An Unexpected
Literary Podcast

Every week, host Adam Sockel interviews a popular member of the literary world about their passions beyond what they're known for. These longform, relaxed conversations show listeners a new side of some of their favorite content creators as well as provide insight into the things that inspire their work.

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All Episodes

They grow up so fast with Kerri Maher, author of The Paris Bookseller

Passions & Prologues
Kerri Maher is a bestselling author and mom to a newly minted teenager....
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Cathartically scary with Carissa Orlando

Passions & Prologues
Carissa Orlando's debut novel, The September House, weaves both horror and psychology together and we get into how it came to be!...
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Catching a wave with Lucy Clarke

Passions & Prologues
Lucy Clarke, bestselling author of several "destination thrillers" loves few things more than grabbing her surfboard and finding the perfect wave....
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What does intelligence sound like with Angie Kim

Passions & Prologues
Angie Kim's latest novel, Happiness Falls, is a Good Morning America book club pick all about when a father goes missing, his family's desperate s...
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The science of sleep with Holly James

Passions & Prologues
Holly James, author of the new RomCom The Déjà Glitch, has spent her adult life understanding sleep....
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Slow content boil with Tim Murphy

Passions & Prologues
Tim Murphy's new book, Speech Team, is a nostalgic and cathartic look back at a traumatic high school experience of several members of a champions...
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Politically nuanced with Marie Benedict

Passions & Prologues
Marie Benedict has been a bestselling author many times over but her works co-authoring with Victoria Christopher Murray have set the book world o...
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Deconstructing jokes with Andrew Ridker

Passions & Prologues
Andrew Ridker's first book The Altruists took the literary world by storm and his new book Hope is just as captivating....
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Spoiling Scream with Josh Winning

Passions & Prologues
Josh Winning's new book, Burn the Negative, is an homage to all things horror and when you hear this conversation you'll understand that he has th...
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Finding comfort with ghosts with Candi Sary

Passions & Prologues
Learning that Candi Sary thinks a great deal about ghosts won't surprise you when you read her book Magdalena....
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Euro-road trippin right along with Paige Toon

Passions & Prologues
For UK-based bestselling author Paige Toon getting there is half the fun....
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How we fall in love with mystery with Chanel Cleeton

Passions & Prologues
In this conversation, Chanel and Adam breakdown the origins of her passion for mystery and how it's blossomed into a career....
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Livin' in the Viking Age with Genevieve Gornichec

Passions & Prologues
Bestselling author Genevieve Gornichec knows a thing or two about Vikings... in fact, she's made it her life's work even before it became her li...
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High kickin' it with Fiona Davis

Passions & Prologues
New York Times bestselling author Fiona Davis joins Adam to chat about her brand new book, The Spectacular, but before they get into that, they ge...
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The magic of a good bake with Jude Atwood

Passions & Prologues
Jude Atwood is a teacher and author of the award-winning debut middle grade novel, Maybe There Are Witches, but the science of baking is where he ...
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Yes and-ing with Sidney Karger

Passions & Prologues
Sidney Karger is an award-winning screenwriter for film and television with credits including Billy on the Street, Comedy Central, and Saturday Ni...
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The art of the heart with Margaret Owen

Passions & Prologues
Margaret Owen creates elaborate and fantastical worlds that feel so vibrant you can almost touch them....
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And that's the gospel tunes with Anissa Gray

Passions & Prologues
In this discussion, we get into how the music of her childhood home shaped her work and her life at large. We get into the music of her adult life...
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A trench coat full of book recs with Mallory O'Meara

Passions & Prologues
It's a bonus episode with friend of the show, Mallory O'Meara! We are dishing out loads of book recommendations but before you get to those, go pr...
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Literature is littered with rabbits and mice with H.G. Parry

Passions & Prologues
H.G. Parry's newest book, The Magician's Daughter has a few magical animal characters and when you learn about her interests, you'll understand wh...
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Ope! grab a chair and a plate with J. Ryan Stradal

Passions & Prologues
J. Ryan Stradal tells the stories of generations of a family-run diner, what it means to the community, and the stress it brings the people who ru...
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From Hungry with love (language) with Rebecca Makkai

Passions & Prologues
We dive into both of Rebecca Makkai's loves, writing the perfect story and learning the challenging language of her father, and what it was like g...
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Lisa Scottoline's gateway pet

Passions & Prologues
In this scatterplot chat, Adam and Lisa discuss their senior dogs, her new bestseller Loyalty, and what sparked her to realize she wanted to keep ...
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Gone in a flash with Kristin Loesch

Passions & Prologues
Kristin Loesch joins the podcast to discuss her new book The Last Russian Doll as well as her love of flash and experimental fiction....
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In the heights with Jenny Jackson

Passions & Prologues | E:37
Jenny Jackson has taken the literary world by storm with her new book Pineapple Street and the heart of that story lies in the heart of her own co...
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Soundtracks keep the score with Iris Yamashita

Passions & Prologues | E:36
In this discussion, we chat about Iris Yamashita's new murder mystery based on a real Alaskan town, her life as an Oscar-nominated screenplay writ...
Listen to Soundtracks keep the score with Iris Yamashita

"I'm a cool mom" with Melissa de la Cruz

Passions & Prologues | E:35
Melissa De La Cruz is well know for her bestselling young adult novels, incredible book festivals, and her experience creating stories in Hollywoo...
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Take me home, country road with Alma Katsu

Passions & Prologues | E:34
Alma Katsu built an entire career in intelligence before the literary world discovered her talent for writing historical horror with The Fervor, T...
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Staging a story with Hannah Whitten

Passions & Prologues | E:33
In this chat, Hannah and Adam talk about where she learned to block a story scene by scene... on the stage!...
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We simply adore Lore with GennaRose Nethercott

Passions & Prologues | E:32
GennaRose Nethercott's book Thistlefoot, is all Adam has been able to talk about for months, now he gets to talk with the writer herself!...
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World of War...craftin' a mystery with Leah Konen

Passions & Prologues | E:31
In this discussion, Leah and Adam talk about their shared history with online gaming, whether a twist has to be unguessable for a book to be a mys...
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Bonus episode: Addin' to your TBR (etc.)!

Passions & Prologues
Adam's buddy Tina, from the popular Book Talk, etc., podcast , stops by to spend an hour offering up backlist book recommendations that are sure t...
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Home restoration infatuation with Mimi Herman

Passions & Prologues | E:30
Mimi Herman's new book, The Kudzu Queen, is all about a mysterious man who comes into town looking to shake things up....
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Lyrical storytelling with Nick Brooks

Passions & Prologues | E:29
In this discussion, Adam and Nick chat about his foundational love of rap, the groups he fell in love with, and how he determines what medium to t...
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Getting folkin’ terrified with Grady Hendrix

Passions & Prologues | E:28
In this discussion, Adam and Grady chat about how these emotional cores that transform into fear sprung from his original passion for folklore and...
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Philosophically psychological with Jennifer Herrera

Passions & Prologues | E:27
This wide-ranging chat goes into her studies in college, her budding interest after that into the world of psychology as well as Jennifer and Adam...
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Connecting with the world of plants with Victoria Garza

Passions & Prologues | E:27
In this discussion, Victoria and Adam discuss her childhood growing up in the vegetable fields of Ohio and her experience with plant ceremonies an...
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When things are more than things with Cornelia Maude Spelman

Passions & Prologues | E:25
In this discussion, Adam and Cornelia discuss family heirlooms and the things that get passed down from generation to generation, slowing coming t...
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Location, location, location with Lesley Livingston

Passions & Prologues | E:24
In this discussion, Adam & Lesley talk about the incredible little known history of New York City before talking about Celtic magic and myth that ...
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Discovery through dance with Judith Turner-Yamamoto

Passions & Prologues | E:23
Adam and Judith Turner-Yamamoto chat about her new book, Loving the Dead and Gone, which folds into a mutual passion they both share- the stories ...
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The Writers Circle with Judith Lindbergh

Passions & Prologues | E:22
In this discussion, Adam and Judith talk about her passion for sharing stories, how The Writers Circle came to be, and her published works....
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A picture is worth a whole novel with Kerri Schlottman

Passions & Prologues | E:21
This is a deep discussion with Kerri Schlottman about where stories come from, how we find them, and why it matters who they are conveyed. ...
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Talking dirty and getting clean with Penny Reid!

Passions & Prologues | E:20
Iconic romance author Penny Reid opens this discussion by discussing her obsession with crafting before getting why and how she learned to make so...
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Ugly is in the eye of the beholder with Nikki Payne

Passions & Prologues | E:18
Nikki Payne joins Adam to discuss one of the questions she's spent her life thinking about: What does it mean to be "ugly"....
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Surrounded by the Sea with Sophie Cousens

Passions & Prologues | E:18
In this discussion, Adam and Sophie chat about what living on a small island is like, the stress she feels now that her books come with expectatio...
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Bonus book recommendations with Amy Clark from Mom Advice!

Passions & Prologues | E:Bonus 1
Adam is joined by his good pal, Amy Clark from momadvice.com and the fabulous Book Gang podcast to offer up some book recommendations just in time...
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Going on a King's Quest with Sangu Mandanna!

Passions & Prologues | E:17
Adam and Sangu discuss their shared love of the King’s Quest games from Sierra gaming, Sangu’s love of older games like The Last Express and Fanta...
Listen to Going on a King's Quest with Sangu Mandanna!

The beauty of repeating a single note with Martha Anne Toll

Passions & Prologues | E:16
In this discussion, Adam and Martha discuss how her passion for music surrounded her childhood, the teacher who helped her understand the intricac...
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Dawn Kurtagich on Xena, the small details that define storytelling, and mental health

Passions & Prologues | E:15
In this wide reaching conversation, Dawn and Adam discuss how Xena opened up her world but they also discuss mental health, the small moments of l...
Listen to Dawn Kurtagich on Xena, the small details that define storytelling, and mental health

Life is just a SIMulation with Claribel Ortega

Passions & Prologues | E:14
In this discussion, Claribel shares her experiences with the game The Sims, the surprisingly emotional moments when her Sims die, and how it helps...
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Take a hike! with Melissa Urban, author of The Book of Boundaries and co-founder of Whole 30

Passions & Prologues | E:13
Melissa Urban, co-creator of Whole 30, joins Adam to discuss her new book, The Book of Boundaries....
Listen to Take a hike! with Melissa Urban, author of The Book of Boundaries and co-founder of Whole 30

Entering The Twilight Zone with Rachel Harrison

Passions & Prologues | E:12
In this episode, Adam and Rachel discuss her introduction to the classic TV series The Twilight Zone, get into the history of why the show was so ...
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Tumblr and Twilight will never go out of style with Alexis Henderson

Passions & Prologues | E:10
Alexis Henderson took the world by storm with her debut novel, The Year of the Witching, back in 2020 and now she’s back with another gothic book ...
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On religion and anxiety with Emily Austin

Passions & Prologues | E:10
In this discussion, Adam and Emily discuss their respective unique religious upbringings, the inconsistencies of what people pick and choose to ta...
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Feeling colors with Claire North

Passions & Prologues | E:10
In this discussion with Claire North, we talk about her experience with live music lighting, the colors of Adam's voice, and so much more....
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Life is a musical with Kalynn Bayron

Passions & Prologues | E:8
In this chat, Adam and Kalynn chat about their shared obsessions with musicals, talk about their own experiences growing up with them, and the one...
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Being a Cool Hockey Mom with Gilly Segal

Passions & Prologues | E:7
In this discussion, Gilly and Adam chat about how sports bond us to family in ways that go beyond just wins and losses, the positive effects sport...
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Collecting a legacy with Kimberly Latrice Jones

Passions & Prologues | E:6
In this episode, Adam interviews Kimberly Jones, author of the powerful book How We Can Win and the New York Times bestseller I'm Not Dying with Y...
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Cooking is jazz, baking is science with Jen Doll

Passions & Prologues | E:5
Jen Doll, the author of the new young adult book, That’s Debatable, joins the show to discuss a passion she and Adam both share… Cooking!...
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CosPlay like a champion with Ryan La Sala

Passions & Prologues | E:4
The internet’s Ryan La Sala, author of massive books like Reverie, Be Dazzled, and the new The Honeys, is this week’s guest!...
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It's all about the layers with Julia Whelan

Passions & Prologues | E:3
On episode three of Passions & Prologues, Julia Whelan chats with Adam about her unique passion- packing for vacation!...
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Kermit in the chaos with Brad Meltzer

Passions & Prologues | E:2
On the second episode of Passions & Prologues, Brad Meltzer joins the podcast to discuss a passion that he and Adam share- THE MUPPETS!...
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Lifting heavy things with Mallory O'Meara

Passions & Prologues
On the first episode of Passions & Prologues, Adam brings on his good friend Mallory O'Meara to talk about her passion for powerlifting!...
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Introducing: Passions & Prologues

Passions & Prologues
Every week, host Adam Sockel interviews a popular member of the literary world about their passions beyond what their known for. These longform, r...
Listen to Introducing: Passions & Prologues