Interview with Cory Hepola on Redefining Family

If you missed the live interview on “Hey, It’s Cory Hepola,” you can hear the 10-minute podcast at WCCO Radio. Cory asked great questions:

  • What’s it like to write this kind of memoir?
  • What does open adoption mean?
  • How did you decide what kind of adoption you wanted?
  • Did your feelings change when you gave birth, like everyone told you they would?

You can hear the full podcast at WCCO Radio.

5 Free Ways to Support an Author (and 1 Step to Avoid)

Review the book online

Amazon and Goodreads will recommend the book to others, but only if it has enough reviews. How many is enough? It’s some secret algorithm that changes depending on genre, demand, etc. Rumors say 50-100 reviews are needed to break in. Who knows for sure? But more is better. 

Request the book from the library

Library readers will gamble on unknown authors. They read piles of books, belong to book clubs, post reviews, and buy books as gifts. Libraries have incredible reach. Go to your library’s Contact Us page, and request they buy a copy of the book. Then check it out to show them there’s demand enough to keep the title active. 

Request the eBook or Audio from the library

In addition to all the great reasons above, there’s more. For digital titles, the author gets paid every time the book is checked out. Usually you need to make this request through the library’s digital app (often Overdrive or Libby). 

Loan your copy to a friend

This does not deprive an author of sales, but exposes new readers to the author. Recommendations are great, but handing a copy over and saying “you have to read this” is far more powerful. Keep the story circulating. 

Join the author’s mailing list

Authors request to be featured by bloggers and other media hosts. It’s expected that the author will announce the interview to their readers, creating more exposure for the host. Both parties win. But to make it worth their effort, the hosts often want to know that the author has a substantial reader following. Add your email to the author’s mailing list to help them land new opportunities. 

Avoid messing with bookstore displays

Booksellers put a lot of thought into how books are displayed. If you move books or face them out, booksellers notice, are annoyed, and may consider not carrying the title. If you want to help, compliment the bookseller on their selection and let them know how much you loved the book.

And, thank you for being the type of person to read an article on supporting your favorite authors! How wonderful you exist in the world.

A Birthmom Podcast

There’s a brand new podcast by birthmoms and you need to know about it.

Twisted Sisterhood Podcast logo

I love podcasts for exactly this reason: people who have historically not had a voice now have a venue to share their stories.

The women of Twisted Sisterhood Podcast are thoughtful and educated. They hold deep discussions about the birthmom role, questions that no one asks and experiences no one talks about.

Listen to the Twisted Sisterhood Podcast. Rate it, promote it, and let’s share these voices!


If you’ve ever considered joining National Novel Writing Month, but you haven’t committed, listen to this podcast from The Creative Penn.

The challenge: Write 50,000 words in the month of November.

The real goal: An exploration in time management, in the writing process, and in the changes that come with community, accountability, goals, and motivation. For solitary writers, it’s a way to experience a whole new way of writing.

You may hit that 50,000 mark, or you may miss. But more importantly, you may find new ways to write, new methods to keep yourself accountable, and new community members to join you in the process. And who knows? Maybe you’ll end up with the first draft of a your next novel.

Find your inspiration at The Creative Penn Podcast: Write a Novel In a Month – NaNoWriMo.

grant faulkner

This year I’m skipping NaNoWriMo. I’m in full book launch mode, and my November project plan is stuffed with tasks to launch my first book (coming January 2020.)

But maybe I’ll see you at the NaNoWriMo boards in November 2020!


Tips for Collaborating on Stories

I’m at the Florida Writers Conference and I’m scooping up lots of book recommendations, new contacts, and a few pages of notes.

First up, some rules on collaboration.

  1. Don’t choose a diva partner.
  2. Choose someone at the same level as you. There cannot be an imbalance of power.
  3. Put it in writing. Who makes decisions? Who is responsible for finding agent? Etc.
  4. Decide your process first. Here are three options that work.

Takeaways From R. L. Stine’s MasterClass

I’ve completed about a third of the lessons in R. L. Stine’s MasterClass and I’m loving it. Here are a few of my take-always so far. Writing doesn’t have to be hard and stop listening to the people who say it does.

Spend the difficult hours on the outline so the writing time is fun. Make sure the outline includes the twists, and there should always be twists.

When it comes to writing scary stories for kids, it is to be obviously unrealistic so kids feel safe enough to enjoy being scared. Young adult writing has to be more realistic or teens check out.

And there are a few key things that make reading fun, especially for kids.

Another twenty or so lessons to go with this one. So far, I’m a big fan.

Takeaway From Neil Gaiman’s MasterClass

Signing up for a full year of MasterClass has been all it was promised and then some. I started with the class by Margaret Atwood, then flew through James Patterson, Dan Brown, Shonda Rhimes, and Judd Apatow.

Every class has its own takeaways that resonate for me–the right words at the right time.

From Gaiman’s, it’s this message: You learn more from a finished failure than a finished success. And you learn nothing from a string of unfinished starts. Even if the story is terrible, even if you know it’s not quite working, finish it anyway so you can learn from it and move on.