Favorite interviews from How To Write The Future, part 1

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Favorite How To Write The Future interviews, part 1 – How To Write the Future podcast, episode 76

“Highlighting today five of my favorite interviews from the past of How To Write The Future.”

In this special episode of How To Write the Future podcast, host Beth Barany shares clips from five of her favorite interviews from past episodes featuring Keri Kruspe, Cat Tully, Susie deVille, Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer, and Melissa Clark-Reynolds. Beth also invites listeners to share their favorite episodes on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter: @ BethBarany.

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Keri Kruspe https://writersfunzone.com/blog/2023/09/13/science-fiction-romance-and-ai-tools-with-keri-kruspe/

Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer https://writersfunzone.com/blog/2023/05/22/represent-native-peoples-accurately-in-your-fiction-with-sarah-elisabeth-sawyer-part-1/

Susie deVille https://writersfunzone.com/blog/2023/03/06/change-your-book-marketing-mindset-interview-with-susie-deville-part-1/

Melissa Clark-Reynolds https://writersfunzone.com/blog/2023/02/06/tips-for-writing-into-the-future-interview-with-foresight-practitioner-melissa-clark/

Cat Tully https://writersfunzone.com/blog/2022/10/17/15-interview-with-cat-tully-school-of-international-futures-founder/

About the How To Write the Future podcast 

The *How To Write The Future* podcast is for science fiction and fantasy writers who want to write positive futures and successfully bring those stories out into the marketplace. Hosted by Beth Barany, science fiction novelist and creativity coach for writers. We cover tips for fiction writers. This podcast is for readers too if you’re at all curious about the future of humanity.

This podcast is for you if you have questions like:

– How do I create a believable world for my science fiction story?

– How do figure what’s not working if my story feels flat?

– How do I make my story more interesting and alive?

This podcast is for readers too if you’re at all curious about the future of humanity.

Transcript for Favorite How To Write The Future interviews, part 1

Hey, everyone. Welcome to a special episode of How to Write the Future. I am your host, Beth Barany. I am a writing teacher science fiction and fantasy writer. And host of How To Write The Future, a podcast where we focus on how to write positive, optimistic futures into our stories because I believe that what we vision and what we envision we can make it so into our stories. And also that deeply impacts our readers.

A Special Episode

So, this is a special episode. As I said, I am highlighting today five of my favorite interviews from the past of How To Write The Future. And then we have another upcoming episode right after this, that will also highlight five more favorite interviews, making for a total of 10. 

These are in no particular order. And I will introduce each one.

Intro to Cat Tully 

So first off, I’m going to start with Cat Tully. She runs the School of International Futures, and I interviewed her all about what inspired her to do the work she does. All right. Let’s listen to the short excerpt with Cat.

Cat Tully

In the foreign office policy planning staff. And then the government changed in the UK and the space for doing long-term thinking actually shrank. And we’ve been doing amazing work from the UK like still capacity of the, of the government to do long term thinking really well.

And, and then I was like, well, you know, I really want to continue doing that outside of government and share what we’ve learned, but also create a space to focus on those three things that I had as an initial hypothesis, which is like, we can do so much better at teaching how to use this to create transformation impact, right?

Mm-Hmm. Like, this isn’t just about using, you know, thinking about scenarios, or it’s about doing it with purpose to create change

Intro to Susie deVille 


In my excerpt next with Susie deVille, it’s mostly me talking about what inspires me in a little bit of a soapbox with Susie supporting that all the way. Enjoy.

My whole quest, these last 16 plus years, is how do I make business feel like I’m in a creative act.


This is perfect.


Yeah. When I was starting my business, I even interviewed people, other creative writers, and I’m like, how do you do this business thing and make it fun?

And half the time people are giving me MBA answers that made me just




fall over. And


Stab yourself in the eyeball.


I know, yeah. I’m just like, I think I’m gonna take a nap now. That was 16-plus years ago. And, and now more than ever, it’s so important that people find the joy and find the love and find the passion.

For the last few years, I say to myself, life’s too short. We need to do what we love.

That was in 2016, I was guiding myself that way. And then the pandemic, and of course all this extreme weather, although today it’s beautiful here

It’s like, why are we trying to do things the old way when they clearly don’t work?

Capitalism has been so exploitative, and I don’t wanna exploit myself. I wanna be in the place of joy and love and the things that drive me to be a storyteller.

So anyway, that’s some premise thoughts that where I’m coming from.


Fire all that at me. That’s perfect. That’s all perfect. Let’s go.


Okay. Thank you for letting me totally do the soapbox thing.


Oh, it’s so fun.

Intro to Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer 


The next episode, I want to introduce to you as an excerpt with my conversation with Sarah Elizabeth Sawyer, sharing with us the important work she does in bringing an understanding of native cultures to writers. Enjoy.

I would love for you to introduce yourself to our audience.


Halito Beth and everyone, sv hohchifo yvt, Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer Chahta sia hoke.

Hi, my name is Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer and I am Choctaw. I’m a tribal member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and Yakoke, thank you, Beth, for having me on the podcast. I know this is gonna be a lot of fun.


Oh, I’m so glad that you’re here and you are also a writing teacher and teach on this topic, and I know you have been teaching online and in person.

And I thought I would start today with this wonderful question — and so thank you for the questions that you provided, and I will also have some for you.

And I love your first question here, which is: what is the appeal to science fiction and fantasy authors to base characters or their fictional worlds on native history and culture?


The reason why I put that question out to you is whenever I created my course Fiction Writing American Indians, I knew there were a lot of authors out there, native and non-native, who were looking for information, who wanted to know how to accurately and respectfully write about native people, and they didn’t have a lot of resources.

So I taught some in-person workshops, and then I created the digital course. And what amazed me as I got it out there, started putting the word out there, is how many fantasy and sci-fi authors were attracted to the course. That was easily half of the people who were contacting me and telling me about their story, about their story worlds that they were creating, and how they wanted to include indigenous people in a way that was still accurate, even though it’s a completely fantasy world, right?

It’s fantasy people groups or sci-fi, and so it’s these completely different worlds, but they were basing ’em on indigenous cultures. And so even though they’re completely fictional, they still didn’t want the stereotypes. They still didn’t want to be cheesy and be stereotyping Indigenous people.

They wanted to have this real, authentic feel to their fantasy worlds.

And so I’ve had so many fantasy and sci-fi authors contact me about that. And I think it’s a challenge for any author writing about another culture, especially if it’s not their own.

Intro to Melissa Clark Reynolds 


And this next excerpt, enjoy conversation with my friend and futurist colleague, Melissa Clark Reynolds, based in New Zealand and a little bit about the work she does. Enjoy.

We met in a futures course in the UK. And have you done this work in New Zealand primarily, or you’ve done it around the world?


I’m mostly in New Zealand though I have done quite a bit of work, in Australia and in the UK. And I got to keynote, the Ontario Sheep Farmers Conference last year.

So, yeah. So, I mean, I have, I guess New Zealand is a, a lamb country in lots of ways.

produce a, a lot of, meat and dairy are our biggest exports, and so I have a particular interest in those largely because that’s who will pay me. 


Yeah. Right, right. That’s so great. 

And, and like you said, we, we met at a training the summer School for International Futures one-week intensive.

And something that I really took away from that is a lot of people who were there were very eclectic, had very eclectic backgrounds, and were already quite good at cross-thinking, you know, thinking across disciplines.

You’re not in software today, right? You don’t work in software now, but how, how did that work, like lend itself to your work in, in future foresight?


I’ve always been one of those entrepreneurs that was just a few steps ahead of the market, and sometimes that’s a virtue, and sometimes it’s a recipe for going broke.

It was of no great surprise to me that my orientation was to the future and I think I’ve always been like that as an entrepreneur, and software I’ve always been wanting to create things that didn’t exist.

Intro to Keri Kruspe 


In this fifth excerpt, enjoy a snippet of my conversation with Keri Kruspe, a science fiction romance author, and one of my former clients.


So welcome, Keri.

You and I have known each other for a long time, and please tell us about yourself and anything else you’d like to do to introduce yourself.


Yeah, I’m so excited to be here with you today, Beth, I cannot tell you. Like Beth mentioned, we’ve known each other for a little while. As a matter of fact, without Beth, I would not be a published author today. I started doing this later in my life, which is fine. I started in my fifties to write and I’d always known I was gonna be a writer.

I wrote my first Star Trek episode when I was 11. And I still have it, believe it or not. It’s something that I just had always known in the back of my mind that I was gonna become a writer. I am an avid reader. My first love was science fiction. I got my first books when I was in my mid-teens.

You know, everything from Isaac Asimov to Heinlein to, okay, I’m gonna throw a Piers Anthony in there. I know he’s not really science fiction, but he’s so weird. I love him anyway.

And then I found my second love in my early twenties, and that’s romance. And I loved romance. I read romance all the time. I even read romance when I was on my honeymoon, my poor husband, which we’ve been married for over 40 years, so it’s fine.

And then when Paranormal Romance came along, I started reading a lot of that with vampires and werewolves and whatever.

Then science fiction romance was born. Oh my god. I thought, whew, life is wonderful. And so I started reading a lot of those.

Some of my favorites is an author called Tracy St. John. Another one is Susan Grant’s.

There’s a couple things that I kind of don’t like. I, I don’t like some of the shorter stories that are just, and I apologize if this is gonna sound snooty, but it’s like just an erotic fest.

Well, I like erotica too, but when I’m reading a story, I wanna read a story, not just the sex scenes, which I do enjoy those as well.

My first book is called An Alien Exchange and what it was is I got tired of all these earth women being kidnapped and finding aliens and immediately, they all just bond and have sex everywhere and blah, blah blah.

So I’m like, well, that’s just kind of silly. I’m gonna make it so that these women who read science fiction romance get offered to join an Alien exchange program to where they can meet the alien mate of their dreams because everything they read about was actual in real life. And so that some of the aliens in the exchange program- if you read Science Fiction romance and she would’ve recognized them.

But I have to tell you though, even though I was an avid reader for decades when I first started writing, no offense, it was crap. And without Beth and the school that I was a part of for at least a couple of years, I would never have been able to get off the ground because you get arrogant and you think, well, I read all this and I know exactly what I’m doing.

Thanks for Listening + What’s Your Favorite Interview Episode? 


Thanks for listening to this list of my top five in no particular order. Favorite interviews from How To Write The future over the last year. And stay tuned for the next episode where I go into my next top five. I hope you will like and subscribe and follow along. And also let me know: what was your favorite interview episode from this last year? Or from all of the past episodes of How To Write The Future? I’d love to hear. I will be doing another wrap up episode like this next year in 2024.

Gift for You!

That’s it for this week.

Everyone be sure to also sign up for our World-building Workbook for Fiction Writers if you would like tips on how to build your storyworld.

That’s it for now.

Write long and prosper.

Loved this episode? Leave us a review and rating here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/2012061


Image of Beth Barany

Beth Barany teaches science fiction and fantasy novelists how to write, edit, and publish their books as a coach, teacher, consultant, and developmental editor. She’s an award-winning fantasy and science fiction novelist and runs the podcast, “How To Write The Future.”


Learn more about Beth Barany at these sites: 


Author siteCoaching site / School of Fiction / Writer’s Fun Zone blog



Contact Beth: https://writersfunzone.com/blog/podcast/#tve-jump-185b4422580

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EDITED WITH DESCRIPT: https://www.descript.com?lmref=_w1WCA

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SHOW NOTES by Kerry-Ann McDade


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