Author Clips on YouTube! (The Sequel)

BuchiLast week’s post featuring author videos received a nice response, so I thought I’d do a second column spotlighting some other authors. As before, I made sure all the clips were short — and again started with living writers and concluded with deceased ones.

Fannie Flagg, whose warmly compelling novels include Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, discusses topics such as how she got her pen name:

Rita Mae Brown, who first rose to literary fame with her great lesbian-themed classic Rubyfruit Jungle, talks about her mystery series co-starring human and animal detectives:

Terry McMillan focuses on how she writes her novels (Waiting to Exhale, etc.) and the unhealthiness of staying angry:

Khaled Hosseini, author of books such as The Kite Runner, recalls his transition from physician to novelist and discusses how refugees make the U.S. a better place. Hosseini himself was a refugee, from Afghanistan:

Kazuo Ishiguro, the Nobel Prize-winning writer of novels such as The Remains of the Day, talks about how restrictive it is for authors to be pigeon-holed by genre:

Walter Mosley — author of the Easy Rawlins mysteries and more — discusses reading as a kid, classic writers, and the often solitary/unglamorous life of authors:

Moving on to authors who are no longer with us…

Brief footage of Harper Lee, before she became very reclusive, at the 1962 premiere of the great movie based on her even greater novel To Kill a Mockingbird:

Iconic science-fiction writer Octavia E. Butler (Kindred, The Parable of the Sower, etc.) discusses how watching a bad movie inspired her to start writing, how the future is not always easily predictable, and more:

W. Somerset Maugham, who penned Of Human Bondage and other classics, answers several questions during a 1950 shipboard interview — including one about the impossibility of writing “the perfect novel”:

Ray Bradbury is quite engaging as he references The Martian Chronicles and more. He even reads a poem! (Thanks to Brian Bess for alerting me to this clip.)

Sue Grafton, author of the “Alphabet Mysteries” series, hilariously riffs about murderous thoughts:

Nigerian-born author Buchi Emecheta discusses living in England, her novel Second Class Citizen, and juggling parenthood and writing. (She’s in the screen shot atop this blog post, on the left.)

H.G. Wells — one of the most famous sci-fi authors to put words to paper (The Time Machine, etc.), discusses economics in his distinctive high-pitched voice:

Brief footage of Doctor Zhivago author Boris Pasternak:

Any author videos you’d like to mention?

My literary-trivia book is described and can be purchased here: Fascinating Facts About Famous Fiction Authors and the Greatest Novels of All Time.

In addition to this weekly blog, I write the award-winning “Montclairvoyant” topical-humor column for The latest piece — a comedic look at what families might do during a pandemic summer with many pools and camps closed — is here.

34 thoughts on “Author Clips on YouTube! (The Sequel)

    • Thank you, catonthedovrefell! Yes, author videos hardly replace not being able to go out as much, not seeing writers in person, etc. But the clips can be fun and interesting to watch. 🙂

      As for Buchi Emecheta, I’ve only read her “Second Class Citizen,” but found it really compelling. Great that your mother introduced you to her work!


  1. Another great round up of clips! For Harper Lee and the many authors like her, it got me thinking how crazy it must be to go to movie premiere of your own book. Love H.G. Wells too. As for the rest, I haven’t read them so looks like I have some reading homework! 🙂

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    • Thank you, M.B.! Going to a movie premiere of one’s own book must indeed be incredible, especially when the film does the book justice and has a star like Gregory Peck. 🙂

      H.G. Wells’ science-fiction novels are so great (I’ve read five of them), and the end of “The Time Machine” is heartbreakingly haunting.

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  2. Thank you, Dave! This looks fascinating. When I get home from work tonight, I will watch each of these in their entirety. Something to look forward to! I did watch a snippet of Fannie Flagg’s interview. She has been a delightful part of my consciousness since I was a pre-teen and she was the morning weather girl in Birmingham — I think it was The Morning Show on WBRC. She was so funny and wacky long before it was a thing to inject humor into weather reports.

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  3. Dave – you have the best way of bringing books to life for me. I have just added a couple more to my reading list. I especially appreciated Kazuo Ishiguro’s thoughts on the idea of genre. When we start to classify, it is the “thin edge of the wedge” for writers and readers. Why is it that we always like to makes categories, to keep thoughts restricted? I think it is the messiness of life that leads to the greatest narratives, both in book form and in real life. After all, we are all books in the making and we don’t like to be classified or stereotyped. Anyway, I digress, as I often do when I come to your posts. Have a great week.

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    • Thank you, Mary Jo! The Hosseini and Ishiguro videos are great — both writers are quite eloquent. Harper Lee doesn’t speak in the “To Kill a Mockingbird” clip, but it’s interesting to briefly see very rare footage of her.

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