Pen On Fire blog

Shawn Shiflett and Jim Fusilli on Writers on Writing

In the first half hour, Shawn Shiflett, author of Hey, Liberal!talks with co-host Nicole Nelson about the challenges of humanizing evil characters, writing realistic dialogue, and how being a natural mimic helps to create authentic-sounding voices.

In the second half, I’m on with Jim Fusilli, editor of Crime Plus Music: Twenty Stories of Music-Themed Noir. We discuss how his background as a music critic influenced him in writing fiction, how he finds short stories more challenging to craft than novels, and why noir works better in short fiction and movies, and not so well in novels.

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(Broadcast date: November 9, 2016)

Fiction writers Clarence Major and Kelly Luce on Writers on Writing

In this post-election show, Clarence Major (novelist, poet, painter, short story writer and essayist) joins Marrie Stone to talk about his latest story collection, Chicago Heat and Other Stories.   What’s been on his mind?  How do we love?  How do we connect?  Where do we find hope?  He shares this and more.

In the second half, Kelly Luce talks about her debut novel, Pull Me Under.  She talks about her time in Japan, and how a phenomena unique to Japan influenced her novel.  Kelly also discusses working with psychologically difficult characters, what a move to present tense did for the book, and how she became a serious writer after leaving her MFA program.

 Download audio.

(Broadcast date: November 16, 2016)

Writers’ resources

What you see below are links to websites that I talk about with writer friends and students. Today, on an ASJA writers retreat in Palm Springs, in between a walk and a tele-lecture by Ryan Galloway of Contently , I decided it was past time to share this these resources. As I come across new sites to share, I’ll add them to the list, so check back often.

The Op-Ed project – A group that’s all about writing op-ed pieces and essays.

New Pages – Links to, and reviews of, literary journals.

Web del Sol – Links to literary journals and writers’ resources.

Duotrope – For pocket change every month, Duotrope gives you access to just about every U.S. lit journal or magazine.

Scriptnotes – The best podcast for screenwriters that I’ve found thus far. The hosts, John August (Big Fish) and Craig Maizin (Identity Thief), are working screenwriters who believe everything you need to know about screenwriting can be found on their podcast.

Publisher’s Lunch – Daily publishing news.

Publisher’s Marketplace – A compendium of agent listings and links. $25 a month. Subscribe for a month, use it all you can, and end your subscription. Easy.

And of course my show, Writers on Writing, features interviews with authors every Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. PT. KUCI-FM 88.9. Shows are later podcast on iTunes. Please subscribe to the show, free of charge, on iTunes and if you like the show, we’d love it if you would write a review.



Gina Frangello and Francine Prose on Writers on Writing

Gina Frangello, author of Every Kind of Wanting, joins Marrie Stone to talk about writing through difficult life circumstances, how literature can save us, the inspiration for her characters, and more.

In the second half, Francine Prose shares her novel Mister Monkey.  Everything is fodder for her writing.  She talks about embracing various points of view, how books have a life of their own, life coincidences, and how she tackled the “monkey problem.”

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(Broadcast date: November 2, 2016)

Novelists Jade Chang and Janice Y.K. Lee on Writers on Writing

Debut novelist Jade Chang, author of The Wangs vs. the Worldtalks with co-host Nicole Nelson about playing with point of view, her experience putting an earlier novel in a drawer, and how she found her agent.

In the second half, novelist Janice Y. K. Lee, author of The Expatriates, talks about balancing three different POV characters, not taking the easy way out, and the importance of trusting yourself and your voice when you struggle to write through to the end.

Download audio.
(Broadcast date: October 5, 2016)