Weekly Inspiration for Writers
This week’s episode covers much territory, from cultivating mentors (whether they know they’re your mentors or not) to how to take care of yourself when writing trauma. This week’s guest, Joy Loya, had an unusual and powerful journey to becoming an author, and his story is testament to how we choose who we want to be in this world and how we show up.
How humor shows up in literature is the worthy topic of this week’s show—and Brooke and Grant interview Lysley Tenorio, someone who’s known for having an eye for the weird and absurd and rendering poignant experiences onto the page through humor. We talk about the kiss of death for authors who are trying to be funny, and offer up some advice for what to do if you want to write humor. Most important, however, we’re celebrating humor this week—and recommending some books that will lighten your mood. Also, please do not let this week end without watching the Philippine inmates reenacting Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” which you can find here: https://youtu.be/hMnk7lh9M3o.
Donald Maass founded the Donald Maass Literary Agency in New York in 1980. He is the author of Writing 21st Century Fiction and The Emotional Craft of Fiction, as well as many other books about the craft of writing. He’s an author, a literary agent, past president of the Association of Authors’ Representatives, Inc., and all-around industry veteran who supports writers to hone and to embrace their craft. For more about Don and his agency, visit: http://maassagency.com.
This week’s powerful episode features Laurie Halse Anderson, who was one of the early voices of the #MeToo movement about two decades before survivors started to share their stories en masse. We talk with Laurie about writing your truth, why the books on the Banned Books List make for good lifetime reading, and why kids and teens are usually the smartest, savviest readers, and also the toughest critics. If you have your own survivor story, this is also an important and validating episode you won’t want to miss.
Authors and aspiring authors alike won’t want to miss this week’s episode about all the things authors are expected to do that have nothing to do with writing the book. Fauzia Burke is one of the most upbeat and positive publicists we know, and she breaks down the real value of publicity, what are some of the things authors can do on their own, and why reviews matter. Don’t miss this one, and archive it for future reference.
Indie darling Michelle Tea has been writing for memoir for more than twenty years, and in this conversation, originally recorded with the San Francisco Writers Foundation, she and Brooke talk about their shared history through Seal Press, memoir as a catalyst for change, what makes a writer (like Michelle) have a cult following, and what the heck even is autofiction. A fast-paced, rollicking conversation about memoir, cross-genre writing, craft, and having no regrets. We invite you to read Brooke’s essay, “Memoir as a Method for Change”: https://www.sfwriters.org/memoir-as-a-method-for-change.
This week’s guest, Rebecca Roanhorse, says that she couldn’t write safe if she tried. In this far-reaching interview, we touch upon purpose-driven writing, writing outside the mainstream, and the challenges of getting published. Roanhorse encourages writers to take chances and reminds us all that sometimes you have to push the boundaries and understand that not everyone is going to like your work. Helpful advice for any writer who feels tentative about stepping into the fray: go for it!
Whether you’re already in a writing community, wanting to join one, or feeling apprehensive about whether a writing community is the right thing for you, this episode is your doorway to thinking about and engaging with community. Accountability, inspiration, friendships, motivation, and so many other reasons exist to join a writing community. As we gear up for NaNoWriMo (coming to you starting November 1st), know that this community is here for you, and this week’s guest, Alexis Daria, is here to talk about just some of the benefits of community and NaNoWriMo. Also, don’t miss out on the information in the NaNo prep page Grant mentioned, which you can find here: https://nanowrimo.org/nano-prep-101
Hugh Howey is a five-time NaNoWriMo participant who still can’t believe he ever wrote a novel. His works have become New York Times bestsellers, have been translated into over forty languages, and have sold millions of copies around the world. Four of his books are currently being adapted for film or television, including WOOL, SAND, and Beacon 23. All three of these were written in the month of November.
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