393 episodes

“Learn how acclaimed writers keep the ink flowing, the cursor moving, and avoid writer’s block.”
Each week, host Kelton Reid chats with guests like Nobel Prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah, on life after becoming a laureate; #1 New York Times bestselling author, Emily Henry on her past life as a YA mid-lister; Celebrated author, Walter Mosley, on his conflicted feelings after winning a National Book Award; NY Times bestselling author, Lisa Scottoline, on what she learned from literary lion Philip Roth; #1 NY Times bestselling author Dennis Lehane on what he borrowed from Clint Eastwood; and bestselling author, Matt Haig, on the process behind his novel, The Midnight Library, 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 • 197 Ratings

“Learn how acclaimed writers keep the ink flowing, the cursor moving, and avoid writer’s block.”
Each week, host Kelton Reid chats with guests like Nobel Prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah, on life after becoming a laureate; #1 New York Times bestselling author, Emily Henry on her past life as a YA mid-lister; Celebrated author, Walter Mosley, on his conflicted feelings after winning a National Book Award; NY Times bestselling author, Lisa Scottoline, on what she learned from literary lion Philip Roth; #1 NY Times bestselling author Dennis Lehane on what he borrowed from Clint Eastwood; and bestselling author, Matt Haig, on the process behind his novel, The Midnight Library, and serial guest hosts: neuroscientist Michael Grybko, journalist Adam Skolnick, and short story writer Robert Bruce.

    How Lauded Debut Author Isabel Banta Writes

    How Lauded Debut Author Isabel Banta Writes

    Lauded debut author, Isabel Banta, spoke to me about working at Books Are Magic with Emma Straub, her love of Britney Spears, and capturing Y2K era pop superstardom in her debut novel HONEY.

    Isabel Banta is a writer, book publicist, and indie bookseller at Books Are Magic in Brooklyn.

    Her debut novel is HONEY, named a 'GMA' Buzz Pick and described as “...a coming-of-age story about a pop star in the late '90s and early 2000s who's determined to find and claim her own identity.”

    Honey was named a best book of the summer by PEOPLE, ELLE, PureWow and Our Culture, as well as a Goodreads Editor's Choice and IndieNext Pick.

    New York Times bestselling author Emma Straub said of the book, "Honey is a sexy swagger of a debut." LitHub named it one of 18 Books to Read this Summer, “A delightfully bubblegum novel of hot summer nostalgia that also lands some serious blows to the patriarchal mores of a cultural milieu we still haven’t fully shaken off.”

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    In this file Isabel Banta and I discussed: 
    Why she loves talking about and promoting other writers
    The surreality of finally publishing her own book
    How she approached the subject of the commodification of young stars in the music industry
    Why you need to pivot POVs as a novelist
    Her writing routine
    And a lot more!

    Show Notes:
    isabelbanta.com
    Honey: A Novel By Isabel Banta (Amazon)
    Isabel Banta on Instagram
    Kelton Reid on Twitter
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    • 38 min
    How #1 NY Times Bestselling Author Jodi Picoult Writes

    How #1 NY Times Bestselling Author Jodi Picoult Writes

    #1 New York Times bestselling author, Jodi Picoult, spoke with me about writing for Wonder Woman, adapting books for musical theater, and the question of Shakespeare's true authorship in her upcoming novel BY ANY OTHER NAME.
    Jodi Picoult is the bestselling author of 30 novels, including landmark titles such as Mad Honey – her most recent 1 million-copy bestseller – Wish You Were Here, A Spark of Light, and Small Great Things. 40 million copies of her books are in print worldwide and have been translated into 34 languages.
    Her forthcoming novel is BY ANY OTHER NAME (on sale 8/20; Ballantine), described as a novel about two women, centuries apart – one of whom is the real author of Shakespeare’s plays – who are both forced to hide behind another name.
    #1 New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah said of the book, “You’ll fall in love with Emilia Bassano, the unforgettable heroine based on a real woman that Picoult brings vividly to life in her brilliantly researched new novel.” Elle called it, “[An] inspiring work of feminist literature inspired by real historical accounts.”
    Jodi was also co-librettist for the stage musical adaptation of her young adult novel Between the Lines (which premiered Off-Broadway in Summer 2022), the co-librettist of the musical BREATHE, the co-librettist of the musical adaptation of The Book Thief, and she is currently at work on an adaptation of Austenland.
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    In this file Jodi Picoult and I discussed: 

    What's changed and what hasn't for women (in theater) over 400+ years?

    The best time to break an arm for an author

    How she works in cycles for her books

    Why her kids made her write for Wonder Woman

    The conundrum of a famous playwright who didn’t own a single book

    And a lot more!

    Show Notes:

    jodipicoult.com


    By Any Other Name: A Novel By Jodi Picoult (Amazon)

    Jodi Picoult Amazon Author Page


    WAS SHAKESPEARE A WOMAN? – Elizabeth Winkler for The Atlantic


    Jodi Picoult on Facebook

    Jodi Picoult on Twitter

    Jodi Picoult on Instagram

    Jodi Picoult on TikTok

    Kelton Reid on Twitter


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    • 36 min
    How Critically Acclaimed Author Tracy O'Neill Writes

    How Critically Acclaimed Author Tracy O'Neill Writes

    Critically acclaimed author, Tracy O'Neill, spoke with me about reality hunger vs. the hyper-realness of the pandemic, writing a love letter to friendship, and searching for her birth mother in her noir-adjacent memoir WOMAN OF INTEREST.
    Tracy O'Neill is a National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 honoree, and the author of The Hopeful, one of Electric Literature's Best Novels of 2015, and Quotients, a New York Times​ New & Noteworthy Book, TOR Editor's Choice, & Literary Hub Favorite Book of 2020.
    Her first book of nonfiction is the memoir WOMAN OF INTEREST (HarperOne; on-sale: 6/25/24) described by The Millions as “an intimate memoir written with the narrative propulsion of a detective novel” in their list of Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2024.
    In a Starred Review Publishers Weekly, called it “…riveting… cool, noir-tinted prose shot through with wit and compassion, O’Neill presents her inquiry as a sort of metaphysical detective story. Readers will be riveted.”
    Her writing has appeared in Granta, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, the New Yorker, LitHub, and BOMB, among other publications. She teaches at Vassar College and holds an MFA from the City College of New York and a PhD from Columbia University.
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    In this file Tracy O'Neill and I discussed:
    COVID as a catalyst for life change
    Why real life doesn’t adhere to any genre
    Meditations on language and storytelling
    How her process has evolved from fiction to non-fiction
    And a lot more!
    Show Notes:
    tracyoneill.net
    Woman of Interest: A Memoir By Tracy O'Neill (Amazon)
    Tracy O'Neill Amazon Author Page
    Tracy O'Neill on Twitter
    Tracy O'Neill on Instagram
    Kelton Reid on Twitter
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    • 36 min
    Living the Dream with Jeff Goins

    Living the Dream with Jeff Goins

    Bestselling author, podcaster, blogger, speaker, and my friend Jeff Goins, recently brought me along on a creative journey called Hey, Creator! and it was some of the most fun I’ve had as a podcast producer. I also learned a lot from Jeff over the course of the show.
    We’re back with another episode from the second season we did together titled “Living the Dream.”`
    Jeff Goins helps creative people succeed. Through his bestselling books, courses, coaching, and speeches, he shares his ongoing transformation journey, inspiring creators to discover their voice and share it with the world.
    He is also the founder of Fresh Complaint, a bespoke creative agency that helps authors, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs turn their stories and ideas into books that change the way people think.
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    In this file Jeff Goins and I discussed:
    What tattoos, dreams, and bulls have in common
    This dream-like existence we call life
    The creator’s dilemma of making sense of the mystery
    And a lot more!
    Show Notes:
    goinswriter.com
    freshcomplaint.com
    Hey, Creator! Podcast
    Jeff Goins Amazon Author Page
    Kelton Reid on Twitter
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    • 1 hr 4 min
    How Bestselling Author Fred Waitzkin Writes

    How Bestselling Author Fred Waitzkin Writes

    Bestselling author, Fred Waitzkin, spoke with me about journalism, Searching for Bobby Fischer, the thin veil between fiction and non-fiction, and the Zen of his latest novel ANYTHING IS GOOD.
    Fred Waitzkin is the journalist and internationally acclaimed bestselling author of Searching for Bobby Fischer, made into the Academy Award-nominated film of the same name.
    His work has appeared in Esquire, New York Magazine, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Outside, Sports Illustrated, and Forbes, among other publications.
    Fred Waitzkin’s fourth novel, Anything Is Good, is described as a “... hypnotically compelling tale of a man haunted by the fate of his childhood buddy, and of that friend’s pleasures and misfortunes as he navigates an unhoused life.”
    Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks said of the book, “Anything Is Good, based on the true story of a brilliant and beleaguered childhood friend, offers a deeply affecting dive into the lives of the unhoused.”
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    [If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click FOLLOW to automatically see new interviews. And drop us a rating or a review wherever you listen]
    In this file Fred Waitzkin and I discussed:
    Finding his unique voice as a journalist
    Why great writers blend non-fiction and fiction
    How he chose the subject matter of his latest book
    The evolution of his process as a novelist
    Why he hates the question, “What’s next?”
    And a lot more!
    Show Notes:
    FredWaitzkin.com
    Anything Is Good by Fred Waitzkin (Amazon)
    Fred Waitzkin Amazon Author Page
    Fred Waitzkin on Facebook
    Fred Waitzkin on Instagram
    Kelton Reid on Twitter
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    • 38 min
    How NY Times Bestselling Author Jami Attenberg Writes: Redux

    How NY Times Bestselling Author Jami Attenberg Writes: Redux

    NOTE: This is an updated replay of my amazing chat with New York Times bestselling author, Jami Attenberg, in honor of the start of #1000WordsofSummer that kicked off June 1st! Take a listen to learn more about how to jump in and get going. You can always sign up at 1000wordsofsummer.substack.com to get a letter each day from Jami encouraging you to write 1000 words, additional notes from contributing authors, on writing, creativity, and productivity, and there are write-alongs, a slack channel, and of course the book. Enjoy!
    New York Times bestselling author, Jami Attenberg, spoke with me about documenting the process of being a writer online and off, building a global literary movement, and her latest, 1000 Words: A Guide to Staying Creative, Focused, and Productive All-Year Round.
    Jami Attenberg is the New York Times bestselling author of seven books of fiction, including The Middlesteins, All Grown Up, and her recent memoir, I Came All This Way to Meet You. Her work has been published in 16 languages, she is the founder of the annual #1000WordsofSummer project and maintains the popular Craft Talk newsletter.
    Jami Attenberg’s latest is 1000 Words: A Writer's Guide to Staying Creative, Focused, and Productive All Year Round. “Inspired by [her] wildly popular literary movement #1000WordsofSummer, this writer’s guide features encouraging essays on creativity, productivity, and writing from [over 50] acclaimed authors including Roxane Gay, Lauren Groff, Celeste Ng, Meg Wolitzer, and Carmen Maria Machado.”
    Lit Hub said of the book, “It will be the new Bird by Bird, you heard it here first.” A Booklist, Starred Review called it “A fantastic set of essays… Readers of this collection will feel surrounded and bolstered by like-minded people who have been in the trenches.”
    [Discover The Writer Files Extra: Get 'The Writer Files' Podcast Delivered Straight to Your Inbox at writerfiles.fm]
    [If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click FOLLOW to automatically see new interviews. And drop us a rating or a review wherever you listen]
    In this file Jami Attenberg and I discussed:
    The blessing and the curse of knowing you’re a writer 
    How she built an online writing community into a literary movement
    Her tongue-in-cheek approach to the craft
    The reason she uses the seasons as a metaphor for writers
    How to harness the power of write-alongs
    And a lot more!
    Show Notes:
    JamiAttenberg.com
    1000wordsofsummer.substack.com
    1000 Words: A Writer's Guide to Staying Creative, Focused, and Productive All Year Round by Jami Attenberg (Amazon)
    Jami Attenberg Amazon Author Page
    Jami Attenberg on Twitter
    Jami Attenberg on Instagram
    Kelton Reid on Twitter
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
197 Ratings

197 Ratings

Essovaro ,

Very informative

I have ADHD so listening to this episode let me understand that I am not the only one struggling to sit down and write. It also helped with some suggestions I could use.

Tess Enterline ,

A great listen!

If you’re a writer (and even if you’re not), you’ll find listening to The Writer Files to be time well spent. Kelton Reid knows how to interview a writer and keeps it interesting.

1979Camaro ,

My Favorite Podcast on Writing

Just began listening to the show, starting from the first episodes and absolutely love it. Such a fantastic show for writers.

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