Story Behind the Story

Stories about stories and how they came to be

About the show

Host Clara Sherley-Appel interviews authors about their creative process, from the inspiration behind the books they write to specific choices they make.


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    Episode 19: Adam Sass - SURRENDER YOUR SONS

    4 September 2020  |  59 mins 8 secs
    authors, fiction, interviews, ksqd

    I talk to Adam Sass about his debut YA novel, SURRENDER YOUR SONS.

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    Episode 18: Zaina Arafat - YOU EXIST TOO MUCH

    8 August 2020  |  54 mins 9 secs
    authors, fiction, interviews, ksqd

    I talk to Zaina Arafat about her debut novel, YOU EXIST TOO MUCH.

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    Episode 17: Kawai Strong Washburn - SHARKS IN THE TIME OF SAVIORS

    7 August 2020  |  55 mins 54 secs
    authors, fiction, interviews, ksqd

    I talk to Kawai Strong Washburn about his debut novel, SHARKS IN THE TIME OF SAVIORS.

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    Episode 16: Jillian Christmas - THE GOSPEL OF BREAKING

    6 June 2020  |  56 mins 15 secs
    authors, books, interviews, ksqd, poetry

    I talk to Jillian Christmas about her new poetry collection, THE GOSPEL OF BREAKING.

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    Episode 15: Rishi Reddi - PASSAGE WEST

    2 May 2020  |  50 mins 7 secs
    authors, books, historical fiction, interviews, ksqd

    I talk to Rishi Reddi about her debut novel, PASSAGE WEST.

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    Episode 13: Alka Joshi - THE HENNA ARTIST

    6 March 2020  |  55 mins 59 secs

    I talk to Alka Joshi about her debut novel, THE HENNA ARTIST.

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    Episode 12: Carmen Maria Machado - IN THE DREAM HOUSE

    7 February 2020  |  1 hr 18 secs
    authors, interviews, ksqd, memoirs, non-fiction

    I talk to author Carmen Maria Machado about her 2019 memoir, IN THE DREAM HOUSE.

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    Episode 11: Daniel Summerhill - DIVINE, DIVINE, DIVINE

    6 February 2020  |  55 mins 58 secs
    authors, interviews, ksqd, local, poetry

    I talk to poet and professor Daniel Summerhill about his new poetry collection, DIVINE, DIVINE, DIVINE.

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    3 January 2020  |  54 mins 43 secs
    authors, comics, fiction, graphic novels, young adult

    Comics writer Lilah Sturges joins to talk about her new graphic novel, "The Shape of Friendship," which is part of the Lumberjanes series.

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    Episode 8: Adam Becker - WHAT IS REAL?

    25 October 2019  |  1 hr
    authors, interviews, ksqd, local, non-fiction

    I talk to science writer Adam Becker about the controversy at the heart of quantum physics and how fiction has influenced his approach to writing about science.

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    Episode 7: Lauren Eggert-Crowe - BITCHES OF THE DROUGHT

    7 September 2019  |  59 mins 54 secs
    authors, interviews, ksqd, local, poetry

    I talk to poet Lauren Eggert-Crowe about her 2017 chapbook, BITCHES OF THE DROUGHT, delayed anger, and the impact of the natural world on her poetry.

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    Episode 6: Andy Couturier - THE ABUNDANCE OF LESS

    4 August 2019  |  58 mins 8 secs
    authors, interviews, ksqd, local, non-fiction

    I talk to local author Andy Couturier about his book, THE ABUNDANCE OF LESS, in which he profiles ten men and women who have chosen a life of abundant time and limited material wealth.

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    6 July 2019  |  58 mins 45 secs
    authors, documentary theater, interviews, ksqd, plays

    I talk to Luis 'xago' Juarez about his "reAlisal" plays, which tell the story of East Salinas and are based on interviews with actual residents. We also talk about his theatrical education and the social, political, and economic forces shaping the region.

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    Episode 4: Charlie Jane Anders - THE CITY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT

    8 June 2019  |  50 mins 10 secs
    authors, books, interviews, ksqd, science fiction
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    Episode 3: M.K. England - THE DISASTERS

    2 February 2019  |  1 hr
    authors, books, interviews, ksqd, young adult

    THE DISASTERS is M.K. England's debut young adult novel about a group of space academy washouts who are forced to step up and save the world after escaping a terrorist attack. It's a wildly entertaining romp through space that has been lauded for its nuanced representation of LGBTQIA characters and the way it handles mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

    In this episode, I talk to England about these issues and more, including what it's like to write action scenes, how publishing a novel has changed the way England reads books, and how their experiences with National Novel Writing Month have affected their writing. I hope you enjoy it.

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    5 January 2019  |  59 mins 13 secs
    authors, books, california, interviews, ksqd

    Katya Apekina's debut novel, THE DEEPER THE WATER THE UGLIER THE FISH, tells the story of Edie and Mae, two sisters who go to live with their estranged father in New York after their mother’s suicide attempt. It has received a great deal of attention for its unique form: the book is structured like an oral history, with a different narrator from one chapter to the next, interspersed with archival content, including poetry, letters, and interviews.

    In this episode, I talk to Katya about THE DEEPER THE WATER THE UGLIER THE FISH and writing as an act of faith. I hope you enjoy it.