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.
About Catherine Baab-Muguira
Catherine Baab-Muguira is a writer and journalist who has contributed to, among others, Slate, Quartz, CNBC and NBC News. A frequent podcast and radio guest, with appearances on NPR and Lifehacker’s Upgrade, she lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and baby son. Her first book, Poe for Your Problems: Uncommon Advice from History’s Least Likely Self-Help Guru, came out from Running Press/Hachette in September 2021.
Check out the Substack post Catherine wrote about the long, long journey to a book deal, and what her P&L statement looks like.
Poe for Your Problems
Of all the writers anywhere, Poe might be the least likely person you’d ever turn to for advice. His life was a complete dumpster fire: he married his cousin; got fired from one job after another; constantly feuded with friends and rivals; and he was always broke. But that’s also precisely the point. Though Poe failed again and again, he also persevered.
Drawing deeply on his works and life, Catherine Baab-Muguira takes the familiar image of Poe in a new and surprising direction in this darkly inspiring self-help book. Despite what you might think, Edgar Allan Poe is the perfect person to teach you to say “Nevermore, problems!” and show you how to use all the terrible situations, tough breaks, bad luck, and even your darkest emotions in novel and creative ways to make a name for yourself and carve out your own unique, notorious place in the world.
An inspirational tale for black sheep everywhere, Poe for Your Problems will teach you how to overcome life’s biggest challenges to succeed at work, love, and art—despite the odds and no matter your flaws.
If you decide to check out the book, we hope you’ll do so via this Amazon affiliate link, where if you choose to purchase via the link DIY MFA gets a referral fee at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!
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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome!