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: Page 5
May 11, 2017

Natalie Obando knows how to get your book in front of the right people.


PR is one of those topics that seems to scare writers to death. It feels like the most extroverted part of writing, and the one that is the furthest away from writing your book. I was thrilled to have Natalie Obando on the show because she specializes not only in PR, but PR for books specifically. Her company, Do Good PR, promotes books with a message. 

I had Natalie on for another reason: she doesn't think every author needs to have a fancy PR firm backing them up to have a successful book launch. We dove into what good PR looks like as well as what you can do yourself for your book. We also got clear about when you might want to call in the pros in order to handle specialized situations that they are trained for. It's a great primer in PR and one that you'll need to listen to before you get your book out in the world. I'm so glad to be able to make this topic a bit less intimidating. 

Full show notes with links

May 4, 2017

Rob Cohen and Christine Roth didn't plan to start Rothco Press.

But watching the explosion of content that eBooks and self-publishing has created, the couple realized that good books weren't getting the attention they deserved. With so much content to wade through looking for what you want, many books just drown. 

With their experience producing film and television, Rob and Christine bring a unique approach to publishing- dedication to the story itself and a desire to see that story reach the world in whatever form it can. What does this mean for a writer? If you have a great story, Rob and Christine not only want to see it published as a book in print, but also explore the way the story could be a TV show or a film. From their point of view, the best way to get a story made into a movie is to write a book that can be adapted. 

From inside the film world in Hollywood, this fresh perspective on getting ideas and stories out in front of people where they can read, watch, and enjoy them was hugely galvanizing. I love the matter-of-fact energy these two bring to books. I'm sure you'll love hearing this conversation. Enjoy! **Also, Rob and Christine were kind enough to provide the show with some books to give away as part of this episode! Make sure you're following us on Instagram to find out about the contest where you can win free books!*

Full show notes with links | Sponsored by Scrivener

Apr 27, 2017

Madelyn Kent has found a surprising way into creativity.

For many of us who write, we spend a lot of time up in our heads. We might even pend most of our time in our heads. Since writers are making up worlds, it does make sense that our daydreams would come from our minds and that, as artists who create with words, thinking would be our happy place. But when we get stuck, staying in the mind can be a trap. 

I was delighted to have a different sort of conversation this week with Madelyn, who has taught playwriting, screenwriting, and theater at NYU the past 15 years. In 2008, she trained in the Feldenkrais method and, through that work, began to see parallels between movement and the creative process. Since this discovery, she has developed Sense Writing, a mthod that combines writing with movement sequences and often opens up creative awareness and flow. 

I love it when I keep coming back to a subject, like writing and creating books, and keep discovering new worlds and approaches to creativity and expression. I hope this episode reminds us all that not only are we not brains in jars, we are better writers for it. Building a connection with the body can open up all kinds of possibility in your writing. I can't wait for you to listen to this episode and see why. 

Full show notes with links | This episode sponsored by Scrivener

Apr 27, 2017

Madelyn Kent has found a surprising way into creativity.

For many of us who write, we spend a lot of time up in our heads. We might even pend most of our time in our heads. Since writers are making up worlds, it does make sense that our daydreams would come from our minds and that, as artists who create with words, thinking would be our happy place. But when we get stuck, staying in the mind can be a trap. 

I was delighted to have a different sort of conversation this week with Madelyn, who has taught playwriting, screenwriting, and theater at NYU the past 15 years. In 2008, she trained in the Feldenkrais method and, through that work, began to see parallels between movement and the creative process. Since this discovery, she has developed Sense Writing, a mthod that combines writing with movement sequences and often opens up creative awareness and flow. 

I love it when I keep coming back to a subject, like writing and creating books, and keep discovering new worlds and approaches to creativity and expression. I hope this episode reminds us all that not only are we not brains in jars, we are better writers for it. Building a connection with the body can open up all kinds of possibility in your writing. I can't wait for you to listen to this episode and see why. 

Full show notes with links | This episode sponsored by Scrivener

Apr 20, 2017

Cory Doctorow not only writes about the future, he's also advocating for a better one in reality.

As I get more familiar with the world of Science Fiction, it strikes me that most writers in this area are also secretly activists of some form or another. Cory Doctorow, author of numerous books, including the forthcoming Walkaway, is also the co-editor of BoingBoing and a technology activist. He is a special consultant to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (, a non-profit civil liberties group that defends freedom in technology law, policy, standards and treaties. He holds an honorary doctorate in computer science from the Open University (UK), where he is a Visiting Professor; he is also a MIT Media Lab Research Affiliate. In 2007, he served as the Fulbright Chair at the Annenberg Center for Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California.

What this means for this episode? I was eager to talk about Cory's latest book, which feels incredibly relevant in the wacky times we are living in throughout the world, but I was also eager to talk about technology as a whole and the impact he sees our crazy times having on publishing and on writing books in general. One of the beautiful things about Science Fiction is that it tends to present a possible future. We are able to think deeply about how we would like our future to look when reading about one potential outcome. If we want that future to be different, we can look at the course the world is taking right now and respond differently. I was inspired to ask these kind of questions while reading Walkaway, and as I spoke to Cory. I hope you will be similarly inspired.

Full show notes with links | This episode sponsored by Scrivener

Apr 13, 2017

Guinevere de la Mare is a renaissance woman, with books.

I met Guinevere because I stumbled upon a meeting of the Silent Book Club at the XO conference last September in Portland. I was delighted to see a whole group of people quietly reading together, out in public. Finally, the perfect social outing for introverts! 

Upon connecting with Guinevere to learn more about this reading haven, I was fascinated to hear about her career at Chronicle Books prior to creating the SBC. Even better- she has a book coming out this August and was excited to talk about that. So... if you're into discussing the perils of calling yourself a writer, the early days of online media for publishers, how to start your own chapter of the Silent Book Club so you, too can read peacefully out in the world, this is going to be a very happy episode for you.

Full show notes with links | This episode sponsored by Scrivener

Apr 6, 2017

After winning a contract with the publisher of her dreams, Katie Dalebout sat down to write her first book.

She submitted the proposal in the 11th hour before the deadline and won, an amazing story that makes up the introduction of her book, Let it Out: A Journey Into Journaling. Instead of re-telling that story, we discussed the nitty gritty details of sitting down and writing and editing the book after she had gotten the proposal approved and received her book advance. Listen up to learn how Katie created her writing schedule, why having an advance motivated her, her decision to use part of her advance to hire a copyeditor, and the experience of doing the re-writes. 

I love this conversation because we get into the process of writing, what it feels like to sit down and do it in the midst of a busy life. Katie is quite self-aware and talks opening about writing this book in her early twenties and how now, in her late twenties, she already sees that she's quite a different person who hopes to write very different books in the future. If you're looking for tips to structure your writing sessions and context on how to get the book done along with the rest of your life, this episode will serve you well.

Show notes with links | This episode sponsored by Scrivener

Mar 30, 2017

I knew I loved Susan Orlean the moment she mentioned the Vikings.

Ok, I loved her writing already. Of course. And not many people get to say they've been played by Meryl Streep. But when I saw her speak on a panel and she said something to the effect of "Everything I needed to know about writing I learned from the Vikings," she had my complete attention. In the ways that no one expects the Spanish Inquisition, no one expects the Vikings. I got her to tell this story on the episode and did a lot of listening to so many important things she shared. As smart as you think Susan Orlean is, I assure you that she's even smarter than that.

Getting to discuss the reality of being a writer in a time of such change and transformation in the world of media and publishing was invaluable. The story of how she ended up at the New Yorker as a staff writer is absolutely worth the price of admission and anyone, I mean anyone, who has dreamed of being a writer as their job must listen to what she has to say about writing as a profession. Period. I haven't been the same since. You won't be either. See you on the other side... happy listening.

Show notes with links | This episode sponsored by Scrivener

Mar 23, 2017

The day after the election, Ben Winters decided it was time to get writing.

As we move ahead in unprecedented times here in the US, I knew I wanted to talk to Ben Winters. Not only did he launch an anthology project in the wake of the election in collaboration with numerous authors and Slate, he's also the author of Underground Airlines, an alternative history novel that explores what might have happened if Lincoln was assassinated before he took office.

As Ben says in the episode, "Writing is always a political act," and he and I discuss the role that fiction can play in starting important conversations, making people more aware of important issues, and how writing is an incredible way to manage what's happening in the world at the moment. Even beyond this, we get into questions of how to write responsibly outside of your direct lived experience, the importance of not being an asshole when doing so, and all kinds of juicy stuff.  As writers, we get to decide what topics we dive into, but given how much rich material is presenting itself right now, I wanted to make sure we talked about writing in a crazy time as soon as we could. I hope you leave this conversation as fired up as I did. 

Full Show notes with Links | This episode sponsored by Scrivener

Mar 16, 2017

I really just love me some Ezzie Spencer.

Dr. Ezzie Spencer didn't begin writing and teaching about the impact the Moon can have on our lives. Quite the opposite- she began in a law career which travelled through social justice work and academia before she began teaching about how tracking our lives through the phases of the moon can be life altering. This episode gets a little meta: not only has Ezzie written about a process that she has taught for years, the process itself was incorporated into the way she wrote the book. If that made your head explode a little bit, don't worry – we spell it all out in the conversation.

This episode is an excellent myth buster as well. Here are just a few off the top of my head: you don't have to have been a writer your whole life to publish a book. Nor do you need to have a torturous experience writing it. Ezzie and I spend a lot of time talking about how she consciously planned to write her book nearly a year after she wrote the outline so she could do so under conditions that worked for her. If you are afraid writing a book is an experience you have to suffer through, let this episode dispel that notion. Finally, the myth that publishers will misunderstand your project and turn it into something else is one that we find doesn't have to be true either. I hope you feel as bubbly and light and hopeful after listening to this episode as I did after recording.

Full Show notes with Links | This episode sponsored by Scrivener

Mar 9, 2017

Elizabeth Hess was an art critic before she began writing about animals.

I love speaking with writers whose careers have evolved as they have written; Elizabeth is a beautiful example. Beginning by writing as an art critic, she found her way to writing about animals and the cultures that surround them. She's won awards for her coverage of the municipal animal control program in NYC, and is the author of Lost and Found and Nim Chimpsky, which became the documentary Project Nim. 

We talk about the incredibly exhaustive research that went into her books, how she followed the trail of interviews to get to the bottom of Nim's story, and the new exploration of an animal-based subculture that she's writing about now. If you love animals, this will be an especially engaging episode, as we learn how writing can change animal's lives for the better. 


Show notes with links | This episode sponsored by Scrivener

Mar 2, 2017

First-Time Novelist Paul Scheuring was already a professional screenwriter when he started his book.

Not only was he a professional screenwriter, he had big successes under his belt, like being the creator of the TV show, Prison Break. It shocks me that I live in Los Angeles and have reached episode 40 without having a single screenwriter on the show (although sticklers will note that V.E. Schwab has done a bit of screenwriting). Paul was the perfect person to talk to about writing for television vs. writing long-form fiction. We talk about studio politics, what it takes to write a show or a movie and how different it is from novel creation.

This is a deep episode, all about returning to the original impulse that drove Paul to write back as a student at UCLA and how this book has brought him full circle. We also discuss the impact of Buddhism on his writing along with the details of how he structures his writing day, where the idea came from for his novel The Far Shore, and his process of outlining and research. Yet another favorite.


Show notes with links here | This episode sponsored by Scrivener

Feb 23, 2017

Tasha Harrison knows how to make a sex scene, well – sexy.


Up to this point in the show we have stayed in the "safe for work" territory. But if you're writing for adults, eventually you're going to want to dive into adult topics. Like sex scenes. If you've been intimidated by writing sex scenes in your books but feel like you've got some chemistry that warrants one, let Tasha walk you through the process without having to commit the cardinal sin of closing the door on your reader. 

This episode is full of juicy details, and is in no way safe for work. There is adult language and steamy subject matter. It was a blast to dive into a somewhat taboo topic and really explore what makes a sex scene work. I know you'll have ideas running through your mind after this episode... I know I wanted to start playing matchmaker with my characters after this recording session. Can't wait to see what happens in your stories after this. 

Full show notes with Links | This episode sponsored by Scrivener

Feb 16, 2017

Victoria Schwab is a professional novelist.


What I mean by this is, Victoria Schwab has had exactly one career: novelist. New York Times-bestselling novelist at that. She is that special thing we all dream of: a writing unicorn, if you will. But don't let this fact think that her story is one you won't relate to. Does she write full time? Yes. Was it easy to get to that place? Hell, no. She's spoken quite openly about how demoralizing the myth of the overnight success is. She is one of the most inspiring people I have had the privilege of interviewing so far. One example? As I was preparing the show notes for this episode, I came up with 37 quotations that would rock as the Instagram post for this episode. 37

One reason Victoria is such an inspiration is this: she's able to simultaneously prove that it's possible to survive as a professional writer while also being honest and vulnerable enough to share what it's like inside that life. She's afraid of the work drying up, that the draft isn't going to work out- all the things we feel, too. But she's published eleven books before turning 30 and she's got a system that is working. She's the real thing. I dare you to listen to this and not feel inspired. I triple dog dare you.

Full Show Notes with Links | Sponsored by Scrivener

Feb 9, 2017

Alexandra Franzen's daily mantra is "Today isn't over yet."

I wanted to talk to Alexandra because I was so impressed when, a couple of months ago, she celebrated her birthday by giving her latest novel  to her mailing list for free. It was so refreshing. It's such a great book and she had just given it away. Seriously baller. Today on the show we talk about how she wrote that book, what made her want to put it out in the world as a gift, and what she's cooking up for creative people now.

It's such an inspiring conversation about why writing matters so much, why life is short and special, and how much a response from a reader can make a writer's day. We also explore the possibility that some books are meant to go wide and some feel safer when shared in a smaller way. Whether you're just get started in writing or you've been at it for a long time, this is an episode that will keep you motivated and sparkly, at a time when you need both of those feelings very badly.

Full Show Notes with Links | This Episode Sponsored by Scrivener

Feb 2, 2017

Kim Cooper knows L.A. history like it's an old friend.

I've been an Angeleno for over ten years, but Kim Cooper is a big part of why I fell in love with the place. Together with her husband, Richard Schave, Kim runs Esotouric, the best thing ever to happen to Los Angeles history. From crime sprees to mobsters to cults, these two know all the deep dark secrets about L.A.'s past. If you come visit us, one of their tours is a must. 

I caught up with Kim on the show about the process of writing her novel The Kept Girl, a story featuring Raymond Chandler and a true tale of mayhem created by a would-be high priestess. We dive in to what it was like to write fiction about something that was largely true and how it felt to crete fiction under the weight of all her knowledge and research. We also get into the subscription model of publishing, connecting with characters from the past and the most unusual method of channeling dialogue I have heard yet. Plus a bit on fashion from times gone by. This one is sure to be a favorite.


Full Show Notes with Links | This Episode Sponsored by Scrivener

Jan 26, 2017

Amy Kuretsky is over the suffering artist: She's ushering in the healthy creative instead. 

Amy Kuretsky is a health coach for creatives and an acupuncturist + herbalist specializing in the emotional and digestive wellness. She coaches creative entrepreneurs to be their healthiest selves without sacrificing their businesses in the process. Her support is for clients who are seeking to make a deeper change in their well being – as a whole being. She's best known for helping creatives find their own brand of work + life balance. I love Amy because she's also a tarot lover, so we have been swapping readings over the past months and always discuss ways to stay healthy and sane as writers. I knew that she was the right person to talk to as we got to the end of January and some of that fired-up energy from New Years begins to dissipate. Tired of feeling tired and run down? Want to know how you can take care of yourself as you are writing like a fiend? This will have you up and running again in no time. Bonus: enjoy the soothing sounds of LA's recent rainstorms in the background. 

Listen up on iTunes | Sponsored by Pretty by Post

Jan 19, 2017

Scott Carney knows how to write a pitch. Not only do his articles get published, he's now on his third book. 

Scott has an impressive resume: he's given a Tedx talk, was a contributing editor at Wired, and has also written articles published in Mother Jones, Playboy, Men's Journal, Foreign Policy, Discover, Outside and Fast Company. He has a degree in Anthropology and loves digging deep into a subject. But even more than that, he fell in love with debunking things. His first two books were exposes on the underworld of organ trafficking and what happens when spiritual retreats go wrong. He had a solid history behind him when he decided to debunk Wim Hof, a Dutch health guru living in Poland. Scott pitched an article about his intense cold-weather conditioning method and set off to Poland to take it apart. Upon his arrival, he beat Hof at chess and then agreed to give his method a fair shot before tearing it apart. The only problem? The method worked. This episode, Scott and I talk about what happens when a skeptic gets converted, how you can turn an article into a book, and what it was like rolling around in the snow in Poland. For those who enjoyed the idea of Stunt Journalism back in episode 19, Scott's latest book definitely qualifies for that topic. I had a blast recording this, especially since Scott and I went to college together and hadn't talked since then. So fun to see what people have done out in the world since graduation. 

Full Show notes with links | Sponsored by Pretty by Post

Jan 12, 2017

Kate Newburg has you covered. Pun intended.

Kate Newburg makes me laugh. She's got a wicked sense of humor (not in the Boston sense - she's from Atlanta) and knows the ins and outs of the deeper reaches of Amazon eBooks. She uses this power for good as a cover designer primarily for romance novels, and she knows how to make a reader feel seduced. We talk about matching your cover design with your reader's expectations and how that impacts your reviews. Learn the principles of what should stay in a cover and what should probably come out, as well as hell-no-never-ever-use-them fonts. There are numerous free font sources you can use, and Kate shares her favorites. We also talk about the specific details you need to think about when doing an eBook cover. Finally, learn why you might want to mock up a cover yourself, even if you're going to be using a designer or getting your cover designed by your publisher. This is a jam-packed episode, so get ready to take some notes.

Sponsored by Story Arcana & Pretty by Post

Jan 5, 2017

J.H. Moncrieff is writing the next Gone Girl.

When Harlequin put out a request for writing submissions to create the next Gone Girl, J.H. Moncrieff won. She's one of two authors who were selected to write the parallel plots of this new thriller, coming out in 2017. Beyond this project, she's the author of The Bear Who Wouldn't leave, a seriously spooky novella. In this episode, we chat about the misconceptions around the horror genre and why books like Gone Girl definitely qualify to be members of that cannon. For those of you who love to get freaked out, this will be your episode. And for those of you, like me, who tend to lean in the "psychological thriller" direction, there's plenty for you to consider as well.

We also get into Moncrieff's incredible writing work ethic and how her journalism career has helped her write through any kind of block that appeared- including some very tough times in her life. If you want to follow the #noexcuses plan that we discussed in Natashia Deón's epsiode, this will be an excellent tune-up that keeps you returning to your story day after day until you get it done. Happy New Year and happy writing!

Full show notes with links | This episode sponsored by Pretty by Post

Dec 29, 2016

Kim Krans comes from the Wild Unknown. 

This is how she introduced herself when I met her a couple of months ago. She was touring for the Wild Unknown tarot, the title that just minted her a New York Times Bestselling-author. (yes!) I wasn't sure what I thought I would learn in the yoga studio where the workshop was happening that Friday night, I just knew I wanted to hear what the creator of that incredible deck had to say. 

What followed was a conversation about where the creative impulse comes from, how to stay clear when using tarot as part of your personal growth, and why being an artist matters so much in this crazy time we live in. 

I was transfixed. And I knew I wanted to have her on the show. 

While you may know her beautiful deck, what you might not know is this: Kim started out wanting to be a writer. She wanted to go to an entirely different school with creative writing as her focus. So she has a lot to say about getting around writer's block, getting words down on paper, and how to get out of your own way. 

I can't think of a better note to leave you all on at the end of 2016. This episode is my holiday gift to all of you. 

Full Show Notes | Sponsored by Muse Monthly & Story Arcana

Dec 22, 2016

Sarah Selecky is back! It's time to get into revision...

I must admit, I was a little nervous to have this conversation with Sarah Selecky. As a NaNoWriMo winner five times over who then went on to leave each of those novels untouched in drawers and on hard drives, I am not a great champion of revision as an easy process. Sarah is back, having finished her own first novel draft and into the revision process herself.

It was a total joy to discuss how she approaches revision. It felt so much lighter and more enjoyable than how I've felt about re-writing in the past. If you have revision fears or think you'll never write something that's really worth revising, this will be a conversation that will light you up as it did for me. May we all move on to second drafts together...

Full Show Notes | Sponsored by Muse Monthly

Dec 15, 2016

Susannah Conway knows how books get made.

Having authored two and co-authored a third, Susannah has seen the process through, from proposal to publication, three times. She shares about the creation of proposals, how the book evolves from idea to finished manuscript, and how different it is working on a written book versus one that is primarily about the images. I left this conversation so inspired, particularly having learned how much leeway there is to let the idea evolve once you get a book deal. You'll learn how the idea for Londontown and for This I Know changed from what she first envisioned to what finally got published, and how her publishers supported these changes. We talk about writing from the middle, the way books change us, and how to give a project space when you still have the rest of your life happening alongside writing.

And for all you journalers out there, Susannah is a huge champion of journaling as the foundation of her writing life, so get a peek inside her relationship to her magical moleskines as she creates books. If you've ever dreamed of a book proposal and wondered what it's like once you've got the deal, this will shed the light you've been looking for.

Show Notes for Episode 29 with Susannah Conway:

  • On writing different types of books - collaborations and alone (1:48)
  • Beginning Londontown and the philosophy behind it (3:00)
  • The trouble with covers & inside working with a sales team (4:30)
  • Photographing London and how locals see the city (5:15)
  • The evolution from proposal to finished book (6:00)
  • Working with a publisher that trusts your vision & the role of the book creator (8:30)
  • Seeing London through Susannah's camera (9:15)
  • Falling in love with Londoners (9:55)
  • Ethics of street photography (10:40)
  • The "real" city vs. the tourist city (11:30)
  • Go beyond Leicester square! How to get a feel for the city (12:15)
  • Making NYC her own and learning to blend in (13:40)
  • The book as an FAQ for the question "Where shall I go?" to cut down on e-mail (14:45)
  • The contrast of This I Know, a book that was primarily written (15:15)
  • The pressure of a book deal and getting the words down (15:30)
  • Writing as a job and work as a commitment (15:55)
  • A book deal from a blog post (16:40)
  • Writing a proposal & figuring out what the book was going to be (17:55)
  • Figuring out chapters, structure and writing (18:30)
  • The challenge of non-fiction and book deals (16:40)
  • Holding the details lightly (19:15)
  • Writing from the middle (19:45)
  • The joy of writing with Scrivener & the pain of tracked changes in Word (20:15)
  • Balancing a whole life outside of writing with a book project (22:40)
  • Editing down photographs for a book (24:15)
  • How much time a project deserves (24:15)
  • Journaling's relationship to writing a book (24:55)
  • Tarot's relationship to creative process & emotional support (27:00)
  • Fiction and tarot's potential guidance (27:15)
  • On writing from personal experience vs. fiction writing (28:00)
  • Choosing to go with strengths in writing & where her writing comes from (29:00)
  • Non-fiction and the desire to feel less alone (30:15)
  • How blogging changed her world and built community (30:45)
  • The vulnerability of books versus blogging (31:40)
  • Being critical of our own work (33:45)
  • Done vs. perfect (34:00)
  • Judging a book by its cover (34:30)
  • Hint on Susannah's next course (35:50)
  • Fantasy reading escapes (36:25)
  • No wireless! (37:45)
  • Book & Ink window (38:30)
  • Books as drugs (39:30)
  • Current gorgeous covers (41:20)
  • Kindle vs physical books (42:00)
  • Forthcoming books (42:25)
  • Self-publishing vs. going with a press (42:45)
  • Working with an agent (44:55)
  • Yearning for a written book (45:55)
  • The platform & what publishers want (46:50)

Show Notes with Links | Sponsored by Muse Monthly

Dec 8, 2016

Gary Wilson has been writing fiction for decades.

He was the first person I thought of speaking to when people started asking me to talk about structure on the show. He's the author of two novels and has also taught fiction at the University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins University. Gary is one of my favorite people and I was thrilled to have the excuse to chat books and writing with him. We go through how it is to structure a book, letting the idea inform how you write it, what it's like to have one book interrupted by another story, revision, and his writing routine & the importance of "ass time" in writing.

For all of you who've had ideas but haven't shaped them into books yet, this will be a great conversation to give you the lay of the land that's coming. Think of this as a map- complete with some pitfalls you'll be able to look out for along the way. I'm so thrilled that people asked for this conversation since I learned a lot from having it! Keep asking for topics in the comments and I'll do my best to find the right guest to address them. Happy listening!

Show Notes for Episode 28 with Gary Wilson:

  • Structuring a novel with autobiographical elements (2:15)
  • The interaction between memory and imagination (4:45)
  • The unreliable narrator (6:15)
  • Differing story arc structures (8:30)
  • Different types and roles of narrators (9:30)
  • Narrative voice in a novel (10:15)
  • Finding the voice when writing a novel (10:45)
  • When an image takes hold and won't let go (12:00) 
  • The evolution of the novel and blatant structure choices (14:00)
  • Conscious vs. unconscious choices in writing (15:00)
  • Writing from personal experience in fiction and the transformation that takes place (16:00)
  • The line between fiction and memoir (17:45)
  • Artistic and emotional components to writing (19:45)
  • Teaching memoir and fiction together (20:30)
  • Where it's possible to get lost when writing fiction & staying true to the story (22:15)
  • The process of revision and the creative & critical hats (27:00)
  • The current project & tricky points (31:45)
  • The daily routine, discipline & saving a marriage (32:15)
  • Making progress (38:00)
  • On knowing the ending when beginning a novel (40:30)
  • Comedy or tragedy (41:30)
  • Finding subliminal themes once the book is written (41:45)

Show Notes with Links | Sponsored by Muse Monthly

Dec 1, 2016

Lucy Bellwood writes seafaring comics.

When I saw Lucy speak at XOXO this past September, I was absolutely smitten. Not only has she turned her love of tall ships into two crowdfunded comics, she is also incredibly honest about what it takes to live the life of a creative person. She spoke about finances, dreams, and how having a big year can mean recognition and happiness, but that money still plays into the conversation. It was an incredible speech. I knew I had to have her on the show.

Thankfully, Lucy is a great sport and was absolutely game to chat. She shared about what it took to do two Kickstarter campaigns, how she is able to create with the support of Patreon, and she's also an inspiration when it comes to building community around the arts. I could have talked to her all day, but I know episodes over an hour are a little scary to commit to. I know you're not going to want to miss any of this conversation. I give you the delightful Lucy Bellwood...

Show Notes for Episode 27 with Lucy Bellwood:

  • Making a dream into a book (2:30)
  • How much the public persona has on the private persona (3:00)
  • The first time on a tall ship (5:00)
  • The resurgence of sail-powered vessels (6:00)
  • Becoming a cartoonist (8:00)
  • The emergence of web comics (12:00)
  • Growing up as an artist (14:30)
  • The camps of people who succeed as artists (16:00)
  • What training you need to be an artist (17:00) 
  • Having a drawing group and meeting your creative needs (19:00) 
  • Talking about the work vs. making the work and Kickstarter (21:15) 
  • Creative work and analytic work don't play well together (23:15)
  • Financial aid, day jobs, & the creator club (23:30)
  • Doing a Kickstarter right before graduation (25:45)
  • Making the Kickstarter video (28:00) 
  • The outcome of the Kickstarter (29:00)
  • Building community and the importance of connection (32:00)
  • Creating knowing people are watching (34:30)
  • Working for non-profits & life expenses as an artist (37:45)
  • Learning to trust support & being vulnerable (40:15)
  • Having a public persona as an artist (42:15)
  • Social media for artists & the addictive process of sharing vs. making (43:00) The business of commercial art (44:30)
  • Creative seasons (45:15)
  • The luxury of uninterrupted time (47:00)
  • The discipline of promotion vs. creation (48:30)
  • The nasty critic and never doing enough (49:45)
  • Creativity through the generations (50:45)
  • Looking forward at a career in the arts (52:00)

Full Show Notes with Links | Sponsored by Muse Monthly

1 « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next » 7