309 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 Podglomerate

    • Arts
    • 4.5 • 161 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 Acclaimed Debut Novelist Brendan Slocumb Writes

    How Acclaimed Debut Novelist Brendan Slocumb Writes

    #PodcastersForJustice
    Violinist and lauded debut novelist, Brendan Slocumb, spoke to me about how both music and writing saved his life, the darker side of the classical music world, and his debut "The Violin Conspiracy."
    Brendan Slocumb is an accomplished violinist and concertmaster who has performed with major symphonies, has a degree in music education, and has over twenty-five years of teaching in the classroom and in his private studio.
    His critically acclaimed debut novel, The Violin Conspiracy, has been described as, "Part mystery thriller, part character study of a young Black man trying to make his way in the world of classical music..." It was a GMA Book Club Pick and named a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Mystery/Thriller, NPR’s Books We Love 2022, Audible’s 13 Best Debuts of 2022, and earned two Goodreads Choice Award nominations for Best Debut Novel and Best Mystery Thriller.
    Publishers Weekly called the book "[A] gripping debut. . . . Slocumb sensitively portrays Ray’s resilience in the face of extreme racism. The author is off to a promising start.”
    Brendan hosts the podcast How Music Can Save Your Life, is a Nobel Teacher of distinction, and serves as an educational consultant for the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
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    In this file Brendan Slocumb and I discussed:

    How he finds time to tour, write, practice for his string quartet, and teach students for an upcoming recital

    Why the Pandemic forced him to become a prolific novelist

    What it's like to sign your first paperback for a fan

    The importance of practice, routine, and banging out 3000 words a day 

    Why writers need to walk, stretch, and hit the gym

    And a lot more!

    Show Notes:

    brendanslocumb.com


    The Violin Conspiracy - By Brendan Slocumb (Amazon)

    How Music Can Save Your Life Podcast

    Brendan Slocumb on Facebook

    Brendan Slocumb on Instagram

    Brendan Slocumb on Twitter

    Kelton Reid on Twitter


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    • 36 min
    How NY Times Bestselling Thriller Writer Jeffery Deaver Writes: Part Two

    How NY Times Bestselling Thriller Writer Jeffery Deaver Writes: Part Two

    #PodcastersForJustice
    #1 international bestselling author of over 40 novels, Jeffery Deaver, returns to rap about his prolific output, an award-winning handbook for mystery writers, and the latest Colter Shaw novel, "Hunting Time."
    Jeffery Deaver is a former journalist, musician, and attorney best known for his Lincoln Rhyme series – now a hit NBC TV show – and the novel, The Bone Collector, adapted for the big screen starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.
    The "master of suspense" has been nominated for eight Edgar Awards and served two terms as president of Mystery Writers of America, and was recently named a Grand Master of MWA, whose ranks include Agatha Christie, Mary Higgins Clark, and Walter Mosely.
    His latest is Hunting Time (A Colter Shaw Novel), described as "... a riveting thriller, as reward seeker Colter Shaw plunges into the woods and races the clock in a case where nothing is quite what it seems." Kirkus Reviews described the book as "A fleet, irresistible tale."
    Jeffery has sold over 50 million books worldwide in 150 countries, and been translated into 35 languages. He has also published three collections of short stories.
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    In this file Jeffery Deaver and I discussed:

    Pandemic survival

    How he finds the solitude of the writing life

    What it's like to be mentioned in the same breath as Agatha Christie

    How he keeps his Edgar Award nomination streak alive

    Why books are better than Netflix

    How the author structures his novels with questions and conflicts 

    And a lot more!

    Show Notes:

    JefferyDeaver.com

    How to Write Commercial Fiction with NY Times Bestselling Author Jeffery Deaver


    Hunting Time (A Colter Shaw Novel) By Jeffery Deaver (Amazon)


    How to Write a Mystery: A Handbook from Mystery Writers of America (Amazon)

    Jeffery Deaver Amazon author page

    NaturalReader app


    Jeffery Deaver on Instagram 

    Jeffery Deaver on Facebook

    Jeffery Deaver on Twitter

    Kelton Reid on Twitter


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    • 43 min
    How NY Times Bestselling Thriller Writer Jeffery Deaver Writes: Part One - Redux

    How NY Times Bestselling Thriller Writer Jeffery Deaver Writes: Part One - Redux

    A quick note that this week we're resurfacing Part One of an enlightening chat I had with #1 internationally bestselling author Jeffery Deaver about his process for writing “ticking-time bomb suspense,” near the start of the Pandemic. Next week we are going to catch up with the author for the second part of that interview series with Jeff to talk about his latest novel and a lot more about the writing life. Until then …
    The #1 internationally bestselling author of over 40 novels, Jeffery Deaver, took a few minutes to discuss his advice on how to write emotionally engaging fiction, the merits of plotters vs. pantsers, and a 5-step process for writing your novel.
    "Rejection is just a speed bump ... it's not a brick wall. Keep at it." – Jeffery Deaver
    Jeffery is a former journalist, musician, and attorney best known for his Lincoln Rhyme series – now a hit NBC TV show – and the novel, The Bone Collector, adapted for the big screen starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.
    The "master of suspense" has been nominated for seven Edgar Awards and has gone on to sell 50 million books worldwide, translated into 35 languages.
    His thriller featured here is a sequel to The Never Game – The Goodbye Man (A Colter Shaw Novel Book 2) – and once again features Colter Shaw, a rugged survivalist and "reward-seeker."
    One of Bookpage's "Most Anticipated Mysteries and Thrillers" of 2020, Publishers Weekly said of the book, “Deaver balances suspense and plausibility perfectly ... This is a perfect jumping-on point for readers new to one of today’s top contemporary thriller writers.”
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    In this file Jeffery Deaver and I discussed:

    Why suspense writers are like airline pilots

    Wisdom from Joyce Carol Oates and the importance of outlining

    How having your novel read aloud to you can improve your prose

    A simple formula for writing "roller-coaster" fiction

    And much more!

    Show Notes:

    JefferyDeaver.com


    The Goodbye Man (A Colter Shaw Novel) by Jeffery Deaver [Amazon]

    Jeffery Deaver Amazon author page

    NaturalReader app


    Jeffery Deaver on Instagram 

    Jeffery Deaver on Facebook

    Jeffery Deaver on Twitter

    Kelton Reid on Twitter


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    • 37 min
    How Award-Winning Author & Filmmaker Priyanka Kumar Writes

    How Award-Winning Author & Filmmaker Priyanka Kumar Writes

    #PodcastersForJustice
    Award-winning author and filmmaker, Priyanka Kumar, spoke to me about the language of cinema, her Zen leanings, returning to the solace of nature, and her latest, "Conversations with Birds."
    Priyanka Kumar is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts and an alumna of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She is also the award-winning writer, director, and producer of the feature documentary The Song of the Little Road, starring Martin Scorsese and Ravi Shankar.
    Her latest is Conversations with Birds, a Publishers Weekly “Top Ten Nonfiction Book for Fall 2022,” a Bookshop.org “Read Outside the Big Five” selection, and Apple, November Best Books of the Month, and been described in a Kirkus, starred review as, “An eloquent depiction of how birding engenders a deep love of our ecosystems and a more profound understanding of ourselves."
    Priyanka's debut novel, Take Wing and Fly Here, was published in 2013 to critical acclaim, and her essays and criticism have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and many others. 
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    In this file Priyanka Kumar and I discussed:

    How to find the perfect cover art

    Growing up in the most biodiverse part of the world

    Why we face unprecedented distraction

    The importance of bird song

    How technology rewires our creative spirit 

    Why you need to replace your insipid lawn with xeriscaping

    And a lot more!

    Show Notes:

    priyankakumar.com


    Conversations with Birds By Priyanka Kumar (Amazon)

    Priyanka Kumar Author Page on Amazon

    Kelton Reid on Twitter


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    • 41 min
    How Hemingway Wrote with Prof. Mark Cirino

    How Hemingway Wrote with Prof. Mark Cirino

    #PodcastersForJustice
    "Writing, at its best, is a lonely life." – Ernest Hemingway
    Ernest Hemingway scholar and author, Professor Mark Cirino, spoke to me about the ethos of the late literary lion, how Hemingway outlived his myth, and his mission to uncover Hem's truest sentence.
    Dr. Cirino hosts the popular Hemingway Society-sponsored podcast, One True Podcast. He is also the author of eight books about American literature as a writer or editor. His most recent is One True Sentence: Writers & Readers on Hemingway’s Art (2022), with Michael Von Cannon.
    Described as "A selection of the greatest sentences by the master, Ernest Hemingway..." selected and examined by contemporary authors. Publishers Weekly called it “A revelatory compendium ... a rewarding tapestry ... readers are likely to come away with a deepened understanding of—and even awe at—Hemingway’s vast talent.”
    Mark Cirino serves as an editor for Kent State University Press’s Reading Hemingway series, and served as a consultant on the film adaptation of Hemingway's "Across the River and into the Trees." He taught creative writing and literature at NYU, and now teaches literature at the University of Evansville.
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    In this file Mark Cirino and I discussed: 

    Why "Writing, at its best, is a lonely life"

    The importance of finding your writing community

    How The Sun Also Rises made Hem a literary celebrity

    The only thing you have to do as a writer

    Why each writing project requires new discipline

    An open invitation to Bob Dylan

    And a lot more!

    Show Notes:

    Dr. Mark Cirino - Professor and Department Chair


    One True Sentence: Writers & Readers on Hemingway’s Art by Mark Cirino and Michael Von Cannon (Amazon)

    Mark Cirino Author Page on Amazon


    One True Podcast: Hosted by Mark Cirino and produced by Michael Von Cannon

    Kelton Reid on Twitter


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    • 44 min
    How #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Robert Crais Writes

    How #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Robert Crais Writes

    #PodcastersForJustice
    Award-winning and #1 NY Times bestselling author, Robert Crais, spoke to me about breathing life into the ur detective novel, the legacy of Raymond Chandler, his love of LA, and his latest, "Racing the Light."
    Robert Crais is the author of 23 novels, 19 of which feature private investigator Elvis Cole and his laconic ex-cop partner, Joe Pike. The first in the series, The Monkey’s Raincoat, won the Anthony and Macavity Awards and was nominated for the Edgar Award.
    The latest is Racing the Light, described as "... a pulse-pounding read and Elvis Cole's most dangerous case yet." Bestselling author David Baldacci called it "... another grand slam for the master storyteller Robert Crais. If there’s a better dynamic duo than Elvis Cole and Joe Pike in all of crime fiction, I’m not aware of it.”
    On Reader's Digest's list of "30 new books we can't wait to read in 2022," Kirkus Reviews said that, "... [Crais] keeps the traditional detective novel alive and well."
    In a previous life Robert Crais was an Emmy-nominated TV writer/producer and spent several years writing scripts for classic television series like Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, and Miami Vice.
    Stay calm and write on ...
    Get 'The Writer Files' Podcast Delivered Straight to Your Inbox
    If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please "Follow" us to automatically see new interviews.
    In this file Robert Crais and I discussed:

    Burning out as a TV writer and chasing the dream of becoming a novelist

    Why he never anticipated fame

    How his novel LA Requiem changed the trajectory of his career

    When your author name gets bigger than the title

    Why he'll always be a meticulous outliner

    And a lot more!

    Show Notes:

    robertcrais.com


    Racing the Light (An Elvis Cole and Joe Pike Novel Book 19) by Robert Crais (Amazon)

    Robert Crais Author Page on Amazon

    Robert Crais on Facebook

    Robert Crais on Instagram

    Robert Crais on Twitter

    Kelton Reid on Twitter


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    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
161 Ratings

161 Ratings

James McAndrew ,

The Best

Consistently the best podcast for aspiring writers. High-powered guests, with poignant questions posed by an intelligent host.

irma0408 ,

Best podcast for aspiring writers

This is one of my favorite podcasts to listen to that gets into the behind the scenes of accomplished writers’ habits and working lives. And an additional benefit - Kelton’s smooth husky voice is like honey melting the jagged crevices off an English muffin.
One suggestion for my own interest, wish that every author/writer was asked what books they are currently reading, or what books on writing made them biggest impact in their writing journey. I’m always looking for book recommendations!
Thanks for all the work you do Kelton!

Maliboogal ,

The Podcast for Writers

This is definitely the podcast for writers! No longer are car rides spent wasting time- instead thought provoking questions on how someone changed writing focus or how they focus on writing allows us to hear the answers to the questions we would ask if given the opportunity. Kudos- and my TBR list gets longer with each episode!

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