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Kate Forest on Dyslexia, Tourette’s and Romance, Plus: How to Write Better

We love it when someone takes an established genre and tweaks it, twists it, then turns it on its ear. Kate Forest is making a career doing just that. So when we saw that her new book, In Tune Out of Sync, is out, we wanted to get the skinny on what brave new world she’ll be taking us to this time.

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Photo of Susan Wolfe smiling

Susan Wolfe on How to Get a Great Blurb, the Importance of Maternity Leave, and Reading to be a Writer

We first met Susan Wolfe when we taught a workshop at Stanford, where we were the least educated people in the room. Her first book was a big success, and now that Escape Velocity, her second novel, is out, we picked her brain about transitioning from the world of law to the world of books.

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Photo of Holly Kowitt smiling

Holly Kowitt on Cutting Good Jokes, P.G. Wodehouse, & the Principal’s Underwear (Which Is Missing!)

We’ve been fans of Holly Kowitt for longer than any of us care to remember. And now, our nine-year-old is a fan. And so it goes.

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Inspector Croissant: croissant with eyes, mouth, arms, legs, wearing a hat and walking with suitcase

Josh Funk on the Wonders of SCBWI, iPhone Book Trailers, [REDACTED] & Stinky Stench

We’ve said it before, and will say it again: if you are writing for kids, or reading for kids, or ever were a kid yourself, it behooves you to be a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). That’s where we met Josh Funk.

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Photo of author Paula Priamos

Paula Priamos on Writing, Saying “No” to an Agent, and Being a Shyster’s Daughter

We were lucky to receive a stack of books from Rare Bird Books, a publisher we love. We fell for Inside V by Paula Priamos, who also wrote the memoir The Shyster’s Daughter. So we thought we’d pick her brain about writing, thrillers, memoirs, and how she got published.

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Cover of Oakland Noir by Eddie Muller

Eddie Muller, the Czar of Noir, on the Importance of Finding Empathy in Darkness

If you live in the Bay Area, which we did for many years, and you have a penchant for the dark side that draws you toward the underbelly of noir, you know Eddie Muller. He’s a legend. Let’s face it, you don’t get to be the Czar of Noir for nothing.

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Black and white photo of Barry Lyga

Barry Lyga on Freedom, Pizza, and Writing Dark Shit for Young Adults

We met Barry Lyga when we were waiting to sign books at the (thoroughly awesome) New England SCBWI conference. This guy is a powerful writer. His new book, Bang, is out, so we picked his brain about books and publishing and whatnot.

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Portrait photo of Anna Staniszewski smiling

Anna Staniszewski on MFAs, Writing, and Not Teaching Kids Stuff in Your Kids’ Book

Anna Staniszewski is one of our daughter’s favorite authors. Our daughter is nine, with great taste in books, so we always pay very close attention to who she’s loving as a middle grade reader. We were all lucky enough to meet Anna at least year’s New England SCBWI Conference and had the chance to pick her brain after about writing, writers, MFA programs, kids’ books, and whatever else spilled out of our collective heads.

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Jamie Mayer on Screenplay vs Book, the Garden State and the Power of Pain

Since David was a screenwriter for many years, he’s fascinated by the difference between writing for the screen and writing for between the covers. He’s also quite fascinated by pain, how we use it, how we avoid it, and what we can learn from it. So when he came across Jamie Mayer’s wonderful new novel Painless, we decided to pick her brain about books, screenplays, and pain. Which all seem oddly related somehow.

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Cover of Standing Up by Kate Forest; two hands touching

Kate Forest on Amputee Romance, Learning to Write, and the Superpower of Empathy

We’ve known Kate Forest for many years, and it’s been a joy to watch her come into her own as a writer. She has an unusual book out now, and we wanted to pick her brain about how she came up with this fascinating twist on the classic romance.

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Photo of J.K. Knauss smiling

J. K. Knauss on Bloody Cucumbers, NaNoWriMo, Bagwyn Books, and Violence

We first met J. K. Knauss when we did a Pitchapalooza at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, Illinois, one of our favorite bookstores in the world. We loved her idea for her book, but we were also impressed that she actually wrote a blog post that was very entertaining and formative about the event itself. And now that her new book is out, we wanted to pick her brain about writing, publishing, and all that jazz.

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Author Charlie Jane Anders with a fake raven in her hand

Charlie Jane Anders on Writers Building Community, Smushing Genres, & Being an Outsider

It’s hard to be a writer in the Bay Area and not know Charlie Jane Anders. Besides being a prolific writer, she is an incredibly generous networker and runs an absolutely awesome reading series called Writers With Drinks. So we thought we’d check in with her and pick her brain about novels, writing, reading, and all that jazz.

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Book cover of Lowriders to the Center of the Earth by Cathy Camper and Raul the Third; characters in a car driving underground

Cathy Camper on Lowriders, Graphic Novels and Diversity in Books

We first met Cathy Camper when she won our Pitchapalooza at the great Portland bookstore Powell’s. The first book in the series did so well that the second one is out now, so we thought we’d pick her brain about books, lowriders, outer space, libraries and diversity in books.

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What It’s Like to Get Hit By a Car on a Motorcycle

Weaving and gunning, he whipped it down Fell, timing it just right, so he hit the synchronized lights just as they changed, right on the edge of out-of-control. Divisidaro, Fillmore, Steiner flashed by: boom, boom, boom, George cruising Lili through each light as it turned green, one after another, like magic. Out of the corner […]

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PRESIDENT BUSH RESIGNS!!!

In a shocking, unexpected and unprecedented move, President Bush announced his resignation today.  He told to a group of stunned White House reporters that Jesus had spoken to him, and told him that the war was very very wrong, that he should no longer represented the interests of a few greedy, money-grubbing industrialists (he mentioned […]

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Bonny, Hammerhead, & Harry the Vet

Bonny could actually feel her teeth rattle. She’d heard people use that phrase before, but until now, she’d never really experienced the phenomenon. Her uterus vibrated with the power chords of Tarzan’s Bloody Stump, as they launched into their almost-hit, “Monkey Hump.” The black hole that was the Angry Cock & Blushing Bull erupted in […]

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The List

Jamie Ferguson just made the List. I mean seriously, how do you just knock over someone’s Coke and make some lame apology that everyone can see is bogus, and then just walk away? I mean really, what is that all about? If you knock over somebody’s Coke, you don’t laugh, do you? Don’t you go […]

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Pia Zadora

Pia Zadora, dude, I’m tellin ya, this shit was, the funniest shit, like, ever. Okay, up front, I don’t know shit about Pia Zadora, you know, what kind of a hang is she, is her shit cool or sketch, like, I don’t know did her old man lock her in the closet with a dwarf […]

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Penis Surgery

People look at me like I’m out of my mind when I tell them I decided to have my penis surgically enlarged. Women especially. They always say, “It’s not the size of the boat, it’s the motion of the ocean.” I tell them they never tried to cross the Atlantic in a dinghy. They always […]

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My Sister’s a Fox

Hey, look, I know she’s my sister. What do you think, I’m stupid? She’s my sister, I know that. But I mean, who are we kidding here? She’s a fox. I know, I know, of course, I know, that’s why I’m saying she’s a fox, cuz she is a fox. I mean you shoulda seen […]

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James Aluicious Tucker-Thoroughgood & Virginia Merriweather Throughgood-Tucker

She was the girl of his dreams: lovely as an 8 iron with a wee fade that lands soft as eider down on the green, nestling 6 inches from the pin; strong as a downhill drive that rides a stiff wind to the Promised Land; sweet as a curling 40 foot birdie putt that dies […]

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How to Quiet Your Bile

“Son”, said Father, as he stroked his voluminous gray mustache in a manner he hoped provoked an air of gravity, “there comes a time in a boy’s life when he must give up the toys of childhood, and take up the yoke of the… ship of manhood. Do you follow me, Son?” “No, Father, I […]

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Analorskerpy: A trip to the middle of my own self

Las’ week I had me a analorskerpy. I’z purty sure that ain’t the teknickle term fer ‘er, but it give a much more cleaner picher than the fancy Dan name they give ‘er. We’z all o’ us hez got over forty feets o’ ‘testines up inside of us. Forty feet o’ wet tubin’ sercretin’ gasterd […]

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Excerpt: Bone, Cornhole Charley, an Me

This whole mad shitski started at NBA’s crib, which is seven shades of narsty, with, like, black banana peels and nacho Dorito fossils from 1984 buried under three layers of tall boys, with this skanko-funk-o-rama hangin so thick you can taste it. NBA, naturally, he’s toasted like a bagel. Me, I’m layin low cuz my […]

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