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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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).
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.