Mar 19, 2021 • 35M

Episode 255 The Power of Writing as Play with Nalini Singh

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Entertaining, actionable advice on craft, productivity and creativity for writers and journalists in all genres, with hosts Jessica Lahey, KJ Dell'Antonia and Sarina Bowen.

Nalini Singh is a romance writer. Or, she was a romance writer until she decided she wanted to write a thriller. Jess and Sarina had so much fun talking about genre hopping and writing the books that speak to you. There’s no requirement that we stay in our lanes, Nalini reminded us. We also took some time to lament our dearly missed in-person writers conferences and Nalini gushed about the joy of afternoon teas with her superfans.

Sarina often points to Nalini’s email newsletter as one of the best she’s read, so we are linking to it here and you should absolutely sign up. She offers bonus content and glances behind the scenes of her life as a writer in New Zealand.

Finally, Nalini reminds of the power of play in writing. She wrote her thrillers as exercises in play, something with no deadlines attached, and offers this sage advice:

“Don’t be afraid to write the book that wants to be different from all the rest.”

With that, go forth and play with your words, but go visit Nalini Singh’s website first.


Nalini: The entire J.D. Robb backlist

Sarina: Darkroom by Kate Willoughby (part of Sarina’s World of True North)

Jess: Simon v. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

KJ here, popping in to tell y’all about what happened for me with Author Accelerator this week. I needed a fresh “cold read” of a book that everyone close to me has now read about twelve times, so Author Accelerator set me up with a brand new coach. For $2k (yes, you have to pay for expertise) she read my 320 page manuscript in a weekend and answered all my questions (I had some very specific things I needed help with). I’m wrapping up a revision for my new editor now and I couldn’t be happier. I love that they could do that for me—and I still love the thought that maybe I could become that coach for someone else. If that turns you on, too, head to to learn more—or if you’re looking for editorial eyes, check in at

Jess here, to rave about all I continue to learn at The Great Courses Plus. I’ve been on a Jamestown kick, a Victoria kick, a great women in writing jag, and even traveled to Ireland recently in a travel video and again through a course on paganism in Europe. Who knows what I will be learning next week. Sometimes I listen to random classes just to see if I like the topic, and if not, who cares! Try another! You can get a month free if you use the link Go forth and learn something!