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Aug 26, 2021


Decorated speculative fiction and YA author and pundit, Charlie Jane Anders, chatted with me about the genesis of storytelling, how to weather 20 years of rejection, write through hard times, and her latest how-to for writers Never Say You Can’t Survive.

"Being a writer doesn't have to mean you have a cool haircut and live in Brooklyn and go to fancy literary parties. It can mean that you're just someone who enjoys making up stories ... you don't even have to publish them." – Charlie Jane Anders

Charlie Jane's novel Victories Greater Than Death – the first book in a new young-adult trilogy, April, 2021 – and 2019's Locus Award winner The City in the Middle of the Night – named one of the year's best books by the Guardian and others and optioned for TV by Sony.

Her 2016 novel, All the Birds in the Sky, was #5 on Time Magazine's list of the year's 10 best novels, and won the Nebula, Locus and Crawford awards.

Her latest is Never Say You Can’t Survive, a book about how to use creative writing to get through hard times. It's described as "... a practical guide to storytelling [and a] ... a manual for creativity in unprecedented times."

Charlie Jane's fiction and journalism have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, McSweeney's, Mother Jones, Boston Review,, Tin House, WIRED magazine, and many other places.

Her TED Talk, "Go Ahead, Dream About the Future" has been viewed over 2M times. She also co-hosts the Hugo Award-winning podcast Our Opinions Are Correct with Annalee Newitz.

Stay calm and write on ...

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In this file Charlie Jane Anders and I discussed:

  • The importance of why "we all contain multitudes"
  • Impostor syndrome and rubbing elbows with famous authors
  • Her creative chameleon characteristics
  • And why writers need to juxtapose the small and personal against the huge and epic
  • Stay calm and write on ...

Show Notes: