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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: March, 2019
Mar 28, 2019
Maisie Dobbs has been a favorite character of mine for years.
 
So when I found out that Jacqueline Winspear had TWO books coming out this March, I knew we had to have her on the show. I have been a dedicated reader of this brilliant series since the beginning, as this unconventional detective navigates life after WWI and now well into WWII.
 
Jacqueline spoke very eloquently about the impact her family history has had on her writing this series and how this went from a single story and one book she wanted to write very quickly into a hit series. We dive into character development over the course of a series, and most importantly how to take care of yourself as an author while writing about difficult topics. I know you'll be motivated and uplifted as I was after speaking with Jacqueline, yet another author I've adored even more after the interview. Happy listening!
Mar 21, 2019
Most people don't have to face all their worst fears in a single week.
 
Raynor Winn and her husband were left homeless when an investment went bad. Within days, her husband Moth received a terrifying medical diagnosis that predicted a dramatic decline. What did they do? They decided to wild camp (that's camping without campgrounds or rules, for those outside the UK) and walk the over 600 miles of the coast path in England.
 
In this episode, we not only discuss Raynor's incredible life experience, but she also tells to story of how she wrote and got the book published, which is almost as dramatic a tale as her memoir! If you worry that you need more qualifications, or think that your story won't make a difference, listening to Raynor Winn describe going from homeless to the bestselling author will brighten your day and your outlook as much as it did for me. This episode promises to be a fast favorite and I know you'll want to keep it around for inspiration long into the future.
 
Happy listening!
Mar 14, 2019
Most people have heard the rhyme about Lizzie Borden and forty whacks of an axe.
 
But most don't know the case behind the rhyme and the trial that enthralled the nation in the late 1800s. Well before there was OJ, there was Lizzie Borden. Cara Robertson first wrote about the trial in undergraduate school at Harvard and the story stayed with her. Over the past decades, the idea of documenting the trial persisted, becoming the book out this month.
 
Cara went through many stages of research, spent time in the maze of facts that were available in order to write this book, having to return an advance and resell the book several years later to be certain she could get it right. If you have thought about true crime, nitty-gritty historical research, or trying to get to the bottom of a mystery over a century old, this is your episode. Enjoy!
Mar 7, 2019
Mike Hembury has a permission slip for you
 
In speaking with Mike about his novel New Clone city and the wild ride of a story that it is, he mentioned that when he writes, he likes to cut out all the boring bits. This struck me as a piece of true freedom: as writers, some scenes feel like taking vitamins, thinks that have to be included, but what if that wasn't true?
 
If you are not having fun writing a scene, it's quite likely that your reader won't have fun reading it either. Instead, let Mike be your guide this week as you connect with your characters and let them lead you through their adventures. Mike's book is a steampunk alternate reality romp that carries a full cast along through interconnected discoveries and mishaps. Our conversation was a wide series of discoveries as well as we covered character, plot, politics and writing about place in a way that isn't reductionistic but captures the spirit of the setting.
 
Happy listening and happy writing this week!
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