131 episodes

This is a podcast for emerging writers, who are looking to improve their work with an aim to having it published, or anyone who would like a behind-the-scenes look at the publishing industry. Your host, Bianca Marais (the author of 'Hum If You Don't Know the Words' and 'If You Want to Make God Laugh') will be interviewing authors, agents, editors and just about anyone and everyone who's involved in bringing a book to market. She's joined by her cohosts, literary agents Carly Watters and CeCe Lyra, from P.S. Literary Agency who read and critique query letters and opening pages in their Books with Hooks segment. Expect good advice, honest insights, and a few laughs along the way.

The Shit No One Tells You About Writing Bianca Marais, Carly Watters and CeCe Lyra

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

This is a podcast for emerging writers, who are looking to improve their work with an aim to having it published, or anyone who would like a behind-the-scenes look at the publishing industry. Your host, Bianca Marais (the author of 'Hum If You Don't Know the Words' and 'If You Want to Make God Laugh') will be interviewing authors, agents, editors and just about anyone and everyone who's involved in bringing a book to market. She's joined by her cohosts, literary agents Carly Watters and CeCe Lyra, from P.S. Literary Agency who read and critique query letters and opening pages in their Books with Hooks segment. Expect good advice, honest insights, and a few laughs along the way.

    Writing Memoir, Planting Curiosity Seeds & Choosing Inciting Incidents

    Writing Memoir, Planting Curiosity Seeds & Choosing Inciting Incidents

    In today's Bonus Episode, CeCe chats with Zibby Owens, podcaster, publisher, CEO and author of Bookends: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Literature. They play two truths and a lie (the writing version); discuss a  strategy for turning memories into memoir; and Zibby's writing and publishing advice for emerging writers. 
    After which, Bianca chats with Samantha M. Bailey, bestselling author of Watch Out for Her about sewing curiosity seeds; writing messy first drafts; being aware of your writing crutches; 
    choosing your tenses intentionally; and what it's like to be a bestselling author.

    Finally, Bianca chats with Natasha Omokhodion-Kalulu Banda, award-winning author of No Be From Hia, about the challenges of writing a multi-POV, multi-timeline debut novel; ensuring the voice grows with the character from child to adult; inciting incidents—on and off the page; and working with editors before you query.

    Find us on our socials:
    Twitter: @TSNOTYAW @BiancaM_author @carlywatters @ceciliaclyra
    Instagram: @biancamarais_author @carlywatters @cece_lyra_agent @ the_shit_about_writing
    Facebook: @tsnotyaw
    Website: www.biancamarais.com and www.theshitaboutwriting.com
    Zibby can be found at @zibbyowens on Twitter and Instagram, and at www.zibbyowens.com
    Samantha can be found at @sbaileybooks on Instagram and Twitter, and at www.samanthambailey.ca
    Natasha can be found at @tashomokhodian on Instagram

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Using a Pen Name & Advice for Showing vs Telling - Riley Sager

    Using a Pen Name & Advice for Showing vs Telling - Riley Sager

    On today's Books with Hooks segment, Carly and CeCe are joined by Caroline and Sammy who submitted their work for critique. During the discussion, Carly and CeCe remind us to lean into specificity in opening pages; the importance of plausibility as well as newer comp titles; the ‘movie trailer’ trick for dealing with interiority; avoiding generic interiority; and advice for researching the speech patterns of characters from a different time period.
    After which, Bianca chats with Riley Sager, NYT bestselling author of The House Across the Lake, about having various pen names; pivoting as a writer; making setting a character in and of itself; showing vs telling, particularly in the thriller genre; the benefits of not giving too much away and making readers do the work; and writing an effective prologue.

    Find us on our socials:
    Twitter: @TSNOTYAW @BiancaM_author @carlywatters @ceciliaclyra
    Instagram: @biancamarais_author @carlywatters @cece_lyra_agent @ the_shit_about_writing
    Facebook: @tsnotyaw
    Website: www.biancamarais.com and www.theshitaboutwriting.com
    Riley can be found at @riley_sager on Twitter and @riley.sager on Instagram, and at www.rileysagerbooks.com

    • 1 hr 9 min
    A Genre Guide, What Postcard Scenes Are, Resources Available to Writers, and a Bookstagrammer Gives You Comps

    A Genre Guide, What Postcard Scenes Are, Resources Available to Writers, and a Bookstagrammer Gives You Comps

    In today's Bonus Episode, Bianca chats with Lidija Hilje, an Author Accelerator certified book coach about differentiating between genres; how to use her genre guide; the differences between literary, upmarket, book club, and women’s fiction; how literary fiction moves a story deeper, not forward; what “postcard” scenes are and how to use them; as well as Lidija’s editing and book coaching services and upcoming summer group coaching intensive.

    After which, Bianca chats with Kailey. Creator and Community Manager of Write or Die Tribe, about how critique is just like sex; services that Write or Die offers like mentorships, upcoming classes, Small Press Corner, upcoming contests, and literary magazines open for submissions; not underestimating the power of getting acceptances in literary magazines and small presses to boosts your bio; interviews and articles that are resources for writers; as well as remote job opportunities.

    Finally, Bookstagrammer, Katy Stanekvitz, of @KatyisReading, joins us to give you comp titles!

    Find us on our socials:
    Twitter: @TSNOTYAW @BiancaM_author @carlywatters @ceciliaclyra
    Instagram: @biancamarais_author @carlywatters @cece_lyra_agent @ the_shit_about_writing
    Facebook: @tsnotyaw
    Website: www.biancamarais.com and www.theshitaboutwriting.com
    Lidija can be found at lidijahilje.com
    Kailey can be found at @writeordietribe and Twitter, and at www.writeordietribe.com
    Katy can be found at @katyisreading on Instagram and Twitter

    • 47 min
    May Cobb's Insights on Writing

    May Cobb's Insights on Writing

    In today's Books with Hooks, Carly and CeCe look at the same 3 queries, discussing a technique for discerning whether your plot points are too internal; the difficulties of having a very emotional character in an opening scene; and the importance of plausibility in plot. Carly and CeCe also fight over a query in a good way!

    After which, Bianca chats with May Cobb, author of My Summer Darlings, about how to make a prologue successful; peppering a novel with present day interludes instead of a dual timeline narrative; the pressures of the sophomore novel; and the experience of working with a freelance editor.

    Find us on our socials:
    Twitter: @TSNOTYAW @BiancaM_author @carlywatters @ceciliaclyra
    Instagram: @biancamarais_author @carlywatters @cece_lyra_agent @ the_shit_about_writing
    Facebook: @tsnotyaw
    Website: www.biancamarais.com and www.theshitaboutwriting.com
    May can be found at @maykcobb on Twitter and @may_cobb on Instagram, and at www.maycobb.com

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Tips for Romance Writers, Blurred Genres & We Answer Your Questions

    Tips for Romance Writers, Blurred Genres & We Answer Your Questions

    In today's Bonus Episode, Femi Omotade joins us as a guest interviewer to chat with Ava Wilder, author of How to Fake It in Hollywood, to chat about tropes and elements that are not as prominent anymore in romance; reflecting a world in which there are authentic, diverse characters without appropriating voices that aren’t your own and without it feeling like tokenism; writing sex scenes; what Ava learned from writing the first book that she’s using in writing her second of a two-book deal; and Ava's recommended reading for tips on how to write a good romance novel.

    After which, Bianca chats with Georgia Clark, author of Island Time, about how genres can be in flux; keeping up with your genre and current books in your genre; writing an ensemble cast; non-fantasy world-building; and using and omniscient narrator for setting the scene/tone in a prologue.

    Finally, Carly and CeCe answer your publishing and writing questions in this jam-packed Q & A session.

    Find us on our socials:
    Twitter: @TSNOTYAW @BiancaM_author @carlywatters @ceciliaclyra
    Instagram: @biancamarais_author @carlywatters @cece_lyra_agent @ the_shit_about_writing
    Facebook: @tsnotyaw
    Website: www.biancamarais.com and www.theshitaboutwriting.com
    Ava can be found on Instagram and Twitter at @avawilderwrites and her website is www.ava-wilder.com
    Georgia can be found at @georgialouclark on Instagram and Twitter and her website is www. gerogiaclark.com
    Femi can be found at @thebookalert on Instagram

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Trusting Your Subconscious and Yourself

    Trusting Your Subconscious and Yourself

    In today’s Books with Hooks, Carly and CeCe evaluate the same three query letters, and in the process, they offer solutions for when your novel doesn’t seem to have any similar comps; remind us of the importance of story-forward curiosity; and explain what’s necessary in historical fiction to ensure the feel of a certain time period.
    After which, Bianca chats with Isabel Cañas, author of The Hacienda, about the inspiration for the book; carefully choosing your comps; the archetypes of the gothic novel; overturning canons deeply rooted in English literature; writing modern takes on 19th century settings; when writing feels like a fever dream; overcoming rejection and writing what you’re passionate about; pivoting when it comes to genre; writing in sprints; allowing some degree of pantsing so that characters can have agency, because your subconscious knows what it’s doing; and how having no agent is better than having a bad agent.   
    Find us on our socials:
    Twitter: @TSNOTYAW @BiancaM_author @carlywatters @ceciliaclyra
     Instagram: @biancamarais_author @carlywatters @cece_lyra_agent @ the_shit_about_writing
     Facebook: @tsnotyaw
     Website: www.biancamarais.com and www.theshitaboutwriting.com
    Isabel can be found at @Isabelcanas_ on Twitter and Instagram, and at www.isabelcanas.com
     
     


     

    • 1 hr 3 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

BaileyBezuidenhout ,

My favourite podcast right now

I wait for Thursday every week to listen to this podcast. I’m a long time fan of Bianca’s and love her interviews and insights. The manuscript and query letter reviews by agents Cecilia Lyra and Carly Watters are brilliant. Highly recommend it for any aspiring writer.

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