Francesca Lia Block

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.


Francesca Lia Block is the author of more than twenty-five books of fiction, non-fiction, short stories and poetry. She received the Spectrum Award, the Phoenix Award, the ALA Rainbow Award and the 2005 Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as other citations from the American Library Association and from the New York Times Book Review, School Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly. Her work has been translated into Italian, French, German, Japanese, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish and Portuguese. Francesca has also published stories, poems, essays and interviews in The Los Angeles Times, The L.A. Review of Books, Spin, Nylon, Black Clock and Rattle among others. In addition to writing, she teaches fiction workshops at UCLA Extension, Antioch University, Writers Workshops L.A. and University of Redlands. She lives in Los Angeles.

Writing Action: How to Choose a Wound for Your Characters

This exercise is from the pages of Francesca’s The Thorn Necklace and it asks the question, What wound or wound might you give a character you’re writing about? Francesca recommends looking at your own wounds to explore this idea in fiction. The idea here is to look inward at the hard experiences that shaped you and see if you might transfer those onto your character—both because you know the impact those wounds have because you’ve lived them, and because it’s an opportunity for further healing.

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