286 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 • 151 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 NY Times Bestselling Thriller Writer Riley Sager Writes

    How NY Times Bestselling Thriller Writer Riley Sager Writes

    #PodcastersForJustice
    New York Times bestselling thriller writer Riley Sager, spoke to me about why he publishes under a pen name, how to write Hitchcockian suspense, and his latest "The House Across the Lake."
    Riley Sager is the bestselling author of six novels, most recently Home Before Dark and Survive the Night. His award-winning first novel, Final Girls, was a national and international bestseller that has been published in 30 countries.
    His latest novel, The House Across the Lake, has been named a most anticipated summer book by People, E! News, PureWow, CNN.com, CrimeReads, and many others. 
    It's been described by CrimeReads as "... a psychological thriller version of The Great Gatsby, featuring binoculars for more accurate across-the-lake spying, smaller gatherings for a shorter list of suspects, and a truly bat**** twist for more satisfying consumption."
    The House Across the Lake was inspired by Riley's "... own pandemic escapes to a cabin in rural Vermont [and] oozes with slow-burn Hitchcockian suspense before building to a finale that will leave readers reeling. "
    Stay calm and write on ...

    In this file Riley Sager and I discussed:

    The albatross of bad sales early in your career

    Why his process changes from book to book

    How to turn common genre tropes on their head

    What happens to his social life as deadlines loom

    Taking inspiration from classic film

    And a lot more!

    Show Notes:
    rileysagerbooks.com
    The House Across the Lake: A Novel by Riley Sager (Amazon Affiliate)
    Riley Sager Amazon Author Page (Amazon Affiliate)
    Riley Sager on Facebook
    Riley Sager on Instagram
    Riley Sager on Twitter
    Riley Sager on TikTok
    Kelton Reid on Twitter
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 35 min
    How Bestselling Author & Pulitzer-Winner Geraldine Brooks Writes

    How Bestselling Author & Pulitzer-Winner Geraldine Brooks Writes

    #PodcastersForJustice
    Bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner, Geraldine Brooks, spoke to me about why "truth is stranger than fiction," letting story drive narrative, and the overheard conversation that led to her latest, "Horse."
    Geraldine Brooks is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel March and the international bestsellers The Secret Chord, Caleb’s Crossing, People of the Book, and Year of Wonders (recently optioned by Olivia Colman).
    Her latest novel, Horse, is described as "... a sweeping story of spirit, obsession, and injustice across American history." TIME magazine said of the book, "Horse isn’t just an animal story—it’s a moving narrative about race and art."
    Geraldine has also written acclaimed nonfiction works including Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence. She started out as a reporter in her hometown, Sydney, and went on to cover conflicts as a Wall Street Journal correspondent in Bosnia, Somalia, and the Middle East.
    Stay calm and write on ...
    [Discover The Writer Files Extra: Get The Writer Files Podcast Delivered Straight to Your Inbox at writerfiles.fm]
    In this file Geraldine Brooks and I discussed:

    Her early years as a war correspondent

    Why she chose to write a braided narrative based on an overheard conversation

    Reading history to find verisimilitude

    Empathy in fiction

    Writing through a pandemic

    And a lot more!

    [If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click FOLLOW to automatically see new interviews. And drop us a rating or a review wherever you listen]
    Show Notes:
    GeraldineBrooks.com
    Horse: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks (Amazon Affiliate)
    Geraldine Brooks Amazon Author Page (Amazon Affiliate)
    Geraldine Brooks on Facebook
    Geraldine Brooks on Twitter
    Kelton Reid on Twitter
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 35 min
    How Co-Creator of Emmy-Winning “How I Met Your Mother” Carter Bays Writes

    How Co-Creator of Emmy-Winning “How I Met Your Mother” Carter Bays Writes

    #PodcastersForJustice
    Seven-time Emmy nominee and co-creator of the hit TV series "How I Met Your Mother," Carter Bays, spoke to me about working with David Letterman, being a recovering TV writer, and his debut novel "The Mutual Friend." 
    Carter Bays is best known as the co-creator of the sitcom How I Met Your Mother which ran on CBS for nine seasons. A companion series, How I Met Your Father, starring Hilary Duff, premiere on Hulu in 2022.
    His latest is The Mutual Friend, described as a "... thought-provoking debut novel set in New York City, following a sprawling cast of characters as they navigate life, love, loss, ambition, and spirituality — without ever looking up from their phones."
    A starred Kirkus review called the book, "... a perfect summer beach read, but one that deserves serious awards consideration as well," and NY Times bestselling author Clare Pooley called the book “... the most extraordinary and beguiling novel I’ve read in years."
    Stay calm and write on ...
    [Discover The Writer Files Extra: Get The Writer Files Podcast Delivered Straight to Your Inbox at writerfiles.fm]
    In this file Carter Bays and I discussed:

    Why working on the Late Show with David Letterman was a comedy MFA

    How to get a laugh

    When he finds the time to write fiction

    The use of Easter eggs and twists in narrative structure

    Why you need to get your work in front of strangers

    And a lot more!


    [If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click FOLLOW to automatically see new interviews. And drop us a rating or a review wherever you listen]
    Show Notes:
    carterbays.com
    The Mutual Friend: A Novel by Carter Bays [Amazon Affiliate]
    Carter Bays on IMDb
    Carter Bays on Facebook
    Carter Bays on Instagram
    Carter Bays on Twitter
    Kelton Reid on Twitter
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 36 min
    How NY Times Bestselling Author Clare Pooley Writes

    How NY Times Bestselling Author Clare Pooley Writes

    #PodcastersForJustice
    New York Times bestselling author, Clare Pooley, spoke to me about rising from the ashes, writing as therapy, her nostalgia for the bygone commute, and her latest "Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuting."
    Clare's blog-to-memoir deal, The Sober Diaries, was published in 2017 to critical acclaim. Her debut novel - The Authenticity Project – was a New York Times bestseller. Inspired by her own experiences, it's been translated into thirty-two languages, was a Radio 2 Bookclub pick, and winner of the RNA Debut Novel Award.
    Her latest, Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuting, is described as "... a heartwarming story about the joy of friendships, and the unexpected places they can be forged." Kirkus Reviews called the book “A soothing story where bad things happen yet are overcome, and friendship leads the way to personal acceptance and rebirth.”
    Bestselling author Mary Laura Philpott called the book, "... a feel-good ensemble story [for] fans of quirky London-set fare such as Ted Lasso."
    Clare graduated from Cambridge University, and spent twenty years in the world of advertising, before becoming a full-time writer. 
    Stay calm and write on ...
    In this file Clare Pooley and I discussed:

    Why making up stories is not a proper job (wink, wink)

    Her unique creative process (spoiler: it starts in the dark)

    Big Magic and harnessing the creative muse

    The necessity of coffee to the writing life

    How she embraced the life of a #writerwarrior  

    And a lot more!

    Show Notes:
    clarepooley.com
    Iona Iverson's Rules for Commuting: A Novel by Clare Pooley [Amazon Affiliate]
    Clare Pooley's Amazon Author Page [Amazon Affiliate]
    Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert [Amazon Affiliate]
    Lessons in Chemistry: A Novel by Bonnie Garmus [Amazon Affiliate]
    Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel by Gail Honeyman  [Amazon Affiliate]
    Clare Pooley on Facebook
    Clare Pooley on Instagram
    Clare Pooley on Twitter
    Kelton Reid on Twitter
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 33 min
    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

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
151 Ratings

151 Ratings

aggy mae lee ,

The Writer Files

Thank you so much for your presentation of interviews with authors. It is exactly what I want. To learn about their process. I am so happy to have found you.

hair62 ,

thank you

i’m so grateful for this podcast!!!!

Dmuma ,

Good Questions and Great Guests

Every episode I’ve listened to has given me some really useful information. Also entertaining. :)

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