March 9, 2020
Today’s guest is Reuben "Tihi" Hayslett who confronts identity politics, racism and homophobia in his debut short story collection "Dark Corners," which has been selected by Kirkus Reviews as best book of the year (2019). Hayslett’s characters, most of them black, brown, and/or queer, have their personal problems complicated by their outsider status, by ominous politics, and by occasional eruptions of madness and the macabre. Tihi joined me today to talk about writing and art as a form of protest. Also covered: looking inward to step into your power before taking your work outward for a broader audience, and the art form of the short story, and how sometimes being succinct is how you allow your reader to fill in the blanks.
Links for Tihi:
Prickly Polka Dot Boutique
August 14, 2019
Today’s guest is J. Ryan Stradal. His first novel, Kitchens of the Great Midwest, was published by Viking in 2015, and reached the New York Times Hardcover Best Seller list.
His short fiction has appeared in Hobart, The Rumpus, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Review of Books, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Electric Literature, and Midwestern Gothic, among others.
His second novel, The Lager Queen of Minnesota, is available now.
J Ryan joined me today to talk about representation of the Midwest in popular culture, the rising importance of microbreweries in small communities, and the lost stories of the middle class.
April 15, 2019
Today’s guest is Blair Hurley, who received her A.B. from Princeton University and her M.F.A. from NYU. Her stories are published or forthcoming in Ninth Letter, The Georgia Review, West Branch, Mid-American Review, Washington Square, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Descant, Fugue, and elsewhere. She has received a 2018 Pushcart Prize and scholarships from Bread Loaf and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. Her debut novel, THE DEVOTED, was published in August 2018 from WW Norton & Company.
Blair joined me today to talk about writing your own interests, even if that places your story in a quieter place, and the misconception of dismissing clarity in writing for simplistic novels. Also covered: the difficulty of breaking into the short story market and the motivations for doing so.
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Links for Blair:
Wasted Pretty by Jamie Beth Cohen https://amzn.to/2U9gaak
Heroine by Mindy McGinnis amzn.to/2pjEWYh
September 17, 2018
Today’s guest is Lauren Gibaldi author of THE NIGHT WE SAID YES, AUTO FOCUS and THIS TINY PERFECT WORLD. Lauren is a public librarian who’s been, among other things, a magazine editor, high school English teacher, bookseller, and circus aerialist (seriously). She has a BA in Literature and Master’s in Library and Information Studies.
Lauren joins host Mindy McGinnis to talk about landing her agent, and how her process of being a punster can occasionally backfire, but nothing is ever wasted. Also covered: how being a librarian has helped Lauren feel more connected to teens and benefited her writing career, as well as portraying artistic teens in fiction.
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Links for Lauren:
Ten After Closing by Jessica Bayliss
Sleight by Jennifer Sommersby
September 10, 2018
Support the podcast through Patreon for weekly writing advice, query and first page critiques, as well as exclusive episodes featuring agent and editor interviews. Visit our Patreon to learn more.
Today’s guest is Kelly DeVos author of FAT GIRL ON A PLANE. Kelly holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Arizona State University. Her debut novel, FAT GIRL ON A PLANE is available now from Harlequin Teen. Her work has been featured in the New York Times as well as SheKnows and Bustle. Kelly joined me today to talk about landing her agent, and how her particular process of being a hardcore planner works to turn the spark of an idea into a novel. Also covered: the inspiration for FAT GIRL ON A PLANE, a discussion of the fashion world and body acceptance and how short stories can help you experiment with new ideas, characters, or methods.
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Links for Kelly:
Nothing But Sky by Amy Trueblood
It’s a Wonderful Death By Sarah J. Schmitt
April 2, 2018
Today’s guest is Randy Ribay author of AN INFINITE NUMBER OF PARALLEL UNIVERSES and AFTER THE SHOT DROPS. Randy joins host Mindy McGinnis to talk about the importance of having an agent in order to negotiate the best possible contract, the power of writing concisely and how to make time to write while holding a day job
Links for Randy:
BOOMERANG by Helene Dunbar
SOMEDAY, SOMEWHERE by Lindsay Champion
November 6, 2017
Today's guest is Geoffrey Girard, Bram Stoker nominee and author of CAIN'S BLOOD, PROJECT CAIN, TRUTHERS, and MARY ROSE. Geoff joins Mindy to talk about how losing an agent doesn't end a career, learning craft through writing shorts, how small indie pubs can teach you a lot, and the art of table selling.
THE VIOLINIST OF VENICE by Alyssa Palombo
VIAL THINGS by Leah Clifford