Daniel José Older

In today’s episode, Grant and Brooke talk with Daniel José Older about why writing “the other” comes with great responsibility, and how we’re likely to “jack it up,” and also why it’s both simple and not simple. This is an important and nuanced topic in the world of book publishing, with layers of power and privilege that all writers would do well to understand. Older is an eloquent messenger, and he shares with us a few of his favorite fundamentals on writing “the other.”


Daniel José Older is the New York Times bestselling author of the Middle Grade historical fantasy series Dactyl Hill Squad, the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, Star Wars: Last Shot, The Book of Lost Saints, and the award winning Young Adult series the Shadowshaper Cypher, which won the International Latino Book Award and was shortlisted for the Kirkus Prize in Young Readers’ Literature, the Andre Norton Award, the Locus, the Mythopoeic Award, and named one of Esquire’s 80 Books Every Person Should Read.

Writing Action: Critical Reading and Critical Thinking

Read the 12 guidelines that Daniel wrote about in “Writing the Other (and the Self)” and ask yourself how you can respectfully write from the perspectives of others? Analyze your own writing and think about how you can approach a new project in a different way next time. Also, analyze any books you’re reading and consider how the authors either respectfully write from the perspectives of others or not—and why? The way we learn to write is so tied to our reading–and our critical thinking of the books we read–so consider this a way to broaden and sharpen your characterization skills.

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