234 episodes

If you’re an aspiring author and want insights into what’s involved in launching a book into the world, this is the podcast for you. Maggie Smith, author and blogger, interviews debut novelists from the Women’s Fiction Writers Association discussing not only the inspiration behind their book, but also their insights into the writing process, the best advice they ever got, and the joys and sometimes pitfalls they encountered on their path to publication.

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    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 13 Ratings

If you’re an aspiring author and want insights into what’s involved in launching a book into the world, this is the podcast for you. Maggie Smith, author and blogger, interviews debut novelists from the Women’s Fiction Writers Association discussing not only the inspiration behind their book, but also their insights into the writing process, the best advice they ever got, and the joys and sometimes pitfalls they encountered on their path to publication.

    231: D.K. Silver- Author of The Weight of Flowers

    231: D.K. Silver- Author of The Weight of Flowers

    This week we’re talking to D.K. Silver (The Weight of Flowers, indie published, February 2023). A costume designer for most of her career, Dana is a visual person so vivid descriptions come easily – in fact, the impetus to writing her debut was an image from a dream that was so striking it wouldn’t let her go. Not only a terrible speller but severely dyslexic, she struggled in the beginning, producing a 340,000 word opus that required serious editing, but eventually yielded a series. We discuss the fact that her protagonist resembled her personally in many ways, making her the most difficult character to write, and delve into the four major reasons an author might consider indie publishing rather than the traditional route.
    D.K. Silver is the author of The Weight of Flowers, the first in a genre-bending saga. The series explores themes of sexual exploitation and dalliance, greed in its many guises and the quest for self-worth.   
     D.K. Silver is fearless in her determination to explore taboos, using her gifts to relentlessly dig below the surface. As a costume designer, she’s been trained to visually reveal a character’s truer nature—as a writer, she takes it to another level, passionate to unmask the deliciously decadent, the deviant, and the downright misguided aspects of our collective humanness. Her stories are paced like a slow-motion car crash that’s difficult to look away from.
    To learn more about D.K., click here.

    • 33 min
    230: Annie Cathryn- Author of The Friendship Breakup

    230: Annie Cathryn- Author of The Friendship Breakup

    Our guest on the podcast this week is Annie Cathryn (The Friendship Breakup, Alcove Press, February 2023). After three previous attempts at a novel, Annie hit the motherlode when, in four months, she wrote the story of a Mean Girls/Bad Moms mashup. A unique take on what it’s like to be ghosted from your friends group as an adult, the novel struck a cord with new imprint Alcove and became one of their first releases. We discuss how Annie’s time as a well-connected Bookstagrammer paid off when authors she’d helped along the way with their own book releases repaid the favor in an organic way with favorable blurbs and reviews.
    Annie Cathryn has always dreamed of becoming an author and lives by the motto, “Creating is Living.” The Friendship Breakup is her debut book baby, born out of love. When not writing or reading, she’s organizing her personal library collection by color and discovering delectable chocolate. She earned a journalism degree and a master’s in communications from Marquette University, and lives in Chicagoland with her husband, daughter, and two fur babies.
    To learn more about Annie, click here.

    • 27 min
    229: Audrey Burges- Author of The Miniscule Mansion of Myra Malone

    229: Audrey Burges- Author of The Miniscule Mansion of Myra Malone

    This week’s guest is Audrey Burges (The Minuscule Mansion of Myra Malone, Berkley, January 2023). Audrey came up with the title for her book first, wrote it in one month during the pandemic, worked with her WFWA mentor to hone her manuscript, then quickly found both her agent and a Big Five imprint to publish it—a true fairy tale for a debut author. We discuss how she wrote humor essays to build a platform but then that niche became its own entity, how she advises authors to not to do social media to sell books but for its own sake in establishing your writing community, and how she believes not having time enough to write is what makes her so productive (she’s currently writing her seventh book)
    Audrey writes novels, humor, and essays in Richmond, Virginia. Her second novel, A House Like an Accordion, will be released in May 2024 by Ace/PRH. She is a humor contributor to McSweeney’s and The New Yorker. When she isn’t writing, she’s asking her two kids and very patient husband to bring her some more coffee. 
    To learn more about Audrey, click here. 

    • 34 min
    228: Kimberly McMillan- Author of Never Enough Time

    228: Kimberly McMillan- Author of Never Enough Time

    Our guest this week is Kimberly McMillan (Never Enough Time, Warren Publishing, January 2023). Kimberly’s debut is squarely in the women’s fiction genre, exploring the journey of a young girl who loses her single mother, only to discover the father she thought was dead is alive and well with another family in Texas. The book explores not only this new “found” family unit but gives a POV to the step-mother as well. We discuss how Kimberly found her editor in an unusual way, by reading the acknowledgements of a writer similar to her and tracking that person down. A hybrid publisher was the right answer for her, as Warren helped her every step of the way, including significant editing expertise as well as marketing tips. 
    Kimberly McMillan lives in Waco, Texas with her husband, Aaron, their two amazing daughters, and a spoiled Standard Poodle. Kimberly attended The University of Texas at Austin where she studied Broadcast Journalism. She is an avid tea drinker, accomplished photographer, dog lover, adventure seeker, book lover, bourbon taster, travel enthusiast, and foodie! When she is not writing, Kimberly loves spending time with her family and friends, enjoying everything life has to offer. Kimberly loves the Lord and hopes her love for Him shines through her work.  
     
    To learn more about Kimberly, click here.
     

    • 32 min
    227: Caitlin Avery- Author of Life of Cyn

    227: Caitlin Avery- Author of Life of Cyn

     This week’s guest is Caitlin Avery (Life of Cyn, indie published, Dec. 2022). Tune in for one of our podcast’s most raw and honest interviews as Caitlin and I discuss her decision to out her high school rapist in the pages of her women’s fiction book, her inability to land an agent (who told her “MeToo” books were dead) and her determination to bring secrets like this out of the closet and into the light, making women aware of the power of sharing their stories. Once she decided to publish on her own, Caitlin found the perfect hook to sell her book through unflinching TikTok videos and IG reels which went viral with 50,000 views and an endorsement from Rosie O’Donnell.
    Caitlin Avery writes about women whose lives are amiss and can’t resist dangerous impulses. She's the author of the award-winning adventure/thriller, The Last Cruz, its recently released sequel, The Last Con, and the standalone contemporary fiction, Life of Cyn. Her first book, a coming-of-age memoir, is called Lightning in my Wires. When she's not inventing transformative adventures for her readers, she loves to indulge in them. A triathlete, mountain biker, backpacker, black-diamond skier, and yoga enthusiast, she lives outside of Boston with her husband and son, and the cat and dog who rescued her.
    To learn more about Caitlin, click here.

    • 36 min
    226: Barbara Boehm Miller- Author of When You See Her

    226: Barbara Boehm Miller- Author of When You See Her

    Our guest this week is Barbara Boehm Miller (When You See Her, Red Adept Publishing, January 2023). We discuss learning to cut out extraneous back story, why she set her novel in a carnival, and why she chose a plus-size woman for her protagonist. On the marketing side, we talk about how she started out as a lurker on social media and had to get comfortable with what to post. Then we compare notes on the struggle to find an agent in today’s climate where ghosting has become acceptable, leaving authors hanging in limbo.
    Barbara likes to write about secret societies and marginalized people and to create desperate and unsavory characters who, nonetheless, appeal to readers. WHEN YOU SEE HER is her first novel. In addition, she earned a Master of Arts in writing from Johns Hopkins University and has had several short fiction pieces published in literary journals.
    She’s also worked for many years as a translator of Romance languages into English and has published a series of translations, primarily in the field of children’s rights. She has lived in Costa Rica, France, Mexico, and Spain and, at present, serves as a senior diplomatic translator for the U.S. Department of State.
    When not writing, reading, or working, Barbara likes to spend time with her inspiring husband and twin daughters, and her sweet brown dog.
    To learn more about Barbara, click here.
     

    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

Julia Daily ,

WFWA Founders

Loved hearing from three of the charter founders of WFWA and celebrating Women's Fiction Day. Thank you, Maggie!

snowgie ,

Intriguing, informative and sticks to the point

I love this podcast. Author Maggie Smith is a thoughtful reader and a close listener. She lets the interviewees talk and keeps the conversation on track. The focus is appropriately narrow: Women authors who’ve recently published their first novel, with discussion of both the book and the journey to publication. The 28-minute bite-sized segments are both filling and nutritious and I always come away feeling inspired to write, which is my number one gauge for a good podcast about writing.

LaineyCameron ,

Top Notch- so interesting to hear how authors did it

The authors on the podcast are high quality and Maggie Smith does a great job with hosting. Always fascinating to hear how other writers did it!

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