERE. To hear our interview, please click on the grey podcast bar below
For most Americans, their greatest nightmare is of someone setting off a nuclear weapon in one of our major cities. Two possible scenarios that come to mind are setting off a nuke near Washington’s Capitol building during a State of the Union address, or melting down a nuclear power plant ― like Indian Point, a mere 35 miles from New York City ― creating such terror and chaos that 9/11 would pale in comparison. Critics agree that nationally recognized nuclear terrorism expert Robert Gleason’s latest book, And Into the Fire, describes these terrifying scenarios in more factual detail than any other book they have read.
Robert Gleason, bestselling author of End of Days and The Nuclear Terrorist: His Financial Backers and Political Patrons in the US and Abroad, has starred in and hosted a History Channel two-hour special on this very subject and the various scenarios that could take place. Please watch a seven-minute excerpt from the History Channel Special at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXrlcf_R1KY. He has been a featured guest discussing nuclear terrorism on national TV and radio shows such as Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, George Noory’s “Coast to Coast AM”, and NPR, along with many others, and spoken numerous times on this subject at Harvard.
Gleason’s latest book dramatizes in great detail how terrorists could steal bomb-grade highly enriched uranium from a country such as Pakistan and smuggle it into the US. Once in possession of the fissile nuclear bomb-fuel, cobbling together crude would be an amazingly simple procedure. As Luis Alvarez, the physicist who designed the Hiroshima bomb wrote, “a high school student could build the Hiroshima bomb if he had the bomb-fuel.” Gleason then shows how terrorists can use such crudely built but highly powerful Hiroshima-type bombs to incinerate any major US city.
Advance reviews on And Into the Fire all agree that it is not only a hair-raising thriller, it is arguably the most knowledgeable nuclear terrorism novel of our time. Byron Dorgan, former US Senator and New York Times bestselling author of Gridlock, has written: “Gleason writes with undeniable authority on the threat of nuclear terrorism… And Into the Fire, is an eye-opening, hair-raising, up-all-night thriller that should be required reading for all Members of Congress.”
With nearly 30 years experience researching the threat of nuclear terrorism and the possibility of nuclear annihilation, Robert Gleason can address topics on national security, foreign policy, current events, politics and what needs to be done to defend our cities and nuclear power plants.
Robert Gleason is a highly regarded expert on nuclear terrorism. He’s spoken on the topic at Harvard four times, and on Sean Hannity’s and Lou Dobbs’s TV shows, PBS, NPR, George Noory’s “Coast to Coast AM”, and many other radio & television programs. He also hosted and starred in a two-hour History Channel special largely devoted to the subject. He is the author of The Nuclear Terrorist: His Financial Backers and Political Patrons in the US and Abroad, as well as the critically acclaimed End of Days. Gleason lives in New York City, and you can learn more about him and his books a thttp://robertgleasonbooks.com/.
To hear our interview with Robert Gleason, click on the grey podcast bar below:
Argyle Fox, with his signature style, wants to play outside on a springtime day, but the wind is wreaking havoc with his fun and games. As soon as he builds a card tower, climbs into a giant spider web, or takes up his pirate sword, here comes the wind: Woosh!
Mama Fox tells grumpy Argyle that if he thinks long enough, he will come up with something to do. Following his mother’s suggestion and inspired by her knitting, he works all the pieces of his day together and creates the perfect solution.
The story of Argyle teaches that failure is often a path to success and celebrates perseverance, creative thinking, and an old-fashioned springtime activity.
Find out more see her other work at her website.
To hear our interview with Marie Letourneau, click on the grey podcast bar below:
From the award-winning illustrator and author Victoria Kann, #1 New York Times Bestseller of:
Pinkalicious, Purplicious, Goldilicious, Silverlicious, Emeraldalicious, and Aqualicious
You loved Peter in the bestselling Pinkalicious books, and now he stars in his very own picture book, an adventure that is absolutely Peteriffic.
The Pinkalicious series – where fans were first introduced to Peter – has sold over 23 million copies, been translated into 8 languages and is sold in 9 countries. The series has inspired a stage musical as well as lines of party goods, toys, bicycles, furniture, and dolls. With a soon-to-be WGBH-PBS television show, the Pinkalicious franchise shows no sign of slowing down.
Peter loves to build with his blocks. He decides to build a tower that will reach the moon, and he wants to do it all by himself. Will the moon be made of cheese? Can he catch a shooting star? Peter stacks the blocks higher and higher and the tower grows bigger and bigger. Peter climbs closer and closer to the stars, until he can go no further he discovers he doesn’t have a way down! He’ll have to figure out what to do next—all by himself.
You can hear our interview with author and illustrator Victoria Kann, by clicking on the grey podcast bar below:
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography
A New York Times 2016 Notable Book
National Best Seller
Named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People”
An Amazon Top 20 Best Book of 2016
A Washington Post Best Memoir of 2016
A TIME and Entertainment Weekly Best Book of 2016 So Far
An illuminating debut memoir of a woman in science; a moving portrait of a longtime friendship; and a stunningly fresh look at plants that will forever change how you see the natural world
Acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren has built three laboratories in which she’s studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Her first book is a revelatory treatise on plant life—but it is also so much more.
Lab Girl is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren’s remarkable stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom’s labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done “with both the heart and the hands”; and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work.
Yet at the core of this book is the story of a relationship Jahren forged with a brilliant, wounded man named Bill, who becomes her lab partner and best friend. Their sometimes rogue adventures in science take them from the Midwest across the United States and back again, over the Atlantic to the ever-light skies of the North Pole and to tropical Hawaii, where she and her lab currently make their home.
Jahren’s probing look at plants, her astonishing tenacity of spirit, and her acute insights on nature enliven every page of this extraordinary book. Lab Girl opens your eyes to the beautiful, sophisticated mechanisms within every leaf, blade of grass, and flower petal. Here is an eloquent demonstration of what can happen when you find the stamina, passion, and sense of sacrifice needed to make a life out of what you truly love, as you discover along the way the person you were meant to be.
To listen to our interview, click on the grey podcast bar below.
Author Laurie B. grew up in Los Angeles, moving steadily up the west coast after high school, and now lives in a house on a rocky beach on Bainbridge Island, WA. where contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t rain every day. Not that she doesn’t welcome the drippy skies. On dreary days she stays happily glued to her office chair, tapping away on her computer instead of being tempted outside into her garden when the sun is out.
Laurie has written and designed over 50 interactive games for kids featuring original characters such as Putt-Putt and Fatty Bear for Humongous Entertainment; and Huggly for Scholastic; plus many characters who you probably know and may even love as much as she does – Madeline, Little Bear, Harry Potter, The Little Mermaid, Clifford, SpongeBob, and Mr. Potato Head – and lots of others that frankly, she’s lost track of, whose scripts are chronicled somewhere on an old hard drive hidden on a shelf in the garage. She also wrote a trio of picture books based on Putt-Putt (the little purple car – not the mini-golf game).
Laurie has had stints writing scripts for animated children’s TV shows such as Dragon Tales for PBS and What-a-Mess for ABC. Unfortunately What-a-Mess lasted only a season. It was about an out-of-control Afghan puppy who wreaked havoc everywhere he went. Mostly she was disappointed that the show got the axe because she had so many stories left to tell based on her own Labrador retriever who had such an insatiable appetite that he devoured a couch and ate all the seat belts in her car. She’s decided to save her dog’s crazy appetite for another book.
And finally, after both of her sons moved off to college, she figured it was time to try to her hand at writing a novel. Hello There, We’ve Been Waiting for You! is the first in a trilogy and her first published novel. Now she’s followed that up with the second book “Hello There, Do You Still Know Me?”
Find out more about Laurie and her books at http://lauriearnoldbooks.com/
To listen to our interview, click on the grey podcast bar below.