Show cover of A Conspiracy of Lemurs

A Conspiracy of Lemurs

A Regal House Publishing podcast that celebrates the writing craft.


Crossing Boundaries in YA and MG Fiction
One of the most common themes in literature for young people is boundaries crossed—in friendship and family.  Young people are changing rapidly, and they often find it very hard to know their own boundaries, or when they've crossed the boundaries of others, until conflicts arise.  With our guests Ona Gritz, author of the middle grade novel, August or Forever, and Carol Dines, the author of the young adult novel, The Take-Over Friend, we  explore what boundaries are, why they are important, why boundaries change in relationships, and why communication in family and friendship is both challenging and important.  
51:02 09/26/2022
Rural Settings: The Rich Opportunity for World Building with Non-Binary Characters
Gary Eldon Peter, author of The Complicated Calculus (and Cows) of Carl Paulsen, and Valerie Nieman, author of In the Lonely Backwater, join us to discuss the rich opportunity for YA fiction world building with non-binary characters in rural settings.
52:49 08/17/2022
Middle Grade Fiction: Empowering Young Readers
Ginger Park, author of The Hundred Choices Department Store, Frank Morelli, author of Breaking News, and Diana Renn, author of Trouble at Turtle Pond join us for a lively discussion about trends, gatekeepers, and the authenticity of voice in middle grade literature. 
61:36 04/13/2022
Writing About Mortality
We are delighted to welcome Michele Herman, author of Save the Village, Laraine Herring, author of A Constellation of Ghosts: A Speculative Memoir with Ravens, and David R. Roth, author of The Femme Fatale Hypothesis to discuss mortality in literature.
56:27 03/10/2022
Education in Literature
M.B. McLatchey‘s memoir Beginner’s Mind and Kevin McIntosh‘s novel Class Dismissed address similar educational themes and explore some of the same tensions in and out of the classroom. M.B. McLatchey and Kevin McIntosh will be joining Jaynie Royal and Pam Van Dyk to explore the philosophical threads of these education-themed literary works. 
53:55 06/28/2021
Navigating the Indie Publishing Scene with Jon Sealy, founder of Haywire Books & author Heather Bell Adams
 Jon Sealy, founder of Haywire Books and author of The Edge of America, The Whiskey Baron, So You Want to Be a Novelist, and The Merciful  and   Heather Bell Adams, author of Maranatha Road and The Good Luck Stone (published by Haywire Books), will be joining us to discuss the indie publishing scene, the editor-author relationship, as well as their recent releases.
61:38 05/19/2021
All Hail the Mighty Underpup: Writing the Underdog Hero in Children’s Literature
 In anticipation of the release of our 2019 Kraken Book Prize-winning title, Thomas Creeper and the Gloomsbury Secret, J.R. Potter will be joining us on A Conspiracy of Lemurs to chat about would-be heroes in crisis, heroes who have nothing to lose and everything to gain. We’ll explore the role of the underdog hero in middle grade fiction and the lessons we can learn from them at any stage in our lives. 
61:44 03/18/2021
The Impact of the Pandemic on Writers, Artists, and the Creative Community:
 Joey Garcia and Joni Renee Whitworth, contributors to the upcoming upcoming release (Her)oics: Women’s Lived Experiences During the Coronavirus Pandemic, will be joining us to discuss the impact of the pandemic on their experience and work as writers and artists, individually and in community. 
49:49 03/09/2021
Surviving Racism in a Global Pandemic: Being Black or Brown in America during the Coronavirus
Alicia Mosley and Ella deCastro Baron, contributors to the upcoming release (Her)oics: Women’s Lived Experiences During the Coronavirus Pandemic, and Joanell Serra, coeditor of (Her)oics, (Pact Press, March 2021) will discuss their contributed stories: “Mosley’s Mothering while Black during the Pandemic” and deCastro Baron’s “Bahala Na.”  In conversation with Pam and Jaynie, they will  consider the impact culture and race had on their communities’ experience of the pandemic. Ella deCastro Baron is a second generation Filipinx American professor and author living in San Diego, California. Alicia Mosley is a poet and fiction writer, a mother of four, and a community educator. She earned her MEd in Curriculum Development and MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Riverside 
43:58 02/23/2021
Political Literature: The Personal and the Political, an Intertwining Narrative
Julie Wittes Shlack, author of This-All-at-Onceness, joins Jaynie Royal and Pam Van Dyk to discuss and ins and outs of political literature – how it may be differentiated from propaganda, it’s role in society, and its ability to endure and resonate beyond that political time. 
51:03 10/29/2020
The Road to Redemption: Landscape, Culture, and Catastrophe As Catalysts For Character Development
Jaynie Royal and Pam Van Dyk spend an hour with two of our Southern Mash Literature Series authors: Rebecca Baum, author of Lifelike Creatures, and Karol Hoeffner, author of Knee Deep. Together we discuss the use of landscape, culture, and catastrophe as catalysts for character development; and how narrative point of view shapes the reader’s experience of that journey. 
63:38 09/25/2020
Traveling in Place – Stories in Which Place takes a Significant Role
Jaynie Royal and Pam Van Dyk spend an hour with Jan Alexander, author of Ms. Ming’s Guide to Civilization, and Karen Quevillon, author of The Parasol Flower, discussing the role of place in fiction. 
45:13 09/15/2020
In a Moment of Madness – Exploring Mental Illness in Gothic Literature
Melanie Cossey, author of A Peculiar Curiosity, and Lillah Lawson, author of Monarchs Under the Sassafras Tree, join us on A Conspiracy of Lemurs to discuss the role of madness in Victorian and Southern Gothic literature. 
53:40 08/11/2020
Truth in Historical Fiction
Karen Quevillon, author of The Parasol Flower, and Mitchell James Kaplan, author of Into the Unbounded Night, join Jaynie Royal and Pam Van Dyk to discuss the writing of history vs. the writing of “tales.” As a novelist, are you working with “official” history, working against the grain of it, or doing something else entirely…? 
55:31 07/15/2020
Girlz 'n the Hood with Dr. Mary Hill-Wagner
Jaynie Royal and Pam Van Dyk are delighted to welcome Dr. Mary Hill-Wagner to join us on A Conspiracy of Lemurs to discuss the inspiration behind her upcoming publication, Girlz n’ the Hood: A Memoir of Mama and the challenges she faced in bringing this project to fruition. A delightful episode, not to be missed!
52:02 06/27/2020
Walking the Tightrope: The Challenges of Memoir
On this episode of A Conspiracy of Lemurs, Jaynie Royal and Pam Van Dyk are joined by  Jane Bernstein, author of The Face Tells the Secret, and Julie Wittes Schlack, author of This All-at-Onceness. We discuss the inspiration behind their respective literary works, the definition and intent of the memoir narrative, the challenges entailed in such a task, and the role of truth in the formulation of content. 
58:56 06/21/2020
Holding a River & Irreverent Prayers: Martha Kalin & Zack Rogow in Conversation
Jaynie Royal and Pam Van Dyk welcome Regal House poets, Martha Kalin, the winning recipient of the 2019 Terry J. Cox Poetry Award for her collection How to Hold a Flying River, and Zack Rogow, author of The Irreverent Litanies and the judge of the 2019 Terry J. Cox Poetry Award, to A Conspiracy of Lemurs. Join us for a delightful conversation about the inspiration behind their collections, the role of poetic activism, and the influence of social media on the poetic art form. 
41:39 06/12/2020
Historical Fiction Series: Unhealed Wounds—The Legacy of the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Beyond
In our first podcast episode of a four-part series devoted to historical fiction, Jaynie Royal and Pam Van Dyk are delighted to welcome Marlin Barton, author of Children of Dust, and Vicki Lane, author of And the Crows Took Their Eyes, as guests on A Conspiracy of Lemurs. We discuss truth and ambiguity, research and imagination as pertains to the craft of historical fiction and to each of Vicki and Bart's upcoming novels. Both authors read excerpts from their novels - marvelous readings not to be missed!
38:59 06/05/2020
Steven Mayfield: Treasure of the Blue Whale and Writing "Small Town" America
Jaynie Royal and Pam Van Dyk chat with Steven Mayfield, author of Treasure of the Blue Whale,  and discuss writing “small town” America, Depression-era fiction, economic anxiety, and the role of “feel-good” novels. 
39:51 05/22/2020
Tackling Challenging Topics in Novels-in-Verse: Mary Sullivan, author of High
Jaynie Royal and Pam Van Dyk chat with Mary Sullivan, author of the novel-in-verse, High.Mary Sullivan is the author of Dear Blue Sky, a middle grade novel for which she won the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle Award. Her other novels include Stay and Ship Sooner, and she has ghostwritten for the Beacon Street Girls series. She is the also the recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant for Literature, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Award, and a St. Botolph’s Award. She was chosen as one of the Border’s Original New Voices. She is a freelance editor and teaches at Harvard Extension and Summer School.  Mary lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and their four children. She can be found at: Fitzroy Books will be publishing Mary's middle-grade novel in verse, High, that features fourteen-year-old Ceti, who is a star on the soccer field but struggles at home with her mother's heroin addiction.  
48:36 05/12/2020
Writing Under Lockdown
In this episode of A Conspiracy of Lemurs, a Regal House Publishing podcast, co-hosts Jaynie Royal and Pam Van Dyk discuss writing under lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic. They are joined by four Regal House authors, Kate Murdoch, author of The Orange Grove, who lives in Australia; Cheryl Ossola, author of The Wild Impossibility, who resides in Italy;  Maureen Pilkington, author of This Side of Water, who lives in New York; and Barbara Quick, author of the upcoming book, What Disappears, who lives in California. 
32:05 05/12/2020
(Her)oics: The Women Behind the Anthology
Jaynie Royal and Pam Van Dyk chat with Amy Roost and Joanell Serra regarding their current submission call for the anthology (Her)oics: Women's Lived Experiences During the Coronavirus Pandemic. We are currently accepting submissions for this anthology. Please refer to our submissions portal for more information regarding this anthology. Submissions can be made via the Submittable portal with a $5.00 submission fee, which will  be used to offset a small part of the expenses. If this fee presents a significant barrier to your submitting, please email us at: All submissions are due no later than midnight Friday, May 22, 2020.
29:30 05/08/2020