Living The Writing Life Podcast with Nancy Christie
In Conversation With … Deborah Tobola, award-winning memoirist, poet, playwright and co-author of a children’s book

In Conversation With … Deborah Tobola, award-winning memoirist, poet, playwright and co-author of a children’s book

January 19, 2022

Deborah TobolaDeborah Tobola is a memoirist, poet, playwright, and co-author of a children’s book. Her work has earned four Pushcart Prize nominations, three Academy of American Poets awards and a Children’s Choice Book Award.

Her memoir, Hummingbird in Underworld, won a Next Generation Indie Book Award in Social Justice, a Nautilus Silver Book Award in Heroic Journeys, a Readers’ Favorite bronze medal in Non-Fiction – Social Issues, and first place in Chanticleer International’s HEARTEN Awards. It was also a finalist in the Willa Literary Awards’ Women Writing the West in Creative Nonfiction. Last year it was released in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Deborah has worked as a journalist, legislative aide and adjunct English faculty member in Alaska and California. She began teaching creative writing in California prisons in 1992, taking the job of Institution Artist Facilitator at the California Men’s Colony in 2000, before retiring at the end of 2008. In 2014, Deborah returned to prison as a contract artist, where she currently teaches creative writing and theatre at the California Men’s Colony.

In 2009, she founded the Poetic Justice Project, a program of the William James Association, the country’s first theatre company created for formerly incarcerated actors, where she serves as artistic director.

For more about Deborah, visit her website, or follow her on Facebook.

In today’s conversation, we’ll discuss the role the arts can play in the lives of those who are incarcerated, what led her to become involved with prisoners, and her goal in writing her memoir.

Thoughts on writing and life for January 2022

Thoughts on writing and life for January 2022

January 4, 2022

Just a few thoughts on how sometimes the wisest course of action is to take a step back and do something completely unrelated to what you are supposed to do—in short, to give yourself a breather, to recoup and regroup.

 

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In Conversation With … award-winning poet Karen Schubert

In Conversation With … award-winning poet Karen Schubert

December 22, 2021

Karen Schubert is the author of the poetry collection The Compost Reader (Accents Publishing) and five chapbooks including Dear Youngstown (NightBallet Press), I Left My Wings on a Chair (Kent State Press) and Black Sand Beach (Kattywompus Press).

Her poetry appears most recently in Reunion: The Dallas Review, Olney Magazine, Poor Yorick, New World Writing and Read+Write: 30 Days of Poetry.

Karen has received the Wick Poetry Center Chapbook Prize and an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award and was awarded residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and Headlands Center for the Arts. She is also the Founding Director of Lit Youngstown.

For more about Karen, visit her website, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter

In today’s conversation, we’ll discuss Karen’s work both as a poet and as the founder of Lit Youngstown, and the role writers can play in supporting the arts in their communities.

Photo Credit: Melanie Buonavolonta

Thoughts on writing and life for December 2021

Thoughts on writing and life for December 2021

December 8, 2021

Just a few thoughts on the importance of remembering that, despite any failures or setbacks the past year may have held, any day spent writing is still a good day.

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Thoughts on writing and life for November 2021

Thoughts on writing and life for November 2021

November 3, 2021

Just a few thoughts on the need to balance your writing time with much-needed downtime.

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In Conversation With… award-winning author Brad Kessler

In Conversation With… award-winning author Brad Kessler

October 13, 2021

Brad Kessler is the author of the memoir, Goat Song, as well as two critically acclaimed novels, Lick Creek and Birds in Fall, which won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Fiction. His latest novel is North

He has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Whiting, and the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and his work has appeared in the New Yorker, the Nation, the Kenyon Review, and Bomb.

For more about Brad, visit his Facebook page and his Instagram profile.

In today’s conversation, Brad and I discuss how he uses his writing to explore the topics of loss, recovery, and the need for some kind of human connection.

Thoughts on writing and life for October 2021

Thoughts on writing and life for October 2021

October 5, 2021

Just a few thoughts on the need to fuel your passion for writing every day, in every way that you can.

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In Conversation With… award-winning author A. Piper Burgi

In Conversation With… award-winning author A. Piper Burgi

September 15, 2021

A. Piper BurgiPiper Burgi is an award-winning author of six historical novels to date, with a seventh currently in the editing stage, as well as several other books.

Her debut novel, In the Shadow of Her Majesty, was a Golden Book Award Semi-Finalist, and her women's fiction novel The Country Girl Empress—book one of the series—won the Firebird Book Award in the historical fiction category and was named “...a must-read for historical fiction fans who can appreciate imperial intrigues...” by Readers' Favorite Book Reviews.

An Air Force veteran, and military spouse, Piper is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Independent Author Network. For more about Piper, visit her website and follow her on Facebook, LinkedIn and Goodreads.

In this conversation, we discuss how to successfully bring the past to life through fiction.

Thoughts on writing and life for September 2021

Thoughts on writing and life for September 2021

September 5, 2021

Just a few thoughts on the importance of learning something new—or even, perhaps, re-learning something critical that we have forgotten.

 

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In Conversation With… award-winning author Wade Rouse aka Viola Shipman

In Conversation With… award-winning author Wade Rouse aka Viola Shipman

August 11, 2021

Wade RouseWade Rouse is an award-winning author who also writes under the pen name of Viola Shipman, his grandmother’s name, that he chose to honor the woman whose heirlooms and family stories inspire his writing.

He has written several books under that pseudonym, including The Summer Cottage, The Heirloom Garden, and his most recent, The Clover Girls, which was released May 2021. His next book, The Secret of Snow, will be published in October.

The noted humorist of four critically acclaimed memoirs, Wade’s books have been selected multiple times as Must-Reads by NBC’s Today show, featured in USA Today, The Washington Post and Chelsea Lately and chosen three times as Indie Next Picks by the nation’s independent booksellers.

His books have been translated into 20 languages and are international bestsellers. He has also written for numerous publications, including People, Coastal Living, Good Housekeeping, and Taste of Home and is a contributor to All Things Considered.

For more about Wade, visit his website and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, YouTube and BookBub.

For information about Viola Shipman, click this link and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Instagram.

In this conversation, we discuss the challenges and creative choice of writing women’s fiction as a male author.

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