"Night Radio adds a unique and valuable dimension to today’s literary fiction by combining a gripping plot with a deep character study and a haunting, thought-provoking narrative."
--- Renee James, Windy City Reviews
Paperback: 351 pages
Genre: Popular Fiction, Pop Fiction, Literary Fiction
Publisher: Cawing Crow Press (May 25, 2016)
Night Radio: A Love Story
Summary: From the award-winning author of Any Road Will Take You There and Accidental Lessons comes a truly American story.
Jake Mulholland dreams of becoming the next great rock 'n' roll radio personality. But like his father, his appetite for love conflicts with his thirst for success, leading to an unforgivable mistake. Jake finds fame but also the excess of celebrity, and just as he begins to rediscover his authentic self, he's shaken by the news of a life-altering secret. In an effort for redemption, Jake plans a special New Year's Eve broadcast that will be the biggest challenge of his life.
Night Radio is a love letter to music and rock 'n' roll radio of the 1970s, the story of an American boy, an American family, and of dreams just out of our reach.
David works as a radio reporter and news anchor for CBS Radio and teaches writing and radio documentary at Columbia College Chicago. His book ACCIDENTAL LESSONS won the Golden Dragonfly Grand Prize for Literature and has been called a "beautiful, elegantly written book" by award-winning author Thomas E. Kennedy. ANY ROAD WILL TAKE YOU THERE—a 2013 Book of the Year from the Chicago Writers Association—is the author's story of a cross-country road trip with his sons and the revelations of fatherhood. The memoir has been called "heartwarming and heartbreaking" and "a five-star wonderful read." THERE'S A HAMSTER IN THE DASHBOARD, a collection of essays, was named one of the "Best Books of 2015" by Chicago Book Review.
Interview with Crystal J. Otto
Crystal: David, Thank you so much for hanging out with me today. Friday is one of my favorite days of the week and I love sharing it with friends!
Now – we met when you published your memoir through Dream of Things Publishing. After having so much success with your memoir, what made you turn to novel writing? Was it a difficult transition?
David: I have written three memoirs and I do believe there may have been a memoir in me somewhere about radio, since I've had a long career in the medium. But frankly, I couldn't find a viable way to shape it. So, as is sometimes said-you have to write fiction to tell a bigger truth-that's what I set out to do.
I used some autobiographical material and experiences to shape the story in Night Radio, but it is truly fiction, not a memoir.
Crystal: I’m giggling – because I’ve read “Night Radio” and not all of our readers today have. I won’t go into any details, but I can only imagine what might be true…
Now that I’m composed a bit - can you compare the writing process between writing memoir and writing a novel? What surprised you?
David: I have been writing nonfiction and creative nonfiction for so long. Journalism, too. And I'm comfortable in that genre. I'm okay with confession, if you will. But when I really started to grasp that I was writing fiction this time--probably about a quarter way through the manuscript's first draft--it set me free. I realized, "Oh, wow, I don't need to necessarily check that fact do I?" I must say though, many of the places in the story are real and I did double and triple check some geographic information, and there's a scene at Graceland that I wanted to get right. Now, I've been there, so I had that going for me. But I still did some research. Even triple checking what flowers grow at certain times of the year in Oregon, where part of the story takes place.
Crystal: It’s apparent that a lot of work went into the writing of “Night Radio”. It is very well done. That generally takes the dedication of the writer but also the support of friends and family. Who has been most supportive with the writing and publishing of "Night Radio" and how?
David: Well, first let's take the writing part. I'm lucky to have the love of my life behind me in my writing. She reads everything and she is my best fan, but also points out flaws, and has a tremendous perspective. So, she was my rock during the many drafts. Publishing, I had a number of bites on the manuscript. But it's an unusual one. It's literary fiction, but yet it takes several points-of-view and jumps in time halfway through. Not all publishers like that sort of approach. The story sometimes gets philosophical and lyrical. I've been praised for that, but again, not all publishers want these things in a story. Cawing Crow Press, a small indie publisher understood my approach, and took a risk on Night Radio. Happy they did.
Crystal: Happy wife, happy life – I love how you refer to your wife. Absolutely love it!
What pearls of wisdom do you have for people trying to juggle a career and a writing career? What has been most challenging for you?
David: I talk about this at workshops all the time, there is no such thing as writer's block, and there is no such thing as "I have no time." Get down to the work and write. It's that simple. Carve out time--10 minutes here or there. Make it routine. Get up 15 minutes earlier three days a week. There IS time. And writer's block is a myth. Writing is work. Go to the office--whatever form that takes--and write. Just do it, as they say. Some days it will be good, some not so much. But you have to just sit down and write. Now, all this said, I still have to challenge myself to no overthink my work. First drafts are first drafts for a reason. Just write. As Hemingway said, "Write drunk, edit sober." Now, he didn't mean get hammered and write your novel. He meant write freely and then edit with care...later.
Crystal: I need to print that out and look at it daily. I’m one of those people who seems to run out of time each day. (but that’s another conversation for another day)
Let's talk about work and life balance. What has worked to help you find time for writing?
David: I am lucky that my main job these days is teaching college. So, academia allows for some flexibility. This permits me to find that time a bit more easily than some. Both of my children are in their 20s and no longer at home. That helps, too. But I always carve out time. Sometimes it's not as regular as I would like, especially when I'm in promotion mode on a new book, like now with Night Radio, or preparing a manuscript and material for a new memoir that will come out in 2017. That takes away from the writing time. But I always get back to it. It's true, as some say, if I'm not writing, I'm not living.
Crystal: Now that we know you’re always writing, I’m dying to know: What's next for you?
David: New memoir coming out in 2017 from Roundfire Books. October Song—A memoir of music and the journey of time is about my rock 'n' roll days, if you want to call it that. In the vinyl era, I played music in a garage band. Decades later at the age of 57, I am unexpectedly named a finalist in a songwriting contest and asked to perform the song at a storied venue for Americana music. I grab my old guitar and the love of my life, and hit the road to live out a musical fantasy. I see the story as a powerful examination of the passage of time, love, the power of music, and the power of dreams.
And I'm also working on a fictionalized memoir of the love story of my father and mother, quite a story. But that has a long way to go.
Crystal: Oh David – how absolutely exciting! I’m sure you’ll be back on my blog and I know I can’t wait to read more of your work. Thank you for being here today and thank you for your honesty!
----------Mixed Media Tour Dates
Friday, July 15th @ Bring On Lemons with Crystal Otto
Stop by for an interview and book giveaway!
Monday, July 18th @ Mari McCarthy's Create Write Now
Readers at Mari McCarthy's Create Write Now are in for a special treat as David W. Berner pens today's guest post "Radio and the Beauty of the Human Voice
-- how radio touches us, one voice at a time, and can inspire the storyteller in you." Learn more about this and Berner's latest novel "Night Radio".
Thursday, July 21st @Selling Books with Cathy Stucker
Stop by for an interview with David W. Berner and find out more about his newest novel, a love story titled "Night Radio"
Friday, July 22nd @ Android After Forty
Linda Peters of Android After Forty offers her thoughts after reading David W. Berner's latest novel "Night Radio" and one lucky winner will receive their own copy of this humorous and touching love story.
Tuesday, July 26th @ Android After Forty
David W. Berner pens today's guest post at Linda Peter's blog Android After Forty. Learn more about Berner and his novel "Night Radio" as you read about: How My Hippie Past Still Grounds Me
-- we are what we are when we were young. it stays with us and it can inspire us to be artists.
Thursday, July 28th @ MC Simon Writes
Readers can find out what David W. Berner has to say on the topic of: "Using Real Life to Write Fiction -- or -- I Told You It was Fiction, Sort Of
-- Night Radio is a novel, but there is a lot of truth in it. "
Learn about this and more about David's novel "Night Radio"
Friday, July 29th @ Hott Books with Gina Hott
David W. Berner writes today's guest post at Hott Books: " How Hemingway's Ghost Got Me to Write
--- I"m the Writer-in-residence at the Hemingway Birthplace home in Oak Park. I write there and work there sometimes. Did I see a ghost?" Read this and find out more about Berner's literary fiction "Night Radio". Don't miss this exciting stop on Berner's blog tour.
Thursday, August 4th @ Kathy Pooler's Memoir Writer's Journey
Kathy Pooler hosts guest author David W. Berner. His guest post is titled: Why Rock 'n' Roll Inspires Me to Write-- how music is a motivator and one of the best engines for writing. Don't miss this enlightening guest post and opportunity to learn more about Berner's latest novel "Night Radio".
Friday, August 5th @ Jerry Waxler
Fellow memoirist Jerry Waxler interviews David W. Berner about Berner's current novel "Night Radio" - find out memoir about this novel as well as Berner's many memoirs.
Monday, August 8th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Today's guest post at Choices is: How a Memoirist Learned to Write Fiction
--- I've written memoir most of my writing life, so how did I learn to write a novel
Don't miss this excellent guest post and opportunity to learn more about David W. Berner at his latest novel "Night Radio"
Tuesday, August 9th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Linda Appleman Shapiro hosts David W. Berner as a guest author on her blog today. David's topic is "Why I'll Never Forget My College Girlfriend - - the influences of those we love in our formative, inspiring college years." Don't miss this exciting blog stop and inspirational post.
Thursday, August 11th @ Building Bookshelves
David W Berner pens today's guest post at Building Bookshelves. Find out more about David's recent novel "Night Radio" and hear his insightful guest post titled: "How Bob Dylan Helped Me Become a Author - - my story of music and its link to my writing."
Friday, August 12th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Linda Appleman Shapiro reviews "Night Radio" by David W. Berner and shares her thoughts. You won't want to miss the insight from this highly acclaimed memoirist, speaker, therapist, historian, and psychotherapist.
Thursday, September 15th @ Frankie Picaso on the Radio
FrankieSense interviews David W. Berner live at http://www.toginet.com/
Click the "LISTEN LIVE" button in the upper right corner and from noon til 1pm central time on September 15th listeners will learn more about Berner's literary accomplishments - including but not limited to his latest release, a novel titled "Night Radio"
Thursday, September 22nd on Voice of America’s Empowerment Channel
David W. Berner visits with Irene Conlan = the show airs live on VoiceAmerica's Empowerment Channel broadcasting at 12 noon PDT (2pm Central Time). Hear from David and find out more about his latest novel "Night Radio"
You have 1 week to enter for the giveaway of a copy of David's book - print available to US residents and ebook copy available internationally. Good luck!
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