WBEZ | book http://www.wbez.org/tags/book Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Q&A with Julie Klausner, author of 'Art Girls Are Easy' http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-05/qa-julie-klausner-author-art-girls-are-easy-107004 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Julie-Klausner-1844.jpg" style="float: right; height: 200px; width: 300px;" title="Julie Klausner (Photo by Mindy Tucker)" />You <em>probably </em>know Julie Klausner from <a href="http://www.zulkey.com/2010/08/the_julie_klausner_interview.php">my 2010 interview with her</a>. If not for that, maybe her memoir <em>I Don&#39;t Care About Her Band</em> or her personable podcast <a href="http://howwasyourweek.libsyn.com/">How Was Your Week</a>. Starting Tuesday, you will also know her for her role as Young Adult author, as her new book <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Art-Girls-Easy-Julie-Klausner/dp/0316243620">Art Girls Are Easy</a>, </em>a funny and romantic summer camp romp with an artsy twist, will be released May 7. I asked Julie what it&#39;s like wearing a new YA hat, and below that, check out an excerpt from the book.</p><p><strong>How hard or easy was it to switch gears into YA writing? What challenges did it pose?</strong><br />It&#39;s completely tough to write a book, period. But switching gears into fiction was absolutely challenging, if only because I had to make sure I wasn&#39;t using my own voice the whole time when I was writing&mdash;whether it was in the description or in the dialogue. I don&#39;t have a lot of experience writing fiction. Part of that is because I have such a loud nonfiction voice. I am who I am. Another element of the challenge of having to sit down and make sh*t up is imagination. As I grow older, I become more and more fearful that I have little to no imagination. The kind of abilities I had as a little kid to just play and make things up as you went along. So, I had to get past that fear to crack the story, and then to write in the voices of the kids I invented. But as far as it being a challenge from a YA perspective, I honestly have to say that I just tried to be true to the material, and I didn&#39;t think of the audience as being below or necessarily less sophisticated than somebody I would usually write for. I didn&#39;t dumb down my prose&mdash;or, I tried not to.</p><p><strong>You don&#39;t have to give us details (but feel free to), but how much of the book was inspired by your own young adulthood?</strong><br />I absolutely relate to the main character in the book. I was a very emotionally intense adolescent, very interior. I was eaten alive by my own passions, which were equal parts artistic drive and sexual madness. That&#39;s where I drew the inspiration for Indigo&#39;s tumult. Her conflict is more internal than it is a concrete struggle with her best friend. She does have some love affair gone sour stuff with her best friend Lucy, but the main plot exists within Indigo, I think. As far as the setting, I did go to a Fine and Performing Arts sleepaway camp, but it wasn&#39;t like Silver Springs at all, insomuch as the counselors were NOT sleazy and I will go on record as saying nobody ever tried to make out with me at the time. Which is still disappointing.</p><p><strong>What YA books have inspired you, either when you were a young adult or now in your general adulthood?</strong><br />The first Gossip Girl novel, by Cecily Von Ziegesar, was a huge inspiration, in terms of when I was first researching the genre and my agent suggested I see what was out there. I was so impressed by its satire and humor and its references, as well as by its structure. It read like a television show in how it was laid out; each scene introduced a couple of characters and they all converged in the middle and at the end. I mean this as a huge compliment. So, that absolutely encouraged me to write one of my own. AS far as growing up, like everybody else I was shaped by Judy Blume&#39;s opus, but I also want to give a shout-out to <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Paula-Danziger/e/B000APCI5K">Paula Danziger</a>. She wrote some steamy&mdash;for me, at the time&mdash;novels about teenage girls making out with dudes and coming of age, and I plowed through every one of her novels. Also, if you Google her, you&#39;ll find some pretty incredible photos of her <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=Paula+Danziger&amp;oe=utf-8&amp;aq=t&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;hl=en&amp;tbm=isch&amp;source=og&amp;sa=N&amp;tab=wi&amp;ei=FiCEUZG-CM20qQGYzoDwCA&amp;biw=1920&amp;bih=952&amp;sei=GSCEUd60Eo2yrgGmpIDADA">wearing a jaunty headband</a>, which I guess, along with her purple glasses, was a trademark. She&#39;s dead now, which is very sad. A fellow redhead, too! Redhead Hall of Fame for her, no doubt.</p><p><strong>What are your plans for celebrating your first YA book&#39;s release?</strong><br />None as of yet! But I will probably overeat that night.</p><p><strong>Who is currently your favorite animal? (Neither your nor my pets qualify.) </strong><br />Well, that is unfair to disqualify <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=zulkey+briscoe&amp;oe=utf-8&amp;aq=t&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;hl=en&amp;tbm=isch&amp;source=og&amp;sa=N&amp;tab=wi&amp;ei=UyCEUcTVOYjMqQG03IDQDw&amp;biw=1920&amp;bih=952&amp;sei=YyCEUYrUJJHNqAHN4IGYBA">Briscoe</a> and <a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=klausner+jimmy+jazz&amp;oe=utf-8&amp;aq=t&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;hl=en&amp;tbm=isch&amp;source=og&amp;sa=N&amp;tab=wi&amp;ei=mCCEUY6UG4qhrgGjq4CADw&amp;biw=1920&amp;bih=952&amp;sei=miCEUej0GsfXrAGxt4HoBg">Jimmy Jazz</a>, but I&#39;ll play along. I&#39;ll go with most recently adored instead of utmost overall pet. Yesterday I met Marc Spitz&#39;s two basset hounds, <a href="http://nypress.com/downtown-then-and-now-with-marc-spitz/">Jerry and Joni</a>. Jerry dazzled me, with his vocal displays of neediness and alpha-tude, but Joni ultimately won me over with her nuzzles and her plaintive, God-like eyes. I love them both. They are good hounds.</p><p>[Editor&#39;s note: Both Marc Spitz&#39;s and my dogs are named after Jerry Orbach.]</p><p>Now please enjoy an excerpt from <em>Art Girls are Easy:</em></p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;Wake up!&rdquo; Eleanor hissed. Sure enough, the bus was pulling up to campus, and the sign welcoming motorists to Silver Springs elicited cheers and general rabble from the peanut gallery of young campers at the front.</p><p>Indigo felt disoriented and groggy. She rubbed her eyes carefully so as not to smudge her mascara and looked out the window.They were just pulling up to the front of the camp.Indy could make out the lush lawn and blue buildings with sloping gray roofs in the near distance. Massive shady trees were spaced evenly throughout the campus, and the Silver Springs camp flag, which bore a feminized coat of arms that represented each discipline taught at camp above the Latin phrase<em> ArsGratiaArtis</em> (&ldquo;Art is the reward of art&rdquo;), danced lightly in the breeze. The overall effect was quite ethereal. Indigo began to imagine which colors she would mix to achieve the specific shades of the scene if she were to paint a landscape right now. Chartreuse and goldenrod. Maybe some cerulean.</p><p>&ldquo;You were snoring.&rdquo;Eleanor smirked, her thin lips a line graph of contempt under her Lancôme burgundy matte stick. &ldquo;It was&nbsp;pretty annoying.&rdquo;That was rich, coming from her. Indy gathered her things: she couldn&rsquo;t wait to get off this bus and avoid Eleanor for the rest of&nbsp;the summer.</p><p>As the girls lined up like elegant, talented cattle down the bus&nbsp; aisle, the camp director, Lillian Meehan, greeted each camper as she exited with a lei made from organic peonies tied together&nbsp;with red kabbalah string. Lillian was tall and amiable, and thin enough to look great in clothes, though not necessarily pretty. Basically, she was Glenn Close with dark hair and a whistle around her neck.</p><p>Lucy looked back at a still-sleepy, rumpled Indigo before getting off the bus. As the two girls made eye contact for the first time since their light dish session about Tyler or Taylor or whoever, Lucy smiled and winked at her friend, and Indy felt the&nbsp;warm rush of camaraderie wash over her. She smiled back and soon enough emerged from the bus into the warm kiss of sunlight on the grassy patch, where Lillian greeted her with a lei. And&nbsp;when she lifted her face to take in the familiar postcard of the sprawling green campus before her, Indigo found something&nbsp;small and sublime in its composition.</p><p>There, on the lawn of the main sprawl of Silver Springs, right near the office, stood Nick Estep, holding a blowtorch to a life-size rectangular metal sculpture. Goggles rested over his longish hair, which trickled onto the collar of his Nirvana T-shirt in the Berkshires sunlight.Indigo&rsquo;s heart rocketed to every point on the surface of her skin. He was here after all.</p></blockquote><p><em>Follow Claire Zulkey <a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">@Zulkey</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 06 May 2013 08:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-05/qa-julie-klausner-author-art-girls-are-easy-107004 Daniels takes shots at Northwest Indiana, Chicago in new book http://www.wbez.org/story/daniels-takes-shots-northwest-indiana-chicago-new-book-92244 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-21/AP110430148095.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has been successful at politics. So much so that many Republicans wanted him to seek their party’s nomination for president. He declined last spring.</p><p>So, there's no acclaim for Daniels as a presidential candidate. But … accomplished author?</p><p>That’s still a possibility.</p><p>On Tuesday, Daniels released his book, <em>Keeping the Republic: Saving American by Trusting Americans</em>.</p><p>The book mostly comprises suggestions of how the U.S. can cure its debt problems. Many of Daniels suggestions cite instances of how he helped Indiana turn around.</p><p>But Daniels uses a few pages to take aim at Northwest Indiana, a region that has a decades-long loyalty to the Democratic Party. In one passage, Daniels writes about his futile attempt to make inroads in the region by bringing jobs.</p><p>“Culturally close to Chicago in both economics and politics, and with a reputation for governmental corruption and labor union aggression, our northwest corner is a place employers are more likely to flee than invest in,” Daniels writes.</p><p>Daniels is also critical of Chicago-area politicians for nearly thwarting the $4 billion expansion at BP’s Refinery in Whiting.</p><p>Concerns erupted in 2007 over possible increased pollution into Lake Michigan. Daniels writes environmental regulators on the state and federal level signed off on BP’s plans.</p><p>But he said that didn’t stop Chicago politicians from criticizing the plan.</p><p>“Even though the new plant would produce less pollution than the previous one, even though our environmental agency had meticulously dotted every ‘i’ in issuing the necessary permits, and even though the federal EPA had then approved the issuances, all hell broke loose,” Daniels writes. “Chicago politicians of both parties began competing to see who could do the best Green Preen, who could bluster the loudest and act the toughest with BP and with Indiana. With a blindfold on, you could tell from their rhetoric that these people were from Chicago.”</p><p>Daniels writes that had the project been planned for Illinois, similar fallout would not have happened.</p><p>“Hypocrisy was not an obstacle. If the jobs had been on the Illinois side of the border, you can bet the press would have come to a different conclusion,” Daniels writes. “The City of Chicago was (and is) depositing fifty times more ammonia into the water than the BP expansion would. Ammonia does no harm, by the way; fish excrete it, too, and it biodegrades quickly, but why let ninth-grade science get in the way of a hot press release? The BP plant emissions would be way under the EPA’s allowable limits, which are always set with a gigantic margin of safety to start with.”</p><p>Daniels says BP made some costly —&nbsp;but “environmentally meaningless” — changes to the project, which continues today.</p><p>Daniels is making the rounds to promote his new book, making stops throughout Indiana, but so far not in Northwest Indiana.</p></p> Thu, 22 Sep 2011 00:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/daniels-takes-shots-northwest-indiana-chicago-new-book-92244 Marcus Sakey talks 'The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes' http://www.wbez.org/blog/mark-bazer/2011-07-20/marcus-sakey-talks-two-deaths-daniel-hayes-89402 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-July/2011-07-20/bazerinterview.png" alt="" /><p><p>No city is producing better crime fiction right now than Chicago. I don't want to think too hard about why that is. <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHCogKKtWMg">Gillian Flynn</a>, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KZ_Cv2E_Lk">Kevin Guilfoile</a>, the list goes on.&nbsp;</p><p>Marcus Sakey may be the most prolific of the bunch, and he's certainly one of the most talented. His new book, <em>The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes</em>, is about a guy who has lost his memory, lost his wife (whom he, of course, doesn't remember) . . . and thinks he himself may be her killer. It's a premise that, as they say, grabs you from Page One.</p><p>Sadly, it's set in Los Angeles, not Chicago. &nbsp;</p><p>But the book's good enough to forgive Marcus for that. He recently stopped by <em>The Interview Show</em> to talk about writing, his upcoming TV show and more. Video of the interview is below.</p><p>Plus:&nbsp;If you buy the book today at Borders, they will throw in a light fixture.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/nWbab950P1M" width="560" frameborder="0" height="349"></iframe></p><h3 style="color: red;">IN OTHER NEWS . . .&nbsp;</h3><p>Big sale going on at Dominick's.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-20/IMG_0761.jpg" style="width: 350px; height: 470px;" title=""></p></p> Wed, 20 Jul 2011 14:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/mark-bazer/2011-07-20/marcus-sakey-talks-two-deaths-daniel-hayes-89402 Phil Rogers celebrates Chicago's ultimate All-Star Ernie Banks http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-11/back-summer-%E2%80%9969-mr-cub-ernie-banks-88959 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-July/2011-07-11/Ernie Banks Small.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Although there will only be one Chicago Cub on the All-Star roster this year, the <a href="http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=chc" target="_blank">Cubs</a> had more impressive showings in the past. For a while, there was one player who practically had a permanent spot: <a href="http://erniebanks.net/" target="_blank">Ernie Banks</a>, "Mr. Cub," made 13 All-Star appearances during his career.</p><p>His talent was so spectacular longtime <em>Chicago Tribune</em> sportswriter <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/columnists/cs-phil-rogers,0,1373147.columnist" target="_blank">Phil Rogers</a> referred to Bank's talent as some sort of super gene. WBEZ's Richard Steele recently sat down with Rogers to talk about his new book<span style="font-style: italic;">, </span><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Ernie-Banks-Mr-Cub-Summer/dp/1600785190" target="_blank"><em>Ernie Banks: Mr. Cub and the Summer of ’69</em></a>.</p></p> Mon, 11 Jul 2011 14:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-11/back-summer-%E2%80%9969-mr-cub-ernie-banks-88959 Historian David Garrard Lowe documents Chicago's lost architectual wonders http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-03/historian-david-garrard-lowe-documents-chicagos-lost-architectual-wonder <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/daley center_chicago.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Historian David Garrard Lowe first fell in love with Chicago as a small child, during summers he spent with his father&rsquo;s extended family. Left to his own devices he explored and fell in love with the city&rsquo;s architecture and businesses. He also witnessed the processes of modernization which replaced much of classic Chicago. Determined to preserve that history, Lowe compiled the book &quot;Lost Chicago.&quot;<br /><br />The book is a photographic essay, an ode to Chicago&rsquo;s bygone public buildings and private residences. And it&rsquo;s a bestseller of sorts &ndash; since its publication in 1975 the book has had numerous editions.&nbsp;The latest came out in 2010.<br /><br />Lowe, who is President of the <a href="http://www.beauxarts.org/" target="_blank">Beaux Arts Alliance</a> in New York&nbsp;City, joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to talk about <em>Lost Chicago</em> and what the city means to him.</p></p> Thu, 03 Mar 2011 14:33:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-03/historian-david-garrard-lowe-documents-chicagos-lost-architectual-wonder