Patti Callahan Henry’s new book COMING UP FOR AIR is the story of a woman being suffocated by a controlling mother and a marriage that I called strained and Patti more directly referred to as disintegrating.

Ellie Calvin is well into her forties, her daughter has left for college and her controlling mother has just passed away.  Between all of that and her domineering, manipulative husband,  she sort of hits the wall and know that something’s got to give.  As she sorts through her mother’s things, she comes across a journal that reveals a side of her mother she never knew and sends her on a journey to uncover the truth.  It is the unraveling mystery in her mother’s past that keeps the pages turning but it is really the heart-wrenchingly honest thoughts and feelings that Ellie expresses that will keep you glued to this novel.  It is rare for an  author to tap into the real pain, confusion, and self-doubt that is often behind the people that seem the most together from the outside.  Patti fearlessly does this with Ellie and because of that the character is eminently  relatable.

Patti herself is eminently relatable and great fun to chat with.  We’ve known each other for years and even though we lived in the same city, we weren’t able to get an interview on the schedule until now – six weeks after Patti moved out of state!  Despite the more serious topics in the  book and the honest revelations of her main character, Patti and I laughed it up last week when she came by my studio,  and I know this interview will put a smile on your face too.

As always, I hope you enjoy it!  And be sure to check out the rest of the author interview series on iTunes!

– Dana Barrett, Managing Editor