Episodes

Weekly Inspiration for Writers

Feeling the Fear and Doing It Anyway, featuring Jennifer Pastiloff

Feeling the Fear and Doing It Anyway, featuring Jennifer Pastiloff

In this week’s inspiring episode, Brooke and Grant are joined by Jen Pastiloff, author of On Being Human, who shares the story of her leap of faith that was more like a push, the reason why “I got you” and “It’s gonna be okay” are her two favorite sets of words, and why she never wants to be seen as a guru. Join us for a conversation about listening, showing up for other people, and pursuing your dreams even when it’s terrifying and you’re not sure where you’re going to land.

Creating and Sustaining a Movement Around Your Writing, featuring Hope Edelman

Creating and Sustaining a Movement Around Your Writing, featuring Hope Edelman

Publishers love authors who generate bigger conversations, which sometimes grow into movements. While many authors will stumble into movements, others are consciously creating, or at least dreaming, into the possibility of a movement they might create. Join Brooke and Grant this week as they talk to guest Hope Edelman about starting a movement, having cohesion across your books, and being the kind of author that publishers have a hard time saying no to.

Block Doubt’s Phone Calls and Keep Writing! Featuring Kami Garcia

Block Doubt’s Phone Calls and Keep Writing! Featuring Kami Garcia

In this week’s episode, Grant and Brooke focus on that pesky little thing called doubt—ways to confront it, to work around it and with it, and to write through it. Guest Kami Garcia shares how she doubts almost everything about her process, and about her stories, especially initially. She shares ways to slay doubts, and to be prepared for doubt, including how writing partners and accountability and community can get you through the rough patches. Take a little inspiration from the idea that you are not alone if you doubt. We all do. And don’t forget that NaNoWriMo starts on Friday. We hope you’ll be writing with us!

The Secrets to Delighting in Your Work, featuring Jane Smiley

The Secrets to Delighting in Your Work, featuring Jane Smiley

This week’s episode features the great American novelist Jane Smiley, who speaks with Brooke and Grant about enjoying her work, the fickle nature of critical acclaim, and how she’s able to write so ambitiously. As the author of more than 20 books, Jane has deep wisdom to impart about the role the novel plays in our lives, and how, more than ever, fiction is a pressing mirror for our times.

Finding Your Story in Another’s Story, featuring Danielle Paige

Finding Your Story in Another’s Story, featuring Danielle Paige

In this week’s episode Grant and Brooke talk fan fiction—finding inspiration in well-known stories or the stories of others and why reimagining old stories is such a thriving, and more important, fun(!), genre of fiction writing. Guest Danielle Paige launched her writing career with a reimagining of The Wizard of Oz in her Dorothy Must Die trilogy, and her most recent graphic novel, Mera, is a reimagining as well. Here she shares about getting her start, her writing process, and what the payoff is when you rise to your BIG idea.

Rigorous Research and Its Payoff for Readers, featuring Lisa See

Rigorous Research and Its Payoff for Readers, featuring Lisa See

Brooke and Grant talk research with one of the most preeminent novelists of our time, Lisa See, who’s known for the in-depth research she’s done for her many best-selling books, most of which are set in China. Listen in as Lisa shares secrets and best practices about the research process and writing in general, and her thoughts about what it’s like to have a book (in her case Snow Flower and the Secret Fan) truly “break out” (and why she’s happy it didn’t happen to her with her debut effort).

Celebrating NaNoWriMo’s 20th Anniversary, featuring NaNoWriMo Founder Chris Baty

Celebrating NaNoWriMo’s 20th Anniversary, featuring NaNoWriMo Founder Chris Baty

It’s NaNoWriMo prep season—and its 20th anniversary, so this week’s episode celebrates some of the organization’s achievements and milestones, and Brooke and Grant talk about word counts, community, and what keeps them writing. We’re reairing last year’s fabulous interview with NaNoWriMo’s founder, Chris Baty, which is sure to inspire anyone thinking about doing NaNoWriMo to jump in with both feet this November. We hope you will.

The Art of Writing Lost Stories, featuring Rachel Kadish

The Art of Writing Lost Stories, featuring Rachel Kadish

Today’s episode celebrates what guest Rachel Kadish calls the work of “repair”—which refers to a repairing of a history that so often showcases the exploits and successes and stories of men. Writers are increasingly taking on histories that deserve deeper consideration, or historical figures who were overlooked by the history books. With that comes research and also a responsibility to portray things as they might have happened, thus repairing the record and honoring histories both lost and forgotten.

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