Writer Podcast Round-Up! 6 Podcasts I Can't Live Without

I love podcasts. I listen to them in the car, while I’m washing dishes, when I’m folding laundry. Even during my once-a-year gym workout.

Over the years there have been a few writing/publishing podcasts I’ve listened to religiously, sometimes even listening to episodes a second or third time. Here are my absolute favorites:

  • Write or Die Podcast with Claribel Ortega and Kat Cho: I’ve listened to every episode. I love Claribel and Kat’s honesty about publishing and as someone who’s had a bumpy publishing journey, I could really relate to this one. The guests they bring on the show are so interesting and insightful.

  • Pub Crawl with S. Jae Jones and Kelly Van Sant: Another one that I’ve listened to every episode, and there are a LOT of them. The hosts are busy so there aren’t as many episodes this year. The “what to expect from publishing” episodes are my favorites, but they do have some good craft ones too.

  • First Draft with Sarah Enni: I started to listen to this a few months ago. I love her interviews with authors. The production is high-quality and I love Sarah’s interview style.

  • Helping Writers Become Authors. K.M. Weiland: This is a craft podcast, and when I’m drafting, I like to listen to new and archived episodes that are relevant to what I’m struggling with. A few weeks ago I listened to her episode on character arcs, and it really helped me work out problems with my main character’s flaws.

  • Hey YA, Kelly Jensen and Eric Smith: I love getting my funny and quirky YA book recommendations from this podcast. I also love their discussions about marketplace trends.

  • 88 Cups of Tea with Yin Chang: I’ve listened to this podcast since the early days. Yin has really grown as an interviewer and I love her openness with her guests. The authors and creators she’s brought on the show are all high-quality.

  • Podcasts I’ve just started to listen to (and love!): The Manuscript Academy (fun and informative about publishing), Print Run (these hosts should have a TV talk show), Literaticast (kid-lit only, great interview-style) and Shipping & Handling (I want these two to have a late-night radio show).

Happy listening!

Suzanne Park
5 Questions with a Librarian

I’m thrilled to host my very first “5 Questions” blog interview this week.

Meet Ryan Gan, Assistant Professor and Systems Librarian, former Branch Manager for Orange Public Library. He’s a family friend and all-around a super guy.

1) Why did you become a librarian?

My parents took me to libraries a lot when I was growing up and a lot of the strong memories I have during back then have to do with libraries. When I would walk home I would stop by the library for a bit to decompress and explore before heading home. It was a third place for me.

Later on I was fortunate to have work study in libraries on campus and there were peers that worked at the library as well. I was so aware of it when I started a rock n’ roll band with my friend we decided to name our band The Librarians. When the band broke up I boomeranged back to my parents (thanks Mom and Dad!)  When I was figuring out what to do for the next chapter of my life I had remembered a good friend who I really respected went on to library school and then I was like, if it is good enough for them, why not give it a try? I found a part time library clerk position and then went to library school. I worked my way up through the library system and was finally because a librarian after I got my Masters in Library and Information Science. So as you can see a lot of factors went into me becoming a librarian and when I work in the library I try to keep conscious that it is the little things, the small interactions that add up to big things.

2) What’s your favorite book, of all time and/or current?

Some favorite books as of late have been Donna Tartt’s The Secret History and The Magician series by Lev Grossman. The film that lives in the same world as these books is Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan. I don’t know exactly why I keep coming back to these, but I do. The protagonists in these works do a lot of undirected work and spend a lot of time searching. Not everything is an out and out “success” and failures are necessary and inescapable but we have the power to forge them into something else on our own terms.

3) A question authors are dying to know…how do you choose books for your library?

Normally we look at journals that have reviews by fellow librarians Library Journal, School Library Journal, but a lot of librarians are now looking at their blog aggregator feeds, Twitter, etc. We also go to library conferences to meet with authors as well as network with other librarians who give workshops on the current state of the publishing industry. I also helped coordinate a young adult author panel for LA and Orange County librarians.

4) When you were a librarian at Orange, what genres were the most popular (what was checked out most often)?

During my time as a young adult librarian supernatural and dystopian fiction was all the rage. This was the mid-aughts and early 2010s.

5) If you could meet one author, who would it be?

I’ve been to a book talk with Neil Gaiman and sat far above him in a large auditorium but it would be nice to be in a proper pub and listen to him with a polite circle of fans while there was a crackling fire in the fireplace, the soft sound of rain pattering on the roof, plenty of pints, and a good pub feed.

OK, I lied. One more question.

6) What do you like to do when you’re not reading or librarian-ing?

I really like playing games. Roleplaying games, Japanese Riichi Mahjong, Magic: the Gathering, Puerto Rico and Euro board games, I collect arcade games and pcbs (shmups, fighting games, and pinball). My love for country music comes from square dancing. I I like anime and manga. I really enjoy cooking so I barbecue brisket and pulled pork, roast coffee, homebrew beer. Last week I was pretty proud having made Armenian lula kebab and Persian saffron rice. Next month will be handmade tortillas and chorizo. Right now I'm hiatus because of getting used to a new career but I do play euphonium. In homage to my rock n' roll days I sing karaoke and cut a rug at Alex's Bar for The Good Foot Soul night. I owe being a Renaissance person who is able to do a lot of things to reading! With my new academic schedule me and my wife Cynthia I'm happy to report that have been adding world travelling, last year was Japan. This year was Bakersfield and Albquerque/Santa Fe and we'll be going to Denver this Summer and then Spain/France/Belgium during Winter Break.

Thank you for your time, Ryan!

Suzanne Park
Thank You x 1,000,000!

I meant to post this last week, but I somehow deleted it…with no draft saved. Hoping this one sticks! In my haze of disbelief (did my book really sell???) I wanted to make sure I thanked the people who were “in my corner” while I was drafting, revising, or on submission to publishers. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Brent, my agent. He’s been super supportive since the day he requested my MS during Pitchwars

  • Speaking of Pitchwars, thank you to Sarah and Kellye, my PW mentors. They’re wise and level-headed, and kept me sane during this publishing rollercoaster

  • MAPID writers group, you’re my writing family and you’ve given me such good feedback over the last 5 years

  • Whitney, my oldest CP. OMG, our journeys have been so trying. Thank you for everything

  • Helen, my CP and PW BFF. Daytime sprinter extraordinaire. The Waldorf to my Statler

  • Canadian Annette, my hoodie twin. Hilarious and such an amazing talent

  • Roselle, thank you for your behind-the-scenes coaching. You willed the universe to show me a sign so thank you for that

  • Sheila, you’ve been there through the rockiest parts of this journey. I heart you so much

  • Kathleen B, Chelsea and Kristin, thank you for your friendship and hilarious group texts

  • Alexa, you’re the best PW co-mentor ever

  • Judy, I love our late night conversations about Korean horror movies. You make late-night sprinting so much better

  • Sub Support Group: such talented, supportive caring people

  • Sabina, Jenny H and Gwynne, I’m so happy I met you

  • Julia Chang, who was my very first beta reader. Thank you so much for reading that draft!

  • My family, especially my husband, thank you for not laughing at me when I said I was going to quit my marketing job to pursue this

  • My LA moms, Microsoft gals, B school buddies, college and high school friends, love you guys

  • Sandra, thank you for the emotional and technical support, I’m sorry I keep deleting things

And of course, thank you to Eliza my editor who took the book to acquisitions and made this all happen. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much.

Suzanne Park