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Beautiful Writers Podcast

Author: Linda Sivertsen

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Listen in as author Linda Sivertsen (aka Book Mama) brings together the world’s most beloved bestselling authors for monthly chats on writing, publishing, deal-making, spirituality, activism, and the art of romancing creativity. Now streaming on American Airlines, these up-close conversations are a fan favorite, frequently profiled on “Best Podcast” lists (i.e., The Motley Fool’s “10 Best Podcasts for Women”), and on the top Arts & Books pages of iTunes/Apple Podcasts. Join Linda and her celebrity co-hosts for deep, funny interviews w/ authors who have pulled it off—from breakout success to staying power. Heart-centered encouragement, street-smart advice, and insider success (and failure!) stories for every writer and creative type. Biggest mistakes, best shortcuts, behind-the-scenes agent, press, and publishing stories help you gain the courage to get your book, blog, ballad, or biz birthed into the world. New shows post each month. Guests include: Deepak Chopra, Meg Wolitzer, Abby Wambach, Candice Bergen, Ann Patchett, Maria Shriver, Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Gilbert, Tosca Lee, Dean Koontz, Brené Brown, Glennon Doyle, Van Jones, Taylor Dayne, Lee Child, Steven Pressfield, Rob Bell, Terry McMillan, Anne Lamott, Dani Shapiro, Gabby Bernstein, Martha Beck, Seth Godin, Robert McKee, Danielle LaPorte, Marianne Williamson, Arianna Huffington, Mary Karr, Gretchen Rubin, and WME super-agent Jennifer Rudolph Walsh. If you’ve ever wished you could sit down with your favorite writers to ask them how they do it, year after year, book after book, consider this your new, not-so-guilty pleasure. Take your dreams from idea to done with us. The Beautiful Writers Podcast. Where inspiration is constant, and swearing, optional (although highly appreciated). Find out more: https://www.beautifulwriterspodcast.com
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What's it take to make a story go viral? Global? To top the charts as word-of-mouth carries your tale far and wide—for days, months, or even years? There's no one formula. But certain things help stack the odds in your favor. Like novelty (a unique idea). Grabbiness (where your reader is instantly pulled in). Brevity (requiring no significant time commitment—at least not to get them hooked). Universality (people see themselves in your story). The urge to merge (large numbers want to share your work, and do!).Chart-topping is something my guests for today's Beautiful Writers Podcast episode know well. Kelly Noonan Gores is the director, writer, and star of the global phenomenon, the HEAL documentary, now out in book form this month. She's joined by Anita Moorjani, who you may know of from her gob-smacking miraculous healing story. (Riddled with cancerous tumors, Anita walked out of the hospital cancer-free following a near-death-experience.) Her New York Times bestselling memoir, Dying To Be Me, inspired millions, including being the impetus for why Kelly finally made the film she'd been dreaming of for nearly a decade. I LOVE this conversation—especially hearing about the magical way in which both women were “discovered” by publishers, just as they were finally feeling ready to be seen and heard in the world, after years of resistance. (Funny how the universe knows our innermost thoughts.) As Kelly points out in HEAL, nearly half of Americans—more than 133 million of us—lives with a chronic disease. Close to 80 million of us have multiple conditions. If you're suffering or love someone who is, I believe these women will make you feel a renewed sense of hopefulness. Hope about the body’s innate ability to heal. Hope about how you were born to have a life you love. And hope about how to follow their lead to create a unique, grabby, universally beloved story of your own. I'm so glad you're here!Linda xoFor more information, go to beautiulwriterspodcast.com
Bestselling besties, Dani Shapiro & Gabby Bernstein, are all over the media with their current bestsellers, Inheritance and Super Attractor. Perhaps you’ve heard them here, on past episodes for prior books. But what you’ve never before witnessed is the two of them TOGETHER. Despite their close friendship and longtime desire to share a mic or stage, this is a first. (Happy dance!) The part of me that lives for literary matchmaking is in full swoon right now. That’s what these two New York Times bestselling authors (of 17+ combined books) do best—raise the bar on what’s possible. Each time I see them hit a new life or career goal, it’s not long before they seem to exceed it—permitting us to follow suit. That doesn’t mean life doesn’t have its hardship, but if you’re buoyed by grace, gratitude, and good cheer, they’re your people.  I trust this conversation will make you feel all kinds of hopeful as Dani and Gabby reveal real-world writing strategies with out-of-this-world processes. Feel reassured as they talk about how they tap into their book titles. Pace and format their books. Overcome resistance to create multiple streams of income. I believe you’ll become inspired as they explain how they work within time to EXPAND it (doing less to attract more). And delight in their devotional habits that access magic. Coaxing angelic support might be mentioned, too (wink, wink), including a personal guardian angel story I relive that's REALLY out there. (Shocking, I know.) Gabby's on a first-name basis with the Archangel for Creativity and Communication, and invites you to be, too! All helpful, because as Dani says, "You have to believe you're a writer before the world concurs.” I mean, do you have a better strategy than reaching for the divine? I didn’t think so. Welcome to woo. We're so happy you're here! xo
He’s authored 90 books. A Fellow of the American College of Physicians. Teaches meditation (with Oprah!). Been a husband for 49 years. A devoted father and grandfather. And he's beloved by Lady Gaga. So, other than his daily coffee, yoga, and more cushion time (“Om”) than a geriatric dog, what more could a guy want? Plenty, it turns out. Nothing short of enlightenment. And not just for himself, if humanity’s going to make it. Good thing he’s written the book on that. I feel ridiculously blessed to welcome Dr. Deepak Chopra on the Beautiful Writers Podcast today. It’s his FIRST tour stop for MetaHuman: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential, which pubs next month via Harmony Books. Our mutual friend, Arielle Ford, is our special-sauce guest co-host. She’s widely credited with making Deepak a household name back in the day as his longtime book publicist. (Arielle helped facilitate the rapid growth of self-help, launching clients like Marianne Williamson, Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, Neale Donald Walsh, and her sister, Debbie Ford, before authoring eleven books herself.) Deepak and Arielle are like family, the kind forged over lifetimes, she says. Doesn’t sound too farfetched after hanging out with them.  No stuffed shirts here! As Arielle promised, Deepak is delightfully FUN. Sure, I couldn’t get him to complain or gossip—not even about politics (well, he did mention some “thugs"). But girlfriends had to break it down, and Arielle and I got our fix at the end once he hung up. Here’s to hoping the big D is too busy contemplating the universe (or lack of one—just wait) to care that we closed the show talking about him behind his back. Just balancing the scales, Deepak. You drew first blood with those names you called my girl at the top of our show. (Smiley.)We’ve got a lot to cover, including how haters caused Deepak to take the MD off his books for a time (say what?!); ways in which meditation increases our creative genius, and his especially enlightening answers to our rapid-fire Q's. If you’ve ever hoped to get off the rat wheel (BEYOND the wheel), you’re going to love this new book, as well as his advice for accessing "the window of infinite creativity.” We talk silencing the inner bullies in our heads, and his favorite author & book, which I ordered immediately. Of course, he’s got a meditation schedule you’ll never in a million years be able to replicate, but may find wildly entertaining. Pretty much the same thing for his nighttime sleep rituals—how can anyone remember all this stuff, much less implement them? Ahh. A girl can dream. Or, go beyond the dream. Isn’t that the point? I mean, it’s all an illusion, right? All I know is the guy’s voice makes me happy. “Like champagne bubbles in my head,” Arielle says. Here, here. Drink up. Welcome. Linda xo 
“Best-Of" Part 3 Episode

“Best-Of" Part 3 Episode

2019-08-0201:24:54

Hello, beautiful writer! This is my favorite time of year—when I get to dive back into past episodes of the #BeautifulWritersPodcast and release our annual “Best-Of” show. (We’re on #3, in case you’ve been keeping track.) I’ve had a blast curating a wide variety of my favorite clips from summer 2018-19, and hope you enjoy revisiting excerpts you’ve already heard but may have forgotten, or meeting some of these bestsellers for the first time. (I’ve also pulled snippets from Marianne Williamson’s episode from our archives—since her presidential debate performances have her front-and-center in the news right now and likewise on my mind. God, she’s prolific—and generous with her writing wisdom.)Our line-up for today’s episode is, once again, jaw-dropping. I feel like the luckiest girl at the party. Curious to learn what motivates Lee Child to continue racing to finish the next installment of his billion-dollar Jack Reacher series year after year? Great. He’s about to get vulnerable. Or, details of how Catherine Oxenberg used the power of her pen to write in real-time to save her daughter and take down a terrifying cult? Yep. She’s here too. As is Abby Wambach, Seth Godin, Ann Patchett, Meg Wolitzer, Austin Channing Brown, and Steven Pressfield (again, yay!). Plus so many others.Thank you for being here! And for sharing your enthusiasm for this show. I love hearing about how you binge listen, take pages and pages of notes, and look forward to the book (I’m working as fast as I can—promise:)). You and your writing needs are on my mind and in my heart as I strive, always, to keep bringing you the best of the very best. May your writing journey be as light and easy as a summer breeze. Welcome. LindagratefulxxPS. Subscribe here and be the first to know when a new episode airs. Of course, you can find all our interviews below and over at www.beautifulwriterspodcast.com.
Guilty on all counts! For a mom fighting to take down a terrifying cult and free her daughter, India, there are no sweeter words. Just last week, mother, actress, royal, and first-time author Catherine Oxenberg saw the fulfillment of her years-long campaign to stop Keith Raniere and his organization, NXIVM (pronounced nexium). A New York jury took less than five hours to render Keith guilty of charges that include sex trafficking, conspiracy, racketeering, and possession of child pornography.This is not the norm, by the way—to bring down a cult leader, much less his entire world, before a mass type of Jim Jones tragedy unfolds. And it’s not the norm to pen a book in real time as it’s all happening. But what’s a mother to do when she's convinced her daughter is a victim of sex slavery and could be murdered or influenced to commit an “honor suicide” any day as the group's leader becomes increasingly erratic? Is she supposed to stand by idly as law enforcement fails to take her fears or evidence seriously? Not if you’re blessed with a platform, as Catherine has been since her 80s Dynasty fame. Not when you have a particular skill for gathering evidence, rallying the media, and writing a detailed, riveting account of the play by plays.The book, Captive: A Mother's Crusade to Save Her Daughter from a Terrifying Cult, is truly CAPTIVATING. And, in a move her publisher (Simon & Schuster) couldn’t have predicted when they banked on this new author and purchased the proposal for this story without an ending, the guilty verdict would come out a week before the release of the paperback.  I always told her she was magic. I always told her she was otherworldly. I always told her she was powerful and courageous. I even wrote those words to describe Catherine Oxenberg over twenty years ago in my first book, where she shared the story of her own abuse. But I never could have foreseen how my friend would have to depend on those traits to save India's life—and the lives of countless women by leading the charge to bring their perpetrator to justice. It’s the bond Cath and I have from raising Indie and Tosh together that brings a depth and humor to this conversation that I cherish. I think you’ll find it surprisingly fun—and insightful about the writing process, too, especially if you're interested in working with a co-author.But most certainly if you’ve got a burning desire to share your story and have an impact. Captive is a living embodiment of the term "power of the pen." And isn’t that why we write—so that our stories change the world?Throughout this fight, people called Catherine crazy. They called her paranoid. They called her desperate. I call her the Erin Brockovich of sex trafficking and cult-busting. I couldn’t be prouder of this real-life princess warrior, and can’t wait to share today's conversation with you, including a super sweet message from India at the end of the episode. Welcome. Lindaxx
Acclaimed bestseller Meg Wolitzer joins me today on the Beautiful Writers Podcast! Her TWELFTH novel, The Female Persuasion, is now out in paperback—a story perhaps even more relevant today than when it was released in hardback. When Meg started writing the manuscript, she, like many of us, believed we were about to swear in our first female president. We all know how that turned out. But did you ever stop to think about how authors scripting characters in books at that time had to revisit their storylines following our election's unexpected outcome? Hmmm. Meg’s work is especially hot right now for several reasons. First, a book she wrote fifteen years ago, The Wife, garnered an Oscar nod and a 2019 Golden Globe win for Glenn Close (for Best Actress in a Drama). Glenn’s not-a-dry-eye-in-the-house, standing-ovation acceptance speech was a rallying cry to women everywhere to own their power and FOLLOW THEIR DREAMS. Something Meg saw her mother—also a critically acclaimed, bestselling novelist—model powerfully at home and in the publishing industry. Second, with various projects in different stages of development in Hollywood (including The Female Persuasion being co-produced by Nicole Kidman for Amazon Studios), my guess is that Meg is far from done suiting up for the red carpet. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed having this conversation and how excited I am to share it with you. I know you’re going to get valuable tips from Meg’s vast experience, especially if you’re struggling with procrastination or need inspiration to Marie-Kondo your files or writing space. I believe you'll love what she has to say about the highs and lows of doing this work—and how she gives us a little window into her celebration rituals upon finishing yet another book. Ahhhh… finishing! Now, there’s an especially hot idea. Butt in chair, my friends. These chats always remind me to sit down and get back to the page. Butt in chair, fingers on keyboard. Write on! Linda PS. Subscribe at BeautifulWritersPodcast.com to be the first to hear our episodes when they drop:).  
You know Abby Wambach as a soccer legend—a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist. But do you know how she makes all those countless travel hours on the road and in the air, less grueling and more grounded? You know Abby as a two-time New York Times bestseller. But do you know how she and her wife, bestselling author Glennon Doyle, hit the pause button and re-energize and reconnect after especially busy months giving us so much of themselves? Martha Beck (my guest co-host today) is unscripted here as well. This Harvard Ph.D. and former professor may surprise you with what she really thinks of the “need” to get your college degree. (Hint: cover your ears if you’re sensitive to swear words.)Welcome to a super fun, intimate conversation between friends, including key advice Martha gave to Abby and Glennon when they first started dating, and how this podcast was part of their love story! (Whaaaat? I know. I couldn’t have dreamed up that storyline.) Even though Abby’s new book, Wolfpack, is a New York Times bestseller and she’s currently white hot on the media circuit, you’re about to hear additional things you haven't heard Abby share before. But be forewarned. You might feel a sudden urge to ditch your cell phone for prolonged periods (detox anyone?) while more fully merging with your pack. Here’s hoping your pets won’t mind when you break into spontaneous howls.Because, people. It's time to change the game. Put me in, Coach Abby! My inner wolf and I are suited up, ready to play.  For more information, go to beautifulwriterspodcast.com  
Oscar-nominated and 5-time Emmy-winning star of Murphy Brown turned New York Times bestselling memoirist (twice!), Candice Bergen is in the house! And she is every bit as irreverent and funny and whip-smart as you’d hope. Joining us in today's guest co-host chair is someone we both adore, the legendary book editor Betsy Rapoport, who edited Candy’s second memoir, A Fine Romance, and who I’ve been lucky enough to call my mentor for the past eighteen years. Despite being the highest paid actor on television for a long time, Candice is exceptionally humble. But Betsy and I manage to get her to share gold about her creative process. From her erratic work ethic; what it was like being the first female to wear the 5-timer jacket hosting for Saturday Night Live; and how she’s embraced Instagram, nearly “breaking the Internet” posing for an eclipse photo with her Book Club cast-mates Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, and Mary Steenburgen. Unlike many of our guests who became household names before the advent of social media, Candice relishes posting pics and scripting funny captions for her feed.I don’t know if it’s easier or harder not to take yourself so seriously when you were born into Hollywood royalty. Some speculate that Candice’s humility is a byproduct of being the daughter of Edgar Bergen, a famous Vaudeville ventriloquist whose dummy, Charlie McCarthy, was beloved by millions and had a bigger room than Candice did in their home. Her first memoir, Knock Wood, is a candid portrayal of a little girl trying to earn a father’s love. Candice has always been a writer—starting with magazine work for Esquire following her first movie at nineteen. We cover so much in this chat, including what makes a good book title (poetic, evocative, counter-intuitive), and why sometimes the publisher decides to forgo all that to bank on clarity. We talk about how bloody hard it can be making the audio version of your book—but how it’s a good excuse to order comfort food. Candice shares the anxiety she feels when writing memoir, and the role of an editor (in this case, Betsy) to help her go deeper. Although Candy’s latest book is a love letter to her daughter, Chloe Malle (a writer for Vogue), her first husband—the late director, Louis Malle, and her current husband, Marshall, I hope you’ll find this conversation a bit of a love letter to the collaborative process. That and showfolk, dogs in costume, and smoking sage bowls. Welcome.
Bestselling thriller author of ten novels, including The Progeny, Firstborn, The Legend of Sheba, Iscariot, and the Books of Mortals trilogy (with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker), Tosca Lee is in the house! She’s representing this genre proud with The Line Between, a dystopian page-turner already optioned for television by Edward Burns and his Marlboro Road Gang Productions, in partnership with Radar Pictures (#cantwait). As you’ll hear, the female protagonist could be the little sister of one of my favorite Dean Koontz characters (Dean’s a former guest of this show)—bad-guy killing heroine, Jane Hawk. I’ve put the notorious night-owl Tosca together with my guest co-host today, Hayli Baez, because I adore them both. And, for the unique things they have in common—namely a past with pageantry, as in beauty, which has helped both of their current careers; an obsession with world-travel, fed in part by those pageants; and get this—late-night video-game playing! (Admission, I’ve never played a video game in my life, so I’m dying to know the allure of shooting fake people.) You might be wondering how a busy author like Tosca has time for such an indulgence but says it helps her come up with some of her best characters and storylines. And, I’m guessing her three boys think she’s the coolest. Speaking of cool, Hayli has THE dream job according to my son (and probably yours, too). She actually gets PAID to livestream herself playing video games on Twitch. Yes, that’s really a thing. She also happens to have written excellent fan fiction as a teen and still gives me the best book recommendations of anyone. And, she’s family. I can’t take any credit for her beauty or brains, as she’s my fiancé’s daughter, thus not blood-related. But, as soon as I learned she’d read the entire Harry Potter series more than anyone I’d ever met (or heard of!), I was deeply proud. Lol. I’m excited to share this chat, with its many pearls, including how Tosca plots her suspense and thinks about each character’s arc within the three-act structure (and her two invaluable book recommendations on the subject). There’s her refreshing take on the thriller genre and how she recruits top experts for her research to make her work bulletproof (and how you can too!). I am also fascinated by her thoughts on how travel helps the writing mind play and wander; her description of dealing with the twin demons of fear and procrastination, and why letting someone see your writing before it’s ready is like allowing them to see your cellulite! We talk balancing writing time with platform building (social media); how her hot farmer husband handles her 20-hour writing days (and bakes cookies); what to do when an author friend writes a book you just don’t like; and how when her friends are mad at their mates, they'll ask her help in devising the perfect murder plot. If you love action, conspiracy, romance, and questions of whom—and what—to believe, you’re going to adore this high-octane story of survival and love in a world on the brink of madness (and its sequel, out in September). And, you’ll be taken with the sanity and sweetness of this killer author and her deep gratitude for her craft and her readers. I left this conversation more in love with books and writing them and know it will likewise inspire your reading and writing life. Welcome.
75 million albums sold. 18 top ten hits recorded. Named in 2018 by Billboard as one of the top 60 female artists of all time (#35)! I’m guessing you are or have been, a Taylor Dayne fan (soundtrack of your life stuff, right here). I feel blessed to call Taylor a dear friend and can attest that she’s everything you’d hope a superstar to be—which you’ll soon experience as she opens up her heart and memories about the coolest details. Like what it was really like to open for Michael Jackson in a stadium of 60,000 people for his RAD tour. Or, what happened when Prince brought her on stage early in her career in a scene that will have you thinking, “Wait! Didn’t I just see Bradley Cooper do that with Lady Gaga in A Star is Born?!” Taylor’s memoir, Tell It To My Heart (named after one of her most popular ballads) pubs on Valentine’s Day and goes deep and vulnerable about topics you’d never guess by watching her career, starting with her tragic childhood in which her voice gave her the fire and inspiration to stay alive. Popular podcaster/TED producer/ media communications coach, Bronwyn Saglimbeni, is today’s guest co-host. I love this woman! She, like Taylor, is also a busy mom and business owner who happens to have a rockin’ rock band side hustle. Can you stand it? I’m such a singing wanna-be!Thank you for joining me for this magical conversation, punctuated by snippets of several of Taylor’s biggest hits. We’re going to talk about so much, not the least of which includes healing, the music industry, what it’s like to write brutal truths about family members who are still standing, why standing on that TED or TEDWomen stage is as scary (or scarier!) than singing in a stadium, and learning to trust yourself—a challenge for us all. There’s no holding back here, and a whole heap of heart. We're so glad you’re here.Linda xo
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