First Draft with Sarah Enni

Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN, CROWN OF WISHES, and the ARU SHAH series talks about the first book in her latest young adult series, THE GILDED WOLVES, out January 15. She talks about connecting to her history through fairy tales, how being voted most likely to succeed caused a lot of angst, and the pressure of picking an AIM away message.


Roshani Chokshi Show Notes

Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Jhumpa Lahiri

AFI (band)

Thursday (band)

Deftones (band)

Harry Potter

Sailor Moon (cartoon)

Christiane Amanpour (TV broadcast journalism)

His Girl Friday

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (book)

The Young Elites by Marie Lu (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here)

Rick Riordan

His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman

Stormrunner by J. C. Cervantes

Stephanie Lurie, Editorial Director, Rick Riordan Presents (Disney-Hyperion)

Claire Legrand (listen to her First Draft interview here)

National Treasure (movie)

Lara Croft (video game character)

“Venus in Furs” a song by The Velvet Underground

Holly Black (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Radiance by Catherynne Valente

Deathless by Catherynne Valente

Tomb Raider (movie)

The Librarian (movie)

The Mummy (movie)

Dan Brown

Direct download: Roshani_Chokshi_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:03am PST

Tracey Neithercott, author of Gray Wolf Island, talks about being inspired by unsolved mysteries and real life treasure hunters, how writing shapes our identities, and how she wrote her debut book while dealing with a life-altering chronic pain diagnosis.


Tracey Neithercott Show Notes

The Bodyguard (movie)

Whitney Houston

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Dawson’s Creek (TV show)

Kiersten White (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Absolute Write

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Sarah LaPolla, literary agent

Stand By Me (movie)

Oak Island

Astonishing Legends podcast about Oak Island

Forrest Fenn (antiquities dealer who buried a treasure)

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Tahereh Mafi (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Direct download: Tracey_Neithercott_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 7:57am PST

Melissa Albert, New York Times bestselling author of The Hazel Wood and its forthcoming sequel, as well as Tales from the Hinterlands, talks about stuffing her debut book with secret book recommendations, the borderlessness of being a young reader, and loving angry girls in fiction.


Melissa Albert Show Notes

Vera Nabokov

The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin


Hollywood Babylon by Kenneth Anger

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner

Wise Child by Monica Furlong

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Hook (movie)

Charles de Lint

Helen Oyeyemi

Philip Pullman’s Grimm Brothers translation

Roshani Chokshi’s forthcoming trio of novellas

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Kelly Link

Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo (listen to her First Draft episodes here and here)

Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs (listen to his First Draft interview here)

Flannery O’Connor

Time Out Chicago

A Spark of Light (Barnes & Noble exclusive edition)

Barnes & Noble YA Blog

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Feed by M. T. Anderson

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Francesca Lia Block (listen to her First Draft interview here)

His Hideous Heart by Dahlia Adler

Working Partners (work for hire book company in England)

George Saunders essay about what writers really do when they write

Sadie by Courtney Summers (listen to her First Draft interview here)

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Twilight Zone (TV show)

Radiance by Catherynne Valente

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

Romeo + Juliet (movie)

Love Lists, a blog post by Stephanie Perkins

Emma Chastain, writer

The North Texas Teen Book Festival

Welcome to Night Vale (podcast)

The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman

The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke

Ira Glass
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here)

Direct download: Melissa_Albert_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:53am PST

Sarah Dessen, #1 New York Times bestselling author of ONCE AND FOR ALL, JUST LISTEN, THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER and many more. Her newest novel, THE REST OF THE STORY, will come out in June 2019.


Sarah Dessen Show Notes

Jackie Collins

Stephen King

Mary Higgins Clark

Maurene Goo (listen to her First Draft interviews here, here, and here)

Alexander London (listen to his First Draft interviews here and here)

Melissa Walker

Doris Betts (writing teacher at UNC)

John Green

Jodi Picoult

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

Lee Smith (author)

Save the Date by Morgan Matson (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here)

Sarah Dessen’s 2013 blog post about pulling a book

The Hilarious World of Depression podcast episode featuring NPR’s Linda Holmes

Shakespeare in Love (movie)

J.K Rowling

The Bustle article about Sarah Dessen’s tweet convo with JK Rowling

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Harlan Cohen

Direct download: Sarah_Dessen_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:16am PST

Elana K. Arnold, author of YA books Damsel, What Girls Are Made Of, Infandous, and Middle Grade series A Boy Called Bat, and many more, talks about working until the book feels worthy, reusing structure, and uncovering a deep well of rage in her writing.


Elana K. Arnold Show Notes 2.0

Elana’s first First Draft interview

His Dark Materials books by Philip Pullman

Martha Brockenbrough, author of Unpresidented
An Ordinary Day by Elana K. Arnold (picture book coming out next year)

Direct download: Elana_K_Arnold_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 8:38am PST

Nina LaCour, author of We Are Okay, winner of the 2018 Printz Award, and other contemporary YA titles like Everything Leads to You and Hold Still, joins me to talk about how she’s expanding her teaching role with The Slow Novel Lab, and an exciting new podcast venture called Keeping a Notebook.


Nina LaCour Show Notes

Nina LaCour’s first First Draft interview

Lorde’s album Pure Heroine

We Are Okay

Nina’s interview on Yin Chang’s podcast, 88 Cups of Tea

Alfred Hitchcock

The Castle of Otranto, a 1764 novel by Horace Walpole

Virginia Woolf

Jane Eyre

Wuthering Heights

Frida Kahlo (Artist)

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

Keeping a Notebook (and the episode featuring Sarah Enni)

The Slow Novel Lab

“On Keeping a Notebook” by Joan Didion

Sara Zarr’s podcast This Creative Life

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)

Save the Cat



Nina’s short story in the Foreshadow YA online YA anthology collection

Writing the Breakout Novel: Worksheets by Donald Maass

Hamline low residency MFA program

Direct download: Nina_LaCour_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 7:41am PST

Peter Stone, debut author of THE PERFECT CANDIDATE, talks about his time in Washington (before the onset of the 24-hour news cycle), how interns run the world, and how writing a speech for his wife led him to finally try a novel.


Peter Stone Show Notes

The Firm by John Grisham



Watergate (for more, listen to Slow Burn Season 1)

Monica Lewinsky (for more, listen to Slow Burn Season 2)

Chandra Levy

The My Favorite Murder podcast episode about Chandra Levy’s death

The NPR Politics podcast

The Wilderness (by Crooked Media)

JonBenet Ramsey

Laci Peterson

Newt Gingrich

Old Ebbitt Grill (bar in Washington, D.C.)

The Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here)

The Robert Mueller Investigation

George Papadopoulos

Edward Snowden

Whitewater (for more, listen to Slow Burn Season 2)

Vince Foster (for more, listen to Slow Burn Season 2)

House of Cards (TV show)

Scandal (TV show)

The Pelican Brief (movie)

The Hunt for Red October (movie)

Ben’s Chili Bowl (restaurant in D.C.)

Tortilla Coast (restaurant in D.C.)

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe

Neil Gaiman’s quote about writing while inspired

Direct download: Peter_Stone_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 8:18am PST

Holly Black, Newberry Honoree and New York Times bestselling author of many things, including many series such as the SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES, THE CURSE WORKER, MAGISTERIUM, and her most recent series, FOLK OF THE AIR. The latest book in that series, THE WICKED KING, comes out January 8—the tour dates to support that book were just released on Hypable today!

Holly Black Show Notes


Tony DiTerlizzi, her artist for Spiderwick Chronicles

Faeries by Brian Froud and Alan Lee



Third Eye Blind

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Interview With a Vampire by Anne Rice

Kevin Lewis (editor, Simon & Schuster)

Sabriel by Garth Nix

Tamora Pierce

Cassandra Clare

Kiersten White (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Dhonielle Clayton (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here)

Office Smart

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Kelly Link

Dante’s Inferno


Direct download: Holly_Black_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:50am PST

Robin Talley—author of LIES WE TELL OURSELVES, WHAT WE LEFT BEHIND, AS I DESCENDED, OUR OWN PRIVATE UNIVERSE—talks about her newest novel, PULP. Robin shares insight about transitioning into being a full-time writer and stay-at-home mom, writing a Judy Blume book for queer girls, and writing books with her younger self in mind.


Robin Talley Show Notes

Robin’s previous First Draft episode

Simon Versus the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (listen to her First Draft episode here)

Dahlia Adler



Forever by Judy Blume

Love, Simon (movie)

Ann Bannon (famous lesbian pulp author)

Spring Fire by Marijane Meeker

The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

Carol (movie)

The Lavender Scare

Lambda Literary Foundation

All Out edited by Saundra Mitchell

A Tyranny of Petticoats edited by Jessica Spotswood (listen to her First Draft episode here)

Robin’s short stories

Direct download: Robin_Talley_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 8:31am PST

Andy Weir, New York Times best-selling author of THE MARTIAN and his new stand-alone Sci-Fi novel, ARTEMIS. This interview is a live recording of the in-conversation I had with Andy for New York Comic Con. I loved hearing Andy talk about moon economies, managing anxiety, and how science makes his books living documents.


Andy Weir Show Notes

The Martian (movie)

Matt Damon playing Brett Kavanaugh on SNL

Neil Degrasse Tyson

Andy’s Business Insider article on the economy of a moon colony

Direct download: Andy_Weir_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 8:48am PST

Bea and Leah Koch, two sisters who co-own The Ripped Bodice, the only brick and mortar bookstore in the U.S. to sell exclusively romance titles, who were named 2017 RWA Steffie Walker Booksellers of the Year by the Romance Writers of America and recently struck an overall deal with Sony Pictures. I loved what Bea and Leah had to say about being activist booksellers, retraining romance readers, and becoming advocates for representation and change in publishing.

Bea and Leah Koch, owners of The Ripped Bodice, Show Notes

Women and Children First (bookstore in Illinois)

The Ripped Bodice Kickstarter

Preeti Chhibber (of Scholastic)

Word bookstore’s Romance Book Club

Greenlight (bookstore in Brooklyn)

Ashley C. Ford (author and editor running the Green Light romance book club)

The Ripped Bodice State of Racial Diversity in Romance Publishing Report (2016 and 2017) (The New York Times artiicle detailing the report’s findings, “In Love With Romance Novels, But Not Their Lack of Diversity”)

Vivian Stevens (editor of romance novels)

Beverly Jenkins (romance author)

RWA (Romance Writers Association)

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books (listen to Associate Director of Event Programming for LATFoB, Maret Orliss, here)

Direct download: Ripped_Bodice_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 7:28am PST

Tiffany D. Jacksonauthor of ALLEGEDLY, whose latest book, MONDAY’S NOT COMING, is out now! Her next book, LET ME HEAR A RHYME, is due out May 21, 2019!—talks about still considering herself a newbie writer, the allure of horror stories, and being honest about the emotions of publishing.


Tiffany Jackson Show Notes


There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins


Get Out (movie)

American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Direct download: Tiffany_Jackson_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:04am PST

Laini Taylor is a National Book Award finalist for Lips Touch Three Times, New York Times bestseller for the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, and Printz Honoree for Strange the Dreamer and its sequel, Muse of Nightmares, out now!


Laini Taylor Show Notes

John Grisham

Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel

Victoria Aveyard (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here)

Jim di Bartolo, illustrator and Laini’s husband


The National Book Award

Arthur Levine, publisher at Scholastic

In the Shadows by Kiersten White and Jim di Bartolo

Printz Award

Laini’s Ladies

Sarah Dessen

Victoria Schwab (listen to her First Draft podcast here)

Holly Black

Cassie Clare

Sarah Rees Brennan

Kelly Link

Libba Bray (listen to her First Draft podcasts here and here)

Maurene Goo (listen to her First Draft podcasts here and here and here)

Gentleman and Phantoms, Laini’s story which appears in the Foretold anthology

The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer, Laini’s story which appears in the My True Love Gave to Me anthology

Direct download: LainiTaylor_FINAL_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:38am PST

Tochi Onyebuchi, author of CROWN OF THUNDER, the second book in the BEASTS MADE OF NIGHT series--which is out now--talks about the audacity of new writers’ ideas, writing himself and his family into a book for the first time, and being an award-winning witness.


Tochi Onyebuchi Show Notes

The Los Angeles TImes Festival of Books (listen to my interview with the festival’s Associate Director of Events Programming, Maret Orliss, here)


Linkin Park

The Wikipedia entry of Nigerian-Americans

Lie Down In Darkness by William Styron

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay

Renee Ahdieh (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo (manga)

The Raft of the Medusa by Théodore Géricault

Eugène Delacroix, French Romantic artist

Sabaa Tahir (listen to her First Draft podcast here)

Marie Lu (listen to her First Draft podcast interviews here and here)

Leigh Bardugo (listen to her FIrst Draft podcast interview here)

Black Panther (movie)


Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (listen to her First Draft podcast here)

John Cheever

Mad Men (TV show)
Paul Thomas Anderson (filmmaker)

Direct download: Tochi_Onyebuchi_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:36am PST

Sam Maggs, author of A FANGIRL’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY: A Handbook for Geek Girls and WONDER WOMEN: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History, talks about her most recent book, GIRL SQUADS, a non-fiction collection of 20 female friendships that changed history. Sam shares the Google search that kicked off the new book, the surprising (and alarming) stories she stumbled on while researching GIRL SQUADS, and deploying her pronunciation skills for the audiobook.


Sam Maggs Show Notes


The Ripped Bodice bookstore in Culver City, CA


Wonder Women by Sam Maggs


Zohra, the all-female orchestra in Afghanistan


1964 Japanese women’s volleyball team

Magical Beatdown by Jen Woodall, illustrator

Direct download: Sam_Maggs_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:03am PST

Nic Stone, New York Times bestselling author of DEAR MARTIN, talks about her newest young adult novel, ODD ONE OUT, out October 9! Nic talks about lies of imagination versus lies of convenience,  “high taste” readers, and the benefits of eavesdropping.


Nic Stone Show Notes


Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Brandy Colbert (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here)

Spelman College

Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors,” a friendship theory by Rudine Sims Bishop

Christopher Myers and Chris Jackson, publishers of their own imprints at Random House

Kwame Alexander

Mae Carol Jemison (Astronaut)

The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Divergent by Veronica Roth (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here)

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

John Green

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Beverly Daniel Tatum, PhD. (president of Spellman University)

Sarah Dessen

Rena Rossner (NIc Stone’s agent at The Deborah Harris Agency)

Phoebe Yeh, Nic’s editor

Jordan Davis, a young black man killed in Florida over loud music

Walter Dean Myers

Eliezer "Elie" Wiesel

Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Beauty that Remains by Ashley Woodfolk

Aminah Mae Safi (listen to her First Draft podcast here)

Mindy Kaling

Direct download: Nic_Stone_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 8:48am PST

Alex London--author of the Proxy Series, the Wild Ones series, and more, about his new young adult novel, BLACK WINGS BEATING--talks about the patriarchal influence on narrative structure, considering queer heroism, being terrified of coming back to YA, and why Jonathan Franzen owes him a thank you note.


Alex London Show Notes

Alex London’s first episode of First Draft

The Wild Ones

Junior Library Guild

The Adventures of Wrong Man and Power Girl

Hope Nation edited by Rose Brock

Ursula K. le Guin

H is for Hawk by Helen McDonald

The Once and Future King by T. H. White

Mike Dupuy Hawk Food

Mary Fran Rash, Owner of Main Street Books in St. Charles, MO


Adam Gidwitz

Neal Shusterman

Jason Reynolds
Will Kostakis (listen to his First Draft episode here)

Direct download: Alex_London_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:19am PST

Sara Farizan, author of IF YOU COULD BE MINE and TELL ME AGAIN HOW A CRUSH SHOULD FEEL, talks about her newest novel, HERE TO STAY, out now! Sara talks about love as a human rights issue, writing action sequences, and why she chose not to write in Charles Barkley’s voice.


Sara Farizan Show Notes

New England Mobile Book Fair

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

Sesame Street

The Office (TV show)

The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

John Irving

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Maurene Goo (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here and here)

Books, Inc. (bookstore in SF)

Reggie Miller (former NBA player and commentator)

Kevin Harlan (NBA commentator)

The murder of Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Matthew Shepard

Stephen Curry (NBA player)

Charles Barkley (NBA player)

Daria Morgendorffer (Daria TV show)

Direct download: SaraFarizan_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 7:42am PST

Nova Ren Suma, New York Times bestselling author of The Walls Around Us, Imaginary Girls, and more, talks about her newest novel, A Room Away From the Wolves, out now! Nova shares what she learned from ghostwriting, talks about finding New York through the myths of her mother, and talks about discovering her strange self.


Nova Ren Suma show notes

Imaginary Girls

Margaret Atwood

Fear of Flying by Erica Jong

Mary Higgins Clark

Antioch College

Feathered by Laura Kasischke

Francesca Lia Block (listen to her First Draft episode here)

Laura Ruby

Bennett Madison

The MacDowell Colony

Micol Ostow (author)

Kate Angelella (editor at Simon and Schuster)

Good Morning Midnight by Jean Rhys

Yaddo (artist’s colony)

Poets & Writers magazine

Direct download: NovaRenSuma_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 8:20am PST

Courtney Summers, author of many books including CRACKED UP TO BE, THIS IS NOT A TEST, ALL THE RAGE, and her newest novel which comes out today, SADIE, talks about not wanting to do a book a year again, seeing her career shift 10 years in, how she thinks about her abrupt endings, sticking with the heart of the novel, and podcasts.


Courtney Summers 2.0 Show Notes


Hear Courtney’s first First Draft interview (with bonus Veronica Roth) here!


Serial (podcast)

S Town (podcast)

Sara Goodman, Courtney’s editor at Wednesday Books (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Emily Hainsworth (author)

Interstellar (movie)

Maurene Goo (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here and here)

Tell Me Everything by Sarah Enni

Direct download: CourtneySummers_final_mix.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Somaiya Daud, debut author of YA sci-fi book MIRAGE, was the very first author I ever interviewed for First Draft Podcast. We had a lot to catch up on since then, so listen now to hear about Somaiya’s bumpy path to publication, the way race plays into our concepts of the future and, of course, Star Wars!


Somaiya Daud Show Notes


Somaiya Daud’s first interview with First Draft Podcast

J. R. R. Tolkien

William Gibson

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Emma by Jane Austen

One Thousand and One Nights



Star Wars

Alloy Entertainment

Chelsea Grimmer

The Poetry Vlog

Somaiya Daud on The Poetry Vlog

Provincializing Europe by Dipesh Chakrabarty

Ex Machina (film)

The Jetsons

Joanna Volpe

Direct download: SomaiyaDaud_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:00am PST



Jessica Spotswood Show Notes

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Michele Volanksy, Dean of Dramaturgy at Washington College

The Laramie Project (play)

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Ira Glass’s quote on creativity

Tiffany Schmidt

Jessica’s Reddit AMA about editing anthologies

Slasher Girls and Monster Boys edited by April Genevieve Tucholke

Beth Revis (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Andrea Creamer

Marie Lu (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here)

Saundra Mitchell

Carrie Ryan

Caroline Tung Richmond (listen to her First Draft podcast here)

Lindsay Smith (listen to her First Draft podcast here)

Robin Talley (listen to her First Draft podcast here)

Y. S. Lee

Kekla Magoon

Leslye Walton

Tess Sharpe

Direct download: JessicaSpotswood_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 7:53am PST

Julian Winters, author of RUNNING WITH LIONS, talks about starting to write so he could create happy endings for his own life, being more creative when working at night, wanting to chuck the rulebook, and his nontraditional publishing journey.


Julian Winters Show Notes

One Direction

Felicity (TV show)

Scandal (TV show)

Scott Foley

Kirsten Hubbard (listen to her First Draft podcast here)

Sara Farizan (author of IF YOU COULD BE MINE and TELL ME AGAIN HOW A CRUSH SHOULD FEEL and the forthcoming HERE TO STAY)

BOY MEETS BOY by David Levithan

Robbie Rogers (out soccer player)

Nic Stone (author of DEAR MARTIN and the forthcoming ODD ONE OUT)

INTO THE BLUE by Pene Henson

LUCHADOR by Erin Finnegan

Becky Albertalli, author of SIMON VERSUS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA (listen to her First Draft podcast here)

Patrice Caldwell

Simon James Green, author of NOAH CAN’T EVEN

Adam Silvera (listen to his First Draft interview here)

Direct download: JulianWinters_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:15am PST

Katie Cotugno, author of HOW TO LOVE, FIREWORKS, TOP TEN, and 99 DAYS and its sequel, 9 DAYS AND 9 NIGHTS, talks about the correlation between how she’s feeling and whether she’s writing, her ten-year debut novel, and making sense in the quiet after the loud.

Katie Cotugno Show Notes

The Baby-Sitters Club

Sweet Valley High

The Saddle Club

Roald Dahl

Judy Blume

Maurene Goo (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here and here!)

Robin Benway (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here)


Zan Romanoff (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Emerson College

Alloy Entertainment

Wesleyan University

Jodi Picoult

Morgan Matson and her book SAVE THE DATE (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here)



The Office (TV show)

Lisa Schroeder

Direct download: KatieCotugno_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:56am PST

Emily X. R. Pan, debut author of the New York Times bestselling THE ASTONISHING COLOR OF AFTER, talks about how she discovered her creative life after going to business school, her many years of writing and re-writing her book, and finding her bravery to put herself on the page.

Emily X. R. Pan Show notes:

Little Brown Books for Young Readers

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice

NYU Stern School of Business

Penguin (now Penguin Random House)

Professor Chuck Wachtel at NYU



Losing Face” in Chinese culture


Mahayana Buddhism

Coco (movie)

Noggin by John Corey Whaley

FORESHADOW: A Serial YA Anthology

Direct download: EmilyXRPan_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:43am PST

Brendan Kiely, author of THE GOSPEL OF WINTER, THE LAST TRUE LOVE STORY, and co-author of ALL AMERICAN BOYS. His newest novel, TRADITION, is an exploration of the insidious nature of tradition at a prestigious boarding school. Brendan talks about the nature of authorship, the heroic value of humility, and working hard to not have an office.


Brendan Kiely Show Notes

Victoria Aveyard (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here)

Jessie Chaffee (Brendan’s wife)

When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds

Rob Weisbach (Brendan’s agent)

Leigh Bardugo (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here)

Chris Lynch (YA author)

John Corey Whaley (listen to his First Draft interview here)

Black Lives Matter

Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds

As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds

I Have the Right To by Chessy Prout

Paradise Lost by John Milton
Wildfang’s Wild Feminist line (Portland clothing line)

Four Forms of Identity, the concept of Achieved Identity

Direct download: Kiely_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:12am PST

Adrienne Young, New York Times bestselling author of SKY IN THE DEEP, talks about having a no-boundaries critique partner relationship, unhealthy (but effective) drafting processes, and how Saturn’s return led to her debut novel.


Adrienne Young Show Notes

Edward Scissorhands (movie)

Labyrinth (movie)

The Nightmare Before Christmas (movie)

Beetlejuice (movie)

Kristin Dwyer

Mysterious Galaxy

Direct download: Adrienne_Young_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 8:28am PST

Caroline Kepnes—author of YOU and its sequel HIDDEN BODIES, soon to be a Lifetime drama series starring Penn Badgley—talks about her most recent novel, PROVIDENCE, talks about her Cape Cod sensibility, writing while literally regaining her voice, and having her writing debut in Sassy magazine.


Caroiine Kepnes Show Notes

Go here to vote for PROVIDENCE to be the first-ever pick for the Tonight Show Book Club

And be sure to tune in to LIFETIME on September, 9, 2018 at 10/9 CT for the premiere of YOU!

Hop on Pop

Richard Scarry

Beezus and Ramona

Judy Blume

Sweet Valley High

Sassy magazine

Christina Kelly (editor of Sassy magazine)

“She Talks to Angels” by the Black Crowes (song)

YM Magazine

School Ties (movie)

Chris O’Donnell (actor)

Brown (university)

Parker Posey (actor)

Courtney Summers (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Conan O’Brien


Backstreet Boys

Tiger Beat

New Kids on the Block

Entertainment Weekly

KGB Bar & Lit Journal

7th Heaven (TV show)

Cedar Cove (TV show)
Lucinda Rosenfeld (author)

Direct download: Caroline_Kepnes_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 1:02pm PST

Aminah Mae Safi, debut author of NOT THE GIRLS YOU’RE LOOKING FOR, talks about writing hangry characters, trying to make fetch happen in a book, how fantasy stories hold an inherent appeal to children of immigrants, and how artists have to have batshit belief in themselves.

Aminah Mae Safi Show Notes

Lauren Anderson (first black female ballet dancer, in Houston)


Reza Aslan

Inigo Montoya

Kirsten Hubbard (her First Draft interview here)

Article about foreign translators talking about interpreting President Trump

Emmanuel Macron

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Brandy Colbert

The Never-Ending Story (movie)

Winter of Fire book by Sherryl Jordan

Bachelorette (movie)

Mean Girls (movie)

The Scarlet Letter

Winona Ryder

The Crucible

Demi Moore

Direct download: Aminah_Mae_Safi_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Maurene Goo, author of SINCE YOU ASKED, I BELIEVE IN A THING CALLED LOVE and the recently-released THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL, joins me to talk about planning book launches. Then, hear the live audio from when I helped Maurene launch THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL at The Ripped Bodice in Culver City, California.


Maurene Goo Show Notes

Brandy Colbert

Stephanie Kuehn

CVT Soft Serve (food truck)

The Ripped Bodice (bookstore)

Fierce Reads

Riverdale (TV show)

Vroman’s Bookstore

Edward Cullen

Glow (TV show)

La Brea Tar Pits

Griffith Park Observatory

John Cho

Jem and the Holograms (movie)

The Hindenburg disaster

Scott Campbell (illustrator)

Thor: Ragnarok (movie)

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (movie

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (movie)

Taran Matharu (author)

Tricia Levenseller (author)

Mary Pearson (author)

Hathaways series by Lisa Kleypas

Art Boss by Kayla Cagan

The Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser

Sadie by Courtney Summers

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

Tell Me Everything by Sarah Enni

Morgan Matson

New Girl (TV show)

Rainbow Rowell

Judy Blume


Direct download: Maurene_book_launch_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Morgan Matson, New York Times bestselling author of THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING, SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE, and her latest YA, SAVE THE DATE, talks about having the eleventh book be the hardest yet, “flashpoint” stories, the Morganverse, her unusual editing process, and writing a book in movies’ clothing.


Morgan Matson 2.0 Show Notes

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

For Better or For Worse (comic strip)

Noises Off by Michael Frayn

Morgan’s first First Draft episode

Katie Finn (Morgan’s alter ego)

Foxtrot (comic strip)

Calvin & Hobbes (comic strip)

Doonsebury (comic strip)

Justin Chanda, Vice President and Publisher at Simon and Schuster

Diya Mishra

Father of the Bride (movie)

Sixteen Candles (movie)

The Family Stone (movie)

Rachel Getting Married (movie)

Frasier (TV show)

Friends (TV show)

Noises Off (movie)

Susan Dennard

Direct download: Morgan_Matson_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 6:00am PST

Francesca Lia Block, author of more than 25 books, including seminal YA novel Weetzie Bat, talks about her most recent book, THE THORN NECKLACE, a memoir-driven guide to healing through the craft of writing. Francesca talks about meshing her life with that of her most favorite character, shares some incredibly useful writing exercises, and talks about *when* to do research.


Francesca Lia Block Show Notes

Joni Mitchell

Harry Houdini

Linda Venis, former head of the UCLA extension Writers Program

H.D., “Sea Rose

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Jill Alexander Essbaum

Fairies in the Kitchen: The Weetzie Bat Cookbook by Carmen Staton and Francesca Lia Block

The Midnight Disease by Alice W. Flaherty


Writing as a Way of Healing: How Telling Our Stories Transforms Our Lives by Louise DeSalvo

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Direct download: Francesca_Lia_Block_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka, soon-to-be-married couple and co-authors of debut, ALWAYS NEVER YOURS (out now!), talk about the joke that brought them together, having co-writing modeled for them by Emily’s parents, and the fact that “whom” will never be in a YA contemporary.

Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley Show Notes

Cormac and Marianne Wibberley, screenwriting couple who wrote films such as National Treasure

Why Won’t You Date Me (podcast) with Nicole Byer

21 Jump Street (movie)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Direct download: Austin_and_Emily_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author of LEAH ON THE OFF BEAT, SIMON VERSUS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA, and co-author of WHAT IF IT’S US, with Adam Silvera, due out in October. Becky talks about how seeing Simon become a movie made her want to write more cinematically, how good AND bad news can be paralyzing while you are revising on deadline, her number one OTP, and retconning her own series and characters.


Becky Albertalli Show Notes

Margot Wood from Epic Reads

Greg Berlanti

Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger who wrote This is Us (TV show) and the script for Love, Simon

Isaac Klausner

Aminah Mae Safi

Adam Silvera (listen to his First Draft interview here)

Brooks Sherman

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

John Green

Direct download: Becky_Albertalli_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:29pm PST

Victoria Aveyard, whose latest novel, WAR STORM, is the final volume in the New York Times best-selling RED QUEEN series, talks about how Harry Potter led her to value fat books, balancing fan expectations with the demands of story, promo vs. creative mode, and staying hydrated on planes.


Victoria Aveyard 2.0 Show Notes

Victoria Aveyard’s first First Draft podcast

Suzie Townsend (literary agent)

New Leaf Literary


Avengers: Infinity War (movie)

Empire podcast about Infinity War

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Mark Duplass interview on Pete Holmes’ You Made it Weird Podcast

Direct download: Victoria_Aveyard_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:06am PST

Britta Lundin, whose debut novel SHIP IT, is out now, talks about being a TV writer (Riverdale), choosing to tell queer stories, and being shaped by her fandoms. 

Direct download: Britta_Lundin_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 8:41am PST

Shane Pangburn and Tori Hill, producers of the YALLWEST book festival, on starting operations off a wedding budget, sending S.O.S. emails, and operating in good faith with festival organizers.

Tori Hill and Shane Pangburn, producers of YALLWEST, Show Notes

Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia

Pseudonymous Bosch

Lewis Peterson, co-author of Cats vs. Robots with Margaret Stohl


Blue Bicycle Books

Santa Monica Public Library

Teen ambassadors

Maret Orliss, Associate Director of Programming at the LA Times (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Writeopia Labs

Direct download: Shane__Tori_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 8:41am PST

Kirsten Hubbard, author of YA novels Like Mandarin and Wanderlove, as well as middle grade novels Watch the Sky, Race the Night, and most recently, Secrets of Topsea: A Friendly Town That’s Almost Always By the Ocean (as Kir Fox, co-written with Michelle Schusterman, as M. Shelley Coats), talks about the time both of our lives simultaneously blew up, and how we helped each other rebuild. Also: how having a twin means she’s always written for an audience, the pleasures of re-reading, and writing with ADHD.


Kirsten Hubbard Show Notes

Maurene Goo (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here)

Egmont USA closing

Kaitlin Ward (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar

Welcome to Night Vale (podcast)

New Leaf Literary, and agents Jo Volpe, Suzie Townsend, and Kirsten’s current agent, Jordan Hamessley

Sarah Davies at Greenhouse Literary

Roald Dahl

YA Highway

Direct download: 4.24_Kristen_Hubbard_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:12am PST

Maret Orliss, Associate Director of Events Programming for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, talks about how authors can stand out to festival programmers, what the L.A. Times is doing in response to sexual harassment accusations in the book world, and the best Margaret Atwood festival story.


Maret Orliss Show Notes

Cecil Castellucci

Lisa Yee

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

Reading Aloud, Nate Corddry’s books podcast

Brandy Colbert

Amy Spalding

John Scalzi

Roxane Gay

Jacqueline Woodson

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

Not the Girls You’re Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi

Grace and the Fever by Zan Romanoff

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

Patton Oswalt

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

Her new book, The Proposal

Sophia of Silicon Valley by Anna Yen

Stealing the Show: How Women Are Revolutionizing Television by Joy Press

Murphy Brown (TV show)

You Play the Girl by Carina Chocano, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) Amerca by Morgan Jerkins

Queer Eye (TV show)

Direct download: Maret_Oriss_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:04am PST

Sara Saedi, author of NEVER EVER and its sequel, THE LOST KIDS (out today!), as well as YA memoir AMERICANIZED: REBEL WITHOUT A GREEN CARD, talks about her earliest boy-meets-girl story, how being the child of immigrants made her write her first screenplay, soap operas as writing boot camp,the blessing of living in the time of email, and putting a narrative onto your own life.


Sara Saedi Show Notes

Cocktail (movie)

Rain Man (movie)

The Babysitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin

Brooke Bowman

She’s All That (movie)

M. Night Shyalaman

Tom Jacobson (producer)

The Goodwin Games (TV show)

How I Met Your Mother (TV show)

Carter Bays

Craig Thomas

Scott Foley

Jess Regel at Foundry Literary

"The Silicon Valley Suicides," by Hanna Rosin in The Atlantic

Perfect Strangers (TV show)

iZombie (TV show)

John August (listen to his First Draft interview here)

Launch, the podcast about John’s book

Rob Thomas (iZOmbie, Veronica Mars)


Direct download: Sara_Saedi_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:01am PST

Ava Dellaira--whose most recent novel, In Search of Us, is out now!--talks about adapting her first novel into a screenplay, the mixed blessing of selling on proposal, and how she never could have written this book after becoming a mother.


Ava Dellaira 2.0 Show Notes

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Stephen Chbosky, author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (movie)

The Fault in Our Stars (movie)

Twilight (movie)

The Maze Runner (movie)

Paper Towns (movie)

This Is Us (TV show)

Direct download: Ava_Dellaira_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 8:46am PST

Amy Spalding--whose most recent novel, THE SUMMER OF JORDI PEREZ (AND THE BEST BURGER IN LOS ANGELES), is out today!--talks about the experience of changing publishers, how book promo is becoming more like movie promo, finding a story by combining ideas, and having more queer rom-coms.


Amy Spalding 2.0 Show Notes

Amy’s first episode on First Draft

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Scriptnotes with John August and Craig Mazin

Love, Simon (movie)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Kissing Jessica Stein (movie)

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertali

Sky Pony (publisher)

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Fun Home (musical)

The Last Five Years (musical)

The Last Five Years (movie)

Direct download: Amy_Spalding_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:05am PST

Alex R. Kahlerauthor of RUNEBINDER and its sequel, RUNEBREAKER (out in November) the CIRQUE DES IMMORTALES series, THE PALE QUEEN series, the RAVENBORN series, and forthcoming middle grade book, THE COLLECTOR. Alex talks about the burden of taking your work with you, reimagining previous work, the freelance lifestyle, and getting off social media.


Alex R. Kahler 2.0 Show Notes

Alex’s first First Draft episode

Alex’s B&N Teen blog post

Westworld (tv series)

Zan Romanoff’s tinyletter

Direct download: Alex_Kahler_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:31am PST

Farrah Penn, debut author of Twelve Steps to Normal, on not loving learning how to read, almost giving up on her book after her father passed, and the injustice of having a trailer full of your things stolen in Arizona.


Farrah Penn Show Notes

Hooked on Phonics

American Girl books

Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century (TV movie)

Wendy Tolliver

Agent Query

Query Tracker

The Hunger Games

Suzie Townsend (literary agent)

Fine Print Literary

Stephanie Perkins

Sarah Dessen

Fall Out Boy

Panic! At the Disco

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Corrie Shatto

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X R Pan

Farrah’s articles on Buzzfeed

"I'm Still Learning How to Talk About My Father's Alcholism," Farrah’s article on growing up with a parent suffering from alcoholism

Direct download: Farah_Penn_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 3:45pm PST

Tomi Adeyemi, debut author of Children of Blood and Bone, on thinking she hated reading and writing, spite creativity, and how fantasy helped protect her from the raw pain in her book.

Tomi Adeyemi Show Notes

The Hunger Games (movie)

 Tomi’s blog post, "Why I Write: Telling a Story That Matters."

Black Panther

Avatar: The Last Airbender (TV show)

Ryan Coogler (director)

Launch (podcast)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Miles Morales by Jason Reynolds

Sign up for Tomi’s newsletter

Direct download: 3.13_Tomi_Adeyemi_FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:10am PST

Lianne Oelke, debut author of NICE TRY, JANE SINNER (out now!) talks about rewriting her diary, the life-changing impact of good beta readers, and writing YA in Canada.

Lianne Oelke Show Notes

Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

Alice, I Think by Susan Juby

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

American Panda by Gloria Chao

The Big F by Maggie M. Martin

Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly DuVoss

Becky Albertalli

Brooks Sherman

Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza

Direct download: ReplacementForLianne.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:02am PST

Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles (out now!) talks about her teacup obsession, the hell that is Act II Part II, and revision versus Revision.


Dhonielle Clayton 2.0 Show Notes

Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman

Dhonielle's first First Draft interview here

Elissa Sussman (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Delia*s cataloge

Prognosis: Love & Death by Sona Charaipotra (hear her First Draft interview here)

Kieran Scott, editor at Disney

Emily Meehan, publisher at Disney

Cynthia Leitich-Smith (listen to her First Draft interview here)

The Trouble with Shooting Stars by Megan Cannistra

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

Sister Wives

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander (TV show)

The Fosters (TV show)

Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments (TV show)

Famous in Love (TV show)

Direct download: Dhonielle_Clayton_2.0_FINALEDIT.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:47pm PST

Amy Andelson and Emily Meyer, screenwriters with their debut young adult novel, LAYOVER, out now!, on being housecats, blurring the line between best friends and collaborators, their annual “corporate retreat” road trip, and complementing each other emotionally through the editing process.


Amy Anderson and Emily Meyer Show Notes

Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert

Louisa May Alcott

Edith Wharton

I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn and Alison Raskin (listen to their First Draft interview here)

Gossip Girl (TV show)

John M. Chu (director)

the Step Up movies

The Great Gatsby (the Baz Lurhman film)

Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List (movie)

Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist by David Leviathan and Rachel Cohn (sp)

John Green

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

John Hughes

Book Soup in Los Angeles

Direct download: Amy_Andelson_and_Emily_Meyer_FINALEDIT.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:53am PST

Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings, co-authors of the New York Times bestselling sci-fi novel ZENITH, talk about battling dyslexia/ADD and chronic fatigue, why Lindsay dedicates every book she writes to her father, thinking that writers were cyborgs and/or holograms, deciding to co-write over text, and leaving the subject of their book up to a Twitter poll (but then ignoring it).


Sasha Alsburg and Lindsay Cummings

SHIP IT by Britta Lundin

The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

City of Bones (movie)

Lily Collins

Firefly (TV show)

Sasha’s book tube channel, ABookUtopia

Lindsay’s book tube channel

Guardians of the Galaxy (movie)

Peter Knapp at Park Literary

Jo Volpe at New Leaf literary

The Wayside Inn

Mean Girls (movie)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Love, Hate, and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

Veronica Roth (listen to her First Draft interview here and here)

Direct download: Sasha_Alsburg_and_Lindsay_Cummings_3.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 3:21pm PST

John August—screenwriter known for Go, Big Fish, and more, and host of the Scriptnotes podcast—on his debut middle grade adventure novel, ARLO FINCH IN THE VALLEY OF FIRE (out Feb. 6!). John talks about the tricks authors have that screenwriters don’t, what made him think of recording his entire process of writing, selling, and debuting ARLO, the shadow of Harry Potter over all MG, and podcasting as an American art form.


John August Show Notes

Go (movie)

Big Fish (movie)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (movie)

Aladdin (movie)

Scriptnotes (podcast)

Launch (podcast)

Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Three Investigators (book)

Premiere Magazine

Nora Ephron

Steven Soderbergh

Sex Lies and Videotape (movie)

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Charlie’s Angels (movie)

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

Craig Mazin (screenwriter)

Serial (podcast)

John Gruber’s podcast, The Talk Show

John’s blog post about writing Arlo Finch

The Nest by Kenneth Oppel

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

The Magnus Chase series by Rick Riordan

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Call Me By Your Name (movie)

Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman (book)

Story of a T-Shirt” by Planet Money

Startup (podcast)

Robert Ludlum

Ira Glass

Freedom app


Direct download: John_August.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 5:40pm PST

Jasmine Guillory, debut author of The Wedding Date (out Jan. 30!), on being an extroverted writer, using the notes app to take the pressure off starting a new book, the importance of stillness, and how romance novels can instruct us about affirmative consent.


Jasmine Guillory Show Notes

Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber

The Toast

The “Shoe” books, starting with Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)

Amy Spalding (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Jennifer Laughran, agent with Andrea Brown Literary Agency

NaNoWriMo’s Camp NaNoWriMo

Holly Root (literary agent)

Bridesmaids (movie)

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

The Ripped Bodice romance bookstore

The Ripped Bodice's diversity survey in EW and in The New York Times

Kate Hart’s breakdown of YA covers in 2011 (click around her archives for many other posts Kate put together on YA covers and deals)

Jasmine’s NaNoWriMo pep talk

Roxane Gay

Mallory Ortberg

The Proposal, Jasmine's next book

The 2018 First Draft calendar

Kirsten Hubbard

Direct download: Jasmine_Guillory_FINALEDIT.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:43am PST

Sarah Tarkoff, debut author of SINLESS (out now!), talks about writing for TV and movies, made-up religions, the Dunning Kruger graph, and being inspired to start writing a novel by a nine-year-old.

Sarah Tarkoff Show Notes

2018 First Draft calendar - order yours now!

Kirsten Hubbard

Arrow (TV show)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (movie)

Jane the Virgin (TV show)

Eastwick (TV show)

Maggie Friedman (show runner of Eastiwck)

Wendy Mericle (EP on Arrow)

Mistresses (TV show)

Josh Reims (Mistresses)

Gossip Girl (TV show)

Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

Chris Evans on Twitter

Jenny Slate

Willem Dafoe

Dunning-Kruger effect

The announcement that SINLESS has been optioned for TV!

Raiders of the Lost Ark (Indiana Jones (movie))

The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry

Feb. 4 book launch of John August’s ARLO FINCH IN THE VALLEY OF FIRE

The Feb. 6 book panel with Dhonielle Clayton, Marie Lu, Aaron Hartzler, Gretchen McNeill, Brandy Colbert, and Britta Lundin

Direct download: Sarah_Tarkoff_FINALEDIT.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:25am PST

A very special episode where I give podcasting tips and answer some questions, Kayla Olson and Courtney Summers join to give book recommendations, and authors Michelle Schusterman, Alison Cherry, and Lindsay Ribar discuss co-writing, selling, and editing their YA novel, The Pros of Cons.


Special Episode (feat. Kayla Olson, Courtney Summers, Michelle Schusterman, Alison Cherry, and Lindsay Ribar)

Zoom H2N

Zoom H4N

I said Audible and I meant Audacity!





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Maurene Goo

Grace and the Fever by Zan Romanoff (listen to her First Draft interview here)

The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson (listen to her First Draft interview here)

This Splintered Silence by Kayla Olson

Gray Wolf Island by Tracey Neithercott

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

Follow Me Back by A. V. Geiger

The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers (listen to her First Draft interview here)

All the Rage by Courtney Summers

Malagash by Joey Comeau

When I Am Through With You by Stephanie Kuehn

Robert Cormier

The Pros of Cons by Michelle Schusterman (hear her First Draft interview here), Lindsay RibarAlison Cherry (hear her First Draft interview here)


Matt Ringler (editor at Scholastic)

Amanda Maciel (editor at Scholastic, author of Tease and Lucky Girl)

The starred Publisher’s Weekly review for Pros of Cons

Best. Night. Ever. by Alison Cherry, Jen Malone, Rachel Alpine, Ronni Arno, Stephanie Faris, Gail Nall, and Dee Romito.

Secrets of Topsea: A Friendly Town That’s Almost Always by the Ocean by Michelle Schusterman (as M. Shelley Coates) and Kirsten Hubbard (as Kir Fox)

Spell and Spindle by Michelle Schusterman

Ella Unleashed by Alison Cherry

Michael Dante DiMartino, co-creator of Avatar: The Last Airbender and author of Rebel Genius and its sequel, Warrior Genius, on being obsessed with 50s art, how Avatar was pitched perfectly wrong, writing art as magic, and starting to write by hand.


Michael Dante DiMartino Show Notes

The 2018 First Draft calendar

Kirsten Hubbard

William S. Burroughs

Beat poetry

Garfield (comic)

Bloom County (comic)

Abstract expressionism

Jackson Pollock

Mark Rothko

Willem de Kooning

Brian Konietzko, co-creator of Avatar: The Last Airbender

King of the Hill (TV show)

Beavis and Butthead (TV show)

Atomic Love

Family Guy (TV show)

Mission Hill (TV show)

Invader Zim (TV show)

Spongebob Squarepants (TV show)

Hayao Miyazaki

The Hero with 10,000 Faces by Joseph Campbell

Bill Moyer's video series, discussing The Hero’s Journey with Joseph Campbell

G.I. Joe (animated TV show)

Leigh Bardugo (hear her First Draft episodes here and here)

Nickelodeon Animation podcast featuring Michael and Brian

Story by Robert McKee

My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

"An Oral History of the Funniest Podcast Ever," Daily Beast article featuring the quote from Scott Aukerman

Bottle Episode (what we called "box episodes")

The Fly episode of Breaking Bad

William James Royce

The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne

The Story Grid Podcast

Direct download: Michael_Dante_DiMartino_FINALEDIT.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:05pm PST

Ben Acker, co-creator and writer for The Thrilling Adventure Hour, and writer for TV, comic books, and a series of Star Wars middle grade novels, including Star Wars: Join the Resistance. Ben and I talk about giving himself his first job, how a ukulele solo got him a gig writing at Marvel, and shares the definitions of art that he can’t shake.


Ben Acker Show Notes

Robert Lynn Asprin's The Myth series

The Xanth series by Piers Anthony

The Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon

Watchmen (movie)

Ben Blacker, co-creator of Thrilling Adventure Hour and co-author of Star Wars: Join the Resistance

Raiders of the Lost Ark (movie)

The Tick (comic)

Kids in the Hall (TV show)

Monty Python and the Flying Circus

Mr. Show with Bob and David (TV show)

Will & Grace (TV show)

Mad About You (TV show)

Roseanne (TV show)

Paul Reiser

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV show)

Thomas Guide

The Adventures of Pete & Pete (TV show)

Malcolm in the Middle (TV show)

Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (TV show)

Survivor (TV show)

Death to Smoochy (movie)

Crank Yankers (TV show)

Greg the Bunny (TV show)

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog

The Thin Man (movie)

Beyond Belief

Nick and Norah Charles

Largo at the Coronet

Comedy Bang Bang

How Did This Get Made

WTF with Marc Maron

Never Not Funny

Doug Loves Movies

John Hodgman

Busy Philipps

Holmes Osborne

Donnie Darko (movie)

Bring it On (movie)

Marc Evan Jackson

Paul F. Tompkins

Paget Brewster

Night of the Hunter (movie)

Hush,” an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Mark Waid 

Chris Samnee

Michael Siglain

Greg Rucka

1984 by George Orwell

Cameron Esposito

Queery, her podcast

The O.C. (TV show)

The North Texas Teen Book Festival

Shannon Hale and Dean Hale

How to be the Greatest Improviser on Earth by Will Hines

Direct download: Ben_Acker_FINALEDIT.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 5:20pm PST

Stephanie Sabol, Executive Director, Brand Management at Penguin Young Readers, talks about The Penguin Hotline, and writer friends share their most recommended books. 

Stephanie Sabol and Book Recommendation Episode

Stephanie Sabol

The Penguin Hotline

Who is Bruce Springsteen? by Stephanie Sabol

The Who Was? series

Where is the Solar System?

What Was the Titanic?

Jeff Kinney

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

The Graceling series by Kristin Cashore

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz

Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Warcross by Marie Lu (listen to her First Draft episodes here and here)

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

Here We Are: Feminism For the Real World edited by Kelly Jensen

Suspect by Robert Crais

Vanguard (Genesis Fleet book #1) by Jack Campbell

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor

Looking for Alaska by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

World Without End by Ken Follett 

A Column of Fire by Ken Follett

Grant by Ron Chernow

Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy

Hallelujah Anyway by Annie Lamott

Bird by Bird by Annie Lamott

Vanishing New York: How a Great City Lost Its Soul by Jeremiah Moss

Vanishing New York, the blog by Jeremiah Moss

Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer, Ella Morton, Dylan Thuras

Los Angeles, Portrait of a City

Highbrow, Lowbrow, Brilliant, Despicable: Fifty Years of New York Magazine by The Editors of New York Magazine

The Education of Margot Sánchez by Lilliam Rivera (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson (listen to her First Draft episode here)

Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon (listen to her First Draft episode here)

Valley Girls by Sarah Nicole Lemon

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones (listen to her First Draft interview here

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg

Gray Wolf Island by Tracey Neithercott

On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marcheta

These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

Allegedly by Tiffany Jackson

How to Break a Boy by Laurie Devore

Winner Take All by Laurie Devore

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser

Light Years by Emily Ziff Griffin (listen to her First Draft interview here

Sun in Days by Meghan O'Rourke

The Dark Dark: Stories by Samantha Hunt

Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Marlena by Julie Buntin

Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr (listen to her First Draft interview here)

The Turner House by Angela Flournoy

Insecure (TV show)

Mirage by Somaiya Daud (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli

Die for Me by Amy Plum (listen to her First Draft interview here)

The Power by Naomi Alderman

Pierre François: 5th Grade Mishaps by Laurie Ann Stephens

A Song to Take the World Apart by Zan Romanoff (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Grace and the Fever by Zan Romanoff

Ship It by Britta Lundin

Ten by Gretchen McNeil (listen to her First Draft interview here)

I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil 

#MURDERTRENDING by Gretchen McNeil

The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here)

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Direct download: Stephanie_Sabol_Book_Rec_Ep_FINALEDIT_1.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:46am PST

Will Kostakis, who makes his U.S. debut with The Sidekicks and has two books, The First Third and Loathing Lola, published in his native Australia, talks about approaching every book like it could be his last, spite writing, being the writer he is today because of a personal tragedy, and the difference between the Australian and U.S. YA markets.

Will Kostakis Show Notes


Will’s blog post about coming out

Will’s blog post about being disinvited from a school because he came out

"After He Came Out, A Catholic School Told This Author His New Book Was 'Inappropriate,'" the Buzzfeed article about Will coming out

Amie Kaufman (listen to her First Draft interview here) and Jay Kristoff, authors of The Illuminae Files series

Garth Nix

Melina Marchetta

Direct download: Will_Kostakis_FINALEDIT.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:52am PST

Jasmine Warga, author of My Heart and Other Black Holes and her newest, Here We Are Now, on reading teaching empathy and complexly imagining others’ internal worlds, family mythologies as social currency, the glorification of happiness, and the trouble with idolizing your friends.


Jasmine Warga Show Notes

Runebinder by Alex R. Kahler (listen to his First Draft interview here)

Vote for your favorite First Draft quotes from 2017! Then stay tuned for your chance to pre-order the First Draft 2018 Calendar!

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Elin Hilderbrand

The Jungle Book (movie)

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

"Why Everyone Should Read Harry Potter," in Scientific American, featuring a study showing that people who read Harry Potter have more empathy

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV show)

Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Virginia Woolf

Jonathan Safran Foer

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

Victoria Schwab (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Spoon theory

I Am Not Your Guru (documentary)

Frances Bean Cobain

Almost Famous (movie)

Emery Lord

Direct download: Jasmine_Warga_FINALEDIT.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:58am PST

Maggie Stiefvater—author of The Raven Boys cycle, The Scorpio Races, the Shiver series, and her newest, All the Crooked Saints—talks growing up in a Celtic Von Trapp family band, not being a cozy child, wanting to be the author in the airport, and writing a book to a playlist.


Maggie Stiefvater Show Notes

Vote for your favorite First Draft quotes for the upcoming 2018 calendar!

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton


Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper

Yeats and Lady Gregory

Flux (publishing house)

Isabel Allende

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Direct download: Maggie_Stiefvater_FINALEDIT.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:33pm PST

Brandy Colbert, author of Pointe and her newest, Little and Lion, on exploring non-traditional families, her nocturnal writing schedule, and having a productive hibernation.


Brandy Colbert 2.0 Show Notes

Listen to Brandy’s first First Draft interview here

Dahlia Adler

"The Pain of the Watermelon Joke," by Jacqueline Woodson

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michaelangelo and Me by Ellen Forney

Stephanie Perkins

Stephanie Kuehn (listen to her First Draft interview here)


Kelly Jensen

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Jason Reynolds

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Allegedly by Tiffany Jackson

Nicola Yoon (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson

Calling My Name by Liara Tamani (listen to her First Draft episode here)

Madcap Retreats

NCTE conference (the National Council of Teachers of English)

Zadie Smith

Maurene Goo (listen to her First Draft podcasts here and here, or read the transcript here)

The Fug Girls, Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (listen to their First Draft podcast here)

Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender (assistant editor at LittleBrown Books for Young Readers)

Nikki Garcia Assistant Editor at LittleBrown Books for Young Readers

Alvina Ling,Editor-in-Chief at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

What About Intersectionality and Female Friendships in YA?,” Brandy’s post on Stacked

Marie Lu (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here)


Direct download: Brandy_Colbert_2.0_FINALEDIT.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:19am PST

Liara Tamani, debut author of CALLING MY NAME, on getting out of the cycle of ruthless academic achievement to find her passion, shedding old belief systems, fighting against the guilt and shame instilled in girls at very young ages, and the importance of numbers to her creative life.


Liara Tamani Show Notes

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Girlfriends (TV show)

Courtney Summers (listen to her First Draft episode here or read the transcript)

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Maud Martha by Gwendolyn Brooks

SOLD by Patricia McCormick

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Alone with All That Could Happen: Rethinking Conventional Wisdom about the Craft of Fiction by David Jauss (writing craft)

The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr., and E.B. White

Direct download: Liara_Tamani_FINALEDIT.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:00am PST

Anna-Marie McLemore, author of THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS, which was a finalist for the William C. Morris Debut Award, and WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS, which was long-listed for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature and was a Stonewall Honor Book. This month, Anna-Marie released her newest novel WILD BEAUTY.  She talks about funerals as a place to reinforce collective memories, waiting for that glowing laptop to let you know it’s time to write a novel, and writing a gender nonconforming stud.


Anna-Marie McLemore Show Notes

Dhonielle Clayton (listen to her First Draft episode here or read the transcript here)

We Need Diverse Books

Taylor Martindale Kean (literary agent)

Sara Zarr (listen to her First Draft interview here or read the transcript here)

Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

Samantha Mabry (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Saundra Mitchell

ALL OUT edited by Saundra Mitchell

Sherman Alexie

Sona Charaipotra (listen to her First Draft interview here or read the transcript)

"A classic is a book that doesn't have to be written again." - W. E. B. du Bois

All the Rage by Courtney Summers

Courtney Summers (hear her First Draft interview here or read the transcript here)

Direct download: Anna-Marie_McLemore_2.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:52am PST

Leigh Bardugo, New York Times bestselling author of the SHADOW AND BONE series, spinoff duology SIX OF CROWS and CROOKED KINGDOM, and THE LANGUAGE OF THORNS, a series of short stories set in that world. She’s also a bestseller for WONDER WOMAN: WARBRINGER. Leigh talks about writing a character who shares her disability, talking some truths about Wonder Woman’s creator, writing a walking talking teenaged apocalypse, how going to an all girls’ school gave her a little insight into Themyscira.


Leigh Bardugo Show Notes

Listen to Leigh’s first First Draft interview here

Apollo Robbins: The Gentleman Thief

The Magic Castle in Los Angeles, CA

The Advocate

David Copperfield

BEA (BookExpo America)

"The Witch of Duva: A Ravkan Folk Tale," Leigh’s story posted to

Sara Kipin (illustrator of Language of Thorns)

Natalie C. Sousa

Ellen Duda

Erin Stein

Danielle Paige (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Last Night a Superhero Saved My Life  edited by Liesa Mignogna

Gail Simone, writer of comics and animation

William Moulton Marston (creator of Wonder Woman)

Vargas Girls

The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore

Jill Lepore’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross interview

George Pérez (wrote WW)

Greg Rucka (wrote WW)

A piece about "We Are Not Amazons," Leigh’s essay about Wonder Woman’s outfit and body image

Helen of the Plane Trees

True Blood (TV show)

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing by William Butler Yeats

Direct download: Leigh_Bardugo_2.0_2.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:43pm PST

Answering listener questions, book recommendations from Sarah Enni, Veronica Roth, and Maurene Goo, and writing advice from Susan Dennard!

Special Episode - Fall 2017 - Show Notes

Susan Dennard, New York Times bestselling author of the Truthwitch series and the Something Strange and Deadly series

Sign up for the Misfits & Daydreamers newsletter here!

Because You Love to Hate Me edited by Ameriie

Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Veronica Roth

Maurene Goo

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

What Happened by Hillary Clinton

Roxane Gay’s review of The Wedding Date

Roxane Gay’s picture with Channing Tatum

Warcross by Marie Lu

Lightless by C.A. Higgins

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry

The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

Alexandra Bracken

The Anatomy of Story by John Truby

The Moral Premise by Stanley Williams

Susan Dennard, @stdennard on Instagram

Direct download: FD_Special_Ep_Fall_2017_FINALEDIT.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 1:54pm PST

Robin Benway, author of National Book Award for Young People’s Literature finalist Far From the Tree—as well as Audrey, Wait! and Emmy & Oliver, among others—returns to the podcast this week to talk about wondering if she was still an author, having Big Feelings about publishing careers, and gets in a sweet feminist rant.


Robin Benway Show Notes

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

Susan Dennard, author of the NYTimes best-selling Truthwitch series, as well as the Something Strange and Deadly series

Susan's writing advice newsletter, Misfits & Daydreamers (sign up now!)

Listen to Robin’s first First Draft interview here

Kristen Pettit (editor at Harper Collins)

Cosmic Love” by Florence and the Machine


The e-mail Robin sent to her editor with the idea for Far From the Tree

Gretchen McNeill (listen to her First Draft interview here)


Maurene Goo (listen to her First Draft episodes here and here)

Dinosaur Coffee

Little and Lion by Brandy Colbert (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Lisa Lucas, executive director of the National Book Foundation

Elana Arnold (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Suzanne Collins

Keri Russell

Felicity (TV show)

Direct download: Robin_Benway_2.0_FINALEDIT.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:10am PST

Dan Santat, Caldecott Award-winning author and illustrator of The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, talks about his newest picture book, After the Fall, an immigrant kid learning about Santa Claus, writing books that reveal other people’s stories, how much anxiety sucks, and the different ways he is interpreting Asian identity in his work.


Dan Santat Show Notes

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

Kirsten Hubbard

Connie Hsu (editor at Roaring Brook; read an interview with Connie and Dan here)

Garfield (comic)

Lion King (movie)

The ArtCenter College of Design


SCBWI, The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

Arthur A. Levine, children's book author, editor, and publisher

Maya (software)

Akira (manga comic) written and illustrated by Katsuhiro Otomo

Appleseed (manga comic) written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow

Sidekicks by Dan Santat

The Guild of Geniuses by Dan Santat


Chip Kidd, graphic designer best known for his book covers

Oh No, Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World, written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Dan Santat

Three Ninja Pigs written by Corey Rosen Schwartz and illustrated by Dan Santat

Crankenstein written by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Dan Santat

Carnivores written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Dan Santat


Are We There Yet? written and illustrated by Dan Santat

American Born Chinese written and illustrated by Gene Luen Yang

Raina Telgemeire, graphic novel memoirist (Smile, among others)

Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002 by David Sedaris

Drawn Together written by Minh Lê and illustrated by Dan Santat

Luc Besson (director)

Valerian (comic) by Pierre Christin

The Fifth Element (movie)

Snowpiercer (movie)

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Stranger Things (TV show)

Marshall Arisman, Chair, MFA Illustration as Visual Essay Department, School of Visual Arts; illustrator; painter

Direct download: Dan_Santat_FINALEDIT.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:51am PST

Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin, New York Times best-selling co-authors of I Hate Everyone But You, talk about the dangers of walking and reading, differentiating character from author, what REALLY makes readers uncomfortable, and writing a friendship rom-com.


Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin Show Notes

Modern Tarot by Michelle Tea

The Waterboy (movie)

Carrie by Stephen King

"The Price of Nice Nails," the New York Times feature story about nail salons


Robert Rodriguez (director and producer)

Quentin Tarantino (director and writer)

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Issa Rae (actress, writer, producer)

Desperate Housewives (TV show)

Friday Night Lights (TV show)

Victoria Aveyard (listen to her First Draft interview here)

District 9 (movie)

Star Trek (tv show)

Legally Blonde

Atlanta (TV show)

Living Single (TV show)

"The Ascendancy of the 'Awkward Older Sister,'" from The Atlantic 

Amy Schumer

Jennifer Lawrence

Insecure (TV show)

Grace Helbig

Part of Me, the Katy Perry documentary

Summer in the City (song)

Stephanie Beatriz

The animated .gif about ladies supporting ladies

Shine Theory by Anne Friedman

Call Your Girlfriend podcast

Allison’s text chain of writing advice

Direct download: Gaby_Dunn_and_Allison_Raskin_3.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 1:35pm PST

Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of the LEGEND and the YOUNG ELITES series, talks about her newest book, WARCROSS as well as BATMAN: NIGHTWALKER and the forthcoming KINGDOM OF BACK. Marie chats about the lag between the eternal optimism of tech and moral questioning of its powers, how writing about evil characters was almost too much for her, and the responsibility of writing a real woman’s story.


Marie Lu 2.0 Show Notes

Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke

Marie Lu’s first First Draft interview

Zelda (video game)

Tahereh Mafi (listen to her First Draft episode here or read the transcript here)

Assassin’s Creed (video game)

Street Fighter (video game)

Mortal Kombat (video game)

World of Warcraft (video game)

Overwatch (video game)

Battlefield (video game)

Call of Duty (video game)

Pokémon Go (video game)

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu 

Leigh Bardugo (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Batman (animated series)

Darkwing Duck (animated series)

The Dark Knight (movie)

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Mozart’s sister, Maria Anna Mozart

Amadeus (movie)

Pan’s Labyrinth (movie)

Hamilton (musical)

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Renee Ahdieh (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Direct download: Marie_Lu_2.0_FINALEDIT.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 1:54pm PST

Emily Ziff Griffin, debut author of LIGHT YEARS, talks about her childhood dream of being a dancing lawyer, gifs and art semiotics, the unquantifiable fairy dust that makes some art transcend, and how teenagers experience time differently.


Emily Ziff Griffin Show Notes

Phillip Seymour Hoffman


The Angelika Film Center

The Creative Fire by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, including her thoughts on creativity and the myth of Persephone

Frozen (movie)

Moana (movie)

Wonder Woman (movie)

Study about emojis and linguists

Virginia Heffernan, journalist and writer

Wet Hot American Summer (movie)

Capote (movie)


Direct download: EmilyZiffGriffin_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 1:08pm PST

Sabaa Tahir, NY Times bestselling author of the An Ember in the Ashes series, shares spooky happenings in the desert hometown, waxes poetic about good journalistic writing, and talks giving suffering children a happy ending in her books, being an eight-year overnight success, and writing books in elbows of time.


Sabaa Tahir Show Notes

The Shannara series by Terry Brooks

Dragon Riders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey

Ansel Adams (photographer)

Stranger Things (TV show)

Seven Daughters and Seven Suns by Barbara Cohen and Bahija Lovejoy

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

"Living a Half-Life While Waiting for Those Lost," the Washington Post story about women in Kashmir

Image of Liberian child soldier wearing a teddy bear backpack, Georges Gobet/Getty Images

Holly Goldberg Sloan

Margaret Stohl (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here)

Melissa de la Cruz

George R. R. Martin “gardener or architect

Shannon Hale

All the President’s Men (film)

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

My Left Foot (movie)

Sarah Henning

Direct download: Sabaa_Tahir2_FINALSRSLY.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 4:15pm PST

Jeramey Kraatz, author of middle grade series The Cloak Society and Space Runners, on how superhero cartoons got him into reading, writing hamster stories as birthday presents, the difference between middle grade and young adult, and being more productive with a full-time job.


Jeramey Kraatz Show Notes

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes

X Men (cartoon TV series)

Batman (cartoon TV series)

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Powerless by Tera Lynn Childs 

Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

Joan Didion

Meghan Daum

David Sedaris

Soman Chainani

The Southern Festival of Books


Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

The Incredibles (movie)

My Hero Academia (anime series)

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Mad Max: Fury Road (movie)

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (movie)


George by Alex Gino (MG book)

Alex London (a.k.a. C.A. London - listen to his First Draft interview here)

Direct download: Jeramey_Kraatz_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:22am PST

Lauren Strasnick, author of 16 Ways to Break a Heart (out now!) and Then You Were Gone, Nothing Like You, and Her and Me and You, talks about gift wrapping her young adults books out of embarrassment, admitting to being “so deeply lazy,” envying actors, and writers as gremlins.

Lauren Strasnick Show Notes

Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block

Deenie by Judy Blume

Forever... by Judy Blume

Beverly Cleary

Norma Klein

Christopher Pike

The Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal

Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

Stephen King

Party of Five (TV show)

Law & Order

Writing Pad

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

Twins by Marcy Dermansky

Joan Didion

Rachel Fershleiser (listen to her First Draft interview here)

This is the Reason You’ll Get Divorced (Actually "Why You'll Marry the Wrong Person," by Allain de Botton) in the New York Times

Grace Krilanovich

Marilyn Friedman at Writing Pad

Francesca Lia Block

Zan Romanoff (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Link to The 2017 First Draft Listener Survey!

Because You Love to Hate Me edited by Ameriie

Renee Ahdieh (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Nicola Yoon (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Victoria Schwab (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Adam Silvera (listen to his First Draft interview here)

Direct download: Lauren_Strasnick_FINALEDIT.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:44am PST

Catch up with Kara Thomas, author of Little Monsters (out July 25!), The Darkest Corners, and the Prep School Confidential series about leaning in to a dark personal place with her writing, solving the mystery of Law & Order in the last five minutes, the exploitation of “dramatic re-enactments,” and when stories evade our best-laid plans.


Kara Thomas Show Notes

Prep School Confidential series by Kara Taylor (now Kara Thomas)

Paradise Lost (documentary)

Disappeared (TV series)

Serial (podcast)

The Jinx (documentary)

The Keepers (documentary)

My Favorite Murder (podcast)

Sword and Scale (podcast)

Mommy Dead and Dearest (documentary)

Munchausen syndrome (Factitious disorder)

Crohn’s disease

Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene

The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich

CLUE (board game)

Law & Order

House (TV show)

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Wives with Knives (TV series)

Making a Murderer (TV series)

O.J.: Made in America, the Academy Award-winning O.J. Simpson documentary by Ezra Edelman

American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson

Casey Anthony

Zodiac (movie)

Hidden Figures (movie)

Josh Mankiewicz from Dateline

Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo

Slender Man

The Craft (movie)


The Cheerleaders (Kara’s next book)

The Daily Beast article about Dryden, NY


Direct download: Kara_Thomas_FINALEDIT.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:25am PST

Danielle Paige, New York Times best-selling author of the Dorothy Must Die and Stealing Snow series, on writing scripts for her Barbies, how the OJ trial cost her a career in soaps, and longing for rom-coms.


Danielle Paige Show Notes

Paper magazine

Matt Bomer (actor)

Paul Wesley (actor)

Hayden Panetierre (actor)

Sweet Valley High by Francine Pascal

Babysitters Club by Ann M. Martin

Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

One Tree Hill (TV show)

Shonda Rhimes

Grey’s Anatomy (TV show)

Scandal (TV show)

House of Cards (TV show)

The Avengers (movie)

Wonder Woman (movie)

Wonder Woman (TV show)

The Writers Guild

Al Roker

L. Frank Baum (author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz)

Frozen (movie)

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Kami Garcia

Kass Morgan

David Leviathan

What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum and the event at The Grove on July 11

Because You Love To Hate Me - order it now!

The Because You Love to Hate Me event at The Grove

Direct download: Danielle_Paige_FINAL_EDIT.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:52pm PST

Sara Goodman, editorial director for Wednesday Books, a new imprint from St. Martin’s Press featuring crossover, coming-of-age stories. She talks about finding a career in publishing in spite of herself, getting up at 5 a.m. to read, and the never-ending hunt for voice.


Sara Goodman Show Notes

Peter Halley (artist)

Stephen King

George R. R. Martin

Judy Blume

Beverly Cleary

Anne Rice

Joan Didion

Christopher Schelling (agent with Selectric Artists)

Augusten Burroughs

Jennifer Enderlin

Courtney Summers (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Rainbow Rowell 

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Jandy Nelson

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Vicki Lame

The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko by Scott Stambach

Olga Grlic (book designer)

I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin

Everything Must Go by Jenny Fran Davis

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Jim Tierney, designer of the new cover for I Capture the Castle

Summer Days and Summer Nights anthology edited by Stephanie Perkins

My True Love Gave to Me anthology edited by Stephanie Perkins

Jenny Han (listen to her First Draft interview here)

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Robert Cormier

House of Night series by P.C. Cast

Sun Warrior and Moon Chosen by P.C. Cast

Hidden Kingdom by Amanda Hocking

Not Now Not Ever by Lily Anderson

Julie Buxbuam’s launch party for WHAT TO SAY NEXT at the Barnes & Noble at The Grove!

Because You Love To Hate Me release event at The Grove

Pre-order Because You Love to Hate Me: Amazon | IndieBound |Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Direct download: Sara_Goodman_FINALEDIT.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:57am PST

A lovely conversation with Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, The Geography of You and Me, and Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between, and her most recent novel, Windfall. She talks about the teacher who made all the difference, and some key questions, like: are we all always writing the same story? And can you be an optimist and believe in fate?


Jennifer E Smith Show Notes

Lauren Graham

Mary Higgins Clark

John Grisham

The Babysitters’ Club by Ann M. Martin

Saddle Club by Bonnie Bryant

Black Stallion by Walter Farley

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Frederick Busch 

Elizabeth Strout

Justin Cronin

Ha Jin

Amanda "Blinky" Urban at ICM (agent)

Toni Morrison

Haruki Murakami

Donna Tartt

E. L. Doctorow

Cormac McCarthy

Jennifer Egan

Kazuo Ishiguro

Richard Ford 

Anna Quindlen

The Keep by Jennifer Eagan

The Lay of the Land by Richard Ford

Jennifer Joel (Jenn’s agent)

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Sarah Dessen

Emily Meehan (editor)

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

The Privileges by Jonathan Dee

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Maurene Goo (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here)

Sliding Doors (movie)

Julie Buxbaum (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Direct download: Jennifer_E._Smith_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:12am PST

More lightning-round interviews with authors at the Los Angeles Festival of Books, BookExpo America, and BookCon festivals, including: Brandy Colbert; David Connis; Dhonielle Clayton; E. Katherine Kottaras; Holly Black; Jennifer E. Smith; Jessica Morgan; Kiersten White; Karuna Riazi; Laini Taylor; Maggie Stiefvater; Maurene Goo; Morgan Matson; Nic Stone; Renee Ahdieh; Robin Benway; Samantha Mabry; Soman Chainani; Susan Dennard; Victoria Aveyard; and Zan Romanoff.

LATFoB/BEA/BookCon Minisode Show Notes

Brandy Colbert (listen to her First Draft interview here), author of Pointe and the forthcoming Little and Lion)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

David Connis, author of the forthcoming The Temptation of Adam


Dhonielle Clayton, co-author of the Tiny, Pretty Things series and author of the forthcoming The Belles (listen to her First Draft interview here, or read the transcript)

E. Katherine Kottaras, author of How to Be Brave and The Best Possible Answer

The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera (listen to her First Draft interview here, or read the transcript here)

Holly Black, author of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and the forthcoming The Cruel Prince

Jane Yolen, SFF writer

Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, among many others!, and her newest book, Windfall, out now! (Her First Draft interview coming soon!)

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Jessica Morgan, co-author of Spoiled, Messy, and The Royal We (Listen to her First Draft interview [with co-writer Heather Cocks] here)

Kiersten White, author of the And I Darken series and the forthcoming middle grade Beanstalker and Other Hilarious Scarytales (and so much more) (listen to her First Draft podcast here)

Karuna Riazi, author of The Gauntlet

Ellen Oh, author of The Dragon King chronicles and the forthcoming Spirit Hunters (listen to her First Draft podcast here)

Laini Taylor, author of Strange the Dreamer and the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series (among other things!)

Maggie Stiefvater, author of the forthcoming All The Crooked Saints, the Raven Boys series, Scorpio Races, and more

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Morrell by Susanna Clarke

Michael Chabon

Maurene Goo, author of Since You Asked and the recently-released I Believe in a Thing Called Love (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here!)

Morgan Matson, author of Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, Since You've Been Gone, and The Unexpected Everything (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Nic Stone, author of Dear Martin

Renee Ahdieh, author of The Wrath and the Dawn and her newest book, Flame in the Mist (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Flyleaf Books 

Quail Ridge Books

Books of Wonder

McNally Jackson

Parnassus Books

Red Balloon Bookshop

Robin Benway, author of Audrey, Wait!, Emmy and Oliver, and the forthcoming Far From the Tree (listen to her First Draft podcast here)

Emery Lord and her first book, Open Road Summer

Samantha Mabry, author of A Fierce and Subtle Poison and the forthcoming All the Wind in the World (listen to her First Draft podcast here)

Soman Chainani, author of The School for Good or Evil series

Susan Dennard, author of the Something Strange and Deadly series, the Witchland series, and contributor to the forthcoming Because You Love to Hate Me anthology

Jurassic Park (movie) (and book by Michael Crichton)

Victoria Aveyard, author of the Red Queen series (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Kaz and Inej from Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom series

Zan Romanoff, author of A Song to Take the World Apart and Grace and the Fever (listen to her First Draft interview here, or read the transcript here)

Battlestar Galactica (TV show)

Julie Buxbaum, author of Tell Me Three Things, and the forthcoming What to Say Next (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Direct download: Special_Minisode-LATFoB_BEA_and_BookCon_2.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 5:38pm PST

Maurene Goo, author of I BELIEVE IN A THING CALLED LOVE (out today!) on putting being an author on hold, writing the food tour of Los Angeles, and the 30-minute sprints that saved her deadline.


Maurene Goo 2.0 Show Notes

Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation (TV show)

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar by Roald Dahl

Save the Cat by Blake Snyder

Since You Asked by Maurene Goo

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV show)

Renee Ahdieh (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Stephanie Kuehn (listen to her First Draft podcast here)

Shonda Rhimes

Amy Spalding (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Sparky by Jenny Ofill and Chris Appelhans

A Greyhound, a Groundhog by Emily Jenkins and Chris Appelhans

Tahereh Mafi (listen to her First Draft interview here, or read the transcript)

David Sedaris

Zadie Smith

The Underground Railroad by Colston Whitehead

Jon Krakauer

Elizabeth Clark (cover designer for IBIATCL)

Jenny Han (listen to her First Draft interview here, or read the transcript)

Morgan Matson (listen to her First Draft interview here)

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Direct download: Maurene_Goo_2.0_FINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 7:41am PST

Kayla Olson, debut author of THE SANDCASTLE EMPIRE, out June 6, on writing secret songs in middle school, hearing the rhythm of books, words as a puzzle, writing to the same thunderstorm for years and years, and the closest she ever came to quitting.


Kayla Olson Show Notes

Sara Zarr’s episode of First Draft 

The Babysitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin

Full House (TV show)

Fuller House (TV show)

Patty Griffin (musician)

Sandra McCraken (musician)

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)

LOST (TV show)

Libba Bray

Story Engineering and Tips for Writing Your Novel with Larry Brooks (video)

Story Engineering by Larry Brooks

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield 

Direct download: Kayla_Olson_REALLYFINAL.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:40pm PST

Sandhya Menon, debut author of WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI (out May 30 and available for pre-order now!) talks up libraries that run on guilt, candy bar scenes, and what to do when you hit a major slump.


Sandhya Menon Show Notes

Lilliam Rivera (listen to her First Draft interview here, and get the transcript here)

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Ruebén Martinez, winner of the LA Times Festival of Books' 2017 Innovator Award

 "Candy Bar Scenes" idea by Holly Lisle

Jenny Han (listen to her First Draft interview here, and get the transcript here)

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sofie Kinsella

Morgan Matson (listen to her First Draft interview here, and get the transcript here)

Stephanie Perkins

Direct download: Sandhya_Menon_FINAL_EDIT.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 8:24pm PST

Renée Ahdieh, New York Times best-selling author of The Wrath and the Dawn series, and whose new series kicks off with the release of Flame in the Mist, out May 16, joins me to talk about straddling two worlds poorly, finding the music in language, fearless internet personas, id books, and publishing as a ‘pride-swallowing siege.’ (Plus, a cameo from Sarah Nicole Lemon, author of Done Dirt Cheap!)


Renee Ahdieh Show Notes

Explosions in the Sky

Sheherazade Op. 35, a symphonic suite composed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov


The Story of Doctor Doolittle by Hugh Lofting

Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene

Sarah Nicole Lemon

J.K. Rowling

Star Wars score by John Williams

Gustav Holst’s The Planets

The Imperial March by John Williams

Mars, Bringer of War by Gustav Holst

Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better,featured in Annie, Get Your Gun



Human Bell


Godspeed You Black Emperor

Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon

The 30-second bit of "Blue Moon" by Beck, which I wanted to write a book about

"S&M" by Metallica

"The Black Album" by Metallica


The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger 

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

The Babysitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin

The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice

Crime and Punishment by Fydor Dostoyevsky

Zorro by Isabel Allende

Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez

Get Out (movie)

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher (and the Netflix Show)

Chekhov’s Gun


Sir Richard Burton

The Arabian Nights translated by Husain Haddawy

The Song of the Lioness series by Tamara Pierce

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

Mulan (movie)

A Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi

Sengoku and Muromachi periods of Japanese history

Sign up for the First Draft Newsletter!

Direct download: Rene_Ahdieh_FINAL_EDIT.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:52am PST

Courtney Summers - author of SOME GIRLS ARE, CRACKED UP TO BE, ALL THE RAGE, and more - breaks down getting published with her spite novel, consistently wanting it all, writing a book that fits around a feeling, and never really moving on from her books.


Courtney Summers Show Notes


Archie comics

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch


The Babysitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin

Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

She’s All That (movie)

Right About Now” by Fatboy Slim

Competency Quadrant (Four Stages of Competency)

The Chocolate War by Robert Cromier

Flannery O’Connor

Left 4 Dead (video game)

Night of the Living Dead (movie)

The Passage by Justin Cronin

World War Z (movie)

Shaun of the Dead (movie)

The Walking Dead (TV show)

Wednesday Books

St. Martin’s Press

The OA (Netflix series)

Alan Wake (video game)

Twin Peaks

Stephen King

Star Trek Beyond (movie)

How Did This Get Made (podcast)

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Harvard Business Journal, “Who’s Got the Monkey?

Direct download: Courtney_Summers_FINAL_EDIT.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:10pm PST

Join me for a second go-round with Margaret Stohl, New York Times best-selling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures series and the YA adaptations of Marvel's Black Widow, whose most recent novel, Royce Rolls, is out now! We discuss writing this book as a joke, the Kardashians as a delivery system, the reverse-outlining method, and overcoming inherited ways of thinking. 


Margaret Stohl 2.0 Show Notes

Los Angeles I’m Yours” by The Decemberists

The Kardashians

new Zelda, Breath of the Wild

Nintendo Switch

Arden Rose (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Richelle Mead

Raymond Chandler


Richard Pryor

Little House on the Prairie (TV show)

Starline Tours

Jennifer Garner

Alyson Hannigan, Willow from Buffy

Captain Marvel

Tony Stark

Kami Garcia

Emily Meehan, associate editor Marvel

Libba Bray (listen to her First Draft interviews here: Part 1, and Part 2)


Cats vs. Robots: This Is War

Katherine Tegan at Harper Collins

Veronica Roth (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here!)


VEEP (TV show)

House of Cards (TV show)

My LATFoB panel


Because You Love to Hate Me, edited by Ameriie


Direct download: Margaret_Stohl_2.0.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 7:25pm PST

Listen to YA superstar Sara Zarr (whose newest novel, GEM & DIXIE, is out now!) talk about the first time she encountered “smart” as an epithet, getting career advice from Chris Crutcher, and very nearly giving up on writing altogether.


Sara Zarr Show Notes

This Creative Life, Sara’s podcast series

Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien

Beverly Cleary

Marilyn Sachs

The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill

Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Judy Blume


We Need Diverse Books internship program



Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Chris Crutcher

National Book Award

The Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature

The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson

Imposter Syndrome

This Creative Life with Scott Derrickson


This Creative Life with Gayle Forman

This Creative Life with Sarah Dessen

Kevin Bacon (actor)

A Simple Plan (movie)

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson


My LATFoB panel



Direct download: EDIT2_SZ.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:38am PST

Hang with me and YouTube star, actress, and debut author Arden Rose (ALMOST ADULTING is out now!) about the sometimes insidious nature of the beauty industry, things we wish we could tell our younger selves, the scourge of tribalism, and more!

Arden Rose Show Notes

Let’s Learn Japanese (TV show)

Dr. Seuss

Redwall by Brian Jacques 

J.R.R. Tolkien

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

TED talk with former member of the Westboro Baptist, Megan Phelps-Roper

"The Most Hated Family in America," the Westboro Baptist documentaries by Louis Theroux


Myers-Briggs Type Indicator


Bossypants by Tina Fey

Yes Please by Amy Poehler


Direct download: Arden_Rose.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 2:33pm PST

Kayla Cagan, whose debut novel PIPER PERISH is out now, on fighting the green monster, the ultimatum that led to her first book deal, and how she wrote a book one day at a time (30 minutes a day).


Kayla Cagan Show Notes

Eugene O’Neill

Leave it to Beaver (TV show)

Dukes of Hazard (TV show)

Choose Your Own Adventure

Sweet Valley High

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

The Emperor's New Clothes

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

Stephen F Austin State University

Samuel Beckett (playwright)

The Baltimore Waltz by Paula Vogel

The Zoo Story by Edward Albee 

Marsha Norman (playwright)

Christoher Durang

David Lindsay-Abaire (playwright)

David Auburn (playwright)

Robert Hass (poet)

Maria Ines Gul (illustrator)

Rookie magazine



John Cusick at Fiolio (literary agent)



Writing as a Way of Healing by Louise DeSalvo

On Writing by Stephen King

Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

Direct download: Kayla_Cagan_EDIT.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:27am PST

The 100th episode of the First Draft podcast—wow!! Several of the amazing authors who attended the North Texas Teen Book Festival answer lightning-round questions from listeners!

Continue to support the podcast and help it grow by subscribing on iTunes (and leaving a rating or review!), following it on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, signing up for the newsletter, and spreading the word about First Draft using the hashtag #TryPod!

Thank you so, so, so much for listening <3


North Texas Teen Book Festival Show Notes

 R. L. Stine, author of the Goosebumps series

Victoria Aveyard, author of the Red Queen series. The most recent book in the series, King’s Cage, is out now! (listen to her full First Draft interview here!)

Maurene Goo, author of Since You Asked and the forthcoming K-Drama rom-com, I Believe In A Thing Called Love, out May 30! (listen to her full First Draft interview here!)

Kate Hart, author of After the Fall. (listen to her full First Draft interview here!)

Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent series and Carve the Mark. (listen to her most recent full First Draft interview here... and the first one, here!)

Samantha Mabry, author of A Fierce and Subtle Poison and All The Wind In The World, out October 10! (listen to her full First Draft interview here!)

Maggie Stiefvater, author of The Raven Cycle series, Scorpio Races, and the Shiver series

Stephanie Perkins, author of Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and Isla and the Happily Ever After, and Summer Days and Summer Nights, as well as the forthcoming There’s Someone Inside Your House due out Sept. 17!

Renée Watson, author of Piecing Me Together, This Side of Home, What Momma Left Me and more, and founder of the I, Too, Arts Collective (listen to her full First Draft interview here!)

Kirsten Hubbard, author of Watch the Sky, Race the Night, Wanderlove, and Like Mandarin.

Brendan Reichs, author of Nemesis, out today!

Jennifer E Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and the forthcoming Windfall, due May 2!

Nina LaCour, author of We Are Okay, The Disenchantments, Everything Leads to You, and more. (listen to her full First Draft interview here!)

Sara Shepard, author of The Amateurs series and the Pretty Little Liars series

Kiersten White, author of And I Darken, Paranormalcy and so many others! (listen to her full First Draft interview here!)

Christina Soontornvat author of The Changelings and the forthcoming The Ramble Shamble Children, due in 2018!

Adam Gidwitz, author of A Tale Dark & Grimm and So You Want To Be A Jedi?

Julie Buxbaum, author of Tell Me Three Things and the forthcoming What To Say Next, due July 11! (Listen to her full First Draft interview here!)

Claire Legrand, author of Some Kind of Happiness, Foxheart, and the forthcoming Ashborn, due in 2018! (listen to her full First Draft interview here!)

Direct download: North_Texas_Teen_Book_Festival_2017.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:19am PST

Get a hot weather beverage and relax on a porch with me and Sarah Nicole Lemon, whose debut novel DONE DIRT CHEAP (out now!) talks about being a 14-year-old high school junior, writing books in secret, motorcycle clubs, and Appalachian female revenge.

Sarah Nicole Lemon Show Notes

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Bill Gothard

Barbara Poelle (literary agent)

Holly Root (literary agent)

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Sons of Anarchy (TV show)


Renee Ahdieh

Ozzy Osbourne

Better Call Saul (TV show)

King Minos

John Green

Ray Bradbury

Direct download: Sarah_Nicole_Lemon_Final.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:00pm PST

A special co-episode with Sara from Adventures in YA where we talk about the podcasting process. Sara and I discuss our equipment, software, workflow, and promo processes, and touch a bit on feeling like we’re shouting into the void, and also tips for moderating at book festivals and other events.


Adventures in Podcasting Show Notes

Adventures in YA


Kristin Treviño

The North Texas Teen Book Festival


Adventures with Words (podcast)

Kate and Rob's off-shoot British YA show (podcast)

Man Booker Prize

Fresh Air with Terry Gross

You Made It Weird

WTF with Marc Maron

This Creative Life with Sara Zarr

Behringer Q1202USB 12-Channel Mixer

Behringer Microamp Ha400 Ultra-Compact 4-Channel Stereo Headphone Amplifier

Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone


How to Start a Podcast – A Step-By-Step Podcasting Tutorial





Interview with NPR’s chief sound engineer

Podcast Movement

Adobe Audition sound system

Zoom H2N

Zoom H4N

ElectroVoice RE50-B




Epic Reads

Elise Gets Crafty (podcast)


Direct download: Special_Ep_Adventures_in_Podcasting.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 4:52pm PST

Lilliam Rivera (whose debut young adult novel THE EDUCATION OF MARGOT SANCHEZ, is out now!) shares her first memories of walking to the library, talks about interning at Rolling Stone, the theatricality of funerals, and who wear masks (and why).

Lilliam Rivera Show Notes

UCLA Extension

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Toni Morrison

DROWN by Junot Diaz

Ana Castillo

Sandra María Esteves

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

“Between Going and Staying” by Lilliam Rivera (an interview with Lilliam about the short story here)

Shirley Temple

Al Watt The 90-Day Novel

Judy Blume

Laila Lalami Pulitzer Prize-nominated

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler


Direct download: Lilliam_Rivera.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:34am PST

The super-savvy, super-smart author Renée Watson (her most recent young adult novel, PIECING ME TOGETHER, is out now!) and founder of the I, Too Arts Collective, talks taking herself seriously as a writer from a young age, creative therapy for young people, and finding people who are about something.


Renée Watson Show Notes

An article about Mulugeta Seraw, an Ethiopian student killed by three neo-Nazis in Portland.

Richard Scarry's Bedtime Stories

Judy Blume

BEEZUS AND RAMONA by Beverly Cleary

Lucille Clifton (poet)

Gwendolyn Brooks (poet)

Langston Hughes


Zora Neale Hurston

Toni Morrison



THIS SIDE OF HOME by Renée Watson

Sarah McCarry


WHAT MOMMA LEFT ME by Renée Watson

Community-Work Project (NYC education organization)

DreamYard (NYC education organization)

Christian Robinson, illustrator

Meg Medina

Jason Reynolds

I, Too Arts Collective

Langston Hughes, “I, Too


Direct download: Rene_Watson_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:41pm PST

Let’s break it down with Sarah Jae-Jones, debut author of WINTERSONG, podcaster at large with the PubCrawl Podcast, and former editor at St. Martin’s Press, as she talks about learning to write to avoid Korean school, the possible titles for her memoir on publishing, evil threshold magic, and the not-entirely-nice ways that publishing surprised her.


Sarah Jae-Jones Show Notes

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Kongji and Patzzi

Pride and Prejudice (BBC miniseries)

Goosebumps by R.L. Stine

Sesame Street

Kristin Nelson’s blog Pub Rants

JJ’s podcast co-host, Kelly Van Sant

Al Zukerman, chairman of Writer’s House




Marie Lu (listen to her First Draft interview here!)

JJ’s blog post about writing the sequel

Direct download: Sarah_Jae-Jones_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:28pm PST

The delightful Rhoda Belleza, debut author of EMPRESS OF A THOUSAND SKIES, on being a slow reader, hating dress codes, working with teens to develop professional skills, and magical trolls who hide things in your house. 


Rhoda Belleza Show Notes

My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (TV show)

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

The Babysitters Club by Anne M Martin

Gwen Stefani

Sanctuary Art Center in Seattle

Ray Bradbury

Planned Parenthood (donate here!)

Susan G. Komen Foundation




Mexican WhiteBoy by Matt de la Pena

Paper Lantern Lit

Kami Garcia

Tiffany Liao (editor at Razorbill)

Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

Imprint Imprint

Erin Stein (head of Imprint)


Direct download: Rhoda_Belleza_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 4:08pm PST

Hello from Veronica Roth’s tour in support of her new book, Carve the Mark! Veronica invited me to go with her on tour as emcee, and we take a break after one of our shows to talk about entering an alternate dimension in the Atlanta airport, amazing bookstore dogs, and when we first learned the power of language.

Veronica Roth minisode

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

How Did This Get Made

Mary Todd Lincoln’s instagram

Colson Whitehead

Zadie Smith

Depression Beard” from Supernatural

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

After the Fall by Kate Hart

Donate to RAINN in honor of After the Fall!

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (and its sequel One Dark Throne)

How To Break A Boy by Laurie Devore

Direct download: Veronica_Roth_Minisode.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 8:01am PST

Author of the DIVERGENT series Veronica Roth - whose new book, CARVE THE MARK, is out Jan. 17 - returns to the podcast to update me on what she’s been up to since her last episode, giving her story ideas code names, why she’s obsessed with iron grates over windows, and why she decided her next novel should be set in space.


Veronica Roth Show Notes

Listen to her previous First Draft interview here!

FOUR, the collection of Divergent short stories

The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling

"Inertia," Veronica’s short story in the Summer Days and Summer Nights anthology, edited by Stephanie Perkins

Baba Yaga

Teen Vogue

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman (listen to her First Draft podcast here) and Jay Kristofftx


Direct download: Veronica_Roth_2.0_3.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:00pm PST

Join me as I talk to D.J. MacHale, author of dozens of middle grade novels, including THE CURSE OF THE BOGGIN, first book in his new series THE LIBRARY, out now! DJ also created and wrote the Nickelodeon series ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK? He talks about writing and starring in a 90-minute original Marx Brothers movie, outlining 10 books in a week, and taking critique from his mother.


DJ MacHale Show Notes

BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA by Katherine Paterson 

Dr Seuss

Dr. No

Alfred Hitchcock’s scary short story compilations

Ernest Hemingway

ABC after school special Seasonal Differences

Uta Hagen, actress in seasonal differences

Encyclopedia Brown

Chris Cross (TV show)

The Shining by Stephen King

Are You Afraid of the Dark podcasts:

Nostalgianauts revisit the TV series

Are You Afraid of the Snark, comedians doing live commentary on episodes

We're Gonna Need a Bigger Show interviews DJ

R.L. Stine

Quantum Leap (TV show)

Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne 

Direct download: DJ_MacHale.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:43am PST

Hear Sona Charaipotra, co-author of TINY PRETTY THINGS and SHINY BROKEN PIECES and co-founder of CAKE Literary, talks about her Halloween welcome to the U.S., being married to your greatest accountability partner, and fostering mentorship.

Sona Charaipotra Show Notes


The Partition of India

The Babysitter’s Club by Anne M. Martin

The Vampire Diaries (TV show)

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery 

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Dhonielle Clayton (listen to her First Draft interview here)


Bombay Talkie by Ameen Amir

Judy Blume

Arranged Marriage by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

YA authors Siobhan Vivian, Jenny Han (listen to her First Draft interview here), Coe Booth

Alloy Entertainment

Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

Patrick Swayze


Book by Kaye (@gildedspine) sold to Salaam Reads

Love Sugar Magic by Anna Meriano


Bajirao Mastani (Bollywood film)

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski



Direct download: Sona_Charaipotra_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:08pm PST

Hear Amie Kaufman, New York Times best-selling co-author of the STARBOUND trilogy and the ILLUMINAE series, talk shipwrecks and her favorite sound, how science fiction is fantasy for the real world, using "shenanigans ensue" as a plotting device, and my new favorite thing: the “shut up and take my money” list.


Amie Kaufman show notes

THIS SHATTERED WORLD by Amie and Meagan Spooner (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Enid Blyton

THE BOXCAR CHILDREN by Gertrude Chandler Warner

THE BABY SITTERS' ISLAND ADVENTURE The Baby Sitters' Club Super Special #4 by Ann M. Martin

Gravity (film)


20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA by Jules Verne


Alan Lee, iliustrator of THE HOBBIT by J.R.R. Tolkien

Star Trek: The Next Generation (TV series)

SKYLARK by Meagan Spooner

John Green's Vlogbrothers video, “What Makes Us Human

Firefly (TV show)


Stephenie Meyer


UNEARTHED, Amie’s new book with Meagan Spooner

Indiana Jones (films)

Tomb Raider (video game)

Phillip Pullman, HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy

Quote from Pullman (in THE GOLDEN COMPASSabout ideas having a “soap bubble” phase: “The idea hovered and shimmered delicately, like a soap bubble, and she dared not even look at it directly in case it burst. But she was familiar with the way of ideas, and she let it shimmer, looking away, thinking about something else.”

Victoria Schwab (listen to her First Draft interview here)

THE ANDROMEDA CYCLE, the new series coming from Amie and her co-author Jay Kristoff

Stephanie Perkins’ blog post: Love Lists

Kelly Link

Sarah Rees Brennan

Direct download: Amie_Kaufman.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:25pm PST

Some past and future First Draft interviewees share their stories about voting, how their characters would vote, love of stickers, and one story of a jujutsu-master suffragette!

Special Election Podcast Show Notes

Morgan Matson, author of THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING, AMY AND ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR, and more (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Elana K. Arnold, author of INFANDOUS, FAR FROM FAIR, the forthcoming WHAT GIRLS ARE MADE OF, and more (listen to her First Draft interview here)


Mackenzi Lee, author of THIS MONSTROUS THING and THE GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Brandy Colbert, author of POINTE and the forthcoming LITTLE AND LION (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Cat Winters, author of IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS, THE CURE FOR DREAMING, and THE UNINVITED, and more (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Somaiya Daud, author of the forthcoming MIRAGE (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Amy Plum, author of the DIE FOR ME series, the AFTER THE END series, and the forthcoming DREAMFALL (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Marie Lu, author of the LEGEND series, the YOUNG ELITES trilogy (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Maurene Goo, author of SINCE YOU ASKED and the forthcoming I BELIEVE IN A THING CALLED LOVE (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Claire Legrand, author of THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS, SOME KIND OF HAPPINESS, and FOXHEART, and more (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Amy Lukavics, author of DAUGHTERS UNTO DEVILS, THE WOMEN IN THE WALLS, and the forthcoming THE RAVENOUS (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Lance Rubin, author of DENTON LITTLE'S DEATHDATE and DENTON LITTLE'S STILL NOT DEAD (listen to his First Draft interview here)

Samantha Mabry, author of A FIERCE AND SUBTLE POISON and the forthcoming THE REAL MARVELOUS (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Natalie C. Parker, author of the BEWARE THE WILD series and editor of the forthcoming anthology TRIANGLES: THE POINTS OF LOVE ANTHOLOGY 

Elissa Sussman, author of STRAY and BURN (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Kirsten Hubbard, author of RACE THE NIGHT (out today!), WATCH THE SKY, WANDERLOVE and LIKE MANDARIN (listen to her First Draft interview imminently!)

Direct download: Special_Election_Podcast_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:11am PST

Join me and Josephine Angelini, author of the STARCROSSED trilogy, and the WORLDWALKER series (the finale, WITCH’S PYRE, is out now!), as we talk about houses burning down, trading a diary for writing fiction, and how long you can avoid the reality that you are meant to write.


Josephine Angelini Show Notes

MISTS OF AVALON by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Details on the sexual assault allegations against Bradley by her daughter


DARKOVER series by Marion Zimmer Bradley


GRACELING by Kristin Cashore

ON THE JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta

Direct download: Josie_Angelini_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 1:38pm PST

Join me and Ransom Riggs, New York Times best-selling author of MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN - which was recently released as a major motion picture - and the new selection of short stories, TALES OF THE PECULIAR, as we talk about living side by side with the past, making friends with the neighbor kids, and the freedom of having no expectations.

Ransom Riggs Show Notes

Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

Stephen King

Dragonlance (video game)

The Legend of Zelda (video game)

The Terminator (movie)

The Shining (movie)

Friday the 13th (movie)

Win Wenders (filmmaker)

Kenyon College (and their alumni magazine's interview with Ransom here!)

USC Cinematic Arts

The Sherlock Holmes Handbook

Edward Gorey


Direct download: Ransom_Riggs_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:18am PST

Join Tahereh Mafi, New York Times best-selling author of FURTHERMORE (out now!) and the SHATTER ME series, as we discuss childhoods full of new starts and goodbyes, the ways contemporary books can feel like fantasy, and writing 5,000 words every single day for two years (!).

Tahereh Mafi Show Notes

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Judy Blume

Absolute Write forums

Kami Garcia

Julie Strauss-Gabel

Direct download: TMa.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:44pm PST

Hear Zan Romanoff, whose brilliant debut novel A SONG TO TAKE THE WORLD APART is out now, talk about using her Yale diploma to ward off Hanson haters, generational trauma, the terrifying power of puberty, and her follow-up novel, GRACE AND THE FEVER (May 2017)!


Zan Romanoff show notes

Kate Hart (listen to her First Draft episode here)

The Iowa Review

The Babysitter’s Club by Anne M. Martin

Anne McCaffrey

Frank McCourt


Hanson, “Mmmbop

Dawson’s Creek (TV series)

Brenna Yovanoff, PLACES NO ONE KNOWS

Don Delillo

"California Girls," Zan’s piece in the Paris Review about Joan Didion

Girl Crush Zine, by Jenna Wortham & Thessaly La Force

Writing Workshop LA

Edan Lepucki 

"There is No Such Thing as the Young Adult Novel," Zan’s article on The Millions about what is YA

Logan Garrison Savits, Zan’s agent

GIRLS ON FIRE by Robin Wasserman

One Direction

Zan’s essay about Taylor Swift conspiracy theories in Broadly

Larry Stylinson

Direct download: Zan_Romanoff.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 1:11pm PST

Leila Howland, author of NANTUCKET BLUE, THE FORGET-ME-NOT SUMMER, and its sequel THE BRIGHTEST STARS OF SUMMER (and the forthcoming HELLO, SUNSHINE, due out next summer!), talks writing hiatus, learning structure from screenwriting, and finding inspiration in well-intentioned missteps.

Leila Howland Show Notes


A LITTLE PRINCESS and THE SECRET GARDEN by Frances Hodgson Burnett 

HEIDI by Johanna Spyri

THE HOBBIT by J.R.R. Tolkien 

THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS by Kenneth Grahame

Young Frankenstein (movie)

Sara Crowe (agent)

SAVE THE CAT by Blake Snyder

10 Cloverfield Lane (movie)

The Godfather (movie)


Lost It by Kristin Tracy

Bridesmaids (movie)

Elin Hilderbrand (author)

Josephine Angelini (author)


Kiernan Shipka (Sally Draper on Mad Men, TV show)

HELLO SUNSHINE, forthcoming book from Leila

Barnsdall Art Park

Kayla Cagan (author)


SUMMER IN THE INVISIBLE CITY by Juliana Romano (Leila's review for her debut book, FIRST THERE WAS FOREVER)

Robert Hass: “Take the time to write. You can do your life’s work in half an hour a day.



Direct download: Leila_Howland.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:20am PST

Join me and Jenny Han, New York Times best-selling author of the TO ALL THE BOYS I'VE LOVED BEFORE series and the SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY series, among other things, about reading in the bathtub, how food is political, intense first love, and mixing friendship and money by co-writing with your best friend.


Jenny Han Show Notes


DEAR MR HENSHAW by Beverly Cleary

BEEZUS AND RAMONA by Beverly Cleary

HATCHET by Gary Paulsen



Leigh Bardugo (listen to her First Draft interview here)

My So-Called Life (TV show)

Romeo + Juliet (movie)

Basketball Diaries (movie)

Titanic (movie)

Silence of the Lambs (movie)

X Files (TV show)

Law & Order (TV show)

John Grisham

Particia Cornwell

Mark Cuban


SWEET VALLEY HIGH by Francine Pascal


PEN PALS by Sharon Dennis Wyeth

SADDLE CLUB by Bonnie Bryant

Christopher Pike

Sarah Weeks (middle grade author)

When Harry Met Sally (movie)

BEAUTIFUL CREATURES by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia

WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON by David Leviathan and John Green

LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott


Direct download: Jenny_Han.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 2:38pm PST

Hang with me and Dhonielle Clayton, co-author of TINY PRETTY THINGS and its sequel, SHINY BROKEN PIECES (out now!), as well as author of forthcoming series THE BELLES (spring ’17). She talks about weekly childhood trips to the bookstore, being a writing n00b, accidentally getting a boarding school job, and writing to arrested development.

And don't forget to take the First Draft Podcast listener survey!


Dhonielle Clayton Show Notes

X Men


Virginia Hamilton

Walter Dean Myers

I WANT MY HAT BACK by Jon Klassen

Hillary Homzie

The Hanging Garden (group of writers on Tumblr)

David Leviathan

Sarah Weeks

The Longstockings: Jenny Han, Coe Booth, Siobhan Vivian, Lisa Graff

Tin House

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Pretty Little Liars (TV show)

OF MICE AND MEN by John Steinbeck


THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Mildred Taylor

Shonda Rimes

Grey’s Anatomy (TV show)

Alloy Entertainment Books

Paper Lantern Lit

Full Fathom Five

The Story Foundation

Victoria Marini, literary agent at ICM


WITHER by Lauren DeStefano

The Princess Bride (movie)

We Need Diverse Books 

BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA by Katherine Peterson

Direct download: Dhonielle_Clayton.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:28am PST

Grab a beer with me and Lance Rubin, author of DENTON LITTLE’S DEATHDATE and its sequel, DENTON LITTLE’S STILL NOT DEAD (Feb. ’17!) while we talk improvising teen dramas, the importance of establishing reader expectations, and the ephemeral nature of art.


Lance Rubin Show Notes




Louis Sachar


Beverly Cleary

Judy Blume

JURASSIC PARK by Michael Crichton

Dick Francis (Is Dick Francis a horse?)


Mr. Show (TV show)

Upright Citizens Brigade

Ray Munoz (his friend, of The Lance and Ray Podcast)

THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins

Dawson’s Creek


The O.C.

Beverly Hills 90210

Judd Apatow advice to Freaks & Geeks, telling them to write

Joe Iconis?? Jason Sweet Tooth Williams

Broadway Bounty Hunter” at Barrington Stage, Written by Joe Iconis, Lance Rubin, and Jason "Sweettooth" Williams 


ON WRITING Stephen King

THE WAR OF ART by Steven Pressfield


Direct download: Lance_Rubin.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:54am PST

Join me and Lindsey Klingele, debut author of THE MARKED GIRL, as we discuss magical forests, being in the room where stories happen, and our favorite portals.


Lindsey Klingele Show Notes

First Draft Live 2, with Lindsey


Amie Kaufman

Ann M. Martin

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV show)

Veronica Marsx (TV Show)

X-Men (comic)

Philip Roth


That article about watching Vinyl instead of Game of Thrones, written by Jeffrey Sconce, an associate professor of film and media studies at Northwestern University


The Lying Game (TV Show)

Twisted (TV Show)

Chuck Pratt, Jr. (Melrose Place)

Homeland Security hires science fiction writers to identify possible future threats

The Last Bookstore

Children of Tendu (podcast)

Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Winter Soldier

Direct download: Lindsey_Klingele.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:26am PST

Pretend to be an adult with Julie Buxbaum,New York Times best-selling author of TELL ME THREE THINGS, THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE, and AFTER YOU, who chats with me about gathering at the AMPM market, creating myths about yourself, and writing parent hate mail (to your own parents).

Julie Buxbaum show notes

Laurence H. Tribe, Harvard Law professor

Elaine Koster, literary agent

THE KITE RUNNER by Khaled Hosseini

Lauren Groff's quote about balancing work and motherhood (from The New Yorker)

Direct download: Julie_Buxbaum_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 3:43pm PST

A mashup of lightning-round interviews conducted at the YALLWEST festival with Susane Colasanti, Kody Keplinger, Alexandra Bracken, Kiersten White, Gwenda Bond, Adi Alsaid, Margot Wood, Stephanie Kuehn, Jessica Spotswood, Brendan Reichs, Robin Benway, Ellen Oh, Amy Tintera, Maurene Goo, Marie Lu, Victoria Aveyard, Erin Bowman and Seth Fishman.

YALLWEST 2016 episode show notes

The LATFoB First Draft show


Kiersten White, PARANORMALCY, AND I DARKEN (listen to her full First Draft interview here)


Adi Alsaid NEVER ALWAYS SOMETIMES, NORTH OF HAPPY  (listen to his full First Draft interview here)

Amy Tintera, RUINED (listen to her full First Draft interview here)

Ellen Oh, the PROPHECY series, THE SPIRIT HUNTERS (listen to her full First Draft interview here)

Erin Bowman, TAKEN, VENGEANCE ROAD, RETRIBUTION RAILS (listen to her full First Draft interview here)

Gwenda Bond, the LOIS LANE series, GIRL ON A WIRE

Brendan Reichs, VIRALS and NEMESIS

J. R. R. Tolkien THE HOBBIT


LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott


Margot Wood EPIC READS

The Addams Family (TV show)

Hannibal (TV show)


TIGER LILY by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Maurene Goo SINCE YOU ASKED and I BELIEVE IN A THING CALLED LOVE (listen to her full First Draft interview here)


Zadie Smith

Kody Keplinger, THE DUFF, RUN

Rainbow Rowell ELEANOR & PARK

Marie Lu, LEGEND and THE YOUNG ELITES (listen to her full First Draft interview here)

Leigh Bardugo, SIX OF CROWS (listen to her full First Draft interview here)

Brian Jacques MATTIMEO

Robin Benway, EMMY & OLIVER (listen to her full First Draft interview here)


LORD OF THE RINGS by J. R. R. Tolkien


Stephanie Kuehn THE SMALLER EVIL and CHARM AND STRANGE (listen to her full First Draft interview here)

Susane Colasanti LOST IN LOVE

Victoria Aveyard RED QUEEN series (listen to her full First Draft interview here)

Direct download: YALLWEST_2016_Episode.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 7:44pm PST

Morgan Matson, New York Times best-selling author of THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING, AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR and SINCE YOU'VE BEEN GONE, among others, on reading on the bathroom floor, death defying road trips, and being forced to think of book ideas because Twitter is down.


Morgan Matson Show Notes

Vroman’s bookstore

Christopher Pike

Judy Blume




WRITING DOWN THE BONES by Natalie Goldberg

Stephanie Kuehn (listen to her First Draft interview here)

David Levithan

Jenny Han

Siobhan Vivian

Coe Booth

Melissa C. Walker

David Benioff (show runner Game of Thrones), CITY OF THIEVES




Scandal (TV show)

The Good Wife (TV show)


Direct download: Morgan_Matson_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 3:59pm PST

Lightning round questions with some of the fantastic authors I came across at the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, including Susan Dennard, Ransom Riggs, M.A. Larson, Tahereh Mafi, Maggie Hall, Danielle Paige, Victoria Aveyard, Kara Thomas, Maurene Goo, and Julie Buxbaum!

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books Roundup Show Notes


Susan Dennard, author of the SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY series and TRUTHWITCH

Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica (TV show)

Mal from Firefly (TV show)

BLOOD RED ROAD by Moira Young





Tahereh Mafi SHATTER ME series and FURTHERMORE

Maggie Hall author of THE CONSPIRACY OF US and MAP OF FATES


Cassandra Clare

Danielle Paige author of the DOROTHY MUST DIE series and STEALING SNOW


Crimson Peak (film)

Guiding Light (soap opera)

Margaret Stohl

Melissa de la Cruz

Kami Garcia

Anne M. Martin

Victoria Aveyard author of RED QUEEN


Maurene Goo author of  SINCE YOU ASKED and forthcoming K-Drama romcom!

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (film)

Last of the Mohicans (movie)

Wonder Woman theme from Batman and Superman (movie)

Julie Buxbaum (SP) author of TELL ME THREE THINGS


Direct download: LATFoB.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:50am PST

Hang out with kittens, wild parrots, and Maurene Goo, author of SINCE YOU ASKED and a forthcoming K-Drama romcom, due out in 2017! We talk about writing fan fiction of her own life, letting teen girls be silly, and not being able to deny being an L.A. girl.


Maurene Goo Show Notes

Elvis Costello

THE GOOD EARTH by Pearl S. Buck

THE BABYSITTER’S CLUB books by Ann M. Martin

Mary Higgins Clark

V. C. Andrews

Charles Dickens

Robin Benway (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Felicity (TV show)


GOSSIP GIRL by Cecily von Ziegesar

DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth (listen to her First Draft interview here)

John Green 

David Sedaris

How Did This Get Made's “Teen Witch” podcast

Amy Spalding (listen to her First Draft interview here)


Direct download: Maurene_Goo_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:06am PST

This episode is the audio equivalent of a spray tan! Join me and Jessi Kirby, author of THINGS WE KNOW BY HEART, GOLDEN, IN HONOR, and MOONGLASS, as we discuss human hearts, the lasting impact of inspiring teachers, and what actual IRL teens are reading.

Jessi Kirby Show Notes




Robin Benway (listen to her First Draft interview here)

 THE AWAKENING by Kate Chopin

Kerry Winfrey’s blog Year of Romcoms

Nora Ephron

Compatible immune systems

Gail Godwin HEART


Direct download: Jessi_Kirby.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 1:26pm PST

Victoria Schwab (also known as V. E. Schwab), New York Times bestselling author of A GATHERING OF SHADOWS, VICIOUS, THE ARCHIVED, and more!, talks about the slippery nature of memory, book-writing amnesia, why editorial letters should be more like stacked Oreos, and feeding the fanfic trolls. 


Victoria Schwab Show Notes

Kristin Kittscher (hear her First Draft interview here)

Harpeth Hall



Victoria’s sticker system



Victoria Aveyard (listen to her on First Draft Live here, and her First Draft interview here)

Holly Black


SONG OF ACHILLES by Madeline Miller


Direct download: Victoria_Schwab.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 2:13pm PST

Talking to Elana K. Arnold (author of FAR FROM FAIR, out now!, as well as INFANDOUS and THE QUESTION OF MIRACLES) about literal and metaphysical skin suits, sex on the page, whether we write FOR teens or ABOUT teens, and middle grade as a happy place.


Elana K. Arnold Show Notes

Cheryl Strayed, “The Love of My Life,” TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS

Sarah MCarry (listen to her First Draft interview here)


Cyndi Lauper

ROOM (and the movie)


Thelma & Louise (movie)

SPLENDOR by Elana K. Arnold

Squaw Valley Community of Writers

STORY by Robert McKee

TWILIGHT by Stephenie Meyer


Cheryl Strayed’s letter to a young writer ("Write Like a Motherfucker")

Aimee Bender



Carrie Mesrobian


Stephanie Kuehn (listen to her First Draft interview here)

Andrew Karre (editor with Dutton Books for Young Readers)


Rubin Pfeffer


Neil Gaiman

Paul Auster


Direct download: Elana_K._Arnold.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 6:39pm PST

The prolific and amazing A.R.Kahler, author of SHADES OF DARKNESS (out now!) among many many other things, sits for what is my favorite interview because I got to say, “Where was the circus?”


Alex Kahler Show Notes

Neil Gaiman

Phillip Pullman

The Aerial Angels

Dollhouse (TV show) by Joss Whedon

47 North

Kirsten Hubbard

You Must Remember This (Charles Manson podcast)

WITCH EYES by Scott Tracy


C. Alexander London’s First Draft podcast


Direct download: A._R._Kahler.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:01am PST

First Draft Live Show Notes


Elissa Sussman, STRAY, BURN

Lindsey Klingele, THE MARKED GIRL



Skylight Books

Isaac Asimov

ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Carson Levine

The Legand of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time





Modern Harry Potter

My Book in a Bar

SERAPHINA and SHADOW SCALE by Rachel Hartman

1776 by David McCullough

YOU and HIDDEN BODIES by Caroline Kepnes

THE DEVIL AND THE BLUEBIRD by Jennifer Mason-Black

Direct download: First_Draft_Live-Victoria_Aveyard_Elissa_Sussman_Lindsey_Klingele.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 2:54pm PST

Isabel Quintero, Morris Award winner for GABI, A GIRL IN PIECES, talks getting in trouble for reading in the dark, the final straw that took her away from teaching high school, and when a life crisis almost made her into a pastry chef.

Isabel Quintero Show Notes

Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

e e cummings “anyhow lived in a pretty how town”

Michele Serros

William Carlos Williams

Walt Whitman

Pablo Neruda

John Steinbeck

M. Night Shyamalan


OF THE DUST by Karen Hesse

CRANK by Ellen Hopkins


Direct download: Isabel_Quintero.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 1:23pm PST

Ava Dellaira, author of LOVE LETTERS TO THE DEAD, talks writing a book from a great title, hibernating with poetry in Iowa, and we enjoy a little bit of Greek pop music for spice.

Ava Dellaira

Leigh Bardugo called Ava “deep as a well” in her First Draft interview

Nirvana (band)

Lisa Loeb, “Sandalwood,” “Stay,”

The Counting Crows, “Anna Begins

U2, “One


River Phoenix (actor)

Jennifer Egan


Direct download: Ava_Dellaira.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:27am PST

Elissa Sussman, author of STRAY and its sequel BURN, discusses the “f—k page” of her teen journal, how ‘guilty pleasure’ is a gross term, and what three things every writer needs.

Elissa Sussman Show Notes

RENT (musical)

Archie comics

Sweet Valley High by Francine Pascal

Babysitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin

Roswell (TV show)

X-Files (TV show)

Battlestar Galactica (TV show)

Star Trek (TV show)

REDWALL by Brian Jacques



The Secret World of Alex Mack (TV show)

Downstage (program at Sarah Lawrence)

Adrienne Dawes (playwright)

Vagina Monologues

Angels in America (play)


Wicked (play)

Into the Woods (play)


Direct download: Elissa_Sussman_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:56pm PST

Hear the lovely Kristen Kittscher, author of THE WIG IN THE WINDOW and THE TIARA ON THE TERRACE talk about getting kicked out of high school, writing characters who are getting all growed up, and visualizing our inner writer.

Kristen Kittscher Show Notes

Danielle Steele

Mary Higgins Clark


HELTER SKELTER by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry


THE STAND by Stephen King

WATERSHIP DOWN by Richard Adams

Au Revoir Les Enfants (movie)



Write To The Finish (online class)

Taos Writing Conference

Kirsten Miller, KIKI STRIKE and NIGHTMARES with Jason Segel


Claire Legrand (her First Draft interview)


Direct download: Kristen_Kittscher_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 7:46pm PST

The wondrous Amy Plum (author of the DIE FOR ME series, the AFTER THE END series, and DREAMFALL, due out in 2017) and Lenore Appelhans (author of the MEMORY CHRONICLES series) share stories of starting their literary careers writing letters, the false reality of social media, and psychopaths (real ones).


Amy Plum & Lenore Appelhans Show Notes

Vermont College of Fine Arts


J.R.R. Tolkien

Madelein L’Engle, A WRINKLE IN TIME

Robert A. Heinlein (SF writer)

Isaac Asimov

C.S. Lewis

Ursula LeGuin

Emma Trevayne, CODA


Flatliners (movie)

Wes Craven’s THEY (movie)

The Far Side by Gary Larson


Direct download: Amy_Plum__Lenore_Appelhans.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:19pm PST

Pour a glass of wine to keep up with me and Kendare Blake, author of ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD, the Goddess War series, SLEEPWALK SOCIETY, and the forthcoming THREE DARK CROWNS (due out in 2016), as we talk about her training as a stock trader, screeds about Superman, and living with anxiety.

Kendare Blake Show Notes

Stephen King, On Writing

Anne Rice, Prince Lestat

Fear Street, Freeze Tag

Silent Hill (video game)

Supernatural (TV show)



Direct download: Kendare_Blake.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:28pm PST

Pour a strong drink and leave your denim culottes at home for this conversation with Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, who together make up blogging and writing duo the Fug Girls (of Go Fug Yourself)! We talk about how terrible the new X Files is going to be, hear behind the scenes stories about America’s Next Top Model, talk writing as a team, and ask the universe for an oral history of how Summer '07 was the best time Hollywood gossip ever.


Fug Girls Show Notes

Pamela Ribon

Television Without Pity (previously Mighty Big TV)

Tough Enough (MTV show)

Judging Amy

Wolf Lake (TV show)

Linda Holmes, NPR's pop culture reporter

Richard Glatzer (director, Still Alice)

Morgan Spurlock

Sleepover (movie)

Brooks Barnes (formerly WSJ, New York Times)

The Royals (TV show)

Fug Girls articles on The Toast

Direct download: Heather_Cocks_and_Jessica_Morgan_the_Fug_Girls_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:59pm PST

Get red lipstick and fill up a goblet to enjoy this chat, wherein Leigh Bardugo, New York Times best-selling author of The Grisha series and the newest book in that world, SIX OF CROWS, talks about being a childhood outsider, making rules for magic, and profesh makeup tips.

Leigh Bardugo Show Notes

Inside Out (film)

DUNE by Frank Herbert

Jacqueline Kerry, author of KUSHIEL'S DART

Ava Dellaira

Aziz Ansari and Eric Klineberg, MODERN ROMANCE

NK Jemisin

Writing with Color


Direct download: Leigh_Bardugo.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 8:55am PST

For the first First Draft Live event on October 30, Marie Lu (NYT best-selling author of the LEGEND trilogy, THE YOUNG ELITES and its sequel, THE ROSE SOCIETY), Margaret Stohl (NYT best-selling co-author of the BEAUTIFUL CREATURES series, author of ICONS, IDOLS, and of Marvel's Black Widow's YA adaptation, FOREVER RED), Anna Carey (author of the EVE trilogy, and YA thriller BLACKBIRD and its sequel DEADFALL), and Kali Wallace (debut author of SHALLOW GRAVES, due out in January 2016!) got together at Vroman’s bookstore in Pasadena to talk about scary stories and why we love them.

Also! Listen to full First Draft interviews with Marie Lu; Margaret Stohl; and Anna Carey.

I want to thank three local authors and members of the First Draft Live team for making this possible: Elissa Sussman (author of STRAY and its forthcoming sequel, BURN); Maurene Goo (author of SINCE YOU ASKED and a forthcoming K-Drama rom-com due in 2017); and Kirsten Hubbard (author of middle grade series WATCH THE SKY and its forthcoming sequel RACE THE NIGHT, and YA books WANDERLOVE and LIKE MANDARIN).

Direct download: First_Draft_Live.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:08pm PST

Join me and Samantha Mabry, debut author of A FIERCE AND SUBTLE POISON*, in Dallas discussing JFK assassination conspiracy theories, grandmothers warnings about witches, and being close but not too close to dangerous things.

*Note: In the show, Sam refers to A FIERCE AND SUBTLE poison by its earlier title, LEAVES.

Samantha Mabry Show Notes

LIBRA by Don Delillo

Annie Dillard

Jo Ann Beard

Susan Orlean

HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS by Isabelle Alende

Louise Erdrich

Salman Rushdie

Gabriel Garcia Marquez


Most Haunted (TV show)

Nathaniel Hawthorne, RAPPACCINI'S DAUGHTER

Esmerelda Santiago CONQUISTADORA

William Carlos Williams, The Fountain of Eternal Youth (essay)

Donald Judd (NY based artist who built Marfa)

Cormanc McCarthy

Direct download: Samantha_Mabry.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:22pm PST

Join me in chatting with Stephanie Kuehnert, author of BALLADS OF SUBURBIA and I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE and a forthcoming memoir of her teen years. We talk about promises made to cats, heart cities, and Riot Grrl.

Stephanie Kuehnert Show Notes

Richard Hugo House

Story Studio (Chicago, IL)

The Replacements

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Riot Grrl

Girl Power! by Hillary Carlip

Stephanie’s essays on Rookie


Francesca Lia Block



Susie X, illiustrator

The Writer's Center, Bethesda, MD

Pete Holmes’ podcast, You Made It Weird


Direct download: Stephanie_Kuehnert_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:33am PST

Amy Lukavics, debut author of YA horror DAUGHTERS UNTO DEVILS, talks about the appeal of truly scary stories, creepy kids, the tiny details that can drive an entire story, and “candy bar” scenes.


Amy Lukavics Show Notes

Kirsten Hubbard

PAINT IT BLACK by Janet Fitch



IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS by Cat Winters (listen to her First Draft interview)


Katy Perry “California Gurls

The Red Dragon (movie)

The Woman in Black (movie)

Stephanie Perkins’ Love List

Storm of the Century, written by Stephen King

MISERY by Stephen King

Laura Ingalls Wilder


Sumayyah Daud (listen to her First Draft interview)

Kody Keplinger THE DUFF




Direct download: Amy_Lukavics_3.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:01am PST

Talking to Aaron Hartzler, author of WHAT WE SAW (out Sept. 22!) and RAPTURE PRACTICE, about YA memoir, desert hippies, and taking others off the hook for your happiness.

Aaron Hartzler Show Notes

Teen Read Week

Ellen Hopkins

Nicky Weinstock



The New Yorker: The Lessons of Steubenville; Life After Steubenville; Trial by Twitter

Dan Savage


Paige Rawl, Ali Benjamin POSITIVE: A MEMOIR



Kate Sullivan, Senior Editor of YA & MG books at Delacorte


Michael Bourret, agent with DGLM

Andrew Smith

GLASS CASTLE Jeanette Walls


Ira Glass, This American Life

Billy Ray, screenwriter

Holly Goldberg Sloan, COUNTING BY 7S

Erin Jade Lange, author of BUTTER (listen to her First Draft interview here)

New Yorker article: The Scourge of Relatability

Melissa de la Cruz OFF THE BOAT

Malinda Lo

A.S. King

Tim Federle

David Leviathan, HOLD ME CLOSER: THE TINY COOPER STORY, and Tiny Cooper musical

GODLESS by Pete Hautman


FAR FAR AWAY by Tom McNeal




Direct download: Aaron_Hartzler_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:29am PST

Do you know the difference between a blacksmith and a ferrier? Mackenzi Lee, debut author of THIS MONSTROUS THING (out Sept. 22!), does! Learn about that, Mary Shelley, and so much more in our Harvard Square conversation!


Mackenzi Lee Show Notes

The Coop in Harvard Square

Pirates of the Caribbean (movie)

THE STRANGER by Albert Camus

The War of the Roses



THE GOOSE GIRL by Shannon Hale

Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me

Margaret Murphy (British crime fiction)



THE THIEF LORD by Cornelia Funke

LEVIATHAN by Scott Westerfeld


THE LADY AND HER MONSTERS by Roseanne Montillo

BONES AND ALL by Camille DeAngelis

THE ART OF ASKING by Amanda Palmer

Direct download: Mackenzi_Lee_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 1:17pm PST

Nicola Yoon, debut author of EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, talks about her secret foosball skills, the mix tape that won her husband over, and the 4 AM fish that turned her book into an unusual story.


Nicola Yoon Show Notes

Nicola Yoon’s one-sentence story on The Butter by Roxanne Gay

Life is Strange (video game)

Final Fantasy (video game)

ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins


Charlotte Huang FOR THE RECORD

The Fearless 15ers


Brandy Colbert

Veronica Roth, her First Draft Podcast

Harold and Kumar (movie)

Before Sunrise (movie)

Direct download: Nicola_Yoon.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:51am PST

Take a siesta with fast-talking goofball C. Alexander London, author of new middle grade series THE WILD ONES, talk diverse sci-fi with smooth-talker Alex London, and even get a glimpse of the elusive non-fiction writer Charles London in the first interview with a built-in drinking game! Also: adorable dog noises.

C Alexander London Show Notes

IT by Stephen King

REDWALL by Brian Jacques

Refugees International

Anna Freud child psychologist

Robert Coles child psychiatrist at Harvard

THE LITTLE PRINCE by Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Sterling Lord

Jack Kerouac


Blood Diamond (movie)

Chris Crutcher

Scott Westerfeld

Upton Sinclair THE JUNGLE

David Levithan

Truman National Security Fellowship


ENDER’S GAME by Orson Scott Card (and his homophobia)

GIOVANNI’S ROOM by James Baldwin

Rick Riordan

Cassandra Clare

Veronica Roth





Direct download: C_Alexander_London.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:15am PST

In which I refer to the trajectory of the life of Adi Alsaid, author of LET’S GET LOST and NEVER, ALWAYS, SOMETIMES as his “plot line,” we discuss the power of imaginary places, and he answers my hundreds of questions about being trilingual. Enjoy!

Adi Alsaid Show Notes

ABC Children’s Institute


Stephen King

Kurt Vonnegut

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

Emilia Rhodes with Alloy Entertainment

Katie McGarry

She’s All That (movie)

Meg Wolitzer

Ellen Oh

Jandy Nelson


Victoria Schwab


Direct download: Adi_Alsaid.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:24am PST

Little did I know when I met up with Brandy Colbert, author of POINTE and LITTLE AND LION, due out 2017, that I was meeting my future roommate and one of my best writing buddies. She's the cat's pajamas, and I hope you enjoy our convo as much as I did!

Brandy Colbert Show Notes

Sweet Valley High

Clueless (movie)

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)

Verla Kay's Blue Boards

CRACKED UP TO BE by Courtney Summers

LIVING DEAD GIRL by Elizabeth Scott

Center Stage (movie)

Brandy’s post on Nova Ren Suma’s blog about the book of her heart

I Know My First Name Is Steven (movie)


Colson Whitehead SAG HARBOR

Coe Booth

Varian Johnson

Matt de la Pena

Jacqueline Woodson

Judy Blume’s IGGIE’S HOUSE

Tina Wexler

Direct download: Brandy_Colbert_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:28am PST

Drink 'em if you got 'em: Join me and Sarah McCarry (aka The Rejectionist), author of ALL OUR PRETTY SONGS, DIRTY WINGS, and the third book in the trilogy, ABOUT A GIRL, as we talk about mosh pits, the gift of anonymity, and waiting for the end of the world in a temperate rain forest. HEADS UP -- this interview has significant background noise, so I'm providing a transcript of our entire conversation (even more than appears in the audio episode)!


Sarah McCarry Show Notes

HARRIET THE SPY by Louise Fitzhugh


TAM LIN by Pamela Dean

Sara Goodman at St Martin’s

THE INTERN (aka Hilary T Smith, listen to her First Draft interview here)

Nathan Bransford’s blog

Miss Snark

Kelly Link

Elizabeth Hand

Francesca Lia Block WEETZIE BAT

Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop

Gift (movie) 

Jane’s Addiction (band)



Sarah Hannah Gomez, Sumayyah Daud (her First Draft interview), Kaye 


Bojan Louis


Kim Gordon

Direct download: Sarah_McCarry_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 4:49pm PST

Nina LaCour, author of Morris Award nominated HOLD STILL, THE DISENCHANTMENTS, and EVERYTHING LEADS TO YOU, is a freaking delight. Join us as we discuss west coast travels, novels springing from one beautiful sentence, and Nina’s story about a school visit that makes me cry every time I hear it.


Nina LaCour Show Notes


SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson


THE FIRST PART LAST by Angela Johnson

FOREVER by Judy Blume

Zoetrope All Story fiction contest

Joan Didion

Michele Bachmann

Southern Poverty Law Council 

National Center for Lesbian Rights

Stephanie Perkins

Sarah Dessen

Katie Byron

Like Crazy (movie)



Direct download: Nina_LaCour_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:16am PST

Apply SPF 70 and get into the shade with me and John Corey Whaley, author of Printz and Morris award-winning WHERE THINGS COME BACK and National Book Award finalist for NOGGIN, while we talk about vague endings in teenage stories, the magic of librarians, and when books just don’t work.

John Corey Whaley Show Notes

Printz Award

Morris Award

Jessica Love, and her First Draft interview



ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth (her First Draft podcast interview)

Maggie Stiefvater

Daniel Handler


Holly Goldberg Sloan COUNTING BY SEVENS

Direct download: John_Corey_Whaley_1.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:25am PST

Imagine you’re watching a sherbet-colored sunset in the Hollywood hills while enjoying avocado toast with Anna Carey, author of the EVE trilogy and DEADFALL, the sequel to BLACKBIRD, out now!

Anna Carey Show Notes

Lorrie Moore

Aimee Bender

Nicole Krauss

Amanda Davis

Lisa Papademetriou

The Sackett Street Writer's Workshops

Julia Fierro

826NYC & the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Store

Michael Cunningham

Etsy print of It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect, it Just Has to Exist, by Gemma Flack


Ira Glass quote

Alison Cherry FOR REAL (her First Draft interview)

Stephen King ON WRITING


Ransom Riggs, Gretchen McNeilKatie Alender

Anna Solomon

Dr. Brene Brown

NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern



Direct download: Anna_Carey.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 10:50am PST

Find a spot to sit in the sun and enjoy my conversation with the lovely Robin Benway, author of AUDREY, WAIT!, THE EXTRAORDINARY SECRETS OF APRIL, MAY & JUNE, the ALSO KNOWN AS series, and EMMY AND OLIVER, out now!


Robin Benway Show Notes

Rob Roberge, author and teacher at UCLA extension

Book Soup in West Hollywood, CA



My So-Called Life (TV Show)

Freaks and Geeks (TV Show)

Rachel Cohn, author of YOU KNOW WHERE TO FIND ME and others, and co-author of DASH AND LILY'S BOOK OF DARES

Rooney’s “I’m a Terrible Person” (song)

Velvet Underground, Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed, The SmithsSuede

Jennifer Rudolph Walsh

Ally Carter (Heist Society series)

Morgan Matson

Article with Joss Whedon  (inspiration for Firefly)

Sara Zarr



Direct download: Robin_Benway.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 1:02pm PST

Holy Harry Potter superfans, it’s Adam Silvera! He calls himself tall for no reason, but I think the reason is he is solidly 6 foot something worth of awesome. Grab a comfy chair and enjoy my delightful chat with the debut author of MORE HAPPY THAN NOT about his self-made MFA, reppin’ the Bronx, and the theme of choice in all our lives.

Adam Silvera Show Notes 

Charmed (TV show)

Supernatural (TV show)

SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater

Brooks Sherman, Adam’s agent

Hannah Ferguson, literary agent

WINGER by Andrew Smith

Erin Bowman

Shelf Awareness

Paper Lantern Lit

Lauren Oliver

NOGGIN by John Corey Whaley



ELEANOR AND PARK by Rainbow Rowell




THE BLUEST EYE by Toni Morrison




THE WIZARD OF OZ by L. Frank Baum

Courtney C. Stevens FAKING NORMAL

Victoria Schwab 



Direct download: Adam_Silvera.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:41pm PST

Settle in somewhere quiet and contemplate the beauty around you with Hilary T Smith, author of WILD AWAKE and A SENSE OF THE INFINITE, out May 19! 

Hilary T Smith Show Notes


Hilary’s guest post on YA Highway about how to be a nomad

DUNE by Frank Herbert

Direct download: Hilary_T_Smith.output_1.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 8:29am PST

Petite in stature, big in life experience and YA book feels, join me and Corey Ann Haydu, author of OCD LOVE STORY, LIFE BY COMMITTEE, and MAKING PRETTY, out May 12, as we talk acting, traveling, loneliness, and the shifting, shifty concept of “work.”

Corey Ann Haydu Show Notes

Sylvia Plath

Corey’s essay on loneliness

SAVVY by Ingrid Law

LITTLE BROTHER by Cory Doctorow

RULES FOR STEALING STARS, Corey's new middle grade book, due out September 2015

Susan Van Metre, teacher at the New School MFA program

BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA by Katherine Paterson



Direct download: Corey_Ann_Haydu.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:59am PST

Get your taste buds ready for a walk through a farmer’s market, and a kitchen-based adventure with Kristin Halbrook, author of NOBODY BUT US and EVERY LAST PROMISE (out now!). 

Kristin Halbrook Show Notes

TWILIGHT by Stephenie Meyer

BALLADS OF SUBURBIA by Stephanie Kuehnert

Bechdel Test

HOW I LIVE NOW by Meg Rosoff

JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marchetta



Direct download: Kristin_Halbrook_3.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 1:24pm PST

Join me and Erin Bowman, author of the TAKEN trilogy—the final book, FORGED, is out now!—and the forthcoming VENGEANCE ROAD as we talk imposter syndrome, the lasting impact of Harry Potter, and how the Internet made living in the woods way less lonely.

Erin Bowman Show Notes

Gibson’s bookstore

REWORK (book about startups) by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Pub Rants, Kristin Nelson’s agency website

Nathan Brantford

Caroline Richmond

Sara Crowe

Sarah J. Maas

Susan Dennard

Pub(lishing) Crawl

Firefly (TV show)

Gillian Flynn

Tana French



Direct download: Erin_Bowman_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:44am PST

Get yourself a Big Gulp of caffeine and sit back as Amy Spalding, author of THE REECE MALCOLM LIST, INK IS THICKER THAN WATER, and KISSING TED CALLAHAN (AND OTHER GUYS), out April 7, talks discovering voice, diving into experiences that scare you, and how soon her books will let you travel every neighborhood in LA without leaving the couch.

Amy Spalding Show Notes


Lois Lowry

Studio City tattoo (Mike Erwin)

NICK AND NORA’S INFINITE PLAYLIST by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Easy A (film)



Style Smoothie

Direct download: Amy_Spalding_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:27pm PST

Join me as I chat with Amy Tintera, author of REBOOT and REBEL, and the forthcoming RUINED series (due out Summer 2016!), about how screenplays are more than just dialogue, living in every time zone in the U.S., and embarking on new starts.

Amy Tintera Show Notes

Garden State (movie)


Nathan Bransford, QuerySharkAbsolute Write

SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi


CINDER by Marissa Meyer

DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth

SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo



GAME OF THRONES by George R R Martin

IF I STAY by Gayle Forman


Aaron Sorkin

Burning Man

Kirsten Hubbard

Amy Spalding

Corrine Duyvis

Kiera Cass

Liz Norris


Aprilynne Pike

Direct download: Amy_Tintera_3.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 4:23pm PST

Grab a Fiji water and a pillow mint and imagine you’re in a Boston hotel room with me and Veronica Roth, author New York Times bestselling DIVERGENT series, as we talk about writing being the way grown-ups get to play pretend, embracing critique, and marveling at people who think first drafts are fun.

Direct download: Veronica_Roth_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 2:12pm PST

Join me and Jessica Love, author of PUSH GIRL and the forthcoming IN REAL LIFE, as we hang with her dogs on a sun-soaked southern California balcony to talk pen pals, world travels, and hear what slang the kids are using these days.

Jessica Love Show Notes

Brand New “Sic Transit Gloria” the inspiration for her first NaNo book 

Punchline (band) “Ghostie,” “Universe

Blue of Colors (band) “Your Face” 

THIS LULLABY by Sarah Dessen

Spalding University 

STORY by Robert McFee

THE ART OF FICTION by John Gardner

Push Girls on Sundance

Catfish (TV show)


Sumayyah Daud

Jessica BS (@JeskuhBS)

Rainbow Rowell

500 Days of Summer (movie)


Melissa Landers YA sci-fi (four adult romances under Macy Beckett)


Direct download: Jessica_Love.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:57am PST

Take a siesta with Kiersten White, New York Times best-selling author of the PARANORMALCY series, MIND GAMES, THE CHAOS OF STARS and more, as she talks about the challenge of balancing writing with kids, the fresh new challenge that every book brings, and hear her read some amazing(ly hilarious) high school poetry!


Kiersten White Show Notes


Natalie WhippleStephanie Perkins

Kiersten’s blog

Erica Sussman

Jim Di Bartolo

Laini Taylor


LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES by Laini Taylor with illustrations by Jim Di Bartolo

Direct download: Kiersten_White_2.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 11:28am PST

One of my favorite humans, Kate Hart is author of AFTER THE FALL, due out in 2016 from FSG, and is basically everywhere on the internet. She and I took a break from a marathon Twilight series re-watch to talk witches and talking birds, what a gross word “networking” is, and finding the courage to tell our stories. Also Twilight.


Kate Hart Show Notes

Badass Ladies You Should Know (my interview here!)

Field Trip Friday

YA cover statistics

Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer

Tim O’Brien

Zilpha Keatley Snyder

A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L'Engle

Absolute Write

Katie Alender

Corinne Jackson

Myra McEntire

Kirsten Hubbard

Kate's agent Michelle Andelman

Natural State Treehouses, Kate's family treehouse business! 

R&R = revise and resubmit

THE HANDMAID’S TALE by Margaret Atwood

"The Yellow Wallpaper" by by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Sylvia Plath


Stacked, librarian book blog


Kelly Jensen

Direct download: Kate_Hart_2.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:20am PST

Imagine yourself in sunny San Diego as Stephanie Diaz, author of EXTRACTION and its sequel, REBELLION, out February 10, talks about moving from film to books, querying before high school, and the scary reality of moving cross-country.

Stephanie Diaz Show Notes

THE EGYPT GAME by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

HIS DARK MATERIALS by Phillip Pullman

IF I STAY and WHERE SHE WENT by Gayle Forman

Cristin Terrill

Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner THIS SHATTERED WORLD, and its sequel, THESE BROKEN STARS

Firefly (TV show)

LEGEND by Marie Lu

Battlestar Galactica

WANDERLOVE by Kirsten Hubbard



Direct download: Stephanie_Diaz_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 10:03am PST

Grab a seat poolside with Erin Jade Lange, author of BUTTER, DEAD ENDS, and the forthcoming REBEL BULLY GEEK PARIAH, as she talks about abandoning the Midwest, the lasting impacts of bullying, and her personal vendetta against "Larry" McAfee.

Erin Jade Lange Show Notes

Dark Heart (from Care Bears)

John McAfee

Abraham Biggs

WINTERGIRLS by Laurie Halse Anderson

Ilsa Bick (ASHES)


Gemma Burgess (agent)

Direct download: Erin_Jade_Lange_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 3:35pm PST

Have a sunny afternoon coffee with me and Victoria Aveyard, debut author of RED QUEEN (out Feb. 10!), as we discuss the Venn diagram of her screenwriting and author careers, why Hollywood won’t make the next Star Wars without novelists, and Pokemon (obviously)!

Victoria Aveyard Show Notes


WOOL by Hugh Howey

Suzie Townsend, Pouya Shahbazian, and Joanna Volpe of New Leaf Literary

Gennifer Hutchison, screenwriter for THE RED QUEEN

Looper (film)

Direct download: Victoria_Aveyard_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 4:10pm PST

Take a champagne break as I chat with Megan Shepherd, author of A COLD LEGACY, the final installment of THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER series (out Jan. 27), about the magic of Asheville, Jack versus Sawyer, and the allure of historical fantasy over mimosas!

Megan Shepherd Show Notes

Beth Revis, Meagan Spooner

Blog post of Megan’s YA book event at her parents’ book store

STOLEN by Lucy Christopher

Alvina Ling (Editor-in-Chief, Little, Brown)



FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley


THE CAGE, the first book in Megan’s next series, out May 26!

The Chocolate Lounge in Asheville


Direct download: Megan_Shepherd.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 7:44am PST

I was in nerd heaven chatting with Margaret Stohl, co-author of the New York Times best-selling BEAUTIFUL CREATURES series, author of ICONS and IDOLS, and hard at work at the YA novel based on Marvel’s Black Widow. The frenetic energy of an evil genius, and the degrees to match, Margie talked  about her experiences being the only girl in the room for her years running a video game company, always checking wardrobes for Narnia, and the origin of YALLFest/YALLWest.

Margaret Stohl Show Notes


Tiger Beat


Psuedonymous Bosch 

Jeffrey Wright (actor)

Eudora Welty

William WordsworthClark Coolidge

Ron Howard (actor/director)

Zork: NemesisZork: Grand Inquisitor (video games)

Melissa de la Cruz

Kami Garcia


THE DARK IS RISING by Susan Cooper

Diana Wynne Jones

Apocalypse (video game)

Gayle Forman

CHILDHOOD’S END by Arthur C. Clarke

Marie Lu

Ned Vizzini (his obituary)

Cassandra Clare

Fracesca Lia Block

HARRY BOSCH series by Michael Conneley

Holly Black

Carrie Ryan

Melissa Marr

Kelley Armstrong

Romantic Times

Jonathan Sanchez, Blue Bicycle Books


Kwame Alexander

Direct download: Margaret_Stohl_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:24am PST

YA author Julie Murphy, who wrote SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY and has a new book, DUMPLIN’, coming out this year from Balzer + Bray, meets me in Texas to talk epic homecoming mums, unlikeable characters, and how she thought Twilight was a boy band.

Julie Murphy Show Notes

ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins

Drop Dead Gorgeous (film)

TITHE by Holly Black

WICKED LOVELY by Melissa Marr

Kristin Travenio (Irving County Library YA librarian)

Blue Valentine (film)

Jolene” by Dolly Parton


Alessandra Balzer at Balzer + Bray

Direct download: Julie_Murphy_2.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:50am PST

Katie Coyle, debut author of VIVIAN APPLE AT THE END OF THE WORLD, talks about how Thorin Oakenshield taught her she wasn’t cut out to act, writing ghosts and magic into her hometown, and how Neil Gaiman gave her her big break.


Katie Coyle Show Notes

Katie’s wedding picture in which she and her friend re-enact THE HOBBIT


Neil Gaiman’s tumblr

The Young Writer’s Prize by Hot Key Press

Cathy Day, represented by Sarah Burnes, professor at Pitt

Rachel Fershleiser of Tumblr


Tavi from Rookie

Welcome to Nightvale


Direct download: Katie_Coyle.m4a
Category:Literature -- posted at: 4:14pm PST

Boisterous, eloquent, and just the tiniest bit zany, Cynthia Leitich Smith, New York Times best-selling author of TANTALIZE and RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN NAME, took me out for tacos and taught me a thing or twelve. I loved hearing her wise words on diversity in YA, paying it forward with newer writers, and writing 200 drafts of a single picture book.


Cynthia Leitich Smith Show Notes

Dear Sugar

Kathi Appelt  and Austin SCBWI

Greg Leitich Smith

Varian JohnsonDon Tate

Brett Hartman


Ming Doyle, illustrator for Cynthia’s graphic novels

Deborah Noyse at Candlewick press (editor)

SANTA KNOWS illustrated by Steve Bjorkman (edited by Mark McVeigh at Dutton)



Joss Whedon


Sara Zarr 

Ellen Oh’s post on Cynsations


Judy Blume


Direct download: Cynthia_Leitich_Smith.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 1:36pm PST

Myra McEntire, author of the HOURGLASS series, is as refreshing as a cool glass of sweet tea, and it was a joy to sit with her and talk British TV, living with intention, and handling life’s unexpected curveballs. 


Myra McEntire Show Notes

The Kingsport Mets

Trixie Belden series 

Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris

WTF With Marc Maron (podcast)

Stuff You Should Know (podcast)

Stuff You Missed In History Class (podcast)

The Spy Museum podcast, SpyCast

Mental Illness Happy Hour (podcast)

The Domestic CEO (podcast)

Get It Done Guy's Quick Dirty Tips (podcast)

The Savvy Psychologist (podcast)

Welcome to Night Vale (podcast)

SIMS homeless blog, Alice and Kev, The Story of Being Homeless in The SIMS 3

Horton Foote

Keeping Up Appearnces (BBC sitcom)

Absolutely Fabulous

Vampire Diaries

Kevin Williamson (writer for VD)

SUPERFUDGE by Judy Blume

Stephanie Perkins

THE SHADOW GATE, Myra McEntire’s middle grade series on Storybird with Molly O’Neill

Veronica Roth

CJ Redwine, Jodi Meadows, MG BuehrlenCourtney C Stevens (hear Court's podcast interview here!)

Direct download: Myra_McEntire_3.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:51am PST

The delightful Alison Cherry, author of RED and FOR REAL (out December 9!) talks traumatic revision experiences, life foreshadowing, “guerrilla friending” — and her cats give us some all-star background purring.


Alison Cherry Show Notes

Author Solutions

Literary agent Holly Root

Strauss opera, Die Frau ohne Schatten (The Woman without a Shadow)

Lorrie Moore

Harvard Bookstore

CHAOS WALKING trilogy by Patrick Ness

Wendy Loggia, Executive Editor at Random House Children's Books/Delacorte Press 

The Amazing Race

Project Greenlight


Pete Holmes


Corey Ann Haydu

Kirsten Hubbard

Lindsay Ribar

Kara Thomas (Taylor)

Maureen Johnson, "Don't be afraid to suck."


Holly Root, "Keep your eyes on your own paper."

Direct download: Alison_Cherry_2.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 8:43pm PST

Talking with the wise and lovely Courtney C. Stevens, author of FAKING NORMAL and THE BLUE-HAIRED BOY, about building a writing community, writing how rock climbing made her a better writer.

Courtney C Stevens Show Notes

Stephenie Meyer


Ruta Sepetys and Sharon Cameron

Harper Impulse series

Rae Ann Parker, Kristin TubbHannah Dills 

Margie Lawson

Direct download: Courtney_C_Stevens.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 8:28am PST

Talking to Kaitlin Ward, whose debut novel BLEEDING EARTH is due out in Fall 2015, about the SIMS, teen horror, how she recovered from losing her first agent, and what video games inspire her.


Kaitlin Ward Show Notes

WHEEL OF TIME series by Robert Jordan

THE GIVER by Lois Lowry

THE GOLDEN COMPASS by Phillip Pullman

REDWALL by Brian Jacques


ERAGON by Christopher Paolini



TWILIGHT by Stephenie Meyer

Absolute Write

YA Highway

THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers (and the sequel, PLEASE REMAIN CALM)

Goosebumps, Fear StreetChristopher Pike

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Michelle Schusterman (listen to her First Draft interview here!)

ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell

Upton Sinclair

Direct download: Kaitlin_Ward_2.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 1:05pm PST

I meet up with Stephanie Kuehn at a lovely holiday retreat in Vermont, where she set her Morris-award-winning debut, CHARM AND STRANGE. Steph is deeply thoughtful and incredibly silly in equal measure, which makes her simply delightful. As we sat on a back porch with kids playing in a nearby hammock, we talked about Steph’s boarding school days, romanticizing Vermont, movie making, how starting to run gave her the confidence to start writing, and the experience of winning the Morris Award. I also refer to Mark Zuckerberg as a “millionaire.” Sorry for the downgrade, Zucks.

Stephanie Kuehn Show Notes

Debra Driza

Corrine Jackson

Veronica Roth


COMMITTING JOURNALISM by Dannie Martin and Peter Y. Sussman

Dannie Martin

The Wicker Man (film)

The Conformist (film)

Vertigo (film)

Direct download: Stephanie_Kuehn_2.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:40am PST

The conversation continues, with Libba Bray, Printz award-winning YA author of THE DIVINERS and GOING BOVINE, discussing how she came to children's literature, the struggle to balance honesty with self-preservation, and writing with depression.

Libba Bray Part 2 Show Notes

Laurie Halse Anderson

David Levithan

Rachel Cohn

Francesca Lia Block

Angela Johnson

Aaron Zimmerman, New York Writers Coalition

Ann Brashares

Sweet Sixteen

Cecily von Ziegesar

Holly Black

SAVE THE CAT by Blake Snyder

Save The Movie, by Peter Suderman in Slate (the "why are all movies the same?" article)

Cynthia Leitich Smith

Scott Westerfeld

Justine Larbalestier

John Green

Nova Ren Suma

Robin Wasserman

Emily Lockhart

Maureen Johnson

Barry Lyga

C. Alexander (Sandy) London

Adele Griffin

Matt de la Pena

Shannon Hale

Sara Zarr

Jon Skovron

Maggie Stiefvater

Judy Blume

"Miles and Miles of No Man's Land," Libba Bray’s post about depression

Stephanie Perkinsblog post about depression

"The Shame of Depression," by Myra McEntire

HELTER SKELTER by Vincent Bugliosi, Curt Gentry


CARRIE by Stephen King

Direct download: Libba_Bray_Part_2_2.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:35pm PST

The only thing better than getting to chat with YA icon Libba Bray (author of New York Times best-selling series A GREAT AND TERRIBLE BEAUTY, Printz award-winner GOING BOVINE, and genuinely terrifying historical paranormal THE DIVINERS, among others) about writing was getting to chat with her about life. Libba is as hilarious as she is wise, and our conversation was so fun, I decided to cut it into two parts rather than leave an hour or more on the cutting-room floor. In this episode, Libba talks about having her rock collection stolen as a kid, that one time Wes Anderson helped stage a play she wrote, and talks about how growing up in Texas set her head at a certain tilt.

Libba Bray Show Notes

Seven Samurai, directed by Akira Kurosawa

Citizen Kane

The Legend of Boggy Creek

The Planet of the Apes

American Gigolo

The Exorcist

Christopher 'Kit' Marlowe

Lois Lowry (her BEA speech)




FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS by Ernest Hemingway


Aaron Sorkin

Harold Pinter

The Thin Man

Bringing Up Baby

The Marx brothers

Neil Simon plays

Woody Allen

Pitch Perfect

Agent Sarah Burnes

No Country For Old Men

HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT by Natalie Standiford


David Sedaris

Johnny Thunders

Singin’ In The Rain

Fitness Focus Form and Function with Marky Mark

Richard Simmons

Cindy Crawford


Peter Marks, theater critic of the New York Times and the Washington Post

New York International Film Festival


Direct download: Libba_Bray_Part_1_2.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 8:36am PST

Meeting with Natalie Standiford was like stepping into a world where all my teen fantasies about what life as a writer would look like (amazing NY apartment, effortlessly chic clothes, a separate office with built-in shelves and a bass amp in the corner). It was only made better by the fact that Natalie’s books - HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT, THE BOY ON THE BRIDGE, CONFESSIONS OF THE SULLIVAN SISTERS and so many more - are beautiful, thoughtful, and filled with quirky nuance, just like the books I dreamed (dream!) of writing. Natalie is so sweet and welcoming, and had wise, wise words about building up an immunity to writer’s block, writing about real-world fairylands, and finding creative release outside the written word.


Natalie Standiford Show Notes


Sarah Burnes, agent at The Gernet Co., who represents Natalie (and me!)

Annie Hall, film

Jane O’Connor, FANCY NANCY

Hilary Knight (illustrator of Eloise)


Parachute Publishing

GOSSIP GIRL by Cecily von Ziegesar

THE CLIQUE by Lisi Harrison

THE DATING GAME by Natalie Standiford

Disney ELLE WOODS books

Harold and Maude (movie)

BITTERBLUE by Kristin Cashore and her blog post about starting over

Darcey Steinke, adult novelist

Rene Steinke

David Levithan, author and editor at Scholastic, the “camp counselor of the YA writers.”

Dan Ehrenhaft (Editorial Director, Soho Teen, guitarist of Tiger Beat)

Libba Bray (novelist, lead singer of Tiger Beat)

Barnabas (Barney) Miller (author, drummer of Tiger Beat)


Direct download: Natalie_Standiford_2.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:32am PST

Q&A Show Notes

Support the podcast here!

Find podcast extras here!

Jenn from Appleton video

NAME OF THE ROSE, Natasha Romanov comic by Marjorie Lu

Junot Diaz

BookPeople in Austin

The Strand in NYC

Parnassus Books in Nashville

The Last Bookstore in LA

Politics and Prose in D.C., and Modern Times coffeeshop

NIMONA by Noelle Stevenson (aka Gingerhaze)

Alison Cherry



Direct download: Mini-Ep_QA.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:24am PST

Cat Winters, author of Morris Award finalist IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS and THE CURE FOR DREAMING (out Oct. 14!) is kind, thoughtful, and soft-spoken, but don’t be surprised if she tells you she was wandering the Oregon woods on the last full moon.

Cat Winters Show Notes


The Mandrell Sisters

The Smurfs

THE THORN BIRDS by Colleen McCullough

Judy Blume

REBECCA by Daphne Du Marier

SCBWI (The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators)

Boardwalk Empire

The Watcher in the Woods (Disney movie)

Something Wicked This Way Comes (movie)


THE GHOST NEXT DOOR by Wylly Folk St. John

The Cottingly Sisters

The Man Who Believed In Fairies, article on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Tom Huntington

Kristen Lawrence Halloween Carols ("Dark Glass")

THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern

SLASHER GIRLS AND MONSTER BOYS from Jessica Garrison at Dial

DRACULA by Bram Stoker

Direct download: Cat_Winters_2.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 5:00am PST

Marie Lu is small only in a strictly physical sense. Her books are big - New York Times best-seller big - and her creativity, both as a novelist and an artist, is awe-inspiring. The written word taught Marie a new language, got her through high school, led her to take a chance on leading a creative life at a pivotal moment as college came to an end, and is now giving her the chance to see the world. Marie has truly inspiring things to say about when to recognize that you aren’t good enough for a story, how her visual thinking shows in her work, and what the push for diversity in YA has taught her.

Marie Lu Show Notes

IN THE FOREST OF THE NIGHT by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

David Eddings

Terry Brooks

Kristin Nelson, Marie’s agent

Pike’s Peak Writer’s Conference

The graphic novel of Rachelle Mead’s VAMPIRE ACADEMY 

Heather Brewer’s vampire series, EIGHTH GRADE BITES

Kaari with Caravan Studios

Rainbow Rowell’s project writing a graphic novel

Kiersten White and Jim DiBartolo on IN THE SHADOWS


Ellen Oh


"Yes, No, Meh" With Marie and Veronica Roth on CNN

Direct download: Marie_Lu_2.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 1:33pm PST

A chat with Beth Revis, author of the New York Times best-selling ACROSS THE UNIVERSE series, including a new book from that world, THE BODY ELECTRIC, due out Oct. 7! Beth talks about the ten years she spent writing before her breakout novel, and how invaluable the writing community has been to keeping her sane. 

Beth Revis Show Notes

The Biltmore Estate

The Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis

Sweet Valley High series

The Babysitter’s Club series

THINGS FALL APART by Chinua Achebe

NIGHT by Elie Weisel

DEAD MAN’S HAND, edited by John Joseph Adams

PETTICOATS AND PISTOLS, edited by Jessica Spotswood

Firefly, television show

Jessica Spotswood, Marie LuAndrea Creamer 

Beth’s Pinterest board





RUIN AND RISING by Leigh Bardugo

Direct download: Beth_Revis.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:08am PST

Meagan Spooner, author of LARK ASCENDING (out Oct. 1!), the final installment of the Skylark Trilogy, and is co-author of the Starbound Trilogy with Amie Kaufman. Meagan is bright, cheery and welcoming, with the self-assuredness of a girl who has crossed the globe more than once. We talk about her roots in the theater, how fairy tales are the OG fanfic, and that one time her house burned down.

Meagan Spooner Show Notes


CONTACT by Carl Sagan

THE GIVER by Lois Lowry


Odyssey writing workshops

Claire Legrand (listen to her podcast interview here!)

Shel Silverstein


IN A DARK, DARK ROOM by Alvin Schwartz and Dirk Zimmer

Delia Sherman and Ellen Kushner

The Tolkien quote about the "leaf-mould of the mind"

Sarah Maas, Susan Dennard, Amie KaufmanErin Bowman

Direct download: Meagan_Spooner_3.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:21am PST

Rachel Fershleiser Show Notes

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe in NY

Eat Your Feelings: Stories of Food, Jews & Your Mom, with Jami Attenberg and friends

BooksmithBook People, and Tattered Cover (bookstores)

Stock Tips zine Kickstarter

Tumblr's Reblog Book Club

ELEANOR AND PARK and FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell

Gingerhaze on Tumblr (Noelle Stevenson)

Simini Blocker on Tumblr

Ampersand from YadyKates on Etsy

YA Highway on Tumblr

WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign


I, Too, Am Harvard

Planned Parenthood Saved Me

Emily Schultz, author of JOYLANDSpending Stephen King’s Money

Maureen JohnsonCoverflip

 SO MUCH PRETTY by Cara Hoffman

President Obama Tumblr Q&A

YA author Leigh Bardugo

Hot Key Books Young Writers competition, previous winner Katie Coyle


Last Night’s Reading

Emily Books

Emily Hughes, who runs Random House’s Tumblr

Veronica Roth

THE MAN OF MY DREAMS by Curtis Sittenfeld

Nick Harkaway

Jennifer Close

Tana FrenchGillian FlynnMegan AbbottLaura Lippman

THE UNKNOWNS by Gabriel Roth

CALIFORNIA by Edan Lepucki



Emily Gould, author and co-owner of Emily Books

Celeste Ng, author

Direct download: Rachel_Fershleiser_2.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 6:34am PST

Gretchen McNeil, author of YA books POSSESSTEN3:59, and GET EVEN (out this week, from Baltzer + Bray!) welcomed me to her home in L.A. for a great conversation about the pros and cons of fast drafting, grassroots marketing, and how to balance being a writer and an extrovert. And her adorable puppy Wolfgang makes an appearance, too!

Gretchen McNeil Show Notes

The 24 Italian Opera songs

TITHE by Holly Black

WICKED LOVELY by Melissa Marr

Stanislavski acting questions


Boris Karloff

Amy Lukavics

T.S. Ferguson (Amy's editor at Harlequin TEEN)

Stephanie Perkins

Leigh Bardugo

RT = Romantic Times Book Lover's Convention

ALA = American Library Association

Cindy Pon

Diane Setterfield, THE THIRTEENTH TALE

Direct download: Gretchen_McNeil_2.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:55am PST

Heidi Schulz Show Notes


Australorp breed of chickens

J.M. Barrie, author of PETER PAN and PETER PAN AND WENDY

Peter Pan (2003 film)

Brooks Sherman, Heidi’s agent

John Hendrix, illustrator for HOOK’S REVENGE

Heidi’s drawing of a sad robot being launched into space 

Claire Legrand, MG author

Emma Trevayne, MG author

KidLit authors Beverly ClearyDiana Wynne Jones, and Judy Blume


Authors of creeptastic things, Stephen King and V. C. Andrews

Direct download: Heidi_Schulz_2.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 8:33pm PST

Michelle Schusterman, author of the I HEART BAND series and the forthcoming THE KAT SINCLAIR FILES and MAUDEVILLE, is the kind of girl whose conversation feels more like a hug than a handshake. She’s so open-hearted, curious, and kind, it’s no wonder she’s always worked with middle and high school students, across the globe. 

Michelle Schusterman Show Notes

Savvy by Ingrid Law

Michelle’s agent Sarah Davies

Jordan Hamessly, Michelle’s editor


The Coffeehouse Mystery books by Cleo Coyle

Direct download: Michelle_Schusterman.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 8:04am PST

My good friend and YA author Kirsten Hubbard takes the mic to ask me a few questions for this mini-episode Q&A! We talk about why the podcast got started, why it's been so irregular to date, where it's going in the future, and a discussion of writing while traveling.

Direct download: Minisode-_QA.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:21pm PST

Kara Taylor (soon to be Thomas) has a quick wit and an infectious laugh. In addition to being smart, sharp and funny, she’s a gifted and ambitious writer, crafting YA novels by day (the PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL series and a forthcoming book in 2016 from Random House) and TV shows by night. I caught up with Kara at her home in Long Island, and she gave me the rundown of her almost accidental television writing gig, how having a chip on her shoulder helps get words on the page, and why city life just isn’t for her.

Kara Taylor Show Notes

Clip from Jon Stewart bit about Long Island wanting to secede

Janet Evanovich

Article on how much money California is losing because TV and movie productions are locating in other cities.

Article on the writer of Lethal Weapon

Direct download: Kara_Taylor.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 1:03pm PST

Claire Legrand has a sweet heart and a dark imagination - a combination that has made for two magical middle grade novels (THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS and THE YEAR OF SHADOWS), and a forthcoming YA, WINTERSPELL, due out September 30 from Simon & Schuster. We met at her home in Princeton, New Jersey to talk scary stories for kids, earning honor badges in life, and finding time amidst the "author" madness to actually write.


Claire LeGrand Show Notes

Claire LeGrand’s agent Diana Fox

Claire’s blog post about leaving New York

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin

The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley

Lucy Ruth Cummins with S&S

Sarah Watts, artist for covers with S&S

Karl Kwasny, artist for Year of Shadows with S&S

E.T.A. Hoffmann's original Nutcracker

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik

Story by Robert McKee

Direct download: Claire_LeGrand_2.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:25am PST


Ellen Oh has been called a force of nature, and it’s true - the woman can get things done. But she’s also a fierce friend and loving mom, whose nearly decade-long quest to publication with debut novel PROPHECY was started because she couldn’t find books that reflected her story, or the Korean history she found so fascinating. Ellen can be series, sure (I mean, she _was_ a lawyer), but her laugh is infectious and she’s a laser-focused ball of energy when it comes to talking about history, how her kids are her toughest critique partners, and of course, spearheading the We Need Diverse Books campaign.

Direct download: Ellen_Oh_2.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:51am PST


The lovely Cristin Terrill invited me over to discuss theater, Sir Ian McKellen buying tea, and her recent decision to admit a planned sequel to her debut novel, All Our Yesterdays, was not a workable project. Cristin is funny and quick, and her kindhearted vibe may have something to do with the fact that she knows she has a safety net: dog grooming school.

Direct download: Cristin_Terrill.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 9:47am PST

Petite and a bit quiet, Lindsay Smith has a bit of a mysterious vibe. And once she starts talking, it only gets more interesting! YA's John le Carré, Lindsay is a history buff who is fluent in Russian, and her debut novel, SEKRET, and its follow-up, SKANDAL (due in April 2015 from Roaring Brook Press) explore what would happen if Russia were hiding paranormally-enhanced super-humans behind the iron curtain during the Cold War. Pretty awesome stuff. Lindsay invited me over to talk 20th century politics, the round-the-clock nature of D.C.'s creative types, and the sheer terror of trying to write for adults.

Direct download: Lindsay_Smith_2.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 7:44am PST


Caroline Tung Richmond is a smiling, stylin’ ball of endless positive energy, and with her debut novel set to come out in September (THE ONLY THING TO FEAR, 9/30/14 from Scholastic) I was jazzed to meet up with her in Rockville, Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C. Caroline is full of incredible advice for writers in the trenches, and gives us a perspective on how being a new mother is hurting and, in some ways, helping her writing process. Also, she schools me on awesome sci-fi references — though Stark Trek fans should be warned that Caroline admits her memory of Deanna Troi’s fate may be a bit hazy. (But we won’t hold that against her - she has mad TNG cred.)

Direct download: Caroline_Richmond_copy.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 11:36am PST

Direct download: Robin_Talley.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 7:49am PST

The inaugural First Draft podcast! A discussion with the lovely Sumayyah Daud, 24-year old author of the forthcoming BEGIN AGAIN, about radical happiness, Bill Shakespeare’s butt jokes, and #WeNeedDiverseBooks.


Direct download: Sumayyah_Daud_Podcast_copy.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 7:56pm PST