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

This week you’re hearing from Cathy Peper, Three Story Method Editor and writer of historical, time travel and paranormal romance. I’ve just got back from a writing conference, so I’m stoked. (and exhausted).

Top 3 Must-Listen Episodes

The Creative Penn // Episode #636 Writing a Bestseller with A. G. Riddle

Host Joanna Penn interviews bestselling writer, A. G. Riddle (Gerry) about his career and his writing process. Writing is a second career for Gerry. He started a software company in college and ran it for ten years, but he wanted to do something more creative. He started writing a novel, but thought it was terrible. But he stuck with it and decided to play to his strengths. He used his love of science and history to write his first novel, The Atlantis Gene, which became a bestseller. He continues to write heavily researched historical and scientific thrillers.

They talk about how well his novel, Pandemic, sold during the pandemic, and his decision to become a hybrid author. They also discuss film options, dictation and his upcoming book, Lost in Time, a time travel murder mystery.

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Writers, Ink // Episode 146 Following the Muse with Tess Gerritsen

Host J. Thorn interviews Tess Gerritsen, best known for her Rizzoli and Isles thriller series, which was also made into a TV show. She started by writing romance and then moved into thrillers. Every writers has a different process. Tess doesn’t work from an outline. She writes her first draft out long hand on unlined typing paper and plows through to the end before going back to make revisions. She is established enough in her career now, to write what she wants to write. Her latest book, Listen to Me, is a new Rizzoli and Isles thriller that she wasn’t planning to write until she heard one of her characters talking to her.

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Write Away // Episode 103 How do your write complex characters

Hosts JP Rindfleisch and Crys Cain use the Devil Tarot card to jumpstart their conversation about writing complex characters. JP starts his character development by considering the character’s needs, which relate to the story’s theme. Then he searches for the character’s flaw. What does the character not want to do, but will eventually have to do. Crys starts with a character’s strength and pushes it to the extreme to find the weakness related to that strength. Since she often writes romance, there are two main characters and one might be weak where the other is strong.

They recommend the book, The Emotional Thesaurus, or the related website, onestopforwriters.com as a great resource for discovering your character’s strengths and weaknesses. (a recommendation I totally second). They also discuss Clifton strengths, another great resource.

Finally they talk a bit about the difference in character development for high stake versus low stake stories.

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The Latest from The Author Life Podcast


This week authors J. Thorn and Crys Cain discuss the different subscription platforms available, how and when they can be valuable to authors, and what an author will be expected to provide to their subscribers.

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Bizarre Tales // Cursed and Phantom Vehicles

This episode discusses haunted cars, planes, trains and buses. The first tale involves witnessing a car wreck, but finding the car overgrown with vines and a fully decomposed body. Perhaps the trauma of the accident replays there. The second story involves a plane appearing and disappearing and possible time slips. The third story is about a ghost train. Don’t board it or you may be gone for years. Another story talks about James Dean’s haunted car which killed him and has injured many others. The final story is about a ghostly London bus which has no passengers or a driver and causes accidents.

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