Dr. Lori Paige,
Professor and English Department Chair
at American International College

Dr. Lori Paige is the chair of the English Department at American International College in Springfield and teaches classes in British and vampire literature. Her new book, The Gothic Romance Wave: A Critical History of the Mass Market Novels, 1960-1993, (McFarland; September 2018), takes a close look at this popular genre’s place in the publishing industry. You can find out more about the book at McFarlandbooks.com.

Carleen Eve Fischer Hoffman Shares Her Personal Battle Against Lyme Disease

East Longmeadow resident Carleen Eve Fischer Hoffman is a free-lance writer and local business owner who shares her story in The Waiting Room: Invisible Voices of Lyme, (CreateSpace Independent Platform Publishing; June, 2018).  This collection of 27 stories was compiled by Vickie Gould and casts light on symptoms for those still undiagnosed, as well as for caregivers and doctors who aim to better understand the Lyme Disease sufferer.  You can reach Carleen at www.carleenhoffman.com or www.clutterdoctor.com.

Jeanne Yocum, Author and Public Relations Consultant

Jeanne Yocum, who has spent a number of years living in Western Mass., is the author of The Self-Employment Survival Guide: Proven Strategies to Succeed as Your Own Boss, (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018). She’s been a self-employed public relations consultant since 1989. When she wasn’t ghost-writing books along the way, she co-authored a few of her own. You can find out more about Jeanne and her books at www.succeedinginsmallbusiness.com.

Amy Cohen – Retired WNEU Law Professor, Local Novelist and Genealogy Researcher

Amy Cohen has written a fact-based work of fiction called Pacific Street (CreateSpace, 2016), inspired by research on her family genealogy.  The story focuses on characters Isadore and Gussie who assimilate to life in New York City in 1899 and deal with the challenges of being immigrants.  As Amy points out, this experience sheds light on current events.  To learn more about the book by this retired Western New England University School of Law professor, click here.

Mark Auerbach – Getting Your Book Out There!

Springfield-based public relations wizard Mark Auerbach shares tips for authors on how to get the word out on their books.  Find out more about Mark on Facebook at Mark G. Auerbach Public Relations.

Patricia Lee Lewis – Poet

Westhampton-based poet Patricia Lee Lewis is one of the founding members of Straw Dog Writers Guild who have proudly produced Compass Roads, Poems about the Pioneer Valley, (Levellers Press, 2018). To find out more about the guild or the poetry collection, go to www.strawdogwriters.org.  To learn more about Patricia and her award-winning books, check out writingretreats.org.

Jacqueline T. Lynch

Chicopee-based writer Jacqueline T. Lynch is a playwright, in addition to being a blogger, novelist and non-fiction author.  Her work, which has been performed in locations as diverse as Northern Kentucky and the Netherlands, has fueled a passion that circled her right back to her own backyard.  In an amazing tribute to a rich theatrical history in this part of the world, Jacqueline produced a non-fiction book that’s jam-packed with photos and stories called Comedy and Tragedy on the Mountain:  70 Years of Summer Theatre on Mt. Tom, Holyoke, Massachusetts, (Jacqueline T. Lynch, Spring 2017).

In this interview, Jacqueline tells stories about this gem of the entertainment world in the heart of the Pioneer Valley – that’s 70 Years of Summer Theatre on Mt. Tom.  She also praises the joys of independent publishing and the creative ways she promotes her book.  Find out more about Jacqueline through her site: www.JacquelineTLynch.com.

Local Author Donna Jenson

Leverett, Massachusetts-based author Donna Jenson tells a story of survival in her book HEALING MY LIFE from Incest to Joy, (Levellers Press, November 2017). In this interview, Donna talks about the power of finding her voice as writer and even as a performance artist.  She also praises the experience of working with a small publisher and the creative ways she promotes her book.  Find out more about Donna through the site timetotell.org.

Sr. Jane Morrissey, S.S.J.

Holyoke-born Sr. Jane Morrissey has spent more than 50 years as a nun and has a remarkable career and life story. Sr. Jane is the former president of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield, a PhD-earned educator who taught at Elms College, a social justice activist and humanitarian who has worked among the poor globally – from Colombia, Peru and Guatemala to Springfield and Holyoke. Just this past year she was Grand Marshal at the annual Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade. Sr. Jane is interviewed on Pioneer Valley Radio’s special show “The Writers’ Group” as a contributor to a new book titled Unruly Catholic Nuns: Sisters’ Stories, (Excelsior Editions; July, 2017). The interview is conducted by Bernadette Duncan. Sr. Jane can be reached at the Homework House Holyoke – www.homeworkhouseholyoke.org.

Local Author and Journalist Meredith O’Brien

Her book is a touching real life story of pain, courage, friendship and growing up that chronicles the feelings and lives of the young members of a middle school music band who had to cope with the unexpected death due to illness of one of their classmates and bandmates.  Bernadette Duncan interviews Westfield-born writer and journalist Meredith O’Brien who will be at Bay Path University’s Writers’ Day on October 15th discussing her latest book Mr. Clark’s Big Band: A Year of Laughter, Tears and Jazz in a Middle School Band Room (Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing, May 2017).  You can learn more about the author and her book at mrclarksbigband.com.

Survival stories author Michael Tougias

Longmeadow native Michael Tougias has 26 books to his credit, seven of them true survival stories at sea.  The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue (Scribner, 2009), which Tougias co-authored with Casey Sherman, was made into a Disney film in 2015.  In this conversation, Tougias shares what he’s learned about people who come face-to-face with death, how he goes about his research, and much more.


Activist, educator, and local author, Kathy Picard, on childhood sexual abuse

Springfield-native Kathy Picard is an activist and educator who shares what she learned about writing on tough subjects as told in her book, Life with My Idiot Family: A True Story of Survival, Courage and Justice over Childhood Sexual Abuse, (Kathy Picard, March 2017). Reach Kathy at Kathychildadvocate@gmail.com and learn more about her at kathypicard.com.

Local Attorney, Professor and Prolific Author Steve Weisman

Amherst-based attorney and prolific author Steve Weisman, a professor at Bentley University in Boston, has become one of the most sought after experts on scams and identity theft in America – and this after being a victim himself.  The books that put him on the map? The Truth About Avoiding Scams (FT Press, 2008) and Identity Theft Alert (FT Press, 2014).  In this conversation, he describes the benefits for writers who specialize in an area of expertise and what motivated him to write more than a dozen books.

Legendary local author and newspaper reporter/columnist Tommy Shea

Palmer resident Tommy Shea spent 40 years as a writer at The Republican.  In 2003 he received the New England Associated Press Award for the best local New England column.  He was also nominated for a Pulitzer.  In this interview, he shares highlights from his days profiling local citizens and how baseball and Bob Dylan impacted him.  His latest book is titled Dingers: The 101 Most Memorable Home Runs in Baseball History (Sports Publishing, 2016).

Local Historical Author Michele Barker

Michele Barker is an East Longmeadow-based author whose historical fiction and non-fiction are all rooted in Western Massachusetts.  In this conversation, Michele reveals historical gems that have emerged from her writing – and the joys of working in this part of the world.

Local Writer and Writers’ Group Organizer Becky Jones

Writer Becky Jones has been a participant in a peer-run writing group for 25 years and has been leading a niche writing group for nearly 15 years – the subject, bereavement.  Her 18 years as a chaplain at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton have certainly served her well in this particular genre.  Becky is here today to talk about the making of a writers’ group and what has contributed to the lasting power of hers.

Local Author Beverly Bloomberg

Longmeadow resident Beverly Bloomberg is a novelist whose fast-paced dialogue was molded by her history as a writer on television sitcoms such as “Welcome Back, Kotter” and “Happy Days.” The Last Hollywood Romance: A Novel (Bridgeworks, 2000) brings you behind-the-scenes of the frenzied, sitcom world as only an insider would know. Today, Bev is finishing up a second novel and enjoying the “easier pace of life” in Western Massachusetts.

John Sheirer, Local Author and Professor

Continuing her series on local authors, Bernadette speaks with Florence resident and Asnuntuck Community College professor John Sheirer. He’s written many books – humor, children’s books, political satire – all the while teaching English and Communications at Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield. His latest is a political satire, Donald Trump’s Top Secret Concession Speech (Empty Suit Publications, 2017).

Ellen Meeropol

Western Massachusetts resident Ellen Meeropol is a self-described “literary late bloomer.” She has written three novels after a two decade-plus career path that led her from day care teacher to nurse practitioner. Her books draw from her passions for medicine and social justice. Kinship of Clover (Red Hen Press, 2017), is her most recent. This Pioneer Valley Radio exclusive interview is conducted by Bernadette Duncan.