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

Hello Writers and Crafters! I’m Valerie Ihsan and I specialize in helping writers with their memoirs.

Writing a memoir is no different from any other writing project. Sometimes the words flow out from your fingertips, and some days it’s a slog. Some days it’s triggering. Sometimes you procrastinate and find all manner of chores that desperately need doing instead of excavating your journals for raw emotion to put into your book.

However, writing memoir does have a few nuances that one must consider AFTER you’ve written the first draft. Things that will need a firm, yet caring, editorial hand; Like, pacing, character development, and addressing the knee-jerk statement, “But it happened that way.”

But most important in writing memoir intended for publication, one needs a conscious healthy separation between writer and character when receiving constructive feedback. Use third person pronouns when referring to the character in the book (you) as you speak to editors. And remember that it is about the Story and how your readers will best be able to read your tale. If your book isn’t edited into a format that is clear and riveting, your take-away message will be lost, and the reader won’t be able to benefit from your wisdom.

You can do this. I believe in you.

Top 3 Must-Listen Episodes

Writer Craft Podcast // Ep66: Filling the Creative Well

I love conversations about creativity. It’s important to fill the well and find ways to keep it full. Especially when we use our brains so much.

Erick and I talk about the importance of personal comfort and being receptive to receiving the inspiration from those activities that fill our wells before creativity can happen in our work. For instance, personal rituals including yummy cups of tea, deep breathing, and lighting a candle before starting work. Or even a clean desk.

One of Erick’s favorite ways to fill the well is to take the long way home, driving through neighborhoods. Inevitably, he needs to pull over and write down a story idea or phrase. He also enjoys the clichéd coffee shop, where he listens to conversations to get dialogue ideas.

What do you do to fill the well?

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Self Publishing Insiders // Ep72: Writing and Formatting Books Using Atticus, with Dave Cheeson

Kevin and Dave discuss Dave’s new web-based software, Atticus.
(Even where the name and logo came from!)

I’ve been hearing a lot of chatter about Atticus and am keeping my eye on it. I personally use Scrivener and Vellum to write and format my books, but I must admit, Atticus sounds like a strong contender in the future. (Especially in the way editors can use it.)

Dave explains the pros for using Atticus, his plans for its future, and the order in which he and his team will be building out Atticus’s functionality.

It’s a great episode if you are curious about Atticus–how it works, and how it will work.

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Creator Dad Podcast // 50 Books in a Series and Counting with Robert J Crane

Robert and Zach talk about long, long, long series. Robert is just now publishing his 50th book in one of his series.

He gives a surprising look at how to carry the story arc over the many books. The answer is kind-of not to. He writes in seasons, for one. And after nine to twelve books in the series, he ultimately concluded his original series arc.

Subsequent books have morphed into more of a stand-alone format.

It’s the connective tissue that links the books in the series now.

Zach writes trilogies within his series, with one villain per trilogy.

The two writers talk about villain building, the future of publishing and streaming services, writing processes—including tacos, donuts, Indian food, treadmill desks—and daily word count goals.

It’s packed with great writerly advice. Well worth the listen.

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The Latest from The Author Life Podcast


This week authors J. Thorn and Crys Cain discuss when to adopt new technology for yourself or for your business based on where you fall on the Rogers Curve of Innovation.

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The VOHeroes Podcast // Ep18: Baby Steps

The term “baby steps” is often used to indicative tiny actions one can take to move forward toward our goals, and sometimes those steps are tentative and wobbly. But Baby Steps are also joyful and wild and unpredictable and passionate. And that’s a good thing to remember.

Babies don’t care about making a mess. They don’t care if they’ve walked in the wrong direction for a time; They turn around and start back. They don’t worry about failure.
And look what happens. The people around them don’t berate them for stumbling or think they look foolish when they fail. They say, “Look how they are trying! This is great! First steps!”

People around you are rooting for you. Your followers, fans, friends, and family are rooting for you while you take your first unbalanced, lurching baby steps into the unknown.

This tiny seven-minute podcast episode was a lovely pep-talk that translates into any baby steps you are taking in your life right now.

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Inside The Author Life

You’ve got this. Just keeping trying.

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