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Novelist and Television Writer Michael Malone Talks Storytelling April 26

The professor of theater and English will answer viewer questions about the elements of romance, mystery and murder, in a live "Office Hours" webcast

Duke professor Michael Malone is the author of novels and short stories filled with romance, mystery and sometimes murder. He was also an Emmy-winning lead writer for the long-running soap opera "One Life to Live." In a live "Office Hours" conversation April 26, Malone answers viewer questions about the art of storytelling.

Michael Malone

"I have never known a fiction that didn't have facts in it. But the fundamental point about telling stories is those facts are no excuse for fiction," Malone told the Duke Chronicle. "Just because it's a real story doesn't make it a good story. I worry we sometimes lose that distinction."

Watch the conversation live Thursday at noon on the Duke Ustream channel. Submit a question for Malone via email to, on Twitter with the hashtag #dukelive or by posting to the Duke University Facebook page.

Malone teaches courses on American movies and musicals in which students put into practice the subjects they are taught.

Students in his "American Dreams, American Movies" course present their film projects in a gala that includes awards and acceptance speeches (watch last year's ceremony). This year, his class "The Great American Musical" will put on a musical April 30, which includes the Durham Housing Authority's Hip-Hop Chorus, about a group of students who band together to save a struggling music academy.

Malone is a prolific author, publishing more than a dozen novels, in addition to plays and screenplays. His most recent novel is "The Four Corners of the Sky," about a young woman pilot's adventure chasing her elusive father.

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This is the last "Office Hours" conversation for the 2011-12 academic year. We will resume the webcast series in the fall. Visit the Office Hours website to watch past episodes and sign up for email reminders.