Art In Fiction

Art In Fiction

Find out what makes great, arts-inspired fiction in a variety of genres, from mysteries to crime novels, historical fiction, thrillers, contemporary fiction, and more. Art In Fiction founder and author Carol M. Cram chats with some of the top novelists featured on Art In Fiction, a curated online database of books inspired by the arts. Discover your next great read and get valuable advice on what it takes to be a successful writer.


September 18, 2023 33 mins

Listen in as I chat with Madeline Martin, the New York Times bestselling author of novels set in World War II along with dozens of romance novels. Madeline joins me on the Art In Fiction Podcast to discuss her three novels listed in the Literature category on Art In Fiction:  The Last Bookshop in London, The Librarian Spy and her newest novel, The Keeper of Hidden Books

Highlights include:

  • Why Madeline chose books as ...
Mark as Played

In this episode, I'm chatting with Pip Williams, author of two novels featured in the Literature category on Art In Fiction: The Dictionary of Lost Words andThe Bookbinder

Highlights include:

  • The Oxford English Dictionary and Oxford University Press as inspiration for both novels.
  • Finding treasure in the archives of Oxford University Press.
  • Inspiration for The Bookbinder and an examination of women's work befo...
Mark as Played

In this episode, I'm chatting with Nicola Harrision, author of two novels featured on Art In Fiction: Laguna Beach in the Visual Arts category and The Show Girl  in the Theater category. 

Highlights include:

  • Origins of Laguna Beach as the story of a woman who had been a Rosie the Riveter in WWII only to be thanked and sent on her way at the end of the War.
  • The Pageant of the Masters--a unique art event that's b...
Mark as Played

I'm chatting with Liza Nash Taylor, author of Etiquette for Runaways and In All Good Faith.

Highlights include:

  •  Origins of Etiquette for Runaways (Hint: don't text and talk!)
  • Moll Flanders as inspiration for the main character May Marshall
  • Finding Easter Eggs to inspire plot
  • What happens when a fully formed character pops into your head and just won't go away
  • Prohibition-era moonshine in Etiquette for Runawa...
Mark as Played

Join me as I chat with Samantha Silva, author of Love and Fury and Mr. Dickens and His Carol.


  • Origins of Love and Fury
  • Why Mary Wollstonecraft--her life, her writing, and her ongoing contribution as the "first feminist"
  • Structuring Love and Fury - the use of ten plot points
  • Sense and sensibility in Love and Fury
  • Mary Wollstonecraft's long road back into public consciousness a hundred years after h...
Mark as Played

Join me as I chat with Finola Austin, author of the award-winning debut novel Brontë's Mistress.


  • Origins of Brontë's Mistress
  • Investigating Lydia Robinson, rumored to have had an affair with Branwell Brontë, the n'er-do-well brother of the famous Brontë sisters
  • Inspiration from Mrs. Gaskell's biography of Charlotte Brontë
  • Contrast between Lydia Robinson and the typical Brontë heroine
  • Using Re...
Mark as Played

Join me as I chat with Lauren Belfer, author of several riveting historical novels including And After the Fire and A Fierce Radiance.   


  • Genesis of And After the Fire
  • Learning about the music of Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Salons of 19th-century Berlin and Fanny Mendelsohn
  • Role of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, son of Johann Sebastian Bach in the novel
  • Fanny Mendelsohn's fraught relationship with her brother Felix Men...
Mark as Played

Join me as I chat with Lynn Cullen, author of several novels including Mrs. Poe and Twain's End.   


  • Genesis of Twain's End
  • Shocking truths about Mark Twain
  • Hal Holbrook, Mark Twain, and Isabelle Lyon
  • How would we label Mark Twain in this age of psychological profiling?
  • Francis Osgood and her relationship with Edgar Allen Poe in Mrs. Poe
  • Poe and the popularity of The Raven
  • Depicting the complexity of roma...
Mark as Played

Join me as I chat with B. A. Shapiro, the New York Times bestselling author of three fabulous novels featuring visual art: The Art Forger, The Muralist, and The Collector's Apprentice.  


  • The attraction of art, particularly late-19th and early-20th-century art, as a subject for novels
  • Genesis of The Collector's Apprentice
  • Writing the "bad guy " in The Collector's Apprentice
  • Cézanne and M...
Mark as Played

Join me as I chat with bestselling novelist Alka Joshi, author of two novels listed on Art In Fiction: The Henna Artist and The Secret Keeper of Jaipur, both set in India in the 1950s and 1960s. 


  • Overview of The Henna Artist (Decorative Arts)
  • Inspiration for The Henna Artist 
  • Women and independence
  • India in the 1950s and India today
  • Resourcefulness of the characters in The Henna Artist and The Secret Keeper of J...
Mark as Played

Join me as I chat with Erika Gaffney, the creator of the ArtHerstory website at 


  • The genesis of the Art Herstory website
  • Developments in celebrating women artists from the Renaissance and Baroque eras
  • Why has the work of female artists not been in the public eye until quite recently?
  • Erika's background as an Acquisitions Editor in scholarly publishing
  • Women artists in the medieval era
  • Wo...
Mark as Played

Join me as I chat with Deborah Swift, author of four novels listed on Art In Fiction, including The Lady's Slipper and the Women of Pepys' Diaries Series, all set in England in the 17th century. 


  • Genesis of The Lady's Slipper (Visual Arts)
  • Why the novel is set following the English Civil War
  • Orchids in The Lady's Slipper
  • Reading from The Lady's Slipper
  • The Women of Samuel Pepys' Dia...
Mark as Played

Join me as I chat with Lilianne Milgrom, author of L’Origine, an intriguing novel about the creation and history of L’Origine du Monde by Gustave Courbet, one of the world’s most provocative paintings.


  • Find out why Courbet's L'Origine du Monde is still raising eyebrows after 150 years
  • The effect of the painting on Lilianne
  • Gustave Courbet and realism
  • How reactions to L'Origine du Monde are like t...
Mark as Played

Meet Alex George, author of The Paris Hours,  a tour de force of a novel told over the course of one day in 1927 about four ordinary people whose stories are as extraordinary as the glorious city they inhabit.


  • The genesis of The Paris Hours --Marcel Proust and his maid
  • How is a writer like a magpie? 
  • Paris in the 1920s--incorporating the tapestry of history into a novel
  • The roles played in the novel by a panoply of stars...
Mark as Played

Meet Donna DiGiuseppe, author of Lady in Ermine, a stunning biographical novel about Renaissance painter Sofonisba Anguissola.


  • Lady in Ermine is "a vivid portrait of a talented woman who defied the conventions of her times." Find out why!
  • Who is Sofonisba Anguissola and why is she in the news lately?
  • Discover why Giorgio Vasari, who wrote Lives of the Artists, considered Sofonisba's work worthy ...
Mark as Played

In Episode 23, meet C. C. Humphreys, bestselling author of several novels listed on Art In Fiction, including Shakespeare's Rebel, Chasing the Wind, and Vlad: The Last Confession.


  • What is an adventure writer of historical fiction?
  • The genesis of Shakespeare's Rebel: "Hamlet and swords" 
  • Challenges of depicting real people such as Shakespeare, Elizabeth I, Lord Essex, and Sir Robert Cecil
  • A r...
Mark as Played

Welcome to the Episode 22 of The Art In Fiction Podcast!

Meet Charlie Lovett, bestselling author of 5 novels listed on Art In Fiction,  including his most recent, Escaping Dreamland.


  • What is a bibliophile and why do they interest Charlie so much?
  • How Charlie chooses what to write about
  • Genesis of Escaping Dreamland - what's with those children's series novels?
  • Who really wrote the children&ap...
Mark as Played

Welcome to the Art In Fiction Podcast!

In this episode, I've compiled advice from nine of the authors interviewed in Season 1 of the podcast.  You'll learn five smart tips from Syrie James, Barbara Linn Probst, Maggie Humm, Stephanie Storey, Jeanne Mackin, Stephanie Cowell, Helaine Mario, Barbara Quick, and Patricia Morrisroe.


Tip #1: Write what you love to read 

  • Syrie James and ...
Mark as Played

Welcome to EPISODE 20  of the Art In Fiction Podcast.

Paris between the wars is the exciting setting for Jeanne Mackin's novels The Last Collection and The Beautiful American.

In this episode, find out about wacky surrealist lobsters, why pencils and paper were not allowed at fashion shows, and a lot more!


  • The Beautiful American and the art and life of photographer Lee M...
Mark as Played

Welcome to EPISODE 19 of the Art In Fiction Podcast.

The three novelists you'll meet in this episode are each inspired by a different classical composer. They discuss their inspiration and research processes, and touch on a topic rarely discussed in author circles--money!

Barbara Quick is the author of Vivaldi’s Virgins, Stephanie Cowell is the author of Marrying Mozart, and Patricia Morrisroe is the author...

Mark as Played

Popular Podcasts

    Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations.

    Crime Junkie

    If you can never get enough true crime... Congratulations, you’ve found your people.

    Around the NFL's "Around the NFL" crew (Gregg Rosenthal, Dan Hanzus and Marc Sessler) break down the latest football news, with a dash of mirth.

    Stuff You Should Know

    If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks, then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

    The Bobby Bones Show

    Listen to 'The Bobby Bones Show' by downloading the daily full replay.

Advertise With Us

For You

    Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.


    © 2023 iHeartMedia, Inc.