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Nov 13, 2019

In Part Two of this file the award-winning, New York Times bestselling narrative nonfiction author, Andrew Maraniss, returned to chat about what it was like to grow up around so many famous journalists, why he chooses to weave social issues into sports history, and some age-old wisdom on how to beat writer's block.

"Just get started.” – Andrew Maraniss

Andrew is the son of Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Post journalist and author, David Maraniss, so it's no surprise that he has writing in his blood (and a touch of impostor syndrome).

His winding path to bestseller started out as a history writing assignment at Vanderbilt University that only years later became his award-winning book Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South.

His lauded basketball biography went on to become a bestseller, and received the 2015 Lillian Smith Book Award for civil rights and the RFK Book Awards’ Special Recognition Prize for social justice, the first sports-related book to ever receive either honor.

The author's latest, Games of Deception: The True Story of the First U.S. Olympic Basketball Team at the 1936 Olympics in Hitler's Germany, is a Young Adult title that chronicles "...the remarkable true story of the birth of Olympic basketball."

The book has been called "An insightful, gripping account of basketball and bias," and investigative journalist and No. 1 bestselling author Bob Woodward called it, "Shocking and triumphant."

Andrew is a Visiting Author at Vanderbilt University Athletics and a contributor to ESPN’s TheUndefeated.com. He has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered, NBC’s Meet The Press, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, ESPN’s Keith Olbermann Show, ESPN Radio, and many others.

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This episode of The Writer Files is brought to you by the team at Author Accelerator. Author Accelerator book coaches give writers feedback, accountability, and support while you write, so you can get that your idea out of your head and onto the page.

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If you missed the first half of this show you can find it right here. And if you’ve missed previous episodes of The Writer Files you can find them all in the show notes, in the archives at writerfiles.fm, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you tune in.

In Part Two of this file Andrew Maraniss and I discussed:

  • Why narrative nonfiction is so valuable in the fiction-heavy Young Adult genre
  • The importance of embedding relevant social issues into stories for younger audiences
  • Apocryphal wisdom on how to beat writer's block and build momentum
  • How being related to a Pulitzer Prize winning writer might give you impostor syndrome
  • The viral nature of basketball's genesis and rise to international fame
  • And why the writing community and indie bookstores are more vital than ever for important stories

Show Notes: