KUCI Fund Drive

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Jacquelyn Mitchard on Writers on Writing

Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Good Son, talks with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett about her new novel. Included in their talk is coming up with the midpoint, the 10 or 11 big events in a novel, and balancing narrative with scene.

Download audio.  

 (Recorded on Dec. 22, 2021)

Music and sound editing by Travis Barrett

Contact: www.palmspringsnoir.com

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Poet Donna Hilbert, author of "Threnody," on Writers on Writing

Donna Hilbert is the author of nine collections of poetry and two works of fiction. She's taught extensively in private workshops and classroom settings. She joins Marrie Stone to discuss her latest collection, Threnody, and how grief has informed her work for over two decades. She talks about knowing when a poem is finished, the importance is composing with pen and paper, various types of poems, and other insightful advice for poets and writers.

Download audio.  

(Broadcast date: December 17, 2021)

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. 

Download audio.  

(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)

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Diane DiPrima on Writers on Writing

This is a show I recorded in 2001 with the late poet Diane DiPrima when her memoir, Recollections of My Life as a Woman, was published. City Lights just released Spring and Autumn Annals, which made me remember this interview with Diane. Perhaps you heard it when it was broadcast (and podcast) 20 years ago, not long after Writers on Writing began. 

 (Broadcast date: June 2001)

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Ha Jin, author of "A Song Everlasting," on Writers on Writing

Ha Jin moved to the U.S. from China in his late 20s. He joins Marrie Stone to talk about his immigrant experience, and some of the things he experienced as a child growing up in China, including the Cultural Revolution, his own family’s experience with book burning, and how the 1989 massacre in Tiananmen Square solidified his decision to remain in the United States. 

The conversation also covers a lot of craft issues. The importance of knowing the ending of a novel before you begin, the challenges of writing a linear novel (with little to no backstory), how to tackle dialogue, and other advice he imparts to his students.

Jin learned English through the lens of literature, and that’s made all the difference in his writing. A Song Everlasting is published by Pantheon Books.

Download audio.  

(Broadcast date: October 16, 2021)

Friday, October 01, 2021

Lauren Groff, author of "The Matrix," on Writers on Writing

Lauren Groff, author of MATRIX, joins Marrie Stone to talk about the novel. Author of six books of fiction, Groff's work has won The Story Prize and was twice a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction. She talks about the surprising inspiration for the novel, her time spent in a convent with Benedictine nuns, her research process for this 12th century novel, and so much more.

Download audio.  

(Podcast date: October 1, 2021)

Monday, September 27, 2021

Megan Abbott, The Turnout, on Writers on Writing

Megan Abbott, author of the new novel, The Turnout, talks with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett about plot, structure, and writing dark fiction. 


 (Broadcast date: Sept. 22, 2021)

Musical intro/outro/interludes by Travis Barrett.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Tracey Lange, author of "We Are the Brennans," on Writers on Writing

Debut novelist Tracey Lange explores issues of familial loyalty, the corrupt power of family secrets, and the possibility of redemption in her novel We Are the Brennans.

 She joins Marrie Stone to talk about the novel, the complexities of writing about shame, and choices a character might make that may surprise an audience. She also shares craft wisdom she's learned along the way, including writing from different points of view, passing the baton of dialogue between characters, the importance of writing groups, and much more.

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(Broadcast date: September 15, 2021)

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

S.A. Cosby, Razorblade Tears, on Writers on Writing

S.A. Cosby, author of Razorblade Tears and Blacktop Wasteland, talks with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett about his new book, writing noir, and...spoilers, but they come 15 minutes before the end of the interview and are carefully announced. You'll have time to get away if you don't want to hear them.

 Download audio

(Broadcast date: Sept. 8, 2021)

Music (intro, outro, intersticial pieces...) by Travis Barrett

Friday, September 03, 2021

Aimee Bender, author of The Butterfly Lampshade, on Writers on Writing

Aimee Bender is the author of six books, including both novels and short story collections. Her latest novel, The Butterfly Lampshade, came out in July of 2020 and was listed by Publisher’s Weekly as one of the best novels of the year.

Bender joins Marrie Stone to talk about the book’s inspiration and construction. In the process, she exposes the creative fodder that’s gifted to us by our own childhoods. She talks about how imposing time limitations on her writing allows her access to scary places, and how to listen to words that "shimmer." Those words and phrases can be the keys that guide your book in the right direction.

Bender teaches creative writing at USC, has taught several other fiction workshops, and written several essays on the craft. She brings that wealth of experience and reflection to this interview to impart a lot of wisdom for both beginning and advanced writers.

Download audio.  
(Broadcast date: September 1, 2021)

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Honoree Fanonne Jeffers, "The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois," on Writers on Writing

Poet Honoree Fanonne Jeffers produced a stunning debut novel. Before its publication, The Loves Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois was already named by Oprah as her next book club pick. The novel, clocking in at 816 pages, is a sweeping ancestral saga chronicling the American South from before the Civil War to present day.

Scholar W.E.B. Du Bois wrote about the problem of race in America, and what he called “Double Consciousness,” the sensitivity that every African American possesses to survive. The novel's protagonist feels these words deeply as she navigates her history while trying to create her future.

Jeffers joins Marrie Stone to share the history behind the novel, how it grew to over 800 pages, and her struggles along the way. She talks about her attempt to shed her poetic voice, and then reclaim it again. She also hints that she may not be done with these characters.

Download audio.  

 (Broadcast date: August 18, 2021)

Friday, August 20, 2021

Writing Noir Fiction with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, Alex Espinosa, and Rob Roberge

Palm Springs Noir (Akashic) contributors Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, Alex Espinoza, and Rob Roberge talk with literary maestro Corey Roskin about writing noir fiction.

(Recorded via Zoom on August 5, 2021)

Music by Travis Barrett.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Tod Goldberg, The Low Desert, on Writers on Writing

Tod Goldberg, author of The Low Desert, a new collection of short fiction, talks with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett about the art, craft, and business of writing short stories. 

(Broadcast date: August 11, 2021) 

 Music by Travis Barrett.

Sunday, August 08, 2021

Hear Us: Writing from the Inside During the Time of COVID on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

Hear Us:Writing from the Inside During the Time of COVID is a collection of over 50 essays, poems, pieces of fiction, and artwork from—or about—inmates serving time in U.S. correctional facilities. The incarcerated are infected by COVID at a rate five times higher than the general population. Crowded conditions, lack of sanitation, and inadequate medical care all contribute to the desperate conditions inside our prison system. Alongside COVID, our national conversation regarding race, racism, and a long overdue reckoning was also taking place behind bars.

Exchange-for-Change, a nonprofit organization, offers writing courses in prisons and runs letter exchanges between incarcerated students and writers studying on the outside. They partnered with Disorder Press, a sibling owned and operated independent press, to publish this anthology. Alongside living with—and dying of—COVID in our correctional institutions, inmates write about the Black Lives Matter movement, general prison life, and what the past year was like behind bars. 

Kathie Klarreich (Executive Director for Exchange-for-Change), Mik Grantham (owner of Disorder Press) and Tina Barrett (sister of a former incarcerated student of Exchange-for-Change who died of COVID last year, and a contributor to the anthology) join Marrie Stone to talk about the anthology and the organization that supported its creation. 

Download audio.  

(Broadcast date: August 4, 2021)

Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Dan Duling, scriptwriter/playwright

Dan Duling, scriptwriter for Pageant of the Masters (Laguna Beach, CA) and award-winning playwright talks with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett about the pageant and playwriting. 

(Recorded on August 3, 2021)

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Halley Sutton on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

Halley Sutton, author of The Lady Upstairs, talks with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett about her noir thriller and about the art, craft, and business of writing.

(Broadcast date: July 28, 2021)

Music by Travis Barrett.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Laurence Jackson Hyman on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

Even casual readers will be familiar with Shirley Jackson's classic works: The Haunting of Hill House, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, and her iconic and widely anthologized short story "The Lottery." Stephen King called The Haunting of Hill House "one of the most important horror novels of the 20th century."

In the course of her two-decade career, Jackson wrote six novels, two memoirs, and over 200 short stories. A film based loosely on her life, starring Elisabeth Moss, was released last year (though the portrayal is far from accurate).

Although Jackson died in 1965, her work is enjoying a renaissance. Thanks in part to her eldest son, Laurence Jackson Hyman, several of her books and stories are now being made into movies. Hyman published two story collections posthumously and now, for the first time, has revived a collection of Jackson's letters dating from 1938 to 1965.

Hyman joins Marrie Stone to talk about The Letters of Shirley Jackson, his mother's legacy, the woman behind the thrillers, and domestic life and memories with Jackson growing up. We also learn about Jackson's husband, Stanley Hyman, a staff writer for the New Yorker, professor at Bennington College, and literary critic. Shirley Jackson fans won't want to miss this intimate insider's look inside her life. 

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(Broadcast date: July 21, 2021)

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Chris Offutt on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

Chris Offutt, author of the new novel, The Killing Hills (Grove Press) talks with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett about his new work, as well as the art, craft, and business of writing. 

(Broadcast date: July 14, 2021

Musical intro/outro and interludes by Travis Barrett.

Friday, July 09, 2021

Jane Alison, author of Meander, Spiral, Explode, on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

Two years ago, Jane Alison set out to redefine how writers might think about structure in their work. Most novelists are trained on the narrative arc (better known as Freytag’s Pyramid)—arguing that a story should begin with an enticing incident, build to a climax, and fall into some form of resolution. By examining patterns in nature, Alison argues there are many other ways novelists can structure a story. 
Meander, Spiral, Explode: Design and Patterns in Narrative  provides eight examples, with plenty of supporting literary evidence. She joins Marrie Stone to talk about how she’s used these methods in her own work, what inspired her to seek out these structures, and how novelists can use these techniques to their creative advantage. For further reading, check out Alison's book recommendation, Exercises in Style, by Raymond Queneau.

Download audio.  

(Broadcast date: June 25, 2021)

Saturday, July 03, 2021

Novelist Patricia Engel, Infinite Country

Patricia Engel, author of Infinite Country, talks with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett about writing about immigration, class, and the art, craft, and business of writing.

 Download audio

(Broadcast date: June 30, 2021)

Monday, June 28, 2021

Joan Silber on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

Joan Silber is the author of nine books of fiction. She joins Marrie Stone to talk about the most recent, Secrets of Happiness, which came out last month. They talk about what Marrie has coined as “The Silber Method" of storytelling, which uses the short story structure to create a novel-length work.  

Silber shares her proclivity for being a miniaturist working on a big canvas, and how she discovered that form. She talks about how travel has influenced her writing, her research methods, organizing her material, generating ideas, creating effective dialogue, and so much more.

Download audio.  

(Broadcast date: June 23, 2021)

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Mary Camarillo, The Lockhart Women

Mary Camarillo, author of the debut novel, The Lockhart Women, talks with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett about the challenges of being a debut novelist, why her novel is set during the OJ Simpson trial, and more. 

(Broadcast date: June 16, 2021)

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Lionel Shriver on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

"Lionel Shriver’s contrarianism has made her famous, but fiction is what she believes changes minds,” said the New Yorker last year. Since her 2003 breakout novel, We Need to Talk About Kevin (later turned into the 2011 film starring Tilda Swinton), Shriver has pushed people’s political buttons. She’s a pro-Brexit, anti-woke, #MeToo-skeptical Democrat who eats one meal a day, dislikes babies, and refuses the comforts of either heat or air conditioning.


Her novels have tackled tricky American issues such as school shootings, an ongoing healthcare crisis, morbid obesity, and the widening wealth gap. Her latest novel, Should We Stay or Should We Go, confronts aging and western civilization’s obsession with immortality. Kay and Cyril, a couple not keen on facing the indignities of growing old, made a middle-aged suicide pact to occur on Kay’s 80th birthday, which happens in March of 2020. What will they decide when the day arrives? Shriver explores every last possibility.


She joins Marrie Stone to talk about the book, writing contemporaneously with the pandemic, and constructing a novel with several diverse outcomes. They have a candid discussion about aging, death, suicide, and the ethics of behind every decision along the road to the bitter end. 


Download audio.

Broadcast date: June 9, 2021

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Lisa Scottoline, author of Eternal, on Writers on Writing

Lisa Scottoline, author of the novel, Eternal, talks with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett about the art, craft, and business of writing.

(Broadcast date: June 2, 2021)

Friday, May 28, 2021

Jo Ann Beard on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

When essayist Jo Ann Beard came on the show in 2018, she swore she was done publishing books. While some writers knock out novels every year, Beard takes decades to assemble a small collection. But she realized these past 23 years had produced nine pieces and, together, they worked.


The consequence of taking this much time at craft are essays so distilled, the reader feels like an ant under Beard’s sun-pierced glass. Not all the pieces are pure nonfiction. Beard blends factual events with imagined inner lives to create experiences so searing, it’s difficult not to flinch. As a writer, Beard never flinches. She takes us all the way into a young woman’s final moments with Dr. Kevorkian. She forces us to jump from a burning building. We endure the agony of a beloved dog’s last hours.


Beard joins Marrie Stone to talk about Festival Days, a book the NYT calls "ferocious" by an author they call a "towering talent." She is as compassionate an interview subject as she is a writer. She takes us inside her mind, her creative decisions, and her private obsessions. Enjoy the ride.

Download audio.  

 (Broadcast date: May 26, 2021)

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Jean Hanff Korelitz, The Plot

Jean Hanff Korelitz, author of The Plot, talks with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett about the art, craft, and business of writing. 

(Broadcast date: May 19, 2021)

Music by Travis Barrett. Find him on Spotify or here.

Friday, May 14, 2021

A.J. Jacobs on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

A.J. Jacobs is an author, journalist, lecturer and human guinea pig. He has written several New York Times bestsellers that combine memoir, science, humor, and a dash of self-help.


A.J. read the Encyclopedia Britannica in its entirety (The Know It All), spent a year following every last biblical commandment (The Year of Living Biblically), assembled the world’s largest family tree (It’s All Relative), and got himself into superhuman shape (Drop Dead Healthy). He joins Marrie Stone to talk about his latest gratitude challenge wherein he undertook thanking every person responsible for getting his morning cup of coffee (Thanks a Thousand).

A.J. talks about the genesis of his ideas, how he keeps himself organized, and how he pushes himself into successive George Plimpton-esque feats of psychological strength. He shares mounds of writing and journalistic wisdom, as well as lots of backstories and humorous insights. 

Download audio.  

(Broadcast date: May 12, 2021)

Monday, May 10, 2021

Jonathan Small on Writers on Writing

Jonathan Small, writer, editor, and host of the podcast Write About Now, talks with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett about the art, craft, and business of writing. 

(Broadcast date: May 5, 2021)

Music by Travis Barrett.

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Ethan Rutherford on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

Ethan Rutherford returns to talk with Marrie about his latest collection, Farthest South. He shares how his writing has changed since his last publication, letting projects go, following his instincts, and how different writers get their work done (Ethan writes about 47 words a day to his wife’s several thousand). He talks about the advantages of working with a small publishing house (A Strange Object), and how he was able to incorporate images into the stories. Their conversation covers craft concerns, the power of fairy tales, and the general state of our world.

Download audio.  

(Broadcast date: April 28, 2021)

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Willy Vlautin on Writers on Writing

Willy Vlautin, author of The Night Always Comes, talks with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett about the art, craft, and business of writing. 

(Broadcast date: April 21, 2021)

Music by Travis Barrett. Find him on Spotify, Patreon, etc.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Memoirist Joshua Mohr at the Pen on Fire Speaker Series & Salon

Joshua Mohr, author of the memoir, Model Citizen, talks with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett at the Pen on Fire Speaker Series & Salon on March 25, 2021 about his new book and about writing memoir. This event was recorded live on Zoom.

(An abbreviated version of this interview aired on KUCI FM on April 7, 2021)

Musical intro, outro, and interludes by Travis Barrett. Find him on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Patreon.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Martin J. Smith, author of "Going to Trinidad," on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

For forty years, Trinidad, Colorado was known amongst locals, and those in the transgender community, as the “sex-change capital of the world.” An estimated 6,000 gender reassignment surgeries took place in this remote ranch town between 1969 and 2010. 

Veteran journalist and award-winning author Martin J. Smith joins Marrie Stone to talk about his latest, Going to Trinidad: A Doctor, a Colorado Town, and Stories from an Unlikely Gender Crossroads. He discusses finding the subjects of the book, and their willingness to open the most private aspects of their lives to him. He talks about researching Trinidad and Dr. Stanley Biber, a larger-than-life figure who perfected the surgery after serving as a trauma medic during the Korean War. And he discusses writing about this most vulnerable and misunderstood population from an outsider’s perspective, the challenges he faced, and how he overcame them. Smith also talks about how his own mindset shifted as a result of this project. 

Throughout the conversation, there’s wonderful advice for aspiring journalists, nonfiction writers, and those committed to the art of storytelling.

Download audio.  

(Broadcast date: April 14, 2021)

Friday, April 02, 2021

Robert Kolker, author of Hidden Valley Road, on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

Don and Mimi Galvin epitomized the mid-20th century American dream. After WWII, Don's work with the U.S. Air Force took the family to Colorado where the Galvins raised 12 children spanning the entire baby boom generation. But even as the perfect family was being assembled, it began to disintegrate. Six of the ten boys were diagnosed with schizophrenia. The family was plagued by sexual abuse, clergy abuse, a murder/suicide, and other stressors.

Robert Kolker joins Marrie Stone to talk about Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family. He talks about finding the Galvins, and their decision to open their lives—and their painful story—up to him. He shares how he tackled the complicated science and research behind this misunderstood mental illness. He also discusses how he managed an overwhelming cast of characters—and the immense tragedies they endured—while delivering a compelling, impossible-to-resist narrative. He provides great advice to aspiring journalists about how to launch their careers, what to look for in a story, and much more. 

Download audio.  

Record date: March 3, 2021
Broadcast date: March 31, 2021

Friday, March 26, 2021

Memoirist Russell Shorto on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

Russell Shorto, author of Smalltime: A Story of My Family and the Mob (Norton) talks with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett about the art, craft, and business of writing memoir, especially when you had no intention of doing so. Shorto is the author of the bestselling The Island at the Center of the World, Amsterdam, and Revolution Song

  (Broadcast date: March 24, 2021)

Intro, outro, and musical interludes by Travis Barrett. Find more of his music on Spotify and Soundcloud.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Literary agent Betsy Amster

Los Angeles-based literary agent Betsy Amster talks with Barbara Demarco-Barrett about the business of writing.

(Broadcast date: March 10, 2021)

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Julia Cooke, "Come Fly the World," on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

Julia Cooke joins Marrie to talk about her latest narrative nonfiction book, Come Fly the World. She follows three primary, and two secondary, retired Pan-Am stewardesses who flew for the airline in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. At once a nostalgic romp through the heyday of glamorous air travel, the book is also a chronicle of mid-century America and the larger world. Crews ferried soldiers in and out of Vietnam, and hit the feminist and Civil Rights movements head on. They endured hijackings, attacks by the Vietnamese military, and a general air of sexism and racism.

Julia talks about finding her subjects, structuring their stories, and the renewed relevance of this book sixty years after it took place. 

Download audio.  

 (Record date: February 10, 2021)

Saturday, March 06, 2021

Russell Banks on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

Russell Banks returns to the show to talk about his latest novel, Foregone. He shares how his childhood upbringing and young adulthood have fed his fiction, and why this novel feels more autobiographical than most. He also talks about a wild week spent with Jack Kerouac in the 1960s, and experiencing the fall of a literary hero. He discusses how this novel couldn't have been written at any other point in his life, why his characters differ from his readers (and the importance of that difference), a tennis showdown with Chang-rae Lee, and so much more.

There's a lot of advice for writers, including how to surprise your readers, why focusing on contradictions in your characters is more important than consistency, the necessity of learning how to read, and his insights into point of view.

Download audio.  

(Record date: February 25, 2021)

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Chang-rae Lee & Karen Russell on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

Chang-rae Lee is a Korean-American novelist and a professor of creative writing at Stanford University. He is the author of five previous novels: Native Speaker (1995); A Gesture Life (1999); Aloft (2004); The Surrendered, which was a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and On Such a Full Sea (2014). My Year Abroad, published by Riverhead Books, is his latest. He joins Marrie Stone to talk about creating a sensationalistic novel, in every sense of the word. He talks about how he surprises himself (and his readers), writing food, sex, torture and much more.

Karen Russell talks about her prescient novel, Sleep Donation. Written in 2014, the book that was intended to be whimsical satire on an insomnia pandemic has become a dark commentary on the times we're living through. Russell talks about the strange ways the book has taken on new meaning, serendipitous experiences she encountered while publishing it, and so much more.

Download audio of Chang-rae Lee's Interview.  

(Broadcast date: February 24, 2021)
(Record date: February 8, 2021)

Download audio of Karen Russell's Interview.

(Broadcast date: February 24, 2021)
(Record date: January 26, 2021)

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Katherine Seligman, At the Edge of the Haight, on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

Katherine Seligman is a journalist and author in San Francisco. As a reporter, she’s focused on social issues, from homelessness, mental health and end of life issues to the city’s boom and bust cycles. But she’s also written about everything else, from self-appointed graffiti curators, urban coyotes and embryonic sex selection to what her kids learned growing up in Haight Ashbury.

Katherine joins Barbara DeMarco-Barrett to talk about her novel, At the Edge of the Haight, as well as writing, craft, and process. 

Download audio.  

(Broadcast date: February 17, 2021)

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Rebecca Sacks on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

Before receiving her Masters from the Program in Writing at UCI, Rebecca Sacks moved to Israel, spending time understanding Israeli and Palestinian culture, learning Hebrew and Arabic, and immersing herself in the cultures, their people, and their conflicts. Her debut novel, City of a Thousand Gates, tackles these tensions from a variety of points of view. 

Sacks joins Marrie Stone to talk about her writing process, accessing her characters, keeping 29 points of view balanced and organized, rendering sex and violence on the page, and so much more. She brings all her MFA wisdom and experience to the interview, as well as her personal experience living abroad, getting lost, and finding herself again. 

Download audio.  

Record date: January 29, 2021
Broadcast date: February 10, 2021

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Poet Tommye Blount on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

Tommye Blount, finalist of the National Book Award in poetry last year, joins Marrie Stone to talk about his collection, Fantasia for the Man in Blue. They are daring poems about race, power, desire, sex, and a redefinition of beauty. Blount's work captures the experience of being black and queer in Michigan, about an encounter with the Michigan police, his role as a son, and his observations as a poet.

He talks about his journey into poetry, finding his voice, using media and art in his work, and all the poets who influenced him along the way.

(Disclaimer: Some topics in this interview are intended for mature audiences. There are references to sex and pornography. Listener discretion is advised.)

Download audio.  

(Record date: January 16, 2021)

Friday, February 05, 2021

Lynell George, A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler

Lynell George, author of A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler, published by Angel City Press, talks with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett about her new biography of Octavia E. Butler. 

(Broadcast date: Feb. 3, 2021)

Musical intro, outro and interludes by Travis Barrett. Find him on Spotify and Patreon.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

George Saunders on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

For twenty years, George Saunders has taught a select group of graduate students in Syracuse’s MFA program. Relying on 19th century Russian masters, Saunders breaks down the prose—sentence by sentence, line by line—to show students how it’s done. Now he’s broadened his audience. George acts as literary tour guide through seven short stories by four Russian authors in his latest, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain.


George joins Marrie Stone for their third interview, imparting his gentle wisdom to writers about the art and craft of storytelling. He also teaches us how to read deeper and closer. And, through it all, how reading (and writing) often inspires us to lead more empathetic, intentional, and meaningful lives by inhabiting other viewpoints. Conversations with George leave one feeling not only smarter, but better. You can check out their other interviews in the blog’s archives (Tenth of December, 2013 and Lincoln in the Bardo, 2017). 

Download audio.  

Record date: January 18, 2021
Broadcast date: January 27, 2021

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Noir author Vicki Hendricks on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

Vicki Hendricks, called the "Queen of Noir," is Barbara DeMarco-Barrett's guest for the entire hour. Hendricks's novels include Miami Purity, Iguana Love, and Cruel Poetry. She also has a story in Miami Noir (Akashic) and other noir anthologies.

(Broadcast date: January 20, 2021)

Musical intro and outro and interludes by Travis Barrett. Find him on Spotify.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Mariana Enriquez on Writers on Writing, KUCI-FM

Argentinian author Mariana Enriquez knows horror first hand. Born in 1973, three years before the U.S.-backed Dirty War that rained state-sponsored terror down on its citizens for seven years, Enriquez grew up in a world where death squads were common and neighbors disappeared.


Enriquez joins Marrie Stone to talk about her second collection of short stories, The Dangers of Smoking in Bed, published in 2009 in Argentina, but translated and released in the U.S. this month. One of the stories in that collection, “Our Lady of the Quarry,” appeared in the New Yorker last month. She shares her complicated childhood, her obsessions with the horror genre, and how American literature influenced her writing. She also talks about working with her translator, America's interest in South American literature, and more.


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(Broadcast date: January 13, 2021)

Sunday, January 03, 2021

Ken Layne, Desert Oracle, KUCI-FM

Ken Layne, author of Desert Oracle, Volume 1: Strange True Tales from the American Southwest, talks with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett about the art, craft, and business of writing, along with fairies and unexplainable goings on in the desert.

(Broadcast date: December 23, 2020)

Musical intro, outro and interludes by Travis Barrett. Find his music on Spotify and also find him on Patreon.