Your backstage pass to the world’s most prolific authors

JD Barker
Christine Daigle
Kevin Tumlinson
Jena Brown

What does it take to succeed as a writer? Join hosts J.D. Barker, Christine Daigle, Kevin Tumlinson and Jena Brown as they pull back the curtain and gain rare insight from the household names found on bookshelves worldwide.

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Jennifer Givhan knows the power of cultural storytelling. In her latest novel, River Woman, River Demon, she draws heavily from her and her husband’s own Latina, Indigenous, and Black heritage to create a thrilling mystery infused with organic, emotional experiences. Jennifer is the award-winning author of novels like Trinity Sight and Jubilee and an accomplished poet. To purchase River Woman, River Demon, follow the link below.


Jennifer Givhan, a National Endowment for the Arts and PEN/Rosenthal Emerging Voices Fellow, is a Mexican-American writer and activist from the Southwestern desert and the author of four full-length poetry collections: Landscape with Headless Mama (2015 Pleiades Editors’ Prize), Protection Spell (2016 Miller Williams Poetry Prize Series chosen by Billy Collins), Girl with Death Mask (2017 Blue Light Books Prize chosen by Ross Gay), and Rosa’s Einstein (Camino del Sol Poetry Series, University of Arizona Press 2019). Her novels include Trinity Sight (2019) and Jubilee (forthcoming) from Blackstone Publishing. Her other honors include the Frost Place Latinx scholarship, a National Latinx Writers’ Conference scholarship, the Lascaux Review Poetry Prize, Phoebe Journal’s Greg Grummer Poetry Prize, the Pinch Poetry Prize, and the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize 2nd place. Her work has appeared in Best of the Net, Best New Poets, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, The New Republic, Ploughshares, POETRY, The Rumpus, TriQuarterly, Boston Review, AGNI, Crazyhorse, Witness, Southern Humanities Review, Missouri Review, The Kenyon Review, and many others. She lives in New Mexico with her family near the Sleeping Sister Volcanoes.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • Why writing about magic is so important
  • How being a mother enriches your writing
  • How to use unreliable narration
  • Jennifer’s writing process


J. D. Barker –

J. Thorn –

Zach Bohannon –

Christine Daigle –

Jennifer Givhan –

River Woman, River Demon

Three Story Method: Writing Scenes – 

Best of BookTook – 

Story Rubric –  

Nonfic Rubric –  

Scene Rubric – 

Proudly sponsored by Kobo Writing Life – and Atticus –

Music by Nicorus – 

Voice Over by Rick Ganley – and recorded at Mill Pond Studio –

Audio production by Geoff Emberlyn – 

Website Design by Word & Pixel –

Contact – 

*Full disclosure: Some of the links are affiliate links.

1 Comment

  1. Christopher Wills

    2 years ago  

    Interesting interview with Jennifer.
    Like Zach I was interested in Jennifer’s discussion of the Hero’s Journey for the female character. I have read The Heroine’s Journey by Gail Carriger and ‘The Virgin’s Promise’ by Kim Hudson, both of which are excellent guides to a story for male or female characters.
    The main difference between the 3 Journeys is that the Hero’s Journey is mostly an external story suggesting the physical structure to a story and the 2 Female Journeys are mostly internal journeys. The great news is one could use all three in the same story, on the same character. And if one adds John Yorke’s ‘3-D Roadmap of Change’ from ‘Into the Woods’ one could end up with a Pulitzer prize-winning masterpiece of character breakdown and resurrection… or one unholy mess…
    I also enjoyed the idea Jennifer inferred that although life might appear to conspire to get in the way of being a writer, life might also give a writer a ton of experiences to help add depth to one’s writing.
    Great show today.

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