The Secret Library Podcast

The truth about writing books. By speaking to authors and other book lovers, I'm diving into the mystery that is the book world today. From writing to editing to publishing and all that goes into the creation of a book – all of it is open for discussion on the show.
RSS Feed
The Secret Library Podcast





All Episodes
Now displaying: October, 2016
Oct 27, 2016

Sometimes we all need a good laugh.

Mary Laura Philpott was the perfect person to talk to about humor. Her book, Penguins with People Problems, began as a small personal project that made enough people laugh that it was turned into a book. She's just as funny in this interview and I had a blast talking about everything from her book to the book tv show she does and the biggest list of recommended reads I have ever had anyone share on the show. We also dive into social media for book nerds and her tips for getting the word out about your work. You will want the show notes for this one. 

Show Notes for episode 22 with Mary Laura Philpott:

  • On writing humor (1:30)
  • Blog to tumblr to book (1:45) 
  • The cure for vulnerability is a bird (3:45)
  • The beauty of taking a risk (4:15)
  • Book people have a sense of humor - how many fucks can you put in a book? (5:00)
  • The insides of a publishing house (6:30)
  • 365 penguin drawings and sustaining a topic (7:30)
  • The beauty of a smaller following (8:30)
  • It's all Donald Trump's fault (9:30)
  • Inhaling vs exhaling (10:00)
  • Healing through creativity (10:30) Penguins with parenting problems (13:00) 
  • Seeing the physical book & the cover (14:30)
  • Drawing people's problems as penguins (15:20)
  • Working under your own name & personal vs. professional (16:45) 
  • Introversion and anonymity (17:30) 
  • Reality television is not real (20:15)
  • The bookstore world at Parnassus Books (22:45) 
  • Book recommendation extravaganza pairings (23:45) 
  • Reading & watching crime stories (36:45) 
  • Inhaling TV for writing (38:00) 
  • Doing social media for the book world (39:30)
  • The conversational aspects of social media (41:45)
  • Tips for book nerds & introverts (42:30)

Show notes with all book links | Sponsored by Muse Monthly

Oct 25, 2016

Logan writes in this week looking for trivia and weird knowledge. I love this sort of thing- reading for the absolute joy of it. Listen up for some hot tips and check out the show notes for links to the books I suggested.

Sponsored by Pretty By Post

Oct 20, 2016

Colette Lafia is an author, librarian, and spiritual director.

We could have talked for hours. Between the influence of her early study of poetry on her writing today, to the struggle of remembering why she's writing when a publisher turns down a proposal, there's so much to relate to in this interview. Colette is a fantastic example of how living a life with many moving parts can feed you as a writer. We talk about the wonderful messages in children's books and how adults can get so much out of those stories and how certain themes stay with us our whole lives. 

If you need support or motivation to keep going in your writing journey, look no further than this conversation. It will leave you refreshed and ready to get back to it, while reminding you that none of us is alone in this process. 

Show Notes for Episode 21 with Colette Lafia:

  • How did the books begin? (3:00)
  • Poetry's influence on all writing (3:45)
  • Creating a friendship with a trappist monk and then writing the book(4:30)
  • Writing about surrender (6:30)
  • How to know books want to be written through you (7:30)
  • The timeline of lived experience to finished book (8:45)
  • What it's like when a personal story gets published (10:30)
  • The healing element of writing about shadow topics (11:15)
  • Defining what success means for a book and the writer (12:00)
  • Boundaries around writing about vulnerable topics (14:00)
  • Vulnerability and balancing writing about self and for others (15:45)
  • Having a support team along the way (16:45)
  • The challenge of re-writing and the introduction (17:45)
  • Book proposals (19:00)
  • Finding a publisher (19:30) 
  • Having faith in the process (21:30)
  • The conundrum of the editorial calendar (23:00)
  • Dealing with rejection from a publisher & persevering (24:45)
  • What's driving your writing? (25:30)
  • The empowerment of the self-publishing option being available (25:30)
  • Going the distance in writing a book (27:00)
  • Colette's ongoing writing process and the platform you need in non-fiction (27:45)
  • Keeping writing fresh through exploring other genres and working in the children's library (32:45)
  • The love of children's lit among adult readers (33:15)
  • Leading retreats and being a spiritual director to connect with people (36:00)
  • Processing vs. living in writing (37:00)
  • Mining and finding new layers in your own experience (37:45)
  • What Colette is reading now 

Show Notes with Links | Sponsored by Muse Monthly

Oct 18, 2016

This week, Jane writes in feeling quote overwhelmed about being pregnant and living far away from her family. She wants to know everything there is to know about babies for she and her partner expect their little one.

Listen up to find out what NOT to read in this situation. Also, check out the show notes for links to the books I suggested. 

Oct 13, 2016

I've known Michelle Wetzel since we were in high school together (not so) many years ago. I've been watching the trend and evolution in the world of young readers who create bookstagram accounts and rack up the follower counts into the thousands. Michelle is a high school librarian in Wayne, PA just outside Philadelphia, so she was the perfect person to turn to as I've wanted to dive into the world of young adult readers. 

If you want to know where the cool kids get their books, this is the episode for you.

Show notes for Episode 20 with Michelle Wetzel:

  • Love for the nerds (2:00)
  • Not enough time to read in high school (3:00)
  • One book, one city at the high school level (3:30) 
  • Fiction vs. Non-fiction in academics (4:30)
  • High school trends (6:00) M
  • Bookstagram and the high school demographic (7:30)
  • Student reading clubs and reading lunch (8:45)
  • Action book club (9:15) 
  • Trends in YA (11:00) 
  • Cover design in YA (12:30)
  • eBooks vs physical copies in the school library (13:45) 
  • Knitting and reading (15:45)
  • Audiobooks in other languages (17:00) 
  • Digital magazines reading (19:00) 
  • Traveling with devices vs. hard copy (19:45)
  • Digital reading for kids (21:15) 
  • Kindle vs iPad reading (22:30)
  • Buying print books versus checking them out (23:45)
  • Reading physical books as a parent (24:45)
  • The commonalities of the high school book junkies (25:00)
  • Library volunteers (26:20)
  • Bringing reading out into the community (27:00) 
  • Trying to find YA that's not depressing (28:30) 
  • Fan fiction & how to find it (31:45) 
  • Harry Potter as the cure for grad school (34:00)


Full Show Notes with links | Sponsored by Muse Monthly

Oct 11, 2016

I'm loving this week's letter from Jess. She's looking for something to read that is both practical and woo-woo. I've got a few fun suggestions on the show. Check out the show notes so you can read along with her

If you enjoy these minisodes, please write in to get your own prescription. Also, feel free to leave practical woo-woo titles in the comments so Jess gets even more book love.

Sponsored by Pretty by Post

Oct 6, 2016

Stunt journalism is an amazing practice for writing from personal experience. In this episode, you'll learn how to do stunt journalism and how writing can expand your perspective and enjoyment of your own life. Erin Jourdan has taught this process to hundreds of people, both online and in person, with life-altering results. 

She's got not only anecdotes but current scientific research that we discuss about how writing about your life can change it for the better. This was such an exciting conversation and it made me want to run out and start a stunt writing project immediately. I know you'll feel the same way. 


Show Notes for Episode 19 with Erin Jourdan:

  • What is stunt journalism? (1:45)
  • How memoir is a loaded term (5:00)
  • Cultural differences and awareness around stunt journalism (6:15)
  • Categories of stunt journalism (7:15) Mentioned:  Marie Kondo | The Box prompt
  • Pretending to be a journalist (10:00)
  • Emotional spelunking (12:15)
  • Having a passport (13:30)
  • Local stunts & mental travel (16:15)
  • The impact and evolution of the stunt writing process (17:15)
  • How writing can change your life (19:00)
  • Emotional barometric pressure (19:30)
  • Further information and eBook with Stunt Writing prompts (21:00) 
  • Storytelling as a therapeutic modality (22:00)
  • Theories on why writing benefits the brain (23:00)
  • Gratitude journaling (25:00)
  • The impact of publishing/sharing fiction vs. non-fiction or personal experience writing (26:00)
  • Getting it onto the page alone vs. in community (28:30)
  • The benefits of sharing work in a safe group (29:45)
  • Fiction feedback vs. personal writing feedback (31:00)
  • Expanding from a scene to a full book on the next level (33:00)
  • Hot spots (34:45) Mentioned: Nona Caspers
  • Writing should be available to everyone (37:45)
  • Community stunts  and making your world bigger with writing (39:30)
  • Take publication out of the equation when you're writing (40:30)
  • Writing as therapeutic and spiritual (42:00) 
  • Writing and memory (42:45) 
  • The role of accuracy in non-fiction, memoir, and personal experience writing (43:30) 
  • Expanding your point of view through stunt writing (45:30)

Full show notes with links | Sponsored by Muse Monthly

Oct 4, 2016

Hello! Welcome to another Dear Book Dr. Minisode. 

This week's letter comes from Genevieve who's asking about dating and love. It's a tricky subject, since I don't think there is any easy answer and there's no way to guarantee results in the dating realm. With that said, I do think there are books that can help along the way and I can share resources that helped me when I was dating. 


Show notes with links to suggested books | Sponsored by Pretty by Post