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    A few Words With the Multi-Talented Chuck Sambuchino

    Many aspiring authors know Chuck Sambuchino from his time at Writer's Digest, where for many years he was the editor of the publication's indispensable annual "Guide to Literary Agents." When he was not helping others find an agent, Chuck was also a pretty successful author himself, penning the hilarious "How to Survive A Garden Gnome Attack" and "When Clowns Attack" among his many books. This year he left WD and struck out on his own, drawing on his extensive background as a reporter, author, editor, playwright and speaker to help writers on their own path to success. We caught up with him recently to learn more about his new gig and how he helps writers looking to help themselves.

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    A Killer Combo: A Few Words with True Crime/Memoir Author Mardi Jo Link

     

    Mardi Jo Link - Bootstrapper!

    Successful authors are usually loath to risk alienating the loyal readers they have worked so hard to acquire, so any foray into another genre is usually done under a pen name. But as with many things in her life, Mardi Jo Link isn't one to do something just because "that's how it's done." Already a successful true crime writer with several books to her credit - including one NYT bestseller - in 2013 she turned away from crime to pen the fascinating memoir "Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm," the story of her struggles to save her farm and raise her three sons in the wake of a devastating divorce.The book won numerous regional awards and has been optioned by Hollywood superstar and Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz. She has written one other memoir and is currently working on a new true crime project. I sat down with her recently to talk about her work, movie options and the joys and challenges of crossing genres.

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    A Few Words with "Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty" Author Charles Leerhsen

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    Like most baseball fans, I grew up believing the immortal Ty Cobb of the Detroit Tigers was one miserable, awful SOB. But thanks to the impeccable Charles Leerhsen I don't believe that anymore, nor should anyone else. Those who stubbornly cling to that myth really should read Leerhsen's fantastic book "Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty," one of the most well researched, well written nonfiction books ever written on a sports figure. I sat down a while back with Leerhsen, a former editor at Sports Illustrated and the author of two other sports-themed books, to talk about Cobb, the need to let facts guide the story and his connection to a certain denizen of the White House with a bad reputation of his own.

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    A Few More Words With Mystery Author Neal Griffin

     

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    Author Neal Griffin

    When we last touched base with crime thriller author Neal Griffin just about a year ago, he still readily described himself as a police officer who wrote crime novels on the side. Well, a lot has changed since then. After more than 25 years on the job, Griffin retired from police work this year and has devoted himself full time to his keyboard. And with good reason - he recently signed a three-book deal with Forge books that will both continue the characters from his very successful "Newberg" mystery series as well as something brand new. I caught up with him at the recent San Diego State University Writers Conference to talk about his work and what appears to be a very bright literary future.

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    A Few Words with Goosebumps Creator R.L. Stine

     

    StinejpgTo millions of kids and teens, R.L. Stine is synonymous with a good - but still totally fun - scare. The author of beloved franchises like Goosebumps, Fear Street and others, Stine is has been called "the Stephen King of children's literature." But Stine is anything but scary in person. As he showed at his recent presentation at the 2017 San Diego State University Writers Conference, he is in fact quite funny and very gracious. I sat down with him afterward to talk about his career and the state of the industry.

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