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Speaking of Writers

Author: Steve Richards

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Welcome to Speaking of Writers. Veteran broadcaster Steve Richards interviews local, regional and best selling authors. You can hear Speaking of Writers every Sunday morning at 6am on these Townsquare Media radio stations in Albany NY. 107.7 WGNA-FM, Q105.7 ( WQBK-FM) ALT 103.5 ( WQBJ-FM) and 103.9 The Breeze ( WPBZ-FM), Hot 99.1 (WQBK-HD2), and 104.5 The Team (WTMM-FM). For more info email steve @
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50 Episodes
Richard Russo- Chances Are

Richard Russo- Chances Are


ABOUT CHANCES ARE . . .From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls comes a new revelation: a riveting story about the abiding yet complex power of friendship.One beautiful September day, three men convene on Martha’s Vineyard, friends ever since meeting in college circa the sixties. They couldn’t have been more different then, or even today–Lincoln’s a commercial real estate broker, Teddy a tiny-press publisher, and Mickey a musician beyond his rockin’ age. But each man holds his own secrets, in addition to the monumental mystery that none of them has ever stopped puzzling over since a Memorial Day weekend right here on the Vineyard in 1971: the disappearance of the woman each of them loved–Jacy Calloway. Now, more than forty years later, as this new weekend unfolds, three lives are displayed in their entirety while the distant past confounds the present like a relentless squall of surprise and discovery. Shot through with Russo’s trademark comedy and humanity, Chances Are . . . also introduces a new level of suspense and menace that will quicken the reader’s heartbeat throughout this absorbing saga of how friendship’s bonds are every bit as constricting and rewarding as those of family or any other community.     For both longtime fans and lucky newcomers, Chances Are . . . is a stunning demonstration of a highly acclaimed author deepening and expanding his remarkable achievement.ABOUT THE AUTHORRichard Russo is the author of eight novels, most recently Everybody’s Fool and That Old Cape Magic; two collections of stories; and the memoir Elsewhere. In 2002 he received the Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls, which like Nobody’s Fool was adapted to film, in a multiple-award-winning HBO miniseries; in 2016 he was given the Indie Champion Award by the American Booksellers Association; and in 2017 he received France’s Grand Prix de Littérature Américaine. He lives in Port­land, Maine.Photo Credit- Elena Seibert--- Support this podcast:
A New Kind of MonsterA predator who struck at random, Israel Keyes had no M.O. or victim type—which helped him go undetected by law enforcement for over a decade. He would fly into a city, rent a car and cross state lines, abduct his victims, kill them, and dispose of their remains so expertly he left no DNA. Then he’d get back in his car and put thousands of miles between himself and the crime scene.Callahan calls Keyes “an analog killer in a digital age,” because he would “go dark”: using only cash, turning off his cell phone, and burying weapons, body disposal tools, and money in remote locations—and to which he would return to dig back up, months or years later, whenever the urge to kill struck next. He left a trail of monstrous crimes in his wake, many of which are still unsolved. And then he would return home, resuming life as a quiet, reliable construction worker devoted to his only daughter.Behind the Scenes of the Alaska PD and the FBICallahan takes readers to a singularly remote setting—Anchorage, Alaska—where the disappearance of a young girl named Samantha Koenig eventually led to Keyes’ arrest. But the Alaska PD and the FBI had no idea just who—or what—they had on their hands when they brought him in. And in such a rural and isolated environment, the process of interrogating and investigating Keyes didn’t exactly go by-the-book.Callahan describes how the FBI deliberately kept Keyes’ existence a secret from the public, and how the federal prosecutor’s methods could have put the case in jeopardy—had it gone to trial, which (spoiler alert) it never did. Because even though Keyes was one of the scariest and most high-profile criminals in modern history, he was somehow able to commit suicide in prison.The Book the FBI Doesn’t Want You to ReadCallahan was given unprecedented access to the agents who worked the Keyes case, but at a certain point, the DOJ started stonewalling her requests for documents. She spent over five years—and tens of thousands of dollars of her own money—researching and delving into classified files, including a court battle that led to the unsealing of 13 hours of interview footage with Keyes.Callahan also got her hands on fascinating psychological evaluations of Keyes that illuminated much about his childhood, including an off-the-grid, Educated-type upbringing as the oldest of ten children, an affiliation with a white supremacist cult, and a friendship with two young men who would go on to become among America’s Most Wanted.She interviewed law enforcement, lawyers, and even Keyes’ mother, a private woman who had never before spoken to a reporter. And though the book lays bare some of the bureaucracy and institutional issues that could have damaged the case, as she puts it, “I think the Bureau will be happy with AMERICAN PREDATOR—one of the things it really highlights is the granular work, obsessive dedication, and big-picture approach that allowed these very talented men and women to capture one of this century’s greatest monsters.”Case Not ClosedKeyes is believed to have killed at least 11 people, but likely many more. At one point during his interrogation, an investigator said, “We have to assume that every time you traveled, you killed someone.” Keyes didn’t confirm or deny, but the statement was treated like fact in the room. Callahan believes Keyes killed many more people than what’s been determined so far, and hopes this book will help to reopen—and eventually close—cases where he could be the culprit.ABOUT THE AUTHORMaureen Callahan is an award-winning investigative journalist, author, columnist, and commentator. She has covered everything from pop culture to politics. Her writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, New York, Spin, and the New York Post, where she is currently critic-at-large. She lives in New York.--- Support this podcast:
It's a little-known chapter in history - the era of the Women Airforce Service Pilots - whose courage during World War II turned ordinary women into extraordinary heroes! And now a new book brings to light the lives and stories of these women. "The Flight Girls" by author Noelle Salazar - is inspired by their stunning story and re-imagines the heroines at its center. Fans of " Hidden Figures" and "The Lilac Girls" and will savor this book!Fortified by the bonds of sisterhood, a resilient young woman charts an unconventional course in pursuit of her dreams and navigates adversity, tragedy, and love along the way in THE FLIGHT GIRLS (Inspired by the real-life female pilots who aided the military during World War II, this exquisite book by author Noelle Salazar illuminates a little-known historical chapter and re-imagines the heroines at its center.October 1941. With Europe already at war, Audrey Coltrane has come to Hawaii to instruct Army aviators. Ever since she was just a girl, she has been happiest in the cockpit. One day soon, she plans to buy an airfield near her home in Dallas. No man will distract her from her goals, she vows to the fellow fliers who have become cherished friends, not even the dashing Lieutenant James Hart. Still, their shared experience dodging Japanese gunfire above Pearl Harbor one momentous December morning only deepens their connection.Sent into a tailspin of grief by all that has been lost in the attack, Audrey rallies to join the Women Airforce Service Pilots program. Alight with purpose once more, she draws strength from her relationships with the other recruits and the importance of their mission. But the horrors of war are never far away. And when James gets shot down over enemy territory, Audrey risks everything to fight for the future she now envisions, one filled with precious dreams old and new.Extensively researched and vividly told, THE FLIGHT GIRLS provide a lens through which to view the WASP groundbreakers who volunteered to serve their country despite the danger and then vanished into obscurity.Their courageous example is brought to unforgettable life in these stirring pages by a remarkable protagonist determined to make her mark in a changing world.About the author: Noelle Salazar was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest where she's been a Navy recruit, a medical assistant, an NFL cheerleader, and always a storyteller. When she's not writing, she can be found dodging raindrops and daydreaming of her next book. Noelle lives in Bothell, Washington, with her husband and two children. THE FLIGHT GIRLS is her first novel. For more information, please visit and follow @noelle_salazar on Twitter. --- Support this podcast:
The New Girl- Daniel Silva

The New Girl- Daniel Silva


 #1 New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva is “quite simply the best” (Kansas City Star) writer of foreign intrigue and suspense at work today—and his iconic creation Gabriel Allon is “one of fiction’s greatest spies” (Kirkus Reviews). Silva’s twenty-second novel, THE NEW GIRL (published by HarperCollins) finds Allon, the legendary chief of Israeli intelligence, in the most unlikely of alliances, helping the controversial, much-maligned crown prince of Saudi Arabia recover his kidnapped daughter. What Gabriel encounters is a deadly secret war for control of the Middle East—with not only the life of a child but also one of the world’s most powerful, wealthiest thrones hanging in the balance.About THE NEW GIRL It begins at an exclusive private school in Geneva, where a beautiful student of mysterious origins disappears one day after being picked up by her security detail. She is the daughter of Khalid bin Mohammed, the much-maligned crown prince of Saudi Arabia. KBM, as he is known to much of the world, turns to an unlikely person to help him get the girl back alive: Gabriel Allon, now the head of Israeli intelligence and no ally to oppressive Islamic states. Despite his excesses and the rumors of his brutality, KBM has pledged to finally break the bond between the Kingdom and radical Islam. For that reason alone, Gabriel considers him a valuable if flawed partner. Together these strange bedfellows will face a deadly secret war not only for the Saudi throne, but for control of the Middle East. BIO: Daniel Silva is the award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Unlikely Spy, The Mark of the Assassin, The Marching Season, The Kill Artist, The English Assassin, The Confessor, A Death in Vienna, Prince of Fire, The Messenger, The Secret Servant, Moscow Rules, The Defector, The Rembrandt Affair, Portrait of a Spy, The Fallen Angel, The English Girl, The Heist, The English Spy, The Black Widow, House of Spies, and The Other Woman. Silva’s books have been translated into more than thirty languages and are bestsellers around the world. He has been interviewed on hundreds of radio and television programs, including NBC, CBS, ABC, NPR, CNN, Fox, and MSNBC, to discuss his books as well as politics, terrorism, and the Middle East. He resides in Florida with his wife, television journalist Jamie Gangel, and their twins, Lily and Nicholas.Photo Credit: Marco Grob.--- Support this podcast:
The historical adult debut novel by # 1 New York Times bestselling author Lauren Kate, The Orphan’s Song is a sweeping love story about family and music–and the secrets each hold–that follows the intertwined fates of two Venetian orphans.“A tangled knot of betrayal and love, lies and redemption. Marvelous.” –Fiona Davis, author of The AddressA song brought them together.A secret will tear them apart.Venice, 1736. When fate brings Violetta and Mino together on the roof of the Hospital of the Incurables, they form a connection that will change their lives forever. Both are orphans at the Incurables, dreaming of escape. But when the resident Maestro notices Violetta’s voice, she is selected for the Incurables’ world famous coro, and must sign an oath never to sing beyond its church doors. After a declaration of love ends in heartbreak, Mino flees the Incurables in search of his family. Known as the “city of masks,” Venice is full of secrets, and Mino is certain one will lead to his long-lost mother. Without him, the walls close in on Violetta and she begins a dangerous and forbidden nightlife, hoping her voice can secure her freedom. But neither finds what they are looking for, until a haunting memory Violetta has suppressed since childhood leads them to a shocking confrontation.Vibrant with the glamour and beauty of Venice at its zenith, The Orphan’s Songtakes us on a breathtaking journey of passion, heartbreak, and betrayal before it crescendos to an unforgettable ending, a celebration of the enduring nature and transformative power of love.ABOUT THE AUTHORLauren Kate is the #1 New York Times– and internationally bestselling author of nine novels for young adults, including Fallen, which was made into a major motion picture. Her books have been translated into more than thirty languages and have sold more than ten million copies worldwide. Kate lives in Los Angeles with her family. The Orphan’s Song is her adult debut novel. --- Support this podcast:
From the New York Times baseball columnist, an enchanting, enthralling history of the national pastime as told through the craft of pitching, based on years of archival research and interviews with more than three hundred people from Hall of Famers to the stars of todayThe baseball is an amazing plaything. We can grip it and hold it so many different ways, and even the slightest calibration can turn an ordinary pitch into a weapon to thwart the greatest hitters in the world. Each pitch has its own history, evolving through the decades as the masters pass it down to the next generation. From the earliest days of the game, when Candy Cummings dreamed up the curveball while flinging clamshells on a Brooklyn beach, pitchers have never stopped innovating.In K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches, Tyler Kepner traces the colorful stories and fascinating folklore behind the ten major pitches. Each chapter highlights a different pitch, from the blazing fastball to the fluttering knuckleball to the slippery spitball. Infusing every page with infectious passion for the game, Kepner brings readers inside the minds of combatants sixty feet, six inches apart.Filled with priceless insights from many of the best pitchers in baseball history including twenty-two Hall of Famers–from Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton, and Nolan Ryan to Greg Maddux, Mariano Rivera, and Clayton Kershaw–K will be the definitive book on pitching and join such works as The Glory of Their Times and Moneyball as a classic of the genre.ABOUT THE AUTHORTYLER KEPNER started covering baseball as a teenager, interviewing players for a homemade magazine that was featured in The New York Timesin 1989. He attended Vanderbilt University on the Grantland Rice/Fred Russell sportswriting scholarship, then covered the Angels for the Press-Enterprise (Riverside, Calif.) and the Mariners for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He joined The New York Times in 2000, covering the Mets for two seasons, the Yankees for eight, and serving as the national baseball writer since 2010.--- Support this podcast:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From Jane Leavy, the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Boy and Sandy Koufax, comes the definitive biography of Babe Ruth—the man Roger Angell dubbed "the model for modern celebrity."A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR:The Boston Globe | Publishers Weekly | Kirkus | Newsweek | The Philadelphia Inquirer | The ProgressiveWinner of the 2019 SABR Seymour Medal | Finalist for the PEN/ESPN Literary Sports Writing Award | Longlisted for Spitball Magazine’s Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year | Finalist for the NBCC Award for Biography“Leavy’s newest masterpiece…. A major work of American history by an author with a flair for mesmerizing story-telling.” —ForbesHe lived in the present tense—in the camera’s lens. There was no frame he couldn’t or wouldn’t fill. He swung the heaviest bat, earned the most money, and incurred the biggest fines. Like all the new-fangled gadgets then flooding the marketplace—radios, automatic clothes washers, Brownie cameras, microphones and loudspeakers—Babe Ruth "made impossible events happen." Aided by his crucial partnership with Christy Walsh—business manager, spin doctor, damage control wizard, and surrogate father, all stuffed into one tightly buttoned double-breasted suit—Ruth drafted the blueprint for modern athletic stardom.His was a life of journeys and itineraries—from uncouth to couth, spartan to spendthrift, abandoned to abandon; from Baltimore to Boston to New York, and back to Boston at the end of his career for a finale with the only team that would have him. There were road trips and hunting trips; grand tours of foreign capitals and post-season promotional tours, not to mention those 714 trips around the bases.After hitting his 60th home run in September 1927—a total that would not be exceeded until 1961, when Roger Maris did it with the aid of the extended modern season—he embarked on the mother of all barnstorming tours, a three-week victory lap across America, accompanied by Yankee teammate Lou Gehrig. Walsh called the tour a "Symphony of Swat." The Omaha World Heraldcalled it "the biggest show since Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey, and seven other associated circuses offered their entire performance under one tent." In The Big Fella, acclaimed biographer Jane Leavy recreates that 21-day circus and in so doing captures the romp and the pathos that defined Ruth’s life and times.Drawing from more than 250 interviews, a trove of previously untapped documents, and Ruth family records, Leavy breaks through the mythology that has obscured the legend and delivers the man.--- Support this podcast:
Bryan Hoch- Mission 27

Bryan Hoch- Mission 27


A comprehensive history of the 2009 squad's rise to the championshipBoasting a mix of homegrown talent and All-Star signings, the 2009 Yankees were composed of the very best. With the previous season's failed playoff bid still as fresh as the paint job on the new Yankee Stadium, a 27th championship flag represented the singular objective of a squad that ultimately carved out a unique spot among the Yankees' pantheon of World Series teams. It was the last title for the "Core Four"—Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, and Andy Pettitte—who would each retire over the course of the next five years. It was the lone title for Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, A.J. Burnett, and Nick Swisher, each of whom saw memorable peaks and valleys during their time in the Bronx. For CC Sabathia and Brett Gardner, it was their first championship, though the veterans were still in pinstripes as the latest generation of Yankees arrived for what they hope will be the next dynasty. Mission 27 is a thoroughly reported chronicle of an unforgettable season, packed with interviews with the full cast of key players, team executives, broadcasters, and more.Author BiographyMark Feinsand is an Executive Reporter for He is the author of The New York Yankees Fans' Bucket List, and he contributed to the Yankees' official 2009 World Series championship commemorative book, Twenty-Seven. Bryan Hoch has covered New York baseball for two decades, working as the Yankees' beat reporter since 2007. He is the author of The Baby Bombers: The Inside Story of the Next Yankees Dynasty.Nick Swisher played for the New York Yankees from 2009 to 2012.--- Support this podcast:
In time for the 50th anniversary of the Mets' miraculous 1969 World Series win, right fielder Ron Swoboda tells the story of that amazing season, the people he played with and against (sometimes at the same time), and what life was like as an Every Man ballplayer. Ron Swoboda wasn’t the greatest player the Mets ever had, but he made the greatest catch in Met history, saving a game in the 1969 World Series, and his RBI clinched the final game. By Met standards that makes him legend. The Mets even use a steel silhouette of the catch as a backing for the right field entrance sign at Citi Field.In this smart, funny, insightful memoir, which is as self-deprecating as a lifetime .249 hitter has to be, he tells the story of that magical year nearly game by game, revealing his struggles, his triumphs and what life was like for an every day, Every Man player, even when he was being platooned. He shows what it took to make one of the worst teams in baseball and what it was like to leave one of the best. And when he talks about the guys he played with and against, it’s like you’re sitting next to him on the team bus, drinking Rheingold. Here's the Catch is a book anyone who loves the game will love as much.ABOUT THE AUTHORRON SWOBODA played right field for the Mets from 1965 to 1970, the Expos in 1971 and the Yankees from 1971 to 1973. Afterwards he was a TV sportscaster in New York City, Milwaukee and New Orleans, where he provided color commentator for telecasts of the Marlins’ AAA club and now lives.--- Support this podcast:
In ENEMY CONTACT, Jack Ryan, Jr. finds himself at odds with an  international criminal conspiracy. An inside leak has  allowed the CIA’s deepest secrets to be given away for a  larger agenda that threatens to undermine the entire Western intelligence community. Director of National  Intelligence Mary Pat Foley wants it stopped but doesn't  know who, how or why. Jack, meanwhile, is dispatched to  Poland on a different mission. The clues are thin, and the  sketchy trail dead ends in a harrowing fight where he barely escapes with his life. And as if that's not bad enough, Jack gets more tragic news: An old friend who's dying from cancer has one  final request for Jack. It seems simple enough, but before  it's done, Jack will find himself alone, his life hanging by a thread. If he survives,  he'll be one step closer to finding the shadowy figure  behind the CIA leak and its true purpose, but in the  process, he'll challenge the world's most dangerous  criminal syndicate with devastating consequences.With TOM CLANCY ENEMY CONTACT, Mike Maden delivers yet another spellbinding tale of  international intrigue and suspense that could be ripped  from tomorrow’s headlines, proving himself yet again to be  worthy of carrying on not just Clancy’s #1 bestselling series, but also his  legacy. ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mike Maden grew up working in the canneries, feed  mills and slaughterhouses of California’s San Joaquin  Valley. A lifelong fascination with history and  warfare ultimately lead to a Ph.D. in Political Science  from the University of California at Davis with a focus on  conflict and technology in international relations. Like  millions of others, he first became a Tom Clancy fan after  reading The Hunt for Red October, and began his published fiction career in the  same techno-thriller genre, starting  with Drone and the sequels, Blue  Warrior, Drone  Command and Drone Threat. After  spending over a decade in Dallas, Maden now lives in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee.   --- Support this podcast:
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