First Draft with Sarah Enni

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