Desideratum

Desideratum

Desideratum is a Latin word meaning 'things that are desired as essential'. The Desideratum Podcast celebrates storytelling as an essential thing - the art of telling and the journey of listening. Join me audiobook narrator Theresa Bakken and my wordsmith friends for new episodes every Friday showcasing the talents of authors and narrators. Listen to conversations with writers and scenes from their audiobooks. Tune in to hear an artist you love or to find your new favorite storyteller. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/theresa-bakken/support

Episodes

November 18, 2022 27 min

Folly Park is a story about history, race, identity, and friendship. At its heart is a woman named Temple Preston and her old, crumbling, ancestral plantation in Virginia.  With the discovery of long hidden, disturbing family secrets, Temple gets wrapped up in exposing these family secrets as a way to save the ancestral home, until she begins to question whether it's really worth saving. 

Author Heidi Hackford talks about the c...

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This is a story about a quiet, thoughtful man named Harlan Leblanc.  The story is about how and why Leblanc gets tangled up in a murder investigation. You'll hear from author James Wade about the action and the allegory he created, and about the ways he tried to mirror and balance the darkness and hope in this gritty tale.  We talk about the humor he found in indecision and inflammation.  And, how his young daughter is shifting...

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This is a story about a seasoned war photojournalist named Annie Green. The timeline is 2015 and Annie is headed back to Afghanistan on assignment. She’s struggling through PTSD from the last time she was there - when a girls school she was working at exploded killing her closest friend. She’s also facing betrayal from a rival journalist, and she’s navigating a delicate balance between love, motherhood and a dangerous career. We’re...
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October 14, 2022 24 min
This is a story that author Kerry Anne King says began with a house: a house that won't stay painted, whose shingles won't stay on, and the lawn won't stay mowed.  It's in a constant state of falling apart. Like it's grieving, or possessed by ghosts. Kerry's new novel IMPROBABLY YOURS is her 13th, and it does have some spooky elements.  But, it's also an adventure complete with a real treasure map. It be...
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Her new crime mystery 9 Days got us talking about tarot card readings and wondering if how the stars aligned at the time of our birth could shape or guide us...  That's because author Jule Selbo's new murder mystery 9 Days opens with a world famous astrologist confessing to murder.  When the astrologist's 12 year old son doesn't believe his mother is guilty, he hires Private Investigator Dee Rommel to find the truth...

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September 30, 2022 33 min

The Deception is about life and death and the delicate veil between the two. The story spirals around an Illusionist running from her past, and a Medium whose past fame and spirit guide have abandoned her. The pliable Maud (the Medium known as the Maid of Light) and the clever Clementine (a master of tricks and illusions) join forces to find fame and fortune, but at what cost… does the end justify the means? 

Listen as author Kim T...

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September 23, 2022 23 min
Imagine a character waking you up with his story… that’s how Robb Grindstaff describes writing his new novel SLADE. For me - talking to Robb about writing SLADE was a meta moment - interviewing an author about his life and his book that is about interviewing an author about his book and his life. Turns out interviewing skills are all over Robb’s resume. The newspaper biz took him from small town Wisconsin to Washington DC. He descr...
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Ellen Marie Wiseman is drawn to the dark corners of history, where rumors and mystery shroud the truth. It's where she finds and develops characters who shine. Listen as she shares how her own history led her to write about hidden truths and social injustices.  We're talking about her new novel, The Lost Girls of Willowbrook, which is set in a real state run institution exposed back in 1972 for its atrocious abuses.  Ellen ...

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Author Carol Van Den Hende sought solace in writing and then committed to sharing what she learned about resilience with her readers. Her novels Goodbye Orchid and Orchid Blooming are about love, personal growth, and trauma recovery.  Listen to how she drew inspiration from combat wounded veterans. Find out why her own personal love story (how she met her husband)  influenced her characters' brushes with kismet.  Hear an excerp...

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With a cast of many characters, telling the story from more than a dozen vantage points - Johnnie Bernhard takes readers on a journey with a widow and a sojourner in her new novel Hannah and Ariela.  Johnnie's connection to the land, the people, and the history of Texas shine through, but listen to how writing from all these different points of view challenged her and made her "put her ego in her back pocket". We talk a...

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She comes from a long line of resilient, resourceful, and quirky Colorado women, and she loves finding obscure historical facts to write about.  But, while Randi Samuelson Brown's new novel is rooted in the past, it's action and suspense are current and contemporary.  We're talking about book one in her new series featuring a Brand Inspector in Colorado cattle country.  It's called Brand Chaser and it's layered ...

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Author and narrator Travis Baldree has created an escapist fantasy that  - as the first line promises -  is "for anyone who wondered where the other road led."  It's the story of a fabled artifact (a stone that promises a ring of fortune) and an Orc named Viv who is ready to change her life - ready to leave mercenary work behind and open the first coffee shop in the city of Thune.  The shop, its regulars, its slowly dev...
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May 27, 2022 27 min
Michelle Cox - the author of the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series - talks about how her spunky, sleuthing, sexy character Henrietta is based on a real woman. We’re talking about book 5 in the series - A Child Lost - where multiple story lines of crime and passion weave together. It’s easy to pick up the threads even if you’re new to Henrietta’s adventures. And, while there aren’t any cliff hanging loose ends, you will find clu...
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A real life, centuries old mystery surrounding the fate of Eleanor Dare and her carved stone whispered across time and gave wings to Kimberly Brock's storytelling imagination. Kimberly plants her story in 1945, and then carefully reveals its deep roots. It’s an exquisite story about being found and seen - about finding your way and feeling lost. And - wow - the truths Kimberly illuminates along the way about mothers and daughte...
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When was the last time you read a middle grade fiction? This week's featured author Heather Mateus Sappenfield will convince you it's time with her new novel The River Between Hearts. It’s an adventure with an almost-11 year old girl named Rill. It’s a story about friendship and compassion - and loss and longing.  You'll spend a few minutes with her main character Rill and her friend Perla in a reading that hints at the...

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This week's featured story is a Pandora's box of secrets.  We are talking to author Julia Brewer Daily about how secrets reverberate through her character's stories. Her debut novel - No Names to be Given - begins in a maternity hospital in New Orleans in the late 1960’s where three young women relinquish their babies for adoption on the same day.   It’s a fiction based on truth - the maternity hospital really existed a...
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Welcome to Episode 50! We’re talking to author Elayne Audrey Becker about her novel Forestborn - a fantasy story about human frailty, self doubt, and the dangers of othering - all examined through a magical lens. We begin with Elayne sharing why she made her main character Rora a shapeshifter. 

You will hear a scene from Chapter 1 when Rora is working as a spy for the king - tracking cases of a deadly disease. The scene takes place...

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In our conversation with Jeffrey Blount, we talk about foundations, race relations, thunderstorms, banana seat bicycles, and parenting. His novel The Emancipation of Evan Walls centers on the childhood of a boy in the late 1960’s who decides he wants to be somebody.  Jeffrey's characters frustrate, illuminate, foster empathy and inspire. The novel is not an audiobook yet, so I asked my friend and fellow narrator Earl Sewell to ...

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March 11, 2022 22 min

James Wade’s writing washed over me. I felt and heard the rhythm and tone he gave his novel River Sing Out. You’re going to hear some of the audiobook from his narrator Roger Clark - who has voiced about a hundred audiobooks, worked in theater and film, and is perhaps best known for portraying Arthur Morgan in Rock Star Games’ Red Dead Redemption.  But first, listen to James explain why his characters have vivid dreams -  why it’s ...

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James tells a tale steeped in nature and human nature - with violence and addiction creating a ripple effect in his character's lives.  It is hard for me to articulate just how poetic his prose and his writing style is -  how he conjures something musical in his writing.  In this outtake we talk about the cycles where he found his rhythm and truth. Listen to the full episode this Friday.  #desideratumpodcast #riversingout #cycl...

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