Marissa Bell Toffoli

Archive for the ‘fiction’ Category

Interview With Writer Erica Bauermeister

In books, cooking, fiction, food, writing on February 27, 2013 at 10:19 pm
Erica Bauermeister. Photo by Susan Doupe.

Erica Bauermeister. Photo by Susan Doupe.

An introduction to Erica Bauermeister, author of the novels The School of Essential Ingredients, Joy For Beginners, and The Lost Art of Mixing (Putnam Books, 2013). Bauermeister’s new book brings back a few familiar characters from her first book and introduces some fresh faces. At Rakestraw Books last month, Bauermeister talked about her writing process and how this novel came together in bursts and small sections, like fireworks building toward a finale. It pulls the reader in effortlessly, even if you haven’t read The School of Essential Ingredients. Each chapter explores a different character’s perspective, and readers gain insight into every side of the story. Add in the delectable descriptions and details that pepper Bauermeister’s prose and you’ve got an elegant and fulfilling read. You’re in for a treat with Erica Bauermeister.

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Interview With Writer Ron Currie, Jr

In books, fiction, writing on February 11, 2013 at 5:44 pm
Ron Currie, Jr

Ron Currie, Jr. Photo By Lisa Prosienski.

An introduction to Ron Currie, Jr, author of the novels Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles (Viking, 2013), Everything Matters!, and God is Dead. Currie has won the Young Lions Award from the New York Public Library, and the Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His latest novel is a wild ride, full of heart and heat. When asked where the idea came from for Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles, Currie said, “From my life, mostly.”

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Interview With Writer Mark L Arywitz

In art, books, fiction, film, plays, writing on October 20, 2012 at 10:39 am
Mark L Arywitz

Mark L Arywitz. Photo by Caitlin Sanders.

An introduction to Mark L Arywitz, author of the novel The Legend of Little Great Grandfather (TheWriteDeal, 2012). Arywitz’s background in writing for the screen instilled in him that “it’s not only about good prose, I’m also going for a story that has some narrative drive.” His screenwriting credits include the feature film “Just Before Dawn,” the TV drama “Mozart’s Requiem,” and many commissioned screenplays, among them “Holier Than Thou.” Arywitz teaches in the Department of Film & Television in NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. The Legend of Little Great Grandfather is his debut novel, and the first in a trilogy in progress. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview With Writer Lissa Evans

In books, fiction, writing, young adult (YA) on September 4, 2012 at 7:38 am
Lissa Evans

Lissa Evans. Photo courtesy of the author.

An introduction to Lissa Evans, author of the new novel Horten’s Incredible Illusions (Sterling, 2012). This book is the sequel to Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms, Evans’s first novel featuring young Stuart, and written with a middle-grade or junior high school audience in mind. Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms was short-listed for the Carnegie Medal, the Costa Book Awards, and UK Literacy Association’s Children’s Book Award, and long-listed for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and the Branford Boase Award. Her adult fiction includes the novels Spencer’s List and Odd One Out. As the cover blurb reveals, “Lissa Evans’s route to children’s fiction author is perhaps as roundabout as Stuart’s adventures in Beeton.” Evans embarked on a career in medicine, then moved briefly to stand-up comedy, and became a comedy producer in radio and television before finding her voice as an author.

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Interview With Writer Jim Lynch

In books, fiction, journalism, writing on August 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm
Jim Lynch

Jim Lynch. Photo by Marissa Bell Toffoli (2012).

An introduction to Jim Lynch, author of Truth Like the Sun (Knopf, 2012), Border Songs, and The Highest Tide. Lynch’s history as a journalist shines through in his new novel, and in the delightful, conversational, and inquisitive way he manages to draw you out while you’re interviewing him. Lynch shared that his latest book “started with my desire to write a very urban novel . . . I also wanted to write a book about power and ambition, and journalists and politicians—all the gray morality involved in all that.” So yes, it would be easy to say this book is about politics, journalism, and cities, and leave it at that. What has stayed with me after reading it is that in its heart Truth Like the Sun is about people and growing up. Nobody’s perfect, and you can’t escape who you are; you can’t escape the past. Part of growing up, no matter how long it takes, is recognizing those things, and that goes for people and cities.  As Lynch explained, and his characters illustrate, it is not easy “to size people up and try to boil down their integrity into a nice, neat newspaper article.” There’s always more than one side to a story. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s New With Writer Deborah Harkness

In books, fiction, history, writing on August 21, 2012 at 9:32 pm
Deborah Harkness. Photo by Marissa Bell Toffoli (2011).

Deborah Harkness. Photo by Marissa Bell Toffoli (2011).

Since it came out in 2011, the Words With Writers interview with Deborah Harkness has  been one of the most popular reads on the blog. In July 2012, Harkness published Shadow of Night, the sequel to her bestseller A Discovery of Witches. During her book tour, she came through Danville, California for a reading and signing event at Rakestraw Books. It was a pleasure to catch up with Harkness, learn about the new book and its place in the All Souls trilogy, and to hear more of her thoughts on the writing life.

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Interview With Writer Mick Stern

In art, books, fiction, poetry, short stories on July 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm
Mick Stern

Mick Stern. Photo by Lucy Kehati.

An introduction to writer and artist Mick Stern, whose most recent books include The Chicken’s Guide to Crossing the Road, Fifty Thousand, and Get Out of Town. Stern received a PhD in English Renaissance Literature from New York University (NYU). He has taught English at Rutgers (New Brunswick) and other colleges. For more than twenty years, he taught screenwriting at NYU’s film school. 
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Interview With Writer Allan G Johnson

In fiction, writing on March 14, 2012 at 2:36 pm
Allan G Johnson

Allan G Johnson. Photo by Paul Johnson.

An introduction to sociologist and writer Allan G Johnson, whose latest novel is Nothing Left to Lose (Plain View Press, 2011). Johnson’s first novel was The First Thing and the Last, and his nonfiction books include The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy, and Privilege, Power, and Difference. Since 1972, when he received his PhD in Sociology, Johnson has worked on issues of gender, race, and social justice. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview With Writer Bhuwan Thapaliya

In fiction, poetry, writing on February 17, 2012 at 1:27 pm
Bhuwan Thapaliya

Bhuwan Thapaliya. Photo by Rehal Kharel.

An introduction to Nepalese writer Bhuwan Thapaliya, who works as an economist, and is the author of four poetry collections. Thapaliya’s books include the recently released Safa Tempo: Poems New and Selected (Nirala Publication, New Delhi), and Our Nepal, Our Pride (Cyberwit.net). Poetry by Thapaliya has been included in The New Pleiades Anthology of Poetry and Tonight: An Anthology of World Love Poetry, as well as in literary journals such as Urhalpool, MahMag, Kritya, FOLLY, The Vallance Review, Nuvein Magazine, Foundling Review, Poetry Life and Times, Poets Against the War, Voices in Wartime, Taj Mahal Review, and more. When asked if there is a quote that motivates him, Thapaliya shared these lines: “Luck lies in bed and wishes somebody to bring him his tea every morning when he wakes up after a long sleep. Labor wakes up from his bed and heads towards the kitchen to make his own cup of tea every day after a brief slumber in peace.”

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Interview With Writer Lowry Pei

In books, fiction, writing on January 25, 2012 at 10:22 am
Lowry Pei

Lowry Pei. Photo by Vaughn Sills.

An introduction to Lowry Pei, author of the novel Over the Fence (TheWriteDeal.org). Pei’s first book, Family Resemblances, was published by Random House in 1986. His stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories 1984, The American Story: The Best of StoryQuarterly, and his book reviews have been published in the New York Times Book Review. Pei’s unique point of view owes much to his unlikely origins as the son of an engineer from Suzhou, China, and a schoolteacher from a small town in Kansas. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, and teaches writing at Simmons College.

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