CLEARWATER, FL—“Joy on Paper,” created and hosted by Patzi Gil, premiered on St. Patrick’s Day in 2015. As the luck of the Irish would have it, the radio show’s fifth anniversary also falls on St. Patrick’s Day, Tuesday, March 17.
Last year, on the program’s fourth anniversary, Patzi’s guests were the writing couple Andrew Grant and Tasha Alexander, both of whom are popular authors. This year they’ll return with breaking news: Andrew Grant is now two writers in one: The talented author of the Paul McGarth series will join his brother Lee Grant (a.k.a. Lee Child) to carry on the Jack Reacher series.
“I don’t know how I will introduce him now,” Patzi said, “but whether he is Andrew Grant or Andrew Child, he is a fabulous writer, and I am proud that he and Tasha will be joining me. Tasha is the New York Times best-selling author of Lady Emily mystery series.”
“Joy on Paper” (www.radio-joyonpaper.com) is a nationally syndicated program that broadcasts from WTAN 1340-AM and 106.1-FM (www.tantalk1340.com) on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11 a.m. (Eastern Time).
Patzi has been called “America’s Book Lover”—and with good reason: She’s read more than 10,000 books and possesses a near-photographic memory when it comes to details. The idea for the show was born about 4 a.m. on the way to visit her husband at the hospital.
“As I pulled into the parking lot, the idea just popped in my head—Joy on Paper, a program for writers and those who dream of writing,” she said.
Though she had no radio experience, Patzi was on the air within three weeks. Her first interview: legendary literary agent Irene Goodman. She credits the program’s fast launch to the encouragement she received from station owner (and book lover) Lola Thornton Wagonvoord.
Five years into the program Patzi has checked off a number of her dreams: She’s interviewed a Poet Laureate of the United States, Juan Felipe Herrera, nine Mystery Writer of America Grand Masters, hundreds of New York Times best-selling authors as well as dozens of celebrities, sports stars, and military heroes.
“Well, a Nobel Prize-winning author would be great,” she said. “Bob Dylan, are you listening? I am one of your biggest fans!”
Another name on Patzi’s wish list was Martha Grimes, the famed American author of a popular detective series featuring Scotland Yard Inspector Richard Jury.
“And wishes do come true,” says Patzi, who recently interviewed Martha. She was the 10th MWA Grand Master “Joy on Paper” has featured.
“Among my favorite mystery writing guests have been Lawrence Block, Marcia Muller, Bill Pronzini, Sue Grafton, Sarah Paretsky, Margaret Maron, Carolyn Hart, and Robert Crais,” she said.
Patzi’s goal when she came up with the idea for “Joy on Paper” was to help authors and to bring the story behind the book to listeners. That’s one reason she features a weekly BookBuzz segment in which cozy mystery writer Rita Moreau promotes authors who have been guests.
“In today’s publishing world, authors need to keep their name out there to remind listeners of their work,” Patzi said. “That is why I am so proud of Rita, who does these delightful little reviews.”
A monthly segment that Patzi called “Our Legal Eagle” was created to give listeners insight on the legal-related aspects of writing and publishing. Bill Larson of Larson & Larson joins Patzi in the studio to answer questions about how to protect valuable intellectual property.
“He is my intellectual property lawyer—and also my patent lawyer,” said Patzi, who holds four patents.
“Answering authors and artist questions on the Joy on Paper radio program has been a fun and rewarding experience for me personally because Patzi is such a wonderful person,” Larson said. “She has so much knowledge of authors and authorship, and she always asks such great questions.”
What’s been the biggest surprise for Patzi after five years?
“Well, first that I could talk,” she said. “Before I started the program, my friends and family knew me only as a shy and reticent person—the one in the corner reading a book. They are still in shock when they hear me on the radio. Something magical happens when I get behind the microphone. It just all comes to me.”
Meticulously page-turning through thousands of books turned out to be her secret weapon.
“All those years of reading are paying off,” she explained. “I can’t say that dreams come true, because I never ever dreamed that I could talk to all the famous authors who have not only been my guests, but many of whom have become my friends. So now I tell people it is not that dreams come true, but that you have to prepare yourself for what life offers. If you think there is a book in you, then start writing today!”
Five years into her dream job, Patzi has big plans:
“I want to expand the program to five days a week—because there are just so many great authors I want to help promote and so many ideas for marketing that I want to share with my listeners. I want to speak to more writing groups to encourage people to just start writing.”
Here’s an example:
“On Feb. 20, I invited Eugenia Lovett West to be my guest to celebrate her 97th birthday,” Patzi said. “She started writing novels when she was 81 years old, and now she has come out with a wonderful book, ‘Firewall,’ about cybercrime. She is an inspiration for all of us. That’s why I do ‘Joy on Paper’—to let everyone know that anything is possible,” adding that, “All you have to do is, as another of my guests Sanya Richards-Ross says: Never give up!”
ABOUT: “Joy on Paper is broadcast from the WTAN studio in Clearwater, FL, and heard in the Tampa Bay area on 1340-AM and 106.1-FM. It’s also available on the Internet and in the archives of the program at www.radio-joyonpaper.com.