July 25, 2004
When the Book Crazy Radio Network, a station devoted entirely to books and authors, signed off in February, the Valley’s writing community was left in the lurch.
"When the station went dark, I was so busy with my own writing I didn’t even bother to look for another station to carry my show," says Vijaya Schartz, president of the Arizona Authors Association and former host of "Authors Secrets," one of Book Crazy’s most popular shows. "But everyone has told me how much they miss the creative interaction."
Touring authors frequently stopped by when they were in town to chat with Book Crazy founder and CEO Debbie Neckel. Many stayed to dispense writing and publishing advice to callers on Schartz’s "Authors Secrets." All that changed when family health concerns forced Neckel move to northern Arizona, effectively canceling the more than 50 programs carried by the network.
"Some programs were able to find another home on the Internet, but people have to hunt a little harder for them now," Schartz says.
One of those programs, "The Dragon Page," still originates from Phoenix and recently split into two programs — "Cover to Cover," which airs Fridays and Saturdays via the Internet (www.dragonpage.com) and the new ‘‘Live Fire,’’ which airs 6 p.m. Sundays on KFYI (550 AM) as well as the Web site.
"I can’t believe how big all this is getting," says program founder and co-host Michael Mennenga. "We now have two different radio shows, the biggest being ‘Dragon Page Cover To Cover,’ which is the largest sci-fi, fantasy talk show in the entire country.
‘‘At first we had to scramble to get authors, but now they come to us. People like Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Piers Anthony — that’s the level we’re at."
JANCE VISITS SCOTTSDALE
A special treat is in store for mystery lovers this week when J.A. Jance visits Scottsdale to talk about her new suspense novel, "Day of the Dead." Jance frequently bases her victims and killers on real people who, as she once said, "done me wrong."
In one of her books, she turned a professor at the University of Arizona into a serial killer because he refused to let her into the creative writing program, telling her, "Women don’t become writers, men do. Women read their books."
See Jance 7 p.m. Wednesday at The Poisoned Pen, 4014 N. Goldwater Blvd. For more information, call (480) 947-2974. It’s free, but early arrival is advised.
BECK OFFERS WORKSHOP
Valley author and life coach Martha Beck is offering a workshop based on her bestselling book "Finding Your O wn North Star." Beck believes that everyone dreams of great achievement but knows that life frequently gets in the way.
In her workshop, she will help participants discover why their dreams fell by the wayside, then gives step-by-step guidelines to evolve those lost dreams into present day realities.
The $30 workshop will take place Aug. 5 at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe. For more information, call (480) 730-0205.
- Former Tribune books editor Betty Webb, author of the Lena Jones mystery novels, can be reached at BJWebbb@aol.com.