a weekly radio program hosted by author Barbara DeMarco-Barrett and co-host Marrie Stone, on the art and business of writing. More on the show, writers, and writing at penonfire.com. Follow us on Twitter @WOWkuciFM and Facebook at Writers on Writing KUCI-FM.
Novelist Erica Ferencik, Girl in Ice
Erica Ferencik, author of Girl in Ice, talks with Barbara DeMarco-Barrett about her new novel, creatures that can freeze and thaw out alive, why she's a plotter, writing the book she wished existed, and more. Erica Ferencik is an award-winning novelist who writes adventure novels featuring women who brave not only internal struggles but face extreme challenges in their environment: remote forests, steaming jungles, and desolated ice scapes. To research GIRL IN ICE, (Scout Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster), she explored the desolate iceberg-packed fjords of Greenland. Download audio. (Recorded in June 2022) Music and sound design by Travis Barrett Barbara DeMarco-Barrett: www.penonfire.com Marrie Stone: www.marriestone.com Travis Barrett: https://travisbarrett.mykajabi.com Visit our Patreon page at www.patreon.com/writersonwriting
Alexis Schaitkin, author of "Elsewhere"
Alexis Schaitkin joins Marrie Stone to talk about her latest novel, Elsewhere (to be published by Celadon on June 28, 2022). The speculative fiction story explores the perils and pleasures of motherhood, how mothers judge one another, how women can often disappear into motherhood — and into aging — and how sometimes they can find themselves again. The setting is evocative and the issues are profound. Schaitkin shares several backstories behind the novel, including the inspiration for this hauting fictional village, her many attempts to find her way into the story, how she let go of her expectations for the novel, and how she once again managed a large cast of characters. For novelists, there's mounds of advice for character development and structure. For speculative fiction writers, there are insights for creating effective rules for your world. For Schaitkin's fans, there's fun backstories on how she constructs her novels and the themes she remains interested in exploring. Schaitkin's first novel, Saint X, was a NYT Notable Book of 2020 and is being adapted into a miniseries by Hulu. Download audio. (Recorded on June 9, 2022) Music and sound design by Travis Barrett Barbara DeMarco-Barrett: www.penonfire.com Marrie Stone: www.marriestone.com Travis Barrett: https://travisbarrett.mykajabi.com
Novelist, Steve Almond, All the Secrets of the World
Steve Almond, author of All the Secrets of the World (Zando, 2022) joins Barbara DeMarco-Barrett to discuss his new novel and why he wanted to write a social novel, how it took him five tries to get it right, and much more on the process of writing. Steve is the author of twelve books of fiction and nonfiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His recent books include William Stoner and the Battle for the Inner Life, which is about reading and writing and the struggle to pay attention to our lives, and Bad Stories, a literary investigation of the 2016 election. For four years, Steve hosted the New York Times Dear Sugars podcast with Cheryl Strayed. His short stories have been anthologized widely, in the Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize, Best American Erotica, and Best American Mysteries series. His new book is a novel called All the Secrets of the World. Download audio. (Recorded on May 27, 2022, via Zoom audio) Music and sound design by Travis Barrett Check out his typewriter compositions at Just My Type on Spotify Barbara DeMarco-Barrett: www.penonfire.com Marrie Stone: www.marriestone.com Travis Barrett: https://travisbarrett.mykajabi.com Find us on Patreon.com/writersonwriting
Jess Walter, author of collection "The Angel of Rome"
Novelist and short story writer Jess Walter joins Marrie Stone to talk about his latest collection, The Angel of Rome. Jess is the author of seven novels (including The Cold Millions and Beautiful Ruins), two collections of short stories, and a non-fiction book. He is the recipient of the Edgar Allan Poe Award (Citizen Vance), and was a finalist for the National Book Award (The Zero). Walter talks about assembling the collection, choosing these 12 thematic stories out of 40 or 50 choices. He discusses effective humor, the difference between sentiment and sentimentality, and how to avoid cliches and stereotypes. He also talks about his ability to access elderly characters, writing a Gen X collection while not identifying completely with Gen X, and so much more. For more information about Jess Walter, upcoming events, and more visit his website here. We also invite you to check out our new Patreon page, where we offer weekly writing tips and prompts, as well as other goodies for our loyal listeners. This week's tip was inspired by this conversation. Thanks for listening! Download audio. (Recorded on June 2, 2022) Music and sound design by Travis Barrett Barbara DeMarco-Barrett: www.penonfire.com Marrie Stone: www.marriestone.com Travis Barrett: https://travisbarrett.mykajabi.com
Novelist Jeffrey Fleishman
Jeffrey Fleishman, author of the brand new novel, Good Night, Forever (Blackstone), and Barbara DeMarco-Barrett talk about setting your book where you live, side characters, crime fiction and social issues, and so much more. Download audio. Jeff Fleishman is foreign and national editor at the Los Angeles Times. Previously, he was a senior writer on film, art and culture. A 2002 Nieman fellow at Harvard University, Fleishman was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in feature writing. A longtime foreign correspondent, he served as bureau chief for The Times in Cairo and Berlin, and was previously based in Rome for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He has been a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting and a finalist for the Center for Public Integrity’s Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting. He is the author of three novels: “My Detective,” “Shadow Man” and “Promised Virgins: A Novel of Jihad.” (Recorded on April 27, 2022.) Music and sound design by Travis Barrett Barbara DeMarco-Barrett: www.penonfire.com Marrie Stone: www.marriestone.com Travis Barrett: https://travisbarrett.mykajabi.com
A.J. Jacobs, author of "The Puzzler"
Immersion journalist A.J. Jacobs returns to the show to talk with Marrie Stone about his latest book, The Puzzler: One Man's Quest to Solve the Most Baffling Puzzles Ever, from Crosswords to Jigsaws to the Meaning of Life. Along the way he shares mounds of writing advice, including the importance of approaching your work with a curious mindset, how finding a toehold in your writing can help you expand, how constraints lead to creativity and so much more. A.J. also shares why, after all his many books, the writing process is still difficult and how he overcomes his resistance. Check out this essay for a sneak peek into that conversation. Beyond the great writing advice, A.J. also shares his infectious love for puzzles and the many wonderful backstories and interviews behind the writing of this book. Geeks, puzzlers, and writers alike will take much away from this conversation. Download audio. (Recorded on May 4, 2022) Music and sound design by Travis Barrett Barbara DeMarco-Barrett: www.penonfire.com Marrie Stone: www.marriestone.com Travis Barrett: https://travisbarrett.mykajabi.com
A distinctive slant on author interviews
There are plenty of podcasts that interview authors about the themes of their latest books. But Writers on Writing is unique in its focus on the craft and experience of writing. It offers a welcome opportunity for authors to discuss the choices they made in their work, and the process they follow overall. It’s like a free and virtual MFA program each week.
Not worth listening to-political whining
Fantastic guests and info on the craft of Writing!
Barbara and Marrie have a wide variety of authors from memoirist to mystery writers to short story writers and more. As a fledgling writer, I’m learning so much about how to write from the top authors of the day! They have a way of making interviews feel like I’m listening in on conversations between friends. I love this podcast!