Hear us Roar

Hear us Roar

If you’re an aspiring author and want insights into what’s involved in launching a book into the world, this is the podcast for you. Maggie Smith, author and blogger, interviews debut novelists from the Women’s Fiction Writers Association discussing not only the inspiration behind their book, but also their insights into the writing process, the best advice they ever got, and the joys and sometimes pitfalls they encountered on their path to publication.

Episodes

June 30, 2022 27 min

In this podcast, we discuss how Kalyn suffered a miscarriage a few years ago and sought solace in fiction only to find very few books dealing with this life-changing event. This led to her writing her debut as a way to not only explore her own experience but also reach out to others in the same situation.  She re-wrote her manuscript four times, changing not only tense but point of view, but once finished, was offered a contract fr...

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Paulette took 18 years to finish this novel which deals with a secret rarely discussed in women’s fiction—the pleasure we seek and deserve in the sexual arena. Hear how Paulette’s personal experiences prepared her to tackle this controversial subject matter and how once she did, she put herself through a crash course on self-publishing to make her book a reality.  We also dive deep into a discussion of why it’s so important for you...

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Enjoy our interview with Cherie Genua (Greetings from Tucson, indie-published, September 2021). Cherie, a self-described “woman in tech”, adds novelist to her resume with the release of this fictionalized account of her grandmother’s story, who lost her parents at a young age and then was separated from 2 of her 3 sisters for years afterwards.  The hand-written letters Cherie discovered in a box after her grandmother’s death provid...

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In this episode, we talk with Rebecca Campbell about writing her debut off and on for over a decade before finally finishing it and deciding to take control of the entire project, including interior formatting, cover design, and publishing it through KDP. Hailing from a small town in Australia meant primarily marketing her book online and we discuss the importance of virtual on-line communities to a writer like herself as well as ...

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Our host Maggie Smith leads a roundtable discussion with the three finalists for the WFWA Star Award for Women's Fiction/Debut category as they discuss what it means to write "women's fiction", the trajectory of their writing careers, finding camaraderie with their peers, the value of book awards, and what they've learned from readers since their book's publication.  

Panelists are:  Julie Carrick Dalton (Wa...

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Julia Daily's debut novel had its seeds in the author’s personal search over forty years ago for her birth mother, a time before DNA tests and genealogical records were available online. Her tale of three disparate women, meeting at a maternity home hospital in New Orleans, has resonated with adoptees like herself, with its message of joy, hope, and renewal. We also discuss Julia’s podcast, aptly named “Authors over 50” where s...

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Sarah’s book started out as a kind of third person typed journal, a reflection on a “what if” situation she encountered in her psychiatric practice. Once it came time to publish, you’ll laugh along with us at her fairy tale story of querying Gillian Flynn’s agent out of the blue even though she was closed to submissions and being offered representation within a day. We also discuss the pros and cons of signing with an imprint of th...

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This novel has its roots in Karen seeking answers as a mother as to how to raise a good son which eventually resulted in her fulfilling her lifelong dream to live on a Greek island for a year, where she was disciplined enough to write her first draft, despite the lure of the seaside location. We talk about synchronicity—how sometimes a book or a person or a place comes along at precisely the moment your spirit needs it, and how Kar...

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Hear how C. took events from her own life, including her Italian heritage, her closeness with her grandfather, and her love of cooking, and worked it into her debut novel. We delve into the fallout that occurred with her initial publisher, her decision to indie publish rather than starting back at square one, and how helpful the webinars available through WFWA were in teaching her the fundamentals of both novel-writing and marketin...

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Here how the inspiration from this story came from a “what if” moment while Penny was hiking with friends in the mountainous Tsitsikamma region of South Africa where she lives, how she had to change the ending of her novel because her character insisted on it, and how after years in fact-based journalism she rediscovered her childhood joy in telling made-up stories.

Penny Haw worked as a journalist and columnist for more than thre...

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I love Elizabeth’s suggestion to “put your pen on the paper and see what happens.” When she did that to an earlier manuscript that she initially conceived of as a romantic comedy, the result was a story of three sisters dealing with the aftermath of their mother’s suicide when they were children. We discuss how her husband found her a literary agents, how it took three manuscripts for her agent to finally sell one of her books, an...

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This week’s podcast guest is Julee Balko (The Things We Keep, GenZ Publishing, July 2021). The impetus for Julee’s book was her own grief following the death of her mother and her frustration at not finding books which dealt in a realistic and honest way with this crucial life experience. We discuss what it was like publishing with a small press, the difference between an author and a writer, and how she doesn’t set strict deadline...

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Our latest podcast is with Lyn Liao Butler (The Tiger Mom’s Tale, Berkeley, July 2021). Hear how Lyn taught herself to write by tearing apart (literally and figuratively) novels she enjoyed, analyzing their story structure, their characterizations, and their narrative arcs and how she is a stalwart plotter, often going months without writing a word while she’s planning her next book in her head. We discuss what it’s like to have yo...

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Amanda came to novel writing from a background as an actress where she had previously penned scripts for herself and others both for films and on the stage, but found she had to use very different muscles when it came to crafting a novel-length story loosely based on a real-life situation she and her husband experienced in New York. But during the querying process, her years of going on auditions and her experiences with the subjec...

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As an essential worker during the pandemic, Kristina learned first hand what it was like to have little control over either the risks or rewards of her job so after she finished her novel (loosely based on the story of a Standard Oil heiress paired with themes and imagery from Taylor Swift’s album Folklore), she went a different route. Taking control of the process, she became art director and model for her cover, learned formattin...

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Amanda talks about the book that gave her permission to write “outside the lines”, what she learned about her own life through exploring the narcissistic antagonist in her novel, and the process of identifying where her book fit on the genre shelf. She also takes us step by step through her process of learning, through podcasts and YouTube videos, how to create her own book on Vellum and launch it into the world, and her eventual ...

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Our guest this week is the person that generally hosts this podcast Maggie Smith (Truth and Other Lies, Ten16 Press, March 2022) and she’s interviewed by book editor and women’s fiction author Tiffany Yates Martin, WFWA 2021 Scribe.  Hear Maggie’s story of how her book went through various iterations before she found a plot which could highlight the relationship between a daughter, her mother, and her mentor; how she had to pivot w...

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Mary Camarillo grew up in North Carolina. Her father worked in aerospace and was transferred to Southern California when she was fourteen. After high school, she went to work for the post office. It might be genetic--both her grandfathers were railway mail clerks. She sorted mail, sold stamps, worked in the accounting office, went to night school, and earned a degree in business administration and eventually, a CPA license.

To lear...

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When Tavi wrote this debut about four female roadies who take a break to spend time at a Tuscan villa where each examines her life, she based them on women she knew from her time as a lighting specialist touring around the country with rock stars like Norah Jones. It was only after the book was complete that she realized she should run the characters by their real-life counterparts (luckily they were both flattered and helpful). W...

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February 17, 2022 27 min

Jenn Bouchard (First Course, Touchpoint Press, June 2021) combined her interest in food, her love of New England’s coastal towns, and her belief in the power of reinvention to write a debut with both romantic themes, a strong sisterhood component, and a seaside setting. Early in her writing journey, Jenn made a point of going to author talks for inspiration, even driving hours in the rain to meet her idol, Jennifer Weiner. And you...

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