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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: Ayana Gray

Marissa chats with Ayana Gray about her debut young adult fantasy - BEASTS OF PREY - as well as using online resources to learn from other writers about the publishing journey, and as a way to know that you're not alone; choosing your descriptive words carefully in order to evoke a particular feeling, whether you're describing a minor character or a great mythical beast inspired by real-world lore; striking that balance between fast-paced action and deep emotional moments, even when they...


Guest: Sarah Rhea Werner

Marissa chats with Sarah Rhea Werner - host of the Write Now podcast and creator of the award-winning audio drama "Girl in Space" - about All Things Creativity! Topics include the definition of "creativity" and how all types of creative expression deserve credit and affirmation; why the practice of conscious consumption is step one in generating lots of ideas; keeping a journal and playing the "what if?" game as effective brainstorming strategies; lots of tips for overcoming various writing...


Guest: Marie Lu

Marissa is joined by listener Allison Phillips to chat with Marie Lu about her new futuristic duology - SKYHUNTER and STEELSTRIKER - as well as how characters who speak different languages and have different communication styles makes for some unique writing challenges, but ultimately add depth and realism to your world building; what to do with that book of your heart when the market isn't quite ready for it; a great tip for differentiating character voices when writing from two separate...


Guest: Kendare Blake

Marissa joins Kendare Blake for the virtual launch event of her new paranormal murder mystery - ALL THESE BODIES - hosted by Square Books. Topics include the horrifying real-life murders that inspired the story; what happens when you make a book idea wait to be told, sometimes for years, while you tackle other projects; the decision to leave an ending open to reader interpretation, and how to get it right; why the protagonist of your tale may not make the best narrator, and how a strong...


Guest: Caitlin Sangster

Marissa chats with Caitlin Sangster, host of the Lit Service Podcast, about her new fantasy novel - SHE WHO RIDES THE STORM - as well as writing that complex, multi-POV fantasy heist novel, and why Caitlin starts with the characters and their motives; determining the "aboutness" of your story, and how to dig deeper into the heart of your book to uncover the themes you most want your readers to come away with; some things to keep in mind when switching from writing young adult to middle...


Guest: Farah Naz Rishi

Marissa chats with Farah Naz Rishi about her new contemporary romance - IT ALL COMES BACK TO YOU - as well as writing sibling dynamics and relationships that are as complex and interesting as real-world families; the roles that fate and coincidence can play in a romantic storyline; a few interesting narration techniques that act like different camera lenses through which to view the story and characters; how we tend to be inspired by issues that concern us in the real-world, and how we can...


Guest: Sarah Raughley

Marissa chats with Sarah Raughley about her new historical fantasy - THE BONES OF RUIN - as well as balancing incredible superpowers with weaknesses and drawbacks - whether physical, emotional, or psychological; using your protagonist's greatest desires, and the consequences they'll face if they don't get what they want, to create escalating suspense; a number of things to consider when designing an in-story tournament or competition; how grounding your historical fantasy in well-researched...


Guest: Maryrose Wood

Marissa is joined by her daughters, Sloane and Delaney, to chat with Maryrose Wood about her new middle grade novel - ALICE'S FARM: A RABBIT'S TALE - as well as writing in third person omniscient point of view (yes, even for young readers!) and how multiple perspectives can be used to show the interconnectedness of your characters, subplots, and the world at large; how following our writerly intuition often pays off with a serendipitous gift from the universe... or research; crafting...


Guest: Victoria Aveyard

Marissa chats with Victoria Aveyard about her new fantasy novel - REALM BREAKER - as well as a surplus of juicy craft discussion! Topics include the three-act, eight-sequence structure for screenwriting and how it can be applied to novels and series; focusing on plot escalation over the course of multiple books, and using callbacks to show how far your characters have come; a friendlier way to think about the age-old plotter vs. pantser debate; some thoughts on long-term career planning and...


Bonus: The Bookstour Documentary with Mason Engel

In this bonus episode, Marissa chats with Mason Engel, sci-fi writer and filmmaker, about his documentary: THE BOOKSTOUR. Topics include a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the documentary making process; why bookstores are the best places to make new friends; the adventure inherent in any roadtrip (hurricanes, pandemics, power outages, oh my!); the unfortunate disconnect that persists between indie authors and indie bookstores; and at least one reason why someone might choose to shop at an...


Guest: Margot Wood

Marissa chats with Margot Wood about her debut contemporary novel - FRESH - as well as using unusual narration techniques to break down the fourth wall between narrator and reader, to absolutely hilarious effect; trusting your instincts and ignoring the naysayers, even when/especially when you're writing something very different from the current market; how a book's design and typography can make for an immersive reading experience; the #1 marketing tool for writers, according to the founder...


Guest: Tori Bovalino

Marissa chats with Tori Bovalino about her debut young adult novel - THE DEVIL MAKES THREE - as well as tapping into your own fears in order to write effective horror and really scare your readers; treating your setting as its own character, and using real-life locations to hone in on atmospheric details; how completing higher education can change our creative process and impact our career goals; some ways that classic literature can inspire us, and perhaps encourage a bit more sarcasm and...


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...