After more than two years and 60 episodes, the 10 Minute Writer's Workshop is signing off to make room for new projects and podcasts. Thanks to everybody who has listened and learned from the show. As we dream up our next undertaking, we want to hear from you aspiring writers and literature lovers out there. What sorts of things do you do to keep yourself creatively engaged? Are there exciting writerly events happening in your community? Do you lead a book club, or a writers workshop of your own? Let us know! You can reach us several ways: Send us a message on Facebook: @10MWW Twitter: @10minutewriters Or send an email to: email@example.com We're not sure what the future holds (creativity takes time, after all!) but to hear about upcoming projects involving Virginia Prescott, follow her @Verginger.
Some of you may know Manoush Zomorodi as host of the podcast Note to Self from WNYC. She is also, now, an author. Her book Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self came out of her own experience and curiosity about the creative process and confronting digital distractions - one of the biggest challenges for writers. She asked her audience to help her figure out what it would mean to let all of that go and to learn to shut down in order to build your creative juices up. Bored and Brilliant is the result, and it begins with an extreme case of writer's block – what Manoush refers to as "a blankness." Episode music by Ryan Andersen Follow us on Twitter @10MinuteWriters and find Manoush at @manoushz and @NoteToSelf
Conventional, linear narratives are not really Jennifer Egan's thing. She's a shape-shifter of fiction – jumping through time, space, voices and forms. She's written a graphic novel, a short story composed of tweets, and, in the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Visit from the Goon Squad, a kind of novel-as-concept album. Jennifer Egan takes on historical fiction in her newest novel, Manhattan Beach. We called her at her home in Brooklyn to ask about her process and how she begins her unpredictable novels.
Workshop 58: Welcome to Nightvale's Jeffrey Cranor & Joseph Fink
Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink, co-creators of the phenomenally popular Welcome to Nightvale podcast, the "Nightvale Presents" series of podcasts, and New York Times bestselling co-authors of the new novel, It Devours, their second book set in the fictional world of Nightvale. We caught up with them at the 2017 Boston Book Festival. Episode Music by Disparition
Workshop 58: Welcome to Nightvale's Jeffrey Cranor & Joseph Fink
The blockbuster 2003 thriller The Da Vinci Code launched Dan Brown into the best-selling stratosphere. More than 200 million copies of his books have sold worldwide since. Three of his novels have been made into films starring tom hanks as fictional Harvard professor Robert Langdon. Brown is a disciplined writer, rising at 4am to a breakfast smoothie and "bulletproof" coffee, writing every day, and throwing himself into his research. He spent four years researching Origin, his latest novel, which again thrusts Langdon into a 24-hour scavenger hunt for keys, codes and symbols in spectacular European locations. The breathless action drives bigger questions about faith, conspiracies, and organized religion. The question of whether contemporary notions of god can withstand scientific scrutiny is at the heart of Origin. We caught up with him just before discussing the book at The Music Hall in Portsmouth for Writers on a New England Stage. Music in this episode by Gregory W. Brown, used with permission by PARMA Recordings, and Podington Bear.
For many writers, hitting their stride means finding their voice. Success for Sarah Hurwitz is in creating a voice for others. Sarah was candidate Hillary Clinton's chief speechwriter during the 2006 Presidential primary, and was quickly snatched up by the Obama campaign team. She landed in the White House, soon being named First Lady Michelle Obama's head speechwriter. We asked Sarah about her work and confirmed that she worked on that 2008 speech to the Democratic National Convention that was plagiarized by then candidate Trump's wife, Melania at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
Virginia Macgregor, author most recently of Wishbones, has a knack for capturing the voices of children and young adults and projecting her novels through their lenses, giving us young narrators with accurate levels of experience and naivety - and a perspective not often found in adult literature. Our conversation with her centered around that: how she conjures the voices of young people, insures they are three-dimensional, and navigates those voices around complicated adult situations. Episode music by Broke for Free
Atul Gawande is a surgeon, professor at Harvard Medical School, and writes about medicine and ethics for the New Yorker. He's author of several best-selling books, most recently, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. The book questions the human cost of miraculous medicine, and urges a shift from the prevailing thought that human decline and death are signs of failures to instead think about how to make old age and the experience of dying better. Despite the grave topic, Gawande views it as a book about living. We spoke to him in the greenroom at The Music Hall in Portsmouth before a Writers on a New England Stage live event. Episode music by Uncanny Valleys. Please take a moment to take our listener survey at survey.panoply.fm
Celeste Ng came out of the gate strong. Her first novel, Everything I Never Told You, was a New York Times bestseller and Amazon's #1 Best Book of 2014. Her latest, Little Fires Everywhere, continues her exploration of family dynamics and the effect of being included or excluded from belonging. She has said in the past that her stories begin with images, so we began by asking her where those images come from. Episode Music by Cheetara
Louise Penny was well into her forties when she published Still Life, the first in what has become the wildly popular Armand Gamache mystery series. The novels are set in Québec, where Gamache is Chief Inspector of the provincial police force. They are meticulously plotted, part police procedurals, part exploration of human nature - and the precarious balance between good and evil. Louise Penny is now out with the thirteenth in the series, Glass Houses. Episode Music by Dana Boulé.