Laurie B. Arnold – Hello There, Do You Still Know Me?

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.

Jonathan Ferrara – Guns in the Hands of Artists

In the 1990s, the New Orleans murder rate exploded. In 1996, 350 people were killed—the highest number in the city’s history, and the highest rate in the nation. In response to this crisis, gallery owner and artist Jonathan Ferrara and artist Brian Borrello, launched a powerful project: Guns in the Hands of Artists. Over sixty artists, including painters, glass artists, sculptors, photographers, and poets, used decommissioned guns taken off the city streets via a gun buyback program to express a thought, make a statement, open a discussion, and to stimulate thinking about guns and gun violence in America.

As gun violence continues to devastate the nation on a daily basis, Guns in the Hands of Artists reemerged in 2012 as a community-based social activist art project that has since traveled to six cities across the US. Using art as a mirror for life and interweaving the works of thirty diverse artists with the voices of seventeen national thought leaders, this book is an important outgrowth of the exhibition and an extension of its efforts to employ art as a vehicle for dialogue, as a call to action, and—ultimately—as an agent of change.

Essays by: Walter Isaacson, Senator Tim Kaine, Lupe Fiasco, Richard Ford, Joe Nocera, Trymaine Lee, Lolis Eric Elie, John M. Barry, Dan Cameron, Lucia McBath, Harry Shearer, Jonathan Ferrara, Brian Borrello, Maria Cuomo Cole, Michael Waldman, E. Ethelbert Miller, Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly.

More about Mr. Ferrara at his gallery website, HERE.

To hear our interview with Jonathan Ferrara, click on the grey podcast bar below:

Paul H.B. Shin – Half Life

Our guest today is a an award-winning journalist for more than 20 years, most recently for ABC News. He previously wrote for the New York Daily News. He was born in South Korea and lived in London during his childhood. He now lives in Brooklyn, New York.

His debut novel, Half-Life is a page-turning thriller involving a North Korean nuclear scientist on a delicate diplomatic mission to the US when his wife disappears with their newborn son. Paralyzed with fear at the repercussions of her decision the scientist Han Choos-soo turns to his colleague Park Jun-Young a man he suspects is an intelligence operative. He soon regrets his decision as Park cuts a swath of mayhem in the name of helping Han. and the chase forces Han to confront the harsh realities of his home country.

To hear our interview with Mr. Shin, click on the grey podcast bar below:

 

Leonard Marcus – Golden Legacy: The Story of Golden Books

To hear our interview with Leonard Marcus, click on the grey podcast bar below.

For baby boomers and those slightly older, childhood would not have been so rich without Little Golden Books, those cleverly-written, beautifully-illustrated and elegantly-printed yet inexpensive and indispensable companions of our younger days. It is a bit startling to realize that Little Golden Books are celebrating 75 years. We are pleased to have with us this morning eminent children’s book historian Leonard Marcus, whose book Golden Legacy: The Story of Golden Books chronicles the fascinating story of the creation, marketing and worldwide impact of these gems.

Mr. Marcus is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Book Review and Horn Book Magazine. He has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, ABC’S Good Morning America and BBC Radio 4, and has a long list of honors.

Find out more about Mr. Marcus at his website HERE.

 

William R. Forstchen – The Final Day

William R. Forstchen has released the final book in his John Matheson series and it makes a perfect conclusion to the saga of a small community in North Carolina as it deals with an apocalypse that, for once, has nothing to do with zombies.

The story began with One Second After and continued with One Year  following an event in which three atomic bombs were detonated high in the atmosphere and sent massive electromagnetic pulse or EMP across the country that fried every computer or sophisticated electronic circuit in the country. Airplanes fell out of the sky, Electric power plants quit, Cars died, elevators trapped people. Those on ventilators and respirators died. There was no way to transport food quickly, and those in large cities starved.

Civilization fell apart. Bands of marauders looted, some turned cannibal. Without electricity, the country retreated technologically to the 1800s.

In the little college town of Black Mountain, North Carolina, college history teacher John Matheson proves to be an excellent leader, but he has to deal with problems as much within his community as without. Black Mountain learns to defend its small patch of re-emerging civilization, sometimes against overwhelming odds.

The victories, as in real life, are not without costs, all the more wrenching because the characters are well fleshed-out, complex and believable.

Forstchen is an excellent storyteller, and the first to write about the dangers of EMP, a subject all of us would do well to understand. The books also deal with complex moral questions such as when should a soldier disobey an order he knows is morally wrong.

You can hear our interview with William Forstchen by clicking on the grey podcast box below.

Interview with American Petroleum Institute’s CEO Jack Gerard

The American Petroleum Institute did a radio tour January 5, offering a chance to interview their president and CEO, Jack Gerard. In it, I mentioned the oil train derailment spill and fire at Mosier on June 3, 2016 and asked if if the oil companies had any responsibility. You can hear his answer and the rest of that interview by clicking on the grey podcast bar at the bottom of the page.  The following paragraphs are provided by the company that booked the interview:

About Jack Gerard: He is president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, the national trade association that represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Gerard has led API since November 2008.

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 625 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms.

 

Kristine Kathryn Rusch – Women of Futures Past

Discrimination of women is still a problem in today’s world within the workplace, as well as legal and social discrimination. One woman shines a spotlight on discrimination in media, mainly Hollywood and science fiction.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch, a USA Today bestselling writer and author of the book, “Women Of Future’s Past”  details how the long-standing discrimination and belief that men dominate the genre came about“A lot of young writers and science fiction fans don’t want to hear about the women who came before them,” Rusch says. “Women have dominated the field, writing the prototypes for Han Solo and Indiana Jones, and writing bestselling books and movies.”

Unfortunately, many of the award-winning writings from women have never been anthologized, or kept in print.

“Unlike the works from men, many of the writings from women have vanished,” Rusch says. “It’s not just in books. A huge controversy ignited when ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ merchandise left out the lead characters. Both were women.”

Over the course of her 30-year career, international bestselling writer Kristine Kathryn Rusch has won or been nominated for every major award in the science fiction and fantasy field. She started two publishing companies, including the influential Pulphouse Publishing. She has won awards for her editing as well as her fiction—and she is, to date, the only person who has won the Hugo award both as an editor and as a writer. In 2016 alone, her fiction will appear in four year’s best collections. As of March 2016, her short stories have won two different readers’ choice awards.

In addition, I can testify that she is warm and witty and gifted. We had a far-ranging interview about the history of women in SF, her own trailblazing path, and that of some of the authors represented in this superb anthology.

You can hear that interview by clicking on the grey podcast bar below. You’re in for a treat.

Author’s photo by Lauren Lang

Link to her website.