Episode 163: Reading Matters — Interview with Nancy Pearl

Hey there word nerds! Today I am so delighted to have Nancy Pearl on the show! Nancy is a book world legend. From her more than three decades of experience as a librarian and bookseller, to her worldwide speaking engagements on the importance of reading, she has become the go-to person for all things literary…. Read more »

It’s Back-To-School At DIY MFA!

It’s September, which means back-to-school time in most parts of the United States. Whether or not you are personally going back to school, or have children who do, the early days of September prompt us into a learning mindset. One of the blessings of living in modern times is the wide availability of educational sources:… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Myths to Plunder for Ideas and Inspiration

Whether you’re writing a fairy tale retelling or just looking for inspiration, myths can provide a wealth of material to play with. Love, betrayal, war, politics, you name it–whatever you’re looking for, there’s a myth to help you. Myths can also serve as mini masterclasses in plot structure, for the framework on which the stories… Read more »

Five Lessons I Learned Writing My First Middle Grade Novel

For the longest time, I only considered myself a contemporary young adult writer. I’d fallen in love with realistic teen stories, and I thought I’d found my writing niche. Last year, with three completed YA manuscripts under my belt, I started brainstorming my next idea. I decided to share my outline and first couple of… Read more »

Developing Themes In Your Stories, Part 12: The Setting

We’ve already talked about how characters, plot, and conflict are frequent sources of literary themes. But one building block of storytelling that we haven’t covered yet is setting. It’s as important as the other three “blocks,” using location, time period, and other elements to play a pivotal role in the external conflict and the protagonist’s… Read more »

#5onFri: Five Habits to Keep Your Writing Fresh

Like many writers, I write because I can’t imagine not doing it—not because I always love writing. Some days, I decidedly don’t love it. Sometimes I have to write even when I’m not inspired (that’s what it means to have a career rather than a hobby). So I’ve developed techniques to keep my butt in… Read more »

Beyond John Grisham: A Guide to Legal Fiction

“I’ve read all of John Grisham’s books. What other legal fiction authors would you recommend?” This is probably the most common reading question I’m asked at my day job as a librarian. For a long time, there was only one other author that wrote like Grisham – Scott Turow. Turow is often credited with inventing… Read more »