First Draft Episode #193: Kate Spencer
Kate Spencer, comedian, author of Dead Mom’s Club: A Memoir, essayist, and co-host of fabulous podcast Forever35 talks about the never-ending quest for confidence, exorcising grief and pain through writing, and how a podcast about serums became a podcast about feelings.
Links and Topics Mentioned In This Episode
Amy Poehler, comedian, actress, writer, and director, who is not from the same town Kate is from, but they both grew up “outside Boston”
Early on in childhood Kate fell for The BabySitter’s Club books by Ann M. Martin, and the Sweet Valley Twins series by Francine Pascal, and then she fell for Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
The film Grease is not actually appropriate for young kids, it turns out
When she moved to New York City, Kate signed up for classes at the UCB Theater and rose through the ranks in the improv community
The two writers I mention who went to Vermont College for Children’s Writing well into their careers are Ally Condie, author of Matched, The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe, and more (listen to her First Draft interview here) and Brendan Reichs, author of Nemesis, Virals, and co-author with Ally Condie of The Darkdeep
The poet Taije Silverman has written about the grief of caring for her dying mother, and Kate found her work while grieving for her own loss
Kate and her Forever35 podcast co-host Doree Shafrir’s conversation on the By the Book podcast, in which Kate discusses finding Twilight by Stephenie Meyer while grieving and how it inspired her to write
“How I Finally Let Go of Grief for my Dead Mom,” Kate’s piece in Buzzfeed about the pain of letting go of grief
Holly Root, founder of Root Literary, is Kate’s literary agent
Kate’s husband is Anthony King, who has written for TV shows Silicon Valley, Broad City, Search Party, Playing House and more, and he co-wrote Beetlejuice: The Musical which has been nominated for eight Tony Awards, including best musical
Kate is writing in Scrivener, a writing program
Elana K. Arnold, author of Damsel, What Girls Are Made Of, Infandous, A Boy Called Bat, and more (listen to her First Draft interviews here and here) said in her interview with me that she feels like she might be ready to move on from writing about anger and feminism
A Cup of Jo is the website and newsletter run by Joanna Goddard that is packed
Cat Winters, whose recent book, The Raven’s Tale, called for her to research Poe a ton. In that process she discovered that Edgar Allen Poe’s #1 hater outlived him, then wrote his obituary and his first biography, which has shaped how we think about Poe to this day. (Listen to Cat’s First Draft episode here)
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