A curated collection of the latest and most interesting podcast episodes about the author life.

JP Rindfleisch, curator for all things dark, strange, and queer, back again!

Let’s talk tarot. I believe I have about twenty plus tarot decks that I’ve collected over the years. I love the art, the meanings behind each card, and maybe I’m a little obsessed. Did you know that the major arcana details out a story arc known as the Fool’s Journey? It’s very similar to the Hero’s Journey, but with other quirks and differences that account for all twenty-two cards.

I love using tarot when story planning, either pulling a card when I’m stuck or pull three cards and prompt myself with a conflict, choice, and consequence (Thank you Three Story Method).

Tarot is a perfect tool for writers to add a little chaos to your planning, especially when you need a quick dig out of writer’s block or inspiration to pull yourself out of repetitive ideas. Say you are about to write a scene where your main character meets their mentor, but you’re stuck. You pull the Knight of Wands reversed (Keywords: Recklessness, Anger, Impulse) and now you might have a scene where your main character is confronting the all-powerful mentor and taking risks because anger blinds them. Or maybe the mentor is drunk or a curmudgeon and the protagonist needs to take caution. Really, the point of the card is just to look at the scene from a different angle, so grab a deck and try it out.

Top 3 Must-Listen Episodes

Rebel Author Podcast // Episode 132 – How to Succeed in a Niche Book Genre with Nora Phoenix

In this interview, Nora tells us she found her niche by studying her umbrella genre, Gay Romance, and reviewing Amazon’s top 50, week to week, in that genre. As she did this, she noted trends in content and discovered the niches that were performing well by comparing them to the overall Amazon rankings. She did her due diligence of reading and joining Facebook groups of those niche authors, so she knew what readers expected and how to market when she was ready to publish.

Sacha Black asks some wonderful questions in this interview, including how fast one has to write when writing for these niches. As expected, a lot will depend on the niche. However, Nora notes the differences between writing to market and writing to trends. When an author jumps on a trend, that author is better off writing fast, because there is always a risk that the trend may fizzle out. When studying a genre, discovering a niche, and seeking groups with those readers, an author can spend more time writing and discovering what that market is hungry for.

One last big takeaway I got from this interview was to follow and lift other authors in that genre. If you are already a fan of that author, then when the time comes to sell and promote your book, that connection makes it easier to reach out and see if that author will help promote you. I am a firm believer in building an author community that collectively leans on each other to provide quality content to readers.

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Turning Readers into Writers // Episode 100 – How to develop a millionaire mindset with Carissa Andrews

Carissa Andrews talks about having a growth mindset as an independent author, as well as a positive outlook on income. Independent authors are extremely versatile, from crafting blurbs, managing releases, marketing, and so on that goes beyond the spectrum of drafting and revising. Carissa argues that authors need to see the value of their author business and stop believing in a starving artist mentality. She brings up a good point that if you can continue to produce and make beyond the means to support yourself, then you can support other authors or creatives. Be it through hiring assistants and marketing teams or lifting another author through financial support. While for many of us, having that kind of money may be far off in the distance, I agree that there is a barrier that exists with selling one’s art for profit that authors and other creatives need to push past to see the value of entrepreneurship. I cannot do justice to the wonderful and wise words of Carissa, but I hope I’ve encouraged you to consider and deconstruct what barriers you might have in selling and promoting your works.

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Next Level Authors // Episode 105 – How Do You Make the Most of In-Person Events?

After years of attending in-person events, Dan and Sacha discuss what they’ve learned to prepare themselves for conferences and fairs. Prior to the events, if there are multiple spaces and presentations going on at once, they strongly encourage that you plan and create a schedule.

While the talks, workshops, and panels are important, networking is just as important. Be sure to schedule in break times to talk with others and get your name out there. Breaking the ice can be hard, but with a few simple icebreakers, like what genre do you like to write or read, are good ways of breaking into a conversation. Also, if you can, find and create groups online before the event, so you already know a few people ahead of time that you can fall back on and ease into meeting people in person.

Sacha and Dan also discuss the importance of scheduling breaks or coffee meetups as well to help recharge any introvert batteries if you need it.

Last, and one that you should definitely not overlook, are the after-hours events. Either plan for a dinner with a group of people or find out if there are any meet-ups occurring after hours. I could not agree more with this last thing. While the daily events are great for learning, the friendships and connections you make at these events could last for years, and after-hour events are some of the best ways to build friendship and community.

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The Latest from The Author Life Podcast


This week authors J. Thorn and Crys Cain discuss the ins and outs of working with a brand agency and their personal experience with the process.

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Horror Queers // Near Dark (1987) feat. Kyle Adam Foster

I love Horror Queers. Hosts Joe Lipsett and Trace Thurman break down horror movies, present and past, with either clear queer representation, obvious allegories, or films filled with camp. This week they discussed Near Dark, a vampire Western, directed by Katheryn Bigelow in a time where female directors were rarely directing horror. They discuss the representation in the move as well as the history behind the movies’ failed release and “flop” status, even though today it ranks with an 81% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

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