20 episodes

Writer's Voice features author interviews and readings, as well as news, commentary and tips related to writing and publishing. We also talk with editors, agents, publicists and others about issues of interest to writers. Francesca Rheannon is producer and host of Writer's Voice. She is a writer, an independent radio producer and a broadcast journalist.

Writer's Voice with Francesca Rheannon Francesca Rheannon

    • Arts
    • 4.6 • 19 Ratings

Writer's Voice features author interviews and readings, as well as news, commentary and tips related to writing and publishing. We also talk with editors, agents, publicists and others about issues of interest to writers. Francesca Rheannon is producer and host of Writer's Voice. She is a writer, an independent radio producer and a broadcast journalist.

    Uncovering Hidden Histories: Claire Wills on Family Secrets and National Scandals

    Uncovering Hidden Histories: Claire Wills on Family Secrets and National Scandals

    Episode Description







    In this episode of Writer’s Voice, host Francesca Rheannon sits down with acclaimed author Claire Wills to discuss her deeply personal and historically insightful book, Missing Persons or My Grandmother’s Secrets.







    Wills shares her journey of uncovering family secrets surrounding an “illegitimate” pregnancy in 1950s Ireland and exploring the broader national scandal of mother and baby homes.







    Through a blend of memoir and historical analysis, Wills illuminates the complex social forces that shaped perceptions of legitimacy and the devastating impact of secrecy on countless lives.







    Then we re-play our interview from March of this year with Claire Coughlan about her mystery novel, Where They Lie. It centers around a clandestine abortion clinic in 1960’s Ireland.







    And we continue our series of poetry readings from Mosab Abu Toha’s book, Things You May Find Hidden in My Ear: Poems from Gaza.







    Connect with Us: Follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on the latest episodes and news. Find us on Facebook at Writers Voice with Francesca Rheannon, on Instagram @WritersVoicePodcast or find us on X/Twitter @WritersVoice.







    Key Words: Claire Wills, Mother and Baby Homes, unwed mothers, abortion, podcast, author interview, book show, Ireland, Claire Coughlan, abortion rights















    Key Topics















    * The personal motivations behind Claire Wills’ exploration of her family’s hidden history.







    * The Mother-and-Baby Home scandal that rocked Ireland in 2015.







    * The changing social constructions of illegitimacy from the Irish famine to the mid-20th century.







    * The role of the Catholic Church and the bureaucratization of secrecy in post-independence Ireland.







    * The dynamics of family secrets and their influence on personal and collective memory.









    About the Author







    Claire Wills is an acclaimed author and historian whose work focuses on 20th-century British and Irish cultural history and literature. She teaches English literature at Cambridge University.







    Download & Read The Transcript







    Listen to more episodes:









    * A Personal History of Modern Ireland with Fintan O’Toole







    * Mary Costello, ACADEMY STREET & Katha Pollitt, PRO







    * a href="https://www.writersvoice.net/2023/03/celebrating-reproductive-choice-felicia-kornbluh-a-womans-life-is-a-human-life-dolen-perkins-valdez-take-my-ha...

    • 57 min
    How To Stop A Pipeline: Jonathan Mingle, GASLIGHT

    How To Stop A Pipeline: Jonathan Mingle, GASLIGHT

    What did a group of ordinary citizens find out when they managed to stop a huge gas pipeline from being built?







    We spend the hour with Jonathan Mingle talking about his book, Gaslight: The Atlantic Coast Pipeline And The Fight For America’s Energy Future. It’s the story of how a diverse group of citizens came together to fight a pipeline proposed by one of America’s biggest corporations — and won.







    Connect with Us: Follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on the latest episodes and news. Find us on Facebook at Writers Voice with Francesca Rheannon, on Instagram @WritersVoicePodcast or find us on X/Twitter @WritersVoice.







    Key Words: climate crisis, climate change, Jonathan Mingle, gas pipeline, global warming, podcast, book podcast, author interview















    Gaslight: The Fight Against America’s Energy Future













    In this episode, we delve into the David versus Goliath narrative about the battle against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Jonathan Mingle, author of Gaslight: The Atlantic Coast Pipeline And The Fight For America’s Energy Future, joins us to unravel the story behind the successful resistance against one of America’s biggest corporations.







    Key Points Covered:







    Introduction to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline: Jonathan Mingle sets the stage by introducing the proposed pipeline project by Dominion Energy, a corporate endeavor billed as a solution for America’s energy needs.







    The Dark Reality of “Natural” Gas: Despite its innocuous name, Mingle exposes the hidden dangers of fossil gas, highlighting how it leaks methane and other toxins, contributing to environmental degradation and health hazards.







    The Community Uprising: Mingle shares the remarkable tale of how ordinary citizens from diverse backgrounds rallied together to oppose the pipeline’s construction. Their fight, spanning six years and reaching the Supreme Court, serves as a testament to the power of grassroots activism.







    The Battle for America’s Energy Future: At the heart of the conflict lies a pivotal question: Is natural gas truly a “bridge fuel” to a cleaner future, or is it a ticking methane bomb jeopardizing both local communities and the planet’s stability?







    Jonathan Mingle’s Insights: As a seasoned journalist whose beat is climate change, energy, and environmental issues, Mingle provides invaluable insights into the broader implications of the pipeline saga, touching upon political, policy, and climate-related ramifications.

    • 55 min
    Two Great Beach Novels: Victor Lodato, HONEY & Kimberly Belle, THE PARIS WIDOW

    Two Great Beach Novels: Victor Lodato, HONEY & Kimberly Belle, THE PARIS WIDOW

    We talk with Victor Lodato about his terrific new novel, Honey. It’s about an octogenarian who is trying to come to terms with her life — her childhood growing up in a Mafia family in New Jersey and her adulthood trying to escape it.







    Then, we talk with Kimberly Belle about her new thriller, The Paris Widow. The novel takes a look at the illicit trade in blood antiquities.







    Connect with Us: Follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on the latest episodes and news. Find us on Facebook at Writers Voice with Francesca Rheannon, on Instagram @WritersVoicePodcast or find us on X/Twitter @WritersVoice.







    Key Words: illicit art trade, blood antiquities, Victor Lodato, Kimberly Belle, thriller, podcast, book podcast, author interview















    Victor Lodato’s Octogenarian Heroine







    Novels about octogenarians are rare. Octogenarian women — even rarer. And ones that portray an old woman with real affection, complexity and drama, as well as sexiness, are few and far between.













    Victor Lodato’s new novel Honey manages this feat. That’s in spite of the fact that Lodato is neither old nor a woman. But the drama is probably helped by the fact that he’s a playwright as well as a novelist. And his affection for his character may be because it’s based on a close friendship he had with a woman in her eighties. He wrote about that friendship in a New York Times Modern Love column in 2017.







    His protagonist is Honey Fasinga, the glamorous daughter of a notorious New Jersey mobster. She’s returned to her home town after a lifetime spent as a well-traveled fine art dealer.







    She knows where the bodies are buried. Now she wants to lay their ghosts to rest. But first she has to deal with her current family, including those carrying on the brutal traditions of their forebears.







    As old cruelties begin to resurface, Honey is no longer sure what she really wants—to forgive or to avenge. The question Lodato’s novel poses is: “What are the limits of compassion in a world of extraordinary violence?”







    About The Author







    In addition to Honey, Victor Lodato is the author of two other critically acclaimed novels, Edgar and Lucy, and Mathilda Savitch, which won the PEN USA Award. He’s also the author of nine plays.















    A Thriller About Blood Antiquities













    We’ve all heard about the trade in blood diamonds. But have you heard about “blood antiquities”? That’s the trade in stolen antiquities that infects the international art market. It’s a trade my guest mystery writer Kimberly Belle says is “strip-mining our past.”







    The FBI describes this illicit art trade as the third largest black market in the world. Only drugs and guns generate more money than illicit art.







    A Novel Based on Fact







    The blood antiquities trade is at the heart of Belle’s new novel, The Paris Widow. As the plot twists and turns, the reader is taken on a fascinating exploration of the topic. While fictional, the novel features characters and incidents based on real life, including Arthur Brand, the professional art sleuth who’s been called “The Indiana Jones of Stolen Art.”







    About the Author

    • 57 min
    Kelly Fong, INVESTIGATING FAMILIES & Emi Nietfield, ACCEPTANCE

    Kelly Fong, INVESTIGATING FAMILIES & Emi Nietfield, ACCEPTANCE

    Are child protection service (CPS) agencies doing more harm than good?







    Join us for an in-depth conversation with sociologist Kelly Fong about her book, Investigating Families: Motherhood in the Shadow of Child Protective Services. We explore the inner workings of Child Protection Services (CPS), the impact on families, and the need for systemic change.







    Plus, we replay a segment from our 2022 interview with Emi Nietfield, author of the memoir Acceptance, about overcoming childhood trauma and the foster care system.







    And we recommend a new children’s book for Father’s Day!







    Connect with Us: Follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on the latest episodes and news. Find us on Facebook at Writers Voice with Francesca Rheannon, on Instagram @WritersVoicePodcast or find us on X/Twitter @WritersVoice.







    Key Words: Child Protective Services, CPS, child welfare, family separation, poverty, social inequality, family policy, Emi Nietfield, Kelly Fong, podcast, book podcast, author interview















    Kelly Fong, Investigating Families Interview Highlights















    * The disproportionate impact of CPS on low-income mothers and mothers of color







    * The fear and destabilization caused by CPS investigations







    * The vagueness of child abuse and neglect definitions







    * The need for alternative approaches to child protection







    * The importance of economic support and social infrastructure in preventing child maltreatment







    * Personal stories from mothers impacted by CPS









    About The Author







    Kelly Fong teaches sociology at the University of California, Irvine. Investigating Families: Motherhood in the Shadow of Child Protective Services (Princeton University Press) is her first book.







    Key Quote









    “The challenges that families face are not limited to…clinical or therapeutic challenges. For the vast majority of families entangled in the system, the root of many of the needs that they have is poverty, is adversity.” — Kelly Fong















    Emi Nietfield, ACCEPTANCE













    In the Fall of 2022, we spoke with Emi Nietfield about her powerful memoir, Acceptance. It chronicles her struggles as a teenager and young adult to rise above the poverty and abuse she suffered as a child, despite a child protection system that was anything but protective of children. We play an extended excerpt from that conversation.







    Listen to the full interview

























    A Book for Father’s Day













    Father’s Day is coming up and we have just the book to recommend: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON.







    It’s from the prolific, award-winning children’s book author,  Lesléa Newman, with charming illustrations by A.G. Ford. Featuring fathers who are strong in a gentle way, it’s a celebration of what fathers and sons do together — like cooking, camping and gardening. It also models what a good dad is like.

    • 59 min
    Abrahm Lustgarten, ON THE MOVE & Ross Barkan on Jamaal Bowman’s Challenge

    Abrahm Lustgarten, ON THE MOVE & Ross Barkan on Jamaal Bowman’s Challenge

    We talk with Abrahm Lustgarten about his book, On The Move: The Overheating Earth and the Uprooting of America. It’s about how climate chaos means a humanity on the move.







    Then, we catch up with journalist and author Ross Barkan about his recent article in New York Magazine, “The Most Endangered Democrat in America: Jamaal Bowman might lose his job over Israel.”







    Writers Voice— in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004.







    Find us on Facebook at Writers Voice with Francesca Rheannon, on Instagram @WritersVoicePodcast or find us on X/Twitter @WritersVoice.







    And don’t forget to spread the word about Writer’s Voice. Please love it on your podcast app!







    Key Words: climate migration, climate refugees, climate justice, Abrahm Lustgarten, On the Move book, Ross Barkan, Jamaal Bowman, George Latimer, Gaza ceasefire, New York primary















    Climate Chaos Means Humanity on the Move













    Guest: Abrahm Lustgarten, investigative reporter on climate change







    Book: On the Move: The Overheating Earth and the Uprooting of America







    Key Topics:









    * Climate Migration: The massive displacement of populations due to climate change, both globally and within the United States.







    * Human Habitability Niche: The ideal climate zone for human habitation is shifting, displacing billions.







    * U.S. Impacts: Wildfires, floods, extreme heat, and droughts will reshape the country.







    * Heat and Humidity: Rising temperatures and humidity levels will make parts of the U.S. uninhabitable.







    * Sea Level Rise: Coastal communities are facing rapid land loss and increased flooding.Inequality: Climate change disproportionately affects poor communities and communities of color.







    * Economic Impacts: Climate change will cause significant economic disruption, particularly in the southern U.S.







    * Food Security: Agricultural yields are declining due to heat and water scarcity.







    * Global Perspective: The impacts of climate migration will be far greater in the developing world.







    * Loss and Damage: The U.S. and other wealthy nations have a responsibility to aid countries suffering from climate-related losses.







    * Economic Opportunities: Addressing climate change can create economic benefits, but requires investment and policy changes.







    * Solutions: Reducing emissions, investing in adaptation, and providing foreign aid are crucial steps.









    Read an Excerpt from On The Move







    Keywords: climate change, migration, displacement, heat, floods, drought, inequality, economics, food security, loss and damage, foreign aid, solutions







    Additional Notes: Lustgarten’s book provides a detailed and personal look at the impacts of climate migration. The interview highlights the urgency of addressing climate change and the need for immediate action. The discussion emphasizes the interconnectedness of climate change, migration, and social justice issues.















    The Most Endangered Democrat in America: Jamal Bowman’s Battle Against AIPAC







    Congressmember Jamal Bowman of New York is facing a tough challenge in the upcoming June primary,

    • 57 min
    Eric Klinenberg: 2020

    Eric Klinenberg: 2020

    Was 2020 the year Americans finally lost faith in their government? We talk with Eric Klinenberg about his acclaimed new book, 2020: One City, Seven People, And The Year Everything Changed.







    The book follows seven New Yorkers as they try to cope with the pandemic. Among them, a transit worker, a bar owner, a retired lawyer who organizes a mutual aid network and a Black Lives Matter protester. Their stories and those of the others illustrate how our leaders and institutions failed us — and how some citizens stepped into the breach.







    Then, in February 2021 we spoke with journalist John Nichols about why President Biden’s bold plan for Covid relief was defeated by the Republicans, joined by a few centrist Dems. We listen back to that conversation.







    Writer’s Voice — in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004. Rate us on your favorite podcast app! It really helps others find our show.







    Like us on Facebook at Writers Voice Radio or find us on X/Twitter @WritersVoice.















    2020: Covid, Black Lives Matter, Culture Wars













    2020 was a momentous year in our nation’s history. The worst pandemic in a century was raging. The country saw the largest protest movement ever, with people of all races uniting in support of Black Lives Matter. The economy plummeted and the government spent trillions trying to keep people afloat.







    It was also the year that many Americans lost the last shred of faith they had in our institutions. Yet, you hardly hear anybody talking about what happened that year.







    That’s why Eric Klinenberg’s book is so important. He follows seven New Yorkers whose experiences illuminate how Americans reckoned with 2020. The book vividly captures these stories, casting them against the backdrop of a high-stakes presidential election, a surge of misinformation, rising distrust, and raging protests.







    Klinenberg’s book 2020 not only helps us reckon with what we lived through, but also with the challenges we face before the next crisis arrives.







    About The Author







    Eric Klinenberg is an American sociologist and a scholar of urban studies, culture, and media. He teaches Social Science at NYU and is Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge. In addition to 2020 Klinenberg is the author of several books, including Fighting For Air and Going Solo, both of which we spoke to him about on this show.







    Listen to an audio excerpt from 2020

    • 59 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
19 Ratings

19 Ratings

jolliechapz ,

The best interview podcast ten plus (?) years running

This podcast is loyal support, still here to help us all connect with our current shared reality.
Treat yourself to the wise and gentle interviewer presence of Francesca, who, without splashy fanfare, creates space for the important thinkers of our time.

abt41253 ,

10 best titles

This episode is so interesting! I now have 10 new (to me) books to read. The host gets right to the point and elicits such fascinating responses from the authors. I'm a fan.

bullcbull ,

SPECTACULAR

Francesca Rheannon has an amazing show and often has me wondering why she hasn't become the next Katie Couric or Barbara Walters with her impressive array of questions, continuing the conversation while keeping us the audience entranced and enticed and always wanting more My favorite author interview by far is John Elder Robinsons I have both of his books and am currently awaiting a third because I am personal touched by ASD and Francesca Rheanon's interview allows me a chance to let others listen into a bit of our world and understand because they are the ones who refuse the books and there's no way I'd ever get them to read it her interview has had a few willing that have either borrowed my book or bought them for themselves However even when the author or book has no personal interest to me this show has me entertained and delighted!!!!!

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