The Writer Files: Writing, Productivity, Creativity, and Neuroscience

Hosted ByKelton Reid

Kelton Reid studies the habits, habitats, and brains of a wide spectrum of renowned writers to learn their secrets of productivity and creativity. Tune in each week to learn how great writers keep the ink flowing, the cursor moving, and avoid block. Explore our archives at to find interviews with notable guests that include bestselling authors John Scalzi (Old Mans War), Greg Iles (Natchez Burning), Jay McInerney (Bright Lights, Big City), Kevin Kelly (founder of WIRED magazine), Emma Donoghue (Oscar Nominee for Room), Maria Konnikova (The Confidence Game), Andy Weir (The Martian), Dan Buettner (The Blue Zones), Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist), Daniel Pink (When), and serial guest hosts: neuroscientist Michael Grybko, journalist Adam Skolnick, and short story writer Robert Bruce.

All Episodes

How National Book Award Winner & Bestselling Author James McBride Writes: Redux

NOTE: This is an updated replay of an amazing chat I had with New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award winner, James McBride. His latest novel, THE HEAVEN & EARTH GROCERY STORE, was named Amazon’s #1 Book of the Year Pick, and Barnes & Noble’s Book of the Year, among many other accolades for 2023. Congrats James!

How Publishing Legend Charles Scribner III Writes

Publishing legend, art historian, and author, Charles Scribner III, spoke with me about growing up surrounded by publishing, Hemingway’s Three Rules to Life, and his memoir/family history SCRIBNERS: FIVE GENERATIONS IN PUBLISHING.

How #1 NY Times Bestselling Author Jim Butcher Writes

#1 New York Times bestselling author, Jim Butcher, spoke with me about how he outlined a hit 20-novel series (years before he had an agent), why all steampunks wear goggles, and the second book in his Cinder Spires series, THE OLYMPIAN AFFAIR.

How #1 NY Times Bestselling Author Susan Wiggs Writes: Part Two

#1 New York Times bestselling author, Susan Wiggs, returns to chat with me about her island writing hideout, rescuing two puppies at the same time, holiday genre tropes, and her latest Christmas book THE TWELVE DOGS OF CHRISTMAS.

How Literary Critic & Publishing Insider Bethanne Patrick Writes: Part Two

Longtime literary critic and publishing insider, Bethanne Patrick, is back to chat with me about the return of her hit podcast Missing Pages, her front-row seat to the sea change in publishing, and her life-affirming first memoir LIFE B.

How #1 NY Times Bestselling Author Andrew Child Writes

#1 NY Times bestselling author, Andrew Child, spoke to me about his lifelong obsession with storytelling, working with Jack Reacher co-author and brother Lee Child, and their latest in the series THE SECRET.

How Acclaimed Debut Novelist Molly McGhee Writes

Critically acclaimed debut novelist, Molly McGhee, spoke with me about the best day of her life, her part in The Great Publishing Resignation, losing a parent, and her first book JONATHAN ABERNATHY YOU ARE KIND.

How Award-Winning Climate Journalist Amy Westervelt Writes

Bonus Episode – Climate Edition: Award-winning investigative journalist and Executive Podcast Producer, Amy Westervelt, spoke to me about her accidental career in climate accountability, the greatest threat to free speech, and her deep dive into the origins of climate deni

How Acclaimed Debut Novelist Isa Arsén Writes

Critically acclaimed debut novelist, Isa Arsén, spoke with me about humanizing machines and the creative process, how to write soft sci-fi, and her genre-bending, “timey-wimey” literary debut SHOOT THE MOON.

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