Ellen Phillips writes the Consumer Watch column for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, which appears on Sundays.  She's also written two books: Shocked, Appalled, and Dismayed!: How to Write Letters of Complaint That Get Results and Fight Back and Win!

Chattanooga-area author Tim Champlin's first few novels were published in the early 1980s.  Writing mainly Westerns, he's now penned more than thirty-five books.  In this extended interview, he discusses his long career.  Many of his novels originally published in paperback or hardcover are being re-issued as e-books.

“[I]n the last one hundred years,” Janisse Ray writes in The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food, “94 percent of seed varieties available at the turn of the century in America and considered a part of the human commons have been lost.”

Her book explains why so many seed varieties have vanished, and how this loss could pose serious environmental dangers.

Keith Robinson's Island of Fog series first launched in 2009.  Aimed at children ages 9 and up, the books have found a following among adult sci-fi/fantasy fans as well.

The protagonist, Hal Franklin, is a twelve-year-old shapeshifter who can turn into a dragon.  Along with his friends, he must keep an uneasy peace between humans and mythical creatures such as dragons, ogres, and centaurs.

For several decades, the World Cup soccer games were hosted alternately by countries in South America and Europe. So it’s perhaps appropriate that the closing games of this year’s contest are between two giants from South America and Northern Europe. The question of whether the final game will pit South America against Northern Europe will be answered this afternoon when Argentina faces the Netherlands in the second of the two semi final games.

Former 911 dispatcher Jeff Hewitt writes fiction, humor, horror and more.  He co-wrote an article for, “5 Terrible Things I Learned As A 911 Dispatcher,” which currently has more than one million page views.  Popular horror podcasts Pseudopod dramatized his short story “Face Change,” with actor Anson Mount reading it.

Charles Wright: The Contemplative Poet Laureate

Jun 16, 2014

Our next poet laureate may end up speaking on behalf of the more private duties of the poet — contemplation, wisdom, searching — rather than public ones. In one of his first public statements after learning of his new post, Charles Wright said that, as laureate, "I'll probably stay here at home and think about things." He also told NPR, "I will not be an activist laureate, I don't think, the way Natasha [Trethewey] was ... and certainly not the way Billy Collins was, or Bob Hass, or Rita Dove, or Robert Pinsky; you know, they had programs. I have no program."

In this interview, Chattanooga authors Becky Wooley and Michael W. Gardner and Chattanooga audiobook narrator George Taylor explain how to get free downloads of their work--available in June only.

From a media release:


“There’s a lot that happened [in Chattanooga] that people are not aware of,” acclaimed Civil War author Jeff Shaara says of the battles that took place in 1863, when Union forces controlled the city and Confederates cut off supply lines.  Shaara’s new novel The Smoke At Dawn dramatizes what happened, including conflicts such as the Battle of Lookout Mountain and the Battle of Missionary Ridge.

Harry Potter And The Forbidden Books

Jun 2, 2014

In my small Georgia hometown, which had 144 churches and one bar, Harry Potter was considered the height of devilish devices — a conspiracy created to lure innocent children down the wicked paths to moral ruin. I could count on one hand the number of kids I knew who'd read the forbidden books, and they'd been bullied for it. But I'd seen them in stacks at Wal-Mart (the only place books were actually sold in my town) and though I hadn't dared to admit it, they'd whispered to me.

Two authors co-wrote the latest Tupelo cookbook: Elizabeth Sims, who is a food writer, and Brian Sonoskus, the executive chef at the original Tupelo Honey Cafe in Asheville, N.C.  The book centers on food from the Blue Ridge Mountains, and it explains how such recipes can differ from the usual Southern fare.  In this interview, the authors speak with WUTC's Michael Edward Miller about Tupelo Honey Cafe: New Southern Flavors From the Blue Ridge Mountains.  The cookbook is available at Tupelo Honey's

Every few years, giant monsters rise from the ocean and smash cities--at least, in Hollywood movies and in fiction.  Last year, Pacific Rim presented a new twist on the theme, and this summer, yet another Godzilla remake will be released.

Shane Berryhill’s new comic book series Sherwood, Texas will debut on Free Comic Book Day, which is Saturday, May 3rd.  WUTC’s Michael Edward Miller speaks with Berryhill about the series, which is a modern re-imagining of the Robin Hood story.

The publisher, 12 Gague Comics, describes it like this:

A story older than all of us, told now for the first time!

WUTC’s Michael Edward Miller speaks with Atlanta author Alvin Townley.  His latest book is Defiant: The POWs Who Endured Vietnam's Most Infamous Prison, the Women Who Fought for Them, and the One Who Never Returned.  It recounts the true story of 11 American soldiers who were imprisoned under especially harsh conditions, and it explains how their wives founded the POW/MIA movement to help free them.

From the publisher:

Laura Johnston Kohl was a member of the People's Temple in 1978 when Jim Jones led more than 900 people to commit mass suicide.  In this extended interview, WUTC's Richard Winham speaks with Kohl about getting involved in the group, surviving the massacre, rebuilding her life afterward, and why she says the United States is a country of cults today.