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Ep. 84 Zephaniah Sole | Writing a crime thriller, Spider-Man, and a legacy of learning

Trigger warning: The novel we discuss in this episode contains themes of crimes against minors.

Hi there,

Today I am honored to be arts calling Zephaniah Sole!

About our Guest:

Zephaniah Sole is a Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing Author Fellow as well as an alum of VONA and Tin House. His fiction has appeared in Epiphany, Gargoyle Magazine, Collateral Journal and Vestal Review, among other publications. A graduate of New York University, he’s been a filmmaker, a public school teacher, and is an FBI agent. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now lives in the Pacific Northwest.

About the Novel:

A Crime In the Land of 7,000 Islands is a powerhouse crime thriller fused with folk tales and the influence of anime. This psychological literary fiction tells the tale of Ikigai Johnson, a Special Agent working out of the FBI’s Portland, Oregon field office, who pledges to bring justice to children abused by a monstrous American in the Philippines. Amidst an expertly accurate police procedural, Ikigai recounts her tale to her eleven-year-old daughter through fantastical allegory. Her story exposes the damage that arises from exploitation, inequality, and generational trauma. Exploring the nuances of criminal justice, it enacts the battle between our courage and our submission to fear. It is an important call to act against evil.


Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me, Zephaniah! All the best!

Arts Calling is produced by Jaime Alejandro ( If you like the show: please consider reviewing the podcast and sharing it with those who love the arts, or are starting their creative journey! Your support truly makes a difference, so check out the new website for the latest episodes!

Go make a dent: much love,


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