Author Interviews

Lisa Yaszek, professor of science fiction studies, in front of a bookshelf seated at a table.
Rob Felt / Georgia Tech

Women have historically been erased from science fiction storytelling, but Lisa Yaszek is working to change that. Her new anthology “The Future Is Female! 25 Classic Science Fiction Stories by Women, from Pulp Pioneers to Ursula K. Le Guin” showcases female pioneers in the genre since the 1920s.

We spoke with Yaszek, who is a professor of science fiction studies at Georgia Tech, about how women have shaped our understanding of technology and identity.

Favorite New Books By Southern Authors

Mar 12, 2018
LaRaven Taylor / On Second Thought

What’s on your reading list? We go through some of the best new books by Southern authors with Alison Law of the Literary Atlanta podcast and author Nicki Salcedo.

Alison and Nicki's picks for the latest Southern novels you should read:

Wikimedia Commons

Finding your true calling can take years, even decades. Children’s book author Christopher Paul Curtis found his calling in his 40s. After spending more than a decade working at a Detroit car factory, he began writing young adult fiction about the African-American experience. He was the first American man to win the Newbery Medal literary prize. 

Foreign and Commonwealth Office / flickr

Actor Henry Winkler, best known for his leading role on TV's "Happy Days," is coming to Georgia this week for the Decatur Book Festival. He’s the co-creator of a popular children’s book series that centers on Hank Zipzer, a young boy with learning difficulties. We talked with Winkler about his love for writing.

Emily Jones / GPB News

When the nation first met Georgia author Cassie Beasley, it was in 2015 with the release of her debut novel, "Circus Mirandus." It went on to become a New York Times bestseller. Beasley’s books are targeted to middle schoolers, but the appeal of her storytelling is widespread.

Alison Rosa

We talked with Georgia native Karin Slaughter, the author of several international bestsellers. Her latest crime novel, just out, is “The Good Daughter.” It is about how a terrifying event rips apart a family, as well as their small town.

Alan Rhew

When we think of Southern Gothic, a lot of names come to mind: Flannery O’Connor, William Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy. Critics include North Carolina-based author David Joy in that category. His new novel, "The Weight of this World," takes us into a gritty, seamy world in rural Appalachia. Characters are tormented by their own demons, roused by painful memories of a small town and memories of war.

Charles McNair

Once upon a time, magazines published novels one chapter at a time. Now author Charles McNair is bringing the novel back to bite-sized form in the Atlanta-based magazine, The Bitter Southerner. Each week, he releases another chapter of “The Epicureans.” We asked Charles to take a break from writing and tell us about his creative process.

A problem with some fantasy fiction narratives is the misogynistic treatment of female characters. The sci-fi world may still be very much dominated by men behind the scenes, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been female trailblazers. A new book explores some of those unsung heroines.

Did your last round of utility bill payments break the bank? If you live in Atlanta, it turns out you’re probably paying more than everyone else in the country. The home listing website Trulia recently published a study on metro Atlanta’s utility prices. We’ll speak with Trulia housing data analyst Felipe Chacon, who conducted the study.

We’re going to talk about families on this edition of “Two Way Street.” Most of us have them, and for better or worse, our families probably have had a greater influence on how we turned out than many other forces in our lives.

Lots of people say they can't draw and if they do doodle, they draw boxes or something really simple.  But Atlanta-based illustrator Mike Lowery wants to start young when it comes to creating artists. He's the author of "The Pursuit of the Pesky Pizza Pirate!" It's part of a series of books that encourage kids to doodle. We talked with Lowery about why doodling matters. 

In Georgia native Karin Slaughter's latest novel "The Kept Woman," we are taken to the frontlines of a crime scene where there are more questions than answers. A body turns up, and the lead investigator is Will Trent of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. If you're familiar with Karin's other novels, you've likely come across him many times before.

U.S. Air Force/Wikipedia

Brigadier General Robert Lee Scott was a boy from Waynesboro, Georgia who went on to become a World War II hero. He was an American fighter pilot who flew over the Himalayas, one of the most dangerous routes possible at the time. Scott became a household name by writing about his experiences in the book “God is My Copilot” and played a key role in the opening of the Museum of Aviation near Robins Air Force Base.

The Last Months Of Frankin Roosevelt

Sep 12, 2016

History tends to focus on the struggles Franklin Delano Roosevelt faced one by one: World War II, his declining health, and preparing a possible successor. But Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Joseph Lelyveld explores these issues simultaneously and the political and personal pressures Roosevelt faced in the final months of his life. He provides insight into the country’s longest-serving president in his new book, “His Final Battle: The Last Months of Franklin Roosevelt.” 

August marks two years since a police officer shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Inequalities in our criminal justice system have dominated headlines since then. But Marc Lamont Hill says the injustice goes beyond police policies and prison sentences. He says there is a war on the powerless in this country. 

It’s easy to fall back on stereotypes when you describe the American South, but the creators of the comic series “Southern Bastards” show there’s more to Southern identity than what meets the eye. The series takes place in Craw County, Alabama where football is religion and the head football coach controls the town. The third volume comes out today. 

We speak with creators Jason Aaron and Jason LaTour about how they depict the South in the comic series and their love-hate relationship with their hometowns. 

The Real Atticus Finch

Jun 21, 2016
Universal Pictures

The character of Atticus Finch was a hero in his children's eyes, and he's been a hero to children all around the world who have read "To Kill A Mockingbird" or seen the film adaptation. Harper Lee's story of a gentlemanly Southern lawyer who defends a black man charged with the rape of a white woman may be a work of fiction, but our next guest says Atticus Finch is based on a real person: his father. 

The Rust Belt Migration

May 17, 2016

Nearly six million baby boomers left the northeast region of America known as the “Rust Belt” when heavy industry collapsed in the late 1970s. Many fled south to cities like Atlanta. This migration is chronicled in Paul Hertneky's new book, "Rust Belt Boy." 


We speak with the author about how this migration created new communities in the South and what happened to the communities left behind. 

Alison Rosa

Georgia native and crime writer Karin Slaughter is the author of several international best-sellers. Her latest book "Pretty Girls" is about two women whose teenage sister vanished without a trace. The paperback edition of the book came out last week. 


We speak with Slaughter about the inspiration for the book, what makes a good thriller, and the reason why she sets her novels in Georgia.

Courtesy of Algonquin Books

Best-selling author and poet Robert Morgan draws his inspiration from the people and places he knew while growing up in the foothills of North Carolina. His latest novel "Chasing the North Star" is set after the passage of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act and follows a runaway slave on his journey north through the Appalachian Mountains to freedom.