Cover To Cover is the anchor program for GPB’s literary coverage. Cover To Cover features a collection of distinctive Southern voices interviewing Georgia writers, Southern writers, and writers dealing with the South. The GPB Southern Lit Cadre will provide you with a varied, weekly glimpse at fiction, non-fiction, history, poetry, and even the occasional ‘old school’ nod to Flannery O’Connor or William Faulkner.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Karin Gillespie on Cover to Cover

Tonight's broadcast of Cover to Cover was once again a satisfying experience for me, and I hope for you, despite some behind the scenes "issues."

I had met tonight's guest, Karin Gillespie (pictured left), back in 2004 when she came into the GPB studios for an interview with me about her very first book, Bet Your Bottom Dollar, which aired on GPB's Georgia Gazette (Fridays, 3PM repeating Sundays, 10AM).

Karin arrived at the studios from Augusta with her husband, David Neches. David is a musician and was intrigued by the grand piano situated in the lobby of the GPB building. It's a Mason & Hamlin, and although I knew nothing about the instrument other than that it is used at receptions in the lobby, David told me that Mason & Hamlin pianos are considered excellent instruments. The company is one of the oldest American piano manufacturers and was founded in Boston in 1854.

David rather sheepishly asked me, as we walked back to the studios, if he might be allowed to play it on the way out. The answer of course was yes.

Disaster struck at about 7:30PM. With half an hour to go before the show we discovered that there was a major problem with our computer system. No one was able to log in to their computer accounts. This meant I couldn't print up the show script, and Susannna Capelouto, who directs the show, couldn't access the email I had sent her from home with the Cheatsheet script attached. Without the Cheatsheet she couldn't record it to drop into the show at the appointed time.

I usually write the Cheatsheet at home over the weekend and email it to Susanna so she can print it out and record it before the show starts on Sunday evening. Fortunately, I also print a copy at home so that I have a hard copy with me when I get to the studios just in case the email doesn't make it into Susanna's in-box.

Susanna was able to get the Cheatsheet recorded before the show began, but I could not get a script printed. It was time to improvise, so I pulled the script for last month's show from my file cabinet and collected copies of July's and August's Preview, the GPB program guide and member magazine. Each edition has a write-up about that month's Cover to Cover and I was able to use the wording I had put together for each Preview article at the beginning and end of the show to describe tonight's book and next month's (Memory's Keep by James Everett Kibler).

So, when the video of tonight's show is posted to the website, don't be surprised if I look panic striken and am shuffling lots of papers; I was just trying to sound half way decent by cobbling a script together from three or four different sources.

I think overall the show went very well. Karin seemed very pleased with the listener calls, and I thought she did a great job answering their questions and engaging them in conversation. That's what Cover to Cover is all about after all: readers getting the chance to talk to the authors they've read.

As Karin was signing the prize copies of Dollar Daze for the first 5 callers after the show, she was telling me about her next book. It's titled Earthly Pleasures and is due out in February 2008. It's not a Bottom Dollar Girls story and so won't be published under Karin's name. However, I neglected to ask what pen-name she'd be using. More about that later, I'm sure.

So, despite a little drama, tonight's show went off well. If you weren't able to listen, don't forget that it repeats next Sunday, August 5 at 10AM.

As Karin and David left the studios to drive back to Augusta, David seized the opportunity and lifted the lid on the Mason & Hamlin piano in the lobby, sat on the stool, and begin to play a jazz tune. He's an excellent pianist and enjoyed the chance to tinkle the ivories of such a storied instrument.

If you'd like to respond to this, or any other Cover to Cover blog entry, you can email me at I look forward to your comments and questions. And, as an incentive, I have a signed copy of Dollar Daze I'll send to the first person who emails me at the Cover to Cover address with a comment or question about this new blog.

Hope to hear from you!