Behind the Prose explores and illuminates the craft of writing and its process through interviews with emerging and established writers. The podcast is released weekly and hosted by Keysha Whitaker. Visit behindtheprose.com for upcoming guests, news, and essays on writing.
Listen. Learn. Write.
Playing on All 88 Keys: Phillip Lopate, Part 2
What writing advice can one mine from a two-hour interview with prolific essayist, author, and professor Philip Lopate?
If you read the July 2018 issue of The Writer, you learned about Lopate's overall approach and philosophy in "Playing on all 88 keys: The prose playbook of Phillip Lopate" who was my former grad school writing teacher.
In part two, we go further into that philosophy, and you'll hear tips that didn't make the article.
I love this episode because it starts with the question, "Out of the books that you've written, is there a book that you feel you've learned the most about yourself from as a writer?"
Episode 49: Playing on all 88 keys with Phillip Lopate
You might recognize the title of this podcast if you picked up the July 2018 issue of The Writer. In it, you'll find my article on my former grad school writing teacher Phillip Lopate.
I interviewed Lopate last December about his career and in the next two episodes, I'm sharing some of our chat with you.
In it, we talk about his latest book, A Mother's Tale, the usefulness of code-switching, the importance of anticipating the readers' objections, and much, much more!
Episode 48: Engineering the short story with author (and engineer) Nick Arvin
In April 2017, I invited author and engineer Nick Arvin to the school where I work. Over two days, he gave several talks on writing, and I recorded one of them: “Nick Arvin and The Short Story.”
In this episode, I'm giving you that recording! Nick discusses his short story “Along the Highways.” He gives one of the most thorough, honest, and humorous sessions that I’ve ever heard on writing.
He talks about his career in engineering and as an author and how each informs his work in the other. He cracks a lot of jokes (with good comedic timing) and even shares how much he got paid for optioning one of his novels.
Head over to the show-page on Behind the Prose for the full description and links!
Episode 47: The Novel, the Novella, and Scott Alexander Hess
Welcome to this special episode of Behind the Prose. Special, because I bet you didn't think it was coming! More special, because it features former guest, literary historical fiction writer and fellow New School Creative Writing MFA Grad Scott Alexander Hess. This time, I talk to him about how he wrote his latest novella, Skyscraper, while he was in the middle of writing a novel. In this episode, besides hearing me butcher the name of his publisher, Lethe Press, you’ll learn why I disappeared and why I’m back!
Episode 46: Memoirists Mandy Len Catron and Bob Brody
Today's episode is brought to you by: coincidence.
It's how I met both of these great writers. Last year, I covered Bob Brody's essay panel at the American Society of Journalists and Authors for The Writer Magazine. His book Playing Catch with Strangers came out on Father's Day this June on Heliotrope Books.
This year, I interviewed Mandy Len Catron for my book proposal on Modern Love essays. Her new book How to Fall in With Anyone comes out on June 27 on Simon and Schuster.
Listen below or subscribe on iTunes.
Episode 45: A discussion with humor writer Adam Rotstein
I know. I know. Let's not talk about that lil' missing in action thing. The important thing is that I'm here now and so are you!
This episode features a humor writer that I discovered earlier this year on McSweeney's. Adam Rotstein has an undergraduate degree in - get this - neuroscience - but he abandoned the field to pursue his love of comedy and humor writing and now he's in LA working on a pilot.
In this show, which was recorded in March but fell victim to my unbalanced work schedule, we talk about Adam's writing process, his experience writing for Reductress, and how his degree helps his writing.
Humor writer Adam Rotstein
ABOUT ADAM ROTSTEIN
Adam Rotstein is a writer who likes to bridge the gap between branded content and plain ol' content. As a copywriter, he has written for 72andSunny, Code&Theory, and VaynerMedia. As a comedy writer, his work has been published in McSweeney's, Reductress, Funny or Die, and CollegeHumor.
Follow him on Twitter.
A fabulous insider look at all kinds of writing
I’m a professional writer of both fiction and nonfiction and love this podcast because, firstly, I spend most of my time alone in my office, writing and researching, so it’s wonderful to hear fellow writers talk about the nitty gritty of how they get story ideas, how they pitch them, how they approach their overall careers, how they’ve started magazines, gotten book deals, broken into major markets, etc. These are things that need demystifying and as a host, Keysha is wonderful at taking the time to dig deep into these writers’ processes so that listeners can follow in their footsteps. Whatever type of writing you do, you’ll learn from this podcast and find some camaraderie (and plenty of new writers to read!).
These interviews are a must listen if you write prose. The questions asked of the writer guests are exactly the kinds of questions other writers would pose, and the discussions about process are insightful and helpful. Plus, many of the interviews are appended by conversations with editors who have worked with these writers, which gives a great behind the scenes look at journals and indie publishers.