Weekly Inspiration for Writers
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Escapist, other-worldly, and mind-expanding. These are just a few of the things that describe what fantasy is to its readers. In this week’s episode, Grant and Brooke talk with Victoria Schwab about creating fantasy that pushes the boundaries of our known power structures and why it matters to her to write accessible fantasy. Plus, we discuss how important fantasy literature is to children, and how and why The Harry Potter series is the most influential and important series of an entire generation.
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