DIY MFA Radio

Gabriela Pereira

Take your writing from average to awesome, and learn tools of the trade from bestselling authors, master writing teachers, and publishing industry insiders. This podcast will give you tools and techniques to help you get those words on the page and your stories out into the world. Past guests include: Delia Ephron, John Sandford, Steve Berry, Jojo Moyes, and more.

All Episodes

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing someone very special. Aside from being an author of a hilarious romantic comedy, she is also a mainstay of the DIY MFA community. This person is, of course, Tammy Lough. Growing up, Tammy had dual-career goals, she wanted to be a nurse and a writer. When she was three she played nurse to her dolls when they got sick, fell off her bed, or broke their bones. She also began writing poems and stories and never stopped. In later years, when multiple sclerosis forced her to leave her career as an intensive care nurse-manager, she came back to her writing with the same passion and drive she brings to everything. This past year, Parallel Pathways published her first romantic comedy and debut novel, Lacey’s Deception. Tammy is a mom of two sons and grandma to three adorable grandchildren. She writes a monthly column, “On the Back Page with Tammy,” for Saturday Writers, a Chapter of the Missouri Writers Guild, and is an active member of the Romance Writers of America and South West Writers. She is also the Romance Columnist for DIY MFA.   In this episode Tammy Lough and I discuss: How mistaken identities can be a vehicle for humor, especially in a rom-com. Why she thinks the middle can be the best part of the writing process.  What role the rule of three plays in building the tension and humor in her novel.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/386

Dec 1

46 min 23 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Amanda Polick. Amanda is a writer, book coach, and food writing columnist for DIY MFA. She began her career with acting and improv, she shifted focus to food writing which led to her being the first dedicated segment producer of Facebook Live for Time Inc. While in that role, she oversaw more than 300 live segments and created the company’s Food Media Junket, bringing in James Beard award-winning and Michelin-Starred chefs for over a dozen food and lifestyle brands. These days, she helps food folks through the book writing process, helping them craft a story only they can tell.  Her work has been featured by Cooking Light, Time, Southern Living, Food & Wine, and more.. She lives in Nashville, but a piece of her heart will always belong in California.   In this episode Amanda Polick and I discuss: Why food writing can encompass so much more than just the “how-to” element. How to find your own voice and discover what is unique about you in your writing. The importance of challenging yourself as a writer and what you can learn in the process.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/385

Nov 24

49 min 53 sec

Today, I have the pleasure and honor of interviewing Marcus Harrison Green. Marcus is the publisher of the South Seattle Emerald, and a columnist with the Seattle Times.  Growing up in South Seattle, he experienced first-hand the impact of one-dimensional stories on marginalized communities, which taught him the value of authentic narratives. After an unfulfilling stint in the investment world during his twenties, Marcus returned to his community with a newfound purpose of telling stories with nuance, complexity, and multidimensionality with the hope of advancing social change. This led him to become a writer and to found the South Seattle Emerald. He was awarded the Seattle Human Rights Commissions’ Individual Human Rights Leader Award for 2020. On a more personal note, Marcus is a word nerd. He is part of our community, and when he reached out to share that he would be publishing his first collection of essays—Readying to Rise—I knew we had to have him on the show.   In this episode ​​Marcus Harrison Green and I discuss: How he achieved a unity of voice as he put together his debut essay collection. The importance of looking honestly at ourselves and how that can make society better. Why he loves living the life of the writer and what it allows him to do in the world.   Plus, his #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/384

Nov 17

51 min 9 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Catherine Baab-Muguira. Catherine is a writer and journalist who has contributed to many media outlets, including Slate, Quartz, CNBC and NBC News. She is a frequent podcast and radio guest, with appearances on NPR and Lifehacker’s Upgrade. Catherine currently lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and baby son. Today we’ll be discussing her first book, Poe for Your Problems: Uncommon Advice from History’s Least Likely Self-Help Guru, which came out this past September.   In this episode Catherine Baab-Muguira and I discuss: How Edgar Allan Poe unexpectedly inspired her to write a book about mental health. Why she keeps her day job and how it helps her avoid literary snobbery. The value of learning to write good copy and the art of marketing your book. Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/383

Nov 10

52 min 11 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Khanh Ha. Khanh is the author of Flesh and The Demon Who Peddled Longing.  He is a seven-time Pushcart nominee, finalist for the Mary McCarthy Prize, Many Voices Project, Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and The University of New Orleans Press Lab Prize.  He is the recipient of the Sand Hills Prize for Best Fiction, the Robert Watson Literary Prize in Fiction, The Orison Anthology Award for Fiction, and The C&R Press Fiction Prize.  His new novel, Mrs. Rossi’s Dream, was named Best New Book by Booklist and a 2019 Foreword Reviews INDIES Silver Winner and Bronze Winner   In this episode Khanh Ha and I discuss: How he writes death scenes in a way that is comfortable for him and powerful for the reader. The difference between style and voice and how writers can make both unique. Why writers need to stay faithful to their character when creating the POV of the narrative.   Plus, his #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/382

Nov 3

46 min 48 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Debbie Macomber. Debbie is the author of many books including: It's Better This Way, A Walk Along the Beach, Window on the Bay, Cottage by the Sea, Any Dream Will Do, If Not for You, and the Rose Harbor Inn series. Thirteen of her novels have been New York Times #1 bestsellers, and five of her beloved Christmas novels have been hit movies on the Hallmark Channel. The Hallmark Channel has also produced the original series Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove, based on her Cedar Cove books. With more than 200 million copies of her books in print worldwide, Debbie is a leading voice in romance and women's fiction.   In this episode Debbie Macomber and I discuss: How our subconscious comes out in writing and directs the topics we explore. The balance between writing light Christmas stories and still providing substance. Why she began her book with a series of letters and flashbacks mixed with the present.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/381

Oct 27

43 min 13 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Stephanie BwaBwa. Stephanie is a Jesus-centered, young adult and fantasy author, writing in the universe of Elledelle about black angels in magical worlds with impressive powers that mirror the human condition. She loves writing stories centered around feisty angels with complicated pasts, unexpected futures, learning to take up causes bigger than themselves, who may or may not fall in love along the way. Stephanie is a Canadian-born, Haitian-raised, Congolese descended, North American dweller who lived a colorful life in south Florida that cultivated a perspective on the world as unique as her background. As the author of The Seraphim Resistance Prequels and The Transcendents serial, Stephanie has built her own self-publishing empire. She is also an avid reader of fantasy and fiction, and columnist for DIY MFA.   In this episode Stephanie BwaBwa and I discuss: How comic books helped her develop the world in her YA fantasy universe. Her method for crafting a serial series and dealing with the unknowns. Why she loves world building and how she avoided sharing too many details at once.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/380

Oct 20

1 hr 6 min

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Andy Marino. Andy Marino was born in upstate New York, spent half his life in New York City, and now lives in the Hudson Valley. He works as a freelance writer. The Seven Visitations of Sydney Burgess is his first horror novel   In this episode Andy and I discuss: Why addiction and recovery provide a rich backdrop for a horror novel. How he crafted a cold open that created a sympathetic bond between his protagonist and readers. Whether horror is a genre or a mood and what characteristics define it.   Plus, his #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/379

Oct 13

56 min 14 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Kiffer Brown. Kathryn (Kiffer) Brown is the CEO and co-founder of Chanticleer Reviews and Chanticleer Int’l Book Awards (The CIBAs) that Discover Today’s Best Books. The company differentiates itself with "under the hood" digital technology that increases the digital footprint of each book review and CIBA winner developed by her super-geek husband, Argus Brown.  Kiffer has presented at events such as: Writer's Digest Conference in NYC, IBPA University, Women in Publishing Summit, Pacific Northwest Writers Conference, RWA National Conference, Historical Novel Society, BEA UpubU, ALLi, Left Coast Crime Conference, and many more.  The annual Chanticleer Authors Conference held in Bellingham, WA features international best-selling authors such as Cathy Ace, Robert Dugoni, J.D. Barker, Ann Charles (and more!). The event focuses on marketing and book promotion, advanced writing craft, and Book-to-Film sessions.   In this episode Kiffer and I discuss: Why there has never been a better time to be an author than NOW. What makes something a review as opposed to a write-up and the four types of reviews. How advanced reviews help in promoting your book and when you should start getting them.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/378

Oct 6

1 hr

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Philip Lopate. Phillip is the author of over a dozen books:  4 personal essay collections (Bachelorhood, Against Joie de Vivre, Portrait of My Body, and Portrait Inside my Head), as well as Being with Children, Waterfront, and Notes on Sontag 3 works of fiction (Confessions of Summer, The Rug Merchant, and Two Marriages) 3 poetry collections (The Eyes Don’t Always Want to Stay Open, The Daily Round, and At the End of the Day).   He has also edited several anthologies, including one of my personal favorites—Art of the Personal Essay—and he’s the author of To Show and To Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction.  He is a professor in Columbia University's MFA Writing Program, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.   In this episode Phillip and I discuss: Why you need to have some things you haven’t worked out when you begin to write an essay. The ground rules, selection process, and organizational structure for his three volume anthology. What qualities make for a great essay, what can kill a piece, and the role the past plays.   Plus, his #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/377

Sep 29

44 min 1 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Elizabeth Gonzalez James. Elizabeth’s stories and essays have appeared in The Idaho Review, The Rumpus, PANK, and elsewhere, and have received numerous Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. She is also a regular contributor to Ploughshares Blog. Her debut novel Mona at Sea was a finalist in the 2019 SFWP Literary Awards judged by Carmen Maria Machado, and is out now. We’ll be discussing her book and her writing process in today’s interview.   In this episode Elizabeth and I discuss: How she wrote about an unemployed character in an interesting and refreshing way. The importance of assembling a good critique group and reading good craft books. Why persistence and patience are major parts of the publishing journey.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/376

Sep 22

48 min 59 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Traci Sorell and Carole Boston Weatherford. Traci is the author of the critically acclaimed book We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga. She is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation and lives in northeastern Oklahoma, where her tribe is located. Today we’re talking about her picture book Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer (Illustrated by Natasha Donovan). Carole is the author of numerous award-winning books including the Newbery Honor book Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom (illustrated by Michele Wood), and R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (illustrated by Frank Morrison). Today we’re discussing her picture book Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre (Illustrated by Floyd Cooper). When she's not traveling or visiting museums, Carole is mining the past for family stories, fading traditions, and forgotten struggles. She lives in North Carolina.   In this episode Traci, Carole and I discuss: Why they each decided to tell these forgotten stories as middle grade picture books. The deliberate and unique choices they made in structuring their narratives. How they created a distinct sense of time and place to ground their books.   Plus, their #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/375

Sep 15

57 min

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Finola Austin. Finola Austin, also known as the Secret Victorianist on her award-winning blog, is an England-born, Northern Ireland-raised, Brooklyn-based historical novelist and lover of the 19th century. Her first novel, Bronte's Mistress, was published in 2020. When she’s not writing novels or her blog, she works in digital advertising.   In this episode Finola and I discuss: How household and gender roles have and have not changed since the 19th century. The difference between being “accomplished” and being “clever” and why it’s problematic. Why she created a timeline to help fill in gaps in knowledge as she drafted her novel.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/374

Sep 8

1 hr 1 min

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Marissa Levien. Marissa is a writer and artist who hails from Washington State and now lives in New York with a kindly journalist and their two cats. The World Gives Way is her first novel.   In this episode Marissa and I discuss: How current and recent events influenced the dystopian future of her novel. The unique point of view shifts she writes at the beginning of The World Gives Way. Why empathy, human connection, and hope get readers to follow the journey.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/373

Sep 1

1 hr 6 min

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Rajani LaRocca. Rajani was born in India, raised in Kentucky, and now lives in the Boston area, where she practices medicine and writes award-winning novels and picture books.  She has always been an omnivorous reader, and now she is an omnivorous writer of fiction and nonfiction, novels, picture books, prose and poetry.  She finds inspiration in her family, her childhood, the natural world, math, science, and just about everywhere she looks.   In this episode Rajani and I discuss: The importance of showing different approaches to problem solving and thinking. How she represented sibling dynamics in her picture book, Bracelets for Bina’s Brothers. Why she starts with a story and her unique approach to character building.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/372

Aug 25

47 min

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Kris Clink. Kris writes about relatable characters who rely on humor and tenderness to navigate complicated relationships. Set in middle America, her novels are laced with romance, heartbreak, and just enough snarky humor to rock the boat. When not writing, Kris spends her time searching for an open karaoke mike and an understanding audience. Born and raised in the Texas Panhandle, Kris lives in Wichita, Kansas with her husband and two spoiled-rotten pups. She’s also the host of Kris Clink’s writing table, a podcast for writers and book lovers. Today we’ll be discussing her debut novel, Goodbye, Lark Lovejoy, which is out now.   In this episode Kris and I discuss: Why she writes the flap copy for her next book before she begins drafting it. How she wrote a not necessarily likeable character that readers can engage with. What makes a book one genre versus another and why that can be important.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/371

Aug 18

43 min 32 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Tracy Dobmeier and Wendy Katzman. Tracy Dobmeier and Wendy Katzman have been great friends for over 20 years and are now co-authors. Their friendship has sustained them through the ups and downs of raising kids, juggling careers, and creating new family traditions. Girls with Bright Futures, their debut novel, out now, is a dark, suspenseful journey into the cutthroat world of college admissions. Between the two of them, they have undergraduate degrees from Princeton University and the University of Michigan, a law degree from UC Berkeley, careers in marketing, non-profit leadership, and biotechnology law, two husbands, and four kids (three of whom have survived the college admissions process without a single parent landing in jail).    In this episode Tracy, Wendy, and I discuss: How focusing on mother-daughter relationships escalated the tension. What they learned from keeping their cowriting process intentionally simple. Why they made their alpha protagonist a bit of an outsider.   Plus, their #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: www.diymfa.com/370

Aug 11

47 min 30 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Elly Griffiths. Elly is the author of the Ruth Galloway and Brighton mystery series and the stand-alone novels The Stranger Diaries and The Postscript Murders. She is a recipient of the Edgar Award for Best Novel, the Mary Higgins Clark Award and the CWA Dagger in the Library Award. She lives in Brighton, England. Today we’ll be discussing The Postscript Murders, which was released earlier this year. The Night Hawks from her Ruth Galloway series is also out now, and The Midnight Hour (from her Brighton mystery series) is on sale November 2nd.   In this episode Elly and I discuss: Why so many people have been turning to mysteries during the pandemic. How to get readers to take a leap of faith and what you must do in return. Making sure that the right clue appears at the right time in a mystery novel.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: www.diymfa.com/369

Aug 4

47 min 46 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Veronica G. Henry. Veronica was born in Brooklyn, New York, and has been a bit of a rolling stone ever since. Her work has appeared in various online publications. She is a graduate of the Viable Paradise Workshop and a member of SFWA (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America). She now writes from North Carolina, where she eschews rollerballs for fountain pens and fine paper. Other untreated addictions include chocolate and cupcakes. Today we’ll be talking about her debut novel (which I am reading and LOVING) Bacchanal.   In this episode Veronica and I discuss: Her literary influences and how they each blur the line between real and fantasy. Why she included the downsides to her protagonist having an amazing ability. What scenes were difficult for her to write and how she powered through.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: www.diymfa.com/368

Jul 28

39 min 41 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Brandie June. Brandie spent most of her childhood onstage or reading, as both activities let her live in fantastic stories. She moved to Los Angeles to study acting at UCLA, and eventually branched out into costume design and playwriting. While she spends most of her free time writing, she will still take any excuse to play dress-up, especially if it involves wearing a crown.  She happily promotes more stories as a marketing director for kids' films and anime. When not writing or marketing, she can often be found doing aerial arts, playing board games, drinking too much espresso, and coming up with new art projects. She lives with her husband, two spoiled rescue pups, a spoiled cat, six fish tanks, and five bookshelves. Today we’ll be discussing her debut novel, Gold Spun.   In this episode Brandie and I discuss: How a love of fairytales and a unique NaNoWriMo project led to her debut novel. Why she likes morally grey characters and how she brought that out in Goldspun. What factors influenced her decision to not worry about historical accuracy.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/367

Jul 21

46 min 40 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Alexander Weinstein. Alexander is the author of the collections Universal Love and Children of the New World, which was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and a best book of the year by NPR, Google, and Electric Literature. His fiction and interviews have appeared in Rolling Stone, World Literature Today, Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, and Best American Experimental Writing. He is the founder and director of The Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing and is a Professor of Creative Writing at Siena Heights University. Today we will be talking about his latest story collection: Universal Love.   In this episode Alexander and I discuss: How he balanced hope and cynicism in stories set in the not too distant future. His process for building a short story collection and choosing what was included. Why you should embrace the mess of early drafts and take plenty of risks.   Plus, his #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: www.diymfa.com/366

Jul 14

45 min 21 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Emily R. King. Emily is the author of the Hundredth Queen series, along with Before the Broken Star, Into the Hourglass, and Everafter Song in the Evermore Chronicles. Her latest novel is Wings of Fury, which was released earlier this year, and we’ll be discussing it today. It is the first in the Wings of Fury duology; the second book, Crown of Cinders, will be out in October of this year. Born in Canada and raised in the United States, Emily is a shark advocate, a consumer of gummy bears, and an islander at heart, but her greatest interests are her children and three cantankerous cats.    In this episode Emily and I discuss: How she chose which versions of mythology she was going to use in her novels. What she learned about the role and lives of women in Ancient Greece. Why she wrote a duology as opposed to a trilogy or a longer series.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/365

Jul 7

48 min 39 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Ana Maria Spagna. Ana Maria is the author of Uplake: Restless Essays of Coming and Going and several previous nonfiction books on nature, work, civil, indigenous, and LGBTQ rights. Her previous books include: Reclaimers, stories of elder women reclaiming sacred land and water, which was a finalist for the 2016 Rachel Carson Book Award from the Society of Environmental Journalists, the memoir/history Test Ride on the Sunnyland Bus: A Daughter’s Civil Rights Journey, winner of the 2010 River Teeth literary nonfiction prize, 100 Skills You’ll Need for the End of the World (as We Know It) which is a humor-infused exploration of how to live more lightly on the planet, and two essay collections, Potluck and Now Go Home.  Her first novel for young people, The Luckiest Scar on Earth, about a 14 year-old snowboarder and her activist father, released in 2017, and her first chapbook of poetry, Mile Marker Six, will appear from Finishing Line Press this fall.  Ana Maria’s work has been recognized by the Nautilus Book Awards, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Awards, and as a four-time finalist for the Washington State Book Award. Her essays have appeared in Orion, Ecotone, Fourth Genre, Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, The Normal School, and regularly in High Country News. After working fifteen years on backcountry trail crews for the National Park Service, she turned to teaching and is currently on the faculty of the low-residency MFA programs at Antioch University, Los Angeles and Western Colorado University.   In this episode Ana Maria and I discuss: How to write, assemble, and edit collections for two genres at the same time. The importance of non-writing work and why it is so valuable to the process. What writers of prose can learn from reading and writing poetry.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: www.diymfa.com/364

Jun 30

41 min 53 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing award-winning debut author Denny S. Bryce. Denny won the RWA Golden Heart® and was a three-time GH finalist, including twice for Wild Women and the Blues. She also writes book reviews for NPR Books and entertainment articles for FROLIC Media. Additionally, the former professional dancer and public relations professional is a self-proclaimed history geek. She credits this obsession to her maternal grandmother, Ella Elizabeth Joseph, who immigrated from Montego Bay, Jamaica, to New York City in 1923. Recently, Denny relocated from Northern Virginia to Savannah, Georgia.   In this episode Denny and I discuss: What she hoped to accomplish by writing about two vastly different generations. Why she loves the third person close POV and what it creates for readers. How she built the world of 1920s Jazz Age Chicago and the Black Renaissance.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: www.diymfa.com/363

Jun 23

45 min 1 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Leslie A. Rasmussen. Leslie was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She graduated with a bachelor’s in communications from UCLA and went on to write television comedies for Gerald McRaney, Burt Reynolds, Roseanne Barr, Norm McDonald, Drew Carey, and Ralph Macchio, as well as The Wild Thornberrys and Sweet Valley High. She later earned a master’s degree in nutrition and ran her own business for ten years. Most recently, Leslie has written personal essays for online magazines such as Huffington Post, Maria Shriver, and SheKnows. She loves dogs and in addition to having two adorable Labradors, she volunteers at the Burbank Animal Shelter in Burbank, California. Leslie lives in Los Angeles and has two sons, and a husband she’s been with since college. After Happily Ever After is her debut novel and it is out now.   In this episode Leslie and I discuss: How she captured family dynamics by writing about three different generations. The ways her past as a sitcom writer helped her create a strong supporting cast. Why she chose to write about after the typical “happily ever after” ending.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: www.diymfa.com/362

Jun 16

46 min 5 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Tasha Suri. Tasha is an award-winning author, occasional librarian and cat owner. Her books include the Books of Ambha duology and The Jasmine Throne, (which is out now). When she isn’t writing, Tasha likes to cry over TV shows, buy too many notebooks, and indulge her geeky passion for reading about South Asian history. She lives with her family in a mildly haunted house in London.   In this episode Tasha and I discuss: Why she wanted to depict different kinds of strength and how she pulled it off. Her advice for tying together multiple points of view. (Her novel has ten POVs!) How to write a book proposal for a novel and other advice for getting published.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: www.diymfa.com/361

Jun 9

51 min 12 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Jas Rawlinson. Jas is a best-selling author, book coach, and resilience speaker who specialises in stories that change lives. Growing up in a small country town, Jas first fell in love with the power of literature as a young girl, and would often disappear into the world of writing to escape from the family violence in her home. It was here that she made a promise to one day find a way to support other survivors and victims of domestic violence; and in 2016, she fulfilled that promise by co-founding Brisbane's first permanent domestic violence memorial. Endorsed by names like Kevin Hines and Lifeline, Jas has been featured across major media outlets including ABC and Authority Magazine, and in 2021, was named as one of Yahoo Finance's top 10 book coaches to watch. She believes that everyone has a story with the power to inspire, impact, and change lives.   In this episode Jas and I discuss: Why good storytelling is so important to successfully conveying your message. Common misconceptions about memoir and create a shared vocabulary. Her advice for writing about difficult memories and the importance of self-care.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. Type For more info and show notes: www.diymfa.com/360

Jun 2

56 min 28 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Jeff Arch. Jeff grew up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he spent two of his high school years at a boarding school much like the one depicted in his debut novel Attachments, which we’ll be discussing today. In the ’70s, he studied film/tv/theater production at Emerson College in Boston and then moved to LA, where he worked as a concert lighting designer and toured the country with national rock and reggae acts while teaching himself to write screenplays on the side. Years later, he was teaching high school English and running a martial arts school when heard the call to write again. In 1989, he sold the school he’d built, rented a small office, and gave himself one year to write three screenplays.  The second of those―a quirky romantic comedy where the two lovers don’t even meet until the very last page―sold almost immediately, and Sleepless in Seattle became a surprise megahit worldwide.  For his screenplay, Jeff was nominated for an Oscar, as well as for Writers Guild and BAFTA awards, among others. His other credits include the Disney adventure film Iron Will, New Line’s romantic comedy Sealed With a Kiss, and the independent comedy Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys. His script for Saving Milly, based on Mort Kondracke’s searing memoir, earned the 2005 Humanitas Nomination, an honor he treasures.  Jeff is a father, stepfather, father-in-law, and grandfather and is based in Malibu.   In this episode Jeff and I discuss: His method for moving characters with their own agendas through the plot. How to avoid the dreaded info dump and his advice for what to do instead. Why you shouldn’t focus on the theme, but should worry about the story instead.   Plus, his #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/359

May 26

55 min 25 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing my dear friend Thien-Kim Lam. Thien-Kim writes stories about Vietnamese characters who smash stereotypes and find their happy endings. She and I first connected at an entrepreneurship event and instantly bonded over our love of books and our penchant for challenging the status quo of our respective industries. Thien-Kim is also the founder of Bawdy Bookworms, a subscription box that pairs sexy romances with erotic toys (featured on NPR, BBC America, and NBC). Plus, she also writes about multicultural parenting at I’m Not the Nanny and has been featured on NBC News Asian America, BBC World, and NPR’s All Things Considered. Plus, she has written for Momtastic, YourTango, Frolic, NBC News, and other outlets. Happy Endings is her debut novel and we’ll be discussing it today. Quick heads up before we dive in: when friends like us get together and start chatting about a sexy rom-com featuring a protagonist who sells sex toys… things might go in a non-PG-rated direction. So if you’ve got kiddos hanging around, now might be a good time to put in some headphones. And if listening to two girlfriends talk about steamy romance and sex toys is not your jam… well, you have been warned. Okay folks, without further ado, I am super-excited to introduce you to my friend Thien-Kim!   In this episode Thien-Kim and I discuss: Why she chose to begin her novel with tension between the main love interests. Giving her protagonist a unique career and how that strengthened the character. What she learned from having to relaunch her business after pivoting.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/358

May 19

45 min 1 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Suyi Davies Okungbowa. Suyi is a Nigerian author of fantasy, science fiction and other speculative works inspired by his West-African origins. His new novel, Son of the Storm, is the first in the epic fantasy trilogy called The Nameless Republic, and he is also author of the acclaimed and award-winning godpunk fantasy novel David Mogo. His shorter fiction and essays have appeared internationally in various periodicals and anthologies, including Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda and Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy. He has taught writing at the University of Arizona and spoken at various venues and institutions in the US and beyond. In this episode Suyi and I discuss: How to create intricate contradictions within characters and the plot of your story. The role narrator and point of view play in the meaning and importance of a story. Why he used a marketplace as a foundation for building his story’s world.   Plus, his #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/357

May 12

46 min 32 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Rebecca Fish Ewan. Poet and cartoonist, Rebecca's passion is mingling text with visual art, primarily in ink and watercolor, to tell stories of place and memory. Her hybrid-form work has appeared in After the Art, Brevity, Crab Fat, Survivor Zine, Hip Mama, Mutha, TNB, Punctuate & Under the Gum Tree. Her illustrations and essay, “The Deepest Place on Earth,” were published in the Literary Kitchen anthology, Places Like Home. She was also a long-time DIY MFA columnist, writing about books with words and pictures, and she continues as part of our extended team as a contributor at large. Rebecca has an MFA in creative writing from ASU, where she has been a landscape design professor for 25+ years. She grew up in Berkeley, California, and lives with her family in Arizona. Her book-length work includes A Land Between, By the Forces of Gravity, Water Marks, and her new book, Doodling for Writers, which released October 2020.   In this episode Rebecca and I discuss: How writers can get out of their own way and reclaim their love of drawing. Why writers need to embrace searching as a part of the writing process. The importance of finding tools you love (and she shares her favorites!).   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/356

May 5

49 min 44 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Rena Rossner. Rena hails from Miami Beach, Florida. She is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars Program and holds an MA in history from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Her debut novel, The Sisters of the Winter Wood was listed as “One of the 100 Best Books” of the year by Publisher's Weekly. She currently lives in Israel with her husband, five children, and a pug, where she works as a literary agent. Her grandparents and great grandparents are from Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Hungary, and Romania. Their stories inspire her work. Today we’ll be discussing her latest novel, The Light of the Midnight Stars.   In this episode Rena and I discuss: Why narration is the element that most directly connects the reader to the story. Her process for creating different voices and making them each distinct. How she juggles being a literary agent with her writing career (and personal life!).   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/355

Apr 28

49 min 35 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing C.L. Clark. Cherae graduated from Indiana University’s creative writing MFA and was a 2012 Lambda Literary Fellow. In addition to writing, she has had various jobs as she’s traveled the world, including: personal trainer, English teacher, editor, or some combination thereof. When she’s not writing or working, she’s learning languages, doing P90something, or reading about war and post-colonial history. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in FIYAH, PodCastle, Uncanny, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies and she is now one of the co-editors at PodCastle and editor of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA) Blog.   In this episode C.L. and I discuss: How to identify which character is the protagonist and whether there can be two. The relationship between magic, religion, and technology and how she uses it. Different ways to handle conflict and the approach she takes in her writing.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/354

Apr 21

43 min 10 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing David Yoon. David is the author of the New York Times bestseller Frankly In Love, as well as the upcoming YA novel Super Fake Love Song and adult thriller Version Zero. He also drew the illustrations for his wife Nicola Yoon's #1 New York Times bestseller Everything, Everything. He and his wife are also heading up a new imprint of Random House Children’s Books called Joy Revolution. This imprint will debut in 2022 and will be devoted to publishing teen love stories by and about people of color.   In this episode David and I discuss: Why he decided to write a book for adults after success in the YA genre. Uncovering your central dramatic question and how to explore it in your writing. His process for “Marie Kondo-ing” his brain and what he does with the space.   Plus, his #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: DIYMFA.com/353

Apr 14

36 min 21 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing someone I have the honor of considering both a colleague and friend, Chuck Wendig. Chuck is the New York Times bestselling author of Wanderers, Star Wars: Aftermath, the Miriam Black thrillers, and the Atlanta Burns books, as well as Zer0es and Invasive, alongside other works across comics, games, film, and more. He was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and an alum of the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, and he served as the co-writer of the Emmy-nominated digital narrative Collapsus. He is also known for his popular blog, terribleminds, and he’s one of the few people I follow on Twitter and actually read what they post. He has also written books about writing such as Damn Fine Story, and today we’ll be talking about his latest book, a collection of inspirational nuggets titled: You Can Do Anything, Magic Skeleton!   In this episode Chuck and I discuss: The inspiration behind his latest book, which began as a series of tweets. How good writing subverts readers’ expectations in some way. Why you shouldn’t take any one piece of writing advice too seriously.   Plus, his #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/352

Apr 7

42 min 43 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Sophfronia Scott. Sophfronia is a novelist and essayist whose work has appeared in Time, People, O: The Oprah Magazine, as well as many other outlets. Her first novel, All I Need to Get By, was nominated for best new author at the African American Literary Awards and Sophfronia was hailed by Henry Louis Gates Jr. as "one of the best writers of her generation." She is a prolific writer whose work spans both fiction and nonfiction, and her other books include Unforgivable Love, Love's Long Line, and This Child of Faith: Raising a Spiritual Child in a Secular World, which she co-wrote with her son Tain. Her essays “The Legs On Which I Move” and “Why I Didn’t Go to the Firehouse” are listed in the Best American Essays series. Her next book is The Seeker and the Monk: Everyday Conversations with Thomas Merton, and is out now from Broadleaf Books. The recipient of a 2020 Artist Fellowship Grant from the Connecticut Office of the Arts, Sophfronia holds degrees from Harvard and the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is currently director of Alma College’s MFA in Creative Writing, which is a low-residency grad program based in Alma, Michigan. This interview is a little bit of a departure from our usual subject matter of authors talking about their latest books and instead Sophfronia and I will be doing a deep dive on MFA pedagogy. As you know, the DIY MFA philosophy is not anti-MFA, and we strive to complement what MFA programs are already doing quite well. And, of course, when I build new curriculum for DIY MFA, I draw from my own experiences as a MFA student, along with several other sources as well. I am beyond thrilled to have Sophfronia on the show to talk about writing, MFA programs, and a writer’s education. Embed Audio Here In this episode Sophfronia and I discuss: How her background in journalism, ghostwriting, and her desire to coach other writers inspired her to pursue an MFA.  What a low residency MFA program can prepare you for as a full time career writer and the logistics and benefits of attending one. Why reading and building community are imperative to the DIY MFA experience as well as a writer’s life and growth.   Plus, their #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/351

Mar 31

58 min 56 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Simon Stephenson. Originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, Simon is a writer and screenwriter now living in LA (with stop-overs in London and San Francisco along the way).  His first book was the memoir Let Not The Waves Of The Sea, about losing his brother Dominic in the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. It won Best First Book at the Scottish Book Awards in 2011. His most recent novel, Set My Heart To Five, was released in summer 2020 and this is what we’ll be discussing today.   In this episode Simon and I discuss: His method for writing a “mis-topia” future and how that differs from a dystopia. Why writing a character without feelings allows you to explore feelings more. What role movies played in developing his protagonist and the plot.   Plus, his #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/350

Mar 24

51 min 11 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Jeremy Hance. Jeremy is writer and freelance environmental journalist, who also happens to cohabitate with mental illnesses. He has named his OCD Steve and his depression goes by the name of Malachi. He is the author of the memoir Baggage: Confessions of a Globetrotting Hypochondriac. As a journalist, Jeremy is passionate about wildlife conservation, climate change, forests, animal behavior, and indigenous people and many other topics. His work has appeared in Mongabay, the Guardian, HuffPost, Ensia, YaleE360, Sydney Morning Herald and others. His story on the Sumatran rhino was chosen for the 2019 edition of the Best American Science and Nature Writing. Jeremy has traveled to over 30 countries on five continents and considers himself ridiculously lucky to have spent time with singing rhinos, dinosaur mammals, and angry clown fish. He is graduate of Macalester College with a major in English and minor in History as well as the Great Books Master’s Degree program at St. John’s College. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with his wife, daughter, and pooch. When he’s not writing, he enjoys time with friends, cups of tea, long hikes, longer naps, even longer novels, and playing Dungeons and Dragons.   In this episode Jeremy and I discuss: How he juggled writing about travel, mental illness, and nature in one book. Why he chose to write his memoir thematically as opposed to chronologically. What myths he hoped to dispel by writing so openly about his mental illness.   Plus, his #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/349

Mar 17

46 min 16 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Michelle Cox. Michelle is the author of the multiple award-winning Henrietta and Inspector Howard series. She also writes Novel Notes of Local Lore, a weekly blog dedicated to Chicago’s forgotten residents. Her books have been praised by Kirkus, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and more. It’s highly possible that Michell may have once lived in the 1930s and, since time travel has yet to be invented, she has resorted to writing about the era as a way of getting herself back there. She is a lover of board games, period dramas and big band music. Also, marmalade. In this episode Michelle and I discuss: How her experiences working in a nursing home influenced her novel. Her method for writing societal issues revolving around wealth, women’s roles, and mental health. Her decision to use She Writes Press and what sets them apart from traditional and self-publishing. Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/348

Mar 10

58 min 49 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing the award-winning author and my friend, Leanna Renee Hieber. Leanna is an actress, playwright and the author of thirteen Gothic, Gaslamp Fantasy novels for adults and teens. Her books have been published by Tor and Kensington Books and they include the Strangely Beautiful saga, the Magic Most Foul trilogy, the Eterna Files trilogy and The Spectral City series. She is a four-time Prism Award winner and a Daphne du Maurier Award finalist. Leanna’s short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and her books have been translated into many languages. She also has a forthcoming serialized work with Scrib’d as well as a project with Serial Box. A woman of many talents, she tours the country performing the one-woman show By the Light of Tiffany: A Meeting with Clara Driscoll, and is also a licensed ghost tour guide for Boroughs of the Dead in New York City. Leanna has been featured in film and television on shows like Boardwalk Empire and Mysteries at the Museum. Her website is a treasure trove of writing resources and you’ll find the link (along with more info about Leanna) on the show notes page of this episode. Find out more about Leanna on her website and follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Youtube,  Etsy, and Facebook. In this episode Leanna and I discuss: How it’s important to be nimble when something like a pandemic or something else unexpected upends your schedule and projects. What certain historical events and aspects of the turn of the century show up in her found-family Fantasy narrative Dead Ringer. Why it was important to have discussions with her editor about how to determine stylistic writing choices and how things should end when writing a serial.   Plus, their #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/347

Mar 3

58 min 6 sec

  Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Cynthia Leitich Smith. Cynthia is a New York Times bestselling author known for her award-winning children’s and YA books. She writes both realistic contemporary stories and fantastical narratives, and most recently, she won the American Indian Youth Literature YA Award for Hearts Unbroken published by Candlewick. Today we’ll be discussing one of her most recent projects: Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for kids, a middle grade anthology published by Heartdrum, a Native-focused imprint at HarperChildren’s where Cynthia is the author-curator. In addition to her work in publishing, she is also on the faculty of the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is a citizen of Mvskoke Nation and makes her home in Austin, Texas. In this episode Cynthia and I discuss: How the lack of Native representation in Middle Grade books inspired Cynthia’s writing and the impetus for Heartdrum. What elements are important to include when writing specifically for Middle Graders and how MG is distinct from YA. Why it’s important to create an inclusive feeling  of a “we” not “me” book within diverse literature. Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/346

Feb 24

49 min 12 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Ellie Cypher. Ellie Cypher grew up in Northern California, received her B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavior from UC Santa Cruz and got her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of California Davis. She has lived and worked all over the world from New Zealand to Tasmania to the United Kingdom. When she is not writing, you can find her spending her time caring for all manner of creatures great and small, dreaming about traveling, drinking too much coffee or generally wandering about the beautiful Smoky Mountains with her husband and eleven-year-old black lab. Today we’ll be discussing her debut novel, a YA fantasy titled The Girl from Shadow Springs. In this episode Ellie and I discuss: How the first line is usually what pops into her head first and inspires her to write the book. Why the arctic wilderness was the perfect backdrop for her novel as it has “a sense of being alone in a void...massive expanse and insular isolation”. What part language, vernacular, and modulation of voice play in stretching the boundaries of the speech characters use and building the world around them.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For info and show notes: diymfa.com/345  

Feb 17

53 min 28 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Sharon Harrigan. Sharon is the author of the new novel Half, which has received accolades from places like Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Foreword Reviews, and the New York Journal of Books. She earned her a B.A. from Barnard College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Pacific University. She is also the author of the memoir Playing with Dynamite and she teaches at WriterHouse in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she lives with her family.   In this episode Sharon and I discuss: What it means to come of age and how her novel Half addresses that. Why it is important to assess what type of point of view to use for a project. How to use voice as a bridge between the writer and the reader.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/344

Feb 10

43 min 19 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Tim Waggoner. Tim is a critically-acclaimed author of over fifty novels and seven short story collections. He writes original dark fantasy and horror, as well as media tie-ins. He’s also the author of a comprehensive book on writing horror called Writing in the Dark. His novels include Like Death, which is considered a modern classic in the horror genre, and the popular Nekropolis series of urban fantasy novels. He’s written tie-in fiction for Supernatural, Grimm, the X-Files, Doctor Who, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Alien, and Transformers, among other properties, and he’s written novelizations for films such as Kingsman: the Golden Circle and Resident Evil: the Final Chapter. His articles on writing have appeared in Writer’s Digest, The Writer, Writer’s Journal, Writer’s Workshop of Horror, and Where Nightmares Come From. In 2017 he received the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction, and he’s been a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award, the Scribe Award, and the Splatterpunk Award. His fiction has appeared several times in the Year’s Best Hardcore Horror, and he’s received numerous Honorable Mentions in volumes of Best Horror of the Year. In 2016, the Horror Writers Association honored him with the Mentor of the Year Award. In addition to writing, he’s also a full-time tenured professor who teaches creative writing and composition at Sinclair College in Dayton, Ohio.   In this episode Tim and I discuss: Where different kinds of horror writing fit in relation to other speculative genres. How psychology plays into the crafting of a horror story. Why horror is not just plot and what it’s really about instead. Plus, his #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/343

Feb 3

49 min 29 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Julie Carrick Dalton. As a journalist, Julie has published more than a thousand articles in The Boston Globe, BusinessWeek, The Hollywood Reporter, Electric Literature, and other publications. She contributes to Dead Darlings, Writer Unboxed, and The Chicago Review of Books. A Tin House alum and graduate of GrubStreet’s Novel Incubator, Julie holds a master’s in literature and creative writing from Harvard Extension School. She is passionate about climate fiction and is a frequent speaker on the topic of writing fiction in the age of the climate crisis. A Mom to four kids and two dogs, Julie is an avid skier, hiker, and kayaker. She also owns a small farm in rural New Hampshire, which is the backdrop for her debut novel, Waiting for the Night Song. In this episode Julie and I discuss: How Julie initially wrote her story, the parts she omitted to get to the heart of it, and how she used Scrivener to put it all back together.  What made one of Julie’s childhood friendships so significant that it inspired the plot of the story. Why Climate Fiction is an important, budding genre that Julie believes needs fostering.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/342

Jan 27

47 min 48 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Jason Naylor. Jason is an award-winning artist and designer based in NYC. He is known for his bright colors and even brighter messages. His work has received tons of awards and recognition, including the Golden Novum Design award and two CLIO Fashion&Beauty Bronze medals. He has also been featured on HGTV and the Discovery Channel. In 2018, Jason was named by BUMBLE as one of the 100 Most Inspiring New Yorkers, and his colorful creations have found partnership with brands like Coach, Guess, Pepsi, and Maybelline. Jason’s mission is to spread color and positivity across the globe. His brightly colored designs and positive words reflect his zeal for life, his quest for joy and his love of LOVE.   In this episode Jason and I discuss: The ways his book is a visual version of the perfect mixed tape. How negative space and imagination work together to create a story. Why people see the same colors differently (hint: it’s rooted in science!).   Plus, his #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/341

Jan 20

50 min 24 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Adam Smyer. Adam Smyer is an attorney, martial artist, and mediocre bass player. His nonfiction has appeared in the Johannesburg Review of Books, and his debut novel, Knucklehead, was the sole title short-listed for the 2018 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. Adam lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and cats. You Can Keep That to Yourself is his latest work, and we’ll be discussing it today.   In this episode Adam and I discuss: The tremendous amount of luck involved between starting and publishing a book. Why eradicating micro-aggressions is important in eliminating major aggressions. The important role humor can play in addressing a very serious topic.   Plus, his #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/340

Jan 13

38 min 6 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Rachel Beanland. Rachel Beanland writes fiction and essays, and has recently released her debut novel. Her essays have appeared in Creative Nonfiction and Broad Street, among other places, and she has an MFA in creative writing from Virginia Commonwealth University. With bachelor’s degrees in art history and journalism, Rachel worked in public relations and nonprofit management before focusing on writing full time. She currently lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and three children. Her debut novel is Florence Adler Swims Forever, which we’ll be discussing here today.   In this episode Rachel and I discuss: How a family tragedy influenced her approach to writing her debut novel. Why rotating perspectives helped with secret-keeping throughout her story. Her experience with workshopping her novel as she wrote it.   Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/339

Jan 6

45 min 26 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Alexandra Monir. Alexandra is an Iranian-American author and recording artist who has published six popular young adult novels. Her internationally-bestselling debut, Timeless was a Barnes & Noble Bestseller and Amazon.com “Best Books of the Month.” In 2018 she published the hit sci-fi novel The Final Six and Sony Pictures optioned the film rights in a major pre-empt deal. More recently, she has followed up with a sequel—The Life Below—which was published earlier this year. Alexandra was chosen as part of a group of global bestselling authors to write for the New York Times-bestselling DC ICONS series. Her book is Black Canary: Breaking Silence, the first-ever YA novel about that DC Comics superhero. Next up, Alexandra is writing a historical fantasy YA for Disney based on Princess Jasmine. In this episode Alexandra and I discuss: How she honors her grandmother in her career, especially in her latest book. Her method for creating a complex cast of villains for Black Canary. Why she incorporated original music into the release of her book. Plus, her #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/338

Dec 2020

53 min 10 sec

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing Brad Fox. Brad is a novelist, journalist, translator, and former relief worker currently quarantined in rural Peru. His novel To Remain Nameless was a Paris Review staff pick, an SPD recommended new fiction title, has been a small press bestseller since its release. It was named by Dennis Cooper as a Best Book of 2020. Brad’s stories, essays, and articles have appeared in The New Yorker, Guernica, and the Whitney Biennial and some of his upcoming work will be featured in “From the Deep,” a major exhibition at the Smithsonian Museum of African Art in 2021. Brad left the US in the late 1990s and began working as a feature writer and television producer in the former Yugoslavia. Since that time, he has worked in various countries around the globe, doing different forms of humanitarian and arts-related work. In March earlier this year, he left New York for what was meant to be a twelve-day trip to northeastern Peru, with the goal of studying with a traditional medicine practitioner and completing a book on the bathysphere dives — the first eyewitness account of the deep ocean. That twelve-day trip has extended much longer than those original twelve days, and he’s been doing virtual book launch events from a little table on the edge of the jungle, surrounded by monkeys, hummingbirds and poisonous ants.   Embed Audio Here In this episode Brad and I discuss: How his partner’s experiences as a doula inspired many of the characters and the structure of his book To Remain Nameless. What voice and POV techniques Brad used to transition between past and present to give his language “energy”. Why “writing for no reason” and experimenting in the moment is a large part of Brad’s writing process.   Plus, their #1 tip for writers. For more info and show notes: diymfa.com/337

Dec 2020

44 min 48 sec