KUCI Fund Drive

Friday, December 03, 2021

Steven Kent Mirassou on Writers on Writing

The Mirassou family has been growing grapes and crafting wines in California since 1854, making them one of America's oldest winemaking families. Steven Kent Mirassou joins Marrie Stone to talk about his debut book, Lineage: Life and Love and Six Generations in California Wine.  

Part insight into the wine industry and part memoir, the book is a philosophical exploration into what makes a meaningful life and a sensual homage to food, wine, family, and community. Mirassou shares his twin passions (literature and wine) and how he managed to successfully combine them. He talks about structuring the many varied strands of narrative, finding a coherent structure for the book, accessing difficult memories, and much more.

Download audio.  

(Broadcast date: December 3, 2021)

Monday, November 22, 2021

Gary Shteyngart, author of "Our Country Friends," on Writers on Writing

Gary Shteyngart joins Marrie Stone to talk about his latest novel, Our Country Friends. Recognizing the severity of the pandemic in March 2020, Shteyngart abandoned another novel to address what was unfolding in our nation in real time. Our Country Friends has been described as Chekov meets "The Big Chill." 

Shteyngart talks about writing a novel contemporaneously with world events, how Russian literature informed the work, when he knows it's time to abandon a novel, avoiding stereotypes and more. He also shares his recent piece in the New Yorker about his botched circumcision, and how that event impacted the novel. 

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(Broadcast date: November 22, 2021)

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Barbara Seranella (from 2006)

I've been thinking about Barbara Seranella, a wonderful mystery writer who passed away in 2007. I met her when we were both members of the Orange County Fictionaires. I wanted to hear her voice again and wanted to share this interview with our listeners.


(Broadcast date: Jan. 12, 2006)

Saturday, November 06, 2021

Novelist Elizabeth Strout, Oh, William!

Elizabeth Strout, author of the new novel, Oh, William!, joins Barbara DeMarco-Barrett to talk about voice, character, point of view, and so much more. 


(Recorded on Oct 19, 2021)

Music and sound design by Travis Barrett.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Robert Olen Butler on "Writers on Writing"

In addition to winning the Pulitzer Prize in fiction, and a number of other awards, Robert Olen Butler is a master of teaching craft and process. He's taught fiction workshops for decades, most recently at Florida State University. In 2001, Butler released a 34-hour online craft intensive (available on YouTube) which follows him in every step of the process of writing a short story. He's also the author of the craft book From Where You Dream.

In this episode, Butler shares some of the highlights of his many years of teaching, including the two epiphanies every novel should contain, the benefits of having a bad memory, how to use the "compost of your imagination," how to approach writing like a method actor, and other insights and advice. Butler also reads from his latest novel, Late City

Butler will be in conversation with Marrie Stone at the Miami Book Fair on Wednesday, November 17, at 12:00 p.m. (ET). You can learn more here.  

Download audio.  

(Broadcast date: October 27, 2021)