May 14, 2021
In this episode, author R.B. Wood takes us to New Orleans for his book “Bayou Whispers.” Jeannine LaRue, the sole survivor of her family after the devastation brought on by Hurricane Katrina, uncovers a family history of dark voodoo magic and an unholy alliance with an ancient evil Haitian god.
R.B. and I talk about the story behind the story and his own experience in New Orleans, both before and after Hurricane Katrina. He provides an in-depth look at the characters and the roles they play in the book. We also look at the lengthy world building that took place and research R.B. did to prepare for the writing process.
R.B. also talks takes us through the Word Count Podcast, which he hosted for 100 episodes. Writers are invited to record audio versions of short stories, usually based on a prompt. We talk about the many writers he's worked with and some potential future show ideas.
May 10, 2021
In her new book, ““Lemons in the Garden of Love” (available May 11 from She Writes Press) Ames Sheldon looks at her ancestor who helped found the Birth Control League of Massachusetts, now known as Planned Parenthood. She talks about what it was like to explore her family history and how she adjusted it for her characters, Cassie Lyman and Kate Easton.
Ames and I talk about women in literature and how her characters fit into this world, as well as how they stand apart. Ames looks at her past works and the new directions she goes in.
May 9, 2021
Boston's Lisa Bello is well-known among the city's rap artists, but that wasn't always the case. In this episode, she talks about how she got her start and the many collaborations she's formed over the years. She also talks about the work that was required to make her presence known.
We look at Lisa's two newest releases, “Overnight Shift” released just a couple weeks ago, and her self-titled album which came out last December. These albums both have unique sounds, and we dive into the different artists she worked with, which include June Jissle, Jeffandy AllTogether, Chalease, Ananda Nakira, and Oompa. Lisa shares the story of how they all met and what led her to working with them.
Most recently, Lisa has entered the world of voiceover work, and she speaks about how her years in music helped prepare her for the role. She's done projects of all kinds, from commercial work to songs used in cheerleading competitions.
Following this interview, enjoy these songs from “Overnight Shift.” First up is “Back to Work” followed by “Temp Service.”
May 2, 2021
It was four years ago that lifestyle writer Hilary Sheinbaum took a bet with a friend to take part in Dry January, a month-long abstaining from drinking—and she's done it every year since. This led her to further explore this concept in her new book, “THE DRY CHALLENGE: How to Lose the Booze for Dry January, Sober October, and Any Other Alcohol-Free Month.”
In this episode, Hilary and I talk about the bet she made with a friend to take on Dry January, what she gained from it, and what kept her going in the years that followed. Living in New York City, drinking is a big part of the social life, and so we also look at some of the new things she tried and how the bar experience changed.
April 28, 2021
In 2016, Lamar Letts was a finance major at Northeastern University in Boston when a career-ending injury led him to lay the foundation for the vitamin drink Hylux.
In the years that followed, Lamar navigated the complicated world of business. Some of the lessons he learned in the classroom, but many more awaited him as he grew Hylux from an idea pitched to people at the gym to being available on store shelves and online.
In this episode, Lamar talks about the company's early days and how he learned the 'elevator pitch.' He shares some of the important advice his parents had and how they supported his idea. Lamar also talks about the last year and how the pandemic forced a change in his business plan.
April 23, 2021
It's been a few years, but Boston-based singer-songwriter Prateek is back! A lot has been happening over the last few years, including the release of his debut album, “The Band’s All Gone,” a live recording at Q Division Studios. We also look at his newest single, “Wrong” and the difficult time from Prateek's younger days that inspired the song.
Prateek has been public about his struggles with mental illness, and in this interview we take a deep dive into it. He talks about how it's affected him as well as the help he's gotten. One of the takeaways from this discussion is that help is always available.
We also look at the last year and it's impact on the Boston music scene. Prateek talks about a year without shows and how he's moved his creative energies in new directions, including establishing a Patreon page and doing a number of livestream shows.
After this, enjoy two of Prateek's singles, “All The Stars,” followed by “The Gang's All Gone.”
April 19, 2021
BONUS—Zola speaks on courage in the face of bullying in new single
I've known Rhode Island author Christopher Paniccia for years, so it's a welcome sight to have him back on the show. A few years ago he launched a new fantasy series and we talk about the newest novel, “The Dark Kingdom.” Chris walks us through the story, which centers on a young man who learns of his family secret, one that changes his life forever.
This book was recently released, and for artists, the last year has been a hard one in which to put out their work. Chris and I look at his strategy when going to expos and book signings isn't an option.
After this interview, I've got a new single from John Powhida International Airport, “Michael 3 O'Clock.”
Following this interview, Boston's Zola and I take a deep dive into her new single, “Not Like Other Girls.” The song looks at standing up in the face of a bullying friend, and Zola shares what led this to be the theme. We also dive into her style, which blends rock, piano, and synth.
After this interview, kick back and enjoy the new song. I really dug the style and the message is a powerful one.
April 13, 2021
Since 2010, author Robert Stadnik has dwelt within the Exodus Universe, a science fiction book series that he created. On April 20, he'll release the eighth book in the series, “The Infinite Retribution.” We talk abotut what kicked off the series and how the stories and characters have changed over the last decade.
Robert and I dive into the story behind the newest book. In it, humanity is ready to resume exploring space after nearly a century of oppression by The Screen, thought to be long-dead. But what was to be a routine survey mission takes a turn as humanity’s greatest enemy is found hidden on a remote planet. We talk about the theme of revenge and its role in the story, as well as Robert's own view of it.
We also talk about the many fans of the series and some of the things they've asked of the author. This includes offering criticism, and Robert shares some of the interactions he's had over the years. We look at a year without book expos and conventions and how it's effected him.
April 8, 2021
A career in music is far from easy, but for Nashville-based Kyle Elliot, it's one of many that he's got going on. In this episode, we look at his work in music, but also running businesses with his family and how he balances everything.
Kyle shares the challenges he faced with his start in music and how getting fired from his day job wound up being the best thing that ever happened. He's already hit some milestones, such as performing on some of the biggest stages in Nashville.
Kyle collaborated with Stephanie Nash for the song “Never Break,” and he talks about working with her as well as other artists that he's been inspired by.
Following this interview, enjoy his latest single “Empty,” a story of love and loss and how alcohol is used to fix a broken heart.
April 5, 2021
Many musicians have a “to do list” for their music video, and in the case of Ariel Bellvalaire, it's playing guitar on the back of a motorcycle. In the video for her single “Elastic,” Ariel got to live this goal and a lot more. We talk about what went into making this video happen as well as the story behind it.
Ariel also shares her musical journey from Windsor, Connecticut, to Los Angeles and her time exploring the city's music scene. She's well known for her stage performances and talks about how she learned her acrobatic skills.
After this, Anushka Jag and I look at the music video for her song “Hurricane.” The song has a great sound, blending Indian music with electronic styles.
After Ariel's interview, enjoy her song “Elastic,” and at the end, I've got Anushka's single “Hurricane.”