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.
328: Book Marketing for Busy Writers — Interview with Carol VanDenHende
Hey there word nerds!
Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Carol VanDenHende.
Carol is an award-winning author who pens stories of resilience and hope. Her debut novel Goodbye Orchid recently won the American Fiction Award for urban fiction, the Pinnacle Book Award for multicultural fiction, and was listed by Buzzfeed as one of its 12 Most Anticipated books this fall.
Carol is also a speaker (as well as one of my writing conference buddies) and she often speaks on author brand, visual identity, and marketing plans. With an MBA with 20+ years' experience in marketing and strategy, Carol knows what it takes to market your book (even if you’re a busy author) and she has applied many of these strategies to the launch of Goodbye Orchid.
One secret to Carol’s good fortune? Her humorous husband, fun-loving twins, and rescue cat, who prove that love really does conquer all.
In this episode Carol and I discuss: How her book Goodbye Orchid is really about hope and resilience. Why focusing on your message as a writer is the best way to self-promote, even when self-promotion might feel inauthentic. What people often miss about the hard work it takes to be a successful author. Plus, their #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/328
327: Cartoons and Visual Language - Interview with Mr. Fish
Hey there word nerds!
Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Fish.
Dwayne Booth has been a freelance writer and cartoonist for twenty-five years, publishing under both his real name and the pen name of Mr. Fish with the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, the Village Voice, the Atlantic, The Nation, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Magazine, MSNBC, Truthdig, HuffingtonPost, ScheerPost and others. He was the subject of a 2017 award-winning documentary by Pablo Bryant called Mr. Fish: Cartooning from the Deep End.
In this episode Mr. Fish and I discuss: What ambitious idea was the inspiration for Long Story Short. Why he enlisted the help of colleagues to help him accomplish his project. How visual art has a truth that resonates both emotionally and intellectually. Plus, their #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/327
326: Painting, Math, and Tiny Houses: Writing the Picture Book Biography - Interview with Amy Alznauer
Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Amy Alznauer.
Amy lives in Chicago with her husband, two children, a dog and her four puppies, a parakeet, sometimes chicks and a part-time fish, but, as of today, no elephants or peacocks. Check back.
Her writing has won the Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction, the Christopher Award, and the SCBWI-Illinois Laura Crawford Memorial Mentorship, and her essays and poetry have appeared in collections and literary journals including The Bellingham Review, Creative Nonfiction and River Teeth.
She has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She teaches calculus and number theory classes at Northwestern University. She is the managing editor for the SCBWI-IL Prairie Wind. And she is the writer-in-residence at St. Gregory the Great, where she has a little office in a big building with a bad internet connection, where she tries to get work done (in theory).
In this episode Amy and I discuss: How the relationship between the Zhou brothers inspired her book. What Amy had to do to find the perfect illustrator for her book. Why Amy believes it is important to get the blessing from the real-life figures that inspire your writing. Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes diymfa.com/326
325: Reinventing a Legend — Interview with Nathan Makaryk
Hey there word nerds!
Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Nathan Makaryk.
Nathan is the author of Nottingham, which deconstructs the mythology of Robin Hood in a realistic historical context. Nathan is a playwright, theater-owner, director, stage combat choreographer, and comedian living in Southern California. Nottingham was based on his critically-acclaimed original play The Legend of Robin Hood.
Today we’ll be talking about the second installment in his epic Nottingham series: Lionhearts.
In this episode Nathan and I discuss: Why he initially hated Robin Hood and how that helped him reimagine it How he adapted his own script into a full-length book The difference between pacing and speed and why that shift is important Plus, his #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/325
324: Story is Your Marketing Superpower - Conversation with Erica Wexler
Hey there word nerds!
Today we’re doing something a little bit different. This is a special episode, created in partnership with INBOUND, one of my favorite marketing conferences where I have had the pleasure of speaking for the past three years. INBOUND is one of those conferences that has become a mainstay in my speaking schedule. I look forward to it every year, and I always have a blast speaking on my signature topic, the Storytelling Superpower.
If you want some additional bonus materials about the Storytelling Superpower framework, hop on over to DIYMFA.com/INBOUND and sign up with your email address. You’ll get an archetype cheat sheet along with additional bonuses I’ll send out via email.
I was scheduled to speak at this year’s live event and I was counting down the days to my trip to Boston, but as with most live conferences, the folks at INBOUND wisely opted to move the event online. While I’m missing the amazing energy and excitement—and let’s not forget the food trucks (yum!)—there is a silver lining. You see, now it means I get to share the concepts from my talk with you here on the podcast, which is also being aired as part of the INBOUND online programming.Now, I could just deliver the talk from my session as a solo podcast episode, but that would be boring, so I’ve recruited one of my favorite people and INBOUND party-buddy: Erica Wexler.
Erica is the Founder & CEO of Erica Wexler Transforms. She’s the creator of the Transformational Guidance™ Training & Coaching Program she specializes in helping both organizations and individuals play to their strengths, navigate obstacles, and work more collaboratively in today’s diverse, virtual, and fast-paced workplace. Erica has a ton of experience creating positive change in government, private, nonprofit, and educational sectors, including 13 years leading communication, training and outreach efforts at a state-level government agency she helped create.
Erica earned her Master’s in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania and holds dual certifications in Organizational Leadership and Change Management. She is a published author, a dynamic powerhouse speaker, an avid dancer, and I am lucky enough to call her my friend.
I’ve known Erica since 2017, when we both participated in a mastermind group together. Right away, I knew we were going to be fast friends. Since then, we’ve been networking buddies at tons of events and last year we took INBOUND 2019 by storm and it was awesome!
As you’ll hear in a moment, Erica is a powerhouse presence on stage, in a meeting, or at happy hour. But she’s also one of those rare people who, while being incredibly dynamic herself, doesn’t let her presence overshadow that of others. She is one of those amazing people who has the ability to amplify the voice of others and adds to their energy.
When INBOUND asked me to create a special podcast episode as part of their 2020 conference programming, I knew Erica was the person I wanted behind the mic with me. This episode is part interview, part conversation, but mostly two besties geeking out about all things storytelling.
In this episode Erica and I discuss: How the three elements of storytelling apply to marketing Why brands shouldn’t focus solely on what the customer wants to hear The most important thing to consider about storytelling for your brand Plus, my #1 tip for people who want to unleash their Storytelling Superpower! For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/324
323: The Importance of Composting in the Writing Process — Interview with Helen Zuman
Hey there word nerds!
Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Helen Zuman.
Helen Zuman is the author of Mating in Captivity, a memoir of her five years, post-Harvard, at Zendik Farm, a neo-hippie cult with a radical take on sex and relationships. Her memoir has received many honors. It got a starred review from Kirkus and was named Kirkus Best Indie Memoir of 2018, and it was a finalist in Creative Nonfiction for the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses’ 2019 Firecracker Award. Today we’ll be talking about the craft and process behind Mating in Captivity.
In this episode Helen Zuman and I discuss: How blogging and memoir classes got her the feedback she needed to develop her manuscript. What is healing about writing a memoir and how it can help you cope with confusing, painful, and difficult personal experiences. Why she didn’t always use pseudonyms for her characters. Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/323
Customer ReviewsSee All
Outstanding author resource
Gabriela is a master at unearthing the brilliant insights from every interaction. She’s a creative and business genius, which is a rare combination. Authors are fortunate to have her wisdom, encapsulated in this podcast!
Word Nerd Heaven
I love that I now have a place to go to indulge my writing itch. Gabriela is compelling and relatable. Love it, love it, love it!
An enjoyable podcast
Entertains and educational. Love the enthusiasm of the host.