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The 21st Century Writer

A weekly Arts, Books and Education podcast
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Episodes of The 21st Century Writer

Toni McGee Causey splashed into traditional publishing a decade ago with her Bobbie Faye series. After some ups and downs, both personal and professional, she’s starting in indie publishing with a new book, a new career, and a new outlook on wh
Sandra Schwab is a German author who writes in English (very much like our own Hannah!). Why did she choose that? What has her journey been like from trade publishing with Dorchester to striking out on her own as an indie author? She’s reissuin
Annetta Ribken is an award-winning editor of indie authors — and only indie authors. We discuss what editing is, why writers need editing, and why having a few beta readers is not the same thing. While she highly recommends working with an edit
Robert Gregory Browne joins us to talk about his new book, Casting the Bones: An Indie Author’s Guide to the Craft of Fiction and his thirty-year career as a working author, first as a screenwriter, then as a novelist published with trade publi
Susan Kaye Quinn is an author of science fiction and YA (and, under a secret pen name, romance!). She’s also the author of The Indie Author Survival Guide (a guide for new self-publishers to the indie publishing arena) and For Love Or Money (a
Diane and Hannah discuss how their writing is going. After many weeks of not getting as much writing done as they’d like, apparently they’ve both been writing quite a lot. They’re enjoying it just as much. The app Diane uses to keep track of ho
Diane has been traveling again. Seriously, what’s up with that? But now the summer is over and maybe she can STAY PUT for two weeks at a time. She went to Asheville, NC, so she and Hannah discuss the little hamlet in the middle of the Blue Ridg
David Gaughran, the author of such seminal self-publishing works as Let’s Get Digital, joins Diane and Hannah to talk about the self-publishing author’s journey, why he’s still bullish on the current market, and what sorts of things newbie auth
Diane and Hannah discuss their writing and publishing to do lists for the rest of year, while talking about a whole bunch of other stuff as well. Diane’s To Do List for the rest of 2015 Current book Release first two books in the new series Wri
Author A.D. Trosper joins us on the podcast to discuss her unconventional path to writing and what life is like for her as a writer and a mom. Her website is A.D. Trosper: Writer, Mother, Ruler of the world inside my head. Some of the sites and
Diane had some vacation time last week and is finding it hard to get back into the groove. She talks to Hannah about the mindset of writers who feel like they need to write all the time, how to get back into it, and what you can do to put yours
Alan Petersen, author of excellent espionage thrillers, joins us for a discussion of “How do you keep going when you feel kind of stuck?” The big takeaway: Continue writing and Be kind to yourself. Books and media mentioned: Alan’s excellent po
Diane and Hannah discuss genre and the importance of knowing which genre you’re writing in. Books and media mentioned: The Story Grid, by Shawn Coyne: excellent book on editing and analyzing your work. How to write Science Fiction and Fantasy b
Simon Whistler joins us to talk about masterminds. Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich) defined masterminds as “A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.” How are mastermind
(PODCAST FILE FIXED. I’M REALLY SORRY ABOUT THE ERROR — Diane) Diane and Hannah discuss some of the changes that Amazon just announced to Kindle Unlimited. The short version: the goalposts are just going to keep moving, folks. (Diane would like
“I love criticism just so long as it’s unqualified praise.” — Noël Coward So you’ve decided to publish your work. You’re going to get reviews and feedback, and you need to decide how you’re going to deal with it. Hannah and Diane discuss how th
What is about writing and publishing that makes “the poverty mindset” so attractive to writers? What do they get out of it? Is there any link between monetary success and artistic success? (Spoiler alert: no.) Join Diane and Hannah as they talk
Hannah and Diane discuss John Scalzi’s new publishing deal with Tor Books. They also manage to discuss what life for self-publishers is like, wring their hands over what the other bookstores (particularly Google Play and Barnes and Noble) are d
What do Diane and Hannah mean by “mindset”? Diane gives the definition as “the set of beliefs that define how we see ourselves and how we approach the outside world.” Ember, the patron saint dragon of uplifting your mindset Hannah mentioned a m
Diane and Hannah are joined by a special guest: Libbie Hawker! Libbie has written a fabulous new book on how to outline your novel entitled Take Off Your Pants!: Outline Your Books for Faster, Better Writing. Both Diane and Hannah love this boo
Characters: the people in our stories. How do you develop them, what makes them fascinating, and what do you need to know about them! Book and Media mentions and recommendations: The “Mary Sue”: a term for a character who’s perfect in every way
Diane and Hannah discuss what they think of their “writer’s intuition”: what to write about, when to listen to it, when not to listen to it, and how to develop it. Spoiler alert: developing it involves reading a lot. And writing a lot. So if yo
Hannah and Diane discuss finishing your work and why that’s an important skill to develop. And when you have to learn you’re spending too long on a story. How to get over the hard part…and avoid falling into the perfectionism trap. You have to
Diane and Hannah discuss Save the Cat! and other writing guides The main takeaway from this episode: you have to know structure, but there are no easy ways through building your story. You have to put in the work. Diane showed a number of graph
Diane and Hannah discuss getting into the writing flow, habits, and how to tell yourself you really, really are a writer. Because you’re the first one who’s got to believe that before you convince anyone else. Hannah and Diane also talk their d
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