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
Otros episodios de "DIY MFA Radio"
380: World Building and the Fantasy YA Serial - Interview with Stephanie BwaBwa
1:06:28Today, 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
379: Bending Genres, Defying Expectations, and Crafting Characters in a Horror Novel - Interview with Andy Marino
56:15Today, 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
378: The Inside Scoop on Book Reviews - Interview with Kiffer Brown
1:00:20Today, 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
377: The Art of the American Essay Anthology - Interview with Phillip Lopate
44:02Today, 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
376: Persistence and Publishing, a Debut Author’s Story - Interview with Elizabeth Gonzalez James
49:00Today, 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
375: Bringing Omitted BIPOC History to Light through Middle Grade Picture Books - Interview with Traci Sorell and Carole Boston Weatherford
57:01Today, 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
374: Historical Fiction, the Bronte Family, and the Original Mrs. Robinson - Interview with Finola Austin
1:01:53Today, 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
373: Hook and Tether: How to Draw Readers In and Keep Them Grounded in the Story - Interview with Marissa Levien
1:06:15Today, 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
372: The Magic of Math and the Art of Picture Books — Interview with Rajani LaRocca
47:01Today, 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
371: Women's Fiction vs. Romance: What's the Difference? — Interview with Kris Clink
43:33Today, 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