Author interviews with Gabby Olczak, president of the INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD. Announced every spring, IPA recognizes the best independent press books globally. In the fall, the NYC Big Book Award,, takes book submissions from all publishers and authors, including those published by the Big 5 publishing houses, and awards the best books and audiobooks in over 100 categories. To find out more, visit the websites, or email [email protected]

Recent Episodes

GAB TALKS with Joseph Howse, author of The Girl in the Water
SEP 14, 2023
GAB TALKS with Joseph Howse, author of The Girl in the Water

“A resilient coming-of-age story … The author includes emotional, compelling scenes with every character, as each one has been dealt a vastly different hand of cards. … It feels very down-to-earth and includes necessary comical moments throughout. I did not know much about the events or places in this book before, but after finishing it and doing a little extra curiosity research, I’m thankful to have learned something new in such an engaging way.” —Audrey Davis, IBR

Winner of the 2023 Independent Press Award for Literary Fiction
The Girl in the Water is the story of a multiethnic group of young friends, coming of age in Estonia and Ukraine in the last days of the Soviet Union. Their lives are shaped by an Afghan war, the Chernobyl disaster, and the collapse and legacy of a suffocating society.

The novel examines life and choice in the aftermath of trauma and has garnered praise as both a lifelike family drama and a literary statement in the tradition of the Russian classics.

Scenes of shortwave listening and roaming the hinterlands provide a backdrop to the young characters' search for themselves within a failing civilization that sees non-cooperation and unhappiness as a disease.

At the centre of this multilayered story of family, society, and nature is a Soviet girl, Nadia, who, one day on a remote beach, looks up from her book to see that her friend is drowning.

Nadia is an abstract thinker growing up in an era of endgames. She is a bookworm, an architect of reckless pranks, a day-and-night wanderer, a compulsive witness, and a note-taker. All around her she sees people quietly gambling with life and soul for little apparent gain. As her illusions unravel, she asks herself, what is to be done?

The Girl in the Water is a tragicomedy. It is an intricate study of beauty and futility in everyday life and a call for compassion and humour in a cruel world.

20 MIN
GAB TALKS with Alan Sidransky, author of Incident at San Miguel
MAY 18, 2023
GAB TALKS with Alan Sidransky, author of Incident at San Miguel

Incident at San Miguel: release date: May 19th
Havana, Cuba. December 1958. Two brothers find themselves on opposite sides of Castro’s revolution. One dark night, after rescuing a leader of the revolt under house arrest, one brother finds himself hunted. The other, an influential attorney, must make a choice. Help his brother, placing the whole family at risk, or let Batista’s forces capture him. His decision will haunt them both for the rest of their lives. How far will we go to protect those we love? Based on a true story, Incident at San Miguel takes us there.
Alan has penned numerous articles, short stories, and historical fiction novels including his debut, Forgiving Maximo Rothman, which is Book One in the Forgiving Series, and The Interpreter, Book One in the Justice Series.
Alan is fluent in Spanish and considers the Dominican Republic his second home and an inspiration for many of his stories. A Bronx native, Alan is a longtime resident of Washington Heights where he lives with his wife, a digital advertising consultant.
Incident At San Miguel is set in 1959 Havana Cuba, during the Cuban Revolution and its aftermath. The story focuses on a Jewish Cuban family. Specifically, we follow two brothers Aaron and Moises Cohan who are on diametrically opposed sides of the political spectrum. The Cohan brothers have little in common other than a shared Jewish heritage.
For this impressive historical fiction piece, Alan collaborated with Miriam Bradman Abrahams, a storyteller and Cuban born daughter of Cuban Jewish refugees. The Cohan brothers were inspired by the true story of her father Juan Bradman and her uncle Soloman Bradman.
The main theme of the story is love, loyalty, and responsibility to family. Alan likes to write stories that focus on ordinary people who face real struggles “I hope to bring to light the stories of those who have triumphed over oppression”.
“I focus on the personal experience of everyday people faced with extraordinary circumstances. What does one do when faced with events beyond their control? As a member of a family ravaged by the Holocaust, I am determined to tell the stories of refugees and survivors I’ve known.” An avid reader and history buff, Alan was inspired and influenced by many writers including Boris Paternak (Doctor Zhivago) and Hemingway.
Unlike a memoir or a nonfiction book, Alan appreciates how broad a fiction work can be. A work of fiction allows the reader to get very close to the character, feel their emotions, and understand their circumstances, according to Alan.
To learn more about Alan, his current work, and purchase his books visit

52 MIN
GAB TALKS with Stephen P. Fish, author of A Call to Reform, who shares his thoughts on immigration reform.
MAY 11, 2023
GAB TALKS with Stephen P. Fish, author of A Call to Reform, who shares his thoughts on immigration reform.

Is Title 42 going to end? With the end of the national emergency that the U.S. government declared for the COVID-19 pandemic, May 11 is set to be the final day for the so-called “Title 42” policy at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Stephen P. Fish, author of A Call to Reform, shares his thoughts on immigration reform, and believes it's time to discuss a solution.

A Call To Reform: Sustaining America's Unique Culture by Stephen P. Fish is a story about the need to modernize the federal government in an effort to save America’s unique political, social, and economic culture. It is a story about what makes us uniquely American, with an emphasis on a brief history of human rights and civil liberties. 

It is a call for help now so that future generations will be able to enjoy the human rights and civil liberties all Americans cherish.  Intelligent and engaging, A Call to Reform is a call-to-action for anyone who feels powerless amidst the current political climate.  

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