From Kate's Writing Crate...
While visiting my parents, I discovered two new TV shows highlighting books and authors on RLTV—a channel I had never heard of before celebrating retired living. While the channel may be geared for a certain age group (50+), two shows, Books & Beyond and Bookmark, are for anyone who loves to read and write.
Books & Beyond is on every weekday morning at 7am. An author is shown at a book reading at a bookstore like Powell's. He or she engages with the audience answering questions as well, but the taped reading is interspersed with an interview with the author answering questions about his or her writing practices, ideas, and other works. Both fiction and non-fiction are included in the program.
On one show, Scott Hutchins, author of the novel A Working Theory of Love, shared his secret for overcoming a writing slump. "Sometimes when I am feeling a little clamped up as a writer, I'll just go over to my bookshelves and start pulling books off that I love and just read a few pages and remind myself about how this works. That it's just a word, a word, and a word. Sometimes it starts to feel like a mystical practice rather than just writing sentences so that's one way I work through that."
While I don't always like the topics of books highlighted on Books & Beyond, I enjoy the interviews with writers. Working authors give the rest of us glimpses into how it can be done—although you have to find your own path and it all begins with picking up a pen or sitting in front of your computer.
Bookmark, shown at 10pm on Fridays and repeated a few times during the week, is much more varied. Two or three authors are interviewed by host Daryn Kagen as well as publishers. Top 5 and Top 10 lists covering many different categories are listed. For example, Top 5 Reading Cities according to Amazon: 1) Alexandria, Virginia; 2) Cambridge, MA; 3) Berkeley, CA; 4) Ann Arbor, MI; and 5) Boulder, CO. Book suggestions are given. Movies based on books are compared and contrasted by critic Jeffrey Lyons and Kagen. The show covers all aspects of reading including e-books. Also, on a recent episode, a segment showed the importance of libraries and book groups in men's prisons. Books are revered on Bookmark.
Several authors I have read and two I really enjoy, Jennifer Crusie and Nicole Krauss, have been highlighted on Bookmark along with authors new to me like Ann Leary, author of The Good House, who writes in a bed surrounded by her dogs. Kagen always asks authors about their writing practices. I am fascinated by when and how authors write and how they work through to the end of such long projects. I am inspired by their thoughts and admissions.
Both of these shows have become Must Watch TV for me.
Let me know if you enjoy these shows.