Weekly Inspiration for Writers

What Every Writer and Author Needs to Know about Ingram, featuring Robin Cutler

Ingram and Amazon are arguably the two most important companies when it comes to how the book industry functions—and while Amazon gets a lot of visibility and media attention, Ingram tends to be a bit more amorphous for authors. This episode breaks down what’s what at Ingram—helping authors break down the many branches of Ingram and why it all matters. Guest Robin Cutler of IngramSpark gives an insider perspective about this all-important player in the book publishing space.

How to Make Your Hard Work Work for You, featuring John August

For anyone who’s ever thought that artists are simply divinely inspired and you’ve either got it or you don’t, this week’s episode about hard work, putting in the hours, and how to be productive in a sane and relatively healthy way should inspire some thinking about the nature of busyness. Grant and Brooke talk with John August, one of the busiest artists they know, about screenwriting, choosing the best medium for a new project, and work ethic.

The Radical Author: “The Dystopia Is Now,” featuring Cory Doctorow

Today’s dystopian fiction seems to be closer to reality than the dystopian fiction of the past. Brooke and Grant explore this new reality with Cory Doctorow, whose socially conscientious science fiction novels delve into topics of political consequence. From the ways in which anxieties fuel science fiction writers to how fiction has the power to change the way we think and operate in the world, today’s episode emphasizes the importance of dystopian fiction for its capacity to shed light on what is true, and what might happen, ideally, as Cory suggests, so that we might fix things before it’s too late.

On Creating New Forms in Fiction and Following What’s True, featuring Rachel Cusk

This week’s special episode is an interview between Write-Minded host Brooke Warner and the writer Rachel Cusk, who’s been hailed for “reinventing” the novel. Brooke asks Rachel about form, and how she approached this reinvention, whether she could have done it without the insights she had through writing her memoir, and what it means to call oneself—or be called—a feminist, or “post-feminist,” writer. In this clear-eyed and thought-provoking interview, Rachel gives insight into why she thought the novel needed to be re-thought in the first place, and why the pursuit of truth lies at the heart of everything she writes.

Cultivating Stillness, featuring Pico Iyer

In this week’s episode, Brooke and Grant meander through the topic of stillness with Pico Iyer, “arguably the world’s greatest living travel writer,” according to Outside. In an “on-demand” world that demands productivity, especially from writers, Iyer suggests ways to steal little moments, even just pockets of time, to help writers stay fresher, more centered, more intimate. Join us for this treat of an episode to see how you might bring even just a little more stillness into your mind and into your writing.

Giving Voice to Secrets, featuring Dani Shapiro

In today’s episode, guest Dani Shapiro talks about her recent New York Times best-selling memoir, Inheritance, and how she’s been circling around family secrets for her entire life. She reveals how the secret she never knew, until recently—that the father who raised her was not her biological father—is likely the thing that made her a writer. In this deep conversation with co-hosts Brooke and Grant, Dani delves into the “unthought known,” the impact of those things we withhold, and how the particular family secret of parents not revealing a child’s identity to them is nearly an obsolete idea due to genetic testing sites like 23andMe.

Writing Advice from a Writing Advice Guru, featuring James Scott Bell

Do you remember the first writing advice book you ever read? Or the writing advice book that moved you and made you rethink your writing life? In this episode, James Scott Bell, author of more than 20 writing advice books, talks about his circuitous path to becoming a writer—and shares best and worst writing advice, blunders writers should avoid, tips for becoming a more prolific writer, and so much more. Tune in to hear Brooke and Grant’s best and worst writing advice, as well as the first writing advice books that moved them and why.

Telling on Yourself with Your Fiction, featuring Tayari Jones

This week’s episode features an onstage interview with Tayari Jones, author of the New York Times best-seller, An American Marriage. Brooke and Tayari sat down at the Bay Area Book Festival in early May—and we’re thrilled to be able to share what transpired on Write-Minded. Tayari is forthcoming and funny. We gain insight into her motivations to write, her perseverance as a novelist, and how, in her words, novelists tend to tell on themselves through their fiction. What we learn about Tayari and her worldview through this telling is a gift—so enjoy!

Taking Leaps of Faith, featuring Bobi Gentry Goodwin

In today’s episode Brooke Warner interviews Bobi Gentry Goodwin, author of the novel, Revelation, which is forthcoming on the She Writes Press list this November. Bobi is the winner of the She Writes Equality in Publishing scholarship. We’re excited to introduce you to Bobi and her novel, and also to hear about what led her to take this leap of faith, to submit her work—and what it’s mean to her to win. She Writes Press and SparkPress currently have submissions open for this year’s STEP contest. Submissions are due by July 1st, so spread the word, and/or take your own leap of faith!

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