• Podcasts

Teens and Young Adults

Ep. 1 – The Empire and the Resistance of Sabaa Tahir

Sabaa Tahir interviewed by Ben Schwartz

Through her characters, Pakistani-American young adult fiction writer Sabaa Tahir shows us what’s right, what’s possible, and what sorts of governance need not be tolerated.

Ep. 2 – Melissa de la Cruz Writes It All: History, Fantasy, Modern Life

Melissa de la Cruz interviewed by Jessica Lee

This versatile author has written more than 45 chart-topping books — from the historical love story of Alex and Eliza Hamilton to the fantastical prequel to “The Descendants.” She talks the challenges of risky writing and how she finds her groove.

Ep. 3 – Nina LaCour Up Close and Personal

Nina LaCour interviewed by Regan McMahon

Nina LaCour’s characters look a lot like her readers. This awardwinning author has devoted her life to young adults: first as a teacher, then as a writer. Her new novel “We Are Okay” deals with trauma, isolation, coping and change.

Ep. 4 – Reality Bites: Fiction About Teens’ Real Lives

Kristin Elizabeth Clark, Kim Culbertson, Sandhya Menon, and Alexandra Sirowy, moderated by Alex Green

Four acclaimed authors who write for young adults share how they capture those unique interior worlds — the joys, the pitfalls, the intimate struggles.

Ep. 5 – The Ferocity of Love

Sylvia Brownrigg, Edan Lepucki, Shanthi Sekaran, moderated by Barbara Lane

How far would you go for someone you love? These authors take provocative looks at relationships between parents, children, lovers and friends.

Ep. 6 – Collecting the Pieces: Fiction and Trauma

Oddný Eir, Jonas Hassen Khemiri, and Katie Kitamura, moderated by Stephen Sparks

How do we process loss? What role does memory play in mourning? The novelists gathered here — from Iceland, Sweden, the United States and Norway — all use extraordinary restraint to create great emotional impact. Sponsored by the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Icelandic Literature Center and the Literary Hub (lithub.com).

Ep. 7 – Hidden Stories: Three Fiction Writers on Telling the Truth

Vanessa Hua, Shanthi Sekaran, and Esme Weijun Wang, moderated by Sandhya Dirks

Behind appearances are stories. People are harboring secrets in Shanthi Sekaran’s “Lucky Boy.” A former celebrity is on the run in Vanessa Hua’s “Deceit and Other Possibilities.” Characters cope with mental illness in Esme Wang’s “The Border of Paradise.”

Ep. 8 – Imagining the Other: Using Fantasy to Build Empathy

Randy Henderson and Erika Lewis, moderated by Ellen Klages

You’ve no doubt heard the adage, “Write what you know,” but what if you want to write about aliens, dragons, wizards or people from an entirely different culture? Three writers debunk the myth that “knowing” trumps all.