Episode 92: The Rush and the Risk: Talking Novelistic Nonfiction with Christine O’Brien

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Today we talk with Christine O’Brien about her wonderful new memoir CRAVE. We tackle the challenges and techniques of shaping a memoir, applying formal structure to memory. Structure can also be a way to take risks and explore, if you can avoid perfectionism. What is it like to keep creating new work while juggling the promotion and publicity for your debut? What is it like to receive praise and notice in the literary world? Chris takes us on her journey into publication as she also discusses writing her next book. There can be a feeling of hubris about writing about yourself–and yet the adolescent female voice, for example, is not one that is overpowering the discourse about what it means to be human. And suspense–a page-turner–can be created by paying close attention. We think about what holds our attention, and about the power of letting the story unfold without trying to “hit a homerun” every time. Even–especially?–quiet, careful writing produces an exhilaration you can see on the face of a person who’s just written and risked.

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Christine OBrien

Christine O’Brien is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Crave. The book has been praised as being “emotionally fraught,” “compelling,” and “thoroughly engaging,” while also earning praise from The New York Times for its ability to capture her father’s creative brilliance and her mother’s pioneering spirit with “loving generosity.” O’Brien earned a BA in English at UC Berkeley and holds a Double MFA in Nonfiction and Fiction. Her essay “Cul de Sac” received Honorable Mention in the Glimmer Train 2014 Short Story Award for New Writers, and her essays and short stories have appeared in The Seneca Review and The Slush Pile Magazine. This January she appeared on The Dr. Oz show, and she is the host of the upcoming podcast, Good Morning Writing!

Story Makers is a podcast that features in-depth conversations with accomplished writers, filmmakers and industry experts about story craft, technique, habit and survival–everything you need to know to stay inspired, connect to your creativity, find others’ wonderful stories and your own success.

The hosts:

Elizabeth Stark is a published, agented novelist and distributed filmmaker who teaches and mentors writers at BookWritingWorld.com.

Angie Powers is a distributed filmmaker and published short story writer with an MFA in creative writing and a certificate in screenwriting from UCLA who teaches story structure at BookWritingWorld.com.

94 episodes available. A new episode about every 18 days averaging 37 mins duration .