Take your writing from average to awesome, and learn tools of the trade from bestselling authors, master writing teachers, and publishing industry insiders. This podcast will give you tools and techniques to help you get those words on the page and your stories out into the world. Past guests include: Delia Ephron, John Sandford, Steve Berry, Jojo Moyes, Tana French, Guy Kawasaki, and more.
341: Live Life Colorfully: The Intersection Between Words and Art - Interview with Jason Naylor
Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Jason Naylor.
Jason is an award-winning artist and designer based in NYC. He is known for his bright colors and even brighter messages. His work has received tons of awards and recognition, including the Golden Novum Design award and two CLIO Fashion&Beauty Bronze medals. He has also been featured on HGTV and the Discovery Channel.
In 2018, Jason was named by BUMBLE as one of the 100 Most Inspiring New Yorkers, and his colorful creations have found partnership with brands like Coach, Guess, Pepsi, and Maybelline. Jason’s mission is to spread color and positivity across the globe. His brightly colored designs and positive words reflect his zeal for life, his quest for joy and his love of LOVE.
In this episode Jason and I discuss: The ways his book is a visual version of the perfect mixed tape. How negative space and imagination work together to create a story. Why people see the same colors differently (hint: it’s rooted in science!).
Plus, his #1 tip for writers.
For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/341
340: You Can Keep That To Yourself - Interview with Adam Smyer
Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Adam Smyer.
Adam Smyer is an attorney, martial artist, and mediocre bass player. His nonfiction has appeared in the Johannesburg Review of Books, and his debut novel, Knucklehead, was the sole title short-listed for the 2018 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. Adam lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and cats. You Can Keep That to Yourself is his latest work, and we’ll be discussing it today.
In this episode Adam and I discuss: The tremendous amount of luck involved between starting and publishing a book. Why eradicating micro-aggressions is important in eliminating major aggressions. The important role humor can play in addressing a very serious topic.
Plus, his #1 tip for writers.
For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/340
339: The Many Perspectives of Grief - Interview with Rachel Beanland
Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Rachel Beanland.
Rachel Beanland writes fiction and essays, and has recently released her debut novel. Her essays have appeared in Creative Nonfiction and Broad Street, among other places, and she has an MFA in creative writing from Virginia Commonwealth University.
With bachelor’s degrees in art history and journalism, Rachel worked in public relations and nonprofit management before focusing on writing full time. She currently lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and three children.
Her debut novel is Florence Adler Swims Forever, which we’ll be discussing here today.
In this episode Rachel and I discuss: How a family tragedy influenced her approach to writing her debut novel. Why rotating perspectives helped with secret-keeping throughout her story. Her experience with workshopping her novel as she wrote it.
Plus, her #1 tip for writers.
For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/339
338: The Dystopian Superhero Story - Interview with Alexandra Monir
Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Alexandra Monir.
Alexandra is an Iranian-American author and recording artist who has published six popular young adult novels. Her internationally-bestselling debut, Timeless was a Barnes & Noble Bestseller and Amazon.com “Best Books of the Month.” In 2018 she published the hit sci-fi novel The Final Six and Sony Pictures optioned the film rights in a major pre-empt deal. More recently, she has followed up with a sequel—The Life Below—which was published earlier this year.
Alexandra was chosen as part of a group of global bestselling authors to write for the New York Times-bestselling DC ICONS series. Her book is Black Canary: Breaking Silence, the first-ever YA novel about that DC Comics superhero. Next up, Alexandra is writing a historical fantasy YA for Disney based on Princess Jasmine.
In this episode Alexandra and I discuss: How she honors her grandmother in her career, especially in her latest book. Her method for creating a complex cast of villains for Black Canary. Why she incorporated original music into the release of her book. Plus, her #1 tip for writers.
For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/338
337: The Intersection of Voice and Point of View in Literary Fiction— Interview with Brad Fox
Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Brad Fox.
Brad is a novelist, journalist, translator, and former relief worker currently quarantined in rural Peru. His novel To Remain Nameless was a Paris Review staff pick, an SPD recommended new fiction title, has been a small press bestseller since its release. It was named by Dennis Cooper as a Best Book of 2020.
Brad’s stories, essays, and articles have appeared in The New Yorker, Guernica, and the Whitney Biennial and some of his upcoming work will be featured in “From the Deep,” a major exhibition at the Smithsonian Museum of African Art in 2021.
Brad left the US in the late 1990s and began working as a feature writer and television producer in the former Yugoslavia. Since that time, he has worked in various countries around the globe, doing different forms of humanitarian and arts-related work.
In March earlier this year, he left New York for what was meant to be a twelve-day trip to northeastern Peru, with the goal of studying with a traditional medicine practitioner and completing a book on the bathysphere dives — the first eyewitness account of the deep ocean. That twelve-day trip has extended much longer than those original twelve days, and he’s been doing virtual book launch events from a little table on the edge of the jungle, surrounded by monkeys, hummingbirds and poisonous ants.
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In this episode Brad and I discuss: How his partner’s experiences as a doula inspired many of the characters and the structure of his book To Remain Nameless. What voice and POV techniques Brad used to transition between past and present to give his language “energy”. Why “writing for no reason” and experimenting in the moment is a large part of Brad’s writing process.
Plus, their #1 tip for writers.
For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/337
336: Realistic Middle Grade: Balancing the Light and Dark— Interview with Marcella Pixley
Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Marcella Pixley, the author of four acclaimed books for young people.
Her novel Freak was a Kirkus Best Book of the Year for 2007, Without Tess was a Junior Library Guild Selection, and Ready to Fall was a Bank Street of Education Best Book for 2017. Her most recent novel Trowbridge Road was just recently named as one of ten books for children for the National Book Awards 2020.
Marcella first began her writing career as a poet and has published in several literary journals including Sow's Ear Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner and Poet Lore, plus she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her fiction has a lyric quality, which makes sense given her roots in poetry, and teaches 8th grade Language Arts at the Carlisle Public Schools.
Today we’ll be discussing Marcella’s most recent book, Trowbridge Road.
In this episode Marcella and I discuss: How her personal childhood experiences and her diagnosis of OCD inspired her book Trowbridge Road. Why she believes that MG should be written authentically to reflect realistic, traumatic, and difficult childhood experiences. What character voices, detailed moments, and scenes she specifically crafted to reflect her experiences. Plus, their #1 tip for writers.
For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/336
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