Beginning with our guest’s favorite cocktail, Dedicated offers an insider’s look at the lives and work of your favorite authors. New York Times bestselling author Doug Brunt hosts conversations with the world’s greatest writers as they discuss their writing lifestyle, creative process, latest work, and behind-the-scenes revelations. If you want to hear from the brilliant minds creating our best stories, be sure to tune in.
Chris Bohjalian: Negroni (1 1/2 ounces Barr Hill gin, 1 1/12 ounces Campari, 1 1/12 ounces sweet vermouth, orange twist)
Chris tells us his thoughts on Kaley Cuoco playing the lead role in the HBO adaptation of his novel THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT, lists the three things he does to get ready to begin each of his novels, discusses how he's evolved as a writer in the 35 years since the best selling novelist of all time blurbed his debut novel, reveals how he made the leap from working in advertising at J. Walter Thompson to being a novelist as well as his thoughts on retirement, and he promises to try a day of writing after combining Red Bull with one other secret ingredient.
Leigh Bardugo: French 75 (1 ounce gin, 1/2 ounce lemon juice, 1/4 ounce simple syrup mixed in shaker then poured in champagne flute, topped with champagne and lemon twist)
Leigh discusses Skull & Bones, Wolf's Head and the secret societies of Yale that are the backdrop of her books, whether people in the secret societies have embraced her books or gotten angry, having to put legal disclaimers on her books as real people are mentioned, her writing process for creating the universe that her books explore, the line between 'young adult' and 'adult' fiction, camping out for a George R.R. Martin book signing, and the value of creating in secret.
Craig Mazin: Old Fashioned (1 teaspoon sugar, 3 dashes bitters, 1 teaspoon water, 2 1/2 ounces bourbon, orange twist, Luxardo cherry optional)
2-time Emmy Award winner Craig Mazin discusses his new HBO show THE LAST OF US based in the very popular video game, The Sopranos and the Golden Age of TV, the brilliance of the 'Limited Series' format for scripted and unscripted content, the HBO limited series CHERNOBYL and the very fraught sliding scale of journalistic responsibility shown by the creators of documentaries and docu-dramas, and his crazy casting story with Sir Anthony Hopkins.
Dennis Lehane: Chopin vodka over crushed ice
Can't say I loved this drink, but it grew on me (a little) over the course of our conversation. Dennis discusses his book to film experiences with his novels MYSTIC RIVER, SHUTTER ISLAND, GONE BABY GONE, LIVE BY NIGHT and working with Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, Ben Affleck, Sean Penn, Leonardo DiCaprio; how his life changed dramatically with the smash success of MYSTIC RIVER in 2001, making his bones writing in the 1990s while competing with and congratulating his contemporaries and friends Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Harlan Coben; how he approaches teaching fiction-writing to Harvard students and what students can expect to learn from him, how a show gets made beginning with the option of the book rights all the way to the show appearing on the small screen - using the example of Black Bird for which he was showrunner, and the number one thing a person must have to be a good writer.
Anna Quindlen: mocktail to-be-named (seltzer, simple syrup, lime juice, fresh basil)
Anna discusses her novel One True Thing and how she felt about her friend Meryl Streep in the lead role of the film adaptation; her unsparing thoughts on social media; her morning routine and process for writing books; the lasting effects of her mother’s remark to her; the New Jersey Hall of Fame; a beautiful piece of advice. [Also a comparison of Anna to Rocky Balboa which I should have described as unusual rather than low-brow]
David Duchovny: Paloma, or Tequila Greyhound (2 ounces tequila blanco, 2 ounces grapefruit juice, splash of club soda)
David discusses bunking up with JFK Junior while in high school, shares important lessons learned from Don Rickles and Gary Shandling, reviews his thesis for his PhD at Yale, reveals why he won't write a memoir, describes how he kept faith in himself as an artist during the early years of his career, tells about an entertaining encounter playing tennis next to John McEnroe, gives some thoughts on musical bands like The Who and The Kinks, examines the power of a quiet mind.
Whether I’m familiar with the guest or not this is always time well spent. I’ve added so many titles to my reading list!
I’d love to hear an interview with Richard Russo.
Thank you! Now please please please invite Robert Kurson on your show!
Thank you so much for getting the conversations going for those of us who love all things literary (cocktails and caffeine too).
In order of importance…
First, I would love for you to interview, and I think your listeners would really appreciate Robert Kurson. One of your first guests, Lee Child, has given him the adulation due. I think Kurson will be especially encouraging and inspirational to those of us who may not possess the traits typical to literati and yet KNOW how to tell a story. Please check him out robertkurson.com
Second, I want to know how your guests are preparing their caffeine. The process is every bit as interesting as mixology and writing. We owe it to the bean.
With gratitude for launching your show,
Doug, this is a wonderful podcast. I look forward to listen to each episode. The questions you are asking of the guests are just right. One suggestion: I would hope you could improve the audio. You are very clear, but your guests sound like they’re talking in an echo chamber, which makes the show difficult to listen to. I’m not as much of a fan of the TV and movie writers, but it is interesting to hear a different perspective on the creative process. It would be great to hear some diverse authors too (James McBride?). Keep up the great work!