Tricks of the trade, behind-the-scenes stories promised by journalists

Rudy Maxa and Kerri Miller.jpg
Rudy Maxa and Kerri Miller

A book project that brought two journalists with decades of experience together has now rippled into a behind-the-scenes live show where the pair talks about past stories, tricks of the trade and entertains questions from an audience.

Rudy Maxa and Kerri Miller will hold court Oct. 13, on stage at Rochester Civic Theatre in an evening where they promise good stories, tips on travel and probably a few laughs.

"We both give a lot of speeches, which tends to be formatted and formal, but we want this to be as though you're coming into our studies and having a conversation," Maxa said. "We're not here to lecture people. The audience is invited to join in, talk among friends."

Maxa is a former Washington Post reporter noted for his scoops on scandals, who spent years in Washington before shifting to travel writing and broadcasting and eventually relocating to St. Paul. Miller is a television broadcast veteran who was with KARE 11 in the Twin Cities before shifting to MPR in 2004. She hosts The Daily Circuit and the Talking Volumes project with noted authors. She also is an author herself.

Miller, who interviewed author Margaret Atwood this week for a Talking Volumes interview on stage in St. Paul, said the goal of the evening in Rochester is to "lift the curtain."


"What you often see is the finished product, but the interview is about getting there," Miller said. "Did you ask questions no one has asked, how do you find the creativity, were there real moments of self-doubt? Those are the things you are probing for with interviews."

And she said she and Maxa will turn those skills on each other as well.

Miller said she had read a profile on Maxa when he'd first moved to St. Paul and thought he'd be an interesting person to meet. Over time, she's had him on her MPR show and eventually, over lunches, the pair hatched a book idea.

The book pairs Miller's love all things literary with Maxa's penchant for his passport. It's not published yet. In fact, a title hasn't been chosen, but they joked they might tap the Rochester audience for ideas.

The collaboration uses Miller's efforts to choose interesting places around the globe that inspire and influence writers. "It's really the the landscape that's been influential to them.," she said.

Maxa's part is to frame it in the theme of following in the footsteps of the writers to guide readers in how to take the trip above and beyond.

"It's advice I'd give my family and friends," Maxa said.

On Oct. 13, you get to be part of the family with Maxa and Miller.

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