Publishing pros give writing advice and first chapter critiques to aspiring writers.
Upping a Story’s IQ with Erin Beaty
Erin Beaty joins Caitlin, Kristen, and Aliah to talk about how to write stories and characters that are smarter than we are.
Erin was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, which means she can't drive a tractor but won't eat veggies that come from a can.
She graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2000 with a BS in Aerospace Engineering (Astronautics) and German, then served in the fleet as a weapons officer on a combat destroyer and later as an instructor the Center for Naval Leadership.
After a few years as a stay-at-home mother and navy wife with a casual family blog, Erin upped her game and started writing her first novel in the spring of 2014. She is now the author of the Traitor's Circle Trilogy published by Imprint, Macmillan and in several foreign languages. Her newest book Blood and Moonlight just came out, check it out here.
She and her husband have five children, two cats, and a vegetable garden and live wherever the navy tells them to go.
To read the first chapter we critique with all our notes, go here.
Don't forget to check out the special editions Caitlin is doing for Stephanie Garber's Once Upon a Broken Heart series and Marissa Meyer's Gilded Duology! You can find them here.
Writing Different Voices with Jesse Q. Sutanto
Jesse Q. Sutanto joins the crew to chat about writing authentic voices for different age groups.
Jesse is the author of Dial A for Aunties, The Obsession, and Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit. She has a master’s degree in creative writing from Oxford University, though she hasn't found a way of saying that without sounding obnoxious. The film rights to her women’s fiction, Dial A for Aunties, was bought by Netflix in a competitive bidding war. The novel will be out in April 2021. Jesse lives in Indonesia with her husband, her two daughters, and her ridiculously large extended family, many of whom live just down the road. For more about her and her books, be sure to visit her website.
Concise World Building with Holly Black
Lit Service was thrilled to chat with Holly Black about how to build a world, characters, and story in a more concise way. We have signed special editions of her adult debut Book of Night in our store.
Holly Black is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over thirty fantasy novels for kids and teens. She has been a finalist for an Eisner Award and the Lodestar Award, and the recipient of the Mythopoeic Award, a Nebula, and a Newbery Honor. Her books have been translated into 32 languages worldwide and adapted for film. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret library. To find out more about her and her fabulous books, check out her website.
To read the first chapter we critique with all our notes, go here.
For information on upcoming guests or how to submit your work for critique, check out our website.
Suspension of Disbelief with Emily X.R. Pan
Caitlin, Aliah, and Kristen chat with Emily X.R. Pan about magic in contemporary books and suspension of disbelief (as well as throwing down a gauntlet in the never-ending prologue debate!). To find the signed and stenciled edge edition the podcast put together for her new book An Arrow to the Moon, visit our shop.
Emily X.R. Pan is the New York Times bestselling author of THE ASTONISHING COLOR OF AFTER, which won the APALA Honor Award and the Walter Honor Award. It was also a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize, longlisted for the Carnegie Medal, and named by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 Best YA Books of All Time. Emily co-created the FORESHADOW anthology, teaches creative writing, and lives on Lenape land (in Brooklyn, New York). Her sophomore novel, AN ARROW TO THE MOON, launched April 12, 2022 (Check it out here!!). Find her on Twitter and Instagram: @exrpan.
You can find the chapter we critique here.
Building Characters with V.E. Schwab
V.E. Schwab joins the podcasters to chat about how to build a character who is instantly sympathetic and fits into your story.
A big welcome to Victoria “V.E.” Schwab. Schwab is the #1 NYT, USA, and Indie bestselling author of more than twenty books, including the acclaimed Shades of Magic series, the Villains series, the Cassidy Blake series and the international bestseller The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. Their work has received critical acclaim, been translated into over two dozen languages, and been optioned for television and film. First Kill – a YA vampire series based on Schwab’s short story of the same name – is currently in the works at Netflix with Emma Roberts’ Belletrist Productions producing. Schwab’s most recent book, YA fantasy Gallant, just came out at the beginning of March. To learn more about it (or Victoria!) check out her website.
The special edition of Gallant Lit Service put together with stenciled edges and a signed bookplate can be found here (be sure to check it out!).
The Publishing Rollercoaster with Kristen Ciccarelli
Kristen Ciccarelli joins Caitlin, Kristen, and Aliah to talk about how publishing journeys look from the inside and how to manage the rough moments and celebrate the good.
Kristen was born and raised on her grandfather’s grape farm. She spent her childhood running amok through his vineyards and adventuring in the deep, dark woods behind his house. Before writing books full-time, Kristen was an artisanal bread baker, an indie bookseller, and a ceramic artist. Her first novel, The Last Namsara, was an international bestseller and has been translated into 12 languages. Her new contemporary fantasy, Edgewood, released on March 1st (and you can find out more about her and it here!)
To read the first chapter we critique and look through our notes, go here.
You can always follow us on Instagram (which is mostly where we are!!), and if you haven't checked out the special edition we're doing for our new Lit Service Book of the month (stenciled edges!!! They're so pretty!) you should probably go check out our shop now!!
Fun and informative
So many craft and industry tips here! I love the playful approach in every opening, and the first chapter critiques at the end. So useful — I’ll be recommending this show to writer friends!
So Fun and Helpful!
This podcast has helped me think much more about the craft side of my writing and opened my eyes to areas of potential growth. Also, it’s just plain fun, and it’s so sweet of them to offer critiques to budding authors!
Fantastic Thoughtful Fun!
This is a great podcast for writers, especially those preparing for or in the querying trenches!! It’s entertaining, informative, and smart. Love the guests they have had! And so awesome that they give back by doing critiques, too. My only complaint... that the episodes aren’t more frequent. Well done LitService!!!