Today, Hartford Books Examiner introduces you to The Writer’s Room—a new TV show that reveals accomplished authors to a small screen audience.
The first episode was broadcast on Channel 8 in Putnam County, New York, earlier this month and featured host Jane Cleland (the Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries) in conversation with New York Times bestselling author Wendy Corsi Staub.
“I’ve interviewed Wendy often at various writing events, and I know her to be open, direct, forthcoming, and articulate, a real pleasure…,” says Cleland. “When I was approached by the producer, I was thrilled to interview her on camera. Writers at all levels can learn from her success.”
Said producer, Mark Staub, is the visionary behind The Writer’s Room—a role that encompasses “Getting the equipment and crew together, scouting locations, determining shooting and production schedules, bringing in talent, travel…”—and he knew that he wanted Cleland at the show’s helm. “I’ve seen Jane run panels at a number of events over the years and she is always excellent, well-spoken, prepared and able to keep the discussion lively.”
He was equally clear on who would be the show’s first guest, having been married to her for twenty years—a union that has since seen the birth of two children and more than seventy novels.
For her part, Wendy acknowledges this “hectic” life as the reason she tends to “wing it” when it comes to Q&A’s—an approach that nicely compliments Cleland’s methodic style: “Jane and I play well off each other. She always does her homework and is able to guide the interview along in a conversational style, following up on interesting threads rather than sticking to a pre-rehearsed script.”
“I read, read, read, and then read some more,” agrees Cleland. “I prepare questions that will, I hope, generate insights of value to viewers.”
Though the show primarily targets an audience of readers and writers, its appeal is broad. Notes Cleland, “Wendy and the other authors’ stories transcend any one discipline. The overreaching message is that while every author’s writing process is different, they’re all practical and diligent. There are no shortcuts to success, whatever your field.”
Staub sees the program’s purpose as twofold: “It provides media exposure for authors, which is always nice, and it provides the viewing public with some rare insight into the lives of working writers. We can use this public forum to answer the kinds of questions that I am frequently asked by readers who are curious about the process, the lifestyle, the industry, etc.”
A second episode featuring Mary Jane Clark has already been filmed. The interest and availability of other writers will determine the direction of upcoming installments.
“In the future, we will shoot and edit at Comcast facilities,” concludes Mark Staub. “My hope is to keep the ambiance of The Writer’s Room on a television stage, so we are really going to have to work hard to achieve that.”
Parts 1 & 2 of the first episode of The Writer’s Room are currently available for viewing on YouTube.
Wendy Corsi Staub will see her newest novel, Hell to Pay (Avon, $7.99), hit store shelves tomorrow (9/27). The book marks the final entry in an adult suspense trilogy that includes the Mary Higgins Clark award-nominated Live to Tell and its sequel, Scared to Death.