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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.




Guest: Julie Murphy

Marissa chats with Julie Murphy about her first adult romance - IF THE SHOE FITS - and her 8 million other projects (PUMPKIN, FAITH, anthologies, oh my!); as well as a little bit of TWILIGHT appreciation; working with a publisher on packaged projects and how much creative control Julie had in her Disney-based romance; placing characters, especially villains, in "different lights" in order to alter how both the reader and other characters respond to them; how groundbreaking and inspiring...


Guests: Amy Kim Kibuishi and Kazu Kibuishi

Marissa chats with Amy Kim Kibuishi and Kazu Kibuishi about their graphic novels - REALM OF THE BLUE MIST: BOOK ONE OF THE REMA CHRONICLES and AMULET - as well as the bittersweetness of reaching the end of a decades-long project; why romance might be more "acceptable" in middle grade graphic novels than prose novels (though Marissa would love to see more romance in both!); the state of the comics market and where it might be headed next; how living your life according to your values can help...


Guest: Axie Oh

Marissa chats with Axie Oh about her new contemporary romance - XOXO - as well as... K-Pop! The music, the phenomenon, and our personal BTS biases. On the writing front, we talk about using music as inspiration and curating a book's playlist before or after you've written it; why celebrity romances call for a strong protagonist with dreams of their own; choosing to write in genres that you love, and how switching to new genres can help keep us inspired; and the importance of following our...


Guest: Brandie June

Marissa chats with Brandie June about her debut YA novel - GOLD SPUN - as well as All Things Rumpelstiltskin! We compare and contrast our different takes on this beloved fairy tale, covering topics that range from giving our protagonists more agency and independence, to deciding how villainous (or swoony...) to make Rumpelstiltskin and the King. Also: how uplifting - or not - to make the ending of the first book in a series; crafting a love triangle that keeps your readers guessing; the...


Guests: Basil and Kevin Sylvester

Marissa chats with Basil and Kevin Sylvester about their co-written middle grade novel - THE FABULOUS ZED WATSON - as well as writing aspirational "weird kid" characters that can help encourage self-acceptance in readers; the power of brainstorming as a duo and how receiving instant feedback and bouncing ideas off each other can make for speedier writing; one method for dividing the work between co-writers, even when their processes put them on different schedules; how today's young readers...


Guest: Emiko Jean

Marissa chats with Emiko Jean about her contemporary romance - TOKYO EVER AFTER - as well as channeling your inner teen to write an authentic (and potentially hilarious) protagonist; developing a romance around two characters who are polar opposites, and watching the sparks fly; casting off the idea that we only get "one shot" at a publishing career, and how to pivot after a post-debut rejection; and some tips for researching cultures and places in order to bring authenticity to your...


Guest: Liselle Sambury

Marissa chats with Liselle Sambury about her debut futuristic fantasy - BLOOD LIKE MAGIC - as well as integrating fantasy and science-fiction in a way that the magic and technology work with, and not against, each other; deciding what to cut and what not to cut when it comes to revisions, and making sure your "fun" scenes are important to the overall plot; writing big family dynamics, plus one way to ensure that each character has their own opinions; writing morally gray ethical dilemmas and...


Guest: Maureen Johnson

Marissa chats with Maureen Johnson about her newest murder mystery - THE BOX IN THE WOODS - and her recently released Cruella De Vil origin novel - HELLO, CRUEL HEART - as well as the in-depth mechanics of plotting and planning a complex mystery story; some discussion of The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death by Frances Glessner Lee (so! fascinating!); thoughts on what makes for a good mystery, from "fair play" to "closed circuits"; and a few tips on how to maintain joy throughout your...


Guest: Arnée Flores

Marissa chats with Arnée Flores about her debut middle grade fantasy - THE FIREBIRD SONG - as well as the importance of preparing for and practicing your elevator pitch; how to handle it when an agent or editor asks you to drastically trim your manuscript's word count - and one idea for what to do with all the content that gets taken out; how focusing on dramatic chapter endings can improve the overall pacing of your novel; and adapting your writing schedule to life with young kids....


Guest: Adiba Jaigirdar

Marissa chats with Adiba Jaigirdar about her new YA contemporary romance - HANI AND ISHU'S GUIDE TO FAKE DATING - as well as bringing the beloved "fake relationship" romantic trope into sapphic love stories and how publishers are finally picking up on this need in the market; using specific accents and lilts to influence your character voices; one super clever social media strategy that makes use of cross-promotion with other authors; and the little-talked-about phenomenon of the "second...


Guest: Tricia Levenseller

For our first live-recorded event, Marissa joins Tricia Levenseller for the launch of her new YA fantasy novel - BLADE OF SECRETS. Topics include: developing a protagonist with social anxiety, and how we put so much of ourselves into our characters; drawing on popular epic fantasy tropes while maintaining a fun, light-hearted vibe; some tips for writing those oh-so-popular hate-to-love romances; and Tricia's technique for ensuring that every scene is fun for her to write (and therefore fun...


Guest: Emery Lee

Marissa chats with Emery Lee about their debut YA novel - MEET CUTE DIARY - as well as crafting a heartwarming romance that does not rely on traditional romantic tropes; knocking out those fast first drafts (in Emery's case - REALLY fast first drafts!) in order to quiet your inner perfectionist and maintain that initial burst of inspiration; writing the story of your heart, even if it goes against editorial feedback or market trends; and an idea for pre-order campaigns that Marissa finds...


Guest: Lizzy Mason

Marissa chats with Lizzy Mason about her new YA novel - BETWEEN THE BLISS AND ME - as well as writing song lyrics and how it's not the same thing as writing poetry; tackling ethical dilemmas in your fiction that encourage your readers to ask big questions; using journaling as a method for working through periods of grief; and keeping notes of things you love about the book you're writing and why you were drawn to it in the first place, which will be useful information for your future...


Guest: Lisa Fipps

Marissa chats with Lisa Fipps about her debut middle grade novel - STARFISH - as well as letting your instincts, not the market, guide your writing choices; why middle grade novels are uniquely positioned to give young readers tools for dealing with bullies and body image (among other things); deciding when to give closure or redemption to your antagonistic characters and when to leave things unresolved; the wonderful suggestion to keep a visual reminder of kind things people have said about...


Guest: Tirzah Price

Marissa chats with Tirzah Price about her debut novel - PRIDE AND PREMEDITATION - as well as deepening your romantic storylines by considering each conversation from your love interest's perspective; using Excel spreadsheets to plot a murder mystery and keep your clues organized; immersing yourself in the source material for a retelling in order to stay true to the original characters, even if you decide to go a little wild with the plot; and writing in a period style while still making the...


Guest: Tanaz Bhathena

Marissa chats with Tanaz Bhathena about her YA fantasy duology - HUNTED BY THE SKY and RISING LIKE A STORM - as well as developing complex magic systems that continuously surprise and delight the reader; including an element of prophecy in your novel to foreshadow elements of the plot while simultaneously setting up an unexpected twist; how making a genre shift can be frightening, but there are benefits in challenging yourself to write in the genre that scares you the most; and the great tip...


Guest: Leigh Bardugo

Marissa chats with Leigh Bardugo about her new fantasy novel - RULE OF WOLVES - as well as how it's okay to feel like we're in over our heads with our writing projects, and how these challenges can be a sign that you're on the right path; lots of wonderful craft-talk, including tips on developing backstories, coming up with that just-right metaphor, and writing death scenes that stir up real emotions (hint: melodrama is not the enemy); how social media can impact our mental well-being and...


Guest: Ally Carter

Marissa chats with Ally Carter about her new middle grade novel - WINTERBORNE HOME FOR MAYHEM AND MYSTERY - and her guide for young writers - DEAR ALLY, HOW DO YOU WRITE A BOOK? - as well as how the young adult market has changed over the past fifteen years and what that might have meant for Ally's debut series; some tips for writing heists and action sequences (hint: the simple solution is often the best solution); some of the challenges unique to middle grade fiction, including getting the...


Guest: Anna-Marie McLemore

Marissa chats with Anna-Marie McLemore about their newest YA magical realism novel - THE MIRROR SEASON - as well as those absolutely enchanted moments when the research brings the missing pieces of a story together in the most serendipitous way; how rewriting fairy tales can be an empowering act for readers and writers who don't often see themselves represented in the widely known versions of these stories; using magic and symbolism to reflect your character arcs and the changing course of...


Guest: Jennifer A. Nielsen

Marissa chats with Jennifer A. Nielsen about her new middle grade historical novel - RESCUE - as well as how historical fiction is a great tool for showing kids and teens how exciting history actually is; the fascinating neuroscience that reveals how reading in elementary and middle school is intrinsically different than reading as an adult; how a character's voice can be uncovered by letting them "speak" to us; and some nerding out over codes and cryptology (which might become Marissa's new...