Zinta Aistars

Host of 'Between The Lines'/Freelancer

Zinta Aistars is our resident book expert. She started interviewing authors and artists for our Arts & More program in 2011.

Aistars is creative director, writer, and editor at Z Word, LLC. She's also the published author of three books in her native Latvian language. Aistars regularly contributes to many print and online publications in addition to freelancing for WMUK.

John Wenger / Kazoo Books

Stephen Mack Jones writes award-winning poetry and plays, and he’s won a Kresge Arts in Detroit Literary Fellowship. But one day, inspiration seemed to fall right out of thin air and he soon found himself writing his first novel, August Snow (SoHo Press, 2017), a hard-boiled detective story.


Benjamin James Taylor / Garn Press

When her newborn daughter was placed in her arms, Carolyn Walker sensed right away that something was wrong. But in the next instant Walker found that she had what it took to deal with whatever "it" was. She was in love with little Jennifer. The years ahead would not be easy but they would be worthwhile. Walker is the author of Every Least Sparrow (Garn Press, 2017), a memoir about her daughter, who has Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome.


Robert Bruce Photography

Too often, we hear the nightmarish stories on the news about young girls who are kidnapped and held in captivity, sometimes for years. Karen Dionne has written the story of one such girl, hidden away in the wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for 14 years, her daughter conceived with her abductor. The Marsh King’s Daughter (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2017) is not Dionne’s first novel but it is the first that she feels has put her firmly onto her path as a writer. The book will be translated into 21 languages.


Kym Reinstadler

Sue Merrell chose journalism in part because she thought it would be great training to become a mystery writer. But what she thought would only be a couple years as a reporter turned into 40, working at the Joliet Herald News in Illinois and the Grand Rapids Press. It was the news stories she covered, some of them quite gruesome, that drove her back to writing mysteries.


Zinta Aistars

Most Michigan residents do the same thing when someone asks where in the state we live: we hold up a hand and point to a spot on the "mitten." But how many of us hold up two hands, the second one sideways to show where Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is? Not many. That’s just one thing that irritates U.P. native Ron Riekki. The other is the lack of attention that Upper Peninsula writers receive – so much so that he is compiling four anthologies of U.P. writing. And Here (Michigan State University Press, 2017) is the third in the series.


Pages