Episode 34 – Man Flu Mayhem and Special Guest Tanya Gibson

By Damien Newbie Writers Podcast 2 Comments on Episode 34 – Man Flu Mayhem and Special Guest Tanya Gibson

Episode 34

Interview with Tanya Egan Gibson  author of  How To Buy a Love of Reading

Tanya’s Website: http://tanyaegangibson.com/

Tanya Egan Gibson’s debut novel, HOW TO BUY A LOVE OF READING, was published by Dutton in 2009 and has since been translated into Spanish and Italian. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in such publications as CARVE, CICADA, and MILK & INK: A MOSAIC OF MOTHERHOOD. Her articles about the craft of writing have appeared in THE WRITER magazine and an her article about being authentic at writers conferences appears in the current July/August 2012 issue of WRITER’S DIGEST.
Tanya lives in Marin County, California with her husband and two young children, where she teaches writing classes, consults with writers, and is at work on her second novel, LANDS, which is set in a fictional theme park.

Tell us about your book and how you came to write it.

I liked your web site particularly the section on How did reading saved you?  What is your story about how reading saved you?

Tanya published an article in The Writer,  “Use Your Camera as a Notebook –  Seven tips to building a convenient trove of information about everything from light, sky and shadows to clothing, hairstyles and architectural detail.

“I relied heavily on my camera to record details of the North Shore/Long Island Sound setting of HTBALOR.  And I’ve been using for over a year now to record details of amusement parks for my current novel-in-progress.  (It’s impossible to stop and write or type notes when you have two small children poised to run into the Long Island Sound or disappear into a crowd at Disneyland!)”

And this is interesting:
This is a class offered by Tanya this year:

“Who wants to hang out someplace boring? Not you. And not your readers, either.
Yet often while we worry about making our characters exciting and our plots clever, we relegate setting to backdrop–something to be decorated after the major story work is done. The result can be a story in which everything feels disconnected, unreal.
Envisioning the “world” of your fiction early and thoroughly, on the other hand, allows setting to shape your characters and propel them into action. Learn how to create a vibrant fictional world that catalyzes action (no more characters just sitting around thinking), deepens your characterization, and draws your readers in from the first page. Leave class excited to sit down at home and keep writing (instead of inventing excuses–e-mail, vacuuming, dog needs washing–for not doing it)!


Aspire to do something that hasn’t been invented.
What would you love to do that is completely impossible?
Write about it  – fiction is the first step to reality.

Word of the week:


It’s not easy to formulate a definition that matches the brevity of this useful little word. It means to unfairly acquire a property by bidding more than an offer from somebody else that has already been accepted by the seller. It’s used mainly in British or Australian English.

Some dictionaries suggest it comes from the Yiddish gezumph, to overcharge or cheat. This is supported by the word’s first meaning in English back in the 1920s, to swindle, but others are less sure. These days it is always applied to house purchase.

It takes up to three months in most parts of the UK to exchange formal contracts on the sale of a house. So there’s plenty of time for the gazumper to persuade the seller to accept his higher offer and unceremoniously dump the previous buyer who thought he had a firm agreement. Of course, it takes two to gazump — honest householders stick to their word. But at times when prices are rising rapidly or demand is high, cupidity is easily excited by a substantially improved offer. The term can also be applied to a form of sting in which the person who has agreed to buy is persuaded to increase their offer because of a real or fictitious claim that a better one has been made by somebody else.

When the housing market is depressed, a stranger term appears, to gazunder, in which buyers arbitrarily reduce the offered price, usually near the date of exchange of contracts when there is little chance of the seller finding another purchaser. This appeared in the late 1980s, and is a rather curious blend of gazump and under. It has no connection with the colloquial use of gazunder for a chamber pot, so called because it usually “goes under” the bed.

Bring out Your Dead:

(Or raw, new uncooked poems)
a hand written life.

we were graded on handwriting,
big cursive
over the bloated belly
of capital S.

What I should have been learning,
back in third grade
is how to switch hit careers
in under a minute
how to plug in – control – access the hour
from zero
to 60 across a
traffic clogged highway
maneuvering  between
cars on pause

I should have learned to read
fluid maps  that erased like etch-a-sketches
as we bumped forward

Instead  I struggled to scribe
the perfect cursive, capital T
the swoosh at the crown

never remotely
resembling the pre-printed

Shout Outs:

Lorijo Metz: @scifiwritermom
Ren Thompson: @Ren_Thompson

Tanya Egan Gibson – How To Buy a Love of Reading



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  • EditorProofer
    Posted on May 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Poor Julian with the spiders. A similar thing happened to me as a child. I was supposedly trying to avoid going to bed one night and came out and told Mum that there was a snake under my bed. She got very cranky and told me to stop being so silly. At my insistence she came to look and sure enough, there was a (dead) snake under there. Our cat had brought me a little pressie LOL.

  • Anne
    Posted on May 30, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Hi guys, I am still listening to all of your podcasts, and I look forward to each one. I haven’t been commenting much (or blogging or tweeting) because I have been very busy writing. Oh, and negotiating with a publisher. I can’t believe it, I have been offered a contract and my book is going to be published early next year. Thanks so much for all of your support (for me and other newbie writers). If your goal is to help writers improve their writing and get published, you’re going a fantastic job.

    PS, if you want some feedback about your ‘retarded’ remark, I can give you some (my son has got Down syndrome). As one who has a very bad case of foot in mouth disease myself, I say don’t worry about it. And good on you for talking about it on your show.

    PPS. Who hasn’t heard of gazumping?

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