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.

Lacy Atkins / AP Photo

Seventeen-year-old Ellery buys a gun and makes a plan. She's going to commit suicide. The guilt she bears for the death of her younger sister is just too heavy to carry. That’s how the story unfolds in Teach Me to Forget (Merit Press, 2016), by Battle-Creek-author Erica Chapman. It’s her debut novel for young adults, a group that's faced a rising suicide rate nationwide.

AP Photo

Most of us shy away from looking into that dark closet that contains our family skeletons. Journalist Karen Branan did, too. Until she could no longer look away. Branan is the author of The Family Tree: A Lynching in Georgia, a Legacy of Secrets, and My Search for the Truth (Simon & Schuster, 2016).

Penguin-Random House

As Jan Brett begins her 23-city national tour in a bus decorated front-to-back with her own illustrations, she reflects on what inspires her – and about a surprise guest traveling with her. Alf, one of the roosters that the children’s book author and illustrator raises, will travel with her as Brett meets with fans of all ages. 

Besie Nyesuah-Wesley

When asked where she feels at home, Patricia Jabbeh Wesley lists several places: her native Liberia; Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she immigrated during the civil war in Liberia in 1991 and lived for twelve years; and now Pennsylvania, where she teaches at Pennsylvania State University in Altoona.

Kathleen Stocking

Kathleen Stocking has traveled the world, and dug deep into her own community in Michigan's Leelanau Peninsula for what she calls a "bone- deep" understanding of people. She's written about her discoveries along the way in a trilogy of memoirs. The latest is The Long Arc of the Universe: Travels Beyond the Pale (Stocking Press, 2016).