Episode 78 – How Many Threads Connect Us to the Events of the Day, Past and Present? Journalist Ben Bradford and Author Kurt Wagner

How many threads connect us to the events of the day, past and present? On this week’s episode of The Artful Periscope, Larry welcomes journalist and fellow podcaster Ben Bradford to the show to discuss his latest NPR podcast Landslide. The series recounts the 1976 presidential primary race between Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan and its long-lasting effect on the trajectory of the Republican Party. Together, Larry and Ben dissect the difference between patriotism and nationalism, how Ronald Regan’s rhetoric shifted conservative ideology, and the challenges of modern journalism in a twenty-four-hour news cycle. Then the discussion shifts to Landslide, and how understanding the trajectory of political parties throughout history can shape our understanding of modern politics.

After the break, Larry welcomes author Kurt Wagner to discuss his book, Battle for the Bird: Jack Dorsey, Elon Musk, and the $44 Billion Fight for Twitter’s Soul, which recounts Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter. They discuss Twitter’s original founder, Jack Dorsey, and the behind-the-scenes negotiations between Twitter and Elon Musk. Then they examine Musk’s ideal of a free-speech platform without restrictions, and whether users will want to take part in a community with no filters. Finally, they wrap up by dissecting the connection between Musk and former president Donald Trump, and how it might impact the upcoming election. 

Episode 77 – How Many Threads Explore Power Dynamics? Authors Tom Straw and Hughes Norton

How many threads explore power dynamics? This week on The
Artful Periscope, Larry sits down with Tom Straw, author of The
Accidental Joe: The Top-Secret Life of a Celebrity Chef, which
tells the story of a celebrity chef embroiled in a dangerous
espionage plot. Larry and Tom discuss Tom’s love of food, his
early career in television and how working with comedians and
actors shaped his understanding of developing characters and
crafting stories. Tom also shares insight into what sparked the
idea for his book, the voice of his protagonist Sebastion Pike and
how his friends in the food world responded to his manuscript
(spoiler: Alton Brown has very strong opinions about knives!).

After the break, Larry welcomes Hughes Norton, the author of
Rainmaker: Super-Agent Hughes Norton and the Money-Grab
Explosion of Golf from Tiger to LIV and Beyond, onto the show to discuss his illustrious career as a golf agent. Hughes explains
how his autobiography came into existence and his friendship
with his co-author George Pepper. As agent for golf giants like
Tiger Woods and Greg Norman, Hughes shares behind-the-
scenes information on the golf industry, Tiger Woods’ childhood
and family, his conflicted feelings about his dismissals, and his
indomitable passion for the sport and the industry surrounding it.

Episode 76 – How Many Threads Connect Us to the Past and the Present? Authors Kevin Baker & J. M. Adams

How many threads connect us to the past and the present? On this week’s episode of The Artful Periscope, Larry is joined by his old friend and returning guest Kevin Baker, author of The New York Game: Baseball and the Rise of a New City. Larry and Kevin discuss Kevin’s childhood memories of Yankee Stadium and seeing legendary players like Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays in-person. Then the discussion then shifts to the history of baseball in New York, tracing its influence back to the early 1900’s and one of the earliest New York professional teams, The New York Mutuals. Then Kevin delves into the fierce rivalry between the New York Yankees, the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the division between Manhattan and Brooklyn. After the departure of the Dodgers and the Giants from New York, the discussion turns to the remaining team, the Yankees, and their most famous player Babe Ruth.

After the break, Larry welcomes J.M.Adams, a journalist with experience reporting for CBS and NBC news affiliates and the author of the thriller novel Second Term. Larry and Adams discuss his love of language and the dedication in his book to the police officers that defended The Capitol during the January 6th insurrection. Then they discuss the protagonist, Cora Walker, and how her ability to survive a male-dominated profession is informed by the experience of his wife, working as a Wall Street executive. Returning to the events of January 6th, Adams frames his novel as a cautionary tale regarding the dangers of authoritarianism in government as the story presents a terrifying future in which politics continues to become extreme and the foundations of democracy are threatened. Finally, they explore strong characters and how they can shape narratives in unexpected way.

Episode 75 – How Many Threads of Logic Lead Us to Revelations – Adam Sykes and Henry Hemming

How many threads of logic lead us to revelations? On this episode of The Artful Periscope, Larry sits down with Adam Sykes, author of the thriller novel The Underhanded. In addition to being an author, Adam also had a long career in the U.S. Marine Corps, received a Silver Star and was a former CIA Paramilitary Officer. Larry and Adam discuss the origin of character names and how Adam’s military experience has informed his writing, Larry posits what it was like to make the shift from being an active participant in major world events such as the 2003 invasion of Iraq vs the author’s role as a witness and commentator, adjusting from a military team life to a solitary writing life, and the role of physical exercise in his writing process.

After the break, Larry welcomes Henry Hemming, author of Four Shots in the Night: A True Story of Spies, Murder, and Justice in Northern Ireland, which recounts the true story of 1980s murder of a British spy by, potentially, another British spy. While exploring the facts of the case, Henry also explores the relationship between spies and their targets, the complicated history of Northern Ireland and it’s relationship with Great Britain.  Henry shares about the ISU (aka The Nutting Squad) and their hunting of spies for the IRA (Provisional Irish Republican Army),the courage of victim Frank Haggerty’s mother to speak out publicly against her son’s murderer, and the investigation of Jon Boutcher, a modern detective tasked with researching this case and similar cases originating in Northern Ireland.

Episode 74: How Many Threads are Woven Together Where the Sum of the Parts Exceed our Expectations? Authors Terry Hayes, James Grady and I. S. Berry

How many threads are woven together where the sum of the parts exceed our expectations? On this episode, Larry welcomes three different authors.


First, Terry Hayes discusses his newest book The Year of the Locust. They discuss the influence of epic poetry and epic storytelling, the complexity of writing stories about intelligence organizations, and the effect of the film and television industry on modern writers and readers. The topic of the siege of Saigon and the importance of urgency when crafting a plot are also explored.

Next, Larry re-introduces returning guest James Grady to talk about his book The Smoke in Our Eyes. Larry and James analyze the in-media opening of the book and the importance of Easter Sunday and the theme of resurrection.  Larry posits the questions of why the setting of the book on a moving train is an exploration of the American landscape, and the importance of using your voice to call out cruelty and injustice as an author.

Finally, Larry welcomes I. S. Berry into the conversation to talk about her experience serving in the Central Intelligence Agency back in 2004. Berry provides valuable insight into the challenges of working in the intelligence field, tackling difficult topics like PTSD from the difficult choices she grappled with, the constant danger she faced while being in active service, and the institutionalized sexism that secret service organizations don’t speak about.

Episode 73 – How Many Threads Intersect and Impact the World of Sports and the History of a Country? Authors Ethan Scheiner and Jon Langmead

How many threads intersect and impact the world of sports and the history of a country? On this episode, Larry invites author Ethan Scheiner to the show to discuss hisnewest bookThe Freedom to Win: A Cold War Story of the Courageous Hockey Team That Fought the Soviets for the Soul of Its People—And Olympic Gold. Freedom to Win follows the story of the 1969 Czechoslovakian World Ice Hockey Championship team who used The Olympics to protest Soviet Russia’s oppression. Larry and Ethan discuss the brothers at the heart of this story, Jiří and Jaroslav Holík, whose father had trained them to become world class athletes to escape the increasing influence of the Communist party. They also talk about the larger political situation in Czechoslovakia at the time, including Alexander Dubcek’s relaxing of political censorship and the Soviet Union’s military response. Ethan also explains the significance of the replica hockey jersey he’s wearing, which is based on the jerseys the Czechoslovakian hockey team altered to protest the Soviet occupation.

After the break, Larry sits down with Jon Langmead, author of Ballyhoo!: The Rough housers, Con Artists, and Wild men Who Invented Professional Wrestling. Larry and John discuss the history of wrestling styles, the development of over-the-top choreography moves, the public’s changing perception of wrestling stars from athletes to entertainers and the physical impact of wrestling on the long-term health of famous wrestlers.

Episode 72 If Words are Threads in a Storyline, Where Do They Take Us – Author E.A. (Ed) Aymar, Bruce Borgos and Jeff Circle

If words are threads in a storyline, where do they take us? This week on The Artful Periscope, Larry conducts a double interview with E.A.(Ed) Aymar, author of When She Left, and Bruce Borgos, author of The Bitter Past. Together, the group discusses what they enjoy the most about storytelling – strong characters, interesting subplots, and settings as characters. Both Ed and Bruce discuss their love for delving into the secret lives of their characters, and the challenge writers face creating flawed characters that are still interesting to readers. Then the discussion turns towards their favorite authorial voices, including Nelson DeMille and Barack Obama.

After the break, Larry welcomes Jeff Circle, author of The Dossier, to the show. Larry and Jeff discuss Jeff’s career as a federal special investigator, police offer and an intelligence analyst for the United States military. As an interviewer, Larry asks Jeff about the art of interrogation and the unique relationship between the person asking the questions and the person answering them. Jeff discusses his experiences as a federal investigator and how it gave him the skills to become a successful interviewer, interviewing authors about their books and the writing process. Jeff also discusses his military experiences, how September 11th inspired him to take action, and his current love for the writing process and the craft of composing a novel.

Episode 71 – How Many Threads are Brought Together in Criminal Justice Reform – Colleen P. Eren

How many threads are brought together in criminal justice reform? On this week’s episode of The Artful Periscope,,Larry sits down with Colleen P. Eren, Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at William Paterson University and author of Reform Nation which discusses the First Step Act– a surprising piece of legislation signed off by Donald Trump on the verge of a government shutdown and it’s effect on prison reform in The United States. Colleen traces her interest in reformation to her experience at her catholic high school, where she heard a talk from Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking. She became involved with the anti-death penalty movement while pursuing a degree in sociology at Hofstra University. Larry and Colleen discuss the history of mass incarceration and its boom during the Nixon Era, which increased the prison population from 250,000 to 1.2 million. Colleen explains the connection between mass incarceration and institutionalized racism, and the rise of mass incarceration after the end of The Jim Crow Laws.  She also addresses the increasing tension between police and the public following the BLM movement. In a country fiercely divided by right and left, Colleen advocates for cooperation across the aisle to support prison reform initiatives and program funding.

Episode 70 – How Many Threads Takes Us Behind the Scenes of the Basketball World – Rich Cohen & Michelle J. Manno

Episode 69 – How Many Threads Do Storytellers Weave Together? – Author S. J. Rozan

How many threads do storytellers weave together?  Joining Larry on the show is return guest S. J. Rozan to talk about her latest work Mayors of New York.  S. J. shares that she has a love affair with New York City and wants to share that love with the reader.  Larry asks if part of the book was influenced by Jeffrey Epstein and S. J. shares that she is interested in people of a lower social strata.  S. J. explains the concept of a character being the “subject or the object” of a narrative.  Larry shares his affection for one of S. J.’s character’s mothers and how he missed not having her in this most recent work. Then the conversation evolves into first generation immigrants and how a the place they settle in becomes a hub for their home culture, and the food seems to be the largest representation of their homelands.  There was also a great discussion of Martin Luther King as this episode was recorded the day after the holiday.