Book Fight

This week we're flying without a net. By which we mean the hurricane changed our plans. No guest. No book. Just two grown men who, because of Hurricane Sandy, have been spending too much time cooped up indoors. We've got bits! And new segments, including Bookshelf of Shame and Judge A Book By Its Cover. Sh*t's about to get real, Book Fighters.

Direct download: Episode_20-Hurricane_Sandy_Stir-Crazy_Spectacular.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

This week, we tackle questions about how to promote your book without annoying people, whether writing can be taught, and if you should worry too much about your stylistic influences. Talking points include: Facebook baby photos, giving out healthy treats for Halloween, John Gardner's On Becoming a Novelist, Tom's love of animals, and The Lockhorns, America's least happy cartoon couple.

Direct download: WritersAsk_BookFightIsland.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Zadie's new one is so good it leads us into a larger discussion of the relationship between truth and art. Also, we squabble over the word 'relatable,' Tom's generation vs. Mike's generation, and whether we're ready to take over for the retiring Car Talk guys.

Direct download: Ep_19-Zadie_Smith_NW.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

What kind of blowback can you expect when you portray someone ungenerously in your memoir? What if that person ends up sitting next to you, in your basement, with a belly full of scotch? Also: questions about character development and how to explain your writing to a date.

Direct download: Writers_Ask_Airing_of_Grievances.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

We're joined by novelist Stewart O'Nan (The Odds, Last Night at the Lobster, many many more) to discuss a book he calls "a great American novel no one has read." In the second half of the show, we hit him up for advice on writing, publishing, not getting obsessed about your sales figures. Talking points include: emotional complexity, detective stories, O.J.'s fictional confession, and tossing novels onto Michiko Kakutani's lawn. Get more at bookfightpod.com.

Direct download: Ep_18-Theodore_Weesner_The_True_Detective.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Which lit mags should you subscribe to? Should you publish with a small press or hold out for one of the big boys? Should you end your story with a character offing himself? Also: the etiquette of question-asking, diamond floors, and ruby teeth.

Direct download: WritersAsk_Suicide_Dont_Do_It.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

This one was a Mike pick, a book he first read as a teenager living in Charleston, South Carolina, only a few miles from The Citadel, which may or may not bear some resemblance to The Institute, the military school at the center of this novel. Join us for a discussion of hazing, the Southern aristocracy, superfluous romantic entaglements, the whitest basketball game ever played, and lots and lots of adjectives.

Direct download: Ep_17-Pat_Conroy_The_Lords_of_Discipline.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

This week Tom tells you why National Novel Writing Month is terrible for humanity. Plus: what books are best for killing bugs, and how much money can a novelist expect to make? Also, the latest missive in our ongoing feud with the literary journal Hobart.

Got a question for us? Email us at bookfightpod@gmail.com, or hit us up on Twitter, @Book_Fight.

Direct download: Writers_Ask_NaNoWriMoNoNo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Mike and Tom reminisce (and gossip) about their time at the Iowa Writers Workshop and their memories of Frank Conroy, the larger-than-life writer and teacher at the center of Tom Grimes' memoir.

Direct download: Ep_16-Tom_Grimes_Mentor.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Terrible cover letters, faint praise, and what it's like to get beaten by a sack full of doorknobs. It's our third installment of Writers Ask, where we solve all your problems, writing and otherwise. Get into it! If you want to ask a question, hit us up on Twitter @Book_Fight.

Direct download: Writers_Ask_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT