We all have certain writers we’re a bit in awe of, because of their stories and because of the power of their words. To be able to hash through the revision process with such an author is an absolute honor, and I’m thrilled to present you with the following Authors on Editing interview with National Book Award, Newbery Honor, and Coretta Scott King Award recipient Jacqueline Woodson.
Many writers aspire to craft intrigue, to evoke a fascination in history and the world that we live in through page-turning plots and three-dimensional characters, but few make an impact as great as international bestseller Katherine Neville, who I am honored to have joining me for the following Authors on Editing interview.
Katherine Neville’s colorful, swashbuckling adventure novels, in the epic “Quest” tradition, have graced the bestseller lists in forty languages. But her books remain hard to pigeonhole:
Neville herself has been dubbed “the female” Umberto Eco, Charles Dickens, Alexandre Dumas, and Stephen Spielberg. Her work has been reviewed and has received awards in categories as diverse as Mystery, Thriller, Historic, Romance, Science Fiction as well as classical literature. Publishers Weekly described Neville’s works as having “paved the way for books like The Da Vinci Code.” In a national poll by the noted Spanish journal, El Pais, her novel, The Eight, was voted one of the top ten books of all time. More
No matter how experienced a writer may be, there’s magic that can happen when you join a creative workshop with a masterful teacher. Artistic juices—no matter how active or how dormant—can come alive, and inspiration is rekindled.
This is how I feel whenever I have the pleasure to hear Douglas Jones speak about the creative process—whether in a workshop, a literary salon, or a conversation over lunch at a writing conference. I’m honored to present the following interview with him, which is chock-full of valuable advice and inspiration.
Douglas Jones has written and seen produced more than forty plays and screenplays, including the musical Bojangles (music by Tony Award-winning composer Charles Strouse, lyrics by Academy Award-winning Sammy Cahn), The Turn of The Screw, and his award-winning Songs from Bedlam. His docudrama 1607: A Nation Takes Root is on display every day at the Jamestown Settlement & Yorktown Victory Center. He was awarded the Virginia Commission for the Arts Playwriting Grant in 2006, the Martha Hill Newell Playwrights Award in 2015, and the Emyl Jenkins Award for Promoting Writing and Writing Education in 2016. He teaches memoir, playwriting, and other classes at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and The Visual Arts Center in Richmond, Virginia, and is a voting member of The Dramatists Guild. He lives in Richmond with his wife Harriett and his daughter Emma. More
When people think of writers, they don’t always think of the work ethic that it requires to sit down and make a creative project come to be. There is more than just imagination required. There is dedication, determination, and a seemingly endless drive that separates a hobbyist from a professional.
Talking with a wordsmith like Sadeqa Johnson reminds me of this creative truth. Many have a literary calling, but not everyone moves from a dream to a reality, from black page to ink-covered manuscript, and from rough draft to polished final project ready to share with the world. A masterful storyteller, teacher, and inspirational speaker, Sadeqa is a writer to pay attention to. I’m honored to present you with the following interview.
Writers can be gifted in so many ways–in the way they create characters that readers are attached to from page one, in the way they pace their stories without a wasted word, in the way their settings come alive, in the way they make readers reimagine the world around them or reexamine old subject matter in a new light, and in so many more capacities.
Joanna Lee‘s poetry shows what happens when every single word is chosen with the precision of a scalpel’s slice through skin. She has a gift with language and metaphor; plus, she knows how to throw a book launch like nothing I’ve ever seen before (ask her about it sometime if you get the chance).
This is an Authors on Editing interview that I’m incredibly excited to share. More
Some writers make me want to sit back and take notes. Whether reading his work or chatting with him in person, Brendan Wolfe is one such writer. Enjoy this detailed interview, writers!
Brendan Wolfe is the editor of Encyclopedia Virginia, a project of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. An Iowa native and graduate of the University of Iowa, he is the author of Finding Bix: The Life and Afterlife of a Jazz Legend, about the early jazz musician Bix Beiderbecke. His work has appeared in The Morning News, the Colorado Review, and VQR. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. More
To be a good writer, you have to get into your characters’ heads to know what makes them tick, to know what they want and why, to know their fears, secrets, and how they take their coffee. We storytellers know this.
We all find our own ways to bring people to life, but actress and playwright Louise Ricks has an entirely different experience of thinking about her characters. For Louise, she not only knows them. Sometimes, she has the opportunity to step into their skin.
Sometimes, I meet another writer and just go “Wow.” I’m inspired and in awe, and then I dive into that writer’s work and find myself saying, “Wow, wow, wow” once again. If you’ve ever met Allan Wolf, seen him perform, or read his writing, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, I’m honored to introduce you to a writer you need to know now.
No matter what we write, we can learn a lot from poets. Knowing how to make the most out of every word, how to find rhythm in language, and how to convey a point with subtlety and poignancy is a talent we should all aspire to.