282 episodes

Kelton Reid studies the habits, habitats, and brains of a wide spectrum of renowned writers to learn their secrets of productivity and creativity. Tune in each week to learn how great writers keep the ink flowing, the cursor moving, and avoid block. Explore our archives at writerfiles.fm to find interviews with notable guests that include bestselling authors John Scalzi (Old Mans War), Greg Iles (Natchez Burning), Jay McInerney (Bright Lights, Big City), Kevin Kelly (founder of WIRED magazine), Emma Donoghue (Oscar Nominee for Room), Maria Konnikova (The Confidence Game), Andy Weir (The Martian), Dan Buettner (The Blue Zones), Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist), Daniel Pink (When), and serial guest hosts: neuroscientist Michael Grybko, journalist Adam Skolnick, and short story writer Robert Bruce.

The Writer Files: Writing, Productivity, Creativity, and Neuroscience Podglomerate

    • Arts
    • 4.5 • 27 Ratings

Kelton Reid studies the habits, habitats, and brains of a wide spectrum of renowned writers to learn their secrets of productivity and creativity. Tune in each week to learn how great writers keep the ink flowing, the cursor moving, and avoid block. Explore our archives at writerfiles.fm to find interviews with notable guests that include bestselling authors John Scalzi (Old Mans War), Greg Iles (Natchez Burning), Jay McInerney (Bright Lights, Big City), Kevin Kelly (founder of WIRED magazine), Emma Donoghue (Oscar Nominee for Room), Maria Konnikova (The Confidence Game), Andy Weir (The Martian), Dan Buettner (The Blue Zones), Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist), Daniel Pink (When), and serial guest hosts: neuroscientist Michael Grybko, journalist Adam Skolnick, and short story writer Robert Bruce.

    How Acclaimed Debut Horror Author Isabel Cañas Writes

    How Acclaimed Debut Horror Author Isabel Cañas Writes

    #PodcastersForJustice
    Mexican-American writer and historian, Isabel Cañas, spoke to me about how to binge-write a novel, her fear of the dark, and swinging for the fences with her gothic debut "The Hacienda."
    Isabel is a speculative fiction writer, and world traveler – currently working on her Ph.D. dissertation in medieval Islamic literature – who writes fiction inspired by her research and heritage.
    Her debut novel is the highly-anticipated gothic, The Hacienda, "... a haunted house story with a Latinx refresh .... partly inspired by a home Isabel lived in when she was a child — one she still believes to this day is haunted."
    Described by The Washington Post as, “[A] gothic tale of doomed love and vengeful spirits." NY Times bestselling author Roshani Chokshi called the book, “A hypnotic, sinister tale that is equal parts terrifying and luxurious ... a nightmare lined with velvet.”
    In this file Isabel Cañas and I discussed:

    Writing fantasy fan fiction and her convoluted juvenilia 

    Why horror demands vulnerability from the author

    On haunted houses and ghosts of colonialism and diaspora

    Zero-drafting

    How to write 4000 words a day

    And a lot more!

    Stay calm and write on ...
    Show Notes:
    isabelcanas.com
    The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas [Amazon Affiliate]
    Isabel Cañas on Facebook
    Isabel Cañas on Instagram
    Isabel Cañas on Twitter
    Kelton Reid on Twitter
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 35 min
    How NY Times Bestselling Novelist Emma Straub Writes

    How NY Times Bestselling Novelist Emma Straub Writes

    #PodcastersForJustice
    New York Times bestselling author, Emma Straub, spoke to me about why everything in life is timing, how to write a book for yourself, time travel, and her latest "This Time Tomorrow."
    Emma is the bestselling author of five novels — including All Adults Here, The Vacationers, Modern Lovers, and Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures — the short story collection Other People We Married. Her books have been published in 20 countries. 
    Her latest, This Time Tomorrow, has been named One of the Most Anticipated Books of 2022 by Vogue, Oprah, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Reader’s Digest, Today, Parade, Thrillist, Pop Sugar, Lithub and more.
    Described as "...a moving father-daughter story and a playful twist on the idea of time travel," author Michael Chabon called the book "...a beautifully made, elegant music box of a novel that sets in motion its clever clockwork of delight—then breaks your heart with its bittersweet, lingering song.”
    Emma and her husband also own Books Are Magic, a popular independent bookstore in Brooklyn, New York. 
    In this file Emma Straub and I discussed:

    Why getting an MFA helped her slow down her writing

    How she met everyone in publishing at an indie bookshop 

    The unique perspective of Xennials

    How to find confidence and pages while being off-balance 

    Why she'd drink less Olde English if she could go back 

    And a lot more!


    Stay calm and write on ...
    emmastraub.net
    This Time Tomorrow a Novel by Emma Straub
    'This Time Tomorrow' is the time travel book millennials need - USA Today
    Emma Straub on Facebook
    Emma Straub on Instagram
    Emma Straub on Twitter
    Kelton Reid on Twitter
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 34 min
    How Award-Winning Novelist & Pulitzer Finalist Hernan Diaz Writes

    How Award-Winning Novelist & Pulitzer Finalist Hernan Diaz Writes

    #PodcastersForJustice
    Award-winning author and Pulitzer Prize finalist, Hernan Diaz, spoke to me about rejection, his unusual path to literary stardom, subverting reader expectations, and his latest novel "Trust."
    Hernan was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award. His first novel, "In the Distance," won the Saroyan International Prize, the Cabell Award, the Prix Page America, and the New American Voices Award, among other distinctions.
    His latest novel, Trust, has been named one of 2022’s Most Anticipated Books by The New York Times, OprahDaily, The Today Show, Vogue, Vulture, AV Club, and more.
    Described as "...an immersive story and a brilliant literary puzzle .... about money, power, intimacy, and perception," The NY Times called Trust, “Intricate, cunning and consistently surprising ..."
    Hernan holds a Ph.D. from NYU, edits an academic journal at Columbia University, and is also the author of Borges, Between History and Eternity. His stories and essays have appeared in The Paris Review, Granta, Playboy, The Yale Review, McSweeney’s, and elsewhere.
    In this file Hernan Diaz and I discussed:

    Why the path to publication is a Catch-22 for authors

    The lonely road to Pulitzer nominee and disorientation of fame

    What he learned from Jorge Luis Borges

    Re-mapping the isthmus of referential reality

    How he unlearned academic writing 

    And a lot more!

    Stay calm and write on ...
    hernandiaz.net
    Trust by Hernan Diaz (Amazon Affiliate)
    Hernan Diaz Amazon Author Page (Amazon Affiliate)
    A Debut Novel. A Tiny Press. A Pulitzer Finalist. – NY Times
    Kelton Reid on Twitter
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 38 min
    How Bestselling Author & Podcast Host Elizabeth Day Writes

    How Bestselling Author & Podcast Host Elizabeth Day Writes

    #PodcastersForJustice
    Award-winning author and broadcaster, Elizabeth Day, talked to me candidly about How to Fail, hanging out with Gloria Steinem, genre equality, and how she wrote her compeller, "Magpie."
    Elizabeth is a novelist, lauded journalist, and host of the chart-topping podcast, How To Fail, which has featured guests including Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Gloria Steinem, and Brene Brown.
    Her latest novel, Magpie, was published in the UK in September 2021 and became an instant Sunday Times bestseller. Described as "... a taut, psychological suspense novel about a perfect couple and their seemingly perfect roommate...," bestselling author Matt Haig called it "...a clever, suspenseful read with a brilliant central pivot."
    Elizabeth was a staff feature writer for the Observer for eight years and her writing has appeared in The Telegraph, The Times, the Guardian, New York Magazine, Vogue, Grazia, Elle, and Vanity Fair. She is also a contributing editor for Harper's Bazaar.
    Stay calm and write on ...
    In this file Elizabeth Day and I discussed:

    How failure makes us human

    Cooking pasta for Stanley Tucci

    Why we don't call Jonathan Franzen a "Domestic Thriller" writer

    Writing about the struggles women go through to become mothers

    Booking an Airbnb to finish her book

    And a lot more!

    Show Notes:
    elizabethdayonline.co.uk
    Magpie by Elizabeth Day (Amazon Affiliate)
    Elizabeth Day Amazon Author Page (Amazon Affiliate)
    Elizabeth Day on Facebook
    Elizabeth Day on Instagram
    Elizabeth Day on Twitter
    Kelton Reid on Twitter
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 34 min
    How Award-Winning Author Michelle Huneven Writes

    How Award-Winning Author Michelle Huneven Writes

    #PodcastersForJustice
    Critically acclaimed and award-winning author, Michelle Huneven, talked to me about her former life as an LA food critic, how to write self-referential fiction, and the spiritual detective work behind her latest novel "Search."
    Michelle's books have been New York Times Notables and finalists for the LA Times Book Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is the recipient of a Whiting Award for Fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a James Beard Award for feature writing with recipes.
    Her fifth novel, Search, was named one of the "10 Most Anticipated Fiction Books of 2022" by Kirkus and is described as "... a sharp and funny novel of a congregational search committee, told as a memoir with recipes."
    Michelle received her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and teaches creative writing at UCLA.
    In this file Michelle Huneven and I discussed:

    How she draws "psychic juice" from her fiction writing

    What 20 min. a day can do for your writing routine

    The "ground aversion" writers face to finishing

    And a lot more!

    Stay calm and write on ...
    Show Notes:
    MichelleHuneven.com
    Search: A Novel by Michelle Huneven (Amazon Affiliate)
    Michelle Huneven Amazon Author Page (Amazon Affiliate)
    My Antonia by Willa Cather (Amazon Affiliate)
    What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories by Laura Shapiro (Amazon Affiliate)
    Michelle Huneven on Instagram
    Michelle Huneven on Twitter
    Kelton Reid on Twitter
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 36 min
    How Emmy-Nominated TV Writer & Novelist Sascha Rothchild Writes

    How Emmy-Nominated TV Writer & Novelist Sascha Rothchild Writes

    #PodcastersForJustice
    Emmy-nominated screenwriter and author, Sascha Rothchild, spoke to me about her humble beginnings in LA, working with Marc Maron on GLOW, and how to write a "bingeable" thriller like her debut, "Blood Sugar."
    Sascha has written and produced lauded TV shows including GLOW (2017), The Bold Type (2017), and The Carrie Diaries (2013), and was named Variety's “10 TV Writers to Watch” 2015.
    Her long-form journalism, "How to Get Divorced by 30," was adapted into both an acclaimed memoir and screenplay for Universal Studios.
    Her debut novel is Blood Sugar, a psychological, noir thriller, named one of the most anticipated reads of 2022 by PopSugar, BookPage, and Crimereads. 
    It's described as "...the story of the most likable murderess you will ever meet," and bestselling author Samantha Downing called it “...a fascinating story, wicked sharp writing, and an unforgettable narrator .... [that] needs to be on your 2022 reading list.”
    In this file Sascha Rothchild and I discussed:

    The feeling of powerlessness that comes with publishing your debut

    Why she needs to wake up and write something every day

    How to write a novel in the gaps

    What writers need to know about the frustration of the craft

    Taking Jane Austen to high tea

    And a lot more!

    Stay calm and write on ...
    Show Notes:
    SaschaRothchild.com
    Blood Sugar by Sascha Rothchild (Amazon Affiliate)
    Sascha Rothchild on IMDb
    Circe by Madeline Miller (Amazon Affiliate) 
    Sascha Rothchild on Instagram
    Sascha Rothchild on Twitter
    Kelton Reid on Twitter
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
27 Ratings

27 Ratings

Chevy Stevens ,

Inspiring

I love this podcast. Whenever I’m in a slump, I find an episode and I’m always encouraged. Kelton is an awesome host with a perfect voice for radio!

780Scotts ,

Informative. Enjoyable. What Else Could You Want?

I know the review's title is a bit snarky but seriously, this podcast covers all the writerly bases and covers them well. Check it out and see how long it takes before you subscribe.

You're welcome! 😏

Kelishitahara ,

😴🥱HELP!

Honestly, this guy needs a toxic and deadly dosis of caffeine.

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