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72Episodes
Category: Society & Culture

Indie and small press authors speak about the writing craft and their support for each other’s work.

September 2, 2022

Author Sharon Kennedy pens The SideRoad Kids

Happy Labor Day weekend.

Welcome back to another school year. Kennedy's time machine will take you back to a simple era of the late 1950s. Find some time to read and reflect whether it's on your own childhood or stories of the past passed from generation to generation. 

The SideRoad Kids follows a group of boys and girls as they enter the sixth grade in a small town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula during 1957-1958. The meandering collection of short stories is often humorous, poignant, and sometimes mysterious.

Laugh as the kids argue over Halloween treats handed out in Brimley. Although told by the kids, adults will remember their own childhood as they read about Flint, Candy, Squeaky, Katie, and their friends.

"Katie, Blew, Squeaky, and Daisy grew up on farms instead of high rises and used their imagination instead of fancy gadgets to make their own fun. An entertaining read for youngsters. And parents, you might enjoy a nostalgic flashback as well. I know I did.

                                           -Allia Zobel-Nolan, Author of Cat Confessions

Author Sharon Kennedy has been writing short stories and poems for 50 years, but she rarely submitted anything for publication. After teaching English composition at a community college and university, she began writing a general interest5 column in 2014 that ran in her local newspaper. 

She is currently working on a sequel and continues writing her newspaper columns for Gannett Media.

Sponsored by Doc Chavent, The Lowell Ledger, and Modern History Press.

 

September 1, 2022

Diane Burton pens Rescuing Mara’s Father

Note: The correct email for Diane to win a signed copy of her book Rescuing Mara's Father in the podcast giveaway is dmburton72@gmail.com

Mara's father is gone! Taken by the Queen of Compara’s agents. Mara has to rescue him before the Queen tortures and kills him.
Instead of the kind, the loving father she’s always known, he’s become demanding, critical, with impossible expectations—not just as Father but also as the only teacher in their frontier outpost. Mara would rather scoop zircan poop than listen to another boring lecture about governments on Central Planets. Give her a starship engine to take apart or, better yet, fly, and she’s happy. Now, he’s gone.
Never mind, they’ve had a rocky road lately.
Never mind, Father promised she could go off planet to Tech Institute next month when she turns fifteen, where she’ll learn to fly starships.
Never mind, she ran away because she was furious with him because he reneged on that promise. Her Father is her only parent. She has to save him.

Along with her best friend, eleven-year-old Jako, and his brother 15-year-old Lukus, Mara sets off to find her father. Her mentor, the old spaceport mechanic, seems to know why the Queen captured Father. In fact, he seems to know her father well. But, does he tell her everything? Of course not. He dribbles out info like a mush-eating baby. Worse, he indicates he’ll be leaving them soon. And Lukus can’t wait to get off our planet. Mara’s afraid they will all leave, and she’ll be on her own. Despite her fears, Mara has to rescue her father.

 

Sponsored by Doc Chavent and The Lowell Ledger.

July 3, 2022

Author Mackenzie Flohr pens The Rite of Wands

In The Rite of Wands, author Mackenzie Flohr has created a fantasy world of witches and warlocks set in 13th century Ireland. The main character Mierta, 12, has to earn his magic powers.

"It took me 20 years to write this," said Flohr. "I realized that I have a dead book."

But then the new character, originally Gerard, spoke to Flohr and said, "That's not how it happened."

Protagonist Mierta too is a neurodivergent like the author. Flohr used an entire disease layer in the story that reminded people of Covid, although the story was completed in 2017. Much like the black plague, she gave the disease a physical appearance.

The book was inspired by The Lord of The Rings trilogy, as Flohr visited a museum dedicated to the movie series.

"And there was my story," she said. "Mierta goes, we're going to tell that story."

Every character in the book has three layers to them.

"They all fit together at the end," she said. "There is a little bit of myself in both protagonists. I got the wizard language right."

Flohr is working toward TV series adaption of The Rite of Wands. Listen in for a chance to with an autographed copy.

Sponsored by Doc Chavent & The Lowell Ledger

Happy Fourth of July.

 

January 14, 2022

YA novel ”Thanks, Carissa, For Ruining My Life” set for February release

Author Dallas Woodburn skillfully flips friends into lovers in the love triangle between Carissa, Brad, and Rose using two points of view.

Set for February release the friends-to-lovers romance delivers a heartwarming message about self-improvement, identity, and acceptance in an image-obsessed culture.

This is Woodburn's second novel with a short story collection How To Make Paper When the World is Ending slated for June publication.

A former John Steinbeck Fellow in Creative Writing, Woodburn's writing has been honored with the Cypress & Pine Short Fiction Award, the international Glass Woman Prize, and four Pushcart Prize nominations.

When she's not writing, Dallas hosts the podcast "Overflowing Bookshelves." Woodburn is also a book doula.

Listen in for a chance to win a signed copy of Woodburn's new novel.

November 12, 2021

YA author Melanie Hooyenga transports main character in ”Flicker” back in time

What would you change if you could go back to yesterday?
 
The main character Biz in Hooyenga's young adult book "Flicker" discovers that she has a special ability; she uses sunlight to jump back to yesterday. She takes advantage of flickering by retaking Trig tests, fixing fights with her boyfriend (or reliving the making up), and repeating pretty much anything that could be done better. Trouble is, flickering makes her head explode from the inside. Or feel like it anyway.

No one knows about her freakish ability and she’s content to keep it that way. Guys don't stick around because she refuses to let them in, but all that changes when Cameron, her best friend, starts looking oh-so-yummy. Suddenly she's noticing his biceps, his smile, and the cute way his eyes crinkle when he—gah! This is her friend!

But the butterflies come to a screeching halt when little girls start disappearing, then take a nosedive when the police link the kidnappings to Cameron's sister, who vanished years earlier. As the police grasp for clues, Biz photographs a strange man lurking in the shadows and realizes that her flickering can help more than just herself.

 
Listen to the episode for details of the giveaway. Contact Melanie through her website to receive a free signed book.
 
 
 
October 25, 2021

Author D.A. Reed addresses teen depression, suicide and homelessness in her new books

Author D. A. Reed delivers a message of hope to struggling teens, their parents and educators in her young adult novels "All The Things We Didn't See" and "Nothin' but Gutters and Change."

"There is always help," she said. "As a society, we need to eradicate the stigma around mental illness. I didn't realize it was such a big problem."

After writing twice about difficult issues for teens, Reed realized that she need to be aware, that these problems exist in society.

"People approached me to write about depression and suicide," she said.

At first she balked at the issues, but then Reed buckled up to bring awareness to serious problems that people are struggling with.

"I made sure to write it in a way so it's not that intense that people wouldn't want to read about it," she said. 

Reed found a balance between stating the truth correctly while injecting some sarcastic humor into the stories.

"I always try to find that silver lining in difficult situations," she said.