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Florida Writer Podcast
19 minutes | Dec 5, 2022
How to Wow a Non-Fiction Literary Agent with Marilyn Allen
Readers don't want generic and tired, and neither do literary agents. In this Florida Writers Podcast, host Alison Nissen chats with Allen O'Shea Literary Agent co-founder Marilyn Allen about having a great client-agent relationship, seducing readers with the X-factor, and developing fresh content from old ideas. Marilyn Allen is a literary agent and founding partner in the Allen O'Shea Literary Agency. She has culminated 25 years of experience by doing sales and marketing for various publishing houses. She served as Associate Publisher, Director of Marketing and Senior Vice President to Harper Collins, as well as Vice President to both Penguin and Simon & Schuster. She has directed sales and marketing teams for Penguin Books, Simon & Schuster, and Avon Books. Marilyn has had the pleasure of working with authors such as Stephen King, Ken Follett, Barbara Kingsolver, John Gray and Mary Higgins Clark, but currently represents many nonfiction authors including several New York Times bestselling writers. Her focuses are nonfiction, cooking, health, parenting, crafts, self-help, pop culture and business. She herself has co-authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Book Proposals and Query Letters (Penguin Books) with her partner Coleen O'Shea.
21 minutes | Nov 21, 2022
Place as Character with Isidra Mencos
Imagine being a girl coming of age after the death of a dictator and the rise of democracy. In her recently debuted memoir, Promenade of Desire: A Barcelona Memoir, Isidra Mencos takes her audience on a treasure hunt as she searches for the quiet, descriptive, lyrical words to describe her extraordinary journey during a time of cultural self-discovery in Barcelona, Spain. Enjoy this Florida Writer Podcast as host Alison Nissen and Isidra chat about her journey to publication that began in Spain and flourished in California. Originally from Spain, Isidra Mencos has lived in the US since 1992. She holds a PhD in Spanish and Latin American Contemporary Literature from the University of California, Berkeley, where she taught Spanish language, literature, culture, and creative writing for twelve years. Since she started writing creative nonfiction in English in 2016, her essays have been published in literary journals like Diálogo, Chicago Quarterly Review, The Penmen Review, Newfound, Stirring Literary Journal, The Manifest-Station and Front Porch Journal. One of her pieces was listed as Notable in the Best American Essays Anthology. Her work has also appeared in widely read online publications like Wisdom Well, WIRED, and Better After Fifty. Her debut memoir Promenade of Desire—A Barcelona Memoir came out October 11, 2022 (She Writes Press).
19 minutes | Nov 13, 2022
Using Artwork as Cover Art: Personal Use vs. Commercial Use with Linda Moore
Recovering art gallery owner Linda Moore used her love of art to write her debut novel, Attribution which features an art historian who finds a hidden masterpiece. Host Alison Nissen and Linda chat about travel, the world of art, and the complexity of creating book covers with artwork. Linda Moore studied art history at the Prado while a student at the University of Madrid and earned degrees from the University of California and Stanford. Her writing has appeared in numerous art journals and anthologies. She has looked at art on all continents and visited over 100 countries. She resides with her book-collecting husband in California.
20 minutes | Nov 7, 2022
Elevate Your Writing with Eliot Kleinberg
Eliot Kleinberg shares how to help the audience love your writing by eliminating unnecessary words. As a former journalist turned blogger and novelist, his experience with the world of words gives us insight into how to make something sound better with host Alison Nissen. Kleinberg, born in South Florida, spent nearly a half century in daily journalism before retiring in December 2020 after 33-1/2 years at The Palm Beach Post in West Palm Beach. In addition to covering local news, he also wrote extensively about Florida and Florida history. He has written or contributed to more than a dozen books, all focusing on Florida. They include "Black Cloud", about the great 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane; two "Weird Florida" books, and "Palm Beach Past" and "Wicked Palm Beach", collections of items from "Post Time," his weekly local history column that ran for more than two decades in the Post. “Florida Time,” covering the history of the entire state, debuted in 2019 in Gatehouse newspapers statewide. His tenth book, Peace River, his first work of fiction, is a historical novel based at the end of the Civil War. He now is writing a series of adventures of 1920s Miami police detective Nate Moran.
17 minutes | Oct 16, 2022
How Writers Groups Can Propel Your Author's Journey with Sherri Winston
Sherri Winston may have had a degree in journalism, but it was when she joined a writers group that helped her transition to full-time Middle-Grade Fiction author. Hear Sherri's inspiring story in this Florida Writer Podcast with host Alison Nissen. Sherri Winston is the author of President of the Whole Fifth Grade, as well as my latest book, Lotus Bloom and the Afro Revolution, which was long-listed for a National Book Award. She also recently published her first book for early readers, Wednesday and Woof: Catastrophe along with several other books in the series. She was born and raised in Michigan and attended Michigan State University, then much later the University of Michigan as a journalism fellow. She is the proud mama of her daughter, Kenya, and a proud aunt many times over.
21 minutes | Oct 10, 2022
How to Secure Freelance Opportunities with Nafari Morris
So you want to earn money as a writer? Don't ignore the newspaper industry. In this Florida Writer Podcast, host Alison Nissen chats with newspaper veteran Nafari Morris about pitching to newspaper editors. Newspapers have changed, but they still need great content. Nafari recommends that you: send a well-edited introduction mention your experience with the topic/subject have a willingness to be flexible don't be afraid to show your personality PRO-TIP: find the email of a direct contact on places like Twitter Nafari Morris is a former journalist of 17 years, and now a freelance writer and public relations specialist. She started her journalism career at the Hartford Courant as a copy-editing intern, then joined the copy desk of the Wilmington Star-News. She began her 12-year stint with Trib Total Media in 2001, working on the copy desk for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and other publications, as an assigning editor for the hyper- local weekly newspapers and as a weekly columnist for the Trib. She was an assistant metro editor for The Ledger in Lakeland before leaving the journalism industry. As a columnist, she earned several awards, including the Robert I. Vann Media Award for Best Column in 2011, second place in the Column category for the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors in 2013, Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association Excellence in Journalism Award for Best Column in 2013, the Association for Women in Communication’s Clarion Award for non-opinion/informative column in 2014 and the Golden Quill Award (Press Club of Western Pennsylvania for best column in 2013 and 2015. Her work also led to local radio and television interviews, including appearances on Pittsburgh radio stations KDKA AM and WESA FM, along with WQED TV. She participated in a roundtable at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill about the future of local journalism in 2022. Nafari’s freelance work has led to her work being published in The Washington Post, Adweek, Tennis magazine, Shondaland.com, Leaps magazine, Bello Collective, Belt Magazine, ZORA magazine and other publications. She lives in central Florida with her children, dogs and tennis racquets.
23 minutes | Oct 1, 2022
The Publishing Process from A to Z with Arielle Haughee
The world of publishing is confusing! Listen to this conversation between the Florida Writer Podcast host Alison Nissen and the owner of Orange Blossom Publishing Arielle Haughee who breaks down her process from the submissions through publication. Arielle Haughee (Hoy) is a six-time RPLA-winning author and the owner of Orange Blossom Publishing. She is an editor, speaker, and writing coach, and was previously the Executive Vice President and Marketing Chair for the Florida Writers Association. She was honored with the President’s Award from FWA in 2020, and in 2021 Pling’s Party was awarded Children’s Book of the Year. Her press, Orange Blossom Publishing, publishes books about love, humor, and wellness for women and children.
24 minutes | Sep 17, 2022
Writing with Cliffhangers with Randee Dawn
Take a cue from soap operas and reality television and "Tune in Tomorrow." Inspired by her career as a soap opera critic, Randee Dawn flips the script and puts mythical creatures in charge of the soap opera industry. Enjoy this conversation with host Alison Nissen and Randee as they chat about the value of cliffhangers, writing funny, and the importance of offering effective criticism. Randee Dawn is an author and journalist focusing on speculative fiction across the categories (science-fiction, fantasy and horror) at night, while writing entertainment and lifestyle stories during the day for publications including Today.com, NBCNews.com, Variety, The Los Angeles Times and Emmy Magazine. You may have seen her name in other publications over the years, including Soap Opera Digest and The Boston Phoenix, E! Online, New Musical Express and Mojo. Her first novel, Tune In Tomorrow, will be out from Solaris/Rebellion in 2022.
21 minutes | Sep 8, 2022
Networking to Open Doors to Marketing, Collaborating, & Selling Your Work with Jaimie Engle
Things have to come together for the universe to allow a project to bloom. Jaimie Engle stopped by The Florida Writer Podcast to discuss her multi-genre success with film, television, novels, and comics. In this Conversation, host Alison Nissen and Jaimie chat about how to be productive while you are waiting for your projects to be optioned. In 2021, Jaimie made a tough decision to end her journey as a publisher and embark on a career as a screenwriter. In just 15 months, she sold her first feature-length screenplay and began writing the novelization adaptation. From dream to becoming a professionally optioned and produced woman in the film industry, Jaimie chronicles her adventures in her blog. Meet Jaimie at the 2022 Florida WritersCon from October 28-October 30.
17 minutes | Aug 25, 2022
Family & Poetry with Gail Ghai
In this Florida Writer Podcast episode, Gail Ghai and host Alison Nissen dive into how families provide inspiration for our literary words. Families are the first relationships we develop, they have always been a rich source for stories, vignettes and poems. Gail Ghai is author of three poetry chapbooks and has earned a Pushcart nomination and Henry C. Frick scholarship for creative teaching. Her writing has appeared in worldwide publications including Descant, The Yearbook of American Poetry, Delhi London Quarterly, Poet Lore, JAMA, and Burning Wood Journal.
21 minutes | Aug 13, 2022
Use Your Experience with Others to Shape Your Writing with JD Jordan
If Quintin Tarrintino reimagined Calamity Jane, you'd have JD Jordan's acclaimed Sci-Fi Western Calamity. Enjoy this Florida Writer Podcast as host Alison Nissen asks JD where his ideas come from, what type of research he needed for his novel, and how his own experiences influence his work. JD Jordan is the award-winning author of the acclaimed scifi-western novel, Calamity: Being an Account of Calamity Jane and Her Gunslinging Green Man—and has also been featured in Creative Loafing, The Grantville Gazette, The International Journal of the Book, Newsweek, Paste, and Smashing Magazine. He is also an award-winning graphic designer, design educator, and historian with experience working with some of the biggest agencies and brands in the Southeast. JD is a member of the SFWA and is represented by The Zack Company. The Florida WritersCon: Join us for a weekend jam-packed with networking opportunities, workshops, awards, book signings, a Youth Summit, and more! Friday, October 28-Sunday, October 30. Friday Night! Reconnect with writer friends and make new ones; network with the conference presenters. Includes hors d’oeuvres and two free cocktails or mocktails.
19 minutes | Aug 8, 2022
What Happens if the Geysers in Yellowstone All Erupt at Once? A Chat with Sci-Fi Author Kim Conrey
Would it spell the end of the world as we know it if all of Yellowstone blows? In this Florida Writer Podcast, host Alison Nissen chats with Sci-Fi and Memoirist Kim Conrey about Yellowstone, living with HARM OCD, and the pre-sale of her newest book, Stealing Ares. Kim Conrey is the author of the sci-fi romance Stealing Ares, Book One in the Ares Ascending series. Kim also writes a blog about living with OCD, specifically Harm OCD, where the sufferer has terrifying, intrusive thoughts/fears of harming themselves or others. These are irrational fears but very scary to the OCD brain. Kim blog about this form of OCD at harmocdkimconrey.com She also serves as VP of Operations for the Atlanta Writers Club. In addition, she collaborates on a podcast with the Wild Women Who Write where we interview authors and industry professionals to hear their stories and gain knowledge from their journeys, with a primary goal of supporting female writers.
22 minutes | Jul 30, 2022
Make Money as a Writer with Alyssa Berthiaume
Do you dream of quitting your day job and writing full-time? You don't need to live in a dark place with only a candle for light and a mouse for a friend. In this episode of the Florida Writer Podcast, host Alison Nissen chats with Alyssa Berthiaume, who discovered she could earn a living writing! Listen to Alyssa's journey from frustrated creative to published author and discover some of the nuts and bolts she learned along the way, such as building a street team of marketers, book promotion, and working with an independent press. Alyssa Berthiaume is a mompreneur, author, ghostwriter, and writing guide with a superpower for hearing between the lines and capturing the voice of her clients. She's the Lady Boss Owner of The Write Place, Right Time, her virtual boutique of coaching and ghostwriting services for brilliant, brave, and badass womxn ready to change the ‘effin’ world with their stories. She’s also the author of Dear Universe, I Get it Now: Letters on the Art and Journey of Being Brave and Being Me. If you can catch her away from the keyboard, she's probably drinking Maple Lattes, watching The Princess Bride for the thousandth time, solving the latest Hunt-a-Killer case, or having fun with her partner and son. Join the Florida Writers Association for a weekend jam-packed with networking opportunities, workshops, awards, book signings, a Youth Summit, and more! Florida WritersCon 2022, Friday, October 28-30
21 minutes | Jul 23, 2022
Self-Publishing Made Simple with Dr. Emee Vida Estacio
Are you thinking about self-publishing but don't want to do it alone? Best-Selling Amazon author Dr. Emee Vida Estacio decided to turn her winning strategies into a book launching, heart-centered, online community. In this Florida Writer Podcast, Emee shares with host Alison Nissen how to build a launch team, best practices for creating a self-published audiobook, and much more. And check out Pagudpud, Emee's most beautiful place to visit! Dr. Emee Vida Estacio helps successful entrepreneurs, therapists, coaches, consultants, bloggers, and speakers expand their reach by writing and publishing their own books on Amazon. Her flagship course, “Self-Publishing Made Simple,” is designed to help aspiring authors take one simple step at a time to avoid analysis paralysis, so they can get on to write self-publish their books in 90 days or less, even with a full-time job and/or a busy family life.
27 minutes | Jul 16, 2022
Be the Boss of the Blank Page
Does that blank piece of paper scare you? Do you consistently put off working on your Work In Progress? Learn how to turn that blank page into something that no longer has weight over you with Procrastination Coach Dr. Christine Li’s advice in this edition of the Florida Writer Podcast with host Alison Nissen. Dr. Christine Li has been working as a New York-based clinical psychologist for the past 20 years; more recently, she has been taking her work online as the “Procrastination Coach.” She helps people who are struggling with underperforming at work and at home to work smoothly and with high levels of productivity. Her unique coaching process is a blend of mindset strategy, time and emotion management tips, and a deep belief in the power we each have when we treat ourselves with love and good self-care. Dr. Li is the author of the book “5-Minute Self-Discipline Exercises: Stay Motivated, Cultivate Good Habits, and Achieve Your Goals” and the host of the podcast “Make Time for Success.” Follow Dr. Li to learn how to ditch the guilt, judgment, and self-sabotaging and unhelpful habits so that you can feel focused and fulfilled in your life! Check out her free resources!
20 minutes | Jul 2, 2022
Write Your Book Now with StoryBilder Founder Tanya Gough
In this Florida Writer Podcast, host Alison Nissen and StoryBilder founder Tanya Gough talk about the revolutionary platform that helps you move from How do I? to I did it! StoryBilder is a writing platform that bridges the gap for new and intermediate writers. Supporting writers through flexible narrative frameworks, a library of adaptable story assets, and integrated, experiential education layer, StoryBilder is built to foster creativity no matter what or how you write. Listeners enjoy a free month by visiting StoryBilder.com/florida and using coupon code: writer Tanya Gough has been an ESL teacher, a retail store owner, a corporate digital marketer, and a freelance content strategist, intelligence researcher, and web developer. Today, she is the founder of StoryBilder, a creative writing platform for new and aspiring writers. Tanya also writes middle-grade fantasy fiction and science-infused fantasy short stories for adults.
24 minutes | Jun 11, 2022
Breaking Out of Genre with Sonja Mongar
Break free from the constraints of genre. In this interview with journalist, memoirist, novelist, songwriter and cultural archeologist photographer, Sonja Mongar and host Alison Nissen talk about the difference between academic, commercial, and blended genres and how breaking free from the norm gives the author permission to write the story that needs to be shared. Sonja Mongar teaches in the Western Connecticut State Low Residency MFA in Creative and Professional Writing. Two Spoons of Bitter is her first novel and won the 2019 Gold Royal Palm Literary award for fiction from the Florida Writers Association as well as other awards.
23 minutes | Jun 4, 2022
Recreating History with Tamatha Cain
Historical Fiction should immerse the audience in the rich details of the past. Author Tamatha Cain knows that to recreate the past, sometimes you need to reach out, ask questions, and talk to those who know. In this Flordia Writer Podcast, host Alison Nissen and Tamatha chat about her upcoming historical fiction novels Song of the Chimney Sweep and Only Oona, about the 4th wife of Charlie Chaplin. Tamatha Cain is a former musician and bandleader. She graduated with honors from the University of North Florida with a concentration in Writing for the Entertainment Industry, and her work has appeared in national and international publications. Winner of the 2020 Royal Palm Literary Award for unpublished fiction and first place in The Experience Poetry Competition, she also writes reviews for Southern Literary Review. She is a member of WFWA and FWA. She is a wife and mother of three and lives in a hundred-year-old bungalow in North Florida, in close proximity to the historic locations found in Song of the Chimney Sweep.
21 minutes | May 28, 2022
The Emotional Tug of Historical Fiction with Jennifer Farmer
Resigned to not finish her debut novel, Jennifer Farmer, under the pen name JS Farmer, completed her manuscript with the encouragement of her then 9-year-old daughter. Blue Sky Gone follows two sisters from just before 9-11 to the 20th anniversary in 2021. In this Florida Writer Podcast, host Alison Nissen chats with Jennifer about the challenges and struggles of accurately portraying an event that is still in the hearts and minds of so many, as well as introducing the topic to the younger generations.
22 minutes | May 21, 2022
Making Fans of a Nearby Town with Catherine Drake
The secret to Catherine Drake's success is using three separate developmental editors to shape and mold her debut novel, The Treehouse on Dog River Road. In this edition of the Florida Writer Podcast, host Alison Nissen chats with Catherine about using developmental editors to her advantage, the power of #bookstagram influencers, and the serendipity moment of how a nearby town chose her book for their community summer read. Catherine Drake worked for many years in the land conservation field developing public outdoor recreation areas and preserving forests and farmland for future generations. After raising two daughters, she and her husband moved to Vermont where she writes and is active in the environmental community by serving on the local land trust and conservation commission. She enjoys cycling, skiing, kayaking, and hiking with her dog in the Green Mountains. Her debut novel, The Treehouse on Dog River Road, was published by She Writes Press in May 2022. Follow her on Instagram @catherinedrakewrites
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