Shortly after moving to New York City, I had the honor of meeting Maya Angelou. Unlike the random glimpses of celeb elite on crowded streets or in dark corners of restaurants, a simple author event turned into a powerful life lesson. It happened on the cusp of a losing battle with the New York public... Continue Reading →

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Renowned artist Robert Indiana created the LOVE image in the early 1960s, inspired by the God is Love inscription in the Christian Science churches he attended in his youth. While Philly is one of the most well-known places to get up close and personal with the iconic four-letter word, Indiana's LOVE sculptures can be found all... Continue Reading →

A Literary Journey with Jay Asher

In honor of #BannedBooksWeek, the Life of Riley interview with author Jay Asher

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The Life of Riley

Suicide is a taboo subject in our society. So it’s refreshing and yet somewhat surprising when a novel—a young adult novel to be more specific—finds its way into the hearts of people all around the world, achieving a coveted spot on the New York Times Bestseller lists, numerous literary awards and an upcoming film adaption. Thirteen Reasons Why tackles a teen’s suicide by unveiling its complicated layers. The novel has sparked a much needed conversation and continues to attract new followers every day.  

While working as a newsletter editor for a suicide prevention organization in 2009, I reached out to and subsequently interviewed Thirteen Reasons Why author, Jay Asher. He was humble, kind, and elated with readers’ reactions and feedback.  He spoke of the fans who stood in the back of crowded rooms after readings, waiting to thank him personally for writing a book that encouraged them to reach out…

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Rapture In The City

The year was 1979, and the album, Gold Rush 79, a 2 LP set courtesy of the beloved compilation king K-tel, featuring an eclectic smorgasbord of hits from Peaches and Herb to Dr. Hook. Shaking my groove thing while knocking on wood, I became one with those albums, literally treating them like gold, perfecting record... Continue Reading →

A Literary Journey with Jay Asher

Suicide is a taboo subject in our society. So it’s refreshing and yet somewhat surprising when a novel—a young adult novel to be more specific—finds its way into the hearts of people all around the world, achieving a coveted spot on the New York Times Bestseller lists, numerous literary awards and an upcoming film adaption. Thirteen... Continue Reading →

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