245 episodes

Kelton Reid studies the habits, habitats, and brains of a wide spectrum of renowned writers to learn their secrets of productivity and creativity. Tune in each week to learn how great writers keep the ink flowing, the cursor moving, and avoid block. Explore our archives at writerfiles.fm to find interviews with notable guests that include bestselling authors John Scalzi (Old Mans War), Greg Iles (Natchez Burning), Jay McInerney (Bright Lights, Big City), Kevin Kelly (founder of WIRED magazine), Emma Donoghue (Oscar Nominee for Room), Maria Konnikova (The Confidence Game), Andy Weir (The Martian), Dan Buettner (The Blue Zones), Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist), Daniel Pink (When), and serial guest hosts: neuroscientist Michael Grybko, journalist Adam Skolnick, and short story writer Robert Bruce.

The Writer Files: Writing, Productivity, Creativity, and Neuroscience Kelton Reid

    • Arts
    • 4.5 • 119 Ratings

Kelton Reid studies the habits, habitats, and brains of a wide spectrum of renowned writers to learn their secrets of productivity and creativity. Tune in each week to learn how great writers keep the ink flowing, the cursor moving, and avoid block. Explore our archives at writerfiles.fm to find interviews with notable guests that include bestselling authors John Scalzi (Old Mans War), Greg Iles (Natchez Burning), Jay McInerney (Bright Lights, Big City), Kevin Kelly (founder of WIRED magazine), Emma Donoghue (Oscar Nominee for Room), Maria Konnikova (The Confidence Game), Andy Weir (The Martian), Dan Buettner (The Blue Zones), Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist), Daniel Pink (When), and serial guest hosts: neuroscientist Michael Grybko, journalist Adam Skolnick, and short story writer Robert Bruce.

    How Bestselling Children's Book Author Crystal Swain-Bates Writes

    How Bestselling Children's Book Author Crystal Swain-Bates Writes

    #PodcastersForJustice

    Award-winning children's book author and diversity publishing pro, Crystal Swain-Bates, spoke with me about what inspired her to launch her own publishing company and the challenges authors of color face.
    “When I recognized how underrepresented black characters were in children's books, I made it my life's purpose to fill the diversity gap...” – Crystal Swain-Bates
    Crystal is a celebrated illustrated kids' book author, entrepreneur, and indie publisher "... on a mission to positively reshape the way children of color all over the world see themselves."
    She has written and published 12 children's books, been featured by Forbes, Entrepreneur, Essence Magazine, CNN, and HuffPost, and her books have been used as props for hit television shows on BET. Her lauded and bestselling book Big Hair, Don't Care is one of Amazon's most highly reviewed black children's books.
    Crystal founded Goldest Karat Publishing to address the lack of diversity in children's literature and aims to help "... aspiring and underrepresented authors publish their books and share their stories.”
    She also speaks at conferences and events on the topics of diversity in children's literature, writing, and publishing.
    Stay calm and write on ...
    And Stay Tuned: I’m cooking up some extras for fans of the show in the coming weeks you won’t want to miss including the option to have episodes, extras, and added insights delivered straight to your inbox, and maybe even some Writer Files merch on the way.
    If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please "Follow" us to automatically see new interviews. In this file Crystal Swain-Bates and I discussed: Her promise to fill the diversity gap in children's literature How a former CIA intelligence analyst became a famed author Why she always writes her titles first Self-publishing vs. traditional publishing for illustrated kids' books How diversity in publishing and book retail needs to improve And more! Show Notes: CrystalSwainBates.com Crystal Swain-Bates author page on Amazon PublishwithCrystal.com Six Figure Self-Publishing Secrets with Crystal Swain-Bates GoldestKarat.com Crystal Swain-Bates Twitter Kelton Reid on Twitter

    • 35 min
    Myth-Busting Book Publishing with Agent Lucinda Halpern

    Myth-Busting Book Publishing with Agent Lucinda Halpern

    #PodcastersForJustice

    President and Founder of Manhattan-based agency Lucinda Literary, Lucinda Halpern, gave me an insider’s take on why literary agents can't just be deal-makers anymore.
    Lucinda Halpern is a literary, lecture, and PR agent with over 15 years of experience on both the corporate and agency sides of publishing.
    Specializing in "books that change the way people work, behave, and live," she represents authors writing in the categories of business, health, lifestyle, popular science, narrative nonfiction, memoir, and upmarket fiction.
    Her agency, Lucinda Literary, boasts a roster of authors including New York Times bestselling authors Susan Peirce Thompson (Bright Line Eating), Chris Bailey (The Productivity Project; Hyperfocus), Cait Flanders (The Year of Less), Paul Jarvis (Company of One), the new work of Nicola Kraus (The Nanny Diaries) and Jake Wood (Once a Warrior).
    She also shares publishing insights and motivation for writers and hosts both live and online programs for aspiring authors.
    Stay calm and write on ...
    And Stay Tuned: I’m cooking up some extras for fans of the show in the coming weeks you won’t want to miss including the option to have episodes, extras, and added insights delivered straight to your inbox, and maybe even some Writer Files merch on the way.
    If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please "Follow" us to automatically see new interviews. In this file Lucinda Halpern and I discussed: Her mission statement, ethos, and the future of publishing How good agents build lifelong marriages with their authors Why you don't have to be famous to get published Counterintuitive tips about the industry The old-fashioned art of crafting a book And more! Show Notes: Ready to get your book noticed? Get Lucinda's essential guide for writers: The 6 Things Every Book Pitch Needs – Click here to receive your guide: lucindaliterary.com/subscribe Lucinda Literary on Medium Lucinda Literary on Facebook Lucinda Literary on Instagram Lucinda Literary on Twitter Kelton Reid on Twitter

    • 34 min
    How NY Times Bestselling Author Lisa Scottoline Writes

    How NY Times Bestselling Author Lisa Scottoline Writes

    #PodcastersForJustice

    New York Times bestselling author and Edgar award-winner, Lisa Scottoline, spoke with me about what she learned from literary lion Philip Roth, impostor syndrome, and her latest book, Eternal.
    “I think all writing is writing, and all writing is good. And whether it gets published or not, it all ... makes you better.” – Lisa Scottoline
    Lisa is a #1 bestselling author of 33 novels. She's gone from law school standout to writing chart-topping legal thrillers over the course of her prolific career, has sold over 30 million copies of her books in the US, and been published in 35 countries.
    Her latest is Eternal and her first historical novel, a departure that she calls the culmination of her life's work. It's described as "... a sweeping and shattering epic of historical fiction fueled by shocking true events."
    “[Her] expansive WWII-era historical novel follows three childhood best friends as love, loyalty and sacrifice mix and their beloved Rome falls to the Nazis.” – GMA
    Lisa also writes a weekly humor column with her daughter, Francesca Serritella, for the Philadelphia Inquirer, which have been adapted into a series of memoirs.

    She has served as President of the Mystery Writers of America and has taught a course she developed, “Justice in Fiction,” at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, her alma mater.
    Stay tuned after the interview for a sample of the audiobook excerpted courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio read by Cassandra Campbell.
    Stay calm and write on ...
    And Stay Tuned: I’m cooking up some extras for fans of the show in the coming weeks you won’t want to miss including the option to have episodes, extras, and added insights delivered straight to your inbox, and maybe even some Writer Files merch on the way.
    If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please "Follow" us to automatically see new interviews. In this file Lisa Scottoline and I also discussed: Her favorite rejection letter Why writers just need to "get it down, then get it good" How the identity of a writer changes over the years Her unique research process Why your sentences need to justify themselves And more! Show Notes: Scottoline.com Eternal by Lisa Scottoline [Amazon] Survival In Auschwitz : If This Is a Man by Primo Levi [Amazon] The Writer's Brain on Impostor Syndrome Lisa Scottoline on Facebook Lisa Scottoline on Instagram Lisa Scottoline on Twitter Kelton Reid on Twitter

    • 36 min
    'Diving Deep' with Award-Winning Documentarian Mimi deGruy and Author Adam Skolnick

    'Diving Deep' with Award-Winning Documentarian Mimi deGruy and Author Adam Skolnick

    #PodcastersForJustice

    Award-winning documentarian, Mimi deGruy, joined me and author Adam Skolnick for a deep dive into the genesis of her documentary exploring the legacy and environmental activism of her late husband, trailblazing ocean filmmaker Mike deGruy.
    “When Mike died, I felt like he left in mid-conversation, and I knew that he had so much more to say,” – Mimi deGruy
    Mike deGruy was a lauded filmmaker, biologist, and activist, who pushed the boundaries of cinematography and diving technology to explore never-before-seen ocean life and share it with the world.
    "In 2012, deGruy died tragically at age 60 in a helicopter crash in Australia while filming for [Academy Award® winning] director James Cameron." – KCRW
    The documentary, “Diving Deep: The Life and Times of Mike deGruy” was crowd-funded, directed, produced, and written by Mimi, Mike’s widow and filmmaking partner.
    "Told through the eyes of his wife ... the film celebrates [Mike’s] life, career, and what he passionately believed: we are destroying the ocean before we even know what’s there."
    The Hollywood Reporter said about the film: “It [succeeds] as a touching personal reminiscence and as an understated but effective environmental manifesto.”
    The film opened the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in 2019, and won Best Film at the Ocean Film Festival, Audience Favorite at the Aspen Mountain Film Festival, and many other awards. It is available across all platforms including Apple TV/iTunes and Amazon rentals.
    Adam Skolnick is the award-winning journalist and author covering adventure sports, environmental issues, travel, and human rights for The New York Times and other outlets. He is the author of One Breath: Freediving, Death and the Quest to Shatter Human Limits, the ghostwriter and narrator of David Goggins’ smash hit memoir and audiobook Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds, and he is a co-host on the Rich Roll Podcast.
    As a bonus, Adam and I kick off the show by discussing the legacy of Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
    Stay calm and write on ...
    And Stay Tuned: I’m cooking up some extras for fans of the show in the coming weeks you won’t want to miss including the option to have episodes, extras, and added insights delivered straight to your inbox, and maybe even some Writer Files merch on the way.
    Preview a sample of a podcast at the break from this week's sponsor Look Closer: The Found Fiction Podcast, more at foundfiction.org.

    If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please "Follow" us to automatically see new interviews. In this file Mimi deGruy, Adam Skolnick, and I also discussed: Why friends and family described Mike as a "human exclamation mark" The single piece of footage that inspired Mimi to make the documentary How the BP oil spill cemented the filmmaker's life mission The fascinating arc of Mike's career Why his spirit was undeterred by a rare shark attack And more! Show Notes: “Diving Deep: The Life and Times of Mike deGruy” Diving Deep on Facebook Diving Deep on Instagram Diving Deep on Twitter AdamSkolnick.com Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds – by Author David Goggins [Amazon] One Breath: Freediving, Death and the Quest to Shatter Human Limits - by Adam Skolnick [Amazon] How to Ghostwrite a Bestseller with Author Adam Skolnick: Part One Adam Skolnick on Twitter Kelton Reid on Twitter

    • 49 min
    How Bestselling Crime Novelist Walter Mosley Writes

    How Bestselling Crime Novelist Walter Mosley Writes

    #PodcastersForJustice

    Celebrated author, Walter Mosley, took a timeout to chat with me about how he didn't write a sentence he liked until age 35, the sprawling muse of Los Angeles, and his conflicted feelings after winning a big National Book Award.
    “Write your truth, and believe in it. And if your mother doesn’t like it ... too bad.” – Walter Mosley
    Walter is the first Black man to receive the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters for lifetime achievement in writing.
    The critically acclaimed author, playwright, screenwriter, and producer has written over 60 books including fiction (literary, mystery, and science fiction), writing guides, memoir, a YA novel, has won dozens of prestigious awards (including an Emmy), and been translated into 25 languages.
    His bestselling historical mysteries feature infamous, hard-boiled detective "Easy" Rawlins, a black PI living in the Watts neighborhood of LA.
    Blood Grove (Easy Rawlins Book 15) is the latest in that series and described as "... a novel of vast scope and intimate insight, and a soulful call for justice by any means necessary."
    Walter's work has also been adapted for film and TV including Devil in a Blue Dress (starring Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle and Jennifer Beals) and the HBO production of Always Outnumbered (starring Laurence Fishburne and Natalie Cole).
    Stay calm and write on ...
    And Stay Tuned: I’m cooking up some extras for fans of the show in the coming weeks you won’t want to miss including the option to have episodes, extras, and added insights delivered straight to your inbox, and maybe even some Writer Files merch on the way.
    Preview a sample of a podcast at the break from this week's sponsor Look Closer: The Found Fiction Podcast, more at foundfiction.org.

    If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please "Follow" us to automatically see new interviews. In this file Walter Mosley and I discussed: His winding career path How the apex of post-hippie Los Angeles, California affected his writing What it was like to work with the late, Oscar-nominated filmmaker John Singleton (Boyz N the Hood) Why you need to read your drafts out loud And more! Show Notes: WalterMosley.com Blood Grove (Easy Rawlins Book 15) by Walter Mosley (Amazon) Walter Mosley Amazon author page Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology: A Library of America Special Publication (Amazon) Roger Zelazny Amazon author page Walter Mosley on Facebook Kelton Reid on Twitter

    • 27 min
    How Critically Acclaimed Novelist Erik Raschke Writes

    How Critically Acclaimed Novelist Erik Raschke Writes

    #PodcastersForJustice
    Critically acclaimed novelist, short story writer, and educator, Erik Raschke, stopped by this week to talk about coming-of-age in Denver, Colorado, how The Beat Generation influenced his writing, and how your children consume you.
    Erik Raschke is a native to Denver, Colorado – and admittedly, one of my oldest friends. He became a dual Dutch and American citizen in 2013, teaches writing at the University of Amsterdam and is a certified New York public school teacher.
    Erik's first novel, The Book of Samuel, was translated into Italian and nominated for the prestigious Printz award. His short story, Winch (Portland Review), was nominated for the 2018 Best American Short Stories.
    His latest is To the Mountain, a novel described as "... an absorbing tale of sacrifice, hope, and the bond between father and son."
    NY Times bestselling author Margaret Coel called the book, “A deeply affecting tale of a father’s love for his autistic son ... Raschke’s lyrical prose evokes both the awesome wilderness of the Rocky Mountains in winter and the unfathomable wilderness of the human heart."
    As a journalist in the early '90s in Belfast, Erik briefly covered violence that marked the end of The Troubles. His short stories and essays have been published in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, Hazlitt, Georgia Review, De Volkskrant, and Guernica, among others.
    Stay calm and write on …
    And Stay Tuned: I’m cooking up some extras for fans of the show in the coming weeks you won’t want to miss including the option to have episodes, extras, and added insights delivered straight to your inbox, and maybe even some Writer Files merch on the way.
    Preview a sample of a podcast at the break from this week's sponsor Look Closer: The Found Fiction Podcast, more at foundfiction.org.
    In this file Erik Raschke and I discussed: The European Rockabilly facsimile that made him cry Denver and Ken Kesey's impact on his writing Why he studied the history of disability for his latest novel How grad school teaches you to write nice sentences, but not great stories And more! Show Notes: ErikRaschke.com To the Mountain by Erik Raschke (Amazon) Erik Raschke Amazon author page The Revenant by Michael Punke (Amazon) Erik Raschke on Facebook Kelton Reid on Twitter

    • 1 hr 4 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
119 Ratings

119 Ratings

Sushi_pie ,

Great free resource for any writer

I found this while browsing on Spotify podcasts, and it’s quickly become one of my favorite podcasts. Kelton interviews bestselling and well known writers across both fiction and non-fiction. The content offers very useful advice.

AC780308 ,

It would be nice

If he thought before he spoke. The hemming and hawing is really irritating.

bandtrash🗑 ,

Very interesting:)

I found this podcast looking for something to put on as background noise. I love it and always listen when I work on my writing. Hearing the experiences of other writers and authors is very interesting and sometimes inspiring. I also really enjoy hearing about their writing process and the process successful writers use to make their work.

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