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S2E42: “Writing Superman”


Kevin J. Anderson is a writing superman. He’s actually written Superman, too – Kevin wrote the novels “The Last Days Of Krypton” and “Enemies & Allies“. Kevin’s also written books in the Star Wars world, the X-Files world and, perhaps most famously, together with Brian Herbert, the Dune world. In fact, Kevin is incredibly successful. Over his career, he’s published over 140 books, over 50 of which have been on US and international bestseller lists, and he has more than 23 million books in print worldwide! See what we mean?

A writing superman!

Kevin’s origins are more humble than Krypton. He hails from a small town in Wisconsin he calls “Half Norman Rockwell, half Norman Bates”. He hit the ground a sci-fi nerd and a voracious reader. But Kevin has something else onboard, too. Writing discipline.

We’ll talk a lot about the craft of writing in this episode. Where do ideas come from – and what’s the best way to get them from inside your head to some medium other people can use to experience it? These are challenging times to be a writer but, also times of great opportunity. Kevin discusses how to take advantage of those opportunities.

As Kevin will describe, he’s a “dictator”. After thoroughly outlining a project, Kevin writes using a digital recorder. He speaks the words rather than typing them. And, he says, what he dictates is often close to the final draft (with some minor tweaking).

Maybe even more important that the writing itself, Kevin discusses the business of writing. He’s Director of the Master of Arts in Creative Writing, Publishing Concentration for Western Colorado University’s School of Graduate Studies. Back when, writers all had to rely on big publishing houses to make a living. These days (with fewer publishing houses out there), writers really do need to rely on themselves.

And that’s where being a real “superman” helps a ton.

One last thing! We highly recommend a book Kevin and his Wordfire Press published – our friend John Harrison’s terrific psychological thriller “Passing Through Veils“. Think Shirley Jackson meets Gillian Flynn!

You’re welcome!

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