Essays that start light, then hit hard: Episode 312 with Mary Laura Philpott

Essays that start light, then hit hard: Episode 312 with Mary Laura Philpott

Fave return guest alert! We talked to Mary Laura Philpott in episode 71–#YouandYourBookstore, back when she was a Parnassus Books guru. And then in Episode 150: #NeverReady, when MLP (as we like to call her) launched her first book of essays, I Miss You When I Blink, into the world—and then again, for episode 163 #BookTourReality.

And now she’s back with a new book of essays: Bomb Shelter: Love, Time and other Explosives. (Read an excerpt here. And here. And then go order the book here.) The difference? Blink was, as MLP says, a book of essays that, together, became a memoir. Bomb Shelter is a memoir that took on the form of a book of essays—essays that went deeper than those shared in Bomb Shelter, that cut so much closer to the heart and were so much harder to write, and to share.

Links from the Pod:


Mary Laura’s newsletter

Bomb Shelter


MLP: The Arc, Tory Henwood Hoen

The Mutual Friend, Carter Bays

Iona Iverson's Rules for Commuting, Clare Pooley

KJ: Lessons in Chemistry, Bonnie Garmus

Olga Dies Dreaming, Xochitl Gonzalez

Jess: Girl in Ice, Erica Ferencik

Also mentioned: The Sober Diaries, Clare Pooley

Mitchell’s Book Corner

Stories of Your Life and Others, Ted Chiang

COMING JULY 1: It’s the #AmWriting Blueprint for a Book Challenge! 10 episodes, 10 guests, 10 weeks to you being ready to write your best novel, memoir or non-fiction book this fall. There will be homework. There will be deadlines. Complete all 10 weeks, and you could win a critique of that Blueprint from KJ or Jennie Nash—but you’ll already be a winner, because you’ll have a plan that will put you way ahead of the game. Play for free—or reserve an Author Accelerator critique for your finished product to hold your feet to the fire and make sure you do the work and get bonus episodes and write-alongs. Want details? Ready to sign up? CLICK HERE.

PS: Along those lines, Author Accelerator has opened registration for the 2022 Manuscript Incubator, an intensive, 7 month coaching opportunity that offers one-one-one support and guidance for novelists and memoirists planning to have a submission-ready project by early 2023—and includes the opportunity to have that project reviewed by a group of agents and editors when it’s ready. For more information, head to authoraccelerator.com/manuscript-incubator.

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.