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Programs - The Writer's Voice

"The Writer's Voice" is a series in which we invite noted authors to talk about their work and read from their favorite writings. Programs are listed in reverse chronology, most recent one at the top. To locate a specific writer, type a portion of the name in the search box to the left.

J. Keith McMullin

Host Jennifer Robbins sits down with Author J. Keith McMullin and discuss being a caregiver and the inspirations and experiences that led him to write the wonderful memoir, “Missing Mary: A Crash Course in Alzheimer’s Dementia” about McMullin’s mother, Mary Compton McMullin, a former mathematics professor with a genius I.Q. Join the two as McMullin recounts memories and answers questions surrounding the life that brought forht this memoir. (July 2018, 29 minutes)book cover of missing mary written by j keith mcmullin

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Susan Hankla

Join host Robin Farmer as she sits down with critically-acclaimed poet and author Susan Hankla to discuss Hankla’s new book “Clinch River”. Hankla breaks down the stylings and influences that play into her work and especially Clinch River.Photo of Susan Hanka

“In Susan Hankla’s debut poetry collection, Clinch River, Appalachian women can dirt in Mason jars, push husbands down wishing wells, and try to read the signs on Hostess cupcakes. This landscapes is made of thorns, where the golden fleece of ambitions snag on troubles. A woman leaves town just so she can write a love letter to her husband. Another dispatches her man down the well. A real body of water in Appalachia, the Clinch is also a clenching river that baptizes souls as it takes them.” (22 minutes, April 2018)

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Celie Thomas

Host Jennifer Robins-Riley sits down with author and Life Coach with The Main Channel, Celie Thomas for a riveting dialogue about Thomas’ book “Active Meditation for Manifesting the Kingdom” which is her second version of the book published.  ‘Celie Thomas, the youngest of six children, grew up in a home filled with faith, hope, love and laughter. She is forever grateful for parents who instilled respect for Judeo-Christian principles through the example of their daily lives while encouraging spiritual growth and exploration. Active Meditation is their legacy.’ 

With her myriad of experience in counseling, education, healing and writing, Celie never fails to to bring forth a multi-faceted approach to the world! Not to mention her incredibly dedicated and ongoing support for us here at the Virginia Voice– you may have heard her lovely voice on our program ‘Reviews’ airing at 3:30 pm on Mondays! Tune into this Writer’s Voice for more from Celie and Jennifer.



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Steven K. Smith

Join host Robin Farmer as she sits down with New Jersey-to-Richmond transplant Steven K. Smith, who moved to VA with his family, fell in love with the state and ultimately spun his fantastic bedtime stories into adventure tales of surrounding Virginia outdoor landmarks. This 6 book series is called The Virginia Mystery Series and is geared towards young readers his children’s age.

Steven K. Smith, Author and Father of 3.

With his three sons being the main inspiration for his return to writing, Steven opened up his blog at MySons3.com as a way to document the trials and triumphs of being a father of 3, which also later was spun into his first piece of non-fiction. Listen below for the full interview! (November 2017, 22 mins)

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Kimberley W. Eley

Author and CEO of KWE Publishing, Kimberley W. Eley

“Some have discovered what they love to do. They enjoy their work and have made a career out of doing what makes them “tick”! After a career shakeup in 2014, Kimberley Eley knew she wanted to make a life change. Along the way, Eley interviewed a man who uses flying monkeys to reach his students, a woman with a spy-like name who creates creative intrigue, an inspiring coach and teacher who defied death, an entrepreneur who travels the country with a toilet suitcase, an animal trainer who crisscrosses the country with her cat circus, a travel agent who sends her customers into the unknown, and many more!

Eley asks the questions many people ask themselves: Why can’t I have fun at work? If you love what you do, will you really never work another day in your life? Are people who are passionate about what they do really different from everyone else? “Tickers” takes the reader on a journey across America, talking with many different people who share one thing in common: They do what they love to do.” Join Host Jennifer Robbins-Riley as she speaks with Richmond Author and Publisher Kimberley W. Eley about her journey to writing “Tickers” and more! (19 minutes)

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Lana Krumwiede

Author Lana Krumweide

Join us as host Robin Farmer sits down with Lana Krumwiede, an active local Richmond writer, founder of Richmond’s Children’s Writers, board member of James River Writers and former chair for the James River Writers Conference to talk about her journey through writing her trilogy of novels, The Psi Chronicles and more! Krumwiede has an exciting and decorated past in the Richmond writing scene, tune in below to hear all about her newest publication titled “River City Secrets: Stories from Richmond”  from Chop Suey (RVA) featuring short stories from 18 Richmond authors portraying historically relevant tales! (24 minutes)

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Kris Spisak

Host Robin Farmer sits down with author Kris Spisak for a history on her unexpected rise to being a published writer. Before getting published, her personal work was being featured on Google’s main page and was starting to be widely used in college classrooms, even. After 6 years of being a college writing instructor, Spisak became a professional writer and editor which led her to the realization that many business professionals of all ages and intersections were making the same grammar mistakes over and over again.

Author Kris Spisak

From this discovery, Spisak independently maintained a grammar blog which eventually led her to an opportunity to make a grammar book for widespread publishing. She also is noted for the development of the game “Grammar-topia” which fosters learning about grammar in a fun, pop-culture based way, which indirectly works an reinforces the forsaken grammar concepts. Tune in below to hear more about Kris Spisak’s journey through writing and about how her phenomenal game can help us learn more effectively. (16 minutes)

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Joy Harris

Working for over a decade to gather insight to the miracles and obstacles of her Grandmother’s life, Joy Harris takes us on a behind-the-scenes journey through the life of the remarkable Maggie Ingram. Harris’ biography about Ingram’s life titled “Singing Ain’t Enough” debuted at number one on Amazon for books, was featured in both Gospel Living and Christian Living magazines, has received high praise from Richmond Magazine and Style Weekly and was even highlighted during the Virginia Folklife Showcase. Maggie Ingram was very well known in the Richmond and surrounding Virginia areas for her female empowerment in the church.

Singing Aint Enough

That spread far and wide as inspiration to show other women that God does in fact speak through them musically and a woman’s place is not sitting silent in the pews during service. Her strength and miraculous nature to persevere and achieve success in multiple careers will uplift you, and Joy Harris’ love and admiration for her Grandmother in the writing of this book will inspire and warm your heart. Tune in to hear host Robin Farmer lead you through an enthralling chat with the author. (20 minutes)



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Bill Blume

“For Gidion Keep, hunting vampires is easy. It’s high school that might kill him.” Local author Bill Blume’s first young adult novel Gidion’s Hunt (originally titled Tales of a 10th Grade Vampire Hunter) was published in 2013. His most recently published novel, Gidion’s Blood, is the next in the Gidion Hunt, Vampire Hunter series. Bill discovered his love for the written word while in high school and has been writing ever since. His short stories have been published in many fantasy anthologies and various ezines. Just like the father figure in his first novel, Bill works as a 911 dispatcher for Henrico County. He is heavily involved in James River Writers. Bill talks with host Robin Farmer about his writing process, the themes his writings explore and the importance of the supportive writing community in Richmond.   (18 minutes)

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Joanna Suzanne Lee

Joanna Suzanne Lee earned her MD from MCV and a Master’s in Applied Science from William & Mary.Her poetry has been published in a number of online and print journals and her first play All In, co-written with Mark Covington, was recently performed at Firehouse Theater.  She has been nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes. As a leading force behind River City Poets, Joanna makes possible a wide range of poetry happenings throughout Richmond. She gives semi-regular workshops on various aspects of poetry but particularly enjoys focusing on the intersection between creativity and healing. Host Robin Farmer talks to Suzanne about her transition from MD to poet, her belief in the healing power of writing, and how she overcame her fear of speaking in public with the realization that reading her poetry aloud gives her a unique experience to connect with listeners.  (23 minutes)

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