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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.
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Now displaying: December, 2018
Dec 27, 2018

As writers, we spend a lot of time thinking about how we can take care of our words.

On the other side, we don't spend nearly as much time thinking about how words can take care of us as well.

For the past 4 or 5 years, I've been picking a word for the year to guide me along in both my living and my writing. Since we work with language after all, why not use language for a supportive purpose as well as a creative one?

One of my favorite guides in this process has been my friend Susannah Conway, creator of Find Your Word course and who has also been creating a workbook to Unravel the Year ahead for nearly a decade. Barry and I have made it our New Years ritual to hide out somewhere quiet and remote and work through this brilliant workbook and set intentions and get clear on our hopes for the coming year.

In fact, it was in this very workbook that living abroad first appeared as a hope for us. Since we spend so much time writing for readers, I wanted to wrap up 2018 by spending some time with writing that is for our eyes alone. By taking this time to reflect on what you hope to gain in the coming year, I know your writing will stand to gain so much.

Enjoy this chat Susannah and I had as we wrap up 2018 and start dreaming for the coming year. Happy listening, and happy dreaming.

Dec 20, 2018
What if you didn't have to be a scientist to write science fiction?
 
Guess what people, Mary Robinette Kowal is about to blow your mind. She has the most incredible background I have heard on the show so far: Jim Henson Puppeteer, Voiceover actor, and Hugo-award-winning Science Fiction author. YES. There is nothing I love more than writers who are multi-passionate and unafraid to pursue everything they love.
 
So when Mary Robinette wrote a short story that started to stray into the history of space exploration, she wasn't afraid to follow its lead. Instead, she asked for help. She worked with consultants to make the story believable and accurate while not giving up on the book she wanted to write. Have a story that feels over your head in terms of knowledge and technical information? Look no further than this episode. It can be written, promise.
Dec 13, 2018
It's obvious: I love having Mary Laura Philpott on the show.
 
I just couldn't wait to talk about her essay collection, I Miss You When I Blink, coming in spring 2019, so we dive into the experience she's having now: the book is finished and in the pipeline for publication, and the Messy Middle is in full effect. We talk about the feelings having the book out in the world with early readers brings up, and why you should always bring a copy of your book in your carry-on when traveling.
 
And, of course, because we are obsessed with books, Mary Laura and I do what we love most: geek out about all the amazing books that are just waiting for you to snatch them up as holiday gifts this year. There's something for everyone on your list in this episode, from non-fiction to novels to short stories. Happy listening!
Dec 6, 2018
A.J. Jacobs has been on my wishlist of guests for ages.
 
From The Know-It-All to The Year of Living Biblically, I have loved reading along through his lifestyle experiments that took on challenges I wish I was dedicated enough to undertake: reading the entire encyclopedia? Following all the rules in the Bible for a year even as a non-religious person? He has incredible guts to both start and finish these projects.
 
So when I heard about Thanks A Thousand, his latest book and a project that sought to thank everyone who was involved with the production of his morning cup of coffee, I was determined to have him on. I had myself set up for my own quest to convince him, but it turns out he was delighted to come on as soon as I asked. This conversation was a great joy, as we looked at all the small design masterpieces there are in the world around us, just how many people collaborate on the creation of a book, and how much better it makes your life to thank the people you meet every day. I couldn't be happier to share this with you.
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