GaimanPalmerTraveling or working out this Thanksgiving? Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman have suggestions for you about audiobooks and what to do if you find yourself in an audio booth reading from one of your uber-popular books, like Palmer’s The Art of Asking or Gaiman’s Coraline.

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The Song that Surprised Kate Campbell

Kate Campbell

With 13 albums to her credit and hundreds of live shows, not a lot surprises December 5 Six String Concerts guest Kate Campbell about the music industry. But one of her songs continues to exceed her expectations and be welcome in places she never expected.

Listen to the show and then catch Kate Campbell along with opener Ken Yates at the Columbus Performing Arts Center’s Shedd Theater.

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Garth Stein at the Thurber House with A Sudden Light

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 8.38.13 PM

The Thurber House Mug I recommended to Garth Stein

Best know for the international bestseller, “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” Garth Stein will be in Columbus on Monday, November 24 as part of  the Thurber House’s Evenings with Authors series. His most recent release is the gothic/historical/coming-of-age/ghost story, “A Sudden Light.

We talked about dogs, knowing what a dog is thinking, and coffee mugs with dogs on them (and I’m pretty sure I mis-identified the dog on the mug we discussed).

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Janet Evanovich and writing about “hot guys”

Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich’s 4 dozen books have sold millions of copies. Her latest book, part of the co-authored Fox and O’Hare series, is The Job, and she’ll discuss it and other aspects of her life on November 18th with the Thurber House. During our talk, we discussed how she writes, what it’s like collaborating with another writer, what genre she might like to try, and what kinds of guys it’s more fun to write about.

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Q: What would you do if you woke up in 1776? A: Ask Lora Innes

Lora Innes

Lora Innes

Lora Innes gave me her insight into waking up in 1776, at least, in terms of her character, Beatrice “Bea” Whaley. Check out our talk at the 2014 Columbus Comic Con.

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Joanna Estep and what you CAN’T write about on Kickstarter

Joanna Estep.Still002

At the 2014 Columbus Comic Con, I talked to several comic writers and illustrators. Joanna Estep talked to me about her latest projects and what kinds of things are off-limits, even for erotica.

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2014 Craft Halloween show

In case you don’t want to (or like me, really can’t) stay up until 12 AM Saturday for the Craft Halloween special tonight on WCBE (90.5 FM), you can listen here for storyteller Kevin Cordi, ghost-story collector Robin Smith, spiritual cleanser Cynthia Rosi, Egyptologist Kara Cooney, and Ohio Exploration Society’s Jason Robinson.

We’re also debuting a story called “Scottish Red” by a new writer named Doug Dangler (real name). Believe it, people. It’s happening.

First person to identify the story I pillaged for the ending of “Scottish Red” wins 5 new releases.


Robin Smith

Robin Smith

Cynthia Rosi

Cynthia Rosi

Kara Cooney

Kara Cooney

Jason Robinson

Jason Robinson

Kevin Cordi

Kevin Cordi

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Kara Cooney: Making the Ancient Engaging

Kara Cooney

Egyptologist Kara Cooney makes dusty old topics fun.

An associate professor at UCLA’s Near Eastern Languages and Cultures program, she’s a great mix of engaging speaker and public intellectual. My talk with her was one of most fun and smartest I’ve done this year.  For this, all credit to Dr. Cooney as  I felt like my questions veered toward the “Whoa, you really stood in a tomb with a pile of 3000-year-old corpses?” and “Dude, just how dry is Egypt?” variety.

Ok, maybe not quite that bad, but she is whip smart and knows her subject. She also has a passion for it and really seems to enjoy it, a quality I’ve sometimes found lacking in academics. [Early on, one of the worst interviews I ever did was with an academic who couldn't give a single reason for why he'd entered the field and seemed unwilling to speak about the subject at all. You should probably leave the field at that point.]

But back to Kara, check out our YouTube interview or the audio-only version, and then buy her book, The Woman Who Would Be King, about ancient Egyptian ruler Hatshepsut. It will make a great birthday present for that hard-to-buy-for relative who watches the History Channel and PBS.

My gratitude to Ohio State’s Timothy Gregory in the Ohio State Museum of Classical Archeology for opening the museum after hours for this interview. Dr. Gregory is another of my favorite academics!

And yes, giving the location for this interview exposes the lie that is my usual opening to Craft, “From a secret location in room 100 of 540 Jack Gibbs Boulevard.” WCBE is located at 540 Jack Gibbs, but I don’t think it has a room 100.


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Can you Crack a Buckeye?

20141019_115854-1This week’s podcast featured a riddle from The Ohio State University Podcasting Club’s podcast Tough Nut to Crack. First person to solve it (leave comments below) gets the 5 book prize back below (for pick up at 540 Jack Gibbs Blvd):

  • N.W. Gwynne, Gwynne’s Grammar
  • Elizabeth Enslin, While the Gods Were Sleeping
  • Peter Terrin, The Guard
  • Donald Kraybill, Renegade Amish
  • Brian Morton, Florence Gordon


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Nicholson Baker: The next writer of James Bond?

N-Baker-webNicholson Baker is a novelist, humorist, and social critic. His most recent release is The Paul Chowder Chronicles, which brings together two novels about Paul Chowder: The Anthologist and Traveling Sprinkler. Baker received a National Book Critics Circle Award in 2001 for his  Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper, a nonfiction look at the decline of paper-based materials being archived by libraries.

We talked about whether there will be more Paul Chowder books (yes), whether Baker worries about how people confuse him for his character (no), and what genre he’d really like to write (hint: it’s in the post’s title).

Nicholson Baker will be appearing at the Thurber House Evenings with Authors on October 21. Get your tickets now.




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