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Speaking of Writers

Speaking of Writers

By Steve Richards
Welcome to Speaking of Writers. Veteran broadcaster Steve Richards interviews local, regional and best selling authors. For more info email steve @
Cover art photo provided by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash:
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Linda Gartz- Redlined

Speaking of Writers

Nick Petrie- The Breaker
ABOUT THE BOOK: A man wanted by two governments, Peter Ash has found a simple, low-profile life in Milwaukee, living with his girlfriend June and renovating old buildings with his friend Lewis. Staying out of trouble is the key to preserving this fragile peace . . . but when Peter spots a suspicious armed man walking into a crowded market, he knows he can't stand by and do nothing. Peter does interrupt a crime, but it wasn't at all what he'd expected. The young gunman appeared to have one target and one mission--but when he escapes, and his victim vanishes before police arrive, it seems there is more to the encounter than meets the eye. Peter's hunch is proven correct when a powerful associate from his past appears with an interest in the crime, and an irresistible offer: if he and June solve this mystery, Peter's record will be scrubbed clean. While Peter and Lewis trace the gunman, reporter June digs into the victim of the incident, a man whose face rings a bell in her memory. As their parallel investigations draw together, they're thrust into the path of a ruthless tech thief, an eerily cheerful assassin, a brilliant and troubled inventor, and a revolutionary technology that could wreak devastation in the wrong hands. But for Peter, even more is at stake: this investigation is his only path to a life free from the threat of prosecution or prison. Before the end, he'll have to fight harder than ever before to ensure that freedom doesn't come at too high a cost. . . . ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nick Petrie is the author of five novels in the Peter Ash series, most recently The Wild One. His debut, The Drifter, won both the ITW Thriller award and the Barry Award for Best First Novel, and was a finalist for the Edgar, Anthony, and Hammett Awards. He lives in the Milwaukee area.
January 19, 2021
Jennifer Probst- Our Italian Summer
About OUR ITALIAN SUMMER Workaholic and single mother Francesca Ferrari is one step away from a nervous breakdown when her studious, straight-laced, 17-year-old daughter Allegra is caught with illicit drugs. Allegra is sick of being ignored by her uptight mother whose one true love is her work. And Francesca’s mother, Sophia, knows that they’re all in trouble. Sophia is concerned that her family is falling apart in front of her eyes, and she also can’t seem to shake the feeling that her health is failing, fast. Sophia declares that a summer in Italy might just be the heart-mending cure they all need to keep their family from ripping apart at the seams. What comes next is an adventure of a lifetime as the three women embark on a journey they’ll never forget. Filled with funny family bonding moments (that may or may not include a tumble down the Spanish Steps), a gorgeous Italian backdrop, and more than a few moments of sparkling romantic chemistry, OUR ITALIAN SUMMER is a dazzling escape to Italy with surprises around every turn. OUR ITALIAN SUMMER contains a touch of Probst’s signature romantic style; both new and returning readers will fall head-over-heels for the Ferrari women and their delightful yet empowering journey.  Probst reminds readers to sit back, relax, and enjoy the trip—and to savor every taste of joy (and pasta, and wine, and cannoli) that life brings. Probst’s first women’s fiction tale is loosely inspired by a trip to Italy that she took with her own female relatives several years ago. She weaves some hilarious moments from her own adventures into her storytelling in order to create a laugh-out-loud memorable novel that anyone who has ever traveled with their relatives will love. Jennifer Probst is the New York Times bestselling author of the Billionaire Builders series, the Searching For . . . series, the Marriage to a Billionaire series, the Steele Brothers series, the Stay series, and the Sunshine Sisters series. Probst, along with her husband and two sons, calls New York’s Hudson Valley home. When she isn’t traveling to meet readers, she enjoys reading, watching “shameful reality television,” and visiting a local Hudson Valley animal shelter. Readers can follow her at
January 15, 2021
Robert Jones Jr.- The Prophets
About THE PROPHETS: Isaiah was Samuel’s and Samuel was Isaiah’s. That was the way it was since the beginning, and the way it was to be until the end. In the barn they tended to the animals, but also to each other, transforming the hollowed-out shed into a place of human refuge, a source of intimacy and hope in a world ruled by vicious masters. But when an older man—a fellow slave—seeks to gain favor by preaching the master’s gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own. Isaiah and Samuel’s love, which was once so simple, is seen as sinful and a clear danger to the plantation’s harmony. Jones fiercely summons the voices of slaver and enslaved alike to tell the story of these two men; from the preacher, Amos, to the calculating slave-master, to the long line of women who surround them, women who have carried the soul of the plantation on their shoulders. As tensions build and the weight of centuries—of ancestors and future generations to come—culminates in a climactic reckoning, THE PROPHETS reveals the pain and suffering of inheritance, shot through with hope, beauty, and truth, portraying the enormous, heroic power of love. Twitter: @sonofbaldwin Instagram: @thesonofbaldwin ABOUT THE AUTHOR Robert Jones, Jr., was born and raised in New York City. He received his BFA in creative writing with honors and MFA in fiction from Brooklyn College. He has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times, Essence, OkayAfrica, The Feminist Wire, and The Grio. He is the creator of the social-justice social media community Son of Baldwin. Jones was recently featured in T Magazine’s cover story, “Black Male Writers of Our Time.” THE PROPHETS is his debut novel.
January 12, 2021
Brad Taylor- American Traitor
In AMERICAN TRAITOR Brad Taylor reveals it’s not really Hong Kong that is the end game for China—it’s Taiwan.  While the United States and the rest of the world would not tolerate an outright Chinese invasion of Taiwan, what if Taiwan were to attack China first?  What if Taiwan could be tricked through manipulation of A.I. into believing that China was mounting a full-scale invasion, and Taiwan acted pre-emptively?  Who would blame China for defending itself?  Entering a wilderness of mirrors, Series protagonist Pike Logan and the Taskforce must undertake daring reconnaissance, extraction, and killing missions at every turn while trying to adhere to the legal and moral rules that govern their conduct in the murky and deadly world they inhabit.  But one thing is certain: beyond all other considerations, Pike will never allow the killer of any member of his team to escape justice.
January 11, 2021
Lie, Lie Again By Stacy Wise
Lie, Lie Again (Lake Union, paperback) by Stacy Wise “starts with a bang—a body at the bottom of a staircase,” says bestselling author BFFs Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke. Combining the dramedy of the Netflix hit, Dead to Me with the scheming of the classic Melrose Place, Lie, Lie Again is a darkly funny, fast-paced suburban drama by award-winning novelist Stacy Wise, chronicling the dangerous entanglements of three women who live in the same apartment complex – and who all have a lot to hide. Stacy Wise is the author of Maybe Someone Like You, winner of the YARWA Athena Award in 2019, and Beyond the Stars, winner of the Athena Award in 2017.  Prior to her writing career, she worked as an elementary school teacher and in television casting on shows including Party of Five, The X Files and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. She lives in California with her husband, four children, and three dogs.
January 4, 2021
Mary Higgins Clark from 2011
This week on The Speaking of Writers Podcast we remember a few of the authors that we lost this year. The #1 New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark wrote forty suspense novels, four collections of short stories, a his­torical novel, a memoir, and two children’s books. With bestselling author Alafair Burke she wrote the Under Suspicion series including The Cinderella Murder, All Dressed in White, The Sleeping Beauty Killer, Every Breath You Take, and You Don’t Own Me. With her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, she coauthored five more suspense novels. More than one hundred million copies of her books are in print in the United States alone. Her books are international bestsellers. She died on January 31, 2020. This is an interview from 2011.
December 30, 2020
Jim Lehrer from 2010
This week on The Speaking of Writers Podcast we remember a few of the authors that we lost this year. Jim Lehrer was the author of twenty-one novels, three nonfiction books, and four plays. His work in journalism began as a newspaper reporter in Texas. He then worked for more than forty years in public television. He co-founded “The PBS NewsHour,” which he anchored for 36 years, he also moderated 12 presidential debates. Jim Lehrer died on January 23, 2020. This is an interview I did with Jim in 2010. We discussed his new novel "Super", a historical novel set on the Super Chief luxury train in 1956.
December 29, 2020
Pete Hamill from 2011
This week on The Speaking of Writers Podcast we remember a few of the authors that we lost this year. Today it's The Quintessential New York journalist Pete Hamill.  Pete died on August 5, 2020. As the great columnist Mike Lupica said about Pete, "In the history of newspapers, there was never anyone whose use of the language was more elegant than his was. That voice could be full of anger, of course. He went at injustice, always, with a shout and even fury.But to the end, his country wasn’t just the borough of Brooklyn. It was the country of New York City, for which he was the poet laureate" This is an interview I did with Pete back in 2011 for his book Tabloid City.
December 28, 2020
Macho Time: The Meteoric Rise and Tragic Fall of Hector Camacho By Christian Giudice
In Macho Time: The Meteoric Rise and Tragic Fall of Hector Camacho, Christian Giudice brings us from Camacho’s childhood in Puerto Rico (which his mother had to flee), to his coming of age in Spanish Harlem, to his training in various hardscrabble gyms throughout New York City, to his place atop the world stage of his chosen sport (which was, of course, the toughest sport), to the nightclub parking lot in San Juan where he was shot dead at the age of fifty in a drug deal gone bad. Along the way, we come to know Camacho via his friends, family members, and fellow fighters—including Sugar Ray Leonard—through the firsthand interviews Giudice did with them. Perhaps most notable is the access Giudice had to Hector, Jr., who was born when his father was just sixteen; the two basically grew up together. The result is a full portrait of a complex man who fought his inner demons with as much fury as he fought his competitors in the ring. Christian Giudice is the author of Hands of Stone: The Life and Legend of Roberto Duran, which was turned into a major motion picture starring Robert De Niro; Beloved Warrior: The Rise and Fall of Alexis Arguello; and A Fire Burns Within: The Miraculous Journey of Wilfredo Gomez. Born in Haddonfield, New Jersey, he graduated from Villanova University and currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he teaches English at Harper Middle College High School.
December 14, 2020
Under a Gilded Moon-Joy Jordan-Lake
It’s historical fiction at its finest—and deadliest—in bestselling author Joy Jordan-Lake’s Under a Gilded Moon (Lake Union Publishing) out this holiday season. Depicting the clash of classes and cultures around the famed Vanderbilt-owned  Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina, Under a Gilded Moon highlights the aspirations that drive not only those with power and wealth, but also the people who live in the shadow of the privileged. Joy is the author of eight books, including A Tangled Mercy, a #1 Amazon bestseller and also an Editors’ Choice recipient from the Historical Novel Society; Blue Hole Back Home, which won the Christy Award for First Novel; and the children’s book A Crazy-Much Love. Raised in the foothills of the Appalachians, she spent several summers in and around Asheville, North Carolina, where the Biltmore Estate is located. She continues to love the Blue Ridge Mountains and drags friends and family there with her whenever possible. Joy holds two master’s degrees and a PhD in English and has taught literature and writing at several universities. Now living outside Nashville, she and her husband have two daughters, a son, and a ferocious ten-pound rescue pup. To learn more about the author and her work, visit
December 9, 2020
National Geographic’s DRIVES OF A LIFETIME: 500 of the World’s Greatest Road Trips- 2nd Edition
The Corona Virus pandemic has turned vacation travel plans upside down for many this year. With events cancelled and concern over health risks associated with air, rail and cruise travel, many are opting for road trips as a vacation alternative. If you’re hitting the road, take a reliable companion. For more than a century National Geographic has been the first stop for savvy travelers in search of inspiration, in-depth knowledge and practical advice. The long-anticipated 2nd edition of National Geographic’s DRIVES OF A LIFETIME: 500 of the World’s Greatest Road Trips, is an invitation to get behind the wheel and experience some of the best motoring adventures around the globe. From legendary Highway 1 in California to Japan's famous Irohazaka Winding Road, DRIVES OF A LIFETIME spans the globe to reveal the best celebrated and lesser-known road trips on the planet. Allyson Johnson is a senior editor for National Geographic books, where she publishes travel, photography, cookbooks, and illustrated reference titles, including the New York Times bestselling Blue Zones Kitchen by Dan Buettner; the top-selling 5,000 Ideas series by Joe Yogerst; NATJA award-winning 100 Dives of a Lifetime by Carrie Miller; best-selling What to Eat When by Drs. Michael Roizen and Michael Crupain; and Women: The National Geographic Image Collection. Previously she worked as a lifestyle editor at Every Day Rachael Ray magazine where she covered food, travel, and DIY. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and son.
December 7, 2020
First Principles by Thomas E. Ricks
In FIRST PRINCIPLES: What America’s Founders Learned from the Greeks and Romans and How That Shaped Our Country (Harper),Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and #1 New York Times bestselling author Thomas E. Ricks offers a revelatory new look at the founding fathers. Examining their educations—in particular, their devotion to the ancient Greek and Roman classics—Ricks demonstrates how that influence would shape their ideals and the new American nation. The book is already #4 on the New York Times Bestseller list. Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for The Washington Post from 2000 through 2008 and was on the staff of the Wall Street Journal for seventeen years before that. He reported on American military operations in Somalia, Haiti, Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Kuwait, Turkey, Afghanistan and Iraq. A member of two Pulitzer Prize-winning teams, he is also the author of several books, including The Generals, The Gamble, Churchill & Orwell, and the number-one New York Times bestseller Fiasco, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He wrote First Principleswhile a visiting fellow in history at Bowdoin College.
December 4, 2020
Fool Me Twice By Jeff Lindsay
In 2019, Jeff Lindsay introduced readers to Riley Wolfe, a master thief that targets the wealthiest 0.1 percent. Fans were ready to cheer for the newest anti-hero on the scene—and Publishers Weekly agreed, saying in a starred review, “Fans of the Ocean’s Eleven film franchise will be eager for more.” After stealing a piece of the Crown Jewels of Iran, infiltrating a top-of-its-class security system and walking away without anyone knowing the diamond was gone until it was too late, Riley truly became the thief extraordinaire. And people are paying attention. Unfortunately for Riley, too close attention. After the exhilarating subterfuge of Just Watch Me, Lindsay ups the stakes in its thrilling sequel, FOOL ME TWICE (Dutton). About to celebrate another successful crime—this time, a stolen Faberge egg—Riley’s betrayed by his getaway pilot. He wakes up prisoner of a top-dog international arms dealer who is also a top-notch art collector, and he has an impossible crime for Riley. About Jeff Lindsay Jeff Lindsay is the author of the Riley Wolfe novels, and the New York Times bestselling author of the Dexter novels, which debuted in 2004 with Darkly Dreaming Dexter.
December 1, 2020
Mr. Met How a Sports-Mad Kid from Jersey Became Like Family to Generations of Big Leaguers By Jay Horwitz
Anyone who knows Jay Horwitz knows he loves stories, and has a wealth of them to share. As the beloved, longtime PR director for the New York Mets, he has witnessed and quietly shaped some of the most memorable moments in team history, becoming a trusted friend and mentor to generations of players, from Darryl Strawberry to Jacob deGrom. In this fascinating memoir, Horwitz tells the unlikely story of a childhood dream come true, offering an unparalleled insider's perspective on four dynamic and unpredictable decades of Mets baseball. Featuring reflections and anecdotes only Horwitz can tell, on subjects ranging from clubhouse hijinks, to the chaotic New York media scene, to navigating moments of greatness and defeat, Mr. Met is a remarkable behind-the-scenes ride that fans will not want to miss. Jay Horwitz is Vice President of Alumni Relations and Club Historian for the New York Mets. He spent nearly four decades at the helm of the team's media relations. In 2019, he was the recipient of the annual William J. Slocum/Jack Lang Award for long and meritorious service, awarded by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
November 27, 2020
Singular Sensation: The Triumph of Broadway By Michael Riedel
Broadway, one of New York’s—and the world’s—most recognizable industries, is at a standstill. With its doors closed, fans across the globe are looking for a chance to reconnect with some of their favorite stars and shows. Luckily, New York Post theater columnist Michael Riedel’s second book, SINGULAR SENSATION: The Triumph of Broadway (Avid Reader Press) offers an insider’s look at some of the business’s most influential and genre-defining acts. With over 150 interviews with Broadway’s most luminary names, SINGULAR SENSATION portrays the people, money, and power that created the blockbuster shows and aesthetic spectacle that has dominated not only a couple of acres of real estate in the heart of Manhattan but also the hearts and minds of millions of people around the world. Michael Riedel has been the theater columnist for the New York Post since 1998. New York magazine has called his column a “must-read” for the theater world. Michael began his radio career as regular on the Imus in the Morning show in 2011. In 2017 WOR, New York’s oldest and highest-rated station, asked him to cohost its morning show with well-known sportscaster Len Berman. The Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning show is the highest-rated morning radio program in the New York City area. Michael’s book Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway won the Marfield Prize for arts writing in 2015 and is widely considered to be the successor to William Goldman’s celebrated 1967 book about Broadway, The Season. A graduate of Columbia University, Michael lives in the West Village.
November 25, 2020
The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany By Lori Nelson Spielman
New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author Lori Nelson Spielman takes readers on a journey across Italy alongside a cast of strong women out to change their own destinies—and find themselves in the process—in her glowing new novel. Lori Nelson Spielman is a New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author whose novels have hit #1 in six different countries. Formerly a homebound teacher in an inner-city school district, she holds master’s degrees in speech pathology and guidance counseling. She lives in Michigan with her husband.
November 23, 2020
Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise By Scott Eyman
More than thirty years after Grant’s death, biographer Scott Eyman sheds new light on the life of the Hollywood icon in CARY GRANT: A Brilliant Disguise ( Simon & Schuster), drawing on Grant’s own papers, extensive archival research, and interviews with family and friends. About the author Scott Eyman was     formerly the literary critic at The     Palm Beach Post and is the author or coauthor of 14 books, including     the bestseller John Wayne and     (with actor Robert Wagner) the bestsellers Pieces of My Heart and You     Must Remember This. Among his other books are Hank and Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James     Stewart; Empire of Dreams: The     Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMille; Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of     Louis B. Mayer; and Print the     Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford. Eyman also writes book reviews     for The Wall Street Journal, and     has written for The New York Times,     the Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune, as well as     practically every film magazine extinct or still extant. He and his wife,     Lynn, live in West Palm Beach.
November 18, 2020
Where I Come From By Rick Bragg
About WHERE I COME FROM: From the best-selling, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of All Over but the Shoutin' and The Best Cook in the World, a collection of his irresistible columns from Southern Living and Garden & Gun A collection of wide-ranging and endearingly personal columns by the celebrated author, newspaper columnist, and Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Bragg, culled from his best-loved pieces in Southern Living and Garden & Gun. From his love of Tupperware ("My Affair with Tupperware") to the decline of country music, from the legacy of Harper Lee to the metamorphosis of the pickup truck, the best way to kill fire ants, the unbridled excess of Fat Tuesday, and why any self-respecting southern man worth his salt should carry a good knife, Where I Come From is an ode to the stories and the history of the Deep South, written with tenderness, wit, and deep affection--a book that will be treasured by fans old and new. About Rick Bragg: RICK BRAGG is the author of eight books, including the best-selling Ava's Man and All Over but the Shoutin'. He is also a regular contributor to Garden & Gun magazine. He lives in Alabama.
November 17, 2020
The Bridge by Bill Konigsberg
Stonewall Book Award-winning author Bill Konigsberg explores mental health and suicidal ideation in his latest groundbreaking novel in which he draws from his own experience as a young person battling mental health struggles. In THE BRIDGE, Aaron and Tillie don't know each other, but they are both struggling with thoughts of suicide, and arrive at the George Washington Bridge at the same time, intending to jump. Aaron is a gay misfit struggling with depression and loneliness. Tillie is a Korean-American adoptee struggling to find out how she fits into her family.Told in a unique, four-part narrative structure, THE BRIDGE explores four different outcomes and their aftermath: Aaron jumps and Tillie doesn't. Tillie jumps and Aaron doesn't. They both jump. Neither of them jump. Konigsberg aims to spark a dialogue about mental health and encourage readers towards survival, hope and encouragement. Bill Konigsberg is the author of six books for young adults, which have won awards including the Stonewall Book Award, the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor, and the Lambda Literary Award. Bill lives with his husband, Chuck, and their two Labradoodles, Mabel and Buford. Please visit him online at and @billkonigsberg.
November 16, 2020
Little Threats By Emily Schultz
With great buzz and universal acclaim, The Blondes made an indelible impression on readers and literary critics alike. To the delight of fans everywhere, Schultz is back with a riveting new novel, LITTLE THREATS, a plot-twisting whodunit with a powerful message about what time gives us and what it takes away. Emily Schultz is the co-founder of the influential Joyland magazine and author of The Blondes, an international bestseller named a Best Book of 2015 by NPR, BookPage, and Kirkus Reviews. Schultz’s writing has appeared in Elle, Slate, Evergreen Review, Vice, Hazlitt, and Prairie Schooner. Currently a producer at the indie media company Heroic Collective, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.
November 12, 2020
The Road To Bama By Andrew J. Bone
Andrew Bone takes fans back to the start and behind the scenes, showing that the path to Bryant–Denny Stadium is not always a straight and narrow one The University of Alabama boasts one of the nation's most storied football programs, and the recruiting acumen of coaches like Bear Bryant and Nick Saban plays a major role in that. The Road to Bama is a wild ride into the competitive world of college football recruiting, revealing how many Crimson Tide players found their way to Tuscaloosa. Andrew Bone reports on Alabama football recruiting for, part of the network.  Jay Barker was the starting quarterback on Alabama's 1992 national championship team. He resides in Birmingham, Alabama.
November 10, 2020