October 19, 2021
I'm probably the least qualified person I know to talk dance—fortunately, my next guest, New York native Tomoe ”Beasty” Carr is an expert on the subject. Recently, Beasty was crowned winner of the Red Bull Dance Your Style qualifier in Boston and will head to the U.S. Red Bull Dance Your Style National Finals taking place in Washington, D.C from Oct. 23. Download @Caffeine to watch it live at 7PM ET.
For this episode, Beasty talks all about the world of battling in the dance world and some of the competitions she's taken part in. We also look at her background and building a career in dance, which includes training in Japan at Next Generation Dance Studio under the tutelage of Cebo for 10 years. She is well versed in hip hop, house, waacking, locking, popping, breaking, and ballet & modern.
October 16, 2021
For years, publishing a Halloween-themed collection has been the dream of author Kevin Lucia, and on Oct. 22, it comes true with the release of “October Nights” through Crystal Lake Publishing. Set in the fictitious town of Clifton Heights, the book contains four shared-world tales of small-town Halloween horror.
In this episode, Kevin and I walk through the world of Clifton Heights and how it came to be. We look at characters in horror, and what makes them truly matter to the reader. Kevin and I run through each of the stories and how these made the final cut as opposed to other idea (which any good writer has a ton of!).
Last spring, at the height of the pandemic's first wave, Kevin saw the publication of his first hardcover limited edition novella from Cemetery Dance Publications, “Mystery Road.” We talk about how the last year and a half has been and how it influenced him as a writer.
October 14, 2021
I recently had the chance to check out “Cheer Up! Love and Pompoms,” available through Oni Press. The story, it's true-to-life characters and the world behind them were such an immediate draw that I read it three times.
Annie is a smart, antisocial lesbian starting her senior year of high school who’s under pressure to join the cheerleading squad to make friends and round out her college applications. Her former friend Bebe is a people-pleaser, a trans girl who must keep her parents happy with her grades and social life in order to maintain their support of her transition.
In this episode, Writer Crystal Frasier and Artist Val Wise share their experiences working together for the first time. We take a long look at the characters of Bebe and Annie, how their friendship deepens throughout the book and what each brings to the overall story. We talk about transgender characters in comics and how this has changed in recent years as well as Aunty Jen, to whom the book is dedicated.
October 7, 2021
Imagine this: The Grim Reaper approaches you one day and asks if you want their job. Crazy, right? But it's this idea that kicks off Jessica Vitalis' book “The Wolf's Curse.”
The Great White Wolf is very, very old. And she is very, very tired. For hundreds of winters, she has searched for someone to take her place. But she is invisible to most people. In all those years, only three have seen her. One died young. One said no. One is still alive — a 12-year-old boy named Gauge.
In this interview, Jessica and I talk about worldbuilding and character creation that preceded writing the book and how she is reflected in Gauge. She takes us through the process of becoming a published author with Greenwillow/HarperCollins and her advice to those with a book and the goal of seeing it on store shelves.
Jessica and I also dive into her other work and what about this story made it stand out from the others. She talks about her transition from Columbia grad to writer and what she had to learn along the way.
September 25, 2021
What if you lived in a world full of superheroes? Would you be amazed every day to see people who can perform impossible feats or would they just be part of the landscape? In this episode, “Astonishing Times” co-writer and co-creator Frank Barbiere joins me to talk all about this new five-part series, which you can only get at comiXology Originals.
Noah Sans, a young reporter living in the shadow of his father, lives in a world full of superheroes—but no one seems to care. After a world changing event called The Cataclysm, people moved on, and now heroes are old news. But when Noah begins investigating a mysterious murder, he comes face to face with his most revered heroes and is forced to confront a secret past that could change the world forever.
We talk about Noah's character and his perspective on the world of heroes and himself, especially when compared to his father, a journalist who was friends with the greatest heroes. We look at the world creation and how he and co-writer Arris Quinones crafted the cast.
Frank also talks about working with Arris, who is no stranger to the world of comics (he's the host of YouTube's Variant) but newer to writing them. We also look at the rest of the team and brilliant work they did bringing this idea to life.
September 19, 2021
After hearing international singer-songwriter Heerraa's new single “Feel Alive,” I knew that had to learn more about her. And the more I learned, that more I was interested in her being a guest on Citywide, so here we are! In this episode, we dive into the new song and what inspired the upbeat sound in a time when things can look pretty grim. Heerraa talks about the different people she's met in her music career and the lessons they've had for her.
In addition to music, Heerra's a co-founder of nationwide youth movement, Ascendance. To date, the team has impacted over 13,000 students through their programs, student-led conferences, monthly web series and more. We talk about how the organization got started, what it's done so far, and plans for the future.
Following this, enjoy the new single, “Feel Alive.” I was so hooked by the song that I listened to the rest of her work and I hope you do too.
September 14, 2021
If you're at all connected with the local scene of Boston, the name Gene Dante and the Future Starlets is a familiar one. It certainly is to me, and it's with great pleasure that I interviewed him for this episode! We talk about the band being back on stage at Ralph's Rock Diner and how it felt to play for a crowd once more.
Recently, Gene released two new singles, “High Time” and “She's Outside.” "High Time" is all about showing narcissists the door and removing the bad seeds from your life and Gene talks about how his own experiences with folks like this influenced the song. We take a look at the amazing music video by Director Silvia Graziano and what made it happen.
We also talk about the impact that the band has had over the years and the kind of effect that Gene hopes comes from all these years in music.
Following this, kick back and enjoy “High Time.” It's a great example of the band's glam rock sound and doesn't disappoint!
September 9, 2021
Over a century after women were granted the right to vote, Galia Gichon explores this pivotal moment through her new book, “The Accidental Suffragist.”
It's 1911, and Helen Fox is a factory worker living in New York's tenements. When tragedy strikes in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, Helen is seduced by the cause for women’s suffrage and is soon working alongside famous activists.
In this interview we look at how this subject came to Galia's attention and the research she undertook to learn all about it. We learn about Helen Fox, her motivation to join the movement, and how she changes as a person. Galia's been able to hold several in-person readings and book events and talks about the experience of being in front of an audience.
August 30, 2021
It was seven months ago that writer David Rohlfing made his Citywide Blackout debut for his first book, “Deliberate Duplicity.” And now he's back with a prequel story, “Cold Consequences,” which sees Det. Sasha Frank five years younger and on the trail of a murderer following a drug deal gone wrong.
David and I talk about the quick turnaround from the first book to the second and how he learned from his debut novel. David takes us through the book (not everything though, you gotta get your copy to see how it ends!) and how different a person Sasha Frank is five years ago.
We also look at the return of in-person events and if David has any planned at this time. He's done plenty of virtual events as well as interviews with the media and we talk about how he's adapted to the electronic format of book releases.
August 26, 2021
It all started with a Tweet that read “Music Coming Soon.” Those three words kicked off a flurry of guesses as to who 4 Minutes Later really were and what they were all about. After three years, Junyor and Moon got to unveil this new project, a blend of styles called Alien Pop.
In this interview, we talk about the group's origins, what it was like to keep a secret for three long years, and how it felt to finally tell the world. Junyor and Moon explain to me what Alien Pop is and how past projects influenced their current style.
I'm not that familiar with the music scene in Canada, and Junyor and Moon walk me through it, introducing artists that they've worked with and others that I'm dying to check out.
Following this, kick back and relax with the group's new single “In My Head.” It's the first song of theirs that I heard and led me to checking out their entire discography.