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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: April, 2019
Apr 18, 2019
What happens when your editor asks you to change a major plot point?
 
Martine Fournier Watson was faced with a curveball late in the publishing process with her first novel, The Dream Peddler. Even after selling the manuscript to a major publishing house, her editor had notes that involved changing an important part of the plot. She wasn't sure if she'd be able to pull off what they were asking, but decided to trust their instincts and go for it.
 
In this conversation, we go behind the scenes and review the impact that the rewriting had on Martine, and on her book. Thankfully, she was up to the challenge and realized that undertaking it has made her a stronger writer. Most of us believe that a book is virtually set in stone once it's sold, but that's not the case. I hope this conversation sheds light on one way things can unfold inside the publishing process and how the collaboration between writer and editor can open up entirely new possibilities. Fans of L.M. Montgomery will be particular fans of this episode- Martine has a real soft spot for her writing, which was a central source of inspiration for the Dream Peddler.
Apr 11, 2019
At about 40, there is a new level of clarity about the urgency of being creative.
 
I was delighted to speak with Kusi Okamura, Editor of The Wild Word magazine and the publisher of Mike Hembury's novel New Clone City, which we discussed a few episodes back. We get into detail about how Kusi created the press, the process of publishing Mike's book from her vantage point, as well as the beauty of taking writing and creativity seriously in our 40s.
 
There is so much attention given to bright young things and 30 Under 30 lists of writers, so it was refreshing and validating to have an open conversation about how we have each thought about our creative process and the urgency we feel about getting work on the page at this point in life. Writing in my 40s feels more real than it ever has, and it was empowering to find a kindred spirit on this topic. If you're writing over 40 (or even over 30) you will feel reassured that you are in the right place. We need to hear more from women in mid-life and especially to see a representation of characters at a wider range of ages in books and all media. If you're craving this, this episode is for you. I promise it will fire you up just like it did for me.
Apr 4, 2019
Akiko Busch wanted to look at how invisibility could be a superpower.
 
These days, so much of our time is spent worrying about how to be more visible as writers. Do we have enough presence on social media? Will a publisher accept our book if we send it to them, or will enough readers find our books if we publish them ourselves? In the midst of this intense quest for visibility and transparency in a world that is increasingly connected, Akiko Busch sought to look at how invisibility is a power as well when it is employed by choice.
 
In her beautiful book, she explores examples of invisibility in nature, her own home, and family, and as far away as Iceland, where their legends include invisible people who live alongside the visible ones, and who are just a bit better than the rest of us. This book opens us up to the magic of not being seen when we want to hide, and was a total sigh of relief to read and discuss since we writers love to be hermits, don't we? I can't wait for you to listen to this conversation and find permission to disappear for a while.
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