Weekly Inspiration for Writers
In today’s episode, Brooke and Grant speak with YA author Lilliam Rivera about writing contemporary YA, the power of finding your own experience in literature, and why you might be drawn to writing the stories you wish had been available to you when you were young. YA as a genre is exploding, and Rivera discusses why she doesn’t hold back when it comes to what she’s willing to explore in fiction—race, family dynamics, violence, and more. Rivera’s drive and passion will inspire any writer who’s felt drawn to write to share a worldview that’s been historically underrepresented.
If you’re curious about—or maybe even terrified by—the idea of getting advance readers for your work-in-progress, you’ll want to hear from today’s guest Taran Matharu and listen to his success story. Taran shared his work on WattPad and garnered 3 million reads in less than six months. He shares his story on today’s episode, as well as lots of concrete tips for all you writers out there about how to gain more exposure for your work.
Whether you’re already an indie author, or thinking about becoming one, this week’s episode is chock-full of encouragement and concrete advice from Sarra Cannon, career author of 25 books. Hear what Sarra thinks are the pros and cons of self-publishing, find out why publishing DIY is so invigorating, and get some insight into the various paths to publishing available to today’s aspiring authors.
The business of book publishing is one of the most important, albeit less glamorous, parts of becoming an author. This week Brooke and Grant are in conversation with industry expert and veteran Jane Friedman as they cover innovation, publishing trends, the future of book publishing. Jane also offers concrete and sound advice for authors, and busts a few industry myths, too.
Writing about other people is scary. You may worry about the fallout—that people you’re writing about will be hurt, angry, that they’ll disown you. You may worry about your parents, your children, your friends. Many writers contemplating memoir go so far as to consider waiting to write their story until some key person is dead, and countless others fret about the legal jeopardy they might subject themselves to just for telling their truth. This episode brings answers and reassurance—and touches upon fiction as well, in the sense that fiction, too, much be drawn from real characters. Guest Kerry Cohen talks about her four memoirs and shares her feelings on fear, truth-telling, and fallout.
Join Brooke and Grant as they recall some of their early public speaking moments—when Grant remembers being a brash, bold teenager who’d say anything and Brooke recalls forgetting her lines in a Christmas play and saying “oh shit” in front of her entire church congregation. More important to writers in this episode, however, are guest Betsy Graziani Fasbinder’s helpful ideas and encouraging words around public speaking. We’ll explore why all writers should give themselves the gift of public speaking training and how public speaking is really just another way to share your story. For this episode, please also check out Brooke’s blog post about preparing for her TEDx talk, which she references in the episode and promised to share.
If you believe in the idea that your book knows what it wants to be, or if you’re interested in hearing more about the ways in which this might be true, this episode is for you. Join Brooke and Grant for a conversation about how we’re in relationship with our books—which means we sometimes have to play and dance with them, listen to what they’re telling us, and even take some time apart at times. Guest Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain, has some impassioned advice—and a little tough love—for authors on the path to creation, and explains his theory of “pushing the rock,” a metaphor for writing your book.
In this episode, Grant and Brooke explore with guest Francesca Lia Block, author of The Thorn Necklace, how writing is healing and oftentimes therapeutic. Today’s episode is about the feeling side of writing—and how touching into that both unlocks deeper places in a person’s writing and has the ability (at least some of the time) to set writers free from their angst and doubts and any lingering messages that might get lobbed at them by their inner critics. If you’ve ever wondered if writing has the power to heal, tune in.
Guest Vanessa Hua shares her circuitous path to literary success, which happened later in life, after a career in journalism and after age forty, and after the birth of her twin boys. In this episode Grant and Brooke explore the many ways writers seize their creative destinies—by following the thread of their curiosity, by taking up hobbies that spur creative endeavors, and by staying open to possibilities. If you feel like your next Big Creative Thing is just over that next hump, or even more so if it’s feeling frustratingly elusive, this episode will give you a shot of inspiration and the encouragement you might need to keep going—or looking, or trying.
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