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Elizabeth Wein Talks About Her Writing
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January 15, 2013 10:27 AM PST
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A Conversation with Elizabeth Wein

Introduction. Elizabeth Wein talks about her writing, and especially her latest book, "Code Name Verity, with librarians Deirdre, from Mount Kisco, and Mary, from Armonk.

Chapter 1. 00:00:47.969 Fingal's Cave, by Felix Mendelssohn. An excerpt from a performance by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Claudio Abbado

Chapter 2. 00:02:19.344 Introducing Elizabeth Wein

Chapter 3. 00:03:17.500 "The Winter Prince" : Creating characters and motivations.

Chapter 4. 00:03:40.000 The early roots of "Code Name Verity" : Dani's story. Drawing by E. Wein, age 12

Chapter 5. 00:04:11.531 The early roots of "Code Name Verity. The Interrogation scene.

Chapter 6. 00:05:29.969 The Research Process: "Code Name Verity." Learning about the ATA while writing "Something Worth Doing."

Chapter 7. 00:06:50.500 Research for the Ethiopain Novels: Stuart Munro-Hay's "Aksum"

Chapter 8. 00:07:21.469 "Code Name Verity," Lettice Curtis and the History of the ATA

Chapter 9. 00:07:52.062 "Code Name Verity," history of the Special Operations Executive. "The Women Who Lived for Danger" by Marcus Binney.

Chapter 10. 00:08:09.937 Accidental discoveries, and how the internet can help fill in details. Example: The Jewish prescription form.

Chapter 11. 00:09:16.469 "Did you always want to be a writer?"

Chapter 12. 00:10:46.531 Early inspirations: "Ellen Tebbits," by Beverly Cleary

Chapter 13. 00:11:22.437 Early Inspirations: "The Hardy Boys."

Chapter 14. 00:11:41.062 Elizabeth Wein's personal experiences piloting planes.

Chapter 15. 00:13:25.000 Chasing the green flash (and other atmospheric phenomena)

Chapter 16. 00:14:20.083 "Fly, the plane, Maddie." Creating inspirational characters.

Chapter 17. 00:19:52.000 Elizabeth Wein's current reading

Chapter 18. 00:21:08.833 Naming the characters. Photo: Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret put on a pantomime as young girls early in WWII. From flickr's Creative Commons.

Chapter 19. 00:24:34.833 Literary influences and inspirations

Chapter 20. 00:26:00.000 Change ringing: puzzles, patterns and complicated plots

Chapter 21. 00:28:12.000 Real life inspirations for "Code Name Verity. Photo of ATA pilot courtesy of the British Imperial War Museum. Rights obtained by Elizabeth Wein for use in this podcast

Chapter 22. 00:29:55.625 The sinking of the "Bismarck," and more actual history.

Chapter 23. 00:31:42.000 Meeting the real women of the ATA. Photo courtesy of the British Imperial War Museum. Rights to use in this podcast obtained by Elizabeth Wein.

Chapter 24. 00:32:25.437 Art and engagement. "The opposite of fear is love."

Chapter 25. 00:36:43.250 Character development: engagement, complexity and ambiguity in "The Winter Prince."

Chapter 26. 00:37:28.000 "Code Name Verity." Will there be a sequel or companion volume?

Chapter 27. 00:38:21.625 Elizabeth Wien's thoughts about young writers, artists, bloggers. Advice and encouragement, with discussion of Malala Yousafzai.

Chapter 28. 00:39:20.846 Elizabeth Wein's thoughts about young writers, part 2. Martha Payne. Plus thoughts on developing as a writer.

Chapter 29. 00:41:45.750 The Real Pauline Gower. Photo courtesy of the Imperial War Museum and Elizabeth Wein.

Chapter 30. 00:44:07.000 Conclusion. Credits and closing remarks.

Bitterblue: Kristin Cashore talks about her latest novel.
Clean
July 20, 2012 06:11 AM PDT
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Kristin Cashore talks about "Bitterblue" with librarians Deirdre, from Mount Kisco, and Mary, from Armonk. The discussion covers:

1. Why Kristin wanted to revisit the character of Bitterblue, and whether she will write more books set in the Seven Kingdoms. She hopes to revisit the world of Bitterblue in future, and may write a book featuring a character not only without superpowers, but also without wealth and influence.
2. The character of Leck, and the necessity, and extreme difficulty, of writing from his point of view.
3. Kristin was "oddly pleased" to know that we think Leck would have no trouble at all killing Voldemort. Although Charlie X, from Star Treck, might give him more of a run for his money.
4. Kristin is reading and rereading many books, including "Code Name Verity," by Elizabeth Wein, "Breadcrumbs," by Anne Ursu, and "Rebecca," by Daphne Dumaurier.
5. Kristin elaborates on the codes she invents for Bitterblue. She discusses the tradition of fine needlework in her family, and her admiration for the novel "A Piece of Justice," by Jill Paton Walsh. WARNING. This chapter contains some spoilers.
6. Kristin tends to name minor characters after locales on road signs. However, other characters are named for a salient characteristic. Thiel was named after a character in a novel by Cynthia Voight.
7. The name Thiel is somewhat reminiscent of Thule, and so seems to connote loss, cold, lost love. But the resemblance is quite accidental.
8. Death, on the other hand, is a direct tribute to Dorothy Sayers and her sleuth, Lord Peter Wimsey.
9. Kristin studied PSTD and cults for her writing. She also researched the recent history of Rwanda.
10. When writing the romance in the book, she did not have a definite plan. She lets her writing take the direction it wants to take. However, she did have some idea, even at the beginning, who would end up with whom. WARNING SPOILERS in this chapter!
11. We talk about the many lies which the book contains, and the multilayered societies Bitterblue discovers around her, including a criminal element that touches her directly.
12. Kristin reveals how her study of the flying trapeze helped her write "Bitterblue."
13. We discuss Thiel, both the difficulty of his situation and the difficulty of writing about it.
14. Kristin advises those who wish to be creative to follow their hearts. She also says that self-doubt is a necessary part of the creative process, but should not become a discouragement.
We would like to thank Kristin very much for talking to us.
We would also like to thank:
MUSIC: The Illiad, for our opening song, Cursor Miner, for our closing song, and Sebastian Jakobi for his rendition of the Koening in Thule.
ART: Ian Schoenherr, for the art gracing chapters 2,5,6,8,9,11 and 13 of this podcast.
Cover images are from Dial Books, Hyperion Books, and Carlsen Verlag.
The image used for Chapter 7 is a detail from a 1930 icelandic coin depicting the King of Thule.
The picture of Kristin on the flying trapeze is taken from her blog.
The portrait of Kristin which illustrates the episode is by Leaslie Feagley.
We hope you have enjoyed this podcast. Thank you for listening.

A conversation With Mike Mullin
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June 27, 2012 10:04 AM PDT
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Maria and Deirdre interview YA author Mike Mullin, whose novel, Ashfall, paints a vivid picture of life after a major volcanic disaster. Mike discusses Tae Kwon Do, writing and the creative process, and the scientific, psychological, literary and historical bases for his story with his inimitable wit and charm.


You can see a video of Mike breaking a brick here.

To see pictures of Mike's visit to the Mount Kisco Library, go here

And to view a video of Mike's visit to the nearby North Castle library, go here

Mike's next book, Ashen Winter, will be published in October 2012.

We would like to thank Mike very much for speaking with us.

Our opening song is "Are You A Librarian?," by The Illiad

Our closing song is "Library," by Cursor Miner.

Minicast: The Mount Kisco Public Library Chickens
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May 30, 2012 12:48 PM PDT
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Deirdre and Maria tell the story of the baby chicks that hatched in the Children's Room this spring. Photos show the development of the chicks from eggs in the library incubator to two week old chicks at Stone Barns farm. All pictures were taken by Deirdre and Maria. The opening song is "Chicken," by Bobby McFerrin and the closing song is "Library," by Cursor Miner.

A Conversation With Jon Skovron
Clean
May 23, 2012 03:55 PM PDT
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In this 46 minute episode, Jon Skovron, author of "Struts and Frets" and "Misfit," talks about his writing. Topics discussed include inspiration for his characters and plots, how real life figures in fiction, and how art can help people suffering from alzheimer's disease or other mental illnesses. We also touch on "real life" musicians that Jon's fictional characters would enjoy. Many thanks to the musicians who generously contributed work to this episode, especially The Illiad, Tom Waites, Gogol Bordello, and Cursor Miner. And many thanks to Jon Skovron! Please check out his web site, jonskovron.com, and check his novels out of the library!

A Conversation with Neesha Meminger
Clean
March 01, 2010 03:36 PM PST
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In this 37 minute episode, Deirdre and Maria of the Mount Kisco Public Library interview debutante author Neesha Meminger about her book "Shine, Coconut Moon." Topics discussed include autobiographical writing and fiction, as well as how Neesha invents her wonderfully charismatic characters and where she got the inspirations for her novel. Neesha concludes with some great advice for listeners who may want to follow their own creative path. Please stay tuned for future episodes, featuring more of your favorite authors, such as Pam Bachorz, Sarah Rees Brennan and Erin Dionne. And if you like our podcast, please vote for us on Podcast Alley! Many thanks to Neesha Meminger for talking to us, and to The Illiad and Cursor Miner for our opening and closing songs.

A Conversation with Carrie Ryan
Clean
January 21, 2010 11:15 PM PST
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Carrie Ryan's debut novel, "The Forest of Hands and Teeth," has become an instant hit, and will be made into a movie next year, possibly starring Kristen Stewart. In this 35 minute episode of the Mount Kisco Library podcast, Deirdre and Maria talk to Carrie about her book, her inspirations, and her writing process. We then discuss reader reception of her heroine, Mary, and the other characters in Carrie has created. Carrie also tells us about giving up her career as a lawyer in order to become a full time writer. Carrie ends her talk with us by expressing the hope that she can help inspire young people to read, to write, and to create.

An Interview With Megan Whalen Turner, Part 2
Clean
December 30, 2009 10:44 AM PST
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In this episode, Megan talks to us about animals and pets, food, the political and religious structures in her novels, and whether she bases any of her characters on real-life people. We also discuss how people choose their careers, and how Megan became a writer. We digress, briefly, on the topic of libraries and librarianship -- especially Reader's Advisory and Cataloging. We also talk about geography, maps, and making maps for novels.

A Conversation with Megan Whalen Turner, Part 1
Clean
December 22, 2009 11:22 PM PST
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Deirdre and Maria of the Mount Kisco Library, and Mary of the North Castle Library, speak with acclaimed author Megan Whalen Turner. Megan talks about her creative process, how she names her characters, how she constructs her plots, and why she will not answer questions about her books. She reveals why her characters never take her by surprise -- she expects them to be inconsistent, like real people, and does not assume that she knows everything about them. WARNING this interview does contain some spoilers for Megan's first three "Queen's Thief" books.
Many thanks to Megan for this wonderful interview!
We would also like to thank The Illiad for our opening song, and Cursor Miner for our closing song. The song illustrating the Thief's name is "Hey Eugene," from the album of the same name by Pink Martini.
The "Sounis" community referred to in the podcast is here: http://community.livejournal.com/sounis
You can find out more about Megan and her books at her web site, http://home.att.net/~mwturner/, as well as in the next episode of this podcast.

Episode 15: Auditory Feast of Awesome, part 1: A Conversation with Saundra Mitchell
Clean
December 09, 2009 10:44 PM PST
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In this 33.5 minute episode, Maria and Deirdre interview 2009 debutante author, Saundra Mitchell. We discuss her book, "Shadowed Summer," her writing process, regional literature and language, ghosts and ghost hunting. Saundra also provides fascinating insights into publishing and marketing. Finally, she tells us about two more suspense /mystery novels she has written that will be published soon.
Opening music: "Are You A Librarian," by The Illiad
Closing music: "The Library," by Cursor Miner
Debutantes website: www.feastofawesome.com

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