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The Happy Writer with Marissa Meyer

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Rejection! Impostor Syndrome! Writer's Block! Writing can be a tricky business. Marissa Meyer interviews authors on how we can overcome various obstacles and bring more joy to our writing process.

Rejection! Impostor Syndrome! Writer's Block! Writing can be a tricky business. Marissa Meyer interviews authors on how we can overcome various obstacles and bring more joy to our writing process.


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Rejection! Impostor Syndrome! Writer's Block! Writing can be a tricky business. Marissa Meyer interviews authors on how we can overcome various obstacles and bring more joy to our writing process.




Namina Forna - The Merciless Ones

Marissa chats with Namina Forna about her new YA fantasy - THE MERCILESS ONES - as well as the deeper meanings that books can have for readers, and why it is so powerful to feel seen in the stories we read; upping the stakes over the course of a series by delving deeper into the world and its various systems with every book; honoring the importance of female friendships in young adult fiction, and how you can use those relationships as various foils for your protagonist; building your...


Nova McBee - Calculated

Marissa chats with Nova McBee about her young adult suspense series - CALCULATED - as well as why receiving rejections is actually a good thing that will help set you up for success; listening to your intuition, especially when it comes to making difficult career decisions (like possibly turning down an agent's offer of representation in order to hold out for "the one"); how going out and living your life makes you a better writer with plenty of fodder for new ideas; lots of nerding out over...


Stephan Lee - K-Pop Revolution

Marissa chats with Stephan Lee about his new contemporary YA - K-POP REVOLUTION - as well as the difficult decision to leave your (second) dream job in order to pursue your ultimate dream of becoming a writer; some strategies for giving your ensemble cast of characters great chemistry while making them feel like authentic people; how injecting some sadness into your story can help develop emotional attachment between readers and minor characters; writing song lyrics by replicating real-life...


Lindsay Eagar - The Patron Thief of Bread

Marissa chats with Lindsay Eagar about her new middle grade novel - THE PATRON THIEF OF BREAD - as well as taking a trip to the bookstore in order to determine your primary genre; how to beat the querying slush pile (and why slush pile statistics aren't really as discouraging as they seem); using an alternate point of view to build on your story's major themes; upping the stakes in a "quiet" story by giving your protagonist an impossible choice; the fun dynamics of the rag-tag group of...


TJ Alexander - Chef's Kiss

Marissa chats with TJ Alexander about their debut romance - CHEF'S KISS - as well as some suggestions for writing luscious food descriptions, including actually testing out some of the recipes you're trying to describe; the oft-told (but debatable?) advice that if you can do anything other than write, then you should do that; considering your story's built-in tension and need for emotional distance when deciding between a single or dual point of view format; two of our favorite romance...


J.C. Cervantes - Flirting with Fate

Marissa chats with J.C. Cervantes about her YA contemporary romance - FLIRTING WITH FATE - as well as coming up with five "pinch points" in your story to build suspense and challenge your protagonist; surprising your readers by always looking for places to turn the story on its head, and how sometimes you just need a little more thinking time to let the story unfold; why main characters are so much harder to write than secondary characters; the strange overlap between writers and runners,...


Guest: Hanna Alkaf - Queen of the Tiles

Marissa chats with Hanna Alkaf about her new YA murder mystery - QUEEN OF THE TILES - as well as some challenges that are unique to the mystery genre, and how writing a mystery plot is a bit like conducting an ongoing excavation; what to do when your craft skills aren't yet to the point where you feel you can do your story justice, and how it's okay to set a project aside in order to focus on developing your craft and confidence (remember, you can always come back to it!); the difference...


Guest: Emily J. Taylor - Hotel Magnifique

Marissa chats with Emily J. Taylor about her debut YA fantasy - HOTEL MAGNIFIQUE - as well as writing a "setting-first" book by treating your setting as a character, with its own backstory and personality; using a variety of sources (many unexpected) to inspire unique setting details; digging deeper into your worldbuilding and magic system with every round of revisions; and constantly asking yourself what else you can add that will surprise your readers. We also discuss using your...


Guest: Erin Entrada Kelly - Those Kids from Fawn Creek

Marissa chats with Erin Entrada Kelly about her new middle grade contemporary - THOSE KIDS FROM FAWN CREEK - as well as including a multitude of points of view in your novel and how to give a unique voice and character arc to each one; some different ways to think about how you develop primary versus secondary characters; finding the middle ground when it comes to subtext, so that it is neither too vague or too obvious, and still leaves space for readers to draw their own conclusions; one...


Guest: JC Peterson - Being Mary Bennet

Marissa chats with JC Peterson about her debut YA contemporary - BEING MARY BENNET - as well as the truth universally acknowledged that it can be difficult to talk to family and friends about your writing journey, and why it's important to have writers in your life who "get it"; writing character arc-driven books that contain genuine growth, not superficial makeovers, and how the relationships in the story can shine a light on the different ways your protagonist has changed; one technique to...


Guest: Joy L. Smith - Turning

Marissa chats with Joy L. Smith about her debut YA contemporary - TURNING - as well as finding ways to relate to your protagonist in order to capture raw, authentic emotions on the page, and using humor to balance out your book's really intense moments; choosing first person point of view as a way to manipulate what your readers will see and feel throughout the story; how both YouTube and sensitivity readers can help you get the details right when writing about unfamiliar experiences;...


Guest: Lillie Lainoff - One for All

Marissa chats with Lillie Lainoff about her debut YA novel - ONE FOR ALL - as well as some great tips for researching for historical fiction, such as using knowledgeable consultants and going beyond documents to also referencing objects and artifacts; writing a protagonist with a disability or chronic illness, and the challenges posed by maintaining the authenticity of that illness while keeping the plot moving how you want it to; the universally acknowledged truth that book deadlines always...


Guest: Dallas Woodburn - Thanks, Carissa, for Ruining My Life

Marissa chats with Dallas Woodburn about her new YA contemporary - THANKS, CARISSA, FOR RUINING MY LIFE - as well as not giving up on a book that you really love, no matter how many years or drafts it takes; creating powerful character arcs by determining the endpoint goal, then figuring out the challenges that character will need to face to get there; the interesting challenge of writing a romance in which the characters are physically distanced from each other; how a book coach might just...


Guest: Sarah Winifred Searle - The Greatest Thing

Marissa chats with Sarah Winifred Searle about her new graphic novel - THE GREATEST THING - and her contribution to the SERENDIPITY anthology, "Keagan's Heaven on Earth," as well as some reasons that Sailor Moon was so creatively nourishing for many people in our generation; the many different paths one can take to reach their dream of becoming a writer, illustrator, or creator; how fictionalized memoir can be seen as either a giving or a self-centered endeavor (and both interpretations are...


Guest: Lisa Stringfellow - A Comb of Wishes

Marissa and her favorite co-hosts - Sloane and Delaney - chat with Lisa Stringfellow about her debut middle grade novel - A COMB OF WISHES - as well as drawing on mermaid stories and folklore from around the world to create merpeople that feel both new and familiar; some of the "rules" of writing middle grade fiction, and how sometimes you need to listen to your own instincts in deciding what rules to break and how far to push those boundaries; reading your work aloud as a helpful editing...


Guest: Nancy Balbirer - Almost Romance

For our 100th episode(!), Marissa chats with Nancy Balbirer about her new memoir - ALMOST ROMANCE - as well as deciding what stories from your life might connect with readers on an emotional level, therefore making them good fodder for your own memoir; how to translate real-life into an actual book that includes all the necessary elements of a good story; the importance of establishing trust with your reader and why highlighting what you don't remember can be just as powerful as highlighting...


Guest: Leslie Vedder - The Bone Spindle

Marissa chats with Leslie Vedder about her debut fairy-tale-inspired fantasy - THE BONE SPINDLE - as well as crafting adventurous puzzles and booby traps in the written word, when we're so used to seeing them in a visual format; using backstory to develop realistic character flaws that will create lots of tension and drive the plot forward; deciding what to keep and what to change in order to make your fairy tale retelling feel new and interesting in the genre; balancing a mix of romantic...


Guests: Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera - Here's to Us

In our first episode for 2022, Marissa chats with Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera about their new contemporary romance - HERE'S TO US - as well as our semi-charmed road-to-publication stories; the expectations within the romance genre and how it can strengthen the story to approach every relationship as if you don't already know how it's going to end; lots of talk about writing loveable secondary characters, from best friends to boyfriends; how deadlines and pandemics impacted the...


Guest: Chelsea Bobulski - All I Want for Christmas (Series)

For our final episode of 2021, Marissa chats with Chelsea Bobulski about her new four-book contemporary series - ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS - as well as the ins and outs of planning a series of rapid release companion novels, and why one might want to avoid overlapping timelines if possible; why your "learning" manuscripts are just as important as the book that gets published; the pros and cons of writing and releasing books on an accelerated schedule; the power of having a great support...


Guest: Claire Winn - City of Shattered Light

Marissa chats with Claire Winn about her debut sci-fi novel - CITY OF SHATTERED LIGHT - as well as some rules for worldbuilding, including guidance into how deep your knowledge of the world should go and how much to reveal to the reader in order to create an immersive experience; seeking out knowledgeable resources to assist with things you don't fully understand, such as advanced technology or brain science; figuring out your story's obstacles first and your plot second, so that you can lay...