Friday, February 27, 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Missing Bill Holm...

I was shocked and saddened today to see the news that Minnesota author Bill Holm had passed away. It was just last fall that I had the opportunity to chat with him about his book "Windows of Brimnes: An American in Iceland". Chat is not even the right word for it - I felt like I got to know him a little bit. Listeners did too - I heard from so many people that heard our conversation and were moved by it in someway. They were moved by his descriptions of life in Iceland and really, how he lived his life. One of the people I heard from wrote me the following letter.

Ms. Holtan,

Last Sunday I sat at my cabin on Lake Vermilion staring out
ot he ice forming on the lake and blue jays eating from my bird feeder. And
along came Bill Holm legitimizing my staring as he and guests do in Brimnes. I
had read his book but your interview with him brought the book alive. Thank you!


It turned out that Dale too is an author, and this letter lead to a great conversation that he and I had about "Cabinology".

Here's an excerpt from "Windows of Brimnes: An American in Iceland".

"When Americans ask me to describe my little house in Iceland, I tell them not entirely disingenuously, that it is a series of magical windows with a few simple boards to hold them up, to protect your head from the rain while you stare out to sea."

I will post the audio from our conversation in the next few days.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thanks to everyone who supports KAXE!

It's the Stay Warm fundraiser, and I'm writing this from a hot tub. Is that legal? Is that safe? These are the questions. Tonight I talked with author Hallie Ephron about her new mystery "Never Tell a Lie". The sleuth in this book is not a sleuth at all; it's a 9 month pregnant woman who suddenly finds out her husband has been lying to her. Or is he? If you want to pledge to KAXE call us - we'll get you an autographed copy of Hallie Ephron's "Never Tell a Lie" for your pledge of support. 800-662-5799. Or online!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Short Story Confession

This week Anthony Bukoski joins me on Realgoodwords.

Anthony Bukoski is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Superior and a critically acclaimed short-story writer. If you are scoring at home, he was also our friend Aaron Brown's mentor!

I knew all of these things and yet I wan't thrilled to read his books. Nothing against Anthony Bukoski, but for some reason I've never been a huge fan of short stories. I am confessing that here, and now.

But here's the thing: Anthony Bukoski changed my tune on short stories. Or he cleaned my clock. Wait, I take that back. He didn't clean my clock. But plenty of his characters cleaned clocks (if you know what I mean). I was so thoroughly and pleasantly surprised by his writing, that I was a little nervous to actually talk to him.

I know that sounds strange - that if I liked a book I'd be nervous to talk to the author. What I've come to learn over the years is that liking a book doesn't mean that my conversation with them on Realgoodwords is going to be good. A lot of times I'm dissappointed. It might be me on this one, because I suspect that if I like an author I somehow think that I don't have to prepare as much for our interview.

Anyway, enough of my blog confessional. Anthony Bukoski did not disappoint. For me, the best moment of the interview was when I asked him WHERE he does his writing. I have never had an answer quite like Anthony's before.

Yes, I'm going to keep you hanging! Tune in live on Wednesday night from 6-7pm or Sunday Morning from 9-10. Or, after Wednesday you can listen to the archived interview here.

Here's a bio of Anthony:
ANTHONY BUKOSKI is the author of four other story collections,
including Children of Strangers (SMU, 1993), Polonaise (SMU, 1999),
and Time Between Trains (SMU, 2003), which was a Booklist Editors'
Choice. His stories have been featured on Wisconsin Public Radio,
National Public Radio, and in live performance in the "Selected Shorts"
series at Symphony Space in New York City. He teaches at his alma
mater, the University of Wisconsin in his hometown of Superior, where
his Polish émigré grandparents settled early in the last century.