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Welcome to Chapter 41! My guest is J.J. Johnson, a husband, father, podcaster, and Award Winning Middle-Grade author. He grew up in Pryor Oklahoma, attended Oklahoma Baptist University where he majored in Theology. He now lives in Edmond with his wife and two boys who are commonly known online as - Hobbit 1 and Hobbit 2.J.J. and I talk about his award-winning Iggy and Oz series and his passion for writing books that connect with middle-grade boys. We also talk about being an independent author and how J.J. integrates his faith into his work for both kids and adults. Connect with J.J.: website | Twitter | Facebook | InstagramMentioned on the Show:Bobbsey Twins - Laura Lee HopeHardy Boys - Franklin W. DixonTrapped in Death Cave - Bill WallaceDanger on Panther Peak - Bill WallaceWheel of Time - Robert JordanRealm MakersDiary of a Wimpy Kid - Jeff KinneyGoosebumps - R. L. SteinI Survived series - Lauren TarshisKim VentrellaCharlotte's Web - E.B. WhiteRay BradburyDark Tower Series - Stephen KingDead Zone - Stephen KingThe Long Walk - Stephen KingOld Man's War - John ScalziMistborn Trilogy - Brandon SandersonFahrenheit 451 - Ray BradburyHeir to the Empire - Timothy ZahnConnect with J: website | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookShop the Bookcast on Bookshop.orgMusic by JuliusH
We're talking about the Oklahoma Center for the Book and the Oklahoma Book Awards with OCB Executive Director, Connie Armstrong. Connie has led the Center since 2009. She holds degrees in history and political sciences from the University of Oklahoma and the University of Central Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Center for the Book is a state affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, and is organized to focus attention on the vital role of books and reading in our lives. The Center promotes the past, current, and future works of Oklahoma authors; promotes the literary heritage of the state; and encourages reading for pleasure by Oklahomans of all ages.In our conversation we talk about the work of the Center and the upcoming Awards, being held on April 22.Connect with the Center for the Book: website | Twitter | FacebookI’m taking a few episodes to highlight some other bookish podcasts by inviting hosts to provide reviews. Our review for this episode comes from Pamela Wilson, host of the Picky Bookworm, a podcast aimed at introducing lesser-known authors to the world through weekly chats. Pamela also owns The Picky Bookworm, a website dedicated to promotion of indie books, and editing and proofreading services. Her dream is to have a community where authors and bloggers alike can feel supported and encouraged. Pamela reviews Falling Through The Weaving by Leia Talon.Connect with Pamela: website | Twitter | InstagramMentioned on the show:The Boy Who Carried Bricks - Alton CarterHannah E. HarrisonS.E. HintonRalph EllisonAlexander Lawrence PoseyWoody GuthrieAngie DeboJohn BerrymanLynn RiggsDr. H. Wayne MorganMuriel WrightErrol GibsonToni HillermanRilla AskewBob BurkeSheldon RussellMichael WallaceAll that is Wicked - Kate Winkler DawsonSherlock HolmesBarker & Llewelyn Novels - Will ThomasConnect with J: website | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookShop the Bookcast on Bookshop.orgMusic by JuliusH
I'm really excited to interview my Your Next Great Read cohost and favorite oldest daughter, Hannah Herron for this chapter of the Bookcast! Hannah has a new book coming out this month - The Ashford House - so this felt like the perfect time for a conversation about her work. Hannah is an author, screenwriter, and educator from Norman, Oklahoma. She’s written two books - Sleep Tight and Awake, the latter of which was an Oklahoma best seller, and her latest book The Ashford House releases on April 18. In addition to her novels, Hannah has written a screenplay called Sawtooth that was honored at the 2022 Broadcast Education Association in the feature film screenwriting category.  In our conversation we talk about her interest in writing horror and thrillers, as well as her work across other genres. We talk about the new book and Hannah also shares things she’s learned about her own writing from teaching others. Connect with Hannah: website | Twitter | InstagramOur review for this episode comes from my fellow bookish podcaster, Raye, host of Being Bookish, a great podcast featuring reviews and conversations with authors. She describes herself as an Avid reader and book collector who reads anything but thrillers. Raye reviews Circe by Madeline Miller. Connect with Raye: website | Twitter | Instagram | TikTokMentioned on the Show:Awake - Hannah Joy HallStephen KingPaul TremblayRiley SagerRuth WareChronicles of Narnia - C.S. LewisThe Haunting of Hill House - Shirley JacksonBeing Bookish podcastCirce - Madeline MillerConnect with J: website | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookShop the Bookcast on Bookshop.orgMusic by JuliusH
Chapter 38 finds me in Crescent, OK at Paper Pages Bookstore talking with owner Karen Payne. Paper Pages is a fantastic store featuring a wide variety of books, as well as gifts and locally-sourced pastries and coffee. In our conversation we talk about the role of the store in the community, Karen's commitment to supporting local vendors and authors, and the joys and challenges of owning a store in a smaller community.Connect with Paper Pages: Facebook | Instagram | TikTokCheck out pictures of the store.For our review this episode, I'm revisiting one of my favorite reads of 2022 - Oscar Hokeah's Calling for a Blanket Dance - winner of the 2023 Pen/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel. You'll hear Oscar talking about his novel from our conversation in Chapter 25 and then a few comments from me from the September edition of Your Next Great Read. Listen to the full interview with Oscar.Listen to the September YNGR.Mentioned on the show:Anne of Green Gables - L.M. MontgomeryOutlander - Diana GabaldonThe Baptist Bootlegger - Nicholas LyonVerity - Colleen HooverFinlay Donavan Series - Elle CosimanoThe Nightingale - Kristin HannahCalling for a Blanket Dance - Oscar HokeahPaper Pages Vendors:Quincy Bake ShopRural Route Coffee RoastersKelsey's PensSerendipity PotteryConnect with J: website | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookShop the Bookcast on Bookshop.orgMusic by JuliusH
Chapter 37 of the Bookcast focuses on the Oklahoma Writers' Federation, Inc. - a non‑profit federation of writers' groups from across Oklahoma and beyond dedicated to promoting higher standards for the written word. I sat down with Nick Lyon (President) and Bre Lockhart (Conference Coordinator) about OWFI and it's mission and the upcoming conference. Connect with OWFI: website | FacebookNicholas Lyon is the author of the historical novel The Baptist Bootlegger and current president of the Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. For his day job, he teaches English to high school students who would rather be on TikTok. He is also a woodturner and musician. He lives with his wife and two kids in Guthrie, OK.Connect with Nick: website | Twitter | FacebookBre Lockhart is a fantasy and sci-fi author with pen names in the genres of mystery and poetry. She’s also a fiction editor, an admin for Tulsa Writers Syndicate,  a writer for Indie Author Magazine, and the conference coordinator for OWFI. Connect with Bre: website | Facebook | TwitterOur review for this episode comes from Bookcast guest and friend of the show, Betsey Kulakowski. Betsey is the best-selling author of The Veritas Codex paranormal thriller series. Her 5th book in the Series, The Lost Templar was released in December of 2022, and she's preparing for the spring launch of the 6th book -- The Pirate's Curse.  Betsey reviews Stranger in the Woods by Anni Taylor.Connect with Betsey: website | Instagram My book is available for preorder on Kindle! Order now and get yours when it drops on March 14!God Help Me! I'm a Young DadMentioned on the show:Paper Pages BooksDear Writer, You Need to Quit - Becca SymeFirst Blood - David MorrellHow to Sell a Haunted House - Grady HendrixJosh MalermanMy Heart is a Chainsaw - Stephen Graham JonesStephen KingNeil GaimanTao WongMatt DinnimanDawn ChapmanReady Player One - Ernest ClineLance HawvermaleLord of the Rings - J.R.R. TolkienSilence of the Lambs - Thomas HarrisConnect with J: website | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookShop the Bookcast on Bookshop.orgMusic by JuliusH
My guest for Chapter 36 is author, historian, and attorney Bob Burke. Bob has written over 150 books about Oklahoma and Oklahomans, ranging from topics like The Oklahoma City Bombing to the Oklahoma State Fair to Oklahoma legends like Wiley Post and Ralph Ellison. Bob is a 3-time winner of the Oklahoma Book Award, received  the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book, and has been inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Bob and I talk about his interest in Oklahoma, his passion for writing biographies, his extensive writing process and working with co-authors. I also got to hear a ton of stories from Bob about everything from baseball to Donald Duck. Connect with Bob: website | FacebookOur review  is from Sheeva Azma, Sheeva is a freelance science writer, digital and strategic communicator, and science policy wonk who merges her interests in science, writing, and policy to solve hard problems through effective messaging with her science communications company, Fancy Comma, LLC. She is a scientist turned science writer who has written two books designed to encourage scientists to try their hand at science writing. Sheeva reviews Who Can Hold the Sea by by James D. Hornfischer. Connect with Sheeva: website | TwitterMentioned on the show:Typically I try to include all of the books mentioned, but Bob talked about so many different books and projects that it seemed best to point you to his catalog. Books by Bob BurkeDavid McCulloughConnect with J: website | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookShop the Bookcast on Bookshop.orgMusic by JuliusH
Love fantasy stories and dragons? Then I've got the conversation for you!My guest, Kathryn Fogleman-White, describes herself as Keeper of Dragons, and lover of coffee.  As a Master Storyteller, Kathryn believes in providing quality books that give readers a chance to pause and take a brain break from the rest of the world. She the author of the Tales of the Wovlen series of novels and co-author of Books 4 and 5 of the Heroes of Ravenford series. As a writing coach, Kathryn believes that authors - published and aspiring - should never feel alone in their writing.  We cover a lot of ground in our conversation, talking about her unique approach to writing, working on her first novel at 10 years old, and of course, dragons. Connect with Kathryn: website | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookOur review today comes from Nicholas Lyon.  Nicholas is the author of the recently published novel The Baptist Bootlegger about a Baptist preacher bootlegging hooch in 1950's Oklahoma. He is also the current president for the Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. and a high school English teacher. He lives in Oklahoma with his wife and two boys. Nicholas reviews The Discretionist by Lance Hawvermale.Connect with Nicholas: Twitter | FacebookMentioned on the Show:Eragon - Christopher PaoliniDragonheartThe Hobbit - J.R.R. TolkienTales of the Wovlen - Kathryn FoglemanNigel Andreola - Starry Night MediaHeroes of Ravenford - F. P. SpiritDr. Caroline LeafDr. John TownsendDr. Henry CloudLord of the Rings - J.R.R. TolkienThe Baptist Bootlegger - Nicholas LyonThe Discretionist - Lance HawvermaleConnect with J: website | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookShop the Bookcast on Bookshop.orgMusic by JuliusH
Welcome to Chapter 34! I had the joy of talking with Andrew Berzanskis, Editorial Director for the University of Oklahoma Press. Andrew has worked in publishing for two decades, during which his work involved acquiring books for the University of Washington Press, West Virginia University Press, and the University of Georgia Press. He got his start in university press publishing through an editorial fellowship at the University of Texas Press. In our conversation, you’ll learn about the mission of OU Press and some of the similarities and differences between university presses and the larger commercial publishers. We also talk about the kinds of books featured by OU Press and Andrew walks through the publication process from acquisition to production, including some incredible advice for authors interested in working with these presses.Connect with Andrew and OU Press: Website | Andrew on Twitter | OU Press on TwitterDoing something a little different with the review this month. The book is Rilla Askew's Prize for the Fire, reviewed by Rilla (giving a synopsis of the book from Chapter 30 of the show) and me providing a short review (from the November episode of Your Next Great Read).Mentioned on the show:Prize for the Fire - Rilla AskewThe Good Country: A History of the American Midwest, 1800-1900 - Jon LauckA Promise Kept: The Muscogee (Creek) Nation and McGirt v. Oklahoma - Robert J. Miller and Robbie EthridgeBrandon HobsonJoy HarjoSanora BabbWay I See It - Wampus ReynoldsPekolah Stories - Amanda BalesGarth Brooks: The Road Out of Santa Fe - Matt O'MeiliaWoody GuthrieLiterati Press Comics and NovelsMagic City BooksFull Circle BooksMusic by JuliusHConnect with J: website | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookShop the Bookcast on Bookshop.orgMusic by JuliusH
As we turn the calendar over to 2023, some of my former guests and reviewers have checked in for this special "Where Are They Now?" episode of the Bookcast. I've included each guest's name and the episodes where you can hear more from them, as well as a link to their websites. Enjoy this opportunity to catch up with these friends!Charles J. Martin - Chapter 1literatipressok.comBetsey Kulakowski - Chapter 27authorbetseykulakowski.comDebra Chandler - Chapter 3dechandlerwrites.comMark Edward Jones - Chapter 2mejbooksllc.comHannah Herron - Chapter 1hannahjoyherron.comAmy M. Le - Chapter 2quillhawkpublishing.comJerry Bennett - Chapter 19thejerrybennett.comAmy Prokopis - Chapter 17amyprokopis.comGinny Myers Sain - Chapter 7ginnymyerssain.comConnect with J: website | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookShop the Bookcast on Bookshop.orgMusic by JuliusH
It's Chapter 32 of the Okie Bookcast!Today I talk with Kylar Merrell, comic writer and artist and the driving force behind Foreign Press Comics - an Oklahoma-based publisher. Kylar has created several titles, including Terminal, Valkyrian, and his contributions to the newly released Fletcher Cross anthology. He's also the host of the Comics Unscripted podcast. He describes himself as a fifth grade science teacher by day and a comic creator and publisher by night. We have a great time talking about the world of independent comics, but also about the creative process and the cool ways in which Kylar is using Foreign Press Comics to bring artists together.Connect with Kylar: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website | PodcastOur reviewer for this episode is John-Eric Osborn. Eric is a comic artist and creator whose work includes one of my favorite comics - We Promised Utopia - and one of my Next Great Read cohost Hannah’s favorites - Hiro Doggie: Space Corgi. Eric is reviewing Desolation Jones by Warren Ellis and J.H. Williams. Connect with Eric: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | WebsiteMentioned on the show:DC New 52Francis ManapulAdora and the Distance - Mark Bernadin, Ariela Kristantina (Illustrator)  and Bryan Valenza (Illustrator) Pandemics in Panels - Foreign Press ComicsFletcher Cross - Foreign Press ComicsSoonerConNew World ComicConNew World ComicsNew Star ComicsThe Rez Detectives: Justice Served Cold - Steven Paul Judd (Author), Tvli Jacob (Author),  M. K. Perker (Illustrator) Heathen - Natasha AltericiBlankets - Craig ThompsonSkim - Mariko Tamaki and Jillian TamakiFun Home - Alison BechdelComics Unscripted PodcastConnect with J: website | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookShop the Bookcast on Bookshop.orgMusic by JuliusH
It's Chapter 31 of the Okie Bookcast!My guest is award-winning children's author, Mariana Llanos. Mariana is a Peruvian-born writer of children’s books who has lived in Oklahoma since 2002 and started her publishing career in 2013 with her book Tristan Wolf. She is the author of 12 published books, the latest of which, Run Little Chaski, an Inka Trail Adventure, won the 2022 Oklahoma Book Award in the children’s books category. She also recently released an audio story titled Qoritika and the Three Alpacas, produced by Sony Music Entertainment. Connect with Mariana: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website Our review comes from June Coleman. June is a retired Language Arts teacher from Yukon. Always wanting to write a book, reading about Fred Rogers caught her attention when he wrote, “Let some word that is heard be yours.”  June says we are never too old to change our trajectory; but we must be willing to step WAY OUT of our comfort zones. So, she did just that in releasing her debut Christian children’s book “Introducing Joyfull Lee” for ages 5-9.  Her purpose was to promote reading and show children what forgiveness and grace looks like in a world somewhat lacking in both.  June says that chocolate won’t solve many problems, but it’s a fine place to start.June reviews 96 Miles by J. L. Esplin.Connect with June: Instagram | Facebook Mentioned on the Show:Run Little Chaski - Mariana LlanosRun Little Chaski song in English and SpanishQoritika and the Three Alpacas - Mariana LlanosLatinX PitchSCBWIThe Last Cuentista - Donna Barba HigueraSinging with Elephants - Margarita EngelIntroducing Joyfull Lee - June Coleman96 Miles - J. L. EsplinMusic by JuliusHConnect with J: website | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookShop the Bookcast on Bookshop.orgMusic by JuliusH
My guest for Chapter 30 of the Bookcast is Rilla Askew. Rilla is the author of five novels, a book of stories, and a collection of creative nonfiction, MOST AMERICAN: NOTES FROM A WOUNDED PLACE, which was long-listed for the PEN/America Award for the Art of the Essay. She’s a PEN/Faulkner finalist, recipient of the Western Heritage Award, Oklahoma Book Award, and a 2009 Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her novel about the Tulsa Race Massacre, FIRE IN BEULAH, received the American Book Award in 2002. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in AGNI, Tin House, World Literature Today, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, and elsewhere. In addition to writing, Rilla currently teaches creative writing in the English Department at the University of Oklahoma. Her latest novel, PRIZE FOR THE FIRE, published by OU Press, is about the Early Modern English martyr Anne Askew. In our conversation we talk about Prize for the Fire and about the challenges of writing a historical fiction biography. We also discuss the themes of strong women in difficult circumstances and religion across all of Rilla’s work. Finally, Rilla provides some incredible advice for emerging authors that I think you’ll find really encouraging.E. Joe Brown provides our review for this chapter. Joe’s latest novel "A Cowboy's Destiny" released in August and has made several best seller lists in Oklahoma. In support of the book, he launched three book signing tours across Oklahoma, Kansas, and New Mexico this fall. Joe has been a guest on several radio programs in Oklahoma and New Mexico, most recently appearing on the LA Talk Radio program Rendezvous with The Writer. Joe is reviewing Chandler is Dead by Robert D. Kidera.Mentioned on the Show:Nimrod International JournalFire in Beulah - Rilla AskewWolf Hall - Hilary MantelStrange Business - Rilla AskewThe Mercy Seat - Rilla AskewThe Hummingbird's Daughter - Luis Alberto UrreaJoan: A Novel of Joan of Arc - Katherine J. ChenA Cowboy's Destiny - E. Joe BrownChandler is Dead - Robert D. KideraMusic by JuliusHConnect with J: website | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookShop the Bookcast on Bookshop.orgMusic by JuliusH
Chapter 29 of the Bookcast welcomes back Oklahoma author and entrepreneur, Jeremie Kubicek to talk about his latest book, The Peace Index, which released this fall. Jeremie is the Co-Founder of GiANT, a company that certifies coaches and consultants that serve companies and their employees. Jeremie has started over 20 companies while living in Oklahoma City, Moscow, Atlanta and London. He is also a sought-after communicator and content creator. In our conversation we talk about Jeremie’s new book and why personal peace is such an important topic for the times in which we find ourselves. We also talk about conquering chaos and provide some tools to help you think about what peace looks like in your life.Take the Peace Index Assessment: with Jeremie: website | LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram | TwitterOur review today is from Oklahoma author JM Holmes. JM was Born and raised in Canada, has lived in the US since 1995and says he finds Oklahoma's slower pace and laid-back atmosphere the perfect environment for keeping his creative juices flowing and helps him find inspiration for writing such diverse fare as crime noir novels set in Texas and sci-fi adventures that span the galaxy. JM reviews The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark HaddonConnect with JM: website | FacebookMentioned on the Show:Wylie PublishingMaking Your Leadership Come Alive - Jeremie Kubicek5 Voices: How to Communicate Effectively with Everyone You Lead - Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram5 Gears: How to Be Present and Productive When There Is Never Enough Time - Jeremie Kubicek and Steve CockramThe 100X Leader - Jeremie Kubicek and Steve CockramThe Peace Index - Jeremie KubicekAbsolute Surrender - Andrew MurrayThe Supreme Commander: The War Years of Dwight D. Eisenhower - Stephen E. AmbroseThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime - Mark HaddonMusic by JuliusHConnect with J: website | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookShop the Bookcast on Bookshop.orgMusic by JuliusH
My guest for Chapter 28 is William Bernhardt,  best-selling author of over 50 books who has sold millions of copies in his three legal thrillers series featuring Ben Kincaid, Daniel Pike, and Kenzi Rivera, respectively. He’s also written several standalone novels, including his most recent book - Plot / Counterplot - which is available now. Beyond fiction writing, Bill has authored two books of poetry (with a third on the way) and a series of books on writing fiction. He has received distinguished author awards from the U of Pennsylvania and Oklahoma State University, is a two-time winner of the Oklahoma Book Award, and in 2019 received a lifetime achievement award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book. In addition to his work as an author, Bill founded the Red Sneaker Writers Center to support and develop authors as they work toward their literary goals. The Center offers small group retreats, an annual cruise, WriterCon - an annual conference in Oklahoma City, and the WriterCon podcast where Bill interviews authors about specific topics useful to writers. As if all of this weren’t enough, Bill also works as a publisher through his Babylon Books imprint. Connect with Bill: website | Facebook | Twitter | WriterConOur review for this episode comes from Steven Wedel. Steve is an Oklahoma author and teacher who lives in Midwest City. He’s published over 35 books, in a variety of genres, but is best known for his Werewolf Saga series and his young adult paranormal novels written with Carrie Jones. Steve reviews  Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone by Phaedra Patrick.Connect with Steven: website Mentioned on the Show:Grendel - John GardnerA Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes - Suzanne CollinsBen Kincaid Series - William BernhardtDaniel Pike Series - William BernhardtSplitsville - William BernhardtMysterious PressStuart WoodsDean KoontzLemony SnicketRod SerlingJohn GrishamBabylon BooksCJ BoxLee ChildEncyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective - Donald J. SobolThe Martian Chronicles - Ray BradburyBirdie and Jeeves - P. G. WodehouseRise and Shine, Benedict Stone - Phaedra PatrickMusic by JuliusHConnect with J: website | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookShop the Bookcast on Bookshop.orgMusic by JuliusH
It's the Bookcast Birthday! This episode marks a year since the podcast launched on October 5, 2021. A huge "Thank you!" to everyone who has been with it from the beginning and to those who are just finding us. If you enjoy the podcast, consider taking a second to share it with a friend or twenty. My guest is Betsey Kulakowski. Betsey is a federally trained investigator and full-time safety professional with a degree in Emergency Management who has served on disaster response teams at the Murrah Federal Building Bombing, the World Trade Center, and Hurricanes Katrina/Rita, as well as other disasters in Oklahoma. Betsey is the author of the Best-Selling paranormal thriller, The Veritas Codex, and the series of the same name. She has experience as an amateur paranormal investigator and is an avid history buff and family genealogistConnect with Betsey: website | Twitter | Facebook | InstagramOur review is from Kristy Werner. Kristy is a new Oklahoma author whose debut novel Resurrection won first place in the Fiction Writing Contest at WriterCon. Resurrection releases on October 24 and is currently available for preorder. Kristy reviews Maggie by Sharon Srock.Connect with Kristy: website | Facebook | InstagramMentioned on the Show:Devolution: A First-Hand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre - Max BrooksThe Sasquatch Seekers Field Manual - David Gordon Autumn Tales CollectionSole Survivor - Dean KoontzDarkfall - Dean KoontzPeculiar Activities - Mark Edward JonesThe Veritas Codex - Betsey KulakowskiThe Jaguar Queen - Betsey KulakowskiThe Alien Accord - Betsey KulakowskiThe Monk's Grimoire - Betsey KulakowskiResurrection - Kristy WernerMaggie - Sharon ShrockMusic by JuliusHConnect with J: website | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookShop the Bookcast on Bookshop.orgMusic by JuliusH
The 50 Essential Oklahoma Reads list is live! Head to to get your copy today. Let the reading (and debating?) begin!My guest for Chapter 26 is Kevin DeShazo. Kevin is a speaker, consultant, author, and podcaster whose single focus is on helping people get better. His primary work is in the leadership space, particularly with student athletes and college athletic departments. He's authored three books: iAthlete: Impacting Student-Athletes of a Digital Generation, Leadership Interrupted, and his latest - Keep Chopping Wood. In our conversation we talk about about his written work with some focus on his non-traditional approach to both writing and publishing.  We also talk about the ideas of helping people get better and his work with student athletes and athletic leadership in the areas of social media and team culture.You can connect with Kevin and his work across multiple media forms at Our review is by OKC author Kat Lewis, reviewing The Escape Artist by Brad Meltzer. Kat recently launched her writing career with her electrifying debut thriller novel, Rogue Defender. She is a passionate advocate for those escaping the horrors of human trafficking and uses her writing an avenue to spread awareness. She has served as the President and Vice President for the Oklahoma Christian Fiction Writers (OCFW) and is an active volunteer with WriterCon. Mentioned on the episode:Jeremie Kubicek - GiANT WorldwideDavid A Man Of Passion And Destiny - Chuck SwindollHumility - Andrew MurrayThe Power of a Humble Life - Richard SimmonsHardy BoysWhere the Wild Things Are - Maurice SendakMusic by JuliusHConnect with J: website | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookShop the Bookcast on Bookshop.orgMusic by JuliusH
My guest is Oscar Hokeah. Oscar is a regionalist Native American writer of literary fiction, interested in capturing intertribal, transnational, and multicultural aspects within two tribally specific communities: Tahlequah and Lawton, Oklahoma. He is a citizen of Cherokee Nation and the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma from his mother (Hokeah and Stopp families), and he has Mexican heritage from his father (Chavez family) who emigrated from Aldama, Chihuahua, Mexico. Oscar has written for Poets & Writers, Literary Hub, World Literature Today, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere. His debut novel, Calling for a Blanket Dance, released earlier this year to critical acclaim. You can connect with Oscar at or on twitter and instagram. In our conversation, we talk about the novel, the need for and challenges of telling multicultural stories, and the importance of honesty in storytelling. We also talk a lot about Oklahoma - from OKC to Goteboh. Our review comes from Jes McCutchen, a Science-Fiction & Fantasy YA author whose works are full of ensemble self-proclaimed disaster queer casts and usually feature the occasional tiny crime and/or alien. Her debut novel Chronicles of My Alien Invasion Life came out in July 2022 and her next book, "A Mean Piece of Water" about Oklahoma lake mermaids fighting a giant demon octopus to save the dam is coming out this fall. You can connect with Jes at jesmwrites on instagram.Jes reviews The Monsters We Defy by Leslye PenelopeMentioned on the Episode:House Made of Dawn - N. Scott MomadayThe Way to Rainy Mountain - N. Scott MomadayAlice MunroChild's Play - Alice Munro100 Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia MarquezMusic by JuliusHConnect with J: website | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookShop the Bookcast on Bookshop.orgMusic by JuliusH
Have you ever thought to yourself, "I wish I could get more books read"? Then this is the conversation for you! I talk with professor, content manager, and uberreader Kenna Griffin about her tips and strategies for reading 150 books a year. We also talk about how her reading informs the writing she does as a blogger, editor, and academic. If you’re a writer of any kind and any level of experience, I have a quick two-question survey that I’d love for you to take a couple of minutes and fill out - It would be a huge help to me as I work on some exciting things for the days ahead.I’m so excited to introduce you to my friend Dr. Kenna Griffin. Kenna is the content director for Content Journey, an Oklahoma-based content marketing company. She also is an adjunct journalism and public relations professor. Before her work in content marketing, she was a full-time professor and college media adviser, following a career as a professional journalist.  Kenna has been a writer, editor, and educator for more than two decades and is a self-proclaimed word nerd, reading 100 to 150 books a year.You can connect with Kenna via Twitter (@profkrg), on Facebook (Real Nerds Read page), the Real Nerds Read blog, or on her website - Swanson does our review this episode. Luke is a fledgling Oklahoma author with four novels under his belt. His newest book, an action satire titled Spectators of War, dropped in July. You can find out more about Luke and his work at Luke is reviewing one of my favorite books - The Book Thief by Markus ZusakCheck out Behind the Rain: An Audio Anthology of Oklahoma PoetryMentioned on the show:The Body Keeps the Score - Dr. Bessel van der KolkGoodreadsOn Writing: A Memoir of the Craft - Steven KingBest of BooksEverybody Writes - Ann HandleyPlatform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World - Michael HyattThe Stranger Beside Me - Ann RuleFalse Witness - Karin SlaughterLouis L'AmourZane GreyEleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail HoneymanMusic by JuliusHConnect with J: website | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookShop the Bookcast on Bookshop.orgMusic by JuliusH
Welcome to Chapter 23!My guest is Oklahoma children's literature legend, Anna Myers. Anna has published 20 books for children, including award-winning titles like Red Dirt Jessie, Graveyard Girl, Assassin, and Tulsa Burning. She is a four-time Oklahoma Book Award recipient, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book in 2012, and was inducted into the Oklahoma Writers’ Hall of Fame in 2013. You can find out more about Anna and her work at her website - In our conversation, we talk about Anna’s writing career, her process, some tips for young writers, and her firm belief in the power of story. We have a special reviewer for this episode. Anna's daughter, Oklahoma author Ginny Myers Sain, is reviewing one of Anna's books. Ginny is the author of the award-winning YA novel Dark and Shallow Lies and her new book, Secrets So Deep, releases in September. You can connect with Ginny and her work through her website and you can hear my conversation with Ginny about Dark and Shallow Lies way back in Chapter 7 of the Bookcast. Ginny is reviewing Assassin by Anna Myers. Check out Behind the Rain: An Audio Anthology of Oklahoma PoetryMentioned on the show:Anne of Green Gables - Lucy Maud MontgomeryThe Merry Adventures of Robin Hood - Howard PyleGreen LanternThe Yearling - Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper LeeThe Book Thief - Markus ZusacOur Town - Thorton WilderThe War that Saved My Life - Kimberly Brubaker Bradley The War I Finally Won -  Kimberly Brubaker BradleyKate MortonKristin HannahTumbleweed Baby - Anna MyersFire in the Hills - Anna MyersJerry BennettMusic by Connect with J: website | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookShop the Bookcast on Bookshop.orgMusic by JuliusH
I'm excited to talk with Amanda Bales and Chris Murphy - authors who tell Oklahoma stories using short fiction. Amanda Bales is the author of Pekolah Stories, a collection about life in SE Oklahoma. Born and raised in Oklahoma, Amanda has since lived in many places, including Fairbanks, Alaska, where she completed her MFA at the University of Alaska. She now lives and writes in Champaign, Illinois and teaches at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. You can find out more about Amanda and her work  through her website - - or on Twitter or Instagram.Chris Murphy is an Assistant Professor at Northeastern State University in Talequah where he teaches creative writing. He received his MFA from the University of Arkansas and his work has been featured in a number of literary journals. Chris recently released a  flash fiction collection about life in NE Oklahoma called Burning All the Time. You can connect with Chris at his website - - or on Instagram and Facebook. This episode's review comes from Dee Dee Chumley. In 2008, Dee Dee  retired from teaching high school English and “re-fired” to pursue her passion for writing. She has won numerous awards for her short stories, essays, and poems, including Best Juvenile Book from the Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc. for her YA novel Beyond the Farthest Star and she was a finalist in the Southern Writers short story competition. In her latest writing effort, Dee Dee collaborated with grandson Brooks to write Ron Finds His Courage, a children’s chapter book inspired by Brooks’s pet bearded dragon. You can connect with Dee Dee and find her work on her website - Dee reviews Miss Benson's Beetle by Rachel JoyceMentioned on the show:The Adventures of Tintin - Georges RemiWinesberg, Ohio - Sherwood AndersonCowboy Jamboree PressMongrel Empire PressJeanetta Calhoun MishScissortail Creative Writing FestivalDavid JoyCourtney MilanNora RobertsSlow Horses - Mick HerronMortals - Norman RushSpy Who Came in from the Cold - John Le CarreTinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - John Le CarreA Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty SmithConnect with J: website | Twitter | Instagram | FacebookShop the Bookcast on Bookshop.orgMusic by JuliusH
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