Resources for writers

For tech tips and tech resources for writers, including Scrivener coaching and classes, check out my website The Writer's Tech Stop

Reference Books*

Body Trauma: A Writer's Guide to Wounds and Injuries (Get It Write) by David W. Page. Originally published as part of the Writer's Digest Howdunit series, this has been an invaluable reference for me when trying to figure out how to describe wounds and injuries.

HowDunit--The Book of Poisons by Serita Stevens and Anne Bannon. My first reference point for deadly doses of poison, including snake, spider, and scorpion bites.

The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing by Jana DeLeon, Tina Folsom, Colleen Gleason, Jane Graves, Liliana Hart, Debra Holland, Dorien Kelly, Theresa Ragan, Denise Grover Swank, and Jasinda Wilder. These top indie authors share advice, give warnings, and talk about their personal experiences in indie publishing.

Scrivener for Dummies by Gwen Hernandez. This book helped me tremendously during my transition to using Scrivener.

Write. Publish. Repeat.: The No-Luck-Required, Guide to Self-Publishing Success by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant, with David Wright. As they themselves have said, here's where to get their self-publishing advice without the BS that's often present on the podcast.

The Writer's Digest Character Naming Sourcebook by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Very useful if you're looking to name a character of a particular ethnicity or want the character to have a name that carries a specific meaning.

NOTE: These are affiliate links.

Writing/Publishing Podcasts

There are a number of podcasts targeted at authors. Here are my favorites:

The Creative Penn Podcast hosted by Joanna Penn. This is my all-time favorite writing related podcast. Joanna is a savvy and enthusiastic author entrepreneur who provides fantastic business and marketing information. Her optimism is my antidote to the negativity often expressed in the industry. Plus, I love the way she explores new niches and trends in publishing. If you love to travel, then check out her Books and Travel podcast under her J.F. Penn name to hear interviews with writers about the places that have impacted them the most.

Ink in Your Veins  (formerly How Do You Write) by Rachael Herron. Fascinating interviews where authors reveal details about their writing process.

QuitCast for Writers with Becca Syme This started as a video-only series on Youtube, but she's slowly putting audio-only episodes out for regular podcast apps.

Writing Excuses (hosts vary by season) I particularly recommend the elemental genre breakdowns they did in 2016 (Season 11).

AskAlli: Self-Publishing Advice Podcast. This podcast feed comes from the Alliance of Independent Authors. It has several recurring podcasts for writers at varying stages of their careers.

Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing hosted by Mark Leslie Lefebvre. Mark is a long-time industry professional who formerly worked at Kobo and as of August 2019 works at Draft2Digital. His personal reflections on the topics raised during the interviews with his guests are by themselves worth the listen.

Writers, Ink. A podcast  that explores the business of writing.

Wish I'd Known Then...For Writers hosted by Jami Albright and Sara Rosett. I love that they ask writers not only what they'd wished they'd known, but to talk about failures. It's refreshing and encouraging to realize that even highly successful authors make mistakes.

Kobo Writing Life Podcast has some great interviews with authors.

Mark Dawson's Self Publishing Show hosted by Mark Dawson and James Blatch. They discuss self-publishing with a variety of people in the industry.

Retired or Paused Podcasts Worth Listening to the Back Episodes

The Writer's Well (formerly The Petal to the Metal) with Rachael Herron and J. Thorn. Down-to-earth conversations about what it's like to be a full-time writer. (Retired)

88 Cups of Tea hosted by Yin Chang. Fantastic interviews with creative people. You'll feel as if you're  listening in on a private conversation. (Retired)

Six Figure Authors
hosted by Lindsay Buroker, Joseph R. Lallo, and Andrea Pearson. A podcast aimed at helping writers take their careers to the next level. (On hiatus. They occasionally post an update.)

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Marketing Podcast hosted by Lindsay Buroker, Joseph Lallo, and Jeffrey M. Poole. Even though I don't write SFF, I found many of their interviews to be applicable to any genre. (Retired.)

The Smarty Pants Book Marketing Podcast hosted by Chris and Becca Syme. Actionable marketing advice for fiction and non-fiction writers. (Retired.)

Research Podcasts

Since I write thrillers, I love these podcasts for research pueposes.

Authors of Mass Destruction hosted by national security expert Dr. Natasha Bajema.

FBI Retired Case File Review by retired FBI agent Jerri Williams.

Writer's Detective Bureau hosted by police detective Adam Richardson.

Organizations* and Groups

The biggest help to my development as a writer has been finding a supportive writing community, whether online or local.

If you write genre fiction, there's likely a national organization, such as International Thriller Writers or Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America that you can join. Check to see if there are local meetings or casual gatherings of members. I've heard that also is a good resource for finding local writers to meet in person, but I have no personal experience with this.

Indie authors might want to check out the Alliance of Independent Authors. They do great advocacy work and have a lot of helpful information. I'm a member.

If you like Facebook, there are a number of Facebook groups for writers. Here are a few that I find particularly helpful: Wide for the Win (for non-KU authors), Marie Force's Author Support NetworkSix Figure Authors, and Mark Dawson's SPF Community.

Mystery, suspense, and thriller writers should consider joining the Crime Scene Questions for Writers online group over at This is a forum where you can post research questions and get them answered by experts from law enforcement and the forensic medical community.


No matter where you are in your career as a writer, there is always something new to learn. Luckily, you don't have to leave home to access writing classes for all levels. Here are some of my favorite sites that offer online classes for writers:

Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch offer lectures and workshops covering both the craft and the business of writing through their WMG Publishing company.

Savvy Authors provides a variety of online resources for writers, including online classes. offers online writing classes.


The Hidden Benefits of NaNoWriMo. I interview Shannon Monroe from the San Francisco Area chapter of RWA (SFA-RWA) about her long-term experience with NaNo. From the November 2015 issue of SFA-RWA's newsletter Heart of the Bay.

Stand Up and Write is about working at a standing desk. It went up on September 22, 2014 onthe blog of the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal chapter of RWA.

How Conferences and Workshops Can Benefit Writers of Any Level originally appeared in the February 2013 edition of Author Entrepreneurship Magazine.

Write What You Know Musings on how a writer doesn't have to experience the activities she writes about.

Paying It Forward - To Yourself Thoughts on doing things today that will help you in the future.

my writing related pinterest boards

Vanessa Kier - AuthorWriting InspirationFollow On
Vanessa Kier - AuthorMisc Writing StuffFollow On

* Disclaimer: Certain links to books and organizations on this page are affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, the seller will pay me a small commission for your purchase or membership.


Receive snippets-of-life stories, writing updates, sneak peeks, and other exclusive content such as The SSU/WAR Bonus Pack when you join the KierDevils newsletter.



I value your privacy and will never spam you.

You can unsubscribe at any time.  Privacy Policy