300 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 • 14 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 Novelist and Podcaster Bobby Finger Writes

    How Acclaimed Debut Novelist and Podcaster Bobby Finger Writes

    Journalist, hit entertainment podcaster, and debut novelist, Bobby Finger, spoke to me about writing for Jezebel, turning a screenplay into a novel, and his debut, "The Old Place."
    Bobby Finger is a writer and co-host of the popular celebrity and entertainment podcast, Who? Weekly, "The podcast that tells you everything you need to know about celebrities you don’t."
    His debut novel is The Old Place, described as "A bighearted and moving debut about a wry retired schoolteacher whose decade-old secret threatens to come to light and send shockwaves through her small Texas town."
    It has been named Washington Post‘s 10 Noteworthy Books for September, People‘s Best New Books, Town & Country’s 45 Must-Read Books of Fall, New York’s 25 Notable New Releases, Kirkus Review‘s 150 Most Anticipated Fall Books, LitHub‘s Most Anticipated Books of 2022, among many others.
    New York Times bestselling author Emma Straub said of the book, “I loved being inside this skillful novel—at the planning parties for church fundraisers, learning to drive with a can of beer in the cupholder, and in the heads of some wonderfully tangy old Texan ladies. Bobby Finger has built a rich world in The Old Place, and I will think of it every time I make toast.”
    Stay calm and write on ...
    Get 'The Writer Files' Podcast Delivered Straight to Your Inbox
    If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please "Follow" us to automatically see new interviews.
    In this file Bobby Finger and I discussed:

    Growing up in a small Texas town

    His start in copywriting and freelance journalism

    Writing screenplays in the margins

    Becoming a full-time podcaster

    How to write autofiction with a twist

    What happens when people leave, and those left behind

    And a lot more!

    Show Notes:

    whoweekly.us


    The Old Place By Bobby Finger (Amazon)

    Bobby Finger on Twitter

    Kelton Reid on Twitter


    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 35 min
    How Award-Winning & Bestselling Author A.M. Homes Writes

    How Award-Winning & Bestselling Author A.M. Homes Writes

    Bestselling, award-winning author A.M. Homes, spoke to me about getting sued by J.D. Salinger, the irony of winning the Women's Prize for Fiction, and her latest "The Unfolding."
    A.M. Homes is a TV producer, art critic, and the author of 13 books, including the bestselling memoir The Mistress’s Daughter. Her last novel, May We Be Forgiven, was the winner of the 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction.
    Her latest novel is The Unfolding, described as a "... darkly comedic alternative history that takes us into the heart of a fractured family living in a divided country."
    New York Times bestselling author Salman Rushdie called the book, “A terrific black comedy, written almost entirely in pitch-perfect dialogue, that feels terrifyingly close to the unfunny truth.”
    A.M. Homes was a Co-Executive Producer and Writer on David E. Kelly and Stephen King’s, Mr. Mercedes, and a writer/producer of the Showtime series The L Word.
    Her work has been translated into 22 languages and appears frequently in Art Forum, Harpers, Granta, McSweeney's, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Zoetrope. She is a Contributing Editor to Vanity Fair, Bomb and Blind Spot, and she has taught in the Creative Writing Program at Princeton.
    Stay calm and write on ...
    Get 'The Writer Files' Podcast Delivered Straight to Your Inbox
    If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please "Follow" us to automatically see new interviews.
    In this file A.M. Homes and I discussed:

    Her early struggles with dyslexia

    Why awards and votes of confidence are so important for writers

    How she helped hire Dennis Lehane to write for Mr. Mercedes 

    Her strange obsession with George Washington and her claim to Capitol Hill

    How to write your way out of a jam

    And a lot more!

    Show Notes:

    amhomesbooks.com


    The Unfolding: A Novel by A.M. Homes (Amazon)

    A.M. Homes on Facebook

    A.M. Homes on Twitter

    Kelton Reid on Twitter


    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 34 min
    How Award-Winning & Bestselling Author Candice Carty-Williams Writes

    How Award-Winning & Bestselling Author Candice Carty-Williams Writes

    #PodcastersForJustice
    Bestselling, award-winning author Candice Carty-Williams, spoke to me about the tragicomic nature of being, winning "Book of the Year" at the British Book Awards, and her latest "People Person."
    Candice Carty-Williams is a TV producer, culture writer, and author of the international bestseller Queenie, a book that was named a best book of the year by NPR, TIME, PARADE, The Guardian, Good Housekeeping, Marie Claire, and many others.
    She also became the first black woman to win the "Book of the Year" award at the British Book Awards for Queenie in 2020.
    Her latest novel is People Person, a book described as an "... insightful novel about the power of family — even when they seem like strangers." The Guardian called it, “A big-hearted story of a young woman coming to terms with her complicated London family from the author of the game-changing Queenie.”
    Candice created and launched the Guardian 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize in 2016, the first initiative of its kind in book publishing for underrepresented writers. 
    She has written for The Guardian, i-D, Vogue, every iteration of The Sunday Times (London), BEAT magazine, Black Ballad, and more.
    Her original drama, "Champion," will be airing on BBC One in the U.K., and on Netflix globally, in 2023.
    Stay calm and write on ...
    Get 'The Writer Files' Podcast Delivered Straight to Your Inbox
    If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please "Follow" us to automatically see new interviews.
    In this file Candice Carty-Williams and I discussed:

    Her early career in book marketing and the disparities she saw in publishing

    The inciting incident that inspired her latest

    How to balance humor and depth in fiction

    Why tragedy plus time equals comedy

    Great advice from Toni Morrison

    And a lot more!

    Show Notes:

    candicecartywilliams.com


    People Person By Candice Carty-Williams (Amazon)

    Guardian 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize

    Candice Carty-Williams on Instagram

    Candice Carty-Williams on Twitter

    Kelton Reid on Twitter


    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 35 min
    How Award-Winning Journalist & Debut Memoirist Casey Parks Writes

    How Award-Winning Journalist & Debut Memoirist Casey Parks Writes

    #PodcastersForJustice
    Award-winning journalist and debut memoirist, Casey Parks, spoke to me about her lifelong reverence for journalism, the emotional cost of writing a memoir, and her debut "Diary of a Misfit."
    Casey Parks is a reporter for The Washington Post who covers gender and family issues. She spent a decade at The Oregonian writing about race and LGBTQ+ issues and was a finalist for the Livingston Award.
    A former Spencer Fellow at Columbia University, Parks was awarded the 2021 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award for her debut memoir, Diary of a Misfit: A Memoir and a Mystery. 
    Described as "... a sweeping journalistic saga about sexuality and gender, family trauma and the redemptive force of love...," Publishers Weekly – in a starred review – called the book, “A tantalizing blend of personal history and reportage .... A brilliantly rendered and complex portrait of Southern life alongside a tender exploration of queer belonging [and] a marvel to witness.”
    Casey's articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, The Oxford American, ESPN, USA Today, and The Nation.
    Stay calm and write on ...
    Get 'The Writer Files' Podcast Delivered Straight to Your Inbox
    If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please "Follow" us to automatically see new interviews.
    In this file Casey Parks and I discussed:

    Earning $50 per story at the outset of her career ...

    ... to working in a virtual newsroom for The Washington Post

    Why that first byline in the New Yorker changes everything

    Asking permission to tell the stories of ghosts

    Why you can never take "no" as the final answer

    And a lot more!

    Show Notes:

    caseyparks.com


    Diary of a Misfit: A Memoir and a Mystery By Casey Parks (Amazon)

    Casey Parks for The Washington Post


    In the Deep South, a Search for Queer Identity - The New York Times Book Review


    Casey Parks on Facebook

    Casey Parks on Instagram

    Casey Parks on Twitter

    Kelton Reid on Twitter


    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 35 min
    How Nobel Prize-Winning Author Abdulrazak Gurnah Writes

    How Nobel Prize-Winning Author Abdulrazak Gurnah Writes

    #PodcastersForJustice
    2021 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Abdulrazak Gurnah, spoke to me about life after becoming a laureate, the difference between authors and writers, and his latest novel "Afterlives." 
    The Nobel Prize in Literature 2021 was awarded to Abdulrazak Gurnah "for his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents"
    The Tanzanian-born British novelist and Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Kent, has written short stories, essays, and ten novels including Paradise (shortlisted for the Booker Prize), By the Sea (longlisted for the Booker Prize and a finalist for the LA Times Book Award), and Desertion.
    His latest novel, Afterlives, has been described as "... a sweeping, multi-generational saga of displacement, loss, and love, set against the brutal colonization of east Africa"
    The New York Times Book Review called the author, "... a master of the art form who understands human failings in conflicts both political and intimate — and how these shortcomings create afflictions from which nations and individuals continue to suffer, needlessly, generation after generation."
    Stay calm and write on ...
    Discover The Writer Files Extra
    Get 'The Writer Files' Podcast Delivered Straight to Your Inbox
    If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please "Follow" us to automatically see new interviews.
    In this file Abdulrazak Gurnah and I discussed:

    Finding global readers and acclaim two years after the UK release of his latest book

    The irony of becoming a Nobel laureate in literature 

    Why he always writes the final episode first

    The intergenerational trauma of war and how he chooses his protagonists

    Why you may be in the wrong business

    And a lot more!

    Show Notes:

    Afterlives: A Novel by Abdulrazak Gurnah

    The Nobel Prize in Literature 2021

    Abdulrazak Gurnah

    Kelton Reid on Twitter


    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 33 min
    How Award-Winning Debut Novelist LaToya Watkins Writes

    How Award-Winning Debut Novelist LaToya Watkins Writes

    #PodcastersForJustice
    Pushcart Prize-winning short story writer and debut novelist, LaToya Watkins, spoke to me about landing the cover of Publishers Weekly's Writers to Watch Fall 2022, the legacy of William Faulkner, and her debut "Perish."
    LaToya Watkins holds a PhD from the University of Texas at Dallas and her writing has appeared in A Public Space, The Sun, McSweeney's, Kenyon Review, The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and elsewhere.
    Her debut is Perish, a novel "... about a Black Texan family, exploring the effects of inherited trauma and intergenerational violence as the family comes together to say goodbye to their matriarch on her deathbed."
    It has been named A Most Anticipated Book of 2022 by Good Morning America, Essence, Esquire, The Millions, among others, and named Amazon’s best debuts in August 2022. 
    The New York Times Book Review called Watkins’s Perish, "... an impressive feat of storytelling ... a difficult read and a tender story of silences and secrets."
    Stay calm and write on ...
    Discover The Writer Files Extra
    Get 'The Writer Files' Podcast Delivered Straight to Your Inbox
    If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please "Follow" us to automatically see new interviews.
    In this file LaToya Watkins and I discussed:

    How she went from first-generation college grad to being compared to Alice Walker and Toni Morrison

    Carving out the time to write as a mother of three 

    How writing short stories prepared her to write the novel

    Why it takes her two hours to find her flow state

    Writing about intergenerational trauma and the cost of slavery

    And a lot more!

    Show Notes:

    latoyawatkins.com

    Perish: A Novel by LaToya Watkins


    Writers to Watch Fall 2022 - PW

    Has Texas Finally Found Its William Faulkner?

    LaToya Watkins on Instagram

    LaToya Watkins on Twitter

    Kelton Reid on Twitter


    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

Mimi Winters ,

Love this

Great indepth, insightful interviews.

Monty0425 ,

Rambling

I listen to this to hear from the authors, to hear them talk about their works and their processes. The interviewer rambles his way through questions.
It is so frustrating. I want to hear from the authors. Ask some good questions rather than the disjointed rambling statements which might be a question.
This is awful. You could learn so much more if the interviewer would just ask relevant questions and allow the authors the opportunity to talk.
2 stars for the authors contributions.

You Might Also Like

Dan Simpson
Savannah Gilbo
Bianca Marais, Carly Watters and CeCe Lyra
K.M. Weiland
Shawn Coyne and Tim Grahl
Joanna Penn