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.
410: Writing a YA Series Inspired by Superhero Stories—Interview
Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Brett Riley. We’ll be talking about his YA fantasy/thriller novel, Freaks.
Brett Riley is the author of The Subtle Dance of Impulse and Light (Ink Brush Press), Comanche (Imbrifex Books), Lord of Order (Imbrifex), Freaks (Imbrifex), and Travelers (2022). His short fiction has appeared in journals such as The Baltimore Review, F(r)iction, Solstice, Folio, The Evansville Review, and many others. His nonfiction has appeared in CrimeReads, Role Reboot, Broad River Review, Rougarou, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Literary Orphans, Under the Gum Tree, Wild Violet, and Foliate Oak Magazine. He lives in Henderson, NV.
In this episode Brett Riley and I discuss: How he portrayed and deepened the bond between his main characters. The double-sided nature of superhero powers and why he showed his characters’ weaknesses. Why it’s fascinating to let superheroes be bad and what that exploration reveals.
Plus, his #1 tip for writers.
For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/410
409: Social Media Influencers and the Millennial Romance Novel—Interview with Amy Lea
Today, Lori is interviewing Amy Lea. They’ll be talking about her debut romance novel, Set on You.
Amy Lea is a Canadian bureaucrat by day and contemporary romance author by night (and weekends). She writes laugh-out-loud romantic comedies featuring strong heroines, witty banter, mid-2000s pop culture references, and happily ever afters.
In this episode Amy Lea and Lori discuss: Why representation matters and how the romance genre is helping lead the charge. How to use family dynamics to develop layered characters. Millennial identity and what they have changed about the dating scene.
Plus, her #1 tip for writers.
For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/409
408: Using the "Loop Method" to Co-Write Your Novel, an Inside Look at the Writing Process—Interview
Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Jessi Honard and Marie Parks. We’ll be talking about their contemporary fantasy debut, Unrelenting.
Jessi and Marie have been co-writing speculative fiction since 2009, and their 2022 contemporary fantasy debut, Unrelenting, was a finalist in the 2020 Book Pipeline Unpublished Manuscript contest.
Marie is a fantasy, sci-fi, and horror author who landed in New Mexico after traveling full-time in an RV for years. Her writing uses speculative fiction to dive into topics like social justice, the environment, and the power of friendship. Jessi Honard is a speculative fiction author, business owner, and professional coffee inhaler. Her work leans into the power of imaginary worlds as a conduit to exploring common struggles of identity, belonging, and trust.
Together, they've run a successful copywriting agency since 2010. Jessi lives in the Bay Area of California with her partner, Taormina, and Marie lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with all the dogs.
In this episode Jessi, Marie, and I discuss: What qualities make for a successful co-writing partnership and how to decide whom to work with. How to bounce back from early mistakes and why you aren’t always one mistake away from ruin. The importance of interrogating the “why” behind your vision for your book and your career.
Plus, their #1 tip for writers.
For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/408
407: Public vs. Private Personas: Crafting a Novel Based on Historical Figures - Interview with Leslie Johansen Nack
Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Leslie Johansen Nack.
Leslie’s newest book, The Blue Butterfly, A Novel of Marion Davies, comes out next week and it’s what we are going to be discussing today. Her debut is a memoir titled Fourteen, A Daughter’s Memoir of Adventure, Sailing, and Survival. It received five indie awards, including the 2016 Finalist in Memoir at the Next Generation Indie Book Award.
Leslie says she did everything late in life, including getting her degree in English Literature from UCLA at age thirty-one. Before she started writing, she raised two children, ran a mechanical engineering business with her husband, took care of her aging mother, and dreamed of retirement when she could write full-time. She currently lives in San Diego and—in addition to writing—she enjoys sailing, hiking, and reading.
In this episode Leslie Johansen Nack and I discuss: Why she leaned into fiction for this project as opposed to writing a biography. Her research process and how she chose which scenes to fictionalize. How she balanced writing about the public and private personas of her characters.
Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/407
406: Using History to Write About the Future and Change the Present - Interview with GG Kellner
Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing G.G. Kellner
Gayle is a poet, essayist, artist, educator, and Author of Hope: A History of the Future, a novel in which she imagines a peaceful, just, sustainable future based on facts, legal precedence, and historical documents. Gayle lives in a home that has been in her family for five generations. She spends most of her time creating with words, paints, and sculpture, as well as walking the beaches and forests of her island home with her dog.
In this episode GG Kellner and I discuss: How she created the web of complex character relationships and the framework for her novel. Why you need to face your fears in order to open yourself up to the possibilities of life. The relationship between cause and effect in history and its impact on the future.
Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/406
405: Change vs. Stasis: Character Development in Literary Fiction - Interview with Claire Stanford
Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Claire Stanford.
Born and raised in Berkeley, Claire holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in English at UCLA, where she studies science fiction/speculative fiction, narrative theory, and novel theory.
Claire’s work has received fellowships and grants from the Jerome Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, and the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts & Sciences. Claire is also an avid watcher of BBC mysteries and the author of her debut novel, Happy for You.
In this episode Claire Stanford and I discuss: The meaning of happiness, its relationship with social media, and how that plays out in her novel. Why she classifies her novel as literary fiction as opposed to speculative. How she navigated writing a novel about a character who is strongly opposed to change.
Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/405
Gabriela, host of the DIY MFA Radio podcast, highlights all aspects of writing and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!
Informative and inspiring
I’m so happy to have found this podcast. The interviews explore many facets of the creative writing journey. The interviewees are diverse and each offer a unique perspective. Thank you Gabriela!
So glad I finally started listening to this!
These episodes are full of helpful content, and humor. Really enjoying. I’ll recommend to students as well. Solid ideas without the stuffy attitude. And great guests!