Weekly Inspiration for Writers
Our next A+ August mash-up features two of Brooke’s absolute favorites—Mary Karr and Elizabeth Gilbert. Mary’s episode, In Defense of Memoir, is a deep dive into memoir writing, while Liz’s, Following the Thread of Your Inspiration. Both guests have been so influential to this genre, and this wide-ranging conversation will leave any aspiring writer motivated to get writing—and don’t forget to go back and listen to the full interviews in our archives.
This best of features two guests whose debut novels focus in on racial issues in the workplace with Askaripour’s novel, Black Buck, set in the sales industry and Pandya’s Members Only homing in on academia. Both guests speak to their inspirations, drawing from life experience, and the nuance and complexities (and also the importance) of tackling racial issues in fiction.
In this first of our A+ August mash-up we’re revisiting interviews with two of the most popular fantasy authors we know—Hugh Howey and Victoria “V.E.” Schwab. There’s so much good stuff here to inspire any kind of author. We talk about process, confidence, why we write, and then yes, there’s some magic talk in here, too, since fantasy allows you to rewrite the rules and build your own worlds . . . something a lot of us might be doing this summer as we think about escaping into other realities.
In the final show of Year 3 of Write-minded, Brooke interviews Grant about his newest book, a collection of stories called All the Comfort Sins Can Provide. In the interviewee chair, Grant shares the highs and the lows of publishing a new book—the fear and the angst and the joys and the expectations. Having doled out excellent advice over these past three years, Grant realizes during this week’s show that it’s not so easy to follow all our great advice.
This week’s show is a great episode for any writer who’s ever thought about plotting—how much they love it or hate it, whether they’re even doing it, and why plotting matters anyway. Our guest is Jean Hanff Korelitz, who’s most recent book, The Plot, has one of the best plots ever—and even she says sometimes you have to forget about the plot. We touch upon literary vs. commercial fiction, whether Jean agrees with Stephen King’s advice about plotting, and what some of her favorite books are that center writers as the primary protagonist. This is a writer’s episode—and yes, that means you. Enjoy!
This week’s episode is an intense, powerful, and frank interview with author Gina Frangello as part of WomenLit, a Bay Area program dedicated to elevating women’s voices. Gina’s latest book, Blow Your House Down, is a tour de force and a memoir that’s had everyone talking—because she really goes there: into her shame, into her fear, into abuse, into sex and body, and into what it’s like to live a double life since the book is about having a clandestine affair for three-plus years. This is a brave book that’s making some people uncomfortable and has many reevaluating how truthful and brave they want to be on the page.
Creative empathy is no longer enough of a foundation when it comes to what kinds of characters and situations novelists can or should write, and yet permission to write is the foundation of this week’s how featuring Rebecca Makkai. In this wide-reaching conversation Brooke and Grant talk with Rebecca about the value of research, the challenges all writers face in prioritizing their writing, and getting it right when it’s so easy to get it wrong.
All around us, there are stories waiting to be unearthed, storylines there for the taking. Grant and Brooke discuss this and more—plotting v. pantsing; researching; understanding your readers—in this week’s episode. Importantly, this week’s show with guest Stacey Lee is about why we write, how it’s our birthright, and how we can push through some of the guilt and/or apathy some writers have felt over this past year-plus about whether or how much their writing might matter, especially in the face and wake of greater suffering.
In this week’s episode we celebrate Lindsey Grant’s new book, Ready, Set, Memoir, a new book out in collaboration with NaNoWriMo, and which features many Write-minded past guests. This week’s show is full of memoir tips, and also supports aspiring memoirists to stay the course in their process—because we know it’s challenging. Ready, Set, Memoir is a book—and an episode—that touches upon the highs and lows of memoir writing.
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