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Tae Keller is the author of The Science of Breakable Things and When You Trap a Tiger, which has received five star reviews. Tae grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she danced hula and subsisted on kimchi and spam musubis. Now, she writes about biracial girls trying to find their voices, and lives in New York City with a multitude of books. If you'd like a first chapter critique from Tae, get it to us by January 30th.

Misa Seguriais the author of the award-winning It's Not Like It's A Secret (2017) and This Time Will Be Different (2019). She grew up in Chicago, but currently lives in Silicon Valley with her family. Misa used to teach high school English and has loved reading for as long as she can remember. If you'd like a first chapter critique from Misa, get it to us by February 29th.

Bonus Episode: Reactions to the Rise of Skywalker with Emily Duncan

Emily Duncan joins us to discuss the latest release in the Skywalker Saga. You don't want to miss out!

4.1 I Made It All Up with Emily Duncan

Emily Duncan, author of Wicked Saints, joins us to talk about how to research for a novel, how to add that research into your novel's world, and the benefits of developing your novel's world.

We had a little bit of a problem with our recording with Rebecca Ross, so stay tuned to hear what she has to say about developing a layered character. We'll be re-recording on January 30th, and the episode will be up ASAP. In the meantime, we didn't want to make people have to wait for her first chapter critique, so we've posted it along with the Lit Service Crew notes.

Bonus Behind the Scenes in Publishing with Tony Daniel

Due to a recording snafu, we are posting a bonus episode early! Tony Daniel, who is a senior editor at Baen publishing, chatted with the podcasters about some things that go on behind the scenes when it comes to books being acquired and published.

3.21 Getting Those Hobbits Out the Door

Caitlin, Cameron, and Kristen talk in depth about how inciting incidents relate to character and how people accidentally mess them up.

3.20 Character is Setting with Tony Daniel

The Lit Service Crew chats with Tony Daniel about how to approach building a character and how that interacts with setting.

3.19 How to Not Discover Witches

Cameron, Kristen, Aliah, and Caitlin chat about POV usage and how to best make your choices fit the kind of story you want to tell.

Bonus Query Examples with Kate Watson

Another in our series of query letters that succeeded (and then went on to become published books) Enjoy Kate Watson (author of Seeking Mansfield) reading the query that landed her an agent, and then some questions we answered at Salt Lake ComicCon/FanX this last September.

3.18 The Emperor King's Assassin with Ben Grange

Ben Grange, agent at the L. Perkins agency, joins the Lit Service crew to talk about what "high concept" means, why everyone talks about high concept books, and why it's important to be able to put together a high concept-ish pitch for your book, even if it isn't a high concept story.

3.17 Save the Dragons with Jodi Meadows

Jodi Meadows joins Caitlin, Cameron, and Aliah to discuss why books need themes, where themes come from, and how to make the ones that creep up on you seem intentional.

3.16 Heebie Jeebie Research with Susan R. Matthews

In this episode, we are joined by Susan R. Matthews to discuss Heebie Jeebie research and the power and authenticity it can bring to your writing.

3.15 Magic Systems 101 with Kathryn Purdie and Sara B. Larson

In this episode, Kathryn Purdie and Sara B. Larson join us to discuss magic systems, what makes them work, and when it's okay to break the rules.

Stacy Whitman, founder and publisher of Tu Books, discusses diversity and #ownvoices with the Lit Service crew. 

She is currently looking for submissions for the #NewVisionsAward, but submissions close August 31st so act fast!

Our fiftieth episode!! The Lit Service Crew discusses when to go into the weeds while writing, and when to stand back and summarize.

Listen to Nicki read her original query letter, as well as feedback from her agent on why the query succeeded

Livia Blackburne joins the Lit Service crew to discuss beta readers, who you should ask, and, most importantly, how to politely follow up with them. They also critique a bit of fantasy involving elven warriors, magic, and myths. 

As it turns out, writing contemporary novels requires just as much worldbuilding as writing fantasy! Kate Watson and the Lit Service crew discuss the process of researching the real world for your writing.

Caitlin, Cameron and Kristen discuss the Horcrux Principle (closely related to the objective correlative) with Lisa Mangum.  Enjoy fun jokes, references, and a little Regency romance!

People like characters who move, who make decisions, who want things. Caitlin, Cameron, and Kristen discuss how to make this happen on the page.

Listen to Charlie read her original query letter, as well as feedback from her agent on why the query succeeded

Caitlin and Cameron chat with Nicki Pau Preto about her approach to building a secondary world.

3.7 The Query Monster with Amy Jameson and Ben Grange

Caitlin and Cameron chat with Literary Agents Ben Grange and Amy Jameson about how to construct the perfect query and common mistakes people make in the query trenches, where only a few wrong words can be the difference between an agent reading your material and ignoring you.

Bonus Q&A with Charlie Holmberg and Brian Lee Durfee

Bonus episode! Listen to our our fabulous guests at FanX (Charlie Holmberg and Brian Lee Durfee) answer questions from the audience. 

3.6 Surviving your First Novel with Charlie Holmberg and Brian Lee Durfee

Have you started a novel you've never finished? Wanted to write a novel and never started? Award winning authors Charlie Holmberg and Brian Lee Durfee join us to talk about their first novels and share tips and strategies for actually finishing. 

3.5 Pacing your Backstory

You have your fabulous main character, their deliciously dark past, their wealth of relationships, habits, memories, and everything else that makes them who they are-- and then you have to write the first chapter. What can you put in, what should you leave out, and how do you make it interesting? Listen in as we discuss how to best drop your back story in a way that is natural and interesting.

3.4 Writing From Your Heart with Emily R. King

Powerful themes and well-explored issues often make the difference between a good story and a great one. However, many writers struggle to find the balance between exploring issues and sounding "preachy". In this episode, Emily R. King talks with us about how to help our writing have a heart.

One thing that a lot of new writers struggle with is writing a good fight scene that moves quickly and makes sense. Tricia Levenseller breaks things down to give us ideas on what to pay attention to and how to make our fight scenes have an extra dash of awesome. 

Tricia writes very action heavy books in whichever way you want to take that. 

In this episode, we chat about using misunderstandings between characters as a plot point that rings true rather than frustrating readers.

Kelly Barnhill received the Newbery Medal in 2017, won the World Fantasy Award, the Parents Choice Gold Award as well as many other honors. She is a New York Times bestseller, and the author of THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON, THE WITCHES BOY, IRON HEARTED VIOLET, and THE MOSTLY TRUE STORY OF JACK as well as the novella, “The Unlicensed Magician”.

Does it feel like your villain needs some tweaking? Are you worried the stakes aren't high enough or your character isn't connected enough to the bad guy for it to make sense? Listen to Ben Grange and the Lit Service Crew talk about how to make your villain interesting.

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