Sunday, July 29, 2007
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 email@example.com. 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!
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Between the Lions is part of the PBS Kids schedule of TV programs and can be watched on GPB TV weekdays at 1PM. The program promotes reading among kids aged 4-7 with a family of puppet lions who live in a magic library. There's mom and dad, Cleo and Theo, and their children Lionel and Leona. Theo and Leona were able to join us at GPB.
I was asked to be the "Designated Reader" for the performance and had to come up on stage and, with Leona looking over my shoulder, read the kids in the audience a story, Is Your Mama a Llama?, by Deborah Guarino, with illustrations by Steven Kellogg.
I love kids even though I don't have any of my own, but I've always been very aware of the old showbiz adage "never work with animals or kids." Here I was working with both!
It really was a great event; the kids loved it; the puppets were hilarious; and the whole Between the Lions team were a joy to work with. Theo and Leona even agreed to have their photograph made with me afterwards (see photo above. Me between the lions: l-r--Theo, me, Leona).
This event came hours after what may well prove to be one of the biggest literary events of the century: the release of the seventh and final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
At 12:01AM on Saturday, July 21, bookstores all across the world opened their doors to millions of kids and their parents who wanted to be among the very first to buy and read the very last installment of one of literature's great characters.
I have a friend, Wil, who is the community relations manager for a Barnes & Noble store in Atlanta, and what he told me about what he was planning for last Saturday morning turned my hair grey. He was transforming his store into Platform 9 3/4 at London's Kings Cross Station (Potter aficionados will understand!). Thousands were expected to camp out outside the store in order to be sure of getting the new HP book.
I remember returning to the U.K. several years ago for a vacation. One of the Harry Potter books had just been released a day or so prior to my arrival, and my sister Caroline, who has 5 children, had managed to procure one single copy of the book which my nephews and nieces were having to share.
The household rules were that each of the kids could have the book for an hour a day and they were strictly forbidden from blurting upcoming plot details to those brothers and sisters who hadn't read as far. You can imagine the nightmares that ensured during the weeks that the five kids were attempting to share the book!
I mention these two recent events because of the critical importance of getting children to get into the habit of reading as early as possible. Between the Lions is committed to instilling the joys of reading and of words in children from an early age. Bravo!
Likewise, I have nothing but eternal admiration for J.K. Rowling whose HP books have almost single-handedly revived the desire to read among kids all over the world. Not only are these young 'uns picking up her books to read them, but they are completely oblivious to the fact that these HP books are generally 600-700 pages in length. Let me tell you that I would think twice before committing myself to a book of such length if I didn't have to!
IMHO, J.K. Rowling is a special type of hero (heroine?) and has a special circle of literary heaven reserved for her when she turns in her final manuscript and is received into the great book club in the sky!
They say children are our future. True. If they aren't in the habit of picking up a book and reading (as opposed to playing violent computer games) then societies all around the world are in trouble. It's all about what Barton Fink calls (in the movie of the same name) "the life of the mind."
If you have young children, record/TiVo Between the Lions (weekdays at 1PM on GPB TV) and plop them down in front of the TV when they get home from school and let them enjoy Theo, Cleo, Lionel and Leona. I certainly did, and I know how to read already (just!).
Monday, July 23, 2007
St.John as a name can be linguistically compared to Sinclair. Both are vestiges of the French language. Sinclair is a corruption, both orthographically and phonetically, of the French "St. Clair," pronounced [SAN-clair] which passed into English at "Sinclair," the [SIN] being an anglicized equivalent of the French [SAN].
For St.John the process was essentially the same, although the orthography was anglicized while phonetically the name remained closer to the French. Thus, French "Saint Jean" [SAN-zhon] became [SIN-jun] phonetically while adopting a thoroughly anglicized orthography.
Everybody got that? Good. Test on Friday!
From the day I learned that there is a character in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre called St.John Rivers (pictured above from the BBC/WGBH Masterpiece Theatre production of Jane Eyre), I liked to think that I had a literary pedigree. However, upon reading Miss Bronte's book, I came to discover that Mr. Rivers is perhaps not someone I would want to claim as a namesake. The Jane Eyre edition of Cliffs Notes describes St.John Rivers like this:
While Rochester is a prototype of the fiery, passionate man, St. John Rivers is his opposite: cold, hard-hearted, and repressed. His handsome appearance indicates moral and intellectual superiority—he has “a straight, classic nose; quite an Athenian mouth and chin”—and contrasts with Rochester’s more rugged features. Although St. John initially appears perfect, Jane soon detects a restlessness or hardness under his seemingly placid features; he is “no longer flesh, but marble” and his heart seems made of “stone or metal.”Anyone who knows me knows that this is certainly not me (I hope!).
Truth to tell, my parents named me St.John because they couldn't name me Mark.
When they were considering names for their first born, and this was back in the days before ultrasound scans could let you know if you were having a boy or a girl, my parents decided they wanted to give their children names that couldn't be shortened. Their rationale was that they were choosing particular names because they liked those names and not any diminutives thereof. So, James, Richard, David, Peter, Samuel, Thomas, Steven, all the usual names, were out.
My parents liked the name Mark, but made the mistake of mentioning it as a possible choice were I to be a boy (and I am). My mother's sister then implored them not to name me Mark if I turned out to be a boy as that was her favorite boy's name and she wanted to name her son, when she eventually had one, Mark.
My parents, kind souls that they are, went back to the drawing board and somehow, God alone only knows how, came up with St.John. Their thinking was impeccable: there's no generally-acknowledged diminutive of St.John.
My mother had a friend at school whose brother was called St.John and that's where Mr and Mrs Flynn got the name from (not from Charlotte Bronte, thank goodness!).
So, on that fateful day in September of 1962, I became St.John Edward Flynn. (My maternal grandfather, upon learning what his first grandchild was to be named replied gruffly, "I'm going to call him Ted." He never did; it was always St.John.)
Imagine my surprise when, about 12 years later, my aunt gave birth to a healthy, bouncing boy whom she named...Adam!
I tell myself all things happen for a reason and I just haven't yet worked out what that might be in the case of my given name!
There is a Cover to Cover related purpose for all of the preceding.
Over the decade or so that I've been interviewing authors for GPB, several have made a point of commenting on my name.
Most recently was Joyce Carol Oates (see the Monday, July 9 blog entry). When the interview was over and I asked Ms Oates to sign my copy of The Gravedigger's Daughter, she commented that she'd never met a St.John before.
I was flattered and wondered to myself if, in the future, a character named St.John would turn up as the protagonist in one of her novels which would go on to win the Pulitzer Prize, the American Book Award, and would finally convince the Nobel Committee that Ms Oates deserved the Nobel Prize! I could then boast that I was the inspiration for a real literary hero and not have to make do with St.John Rivers.
Way back in 1998 I interviewed Southern humorist, and Decatur, Ga., native, Roy Blount Jr. when his memoir Be Sweet: A Conditional Love Story came out. Anyone who listens to such public radio programs as A Prairie Home Companion and Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me knows how funny he is.
After the interview was over I asked Roy to sign my copy of Be Sweet, and here's what he wrote in the book:
To St.John --I still think it's incredibly smart and funny, and every so often I take the book down from the shelf in my library at home just to reread it.
Be saintly (or, more phonetically, be sinful)
Roy Blount Jr.
Finally, in June 2000, James Martin Rhodes of Homerville, Ga., was my guest on Cover to Cover when we talked and took calls about his wonderful South Georgia novel In My Father's Generation (iUniverse, 1999).
After the show, James presented me with something very special. It seems he has a talent for writing limericks and had written one just for me. Here it is:
To St. John
(In case I turn out to be someone you want to claim you know)
There was a young bloke name of Flynn
Whose primary sin was gin.
When he had a good snout full,
He was often quite doubtful,
If his moniker was St. John or Flynn.
I guess being called St.John isn't all bad after all!
Friday, July 20, 2007
On July 12, my blog post concerned Stan Lindberg and the award named for him. Stan was a longtime editor of The Georgia Review, which is generally acknowledged to be one of this country's best literary journals. He died in 2000. During Stan's tenure the Review won a National Magazine Award and, in the post, I went on to say "Today, the Review is still regularly nominated for the National Magazine Award in competition with such publications as The Atlantic, Esquire, and The New Yorker."
Well, that comment elicited an email response. Hallelujah! People are reading the Cover to Cover blog...and responding to it! The response was from the Georgia Review's Business Manager, Brenda Keen, and although it took me to task for not being totally accurate, I like to think that, fundamentally, it was a nice reply. Here it is:
Hi St. John,I need to explain that "Stephen" is Stephen Corey, the Review's longtime Associate Editor who is currently serving as Editor, and (I didn't know this) the elephant reference is to the "Ellie," the National Magazine Award Elephant statuette, designed by Alexander Calder, presented to winners.
Thanks to Google Alerts, I just discovered your CtC blog. Very cool! Reading your July 12 entry, though, made me think that perhaps you didn't hear that The Georgia Review won a second National Magazine Award this past May for the essay "Russell and Mary" by Michael Donohue in our Fall/Winter 2006 issue. Carrie Fisher handed Stephen the award, so we're probably the only literary magazine ever to receive an elephant from Princess Leia! =)
I apologize for overlooking this most recent accolade, which is a very big deal, and I thank Brenda for bringing my oversight to my attention.
I should say, for the purposes of full disclosure, that for the last year The Georgia Review has been a Cover to Cover underwriter. I'm sorry for short changing it!
Of course, my embarrassment is overshadowed by my pleasure at having received a response to something posted on this new Cover to Cover blog. You can register your comments and reactions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to hearing from you.
The most recent of such books was, ironically, The New Georgia Encyclopedia Companion to Georgia Literature published in April of this year by the University of Georgia Press. I use the word "ironically" because, perhaps for the first time, a book has been produced from online content rather than the other way around, the New Georgia Encyclopedia being an online resource rather than something in print.
As the book jacket says, "Georgia has played a formative role in the writing of America." This state has produced such essential writers as Conrad Aiken, Erskine Caldwell, James Dickey, Carson McCullers, Flannery O'Connor, Joel Chandler Harris, and Alice Walker, and this volume celebrates this impressive array of 19th- and 20th-century authors. For someone like myself who deals intimately with these writers, this compendium is a true godsend. The book describes itself thus:
This volume contains biographical and critical discussions of Georgia writers from the nineteenth century to the present as well as other information pertinent to Georgia literature. Organized in alphabetical order by author, the entries discuss each author's life and work, contributions to Georgia history and culture, and relevance to wider currents in regional and national literature. Lists of recommended readings supplement most entries.The person responsible for this tremendous resource is Hugh Ruppersburg, the editor. Hugh is Professor of English and Senior Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Georgia. A former head of the UGA English department, he is the author or editor of many books, including After O'Connor and Georgia Voices, a three-volume anthology of Georgia's fiction, nonfiction, and poetry (all of which are published by UGA Press).
Especially important Georgia books have their own entries: works of social significance such as Lillian Smith's Strange Fruit, international publishing sensations like Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind, and crowning artistic achievements including Jean Toomer's Cane. The literary culture of the state is also covered, with information on the Georgia Review and other journals; the Georgia Center for the Book, which promotes authors and reading; and the Townsend Prize, given in recognition of the year's best fiction.
Dr. Ruppersburg has done an immeasurable amount for Georgia literature, not only in the anthologies he has edited, but also as a teacher of Georgia literature to countless students at UGA. This past May his endeavors were recognized when Gov. Sonny Perdue presented him with a Governor's Award in the Humanities for his contributions to the humanities in this state.
So, from now on, I will be browsing the pages of the NGE's Companion to Georgia Literature to check my facts and learn new ones. Any mistakes I may make will be purely my own and cannot be attributed to this fine new volume.
As a literary professional, let me say a very big "thank you" to those who made this volume possible. You have made my job an awful lot easier...and I'm very grateful.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Karin's Bottom Dollar Girls series is set in the fictional town of Cayboo Creek, South Carolina, and follows the high jinks of the "girls" who work at the Bottom Dollar Emporium. The Bottom Dollar Girls are "the kind of Steel Magnolias who would make Scarlett O'Hara envious" (Atlanta Journal Constitution). Dollar Daze asks the age-old question, "Is it ever too late to find one's heart's desire?" as the ladies of Cayboo Creek are blindsided by schoolgirl flights of fancy when unexpected romance enters their lives.
Here's how the publisher describes Dollar Daze:
Moons and Junes are the flavors of the month for the Bottom Dollar Girls, whose sudden fondness for wooing and cooing has them in a Dollar Daze. From the night of the Sweetheart Dance, love begins blooming all over Cayboo Creek. Attalee, soda jerk at the Bottom Dollar Emporium, and her beau Dooley seem headed for the altar via Thrill Hill. But Elizabeth is pining for her newlywed days when she felt more like a wife than a mother, while widowed Mavis has been up nights nursing a case of loneliness. Not so for newspaper woman Birdie. "I'm glad my dating days are done," she claims, and Gracie Tobias agrees that she, too, is "done with romance." They couldn't be more wrong.Karin says these infectious women, Attalee, Mavis, Gracie Tobias and Elizabeth, are "as Southern as crowder peas and Jimmy Dean sausage. My characters eat cathead biscuits. They shop at the Winn-Dixie, drink their sweet tea under the shade of a magnolia, and know that "shagging" means dancing to the Swinging Medallions."
The first two books in the Bottom Dollar Girls series are Bet Your Bottom Dollar and A Dollar Short.
Born in Minnesota, Karin moved with her family to the South when she was 13. Her given name is pronounced "CAR-in," and before she turned to writing she was special education teacher at an inner-city school, and a magazine editor. She married to David and has a son named Brandon.
To find out more about Karin, visit her website, www.karingillespie.com, and tune in for this month's Cover to Cover July 29 at 8PM.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Every so often a book comes in that, as soon as I pull it from the envelope, I know I have to read.
The latest book by Philip Lee Williams, In the Morning: Reflections From First Light (Mercer University Press, 2006), is one of them.
It came into the office toward the end of last year but, due to my hectic reading schedule, I haven't been able to get to it until now. It is one of those rare books that sat on a shelf in my office and glared at me every day as I sat at my desk; its spine nagged me constantly, reminding me that I had told myself I have to read it.
Philip Lee Williams is a friend. Regardless, he is one of Georgia's most underrated writers, IMHO (that's blog(g)ese for "in my humble opinion"), and has yet to be as widely recognized as he deserves for the excellence of his writing.
As an author he has both breadth and depth. His 2004 Civil War novel, A Distant Flame, won the 2005 Michael Shaara Award for Civil War Fiction for the Best Civil War novel published in the United States; his first novel, The Heart of a Distant Forest, won the 1986 Townsend Prize, Georgia's highest fiction award; The Song of Daniel won him the Georgia Author of the Year for Fiction in 1991; and just this year In the Morning garnered Phil the Georgia Author of the Year award in the Essay category (beating out President Jimmy Carter!).
Phil has also been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize by the Chattahoochee Review; his poetry has appeared in numerous journals; and, to cap it all, his memoir, The Silent Stars Go By, is one of this radio host's best-loved books by anyone!
What strikes me about In the Morning is the originality of its theme. As the book jacket (pictured above) proclaims, "Morning is a part of everyone’s life. But relatively little has been written directly about morning itself because it is a background rather than a major theme." And Williams, in his opening pages, explains his attraction to the subject:
Morning. Each day the world yawns with light as the planet comes out of its spin away from the sun. It heralds the wedding day of two lovers, the funeral of a beloved father or mother, the hope of good news, the punishment of a hangover, or the start of a journey.In the Morning is a series of what might be termed meditations on this transitional time of day, and it showcases many of the facets of Phil Williams writing that make him one of our best. It's a touching, insightful memoir; it's highly-observed nature writing; and it's pure poetry in it's use of language, metaphor and juxtaposition. All in all, this book is writing at its very finest, by one of Georgia's finest.
And yet morning has had few books all its own.
Philip Lee Williams has been a guest on Cover to Cover on three occasions. The August 1998 show featured his first novel The Heart of a Distant Forest; in November 2000 we discussed his memoir The Silent Stars Go By; and in March 2005 his award-winning Civil War story A Distant Flame was the topic of conversation.
There is so much more to say about Phil, but I hope I've given you a brief taste of the wonders this man's writings contain. To find out more about him, visit his website, www.philipleewilliams.com.
And, of course, look for Phil to return to Cover to Cover in the not too distant future, when we might be talking and taking your calls about all things matitudinal!
Monday, July 16, 2007
I have to admit that when the idea was first floated I wasn't at all keen on it. I was scared that adding a camera into the studio would somehow alter the show; I've done enough television to know that it's a completely different animal to radio. For TV the emphasis is always on the visual with the result that content plays second fiddle to form.
I've always been proud of Cover to Cover because of the simplicity of its concept and the fact that form is less important than content. What is always preeminent in each show is the conversation between readers and an author. I was concerned that videotaping the show would detract from it as both myself and the guest would be conscious of the camera which might make us more nervous or make us go over the top.
Eventually after much prompting from well-meaning colleagues at GPB (including my boss!), I decided that I should put my concerns aside and give the visual a chance. If I didn't like the results, or if the show suffered because of the camera's intrusion, I could always call the experiment off.
What I didn't count on was Raegan Hodge (pictured above, looking "alluring"!). This force of nature was given the "short straw" assignment of producing the first Cover to Cover video. Raegan impressed me right from the get-go and continues to do so.
The first thing that made me realize she wasn't just going to set up a camera and give me the tape after the show was the appearance of two cameras in the studio--a "two-camera shoot" as those in the business call it. I had never even considered this possibility. It's like adding a second character to a story; suddenly you have the potential for dialogue and this makes the narrative so much more interesting.
As well as working for GPB, Raegan is a graduate student at Georgia State University studying for an MFA in film, so she brings to the Cover to Cover the Video task a certain artistic vision and flair, not just in videotaping but also in post-production.
After the April 2007 show with Jackie K. Cooper, Raegan began to work her magic and invited me up to her cubicle to view a rough cut of the shoot. I was dumbfounded. Not only had she succeeded in making my well-worn face look good (a sine qua non!), she'd also done a spectacular job of adding in visual elements to make the entire show eminently watchable. It wasn't just fixed camera shots of myself and Jackie cut together; Raegan had added B-roll footage and marvelous editing techniques that made the finished product a work of art. It can be watched and enjoyed just like a TV show.
Raegan did a superb job of interpreting the Cheatsheet, Cover to Cover's synopsis of the featured book. I had never considered how this part of each month's show would be handled. The Cheatsheet is recorded ahead of time and played back during the live broadcast. That means that both host and guest don't have anything to do for those several minutes other than listen to the synopsis. Doesn't exactly make great viewing. But Raegan's genius turned the Cheatsheet into a work of art.
She's now working on June's show when Powder Springs author Joshilyn Jackson joined me to talk and take calls about her second novel, Between, Georgia. I've seen the "almost final" cut and think it's even better than the The Bookbinder video. It should be posted to the Cover to Cover pages of the GPB website (www.gpb.org) within the next few days and I urge you to watch it and email your reactions to email@example.com.
Thank you Raegan Hodge for adding a new and engaging element to Cover to Cover and allaying the irrational fears of a curmudgeonly British host!
Friday, July 13, 2007
My actual words to Andrea were, "If it's a female cow, you could call her "Nonny." That one innocuous sentence got me into trouble with Paul in East Alabama. He emailed me with the following comment:
I am ashamed of my bovine blunder. Please forgive me. I do of course know that there's a difference between a cow and a bull, but obviously under the pressure of a live broadcast I forgot my gender distinctions and instead lapsed into tautology!
Thank you for pointing out my error. I hope that, as I'm a city lad, you'll forgive me for making rural folk all across Georgia roll their eyes and give a disgusted laugh. I will make amends during this month's show.
Now, having eaten crow, let me say that this cloud does have a very silver lining. As I went on to say to Paul in my reply, I am grateful that there are folks listening to Cover to Cover whether they be in Georgia, Alabama, or Timbuktu! And I'm also grateful for the fact that some people care about linguistic accuracy enough to take those to task who don't!
In case you're wondering about Paul's continued support of Cover to Cover, here's how he ended his email:
I still enjoy your show.
Home is where your cows are,
So, I guess I haven't lost Paul as a devoted listener--thank goodness! And as for his close, "Home is where your cows are," I absolutely love it!
To Paul, Andrea, and everyone else who listens to the show and calls in or emails me, thank you for making what I do so worthwhile and rewarding.
And remember...home is where your cows or bulls are!
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Monday, July 9, 2007
Friday, July 6, 2007
This show originally aired live on Sunday, June 24, 2007, and is archived on the Cover to Cover pages of the GPB website (http://www.gpb.org/) for on-demand listening. The show was also videotaped and, once the post-production has been completed, this will be available to watch on the website also.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
The new book is Beyond Reach (Delacorte Press, July 31, 2007) in which Slaughter returns to her ficitional Grant County. Once again the story features pediatrician/medical examiner Sara Linton and her husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, and his sometimes reckless partner Detective Lena Adams.
Karin Slaughter's fiction has always tackled society's real-life issues (violence against women in Triptych, for example), and Beyond Reach is no exception; the novel examines the devastating ripple effects of drug abuse on families and communities.
Beyond Reach is the sixth in Slaughter's Grant County, Ga., series that includes the #1 internationally bestselling A Faint Cold Fear, Blindsighted, Kisscut, Indelible and Faithless.
Although Karin has been my guest on Cover to Cover on three occasions in the last five years, and I'm well aware of the quality of her writing, I was blown away last December when, on vacation in Britain, I saw copies of Karin's books on sale in almost every bookstore I went into. I realized then that the Karin Slaughter phenomenon was not confined just to the U.S.. And I impressed several friends when I mentioned that Karin was a friend back in Atlanta!
I hope to interview Karin Slaughter in the fairly near future and to talk about Beyond Reach, so look for the interview on a Georgia Gazette or during Morning Edition sometime soon.
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
It was on July 4th, 1862, that Englishman Charles Dodgson was rowing on the River Thames at Oxford with the three young Liddell sisters, daughters of family friends. To keep his young charges amused he began to tell a story which would eventually become Alice in Wonderland. Dodgson was, of course, the real name of Lewis Carroll.
The middle Liddell sister, Alice, aged 10 at the time, badgered Dodgson to continue and finish his marvelous story. For Christmas in 1864, he presented Alice with a leather-bound book of his completed story, which he had also illustrated. The following year, Alice in Wonderland was published to widespread acclaim.
To end today's blog entry, some patriotic verse. This excerpt is from one of the poems clipped by Thomas Jefferson and added to one of his four scrapbooks when he was president.
Song for July 4th, 1805
Wide o'er the wilderness of waves,
Untracked by human peril,
Our fathers roam'd for peaceful graves,
To deserts dark and sterile:
No parting pang -- No long adieu
Delay'd their gallant daring;
With them, their Gods, and Country too,
Their pilgrim keels were bearing.
All hearts unite the patriot band,
Be Liberty our natal land.
--R.T. Paine, Jun. Esq
(As quoted in Thomas Jefferson's Scrapbooks, Jonathan Gross, ed. Steer Forth Press, 2006)
And remember...home is where your books are.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Through this online communication tool I hope to keep fans of the program, and those interested in Georgia writers and their books, up-to-date on what's happening in the world of Georgia letters.
Because Cover to Cover is a monthly show, there's much that happens that is old news by the time the next show comes around. Through my postings on this blog, I can pass along news about authors around the state, new books that have come across my desk, and juicy gossip from my "embedded sources," (well, two out of three!).
In the last year we've taken great pains to make Cover to Cover more accessible on more platforms in order to reach a broader audience.
Not only can you listen to the monthly over the air broadcasts on your radio the last Sunday of the month at 8PM, you can also listen to past shows on your computer at your leisure as each broadcast is archived on the website for on-demand listening.
In the fall of 2006 we began offering a weekly Cover to Cover podcast available for download from the GPB website (www.gpb.org). As Cover to Cover has been on the air now for almost 10 years, there's an extensive archive of past programs to draw from for each podcast.
And now our latest innovation is the videotaping of each show. The first videotaped edition was the April 2007 edition which featured author Jackie K. Cooper and his most recent book, The Bookbinder. You can watch the program on the website; it's archived exactly as the audio would be.
Videographer Raegan Hodge has done a fantastic job of turning what could be a tedious fixed camera shoot of me and Jackie into an hour-long production that is visually engaging, even surprising, and her genius is laid bare for all to see!
Take a look at the video version of the April 2007 show and see what you think.
Welcome to the Cover to Cover blog. I hope you'll come back often to read these postings, and I hope you'll tune in and maybe even call in during a live show sometime soon!
And remember...home is where your books are.