Episodes

Weekly Inspiration for Writers

Productive Procrastination, featuring Bridget Quinn

Productive Procrastination, featuring Bridget Quinn

In this week’s episode, Grant and Brooke share their worst moments of procrastination, and both come to the awareness that they probably are productive procrastinators. This week’s guest, Bridget Quinn, has some important insights into this topic, too, and shares about how she sold three books in five years after the devastating rejection of her memoir, and how keeping lots of irons in the fire is an effective strategy for writing success.

Challenging Assumptions with Your Writing, featuring Mary Pipher

Challenging Assumptions with Your Writing, featuring Mary Pipher

This week Brooke and Grant are challenging all kinds of assumptions—starting with unpacking books we’ve read that have challenged our own assumptions, and then with this week’s guest, Mary Pipher. Pipher, the best-selling author of Reviving Ophelia and Women Rowing North, gives us her take on ageism, “moral imagination,” and how and why she writes “for the reader, for the world.”

The Author Behind #PublishingPaidMe, featuring L.L. McKinney

The Author Behind #PublishingPaidMe, featuring L.L. McKinney

The publishing industry is on the front lines of the national conversation around diversity, equity, and inclusion—for good reason. The industry has a known race problem, but has been slow to do anything about it. Enter 2020. Today’s show dives into one of many of the stories making headlines this year that are calling publishing out and holding the industry to account. Guest L.L. McKinney started the #PublishingPaidMe hashtag—and talks with Grant and Brooke about advances, disparities in the publishing industry, and what’s at stake for BIPOC authors.

Writing with Urgency, featuring Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

Writing with Urgency, featuring Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

This week Brooke and Grant tap into urgency in writing—when we write for survival, write to document our lived experience, write like we’re running out of time. Guest Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, author of Children of the Land, speaks to how #ownvoices contributed to the success of his memoir to the experience of surveillance and interrogation and how that shows up in his writing as a result of lived experience.

The Challenges and Satisfactions of Literary Fiction, featuring Eimear McBride

The Challenges and Satisfactions of Literary Fiction, featuring Eimear McBride

This week we’re celebrating 100 episodes, and bringing you Brooke’s conversation with Eimear McBride (author of Strange Hotel and A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing). This is a rigorous and engaging conversation about the merits of literary fiction and why McBride wants her readers to actually take the effort to read her work. She is feisty and refreshing, saying, “I object to art being strangled by idiocy.” This interview will make you want to be a better literary citizen.

Provocative Fiction, featuring Sameer Pandya

Provocative Fiction, featuring Sameer Pandya

Contemporary fiction often offers a window into what ails us and what consumes us. Tackling a hot-button topic like race is never easy, and yet many novelists are drawn to the challenge that controversial topics present—for purposes of sorting things out, sending a message, or capturing a moment. In this week’s episode we talk to guest Sameer Pandya about writing provocative (and debut) fiction, and Grant and Brooke reveal whether or not they work in pajama pants.

Storytelling, Legacy, and a Little Bit of Magic, featuring Jamia Wilson

Storytelling, Legacy, and a Little Bit of Magic, featuring Jamia Wilson

This week’s guest, Jamia Wilson, is the director and publisher of The Feminist Press, and so much more—which is how and why this episode turned out to be about storytelling, legacy, and, yes, magic. Listen in to consider how magic shows up in your world, and the ways in which you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing, or how you might grow toward that as a goal or a calling.

Writing to Save Your Life, featuring Chelsea Bieker

Writing to Save Your Life, featuring Chelsea Bieker

Writing saves lives—the lives of readers and also the lives of writers. In this week’s episode we’re treated to guest Chelsea Bieker’s refreshing take on loving her own writing, how coming from a family of forgetters made her a writer, and why she chose to write her novel Godshot as a novel rather than a memoir when much of it centers on true events of Chelsea’s life. This week’s episode is an interview between Brooke and Chelsea as part of the Bay Area Book Festival’s WOMEN LIT series. Grant will be back next week.

Breaking Silence, featuring Terese Marie Mailhot

Breaking Silence, featuring Terese Marie Mailhot

This week’s episode is not only about breaking silence, but also about the ways that silence is often a pile-on due to multiple layers of silencing. This week’s guest, Terese Mailhot, author of Heart Berries, is the ideal author to wall us through what makes breaking silence both difficult and compelling for writers. We also touch upon cultural appropriation, marginalizing and compartmentalizing voices, and the complexities of being raised by a radical mother.

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