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.

Courtesy Jack & Dave Dempsey

Dave Dempsey jokes that, after a few initial fist fights over which authors to include, he and brother Jack Dempsey strengthened their brotherly bonds while working together on Ink Trails I and II: Michigan’s Famous and Forgotten Authors. While Dave, the author of six conservation books, brought his interest in Michigan ecology to the collection, Jack used his expertise as an attorney, and his love of history.


Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? Can we change our path through life or are we doomed to hit every obstacle head-on? When Mary Colborn decided to write her short novel, The Light Game (Sept. 2016), she used her family farm established in 1871, now the Allegan Historic Farm & Learning Center , as the backdrop. There, among the rows of flowers and vegetables, her characters take on life's "Big Questions."

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.