Dan Klefstad

Morning Edition Host & Book Series Editor

Good morning, Early Riser! Since 1997 I've been waking WNIJ listeners with the latest news, weather and other information, with the goal of seamlessly weaving this content into NPR's Morning Edition.

What do I do after the show ends at 9:00? I read. I'm especially interested in literature from the WNIJ listening area, which led me to adopt the "Book Beat" in 2012. Throughout the year, I immerse myself in works written by authors from northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Then I interview these writers for Morning Edition and record them reading excerpts. Interviews and excerpts are available as podcasts in our Book Series archive.

If you're a writer from this area, or have a personal connection to this place, send your book to me at 801 N. 1st St., DeKalb, IL 60115. You can also email a .doc or .pdf to dklefstad@niu.edu. I'm looking for novels, poems, short fiction, memoirs and creative nonfiction. While most of the books I feature come from established presses, I do accept self-published works. Just make sure your manuscript is well edited.

Thanks,

@danklefstad

#WNIJReadWithME

Ways To Connect

AC/DC was better with Bon Scott? For many AC/DC fans, those are fightin' words.

 Molly McNett doesn't write exclusively about the Midwest, but rural Illinois is a big part of her identity and her writing. "I'm not going to write about hipsters in Brooklyn," she says, "because I just don't know a lot about that."

Molly McNett doesn't write exclusively about the Midwest, but rural Illinois is a big part of her identity and her writing. "I'm not going to write about hipsters in Brooklyn," she says, "because I just don't know a lot about that."

Amy Newman has published more than 200 poems. She is also a Presidential Research Professor at Northern Illinois University. Her alter ego, "Amy Newman," is less successful but clings to the hope that an editor will publish her work.

Dan Libman has accomplished what most writers dream of. He won the Pushcart Prize for fiction, he's been published in the Paris Review, and lives with a wife -- Molly McNett -- who shares his passion for writing. We'll meet her later in our Summer Book Series.

Robert Kopp wants you to know something:  Jesus loves you, and he would've ridden a motorcycle back in the day.  The Rev. Dr. Kopp's new book, I Just Wanna Ride (FTW), describes how the biker lifestyle leads to a more authentic faith.  It's the first installment of WNIJ's Summer Book Series.

Robert Kopp wants you to know something:  Jesus loves you, and he would've ridden a motorcycle back in the day.  The Rev. Dr. Kopp's new book, I Just Wanna Ride (FTW), describes how the biker lifestyle leads to a more authentic faith.  It's the first installment of WNIJ's Summer Book Series.

Literature is alive and vital in DeKalb and the Rockford area.  I learned this after interviewing five authors for WNIJ's Summer Book Series, which airs every Friday in June. 

This is the first such series by WNIJ News since I started hosting Morning Edition in 1997 and, to be honest, none of us knew anything about the authors who lived here.  The only thing we knew was this:  The books we wanted for this series should be the kind you'd want to read while on vacation.

Patrick Fitzgerald has scheduled a news conference Thursday to announce his resignation, according to the Justice Department.  Fitzgerald was selected as northern Illinois' top prosecutor in 2001.

During his tenure he successfully tried two Illinois governors, George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich, and media mogul Conrad Black.

As a special prosecutor, he investigated Lewis "Scooter" Libby, then chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.  Fitzgerald's investigation led to Libby's conviction on charges that he leaked the covert identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson.

Northern Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger says President Obama has "been aggressive" when protecting Americans from terrorism.  The freshman Republican cites the Obama administration's increase in the use of drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen. 

Kinzinger spoke a day after U.S. intelligence officials announced they foiled an alleged attempt to bomb a U.S.-bound airliner.  But in an interview with WNIJ, Kinzinger stressed he has "fundamental disagreements" with the administration's handling of Afghanistan. 

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