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Legendary Fantasy Writer Tad Williams on It's A Question of Balance

Ruth Copland features her interview with superstar fantasy writer Tad Williams who has sold tens of millions of books worldwide and is a legend in the world of fantasy. Known as the 'American Tolkien', his work has inspired a generation of both readers and authors, including A Song of Ice and Fire/ Game of Thrones writer George RR Martin and Eragon writer Christopher Paolini. 

To listen to the interview click here Tad Williams | It's A Question of Balance

Tad Williams' considerable output of epic fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, comics, and more have influenced a generation. Before he became an incredibly successful writer, Tad worked professionally in the theatre; wrote and played with the band Idiot; hosted a syndicated radio show for over 10 years; and co-created the first completely interactive television programme, amongst many other things! Born in Palo Alto, Tad and his family now live in the Santa Cruz mountains in a suitably strange and beautiful house. 

Ruth Copland and Tad Williams talk about what inspired his new trilogy, his first creative experiences, the place of women in his fantasy world, what he hopes readers see in his work, his creative writing process, the need for fiction in education, whether art can be healing, his criteria for being satisfied with a book, what he’s working on next, and more!

After the publication of his first hugely popular book Tailchaser’s Song in 1985, Tad took the fantasy genre by storm in 1988 with the first novel in the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy, The Dragonbone Chair. This first installment and the subsequent books—Stone of Farewell and To Green Angel Tower—sold millions of copies worldwide and have been translated into twenty-five languages. Tad’s extensive body of genre-creating and genre-busting work comprises stand-alone novels such as The War of The Flowers and Caliban’s Hour; multi-volume series: Otherland; and Shadowmarch; the noir fantasy Bobby Dollar books; as well as comics published by DC Comics, a series of young-adult books written with his wife, Deborah Beale, The Ordinary Farm Adventures, and also short fiction, essays, and screenplays.

Now, after decades of fan anticipation Tad returns to the world and characters beloved by millions of fantasy readers worldwide with a brand-new sequel series set thirty years after the events in Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. The first novel in the The Last King of Osten Ard new series is The Witchwood Crown.

For more information and to hear past shows click here It's A Question of Balance

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Master Storyteller & #1 NYT Bestselling Author Maggie Stiefvater on It's A Question of Balance

Called “a master storyteller” by USA Today, Maggie is also a brilliant artist and plays the bagpipes, which she enjoys almost as much as racing her 1973 Camaro!

Listen to the interview here Maggie Stiefvater | It's A Question of Balance (broadcast 15 Sept)

Ruth Copland talks to Maggie about her life, art and her latest magical-realism story All The Crooked Saints. Amongst many other things, we talk about how her childhood as a 'navy brat' affected her creative work and what inspires her to tell stories. Maggie’s best-selling books include the Books of Faerie, the best-selling Wolves of Mercy Falls or Shiver Trilogy, the stand-alone novel The Scorpio Races - named a Michael L. Printz Honor Book by the American Library Association, and the #1 New York Times bestselling series The Raven Cycle which received 19 starred reviews from industry journals across four books. Maggie began writing as a child and started submitting novels for consideration from the age of 16. Her books have been translated into 38 languages and optioned for film.

Maggie is also an award-winning coloured pencil artist and has worked as a professional portrait artist. She has a BA in History and whilst at college tried to get into a creative writing class but was told her writing wasn't promising enough!

For more information and to listen to past shows click here It's A Question of Balance

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How Can We Prevent Fake News? on It's A Question of Balance


There are different aspects to fake news, the corrosive phenomenon that is pervading American life right now. These include:
wilful dissemination of untruths,
amateurish reporting,
lack of fact verification,
and social media news delivery.

Ruth Copland explores with her special guest Stewart Purvis how we can prevent fake news in all its forms.

Listen to the show here  Fake News | It's A Question of Balance

Ruth Copland's guest is highly regarded UK media professional, Stewart Purvis, who has over four decades experience in broadcast media including TV and radio reporting, production, editing national news services, running a media business, and broadcast regulation. Stewart has won awards for documentaries and news from the Royal Television Society and BAFTA, and for his services to broadcast journalism was awarded by the Queen a CBE, one of the highest British civilian honours. In addition Stewart was a visiting professor at Oxford University, Professor of Journalism at City University, and has co-authored two books, one about the Cambridge super spy Guy Burgess, and one about when journalists cross the line. 

For more info and to hear past shows click here It's A Question of Balance

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Rad Girls Can - win gold medals, become CEOs, run for office, all under age 20! It's A Question of Balance

Rad Women author Kate Schatz and artist Miriam Klein Stahl showcase bold, brave and brilliant girls under 20 who are living rad lives in ways small and great.

Listen to the interview here Rad Girls Can | It's A Question of Balance (broadcast July 21).

The runaway success of the Rad Women series has inspired girls, women, and the men in their lives. Kate and Miriam say they "truly believe that RAD GIRLS CAN is the book we all need right now. It shows us the potential and the power of young, creative, hopeful, brilliant girls, and all that they can do in this world. While some of the stories in Rad Girls Can are about girls from history, many are contemporary, and show how young people are engaging with and shaping the future of some of our most urgent issues, including voting rights, climate change, immigration, gender and sexual identity, disability rights, and racial justice".

This New York Time best-selling artistic duo hailing from the Bay Area join Ruth Copland to talk about their lives, art, and how the Rad Women books first came about!

If you enjoy the interview, you can purchase Rad Girls Can at Bookshop Santa Cruz either in store in Santa Cruz or via bookshopsantacruz.com 

For more info and to listen to past shows click here It's A Question of Balance

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Has social media changed how much we live versus perform our lives? Thought-provoking Conversations on It's A Question of Balance

Shakespeare said “All the world's a stage,/ And all the men and women merely players”. The analogy of life as a performance is not a new thing; it has been considered for centuries by such people as Pythagoras and Petronius amongst others. In the past, however, musings focused more on who might be controlling the ‘play’ rather than on people acting out their lives. With social media, though, there is a sense of increasing self-consciousness as we consider what effect our posts are creating.

To listen to show click here Social Media | It's A Question of Balance

Are we documenting our lives through social media or are we manufacturing our lives to fit an image that we want to project? Are we simply sharing our experiences or are we creating them with an audience in mind? Are we authentic online or are we playing a part? Even if we are not trying to control our image necessarily, are we able to live life in the moment without considering whether it’s a good photo opportunity or something to post about? What do you think?

Ruth Copland features her interviews on the street considering ‘Has social media changed how much we live versus perform our lives?’

For more info on the show and to hear past shows visit www.itsaquestionofbalance.com

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Jimmy Jackson, Acclaimed Guitarist, Music Producer, and Songwriter on It's A Question of Balance with Ruth Copland

This week Ruth Copland features her interview with amazing guitarist, producer and songwriter Jimmy Jackson, who is based in Santa Cruz, CA. Jimmy has worked with Country Hall of Fame star Lacy J Dalton, country legend Tanya Tucker, the Trailerpark Troubadours, Michael Nesmith of the The Monkees, and Grammy winner JoEl Sonnier, amongst many others. Ruth Copland plays Jimmy's songs, talks to him about his long career, and his new band project with Restless Souls. Fellow bandmate David Adams also joins them in the studio. 

To listen to interview click here Jimmy Jackson | It's A Question of Balance

Jimmy is an in-demand independent music producer and has produced many albums including for country diva Lacy J Dalton, Bud Cockrel of the band Pablo Cruz, garage pop band French Girls, and rock pianist Matt Warner. Jimmy has written songs with number one Nashville songwriter Dean Dillon, the late Grammy winning composer/drummer Ricky Lawson, and Nashville hit songwriters Jerry Lassiter and Earl Clark. Jimmy has been published by Acuff-Rose in Nashville and VIG Music in L.A. His songs have been performed by artists such as country star Tanya Tucker, and Tamalyn LaBeeb.

As a highly regarded guitarist Jimmy has featured on many albums and live music tours. He is a clinician for Epiphone guitar, for whom he designed the Airscreamer guitar, an electric guitar that looks like an Airstream trailer. He also performs and records Epiphone video demos, which have hundreds of thousands of views on Youtube. Jimmy builds custom electric guitars with unique sounds and designs, and has toured with Jackson Browne as his guitar tech responsible for over 30 rare guitars. Jimmy was the manager, producer and lead guitarist for the Trailer Park Troubadours for seven years and was the band leader and lead guitarist of Ranch Dressing, the house band for Michael Nesmith’s Video Ranch, an ‘in world’ realtime performance venue. Jimmy’s solo album ‘Walkin Blues’, which he wrote and on which he performs lead guitar and vocal, was produced by Michael Nesmith of The Monkees. Jimmy also spent time as a DJ and On Air Talent for the legendary music station KPIG.

For more info and to listen to past shows click here It's A Question of Balance

Photos: Jimmy Jackson; new album project with band Restless Souls.

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