The Happy Writer with Marissa Meyer

The Happy Writer with Marissa Meyer

Rejection! Impostor Syndrome! Writer's Block! Writing can be a tricky business. Marissa Meyer interviews authors on how we can overcome various obstacles and bring more joy to our writing process.

Episodes

March 4, 2024 48 mins

In this week’s episode Marissa chats with debut author and podcaster Bethanie Finger about her YA historical fantasy, MORE THAN LIFE. Also discussed in this episode: expedited series releases, being a pantser, even when worldbuilding, finding the magic in editing, short chapters, the effectiveness of writing exercises and sprints, the Prince Kai Fan Pod, the importance of setting boundaries, taking breaks, and asking for help, and ...

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In this week’s episode Marissa chats with literary agent, coach, and now author, Lucinda Halpern, about her new book, GET SIGNED: FIND AN AGENT, LAND A BOOK DEAL, AND BECOME A PUBLISHED AUTHOR. Also discussed in this jam-packed episode: the varied job of representing authors, why the query letter is the most important document a writer will ever create, the three keys to getting an agent and a subsequent book deal (and how you may ...

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February 19, 2024 40 mins

In this week’s episode Marissa chats with Hafsah Faizal about her latest YA fantasy heist, the first of a new duology, A TEMPEST OF TEA. Also discussed in this episode: how a non-reader can turn into a reader and then a published author, planning out a heist when being mostly a pantser, struggling with doubts and imposter syndrome, planning out romance, worldbuilding and the wisdom of editors, the benefits of time and space away fr...

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February 12, 2024 44 mins

In this week’s episode Marissa chats with Dinesh Thiru about his debut YA fantasy adventure, INTO THE SUNKEN CITY. Also discussed in this episode: how a gag project can inspire a writing career, retelling a literary classic (TREASURE ISLAND) in a postapocalyptic setting, how much of the source material to use, and creating a more modern diverse cast of characters, being conscious about your setting and sensory details, using real m...

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In this week’s episode, the first of the 2024 season, Marissa chats about her brand-new book, WITH A LITTLE LUCK, the companion to INSTANT KARMA. Featured in this episode are two special guests: Chuck Gonzales, the illustrator for the comic book pages inside WITH A LITTLE LUCK, and Stacy Carolan, the book’s audio edition narrator. 

 Discussed in this episode: the process of illustrating graphic novel panels (in black and white) as s...

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In this week’s episode, Marissa chats with Elle Gonzalez Rose about her queer YA rom-com, CAUGHT IN A BAD FAUXMANCE. Also discussed: How a career writing marketing copy for the screen is transferable to writing books and book marketing materials, the fun of writing favorite tropes in romance, bonding characters over cultural foods, the challenge of showing both sides of romantic feelings when writing a first person POV, worldb...
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December 4, 2023 46 mins
In this week’s episode, Marissa chats with Andrea Tang about her latest sci-fi heist YA, KINGDOM OF WITHOUT. Also discussed, genre-bending in YA, on discovering who your character is during the writing process, how edit notes really can give perspective and sometimes, exactly what the book needs, leaning on experts to help ensure details are authentic and appropriate, how to balance the sci-fi and fantasy elements to create a ...
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November 20, 2023 44 mins
In this week’s episode, Marissa chats with Jessica Vitalis about her latest contemporary middle grade, COYOTE QUEEN. Also discussed: how to pronounce ‘coyote’ (which is not as simple as one might think) and fascinating coyote facts, digging deep to put difficult emotions on the page and how much of a challenge that can be, mining lived experiences for fiction, how books build empathy, creating ongoing tension, and so much more...
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November 13, 2023 40 mins
In this week’s episode, Marissa chats with Kate Pearsall about her debut YA mystery (with magic!), BITTERSWEET IN THE HOLLOW. Also discussed: NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), creating an evocative and lush setting, using real locations as inspiration but changing details to suit the story, the brilliance of using gravestones for character names, how the setting of a small town can influence the story, using charts and...
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November 6, 2023 43 mins
In this week’s episode, Marissa chats with Leanne Schwartz about her YA fantasy debut, A PRAYER FOR VENGEANCE. Also discussed: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), using a theater background to help get into characters’ heads and allowing you to keep your audience in mind, writing neurodivergent characters from the place of a lived experience but still using beta readers, writing the motivations of a villain, bringing a s...
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In this week’s episode, Marissa chats with Terry J. Benton-Walker about his middle grade fantasy, ALEX WISE VS THE END OF THE WORLD. Also discussed: how a varied background that seems to not be related to writing can still inform a writer’s career, on being a super-plotter, exploring how people react in stressful situations (like an apocalypse!), creating real-life superhero characters, being thoughtful about writing character...
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October 24, 2023 50 mins
In this week’s episode, Marissa chats with S.H. Cotugno about their YA graphic novel, THE GLASS SCIENTISTS, based on the popular webcomic of the same name, inspired by the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story. Also discussed: collaborating with others and how to leave space for other people’s creativity, the relatability of Jekyll and Hyde and the feeling of not fitting into specific categories, the appeal of Victorian settin...
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October 16, 2023 38 mins
In this week’s episode, Marissa chats with Kalyn Josephson about her latest YA fantasy, THIS DARK DESCENT. Also discussed: how technical writing can help with creative and novel writing, using Jewish mythology as inspiration for fantasy (golems!), the joy in worldbuilding, how all fantasy books should have a map, how to decide whose point of view to write scenes in when crafting a multiple POV story, the intrigue of morally gr...
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October 9, 2023 47 mins
In this week’s episode, Marissa chats with John Connolly about THE LAND OF LOST THINGS, his long-anticipated companion to THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS. Also discussed: how being a journalist can help and/or hinder being a novelist, the concept of writing being a muscle, how even many books into a career you may recognize planning would make it easier to write, but still will never do it, reading reviews of your own books, the draw ...
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In this week’s episode, Marissa chats with Kristen Simmons about her YA horror, FIND HIM WHERE YOU LEFT HIM DEAD, which has been described (by past guest Kendare Blake!) as “Jumanji but Japanese-inspired”. Also discussed: How rejection can be deeply painful but that being a writer is what you are, regardless of the outside reaction to your work, leveling up as a writer, the challenge and fun in writing a large cast of characte...
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September 25, 2023 42 mins
In this week’s episode, Marissa chats with Kayvion Lewis about her new YA heist thriller, THIEVES’ GAMBIT. Also discussed: books coming out of dreams, creating a cast of characters when being a plot-first type of writer, the importance of revision in layering characters and refining complicated details (heists!), letting the world around you influence the writing, no matter how random it may seem at first, the newly coined “Po...
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September 18, 2023 40 mins

In this week’s episode, Marissa chats with Elizabeth Lim about her latest YA fantasy, HER RADIANT CURSE. Also discussed: the popularity of Sailor Moon Fan Fiction, the connections between writing music and writing words, combining Western fairy tales with East Asian folklore, how authentic and true to the source material to be when using historical places and time periods as inspirations for fantasy, writing sister stories, the mag...

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September 12, 2023 46 mins

In this week’s episode, Marissa chats with Aisha Saeed about her latest YA magical realism (with a bit of fantasy and romance), FORTY WORDS FOR LOVE. Also discussed: the origins and impact of the We Need Diverse Books organization, how there’s been much progress in creating more representation and diverse books but there’s always more work to be done, what it means to write the book of your heart, using fantasy to give distance and...

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In this special bonus episode, Marissa chats with C.J. Redwine and Mary Weber (who was first a guest in episode 8) about their online and sometimes in-person writing craft community, The Writer’s Sanctuary, how it came to be and what they do. Also discussed: tips on creating a joy-filled writing life, avoiding negativity pitfalls like perfectionism, comparison, and the pressure to perform to expectations. They also discuss advocati...

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In this week’s episode, Marissa chats with Rachael Lippincott about her new YA, pitched as a sapphic Bridgerton meets Freaky Friday rom-com, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND PITTSBURGH. Also discussed in this episode: the challenges of working on very distinct points of view, using music to get into a character’s POV, how deep to go into the research when writing a historical, the desire to time-travel back to the Regency era – knowing much...

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