Special July 4 Interview

Long-time friend Alton Gansky interviews me on a special edition of WRITER’S TALK. We discuss the American Family Portrait series and my latest novel, The Arm of God.

You can learn more about the American Family Portrait series by clicking HERE

You can learn more about The Arm of God by clicking HERE

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A Hideous Beauty – Cavanaugh

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Jack reads selected passages
from his favorite books

Unscripted. Unrehearsed. Unedited. 


TODAY’S READING 

Kingdom Wars: A Hideous Beauty, Jack Cavanaugh, 2007. 

 

Play
 

 If you’re not having fun while writing a novel, you’re doing something wrong. Jack reads from two scenes he had fun writing.

 

TODAY IN FROM MY LIBRARY:

Two scenes: When Grant Austin returns to his old high school, he is surprised when all his adolescent insecurities come flooding back. Later, in a hotel room, Grant is spooked by a strange coincidence of television programming.

 

Interested in reading more? Add Kingdom Wars to your library!
Click here to buy it. 

 


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Let’s Hear It For Rhetoric – Smith

From My Library

Jack reads selected passages
from his favorite books

Unscripted. Unrehearsed. Unedited. 


TODAY’S READING 

“Let’s Hear It For Rhetoric”, Wen Smith, 1996. 

 

Play
 

John F. Kennedy said of Winston Churchill: “In the dark days and darker nights when Britain stood alone . . . he mobilized the English language and sent it into battle. The incandescent quality of his words illuminated the courage of his countrymen.” — The Power of Eloquence, Montalbo, 18.

 

TODAY IN FROM MY LIBRARY:

A challenge to speakers and writers to polish their writing until it sings.

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Space – Michener

Space Michener

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Jack reads selected passages
from his favorite books

Unscripted. Unrehearsed. Unedited. 


TODAY’S READING 

Space, James Michener, 1982. 

 

Play

 TODAY IN FROM MY LIBRARY:

When questioned about the need to inquire about intimate matters, a researcher explains her approach to writing and creating characters.

 

Interested in reading more? Add Space  to your library!
Click here to buy it. 

 

Interested in writing novels?

Consider attending a writer’s conference. I recommend: www.brmcwc.com

Purchase a couple of writing books from my friend, James Scott Bell (click on title) — 

The Art of War for Writers

Plot & Structure

Revision & Self-editing

Writing Fiction for All You’re Worth 
 (
Kindle book)

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Autobiography of William Butler Yeats

IStock_000005761016XSmall Jack reads selected passages
from his favorite books

Unscripted. Unrehearsed. Unedited.

TODAY’S READING – 

Autobiography of William Butler Yeats, 1914. 

Play

I began reading W. B. Yeats after coming across a favorable recommendation from another author I admire, C. S. Lewis. Of his fellow Irishman, in a letter to a friend, Lewis wrote: “I have here discovered an author exactly after my own heart, whom I am sure you would delight in, W. B. Yeats. He writes plays and poems of rare spirit and beauty about our old Irish mythology.”

THE EXCERPT:

Someone at the Young Ireland Society gave me a newspaper that I might read some article or letter. I began idly reading verses describing the shore of Ireland as seen by a returning, dying emigrant. My eyes filled with tears and yet I knew the verses were badly written — vague, abstract words such as one finds in a newspaper. I looked at the end and saw the name of some political exile who had died but a few days after his return to Ireland. They had moved me because they contained the actual thoughts of a man at a passionate moment of life, and when I met my father I was full of the discovery. We should write out our own thoughts in as nearly as possible the language we thought them in, as though in a letter to an intimate friend. We should not disguise them in any way; for our lives give them force as the lives of people in plays give force to their words. Personal utterance, which had almost ceased in English literature, could be as fine an escape from rhetoric and abstraction as drama itself. But my father would hear nothing but drama; personal utterance was only egotism. I knew it was not, but as yet did not know how to explain the difference. I tried from that on to write out of my emotions exactly as they came to me in life, not changing them to make them more beautiful. “If I can be sincere and make my language natural, and without becoming discursive, like a novelist, and so indiscreet and prosaic,” I said to myself, “I shall, if good luck or bad luck make my life interesting, be a great poet; for it will be no longer a matter of literature at all.” Yet when I re-read those early poems which gave me so much trouble, I find little but romantic convention, unconscious drama. It is so many years before one can believe enough in what one feels even to know what the feeling is. (p. 62)

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