Fun podcast interview with Tim Knox for “Interviewing Authors”


I very much enjoyed being interviewed about my work by Tim Knox for his series “Interviewing Authors.” (Here is the link to the recording.)


Interviewing Authors is one of the Web’s premiere blog and podcast destinations that focuses on the process of creating, writing, editing, publishing, marketing, and selling an author’s work.”

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but Tim made me feel very much at ease and asked informed writerly questions. It was a fun chat. I love “shop talk.”

I invested in a funny-looking ball of a USB mike for it, thinking that I might like to make podcasts of my own.

(Ya, in my spare time? Well … I just might!)

You may read a print transcript of the interview here.

What you don’t see in the transcript is all the laughter. (Tim got a chuckle out of my brief bio: born in Miami, raised in California, aged in Canada.  I should have added, “like Cheddar.”)


Links, for those of you who are reading this on a non-hotlink site:

Sandra Gulland: Bringing Josephine B. To Life


Donald Maass podcast


I know I’ve mentioned before how I love to listen to Barbara DeMarco-Barrett‘s Writers on Writing podcasts when I’m doing the dishes, or sitting in an airport, or driving long distances. During this last long bout of travel (the last for a bit, I pray!), I enjoyed a number, but one in particular stood out for me: an interview with NY literary agent Donald Maass. I’ve read Donald Maass‘ book Writing the Breakout Novel—and I wish I had it here with me now in my office in Mexico, because there are a number of interesting things he has to say in it.


Before writing the book, Maass made a systematic study of the novels that made the NYT bestseller list, wishing to identify what it was about a novel that made it outstandingly popular. I’m not attempting to be a Danielle Steels or Stephenie Meyer, but I do appreciate insights into what makes a story compulsively addictive. I like when a book has me deeply hooked: I love it … and that’s what I’m after.

Two things stood out in this particular interview for me:

One, that a compelling main character should be deeply conflicted right from the start: he or she must want two things that cannot co-exist.

The other thing he had to say that gave me thought was not so much about writing as about promotion: his belief that promotion and publicity isn’t what sells a book, that what sells a book is the book itself. I’d like to believe that, but I’m not convinced. I don’t think it’s an accident that the Josephine B. Trilogy sold very well in the countries that invested a great deal in promotion (and conversely).

Podcasts I couldn’t do without


I subscribe to three podcasts. I listen to them while doing excercises, the dishes, the laundry, driving. They are all writing-related, and I highly recommend them.

Writers on Writing: interviews with writers and agents on the craft and business of writing. As a writer, a reader and a teacher of writing, Barbara DeMarco-Barrett knows the subject well. The interviews are invariably inspiring and informative. I just listened to a wonderful interview with script doctor John Truby and have ordered his book, The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller. (Click here to listen to the interview.) I really like Truby, and this sounds like the perfect book for me right now.

The other podcast I love is put out weekly by the New York Times Book Review. It’s snappy, short, informative and entertaining.

My third favorite I used to listen to on the CBC every Sunday afternoon at 3:00, usually as I made soup. My life is not so easily patterned these days, and so I appreciate the freedom of being able to listen to Eleanor Wachtel‘s Writers & Company whenever I please.

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