The Burning Hearth January 2023

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here’s to a year full of promise and productivity for you all.

I have laid out my goals for 2023. There’s one, really. Finish my novel, which I’m currently in the process of reacquainting myself with, having not worked on it since March. It feels good to be walking among these landscapes and visiting with these characters again.

In addressing the focus needed to meet my writing goals for this year, I found myself in a bit of a quandary regarding The Burning Hearth and how to exactly move forward. Coming off an electric year of interviews, and wanting to build upon the energy these interviews created, I struggled with how to devote the necessary time to them in conjunction with devoting the necessary time to my writing. To be honest, this seemed daunting. I put a lot of time into my interviews, and I wasn’t sure that was the best thing for me to be doing in 2023. And then, an idea sparked. I immediately loved the idea. At the end of the year, I reached out to six people to see if they would be interested in being a part of my grand plan. They agreed!

In February 2023, The Burning Hearth is launching an interview series titled “Echoes of Le Guin.” This is a six episode series that will post every other month. I have gathered together authors William Alexander, Susan Defreitas, Kylie Mirmohamadi, Julie Phillips, Kyle Winkler, and Isaac Yuen to collectively participate in this series. How exactly this series unfolds, is something I want to keep as a surprise. What I can share at this time, is how these six people came into my life and became the people I asked to be a part of my “Echoes of Le Guin” series. (It won’t take you long to realize the two common factors. Psst. They wrote Conversations on Writing together.)

I learned of William Alexander, Isaac Yuen, and Julie Phillips through David Naimon’s “Crafting with Ursula” podcast series. These three interviews stood out to me for various personal and professional reasons. I first came into contact with William and Isaac when I reached out to them for a quote, regarding their experience of being interviewed by David. I began following Julie on Twitter and had a few exchanges with her there. Quickly, these three became people I wanted to be in conversation with. (Side note, for those of you who might not be aware, Julie is currently working on Le Guin’s biography. It has a publication date of 2026.)

Several months ago on Twitter, David introduced me to the “Left Hand of Le Guin” podcast series. That day, I listened to Kyle’s discussion with Tim Miller on Le Guin’s The Beginning Place. Kyle’s relaxed discussions of Le Guin’s work quickly became a go-to podcast for me. In one podcast, Kyle discussed Le Guin’s “The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction” with David Naimon and Susan Defreitas. Simple question (which I suppose you can’t answer unless you’ve heard Susan speak), how does one hear Susan’s energy and obvious love for Le Guin and not immediately want to be in a conversation with her?

At some point in time over the last five or six months, either I began following Kylie Mirmohamadi or she began following me, after the launch of one of David’s “Crafting with Ursula” episodes. I don’t remember any of the details because I feel like Kylie and I have known each other for years. Kylie is a newbie to reading Le Guin but her affection for Le Guin is great, and her academic background will add depth to this discussion.

Their full bios will be included in the series. For now, you can click on their names and visit their websites to learn more about them. You will find “The Left Hand of Le Guin” podcast by clicking on Kyle’s name, and all of David’s series of “Between the Covers” podcast can be found clicking on his name above. Click on Ursula K. Le Guin, to be taken to her official website.

Happy January to you all!

Until next time, stay safe and well, and laugh a lot,


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