Writers & Writing

This is your source for NPR author interviews, recent broadcasts from the Traverse City National Writers Series, and IPR's radio series Michigan Writers on the Air. You can also find NPR authors & interviews here.

Gillian Flynn started as a film critic at the age of 7 when her father showed her movies like Alien and Psycho. As an adult, and after writing for 10 years as a television critic, she was laid off. She began a new career writing her first novel in 2007 titled Sharp Objects. Flynn was a guest this month at the National Writers Series in downtown Traverse City. She sat down with host Doug Stanton to talk about her new book Gone Girl

This month on Michigan Writers on the Air, two distinguished poets, our own Fleda Brown and Vermont’s Poet Laureate, Sydney Lea, will read from their newly published collaboration, Growing Old in Poetry: Two Poets, Two Lives.

The Story Of An Escape From North Korea

Apr 9, 2013

Shin Dong-Hyuk escaped from a North Korean labor camp. A camp where he expected to die young. Blain Harden tells the story about Shin’s escape in his most recent book, Escape from Camp 14. He was the guest earlier this month at the National Writers Series in downtown Traverse City. He spoke with Jack Segal, a former U.S. Department of State official. 

Today on the National Writers Series, host Doug Stanton sits down with Chip Johannessen. Johannessen is the executive producer and writer of Showtime’s award-winning television show “Homeland”. And this past year, “Homeland” made television history when it did something no other show has done in 25 years: it won four out of five of the major drama awards at the Emmys.

On the March Michigan Writers on the Air program, Traverse City based writer Cari Noga will read from her stunning debut novel, Sparrow Migration. Then Aaron Stander will having a phone conversation with writing guru, Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones. They will be talking about her newest book,The True Secret of Writing. At the end, poet and essayist Fleda Brown will provide a commentary on contemporary American poet Connie Wanek.

On the February Michigan Writers on the Air program, outdoors and adventure writer Joan Young will be talking about and reading from her book, North Country Cache. Then three well-known members of the northern Michigan arts community, Jerry Dennis, Glenn Wolff, and Chad Pastotnik, will discuss their collaborative project, A Trout in Winter. At the end, poet and essayist Fleda Brown will provide a commentary on contemporary American poet Dzvinia Orlowsky.

Buzz Bissinger’s bestseller Friday Night Lights became a hit TV series. Now he has a new book. It’s called Father’s Day. It tells the true story of the author’s twin sons – one who earned his Master’s Degree – the other who struggles with unremitting learning disabilities to this day. Buzz Bissinger is visiting Traverse City for the National Writers Series and he’ll be our guest on Points North.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Jan 8, 2013

Today on the National Writers Series, columnist and author Jack Segal sits down with Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Ali is an admired activist and political figure whom, in 2005, was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the World.

Michael Connelly

Jan 7, 2013

Today on the National Writers Series, host Bryan Gruley talks with Michael Connelly, a #1 New York Times Best-Selling Author. Connelly has sold over 45 million copies of his novels. He can be seen playing himself on the ABC television show Castle.

New York Times bestselling Author Maggie Stiefvater brought a new audience to the Natinal Writers Series at the first young adult author to appear on the City Opera House stage.  <span>Bookends blogger and young adult reviewer Lynn Rutan guest hosted the conversation with Stiefvater, who offered an energetic and entertaining look into her career as a young adult novelist.

This month on Michigan Writers on the Air, Aaron Stander interviews Heather Shumaker, author of It’s Okay Not to Share…and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids. Then Bill O. Smith will read from his popular new children’s book, Chickadees at Night. At the end Fleda Brown will provide a commentary on contemporary American poet Alicia Ostriker.

This month on Michigan Writers on the Air, Aaron Stander talks with Dr. Jason Karlawish about his new work of historical fiction, Open Wound, The Tragic Obsession of Dr. William Beaumont. Then Keith Taylor will read from his chapbook, Marginalia for a Natural History. At the end Fleda Brown will provide a commentary on West Coast poet Catherine Flenniken.

This month on Michigan Writers on the Air, Aaron Stander talks with crime writer Bryan Gruley about the latest installment in his Starvation Lake series, The Skeleton Box. Then Patricia Ann McNair will read from her edgy and evocative collection of short stories, The Temple of Air.  At the end Fleda Brown will provide a commentary on Midwestern poet, Todd Boss.

National Writers Series Announces New Lineup

Jun 12, 2012

Downtown Traverse City will soon play host to a homicidal fairy, a he-man adventurer and a female bounty hunter. At least, the authors who created these characters will visit. The new schedule for the National Writers Series was announced today. On the list of visiting authors is Maggie Stievfater - creator of fantasy for young adult readers and New York Times bestseller Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher books. The schedule also features bestselling author Janet Evanovich. She's written a series of novels featuring Stephanie Plum - a bounty hunter in Trenton, New Jersey.

National Writers Series Announces New Lineup

Jun 12, 2012

Downtown Traverse City will soon play host to a homicidal fairy, a he-man adventurer and a female bounty hunter. At least, the authors who created these characters will visit. The new schedule for the National Writers Series was announced today. On the list of visiting authors is Maggie Stievfater – creator of fantasy for young adult readers and New York Times bestseller Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher books. The schedule also features bestselling author Janet Evanovich. She’s written a series of novels featuring Stephanie Plum – a bounty hunter in Trenton, New Jersey.

This month on Michigan Writers on the Air, Aaron Stander will have a conversation with two of the winners of the Michigan Writers, Inc. Chapbook Competition: Jim Crockett and Bruce Makie. Then Holly Wren Spaulding will explain the rigors of Poetry Bootcamp.  At the end Matt Wiliford will share information on this summer’s offerings for adult writers at the Interlochen College of Creative Arts.

Courtesy photo

Benjamin Busch is an actor who has appeared on "The Wire," "Homicide" and "The West Wing." He was a U.S. Marine Corps Infantry Officer who served two tours of combat duty in Iraq, once in 2003 and again in 2005. When serving in Iraq, Benjamin Busch took hundreds of photographs. Many of those images are now part of an exhibit called "The Art in War." It’s on display in Traverse City’s Dennos Museum through mid-June. On this edition of"Points North," we’ll talk with Benjamin Busch about his photographs and his new memoir, "Dust to Dust."

This month on Michigan Writers on the Air, Aaron Stander will have a conversation with two poets at very different points in their careers, Jennifer Steinorth and Fleda Brown, Then poet Arturo Mantecon will explain the special challenges of translating poetry from Spanish to EnglishAt the end Fleda Brown will provide some final reflections on National Poetry Month.

Join us for the National Writers Series broadcast, featuring a conversation between authors Paula McClain and Jodi Picoult. They talk about the craft of writing, their inspiration, and why making a movie out of a book is sort of like giving up a baby for adoption.

This month on Michigan Writers on the Air, Aaron Stander will have a conversation with Ben Busch about his stunning new memoir, Dust to Dust. Then playwright Anne-Marie Oomen and Director Janette Mason will explain how new plays are revised during the rehearsal processAt the end Fleda Brown will provide a commentary on the current Poet Laureate of the United State, native Detroiter, Phillip Levine.

Arc Of Justice: Author Kevin Boyle

Mar 15, 2012

In 1920s Detroit a young, black doctor gets married and looks to settle down in a comfortable neighborhood. But after defending his home from mob attack, he ends up on trial for murder. The case exposes the injustice of a system designed to keep black people out of white neighborhoods. But it would take decades more to win the fight against "red lining" and other forms of residential segregation. By then it was too late. Detroit, and cities across the north, remain heavily segregated to this day.

National Writers Series: Vince Gilligan

Feb 29, 2012

Listen in as local Best-Selling Author Doug Stanton interviews the creator of TV's "Breaking Bad."

This month on Michigan Writers on the Air, Aaron Stander will have a conversation with Jack Driscoll about his new collection of short stories, The World of a Few Minutes Ago.Also this month Teresa Scollon will read from her new collection of poems, To Embroider the Ground with Prayer,and Fleda Brown will provide a retrospective on the work of Michigan poet Judith Minty.

This month on Michigan Writers on the Air, we will be rebroadcasting two popular interviews from our 2011 programs: Paula McLain discussing her bestselling book on Ernest and Hadley Hemingway, The Paris Wife, and one of the grand masters of American crime fiction, Sara Paretsky, discussing her long-running relationship with detective V.I. Warshawski. At the end, regular contributor, poet and essayist Fleda Brown will review a new book by poet Linda Paston.

Novelist Jodi Picoult will appear at the National Writers Series in Traverse City this year. The line-up for the winter and spring was announced today.

Picoult has written nearly 20 books, including the best seller 19 Minutes, a fictional account of a high school shooting in a small town.

Also coming to the book festival in Traverse City this year are journalist and author Anna Quindlen and Michael Sandel, the host of the PBS show "Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?".

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