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Daniel Peña, novelist

In this episode, we talk to novelist Daniel Peña about how to be a cheery human despite being in the business of immersing one’s self in the violent reality of the drug war at the border. Peña talks about advice he got from Rodrigo Hasbún, how once you let go of selling thousands of copies, you’re free to junk what you learned in the MFA program, & why you should trust your indie bookseller with your spleen health diagnosis. Plus, Jessica learns about the wonder that is Texas’ best grocery store chain, HEB.

Check out Peña’s work:

Recommendations and Also Mentioneds:

Follow Daniel on twitter @danielpena. You won’t be sorry.


 Photo credit: Thomas Shea

Photo credit: Thomas Shea

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Nick Flynn, poet and memoirist

In this episode, Nick Flynn dishes about donuts, the Thesaurussaurus Rex, and how making your students perform your poetry for you as you write it is the only way to pen award-winning/money-making poetry. No one says anything about Hamlet, Nick does not say the podcast is a shit show, & there is absolutely no cussing in this episode.

Also, Jess goes on a bee bender. 

Check out Flynn's work:

Check out the film adaptation of his first memoir, Being Flynn.

Recommendations and Also Mentioneds:

Follow Nick on twitter @_nick_flynn_, Facebook at nick.flynn1, and Instagram at nick_legit_flynn.

 

 photo credit: Jessica Crute

photo credit: Jessica Crute

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The Village Works, co-working and writing

We talk with Melissa Goldman and Daphne Strassmann, two members of a four-person team responsible for the amazing co-working community that is The Village Works. (It is an actual physical space, but so much more.) We chat about locating the mythical work-life balance, Marie-kondo-ing your life, the Process of Reprioritization, and avoiding the rabbit/wormholes of writing while there is an Internet. We also explore what is it like to reclaim the professional part of your identity as a writer, as well as what it's like to explore that identity while in community.

Suggested readings:

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 Photo credit: Paula Luu, Houston Creative Space

Photo credit: Paula Luu, Houston Creative Space

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Karen Walrond, photographer, visionary, and storyteller, et. al.

Woman-of-all-trades, Karen Walrond, lit up the F***ing Shakespeare studio. She's a master storyteller, envy-inducing photographer and writer, and self-avowed twinkle-light-hangin', candle-lighting, biscuit-eating junkie. And we all fell in love with her. You will too. Plus, she knows a thing or two about handling a microphone. Did we mention she hosts her own podcast

 Photo credit: Karen Walrond

Photo credit: Karen Walrond

Suggested readings:

Follow Karen on twitter @Chookooloonks, on the instagram and here on her blog, Chookooloonks.

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Katherine Center, novelist

You know how Adam Rippon named himself America's Figure Skating Sweetheart at the Olympics? Well, I'm dubbing Katherine Center America's Author Sweetheart. Because I can. On the show, she talks spotting the Neighborhood Novelist and Why You Should Approach with Reckless Abandon, and why you should, yes, Write What you Know, but also write in the service of others. Seriously. She's awesome.

Also on the podcast: Rejection letters on one-eighth a sheet of paper.

 photo credit:  Karen Walrond

photo credit: Karen Walrond

Suggested Readings and Musings from and inspired by Katherine:

If you love this infectious Katherine Center episode, you will, we promise, love any and all of her books. Check them out: Bright Side of Disaster (2008), Everyone is Beautiful (2009), Get Lucky (2010), The Lost Husband (2013), and Happiness for Beginners (2015).

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Jennifer Mathieu, young adult novelist

YA novelist Jennifer Mathieu and co-host Jessica Cole work out once and for all what happened with the election. Turns out “We’re fine!” Plus, she reveals the three rules of writing. Your writing life will never be the same.

Suggested readings:

 Photo credit: Pablo Gamez

Photo credit: Pablo Gamez

In addition to The Truth About Alice and Moxie, you should check out Jennifer Mathieu's other novels; you won't be disappointed: Devoted (2015) and Afterward (2016).

Follow Jennifer on twitter @jenmathieu, tumblr http://moxiegirlsfightback.com, and her website www.jennifermathieu.com.

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Kristin Rae, young adult novelist

Young Adult novelist Kristin Rae explains the similarities between zombies and toddlers and their completely backed-up-by-neuroscientists impact on the mind of a writer. The agent of an author friend of hers once told her, “Life is hard enough, reading should be a joy.” And that’s why our guest, young adult novelist Kristin Rae writes. For the heart flutters and the tingles.

 Photo credit: Kristin Rae (yup. we told you she was talented)

Photo credit: Kristin Rae (yup. we told you she was talented)

Suggested readings: 

Follow Kristin on twitter @kristinrae and her design blog

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D.F. Brown, poet

Poet D.F. Brown tells us how nursery rhymes in the 1950s Ozarks are just like Disney movies and not scary at all. And Jessica goes for a walk in the wide, wide world and shares a very special PSA about poetry.

  

Recommended reading & suggested links from David Brown:

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Mark Dostert, memoirist

We talk to Mark Dostert about his memoir recounting his time as a juvenile attendant in Up in Here: Jailing Kids on Chicago’s Other Side, choosing the right color white for your juvenile detention center, and the merits of jailing kids with outmoded and punitive drug laws.

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org
 Photo credit: Chris Wineinger

Photo credit: Chris Wineinger

Suggested readings from Mark:

  • Dostert’s opinion piece in the Dallas Morning News
  • Mark's short story "Rocks, July 1994" in Green Hills Literary Lantern, also a finalist for the 2017 Lamar York Prize

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Mark Haber, absurdist novelist & short story writer

Novelist and Brazos bookstore manager Mark Haber gets real worked up about LCD Soundsystem and why nothing else will do for writing inspiration. And then gets real meta about the truth and Mario Belletin. Dear listeners, we’ll let you decide.

 

 Photo credit: Houston Creative Space

Photo credit: Houston Creative Space

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  áutica

Photo credit: Argonáutica

Be on the lookout for Mark's forthcoming novel REINHARDT’S GARDEN with Coffee House Press @Coffee_House_ ! And follow Mark @infinitetexts and Brazos Bookstore @BrazosBookstore

Suggested readings from Mark:

 

 

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