WritingLife Interviews

 CoopRadio CFRO 100.5 FM
 Insights, Events, and Adventures of Writing
 Listen on FM Radio in most populated areas of British Columbia
A selection of Interviews from our shows

The Interviews

____ Selection of Interviews ____

Sachi Komura Rummel
She was an 8-year-old in Hiroshima playing in the protective shade of a tree when the atomic bomb was dropped on the town some 3km from her home.

Chapters from her life, starting from her childhood experience in 1945 to recovery and later when fate smiled on her again, when her future Canadian husband Charles missed the boat , and onwards to a marriage on Television with free soap for a year.
Listen to her explain this in the interview with Sachi and Charles Rummel, recorded at the studio of CFRO 100.5 FM for the April 12th broadcast

of a
Charles & Sachi Kimura Rummel & Art Hartmut Her book is written without rancour and no political agenda - she wrote it first as a reminder to her grandchildren and then to all of us so that we remain aware of the past but move on regardless.
First published in Japanese in 2013 as " Wasurenaide Hiroshima " and two years later in English. A German translation is in preparation.


If you wish to get the book send an email to riotousRhymes [at] gmail.com, your request will be forwarded to the author

Sylvia Taylor
The craft and artistry of writing from both the writer's view and the perspective of editing, coaching and supporting the writer on the way to publication.

The Fisher Queen - an adventure as a deck hand on board of a 40-foot fishing vessel that is tossed about in vicious storms and 100-foot waves.
For more information on the author at sylviataylor.ca

Lawrence Hill
with hosts Art Hartmut
and Radhika Yedanapudi
Lawrence Hill wins Canada's most desirable writer's award for the second time:
the CBC "CANADA READS" contest - for his novel ' The Illegal' published in 2015, a few weeks before we recorded this interview with him. He is the first author to win this prize twice. CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, is preparing a 6-episode TV-mini series based on this novel.
He won this prize for 'The Book of Negroes' , published in 2007 - and the CBC made into a TV mini-series. This novel has since become one of Canada's most successful books ever. In its original publication its title was ' Someone Knows My Name '. 

Kristi Charish Interview Kristi Charish - A wealthy dragon in disguise , a grumpy cat whose hobby is hunting vampires, and a very modern female protagonist who sometimes speaks her mind too quickly. Listen to Kristi talking about how a female lead character does not have to be always likeable.
See more at kristicharish.com
She reads to us a section from the first of her 4-part 'OWL' series
- Owl and the Japanese Circus

Elizabeth McLean Interview
Elizabeth McLean has led a life that took various interesting turns  - you can read more about that on her website at www.elizabethmclean.ca where you will also find a photo gallery of the country that inspired her book "The Swallows Uncaged". Glimpses into the fictional lives of women in a thousand year arc set against the historic background of both the old and new Vietnam.
She reads for us from the second one of the eight narratives - "The Mongolian Stake"

Hiromi Goto Interview Hiromi Goto writes stories for adults, children and those halfway between.
... her story characters often live half-way between different worlds.
- Her writing career started with a bang - her first novel won the Commonwealth Prize (Canada and Caribbean Region) for the best first book.
In her stories you will find many ghosts and creatures from folklore, traces of japanese heritage intertwined with life in the prairies, along the road of finding one's own identity. Follow her on Twitter at @hirganai

Julia Vergara and Art Hartmut in the CFRO studio with Serena Shipp
 Serena Shipp
- her essay "Fishing"  won the top spot in the 2015 Creative Non-Fiction contest in Room Magazine.
Do the words 'harsh' and 'beautiful' go together? Beautiful in its spirit, against the harsh background of a loved-one's self-destructive behaviour. A young writer on her first foray into published literature, Serena shows a wonderful mastery of telling a hard-edged story in simple words with poetic beauty.
"...there are some things that I can't fully understand ... for these, I must write, write to figure it all out..." - Read more of her essays at http://serenashipp.com/

Kerry Wilkinson Kerry Wilkinson is one of Amazon's top-10 bestselling Kindle authors from the UK.
- Writing stories about a 16-year-old rebel lost in a warped world? Or a detective hunting criminals in a fictional Manchester underworld?
- In that case, you'd better not believe in the devil's numbers : Last year, Kerry's books at libraries in the UK were borrowed 66066 times, as counted by @PLR_UK, and his first deal with a major publisher was for a series of 6 (!) books. (does he know some kind of numbers trick they don't teach us at school?)

- At the start, in his first year he offered a 99 cent deal on his e-book "Locked In", and the 100,000th copy was sold 6 months later exactly on Christmas eve.
- He gives much credit for his success to his often grumpy female detective character Jessica Daniel. In the 5 years since migrating from sports journalism, he's written 14 books published around he world in print and as e-books. Writer's block anyone?
see kerrywilkinson.com

Non Dirmi Che Hai Paura
Don't Tell Me You're Afraid
Ne Dit Me Que Tu As Peur
Sag Nicht Dass Du Angst hast
Giuseppe Catozzella,
Italian journalist and author  wrote a book that should not have been necessary to write, a story that ends in way that should have never happened. But it became a story we all need to know.
Giuseppe Interview
16 year old Samia, the fastest runner in Somalia, trained without any help at all, sometimes religious fanatics in Mogadishu threw stones at her in the street. She competed in the 2008 Olympics, was quickly forgotten and drowned when her boat filled with African refugees sunk at the coast of Italy in 2012.
Author's website (Italian)
* see Youtube - youtube news video (Italian)
* see BBC (2008) - Against All Odds
  Samia's story



Ayelet Tsabari
with hosts Julia & Art
a book of eleven shortstories that start somewhere in the middle and end in the middle, too. This year, 2015, the book won the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature.
Ayelet grew up in Israel and currently lives in Toronto.
Listen as she tells us how she started a (make-belief) library when she was 8 years old.
Her website is www.ayelettsabari.com

Michael Christie
Michael Christie
The Beggar’s Garden This collection of short stories --set in a gritty area near Vancouver’s harbour front-- was a great start. It won the Vancouver Book Prize, and was a contender for the Giller and the Writers Trust prizes.
His latest work is If I fall, If I die.
In this interview he tells WritingLife host Julia Vergara how he gets through the "mental marathon" of writing, and not getting distracted by the digital sea of information.
Check his website for more info http://michaelchristie.net/

John Vaillant wrote Golden Spruce, Tiger, Jaguar's Children
John Vaillant 
'The New Yorker' - 'The Atlantic' - 'National Geographic' and others published his articles. His bestseller 'The Golden Spruce' won the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction (Canada). His nonfiction book, 'The Tiger' is an award-winning bestseller based on real-life events in Russia's Far East.
His latest book, a novel, is 'The Jaguar’s Children'
- Part 1 -

Julia Vergara interviews Leslie Vryenhoek 
- Author of fiction, poetry and memoir.
Her books - "Scrabble Lessons", "Ledger of the Open Hand", "Gulf" explore intimate relationships to a place or to a family .
She spent many years in the Canadian prairies and currently lives in Newfoundland

Check out her website at http://www.leslievryenhoek.com/

Caroline Adderson No, shortstory writing is not "training wheels" for writing novels, and more insights from Caroline Addison, useful for budding storytellers and enlightening for readers.
She happily ignores boundaries between genres, as she does in her latest work "Ellen in Pieces". She has published 20 books, and when she needs a break from writing serious adult stuff she takes a few weeks off and delights in outlining her next story for kids.

If the link above does not work click here (in separate page)

She arrived at the studio while technicians worked frantically to deal with a power outage in the area, but our guest took it all in stride. Find out more on her website carolineaddison.com

Lori Shenher
with Radhika and Art
"That Lonely Section of Hell"
Lori Shenher tells us how she came to write this book about her extraordinary and disheartening experience as a detective for the Police department in pursuit of the worst serial killer in Canadian history who targeted sex workers in Vancouver Downtown East.

"The Botched Investigation of a Serial Killer
Who Almost Got Away"

She had identified the suspect Pickton years before the final arrest - and many lives could have been saved - but her insights were not acted on, not given sufficient resources, information was not collected or not shared by the RCMP with the city police, or even forgotten in drawers.
We asked about her personal experiences. For the events and the murderous spree of Robert Pickton you can consult a large number of links on the internet.

Wayde Compton
He started writing when he was high school, and this is where he learned the value of having a mentor.
He is now returning the favour to a new generation of students at Simon Fraser University where he is the director of the Creative Writing Program, SFU continuing studies.   

Find out more about Wayde - website * waydecompton.com

Daniel Kalla :
A Busy Person,
or ? 
After writing 9 books in a decade he has a lot of stories to tell about writing, about his books, about the history behind his last three books, and the real-life medical background that permeate his crime thrillers.
His now complete trilogy of historical fiction moves from war time Vienna to a hospital in the brutal and surreal Shanghai of the 1940s.

We asked Dr. Daniel Kalla how he writes a book a year, simultaneous with a full time career as a *** -- can you guess? And what question, do you think, he is asked most often?

An author's adventure of the "lesser" kind : What happens when your author's book signing event collides with an autograph session by a group of cheerleaders? 
Find out this and more at on his web site * DanielKalla.com

Elegant Ladies mixing and mashing it at the FRINGE of a city buzzing with writerly activity, and why one would visit a writers meetup group.
A conversation with Malcolm van Delst , writer multimedia artist , and organizer

The ladies' biographies
Vancouver Writers Meetup
... and the lovely Ukulele music supplied by two talented teenage girls in the forest. Check them out !

Sam Wiebe at Writing Life Radio by Art Hartmut, Radhika
Sam Wiebe 
His crime novel The Last of the Independents got off to a fabulous start - 'Kobo Emerging Writers' and the Canadian 'Unhanged Arthur' Awards, and a nominee for the prestigious Arthur Ellis Award in the U.S.
Underground Noir : A private investigator who roams the streets and coffee shops on Vancouver's Main Street. Sam explains his thoughts on good crime story telling without piling up corpses in imaginary corners.

Find him on the web at

Susan Pieters interview by Art Hartmut & Radhika Y

Interview with Susan Pieters

Writer  of short stories like the award winning “The Glass Curtain”  ... and she knows what mysterious activities are going on behind the mountain of submissions on the desk of an Acquisitions Editor, specifically her desk at Pulp Literature Press where she is one of the founders, publishing anthologies of short stories with a mad mix of genres.
She is also teaching other writers how to make editors want to read their prose and poetry.

Writing Life Radio, Art Hartmut talks to John Ayliff
John Ayliff

John tells us about writing his novel, getting hints from Dungeons and Dragons, and his thoughts about SCI FI, and how close to stay to reality while imagining a fantastic world 300 years into the future. The book is available for download.
Read the first chapter at his website

Jai Undurti is a journalist, a comic book writer, collaborates on publishing science fiction graphic novels, one by the title
The Robots of Dharma
His first entry into this field was "Hyderabad: A Graphic Novel" created to show the character of this very large city in India.
You find him on Facebook 
Our co-host Radhika spoke with him in Hyderabad, India

Aislinn Hunter
What? You are REAL?
The imaginary main character from her book suddenly stood in front of the author, all dressed up, real enough to poke him in the head. 

  Aislinn Hunter - Her book "Stay" morphed into a movie of the same name. She tells of the long road from writing the book, and much later traveling to the village and Irish pub that she had chosen as the location of her novel, and the amazing experience of seeing the fictional characters walking about.

Her book "Stay" is at major bookstores, the movie is on Netflix.
Her most recent work : "The World Before Us"

More about Aislinn Hunter
at her website www.aislinnhunter.com  

Related to her books:
Vancouver Sun Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize  
Reviews of The World Before Us: The Guardian -and-  New York Book Review

Body, mind and soul of a writer?
When your body won't stay at the writing desk,
your body is not in the writing mood, or your soul is hiding in a corner
Call a Writing Coach !
Insights from Dr. Melba Burns and Kathrin Lake

Melba Burns Writers Training Interview by Art Hartmut with Melba Burns

Kathrin Lake explains writing coach, host Art Hartmut
Kathrin Lake
Kathrin Lake -

For more info
website for Dr.Melba Burns - http://inspirationwomen.com/
website for Kathrin Lake - www.kathrinlake.com

Colin Thomas interview by Art Hartmut Julia Vergara
Your novel is written, the plot is engaging and ... Now What?

We asked the Playwrite ("Playwright") , Theatre critic for Vancouver's Georgia Straight Newspaper, and Behind-The-Scenes Editor for both emerging and established award-winning authors a question
"when should you find an editor for your literary work in progress?"
- and his answer was not what we expected !

* What are the biggest errors that emerging writers make?
* Should your protagonist love opera? Oh, really! Really?
* Are you, too, Waiting For Godot?
Hey, don't touch my story plot!!! A book editor's view on editing.

More about Colin Thomas on his blog - http://www.colinthomas.ca/blog

A VERY PERSONAL REALITY Art Hartmut, Emily Urquhart, Julia Vergara Emily Urquhart (center) with hosts Art Hartmut and Julia Vergara
Writer, Participant, Investigator, and Activist

Not fiction but unsettling reality:
While completing her PhD degree and pursuing folklore history in Newfoundland, and welcoming her first child into this world, a very unexpected hidden reality from a distant past re-appears in the present. We asked her about her experience as a writer of this deeply touching story.

For the story itself read " Beyond The Pale "
The central character of BEYOND THE PALE is a lovely little girl - at this time of this interview 4 years old.

More about Emily Urquhart
at her website http://emilyurquhart.ca/

Related to the book:
The United Nations has officially declared June 13 as
"International Albinism Awareness Day".

Cities as Characters? Coffee-shop Creativity?
  *A Conversation with Zsuzsi Gartner and Heather O'Neill *
 Hosts for this episode Kathrin and Art
- Gartner's shortstory collection "Better Living Through Plastic Explosives" was short-listed for the Giller Prize,  and so was O'Neill's new book "The Girl Who was Saturday Night".  O'Neill's first novel "Lullabies for Little Criminals" quickly became a bestseller. 
"... writing is a very private activity ..."
Writing Life Radio Art Hartmut, Kathrin interview Gartner, Heather O'Neill

Caught you! Getting Involved in Criminal Activity?
A conversation about writing crime novels with E.R. Brown
Art Hartmut And Julia Vergara interview E.C.Brown author "Almost Criminal"
E.R. Brown's novel " Almost Criminal" was short-listed 
for the Arthur Ellis "Best First Novel" Award
and was also among the nominees for the prestigious Edgar Awards,
 the biggest award in the crime/mystery genre. Incidentally, one of the fellow nominees was Stephen King (who also didn't win the final prize), quite a start on a first novel. 

More about E.R. Brown on his website www.erbrown.com

When Writing is Not About Writing
Jason Liesch - about writing-singing-playing-recording his own songs
Georgia Hunter - about entering the realm of audio book
Art Hartmut interviews Jason Liesch singer composer
talking with Jason Liesch
Jason's album  Listen to Washed Away
Jason on Youtube - In Between
_ this interview on Youtube _
Georgia's website
Excerpt from Georgia's audio book
 Yubi and the Blue Tailed Rat

Find more episodes here soon - April 28 - 21 - 14 -
see CFRO download link at the top of the page

Creative Writing Programs
with our guests Nicola Harwood
Professor of Creative Writing, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
N. Harwood at Writing Life with Art Hartmut, Julia Vergara
Prof. Harwood, Julia, Art in the studio

The article by Ryan Boudinot which
we mentioned in this episode

Things I Can Say About MFA Writing Programs Now
and read the reply by one of his former students
I Was the MFA Student Who Made Ryan Boudinot Cry

Children's Literature [1]
with guests Georgia Hunter and Kerstin Clarkson

Two Spoken Stories and the Adventure of Writing
with our guests Aviva Martin and Wiley McLallan


The delightfully wild cello player who I mentioned near the end of the show,
like the one that appears in Aviva's story.
is Cicely Parnas
 See her in "A Cellist Auditions" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_8yPpCjK_w

The kind of African string instrument that over the years morphed into the BANJO is called by various names, including the "Akonting". Slaves still made and used them at the time when Wiley's fictional story begins. 
Watch Sana Ndiaye play a modern version of this instrument in
video 1 - 251-5.wmv
video 2 - 228-8.wmv
video 3 - 167-1.wmv

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