Skip to main content
Write Or Die Podcast

Write Or Die Podcast

By Claribel A. Ortega & Kat Cho

The Write or Die Podcast shares the real stories about what it takes to become an author – the gritty, infuriating, pull your hair out because it’s been years – stories of writers who didn’t give up despite it all, and are now living out their dream. It’s hosted by NYT & #1 Indie bestselling author Claribel A. Ortega and NYT & international bestselling author Kat Cho and releases every other Monday!
Listen on Spotify
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo

RadioPublic

Spotify Logo

Spotify

Currently playing episode

S3 E9: Chloe Gong & Shakespeare’s Ghost is Looking Out For You

Write Or Die Podcast

1x
Bonus Episode: The Honeys by Ryan La Sala
Bonus Episode: The Honeys by Ryan La Sala
Get The Honeys, by Ryan La Sala!  Come chat with us on the BABC discord: https://discord.gg/Mhw92TUdMG Buy our books: Witchlings (and join the Witchlings discord!) Ghost Squad  Reverie  Be Dazzled  The Honeys Find us online!   Follow Us on Social Media: Ryan: Twitter | Instagram | TikTok Claribel: Twitter | Instagram | TikTok
17:05
August 19, 2022
S4 E24: Write or Die & FINAL_Final_Episode_Really.doc
S4 E24: Write or Die & FINAL_Final_Episode_Really.doc
THANK YOU to all of our WorDies! We love you! Kat & Claribel say goodbye to Write or Die by listening to snippets from past episodes and discussing the advice they’ve received along the way from amazing past guests including S.Jae Jones, Alex Aster, Victoria Aveyard, Tiffany Jackson, Phil Stamper and More! Then they read listener comments and answer some last “Ask Us Anything” questions! Thank you to all the WorDies who’ve joined us on this journey! Our hope is that you keep this community going even after the podcast is done! Topics discussed include: Separating “author” from “writer” Fake it til you make it mindset Social media and mental health Envy and jealousy in publishing Switching agents Focusing on your craft MENTIONS: • THIS IS WHY THEY HATE US by Aaron H. Aceves • LIGHTLARK by Alex Aster • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • ORDER Witchlings • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom • Check out Kat’s Books • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die 
01:36:57
June 27, 2022
S4 E23: Write or Die & The Final Episode (part 1)
S4 E23: Write or Die & The Final Episode (part 1)
Kat & Claribel say goodbye to Write or Die by listening to snippets from past episodes and discussing the advice they’ve received along the way from amazing past guests including Daniel Jose Older, Leigh Bardugo, Holly Black, Ayana Gray, Mark Oshiro, and More! Topics discussed include: Messy first draft. How to get into drafting mode. Being wary of generalized advice. Finding community. Being a BIPOC author. Parasocial relationships in publishing. • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • ORDER Witchlings Buy Claribel a coffee on Claribel's Ko-fi • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom • Check out Kat’s Books Buy Kat a coffee on Kat's Ko-fi • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die 
01:13:13
June 13, 2022
S4 E22: Vita Ayala & The Met is Super Haunted
S4 E22: Vita Ayala & The Met is Super Haunted
Claribel & Kat discuss what "success" means in publishing (and what it definitely does not mean). Then they interview Vita Ayala about their journey into writing comics, how the Metropolitan Museum of Art is super haunted, being inspired by Octavia Butler as a kid, and the difference between comics and prose writing.  ABOUT VITA: Vita Ayala (they/them) is a trans non-binary Afro-Puerto Rican writer born and bred in New York City, where they grew up dreaming dreams of dancing on far away worlds, fighting monsters on the block, and racing fish along the bottom of the ocean. Before Vita began freelancing as a writer, they worked in book retail, event coordination, building management, baking, and museum security (day and graveyard shift). They’ve broken at least one of every bone in their body, which means they can feel the rain coming. Vita writes both comics and prose fiction, and has written for publishers such as: Black Mask Studios, DC (comics), Dynamite, IDW, Image Comics, Macmillan, Marvel Comics, Realm, Valiant, and Vault Comics. Vita currently resides in New York City with their wife and cat sons. • FOLLOW VITA: Website | Twitter  Buy New Mutants Vol. 1 (New Mutants, 1) by Vita Ayala Buy New Mutants Vol. 2 (New Mutants, 2) by Vita Ayala Buy Reclaim the Stars: 17 Tales Across Realms & Space Buy Submerged by Vita Ayala  Listen to Marvel's Jessica Jones: Playing with Fire MENTIONS: • DAWN by Octavia Butler • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • Add FRIZZY on Goodreads • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • BUY Once Upon a K-Prom • Check out Kat’s Books
01:30:15
May 30, 2022
S4 E21: Kat Cho & Suga’s Diss Track
S4 E21: Kat Cho & Suga’s Diss Track
Claribel interviews Kat about her young adult k-pop romcom, Once Upon a K-Prom. They chat all things k-pop (including Kat’s first k-pop loves), what inspired the book, whether Kat included BTS in K-Prom, and more! ABOUT KAT: Kat Cho used to hide books under the bathroom sink and then sneak in there to read after bedtime. Her parents pretended not to know. This helped when she decided to write a dinosaur time-travel novel at the tender age of nine. Sadly, that book was not published. Kat and her books have been featured in Entertainment Weekly, NBC, Refinery 29, and Seventeen. Her books include the Penguin One World One Book 2019 Selection, Wicked Fox, and its internationally bestselling sequel, Vicious Spirits. As well as  the upcoming romcom Once Upon a K-Prom (Disney, 2022). She currently lives and works in NYC and spends her free time trying to figure out what kind of puppy to adopt. • FOLLOW KAT: Website | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • BUY Once Upon a K-Prom • BUY Wicked Fox • BUY Vicious Spirits MENTIONS: • K-Prom Playlist • Robbie’s Playlist • Elena’s Playlist • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • PRE-ORDER Witchlings (April 5, 2022, Scholastic) • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die 
46:55
May 16, 2022
S4 E20: Traci Chee & The Epic Reads Egg Video
S4 E20: Traci Chee & The Epic Reads Egg Video
Claribel & Kat talk about pressures on authors every time a new book comes out & how publishing relationships naturally change over time. Then they interview Traci Chee about her path to publication, behind-the-scenes of finding out her book was a Printz Award Honor, and her newest Fantasy, A Thousand Steps into Night! BIO: Traci Chee is a best-selling and award-winning author of books for young people, including the instant New York Times best seller and Kirkus Prize Finalist The Reader and Printz Honor Book, Walter Award Honoree, and National Book Award Finalist We Are Not Free. Her newest book is A Thousand Steps into Night, a Japanese-influenced young adult fantasy. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, egg painting, gardening, and hosting game nights for family and friends. She lives in California with her fast dog. • FOLLOW : website | Twitter | Instagram MENTIONS: • Epic Reads Egg Video • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • Add FRIZZY on Goodreads • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • PRE-ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom (May 17, 2022, Disney) • Check out Kat’s Books • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die 
01:13:44
May 02, 2022
S4 E19: Laekan Zea Kemp & Just Pre-Ask For An Extension
S4 E19: Laekan Zea Kemp & Just Pre-Ask For An Extension
Claribel & Kat discuss a conversation the saw online about being “satisfied” with your author career vs being “happy” as an author. Then they interview Laekan Zea Kemp about her publishing journey. How she started off self-publishing and transitioned into traditional publishing. And what it’s been like writing across multiple genres and age categories! Content Warning: Discussions of grief/parental death/cancer ABOUT LAEKAN: Laekan Zea Kemp is a writer living in Austin, Texas. She’s also the creator and host of the Author Pep Talks podcast, as well as a contributor to the Las Musas podcast. She has three objectives when it comes to storytelling: to make people laugh, cry, and crave Mexican food. Her work celebrates Chicanx grit, resilience, creativity, and joy while exploring themes of identity and mental health. Her debut novel, SOMEWHERE BETWEEN BITTER & SWEET is out now from Little Brown Young Readers. • FOLLOW : website | Twitter | Instagram BUY Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet BUY Heartbreak Symphony MENTIONS: • Stray Kids • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • Add FRIZZY on Goodreads • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • PRE-ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom (May 2022, Disney) • Check out Kat’s Books • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die 
01:25:37
April 18, 2022
S4 E18: Claribel A. Ortega & #WitchlingsBook
S4 E18: Claribel A. Ortega & #WitchlingsBook
Kat interviews Claribel about the process of writing and publishing their second middle grade (and first series!). How publishing a second book feels different. How expectations change as your career progresses. And working on not “giving weight to the negative” ABOUT CLARIBEL: New York Times Bestselling and award-winning author, Claribel A. Ortega is a former reporter who writes middle-grade and young adult fantasy inspired by her Dominican heritage. When she's not busy turning her obsession with eighties pop culture, magic, and video games into books, she’s co-hosting her podcast Bad Author Book Club and helping authors navigate publishing with her consulting business GIFGRRL. Claribel is a Marvel contributor and has been featured on Buzzfeed, Bustle, Good Morning America and Deadline. Claribel’s debut middle grade novel Ghost Squad is out now from Scholastic and is being made into a feature film. Her forthcoming books include Witchlings (Scholastic) and the graphic novel Frizzy (First Second). You can find her on Twitter, Instagram and Tiktok @Claribel_Ortega and on her website at claribelortega.com. • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok | Website • BUY Witchlings • BUY Ghost Squad • BUY This is Our Rainbow • BUY Reclaim the Stars • Add FRIZZY on Goodreads MENTIONS: • Neverending Story Gmork • S2 E20: Claribel Ortega & I'm Expecting a Payoff Jesus • S2 E21: Claribel Ortega & the Bi-Annual Clickbait • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • PRE-ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom (May 2022, Disney) • Check out Kat’s Books • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die 
01:00:28
April 04, 2022
S4 E17: Judy I. Lin & Walking Away From Bad Situations
S4 E17: Judy I. Lin & Walking Away From Bad Situations
Claribel & Kat talk about book promo they’ve done that they think was worth it, and what they don’t think they’ll do again. Then they talk to debut author, Judy I. Lin about her debut fantasy, trying out IP, and eventually choosing to go the traditional route instead. ABOUT JUDY: Judy I. Lin was born in Taiwan and immigrated to Canada with her family at a young age. She grew up with her nose in a book and loved to escape to imaginary worlds. She now works as an occupational therapist, and still spends her nights dreaming up imaginary worlds of her own. She lives on the Canadian prairies with her husband and daughter. A Magic Steeped in Poison is her debut novel. • FOLLOW JUDY: website | Twitter | Instagram • Buy A Magic Steeped in Poison • Buy A Venom Dark and Sweet MENTIONS: • Canva • After Effects • Envato Elements • Book Brush • Sija Hong - illustrator • DVCon - Claribel A Ortega How to Put Together a Media Kit [cc] • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • PRE-ORDER Witchlings (April 5, 2022, Scholastic) • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • PRE-ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom (May 17, 2022, Disney) • Check out Kat’s Books • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die 
01:07:56
March 21, 2022
S4 E16: Alexis Castellanos & The Story Web We Weave
S4 E16: Alexis Castellanos & The Story Web We Weave
Claribel & Kat talk about Author-Reviewer “relationships” and what’s okay to do and what to stay away from. Then they interview debut graphic novelist, Alexis Castellanos about how she used family stories to flesh out and inspire her debut graphic novel. ABOUT ALEX: Alexis Castellanos was born and raised in Florida where she enjoyed sunny days, dramatic thunderstorms, and delicious Cuban food. After graduating from college, she moved to New York City and worked as a scenic artist, bringing theatrical sets to life with a little bit of paint and a whole lot of ingenuity. She currently works as a graphic designer by day and spends her nights dreaming up stories. She lives in Seattle with her partner and her extremely photogenic cat, Belle. Isla to Island is her first graphic novel. • FOLLOW ALEX: website | Twitter | Instagram • Spellcaster Designs • BUY Isla to Island • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • PRE-ORDER Witchlings (April 5, 2022, Scholastic) • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • PRE-ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom (May 17, 2022, Disney) • Check out Kat’s Books • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die 
01:26:51
March 14, 2022
S4 E15: Deborah Falaye & Put Yourself Out There
S4 E15: Deborah Falaye & Put Yourself Out There
Claribel & Kat discuss their thoughts on jumping back into promoting their new books! Then they interview their PitchWars mentee about her upcoming seering fantasy debut, BLOOD SCION! ABOUT DEBORAH: Deborah Falaye is a Nigerian Canadian young adult author. She grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, where she spent her time devouring African Literature, pestering her grandma for folktales, and tricking her grandfather into watching Passions every night. When she’s not writing about fierce Black girls with bad-ass magic, she can be found obsessing over all things reality TV. Deborah currently lives in Toronto with her husband and their partner-in-crime yorkie, Major. • FOLLOW : Twitter | Instagram • BUY Blood Scion • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • PRE-ORDER Witchlings (April 5, 2022, Scholastic) • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • PRE-ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom (May 17, 2022, Disney) • Check out Kat’s Books • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die 
01:19:31
February 28, 2022
S4 E14: Malinda Lo & I Just Do Gay Things
S4 E14: Malinda Lo & I Just Do Gay Things
Claribel & Kat discuss how they decide on what project to work on next. And then they interview Award Winning and NYT Bestselling author, Malinda Lo, about her experience in the industry, her advocacy for diversity in kidlit, and what it was like going back to a shelved project and revising it years later for publication. ABOUT MALINDA: Malinda Lo is the National Book Award-winning, bestselling author of Last Night at the Telegraph Club, which which was named a Best Book of 2021 by NPR, The Boston Globe, The San Francisco Chronicle, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, BookPage, and was a Goodreads Choice Awards finalist. Her debut novel Ash, a Sapphic retelling of Cinderella, was a finalist for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, the Andre Norton Award for YA Science Fiction and Fantasy, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, and was a Kirkus Best Book for Children and Teens. She has been a three-time finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Malinda’s short fiction and nonfiction has been published by The New York Times, NPR, Autostraddle, The Horn Book, and multiple anthologies. She lives in Massachusetts with her partner and their dog. • FOLLOW MALINDA: website | Twitter | Instagram • Last Night At the Telegraph Club • Add A Scatter of Light on Goodreads • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • PRE-ORDER Witchlings (April 5, 2022, Scholastic) • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • PRE-ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom (May 17, 2022, Disney) • Check out Kat’s Books • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die
01:31:51
February 14, 2022
S4 E13: Write or Die Live
S4 E13: Write or Die Live
This is a bonus episode of Write or Die! Originally recorded live as part of DVCon (a free virtual writing conference for diverse creators), Claribel & Kat read your anonymously submitted publishing stories and questions! MENTIONS: • DVCon • Watch DVCon panels • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • PRE-ORDER Witchlings (April 5, 2022, Scholastic) • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • PRE-ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom (May 17, 2022, Disney) • Check out Kat’s Books • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die 
59:48
February 07, 2022
S4 E12: Wendy Xu & Shut Up, Do Your Work, & Stay Off Goodreads
S4 E12: Wendy Xu & Shut Up, Do Your Work, & Stay Off Goodreads
Claribel & Kat interview illustrator Wendy Xu about how she first got into illustrating comics, how her work in publishing prepared her for her publication journey, and advice on properly crediting artists for their work! ABOUT WENDY: Wendy Xu is an award-nominated Brooklyn-based illustrator and comics artist with three upcoming graphic novels from Harper Collins. She is the co-creator of "Mooncakes", a young adult fantasy graphic novel published in 2019 from Lion Forge Comics/Oni Press. Her work has been featured on Catapult, Barnes & Noble Sci-fi/Fantasy Blog, and Tor.com, among other places. • FOLLOW : website | Twitter | Instagram • Buy Mooncakes • Buy Tidesong • Add The Infinity Particle on Goodreads MENTIONS: • Lynda Barry • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • PRE-ORDER Witchlings (March 2022, Scholastic) • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • PRE-ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom (May 2022, Disney) • Check out Kat’s Books • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die
46:34
January 31, 2022
S4 E11: Sarah Raughley & Even Heroes Aren’t Perfect
S4 E11: Sarah Raughley & Even Heroes Aren’t Perfect
Claribel & Kat catch up with each other and talk about the emotional ups and downs of building an author career. (CW: brief discussion of trauma) Then they interview Sarah Raughley about what it was like to get published in the before-times, differences she’s felt releasing her newest series during the pandemic, and how she researched the lives of Black people in 19th century Britain for her book, THE BONES OF RUIN. ABOUT SARAH: Sarah Raughley grew up in Southern Ontario writing stories about freakish little girls with powers because she secretly wanted to be one. She is a huge fangirl of anything from manga to scifi/fantasy TV to Japanese role-playing games, but she will swear up and down at book signings that she was inspired by Jane Austen. Sarah has been nominated for the Aurora Award for Best Young Adult novel and works in the community doing writing workshops for youths and adults. On top of being a YA writer, Sarah has a PhD in English, which makes her a doctor, so it turns out she didn’t have to go to medical school after all. • FOLLOW : website | Twitter | Instagram BUY The Bones of Ruin (The Bones of Ruin #1) BUY Fate Of Flames (The Effigies #1) MENTIONS: • Black Victorians, Black Victoriana by Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • PRE-ORDER Witchlings (April 2022, Scholastic) • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • PRE-ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom (May 2022, Disney) • Check out Kat’s Books • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die 
01:01:54
January 17, 2022
S4 E10: Akshaya Raman & A Bed Full of Snakes
S4 E10: Akshaya Raman & A Bed Full of Snakes
Happy New Year! Claribel & Kat discuss some fun news in their author careers and chat about new year and resolutions. Then they interview debut author, Akshaya Raman about her highly anticipated Fantasy, The Ivory Key. How she dealt with doubt during her query journey  and how she made writing friends. ABOUT AKSHAYA: Akshaya Raman fell in love with writing when she wrote her first story at the age of ten. Though she graduated from UC Davis with a degree in biology, she gave up pursuing a career in science to write books. She is a co-founder and contributor to Writer’s Block Party, a group blog about writing and publishing, and has served on the planning teams of several book festivals. She lives in the Bay Area with an actual scaredy cat, and in her free time, she enjoys baking, traveling, and watching too much reality TV. FOLLOW AKSHAYA: website | Twitter | Instagram • BUY The Ivory Key MENTIONS Fave "untraditional" success stories: • S4 E7 Emiko Jean & We Don't Need Permission to Write • S2 E1: Susan Dennard & #UghJay! • S1 E23: Karen M McManus & The Haunted Airbnb • Halloween Bonus: Holly Black & Black Pond Revelations and Weird Stuff FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • PRE-ORDER Witchlings (April 2022, Scholastic) • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • PRE-ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom (May 2022, Disney) • Check out Kat’s Books • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die 
01:21:44
January 03, 2022
S4 E9: Claribel & Kat & WorD’s Last Holiday Episode!
S4 E9: Claribel & Kat & WorD’s Last Holiday Episode!
This week, Claribel & Kat discuss what they learned about their writing and author journeys in 2021. Then they answer listener questions about how to survive querying, Self-publishing, how they first got into writing, when to change agents, and more. Plus bonus chat about K-Dramas and K-pop! MENTIONS: WRITING PODCASTS • The Writing Show with Paula B. • 88 Cups of Tea • First Draft with Sarah Enni • Minorities in Publishing • Pub(lishing) Crawl Podcast (Archive) MOVIE • Authors Anonymous K-DRAMAS • Boys Over Flowers • W: Two Worlds • Winter Sonata K-POP • Claribel’s K-Pop suggestions: BTS, Twice, CL • Kat’s K-Pop suggestions: Big Bang, SHINee, Stray Kids • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • PRE-ORDER Witchlings (Feb 2022, Scholastic) • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • PRE-ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom (May 2022, Disney) • Check out Kat’s Books • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die 
01:05:07
December 13, 2021
S4 E8: Maisie Chan & Danny Chung Has Two Titles
S4 E8: Maisie Chan & Danny Chung Has Two Titles
Claribel & Kat discuss mentorship programs, both formal and informal! Then they chat with Maisie Chan about her experience publishing her debut Middle Grade and the differences between the UK and US publishing market. ABOUT MAISIE: Maisie Chan is a British Chinese children's author from Birmingham. She loves dim sum, yoga and travelling. She has written early readers for Hachette and Big Cat Collins, and has a collection of myths and legends out with Scholastic. She is the author of Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths (U.K.) also known as Danny Chung Sums It Up (U.S.), and the Tiger Warrior chapter book series (M Chan). She runs Bubble Tea Writers Network to support and encourage writers of East and Southeast Asian (ESEA) descent in the U.K. She has a dog called Miko, who has very big eyes and wakes up too early. She has a large old school hip hop collection. She lives in Glasgow with her family. • FOLLOW MAISIE: website | Twitter | Instagram Buy Danny Chung Sums It Up (US) Buy Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths (UK) MENTIONS: • DVMentor • DVDebut • WNDB Mentorship • Author Mentor Match • PitchWars • When Night Breaks by Janella Angeles • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • PRE-ORDER Witchlings (Feb 2022, Scholastic) • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • PRE-ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom (May 2022, Disney) • Check out Kat’s Books • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die 
01:05:08
November 22, 2021
S4 E7: Emiko Jean & We Don’t Need Permission to Write
S4 E7: Emiko Jean & We Don’t Need Permission to Write
Claribel & Kat talk about how to prepare for panels & some quick tips on how to answer interview questions. Then they interview NYT Bestselling author Emiko Jean about her publishing journey, how publishing has changed since she first queried in 2011, and what it’s been like building an author career. Emiko’s BIO: When Emiko is not writing, she is reading. Most of her friends are imaginary. Before she became a writer she was an entomologist (fancy name for bug catcher), a candle maker, a florist, and most recently a teacher. She lives in Washington with her husband and children (unruly twins). She loves the rain. • FOLLOW : website | Instagram MENTIONS: • BUY Tokyo Ever After • BUY Empress of All Seasons • BUY We’ll Never Be Apart • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • PRE-ORDER Witchlings (Feb 2022, Scholastic) • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • PRE-ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom (May 2022, Disney) • Check out Kat’s Books • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die 
57:32
November 01, 2021
S4 E6: Alex Aster & Cursed Islands Are My Brand
S4 E6: Alex Aster & Cursed Islands Are My Brand
Claribel and Kat answer a listener's question about publishing events, what it’s like to organize events like DVPit/DVCon, and some tips about attending events. Then they chat with Alex Aster about her author journey, discuss going viral on TikTok and whether it’s worthwhile for authors to join. Plus Alex gives us some Authortok tips! ALEX’S BIO: Alex Aster is an author and graduate of The University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing. The Emblem Island series is inspired by the Latin American myths her Colombian grandmother told her as a child before bedtime. • FOLLOW : website | TikTok • BUY Curse of the Night Witch • ADD Lightlark on Goodreads • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • PRE-ORDER Witchlings (Feb 2022, Scholastic) • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • PRE-ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom (May 2022, Disney) • Check out Kat’s Books • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die 
01:18:53
October 18, 2021
S4 E5: Shanna Miles & Categories Are Arbitrary
S4 E5: Shanna Miles & Categories Are Arbitrary
Claribel & Kat discuss author responsibility as public figures with platforms, brought to you by Kat’s k-pop obsession with Stray Kids. Then they interview Shanna Miles about her hybrid journey, starting out with self-publishing, and then getting an agent and being traditionally published. Shanna gives some practical advice for anyone considering self-publishing, discusses diversity in publishing, and how YA “trends” are cyclical! BIO: Shanna Miles is an author, reviewer and librarian who lives in Georgia with her two daughters, and educator husband and advocates tirelessly for appropriate representation for marginalized people in children’s fiction. Her passion is Paranormal Romance, but she also has a deep affinity for diverse Science Fiction like that of Octavia Butler and Sherri L. Smith. “For All Time” is Shanna Miles’ latest work. FOLLOW SHANNA: website | Twitter | Instagram • BUY For All Time • BUY Willow Born MENTIONS: • Ingram Spark Self Publishing Tools • Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • PRE-ORDER Witchlings (Feb 2022, Scholastic) • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • PRE-ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom (May 2022, Disney) • Check out Kat’s Books FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die 
01:11:19
October 04, 2021
S4 E4: Ayana Gray & Claribel Ortega Saw My Tweet!
S4 E4: Ayana Gray & Claribel Ortega Saw My Tweet!
Claribel & Kat discuss burnout and some of the coping mechanisms they’ve found helpful to get them through. Then they interview debut author, Ayana Gray about the path it took to find the courage to write, how her path “crossed” Claribel & Kat’s along the way, and her highly anticipated debut novel, BEASTS OF PREY. CW: Discussions of death of a loved one and grief at 21:45 time point. Fast forward past that to 25:03 if this is triggering. Ayana BIO: Ayana Gray is an author of speculative works and lover of all things monsters, mythos, and #MelaninMagic. Originally from Atlanta, she now lives in Little Rock, Arkansas where she reads avidly, follows Formula 1 racing, and worries over her adopted baby black rhino, Apollo. Her highly anticipated young adult debut, BEASTS OF PREY, is coming out with Penguin Random House! • FOLLOW : website | Twitter | Instagram BUY Beasts of Prey MENTIONS: • Highlights Foundation • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • PRE-ORDER Witchlings (Feb 2022, Scholastic) • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • PRE-ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom (May 2022, Disney) • Check out Kat’s Books • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die 
01:32:52
September 27, 2021
S4 E3: Graci Kim & Kiwis Just Want to Make Friends
S4 E3: Graci Kim & Kiwis Just Want to Make Friends
Claribel and Kat give updates on their upcoming books (Witchlings and Once Upon a K-Prom) and discuss comparison in publishing and how it disproportionately affects BIPOC. Then they interview bestselling author Graci Kim about her journey into publication and how she learned to embrace her Korean name and identity! CONTENT WARNING: Discussions of death of a child at 27:12 point. Skip to 28:54 to avoid that discussion. GRACI BIO: Graci Kim is a bestselling author of magic-infused middle grade books, who was vine-picked in Korea and sun-ripened in New Zealand. Her Korean mythology-inspired debut, The Last Fallen Star, published by Disney Hyperion (Rick Riordan Presents) and the first in the Gifted Clans trilogy, became an instant US bestseller. It was named by Indigo as a Best Book of 2021, was an Amazon Best Book Ages 9-12, and was selected by Publishers Lunch as a 2021 Buzz Book. Called a “sparkling yarn” by Entertainment Weekly, the book has been featured in TIME Magazine for Kids, Hypable, and Publishers Weekly; and has been optioned by the Disney Channel for a live-action television series. • FOLLOW GRACI: website | Twitter | Instagram BUY The Last Fallen Star PRE-ORDER The Cursed Carnival and Other Calamities  MENTIONS: • Graci’s TedTalk “The Hidden Power Behind Our Names” • Beach Read by Emily Henry • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • PRE-ORDER Witchlings (Feb 2022, Scholastic) • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • PRE-ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom (May 2022, Disney) • Check out Kat’s Books • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die 
01:10:39
September 21, 2021
S4 E2: Jason June & Getting Kicked In The Face by Kylie Minogue
S4 E2: Jason June & Getting Kicked In The Face by Kylie Minogue
Claribel & Kat answer a listener question about writing character voice and perspective. Then they interview Jason June about getting kicked in the face by Kylie Minogue and the journey from writing Picture Books to writing Young Adult! BIO: Jason June is a gay, genderqueer, list-making, Virgo Sun, Taurus Moon, Pokémon-playing writer living in Austin, TX. If he had a Gay Agenda, "marry the love of your life", "be mom to two extremely pampered Pomeranians," and "get accidentally kicked in the face by Kylie Minogue as an extra in her music video" would all be crossed off. • FOLLOW : website | Twitter | Instagram MENTIONS: • Buy Jay’s Gay Agenda • Buy Whobert Whover, Owl Detective • The Art of Character • The Emotional Craft of Fiction • Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto • Legendborn by Tracy Deonn • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • PRE-ORDER Witchlings (Feb 2022, Scholastic) • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • PRE-ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom (May 2022, Disney) • Check out Kat’s Books • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die 
01:12:28
September 13, 2021
S4 E1: Misa Sugiura & Inviting Your Entire Mailing List
S4 E1: Misa Sugiura & Inviting Your Entire Mailing List
We’re Back! In the season 4 premiere, Kat and Claribel share what they did over summer break and share big news about the future of Write or Die. Then they interview Misa Sugiura about her publishing journey, differences between releasing a book in 2021 vs before 2020, and creating boundaries between author identity and private personal life. BIO: Misa Sugiura’s ancestors include a poet, a priestess, a samurai, and a stowaway. Her first novel It’s Not Like It’s A Secret, won the Asian Pacific Islander American Librarians’ Association’s Award for Young Adult Literature; Her latest book, Love & Other Natural Disasters has been praised by the American Library Association as "hilariously awkward" and "honestly poignant." • FOLLOW : Website | Twitter | Instagram BUY Love and Other Natural Disasters BUY It’s Not Like It’s A Secret MENTIONS: • Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan • Becky Albertalli’s post about Queer Gatekeeping • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • PRE-ORDER Witchlings (Feb 2022, Scholastic) • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • PRE-ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom (May 2022, Disney) • Check out Kat’s Books • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die 
01:07:17
August 30, 2021
S3 E26: Liselle Sambury & The Werewolf Romance
S3 E26: Liselle Sambury & The Werewolf Romance
In the Season Finale episode, Claribel and Kat answer some listener questions about drafting, querying, and submission. Then they interview debut author Liselle Sambury about her early writing, learning and growing from past mistakes, and how she uses YouTube to connect to the community LISELLE BIO: Liselle Sambury is a Trinidadian-Canadian author who grew up in Toronto, and her brand of writing can be described as “messy Black girls in fantasy situations.” In her free time, she shares helpful tips for upcoming writers and details of her publishing journey through a YouTube channel dedicated to helping demystify the sometimes complicated business of being an author. • FOLLOW Liselle: website | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube BUY Blood Like Magic ADD Butcherbirds on Goodreads MENTIONS: • Kate from Paper Fury • Liselle’s Video about her learning experience with problematic narratives • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • PRE-ORDER Witchlings (Feb 2022, Scholastic) • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • PRE-ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom (May 2022, Disney) • Check out Kat’s Books • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die 
01:41:29
June 14, 2021
S3 E25: Anna Meriano & Sorry Literary Fiction
S3 E25: Anna Meriano & Sorry Literary Fiction
Claribel and Kat talk about “parasocial relationships” and how it affects authors and their mental health. Then they talk to Anna Meriano about IP, MFA’s and her new book about fandom and fans reclaiming safe spaces for themselves! Bio: Anna Meriano grew up in Houston, Texas, with an older brother and a younger brother but (tragically) no sisters. She graduated from Rice University with a degree in English and earned her MFA in creative writing with an emphasis in writing for children from the New School in New York. She has taught creative writing and high school English and works as a writing tutor. Anna likes reading, knitting, playing full-contact quidditch, and translating English song lyrics into Spanish and vice-versa. Her favorite baked goods are the kind that don't fly away before you eat them. • Follow Anna Online: website | Twitter • BUY This is How We Fly • FOLLOW CLARIBEL: Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | TikTok • www.claribelortega.com • Check out all of Claribel’s books • PRE-ORDER Witchlings (Feb 2022, Scholastic) • FOLLOW KAT: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | TikTok • www.katchowrites.com • PRE-ORDER Once Upon a K-Prom (May 2022, Disney) • Check out Kat’s Books • FOLLOW WRITE OR DIE: Twitter | Instagram  • Write or Die Episodes • Join our WorDie community! • Learn more about Write or Die 
01:17:51
May 31, 2021
S3 E24: Rita Williams Garcia & All Vibes, No Plot
S3 E24: Rita Williams Garcia & All Vibes, No Plot
Claribel and Kat discuss how they make promo that’s fun for them and which incorporates their personalities. Then they talk to hilarious bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia about what it was like when she first got started in publishing, how she goes back and forth between Middle Grade & Adult, and some great advice for authors at all level! BIO: Rita Williams-Garcia is the New York Times bestselling author of novels for young adults and middle grade readers.  Her most recent novel, Gone Crazy in Alabama ends the saga of the Gaither Sisters, who appear in One Crazy Summer and PS Be Eleven.  Her n