Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tom Epperson and the KUCI Fund Drive

Tom Epperson, author of The Kind One, joins Barbara DeMarco-Barrett and Marrie Stone in a special KUCI Fund Drive interview.

"Writers on Writing" is committed to bringing you the best in author and agent interviews. Each week, for 11 years, we have dedicated this show to writers struggling with the art and craft of the written word.

Hundreds of newly published writers, and dozens of prize-winning and highly acclaimed authors have been guests of the show. Agents and publishers have shared their wisdom and insights into the book industry. All of this available, week after week, via podcast and public radio.

Now is your opportunity to show your support. Any donation, large or small, is appreciated. We depend not only upon listeners like you--we depend on you--each and every one of you. We appreciate your loyalty, your comments, and your support.

Thank you and enjoy the podcast.

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(Broadcast date: April 29, 2009)

Fund drive

7 a.m.
Marrie and I hope that today you will call between 9 and 10 a.m. PT to donate to KUCI during our annual fund drive. The station hangs in the balance, and needs to raise funds. Your donation is tax deductible and we have books, CDs, tickets (if you're local) as premiums. Call 949 UCI-KUCI this morning and I'll be there, answering phones. And thanks for your steady support over these 11 years.

11:37 a.m.
Thanks to Bruce Miller, Cindy Cooksey and Taurean Watkins for donating to the station during the fund drive. The fund drive will be on next Weds., too, though you can call anytime and donate, and go to, as well. Just indicate that you're donating for "Writers on Writing." (You can also contact Marrie or me off hours and we'll take your donation.) If you listen to the show or podcast and find it valuable, Marrie and I hope that you will donate. The smallest amount--$10!--helps. We still have books (and CDs and gift certs., etc., as premiums.)

The university doesn't fund the station and we're finding it more and more difficult, financially. Please help us stay on the air. (The podcasts are a direct result of the on-air show.) Unless, of course, you don't listen and don't care, and then if the show goes away, you won't notice....; } And thanks...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

L.A. Times Book Award Winner Zoe Ferraris and Dennis Palumbo

Marrie Stone interviews L.A. Times 2008 Book Award Winner Zoe Ferraris, author of Finding Nouf: A Novel, winner of the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, and Dennis Palumbo, author of From Crime to Crime.

To see all L.A Times 2008 Book Award winners, click here. Congratulations Zoe!

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(Broadcast date: Aug 13, 2008)

Friday, April 24, 2009

KUCI's fund drive

We're moving into fund drive time, which, unlike many public radio stations, occurs only once a year. This coming Weds., April 29, from 9 - 10 a.m., we're asking (and praying for) you to call and make a donation to the station. There's more and more pressure from the university to raise money, to pay the bills, the electricity, the phone, to keep the station running. My co-host Marrie Stone and I will be there, with noir/suspense writer Tom Epperson, and lots of books to give away. Your donation is tax-deductible. Please call between 9 and 10 a.m. Pacific time on Weds. 949 UCI-KUCI. We'd love to hear from you.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Elizabeth Strout

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett interviews Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge. Congratulations Elizabeth!

Here's a wonderful review of the podcast with Elizabeth.

To view a complete list of winners of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize, click here.

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(Broadcast date: Unknown)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Jay Asher

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett interviews Jay Asher, author of Thirteen Reasons Why.

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(Broadcast date: April 15, 2009)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pen On Fire Speaker Series: T. Jefferson Parker

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett interviews T. Jefferson Parker, author of The Renegades, during the first event of the Pen On Fire Speaker Series at University of California, Irvine.

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(Event date: February 10, 2009)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Blatant self-promo?

Or just a lovely letter from a reader that made my day? I think it's the latter, but I'm sure someone here will tell me it's the former. Did I say the book is in its 7th printing? It's nice to know people are still reading it and loving it.
"I just finished reading Pen on Fire and wanted to thank you. I borrowed your book from the library along with several other books about writing. This has been a guilty pleasure of mine for many years now. I read about writing. All this time I’ve been thinking, I’d love to write someday, but…

Your book spoke to me on a personal level and addressed all of my fears and excuses, which I used as roadblocks to writing. Your style of gentle encouragement made me feel as if you were speaking to me as a friend. I was also encouraged by the examples you gave of other successful authors who wrote at their kitchen table with chaos, otherwise known as “life,” happening around them. It made me realize, If they can do it, so can I! and the 'someday' I’ve been storing away could be now.

I’ve often had the urge to write but found myself at a loss for what to write and of course the ever ready excuse, 'I don’t have time' was a handy crutch as well. I started to put many of your tips and exercises into practice and I began to not only jot down ideas and write, but feel energized about doing so. I have an eagerness to write now, which I did not have before. It’s as if I absolutely must get all these ideas and thoughts down on paper. I wish I could find the perfect expression for how I feel. Oh! I’ve got it! It’s as if my pen is on fire. And for that, I would like to thank you."

Olivia Percle
Panama City, FL

Just so this post isn't too sickeningly about me and my book, here are some of my favorite writing books:

Writing by Margaret Duras
Mystery and Manners by Flannery O’Connor
Starting from Scratch by Rita Mae Brown
Ron Carlson Writes a Story by Ron Carlson
Paris Review Interviews
Making a Literary
Life, by Carolyn See
If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland
Thunder and Lightning by Natalie Goldberg
This Year You Write Your Novel by Walter Mosley

There are so many more and they provide a balm for rough days and a kick in the behind, too.
Photo by Travis in Barnes & Noble, Fashion Island, Newport Beach, CA. They had a dozen copies. I love it when that happens.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Lauren Groff

Marrie Stone interviews Lauren Groff, author of Delicate Edible Birds: And Other Stories.

Download audio.

(Broadcast date: Feb 4, 2009)

Essays worth reading

I'm teaching a 10 week class at UC-Irvine and we're spending time on a lifelong love: the essay. I gave an assignment to my students to find essays online and share them with classmates. One is on the short story, thanks to Kris. A bittersweet Modern Love piece--thanks Peggy. The beginning of a Sun piece called "The Fine Art Of Quitting," thanks to Elaine. All good, all worth reading. If you have favorite essays that can be found online, I'd love to read them. Post here?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Snowy night

Spring break in the snow. We're in Mammoth. It's a blizzard out there. As Billy Collins says in "Snow Day," when I stick my head out the slider and am happily pummeled by blowing snow, I'm aware of "the grandiose silence of the snow." I love it.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Martha Lawrence

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett interviews Martha Lawrence, author of Pisces Rising (Elizabeth Chase Mysteries).

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(Broadcast date: September 28, 2000)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

NPR's Picture Show: Helen Levitt

I heard NPR commentator Melissa Block the other day talking about photographer Helen Levitt who just died at 95 years old. One of the few times I managed to write down an URL as I was driving and today I saw it in my book. You can listen, or read, here. And of course look at the photos. I love that one of the white girl and black boy dancing in a New York street.