100 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 Kelton Reid

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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 International Bestselling Crime Novelist Adam Croft Writes: Part Two

    How International Bestselling Crime Novelist Adam Croft Writes: Part Two

    In Part Two of this file the international bestselling hybrid author and crime novelist, Adam Croft, returned to chat with me from overseas about the processes, productivity hacks, and professionalism that have helped him become one of the most successful independently published authors in the world, and why writers need to develop a business mindset to do the same.
    "Writing more books is going to earn you more money, and that should always be your priority.” – Adam Croft
    Adam's previous career was as a freelance designer and editor, but his hard work and persistence over ten years have helped him become one of the biggest selling authors of the last decade.
    How did Adam go on to sell close to two million books in over 120 countries in such a short time?
    We'll dig into his inspiring story, including the stories behind his breakthrough worldwide bestseller Her Last Tomorrow, and his crime thriller Knight & Culverhouse series, which knocked J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child off the top spot in Canada only weeks after Her Last Tomorrow was also #1 in the same country.
    His multiple bestsellers have also made him an authority on indie publishing, and he's been featured on BBC television, BBC Radio, the BBC World Service, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The Bookseller and many other media outlets.
    Adam now shares his unique expertise of the craft at The Indie Author Mindset where he offers to help "... authors cut through the overwhelming — and often conflicting — information that’s out there [with] solid help and information."
    And Adam was kind enough to drop some of that wisdom here for you today, so I’ll tease the promo code I’ve also put in the show notes – WRITERFILES – for a 50% discount on every course at The Indie Author Mindset just for listeners of this show. Simply go to courses.indieauthormindset.com and pop that in there.
    Please help us learn more about you by completing this short 7-question survey This episode of the Writer Files is brought to you by Words Matter by Wix. Looking for that burst of inspiration to break your writer's block? Or maybe you just need some quick grammar and style tips? Words Matter has tons of articles to help you become a better writer, plus invites to intensive in-person writing workshops. Visit wix.com/wordsmatter/blog to learn more.
     

    If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews.
    If you missed the first half of this show you can find it right here, and you can find all previous episodes of the show in the archives at writerfiles.fm, and find the last 100 eps on Apple Podcasts (or wherever you tune in), and in the show notes.
    Stay tuned ...
    In Part Two of this file Adam Croft and I discussed: Why the author doesn't sit still or look back The uphill battle ahead for aspiring indie authors How Adam stays organized and energized as an author slash entrepreneur The productivity hacks that help him stay prolific Why writers need to treat their craft with the respect it deserves And cutting through the bullsh*t of self-publishing Show Notes: Words Matter by Wix Use promo code WRITERFILES for 50% discount on any of Adam's online courses at The Indie Author Mindset 'The Writer's Brain' on Procrastination: Part One AdamCroft.net Partners in Crime podcast The Indie Author Mindset on Facebook The Indie Author Mindset The Indie Author Mindset: How Changing Your Way of Thinking Can Transform Your Writing Career by Adam Croft [Amazon] Adam Croft Readers Group on Facebook Adam Croft on Twitter Kelton Reid on Twitter

    • 34 min
    How International Bestselling Crime Novelist Adam Croft Writes: Part One

    How International Bestselling Crime Novelist Adam Croft Writes: Part One

    The international bestselling hybrid author and crime novelist, Adam Croft, spoke with me from overseas about the processes, productivity hacks, and professionalism that have helped him become one of the most successful independently published authors in the world, and why writers need to develop a business mindset to do the same.
    "Writing more books is going to earn you more money, and that should always be your priority.” – Adam Croft
    Adam's previous career was as a freelance designer and editor, but his hard work and persistence over ten years have helped him become one of the biggest selling authors of the last decade.
    How did Adam go on to sell close to two million books in over 120 countries in such a short time?
    We'll dig into his inspiring story, including the stories behind his breakthrough worldwide bestseller Her Last Tomorrow, and his crime thriller Knight & Culverhouse series, which knocked J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child off the top spot in Canada only weeks after Her Last Tomorrow was also #1 in the same country.
    His multiple bestsellers have also made him an authority on indie publishing, and he's been featured on BBC television, BBC Radio, the BBC World Service, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The Bookseller and many other media outlets.
    Adam now shares his unique expertise of the craft at The Indie Author Mindset where he offers to help "... authors cut through the overwhelming — and often conflicting — information that’s out there [with] solid help and information."
    And Adam was kind enough to drop some of that wisdom here for you today. Stay tuned for Part Two of this series for a promo code just for Writer Files listeners!
    Please help us learn more about you by completing this short 7-question survey This episode of the Writer Files is brought to you by Words Matter by Wix. Looking for that burst of inspiration to break your writer's block? Or maybe you just need some quick grammar and style tips? Words Matter has tons of articles to help you become a better writer, plus invites to intensive in-person writing workshops. Visit wix.com/wordsmatter/blog to learn more.
     

    If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews.
    In Part One of this file Adam Croft and I discussed: The nine book "overnight success" How Adam's past life as a freelancer and small business owner helped him in self-publishing The three facets of a successful indie author mindset Why the author's not interested in chasing the latest gold rush And what it's like to outsell your heroes Show Notes: Words Matter by Wix AdamCroft.net Partners in Crime podcast The Indie Author Mindset on Facebook The Indie Author Mindset The Indie Author Mindset: How Changing Your Way of Thinking Can Transform Your Writing Career by Adam Croft [Amazon] Adam Croft Readers Group on Facebook Adam Croft on Twitter Kelton Reid on Twitter  
     

    • 24 min
    How NY Times Bestselling Suspense Novelist Joseph Finder Writes

    How NY Times Bestselling Suspense Novelist Joseph Finder Writes

    New York Times bestselling author, Joseph Finder, took a timeout to talk with me about how to write prescient, cutting-edge suspense, his writing rituals, overcoming impostor syndrome, and how to come to terms with a business built on rejection.
    "My objective is not to present research...my objective is to make people turn the pages." – Joseph Finder
    The award-winning author is known for his "cutting-edge suspense ripped straight from the headlines." He's written 16 novels and counting, including Judgment, The Switch, Guilty Minds, The Fixer, Suspicion, and the international bestseller Killer Instinct.
    Two of his bestselling novels – Paranoia and High Crimes – have been turned into major motion pictures, and Vanished, Finder's instant bestseller, introduced readers to “private spy” Nick Heller.
    His latest is House on Fire: A Novel (A Nick Heller Novel), focusing on "... a wealthy family who owns a pharmaceutical company at the epicenter of the opioid crisis."
    The Washington Post said of the book, the thriller “Takes ‘ripped from the headlines’ to a new level," and The New York Times called Finder, "The master of a complex suspense formula."
    He is a founding member of the International Thriller Writers, as well as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. He is a graduate of Yale College and the Harvard Russian Research Center.
    Please help us learn more about you by completing this short 7-question survey This episode of the Writer Files is brought to you by Words Matter by Wix. Looking for that burst of inspiration to break your writer's block? Or maybe you just need some quick grammar and style tips? Words Matter has tons of articles to help you become a better writer, plus invites to intensive in-person writing workshops. Visit wix.com/wordsmatter/blog to learn more.
     

    If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews.
    In this file Joseph Finder and I discussed: How setting himself a hard deadline helped him publish his first novel Powerful motivating factors for believable character development Why a writer's research needs to be like an iceberg Turning your writing into a ritual for success Why every novel presents its own unique challenges And the perils of selling the rights to a long-running fictional character Show Notes: Words Matter by Wix Creating Quality Content - Part 1: Research & Planning JosephFinder.com House on Fire: A Novel (A Nick Heller Novel) - by Joseph Finder [Amazon] America's Opioid Epidemic - NPR's Throughline Podcast Joseph Finder on Facebook Joseph Finder on Twitter Kelton Reid on Twitter  

    • 31 min
    How to Ghostwrite a Bestseller with Author Adam Skolnick: Part Two

    How to Ghostwrite a Bestseller with Author Adam Skolnick: Part Two

    In Part Two of this file we return with an exclusive look into the process behind not only how a writer gets paid to ghostwrite a title for a celebrity, but also the writing, researching, and indie publishing of a book that has sat on top of the Amazon charts for over a year.
    “If you’re struggling to figure out what to write, it means you don’t know what you want to say." – Adam Skolnick
    Note: We had to get special permission from the incredible human and author, David Goggins, to share this story – so this is truly an exclusive – but it’s no secret that the book was written by my good friend. A huge thank you to Mr. Goggins and his spirit, generosity, and ethos.
    From ideation of his bestselling book Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds – by Author David Goggins – to publishing with Lioncrest, and the experimental new media formats like an audiobook/podcast and beyond, this is a glimpse behind the camouflage curtain.
    “... Can't Hurt Me, shares [Goggins's] astonishing life story and reveals that most of us tap into only 40% of our capabilities. He calls this The 40% Rule, and his story illuminates a path that anyone can follow to push past pain, demolish fear, and reach their full potential.”
    The writer (or ghostwriter) is an award-winning international journalist, author, serial pundit, and “bad penny” Adam Skolnick, our own international correspondent.
    Adam’s narrative nonfiction book is available in paperback — One Breath: Freediving, Death, and the Quest to Shatter Human Limits — is based on his award-winning New York Times sports coverage of the death of the greatest American freediver of all time.
    The book has been compared to other classics of extreme sports journalism — like Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, and National Geographic Traveller called it “A vicarious thrill that you can enjoy in a little over 300 pages ... unless you read it in the bath...”
    The Writer Files is now available on Alexa! Because Apple Podcasts are available on Alexa-enabled Amazon devices in the United States, now all you have to do is say,
    "Alexa, play The Writer Files on Apple Podcasts." She will probably grant your wish ;-)
    Please help us learn more about you by completing this short 7-question survey This episode of The Writer Files is brought to you by the team at Author Accelerator. Author Accelerator book coaches give writers feedback, accountability, and support while you write, so you can get that your idea out of your head and onto the page.

    If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews.
    If you missed the first half of this show you can find it right here. And if you’ve missed previous episodes of The Writer Files you can find them all in the show notes, in the archives at writerfiles.fm, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you tune in.
    In Part Two of this file Adam Skolnick and I discussed: The importance of a large social following for non-fiction authors How timing plays such a big role in self-publishing success Why an audiobook/podcast hybrid might be the next big thing for authors The Golden Age for ghostwriting opportunities How David Goggins's inspiring message goes beyond cookie cutter self-help And why "there is no finish line" Show Notes:
    Words Matter by Wix How We Built the Wix Brand Voice Author Accelerator Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds – by Author David Goggins [Amazon] AdamSkolnick.com The Environmental Threat of Trump's Wall by Adam Skolnick Adam Skolnick on Instagram Adam Skolnick on Twitter Kelton Reid on Twitter

    • 32 min
    How to Ghostwrite a Bestseller with Author Adam Skolnick: Part One

    How to Ghostwrite a Bestseller with Author Adam Skolnick: Part One

    Welcome back to a special edition of the show we traditionally call “Writer Porn.” To kick off 2020 we have a very enlightening show for you that you're not going to want to miss.
    It’s an exclusive look into the process behind not only how a writer gets paid to ghostwrite a title for a celebrity, but also the writing, research, and indie publishing of a book that has sat on top of the Amazon charts for over a year! Did it beat Michelle Obama in 2019? TK
    “If you’re struggling to figure out what to write, it means you don’t know what you want to say." – Adam Skolnick
    Note: We had to get special permission from the incredible human and author, David Goggins, to share this story – so this is truly an exclusive – but it’s no secret that the book was written by my good friend. A huge thank you to Mr. Goggins and his spirit, generosity, and ethos.
    From ideation of his bestselling book Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds – by Author David Goggins – to publishing with Lioncrest, and the experimental new media formats like an audiobook/podcast and beyond, this is a glimpse behind the camouflage curtain.
    “In Can't Hurt Me, [Goggins] shares his astonishing life story and reveals that most of us tap into only 40% of our capabilities. He calls this The 40% Rule, and his story illuminates a path that anyone can follow to push past pain, demolish fear, and reach their full potential.”
    The writer (or ghostwriter) is an award-winning international journalist, author, serial pundit, and “bad penny” Adam Skolnick, our own international correspondent.
    Adam’s narrative nonfiction book is available in paperback — One Breath: Freediving, Death, and the Quest to Shatter Human Limits — is based on his award-winning New York Times sports coverage of the death of the greatest American freediver of all time.
    The book has been compared to other classics of extreme sports journalism — like Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, and National Geographic Traveller called it “A vicarious thrill that you can enjoy in a little over 300 pages ... unless you read it in the bath...”
    The Writer Files is now available on Alexa! Because Apple Podcasts are available on Alexa-enabled Amazon devices in the United States, now all you have to do is say,
    "Alexa, play The Writer Files on Apple Podcasts." She will probably grant your wish ;-)
    Please help us learn more about you by completing this short 7-question survey This episode of The Writer Files is brought to you by the team at Author Accelerator. Author Accelerator book coaches give writers feedback, accountability, and support while you write, so you can get that your idea out of your head and onto the page.

    If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews.
    In this file Adam Skolnick and I discussed: A definition of ghostwriting How Adam got tapped to ghostwrite for author and endurance athlete David Goggins Why Goggins turned down a major book publishing deal and decided to self-publish (with Adam still attached) The Joe Rogan effect for authors How Adam made the decision to help write David's story And the unique research and drafting process that went into a bestseller ... Show Notes:
    Words Matter by Wix How We Built the Wix Brand Voice Author Accelerator Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds – by Author David Goggins [Amazon] AdamSkolnick.com 21 Productivity Hacks from 21 Prolific Writers: Part One Adam Skolnick on Twitter Kelton Reid on Twitter

    • 28 min
    How Award-Winning Novelist Juan Pablo Villalobos Writes

    How Award-Winning Novelist Juan Pablo Villalobos Writes

    Acclaimed, award-winning Mexican author and critic, Juan Pablo Villalobos, spoke with me from Barcelona, Spain about making difficult subjects accessible to young adults, the challenge of shifting from fiction to non-fiction, and why finding the right voice and POV is so important to telling your story.
    “If you know perfectly where you're going, the reader will feel the same ... he or she will get bored.” – Juan Pablo Villalobos
    The tragicomic, avant-garde author (known to his friends as J.P.) has published film and literary criticism, short stories, and award-winning novels now translated into 15 languages.
    His novels include Down the Rabbit Hole, shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award (2011), as well as I Don’t Expect Anyone to Believe Me, a Herralde Prize (2016) winner soon to be published in English.
    New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay has called his writing “Excellent satire ... hilarious and smart, [that] takes on class in Mexico ... in a really useful way.”
    The author's latest is a departure into Young Adult, narrative non-fiction titled The Other Side: Stories of Central American Teen Refugees Who Dream of Crossing the Border.
    In a Kirkus starred review the heavily researched – and very timely book – was called, "A ... compilation of stories from unaccompanied Central American teen refugees who make tremendous sacrifices to cross the U.S.-Mexico border."
    Told in short vignettes, the author spoke with me about how he employed the narrative techniques of fiction in order to protect the protagonists’ identities and to address the difficult subject matter gathered in interviews, and inspired by immigrant minors seeking asylum from both violence and poverty.
    This is, quite obviously, the last show of the year and thank you for all of your support in 2019.
    Happy New Year! We'll be back with some incredible interviews in 2020, including an exclusive with a chart-topping ghostwriter who you may know (spoiler alert: he's been a recurring guest on the show), a self-publishing phenom, an Emmy Award-winning TV writer, an expert on optimizing your creative space or office, a NY Times bestselling suspense writer, and way more neuroscience for your brain!
    Also, The Writer Files is now available on Alexa! Because Apple Podcasts are available on Alexa-enabled Amazon devices in the United States, now all you have to do is say,
    "Alexa, play The Writer Files on Apple Podcasts." She will probably grant your wish ;-)
    Please help us learn more about you by completing this short 7-question survey This episode of The Writer Files is brought to you by the team at Author Accelerator. Author Accelerator book coaches give writers feedback, accountability, and support while you write, so you can get that your idea out of your head and onto the page.

    If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click subscribe to automatically see new interviews.
    In this file Juan Pablo Villalobos and I discussed: The importance of unpredictability, point of view, and surprising yourself as a writer Why writing is (still) rewriting How the author told the stories of asylum seekers in the first person, and the challenging research process behind his latest work The power of literature for sharing difficult subjects with young readers How the author revisited Kurt Vonnegut's writing only after being compared to him And advice to scribes on why every writer's process should be unique Show Notes: Author Accelerator The Other Side: Stories of Central American Teen Refugees Who Dream of Crossing the Border by Juan Pablo Villalobos [Amazon] Juan Pablo Villalobos – Amazon author page Juan Pablo Villalobos on Twitter Kelton Reid on Twitter

    • 38 min

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