All Things Writing

My Wife and I Discuss Life as a Writer's Spouse, Books, and Other Writing Related Silliness

August 08, 2020 Bryan the Writer/Tanya Nowak Season 1 Episode 20
All Things Writing
My Wife and I Discuss Life as a Writer's Spouse, Books, and Other Writing Related Silliness
All Things Writing
My Wife and I Discuss Life as a Writer's Spouse, Books, and Other Writing Related Silliness
Aug 08, 2020 Season 1 Episode 20
Bryan the Writer/Tanya Nowak

 On August 3rd, 2020, my wife and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary. So I thought it might be fun if, this week, I bring her on the show to talk about being the spouse of a writer. We talked about what she likes to read, things that surprised her about my writing, and what she enjoys about being the souse of a writer. 

I asked her to talk a little bit about how important patience is when you are the spouse of a writer. Turns out, you need a healthy dose of patience when dealing with me (her words not mine).

So, without further ado, here is my wife and I in a conversation about what it is like living with a writer.

-Bryan the Writer

Thinking about starting your own podcast? Hit up the following link to find the best way to get your show up and running from a group just as passionate about podcasting as I am. 

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Show Notes Transcript

 On August 3rd, 2020, my wife and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary. So I thought it might be fun if, this week, I bring her on the show to talk about being the spouse of a writer. We talked about what she likes to read, things that surprised her about my writing, and what she enjoys about being the souse of a writer. 

I asked her to talk a little bit about how important patience is when you are the spouse of a writer. Turns out, you need a healthy dose of patience when dealing with me (her words not mine).

So, without further ado, here is my wife and I in a conversation about what it is like living with a writer.

-Bryan the Writer

Thinking about starting your own podcast? Hit up the following link to find the best way to get your show up and running from a group just as passionate about podcasting as I am. 

Support the show (

Bryan: Welcome, everybody to all things writing. I am your host, Brian, the writer. And I want to thank you for joining us on the show today. This is, as I said, Show 20 I want to thank you all for making this show. An actual thing. We've got quite a few listeners out there and that's really, really good. That makes me super happy. I do ask two things. Number one, if you like the show you value the content, please hit subscribe, and also consider to make a donation to the show. I always have upcoming costs and I really appreciate any little bit that can help cover it all. This week was a very special week in the Nowak household, something had happened. That was very important. At least it was important to me I know it was important to one other member of my household This was the 24th wedding anniversary forum, my wife and I. So I thought it might be fun this week to do something a little bit different. This week, I thought it'd be fun to have my wife on as a guest. Now, as you may have already inferred from the title of the show and a little bit of the information that I put on the show notes, this show is all about basically learning how to live with a writer if you have a spouse who's a writer, if you are a writer yourself and you want to share a little bit of this information with your your other spouse, because I know sometimes at least I get the impression that it's probably not the easiest thing in the world to live with a writer. 

Tanya: Oh, you got that right. 

Bryan: Well, there you go. So anyway, this is my lovely wife Tanya, why don't you introduce yourself now remember that the people listening to this don't actually know you? They've never met you. They know know nothing about you. So give us a little bit about your background what you do, and I'm gonna drink my beer while you do that.

Tanya: Okay. Well, my name is Tanya. I come from Iowa. And Brian and I met going to Mankato State University, which is no longer Mankato State University is now the University of Minnesota, Mankato. Several years ago. Yep. So we've been married for half of our lives.

Bryan: Literally half of our lives we've been married longer than we have been unmarried at this point.

Tanya: Well, for you for not quite for me.

Bryan: Because you're a cradle robber. 

Tanya: By just a little bit.

Bryan: I will say that in 2013. When I sat down and started writing, I didn't know where that was going to Lead, I really had no idea. You know that my readers or my listeners, and my readers are going to be shocked to find out that I tend to dream very, very big. And if something doesn't stick, I tend to move on. But this is the longest I have been. I just finished writing book number nine, and I'm holding it back for a couple different reasons. But this has been going on this is not a passing fad at this point. I don't think neither is podcasting. At the rate we're going anyway. But I know one of the things I love about you is you're an avid reader. What do you like to read and why they've heard enough of me talking about what I like to read?

Tanya: Oh boy, I'm quite eclectic. And what I read, I will pick up a book that sounds interesting. Right now I am reading books about detectives and all fiction and cases that they work but before that I was reading a lot of fantasy which is in warlocks. And so I kind of go in phases of the type of books that I read. And you wouldn't know this one, but I have not always been an avid reader. There were many, many years that I didn't read and my teachers are like, Where are your book lists, you know, for English class, they'd make you keep a log of what books you read. And my list would almost always be empty. Until one of my middle school teachers got me into reading the Black Stallion series. Oh, yes.

Bryan: Black Stallion is very good series.

Tanya: Yeah, that was one of the first series that I read and I read every single book that I could get my hands on. They had the library. Another series then I got into was Trixie Belden, okay. Not a very common book. But my grandmother had a copy in her bin of books and I sat down to read And I thought, Oh, this is about a farm girl living out in the country who caught with her friends find little cases of their own to, to figure out so it's kind of like a kid's detective story series. So I read that one.

Bryan: I read the soup series when I was, you know, and I have in my biography that I wondered the hallways or the hallways, I rented the wonder the bookshelves of Eastview Elementary looking for books to read. And although I read a lot of ghost stuff, I found this book series called soup, and all of a sudden, the author's name escapes me, but it's about a character by the name of soup. And he's always getting himself into trouble. And he at one point, writes his name soup for president was one of the books and he wrote there was a lot of books. I mean, there was like 20 some odd 30 someone books, and he wrote soup for president on the side of the water tower in the city, but he ran out To paint so it ended up being souf. And I remember one of the best lines from that is somebody asking Who's souf?

Tanya: He didn't finish the p.

Bryan:  So that is that is why that was so cool. But what's so that that actually brings up a question? What is the first book you remember reading?

Tanya: The first book, I remember reading …

Bryan: I can tell you mine. Really, it was the Benny and Mac series the readers and elementary school, the Benny and Mac they were I remember the pages they were like, they were felt cut out creatures. They had taken pictures of on the pages and they made a book with it. And it was it was to help you learn to read and at that point, I was actually very fast reader. And, and I blew through those in no time flat. They were funny. Now those are prayer books. They are primary books. And those are the first books I remember reading was them.

Tanya: I don't remember all the characters in the first primary books I read all I know is that the dog's name was spot.

Bryan: Dick and Jane

Tanaya: Yes, Dick and Jane that's it.

Bryan: Dick and Jane and Jane and also the source of some of my favorite non PG jokes. This is a PG program by the way we don't we avoid explicit material or explicit words or anything that could get me into trouble with the audience.

Tanya: It doesn't take much trouble.

Bryan: I know so there are you know you're talking about the first series that you ever read. But nowadays it seems like you and I do like excuse me for example, I I burped by the way that's why so excuse me, boy. Oh boy. It's the beers coming back to haunt me now. It's a good beer. Yeah, it is a good beer. We're drinking a helis Beer which is something we fell in love with in Germany. Then I got at same every bear chase bear chase brewery out by personal, very, very good beer. Anyway, a lot of times these days I will finish a book and hand it off to you to read. We just did that with having a ball having adventures and ghosts sitting. How are you liking it, but by the way?

Tanya: I haven't gotten too far into it. Maybe, oh, a 10th of the book maybe has been rad. It's cute. I'm kind of having a hard time getting into the story though.

Bryan: It'll it does, it sort of starts out a little bit on a slow burn, but then it kind of catches catches up after a while. It's actually pretty good more towards the end. I enjoyed it at the end of the day. And in an upcoming I think, a week or two from now I'm going to actually do a show on book reviews. So that's one of the ones that I'm going to talk about, but um, what books have I read that I handed to you that you just hated? What may actually I suppose a better question, what would make you put a book down? What was it something that you would see in there that you would go? Oh, this is no good. And you read 50 Shades of Grey. So your tolerance for that it's going to be quite high.

Tanya: Well, I read all kinds of stuff.

Bryan: Well, I don't know that you have handed me any books that I have put down because I just couldn't read it. I didn't like it. I will say that one of the. So I've been a member of a couple of different book clubs. And while we were in Germany, there was one of the books that the gang decided to pick up and read was a zombie book came out as a movie. And we're like, oh, well, that movie was okay. Maybe the book will be okay, too. I absolutely hated the book. I read like the first, maybe five or six chapters like I can't read this anymore. But some of the book would that be?

Tanya: I don't remember the My memory is not that great. You know that.

Bryan: I know. Well, whatever it was about zombies. So you just want what was it that you didn't like about it? You just couldn't get into it?

Tanya: I just could not get into that storyline. Okay, what it was, um, it was on a timeline. So it gave you the timeline as those things happened that jumped around a little bit, but I just could not get into that story.

Bryan: So I, you know, I, as I said, I started writing in 2013. Now, this is the part of the show that's making me a little nervous because I want to know, I'm going to ask you to what is the most annoying part about I think I already know the answer to this question, but what is the most annoying part about me being a writer?

Tanya: You sitting there at your desk with your headphones on I'm trying to talk to you and you're not talking back to me? Because Well, you're not paying attention to me.

Bryan: No, creating my little worlds takes time.

Tanya: Yeah, you create your little world but it drives me nuts.

Bryan: Yeah. No,

Tanya: Because sometimes there's just things that you know, we need to talk about and, and you're not available to talk to. 

Bryan: You got to pat me on the shoulder. 

Tanya: I have to pat you on the shoulder?

Bryan: Yeah. Otherwise I will know that you're talking to me. No, you don't realize this.

Tanya: I thought you want me to pat you on the shoulder like you're doing a good job.

Bryan: Oh, yeah. No, that'll be good, too. Well, yeah, you're doing a good job here. So if you had a friend who was coming up to me or coming up to you and said, Tanya, I have a problem. My husband has decided to write a novel. Help me What should I do? What advice would you give them to survive the process?

Tanya: Oh, boy. Expect to be ignored. They're going to be absorbed in their writing and they're going to end up ignoring you. And that's just part of the process because they have things that they need to get out onto whether they're putting it on paper or on the computer, reading it, talking out loud, whatever their process is, they're gonna ignore you. 

Bryan: The voices demanded that way, by the way.

Tanya: Well, I know you have a lot of voices in my head demand that, that that really be the case. Um, have I ever written anything that you have come across and you said, Whoa, I'm married this man.

Tanya: Yeah, that was that I read your first book. And yes, I had no idea. I'm gonna rewrite no name. I had no idea that you had such


Unknown Speaker  13:01  

Twisted dark thoughts running around there in your head? I knew you were creative. Your mother always told me that you were creative. You could spend hours and hours by yourself in your room door closed playing with blocks or whatever and be perfectly happy all day long. creativity in that respect, I had no idea you would have such crazy stories.


Unknown Speaker  13:24  

What is what is it? Well, okay, then you look at it looking at it from from a different point of view, then what what is it that I have written that made you say, Oh, well, this is really cool. The story? Well, anything.


Unknown Speaker  13:40  

Oh, stories, books, whatever.


Unknown Speaker  13:42  

Well, I love your your Haley series, which started out as a


Unknown Speaker  13:49  

weekly radio type program,


Unknown Speaker  13:52  

there was a weekly it was an episodic series that turned eventually so those of you that don't know the story started out as an episodic series where I would write, basically, for my wife, I would I would write the about 2000 some odd words because, you know, for you writers out there. A lot of people generally say that when you're writing a chapter, it's going to be between 2000 to 4000 words on the average, try to stick to about 2000. I like them to be nice bite sized chunks. And I wrote those for my wife. And I would hand her the story, she would read it and it wouldn't be like a day or two later, I would get Okay, So when's the next part? Because she wanted to see how the story was progressing. So eventually, I just broke down and wrote the entire book because I was tired of it. So, Hayley, the space assassin was the original name of it, but now it's called you can buy it under the title of The gorian Chronicles, and I have the next book already written but I'm holding it back for reasons that I cannot divulge. It's a big secret. So we're going to hang on to have that one until a future date. But hopefully soon, you'll know a little more. I know right? You already read that you've already read the second.


Unknown Speaker  15:10  

Well, yeah, I know. But you know,


Unknown Speaker  15:12  

yay. People can read it.


Unknown Speaker  15:14  

Well, yes, indeed. So, okay, so we talked about being a supportive wife.


Unknown Speaker  15:19  

I try.


Unknown Speaker  15:21  

Now I do acknowledge in the back of the books, though, that, that I know there are times that you wanted to hit me in the back of the head with various objects. I try to keep the acknowledgement sections fresh and interesting. And put down that hole. Hit me in the back of the head with a whatever.


Unknown Speaker  15:41  

Well, you don't have acknowledgement sections, although in the books I read, because I read them before they go to, you know, out to the editor or publisher. Oh, well, they're there. Okay.


Unknown Speaker  15:52  

Well, except for except for the Dean cordain mystery series, the dean corny mystery series, that acknowledgement mostly is dedicated to my brother. There is of course, the central driver behind the character gene recording. Of course, yeah. So if you had a chance to change that one thing about being the wife of a writer, what should it be? What would you change? in general? Anything? If you had a magic wand, here's your magic wand. change something.


Unknown Speaker  16:29  

Oh, if I had a magic wand, what I would change hit me over the head with it.


Unknown Speaker  16:33  

That's step one. Yeah. Boom, that way I get your attention. Yeah. And then you know, I can get to you whatever conversation I need to get out.


Unknown Speaker  16:43  

Okay, that'd be easy.


Unknown Speaker  16:45  

What would you tell a future spouse of a writer that they need to keep in mind when they're reading their husband or wife stuff. For example, you you mentioned being a little shocked that no name And having these ideas in my head?


Unknown Speaker  17:03  

Well, yeah, because I never thought that you'd start doing, you know, research on how to get rid of bodies, or what I already knew to be found quickly, blood drains out when you cut specific arteries


Unknown Speaker  17:16  

meeting, you know,


Unknown Speaker  17:19  

pretty happy,


Unknown Speaker  17:20  

you're gonna kill somebody in in literature exsanguination is always the way to go. Let them bleed out. It's just too much fun.


Unknown Speaker  17:28  

how to properly burn a body, you know? Yeah,


Unknown Speaker  17:30  

it's extremely hard to burn a body. Actually, the amount of heat that is required to get the body to actually burn up is extremely hard to do,


Unknown Speaker  17:40  

right. And all of those Darker, darker stories that you'd like to write?


Unknown Speaker  17:44  

Yeah, so what would you tell that person?


Unknown Speaker  17:47  

I'm sorry, I forgot the question. Now that we leave off on that. So


Unknown Speaker  17:50  

the question would be, what would you tell that spouse of a writer to prepare them for this kind of thing.


Unknown Speaker  18:02  

I have no idea. Can we come back to that one later?


Unknown Speaker  18:05  

Yes, that one. Wow. And she didn't even have that much beer ladies and gentlemen.


Unknown Speaker  18:12  

So what do you think is the greatest part about being a writers wife?


Unknown Speaker  18:18  

I love being able to read the stories


Unknown Speaker  18:23  

before they get a lot of editing, because the story that you are putting out there before the editor gets ahold of it is 100% your story? Nobody has changed anything. Nobody has reordered your thoughts or moved sections around in your book or made changes to the descriptions or anything like that.


Unknown Speaker  18:46  

Well, they have undergone light edit.


Unknown Speaker  18:48  

Well, yeah, but that's your editing. That's not that's not somebody else's thoughts and ideas going into it. I like reading the Raw Story.


Unknown Speaker  18:58  

Because then I can help edit too.


Unknown Speaker  19:00  

Yes, yes, I wish you'd be more aggressive at that. That's what I would tell what I tell the future spouse of a writer. When they hand you the manuscript. Be be in there be in the in the, in the dregs of it, use a lot of reading. It's fine. It's important. It's critical that that reading gets there.


Unknown Speaker  19:25  

Yeah, but as you've stated before, my my tolerance for on not great writing is, is pretty high.


Unknown Speaker  19:34  

Well, it's it's Yeah, well in To be honest, I also read 50 Shades of Grey as well.


Unknown Speaker  19:41  

It's not quite right. I know.


Unknown Speaker  19:43  

It's not great writing at all.


Unknown Speaker  19:45  

But it was a storyline that I could follow and I didn't have to think about it


Unknown Speaker  19:49  

think I refer to it as mommy porn. It's probably the most I think you dead correct. thing to say about that?


Unknown Speaker  19:56  

I think you did.


Unknown Speaker  19:58  

Now the whole podcasting thing. What do you think about all that?


Unknown Speaker  20:04  

I do listen to your podcasts, do you? I do.


Unknown Speaker  20:07  

Oh, when do you listen to them?


Unknown Speaker  20:09  

when you're not around normally?


Unknown Speaker  20:11  

Oh, why?


Unknown Speaker  20:13  

Oh, okay, what I do. Okay.


Unknown Speaker  20:16  

Okay. Do you learn anything interesting?


Unknown Speaker  20:19  



Unknown Speaker  20:19  

Oh, okay.


Unknown Speaker  20:22  

Well, you know we've been married 24 years. Oh, that's I know all kinds of


Unknown Speaker  20:25  

stuff about you. That is very true that


Unknown Speaker  20:28  

your listeners don't know


Unknown Speaker  20:30  

yet. You're not gonna have to listen to this one.


Unknown Speaker  20:33  

Cuz you already know what,


Unknown Speaker  20:35  

I have to listen to this one because you're gonna edit it.


Unknown Speaker  20:37  

Well, I don't get it that much. I just do a little bit of post production. I eliminate the background noise that's about it. Let's see what else could be talked about. In writing? What kind of books would you like to see me write in the future.


Unknown Speaker  20:53  

I like your detective stories. I your your


Unknown Speaker  20:58  

your short your your Column the shorter badeen cordain the shorter novels, novelettes novellas,


Unknown Speaker  21:05  



Unknown Speaker  21:07  

novellas. I like the shorter stories that you can read through them. You've got a good, you know, short little story that you can read out in a couple of days. And


Unknown Speaker  21:16  

the Dean cordain mystery series is not actually for the think of heart. Being cordate is not a very nice person at all. He He is what I refer to as a misanthrope. He hates everybody, but he does all the wrong things for all the right reasons. But that's that steam. That's just the way he lives his life.


Unknown Speaker  21:38  

It's probably at least a PG 13. Ah, story.


Unknown Speaker  21:42  

I don't know that a hand it to a 13 year old


Unknown Speaker  21:46  

said at least babe.


Unknown Speaker  21:47  

Yeah, yeah. So there's a lot of things that we do on the road. We've got an event coming up here very soon. If they don't cancel it on us. The spirit fest is the one that I'm thinking. Oh, yeah. And


Unknown Speaker  22:02  

do you enjoy those events?


Unknown Speaker  22:05  

I do. There's some I, I do enjoy going to some of these events. I like the ones that are outside. You can walk around to the different tables and enjoy the fresh air and the scenery and meet people and find some books, other books to read new authors.


Unknown Speaker  22:24  

Sometimes these events actually end up costing you more than you make. Yes, yes, usually. Yeah, usually it's way worse.


Unknown Speaker  22:31  

But yeah, so yeah, I do enjoy him. I don't enjoy the ones at the libraries quite so much. enclosed and tight spaced. And yeah, that is they get very loud Yeah, they get very loud in there. Yeah,


Unknown Speaker  22:45  

we're like not not necessarily libraries, but wherever they're inside and auditorium or so what do you what would you tell a going back to the spousal angle? What would you tell a friend straighted spouse, what would be like a tip to help them survive? Well, what do you do? Do you? Do you go take a shot of whiskey Do you go kick the neighbor's cat? What do you how do you deal with it? The neighbors don't have a cat by the way. I just threw that in there but


Unknown Speaker  23:22  

they do have a dog but we don't go kick the dog either. No,


Unknown Speaker  23:25  

no, no. The other neighbor has a parrot. Anyway, but how do you work past those times and you want to hit me in the back of that with a frying pan which thank you for not doing that. By the way that would hurt.


Unknown Speaker  23:38  

I don't I haven't hit you with a frying pan yet


Unknown Speaker  23:40  

and we would need a new frying pan after


Unknown Speaker  23:43  

it is a new frying pan. I would hate to ruin that it is


Unknown Speaker  23:45  

a nice frying pan. So what would you suggest for how coping mechanisms what are the what are the coping mechanisms?


Unknown Speaker  23:54  

I go and find my own thing to do. Whether it's cooking or heading outside to do my garden work, which is one of my absolute passions, I love gardening, planting new flowers and all that fun and lettuce and let us Yep, lettuce and tomatoes this year. I've got a cherry tomato plant, which has been kind of fun to watch.


Unknown Speaker  24:21  

So I think that actually brings up a really good point is there are we've all met couples, we've all known couples that literally are glued to each other and the don't seem to spend any time apart at all.


Unknown Speaker  24:38  

Oh, I don't want to be glued to you. I love you, but I don't want to be glued to you. Right.


Unknown Speaker  24:43  

Well, I mean, there was that one night that we were getting experimental. That's another that's that's right, PG Anyway, there. You know there there are those couples that cannot do anything without the other person. And I don't think in that setting, it would be good for One of them to be an author. I just don't see that working. Oh, definitely not because I think they would one of them would end up murdering the other.


Unknown Speaker  25:09  

Yeah, yeah. You can't both be sitting there working on the same story that would be just weird.


Unknown Speaker  25:14  

I mean, not like literally glued to each other. But you know, you know, those people that just they can't handle being without their spouse for, you know, more than a couple seconds.


Unknown Speaker  25:26  

I think that wore off a long, long time ago.


Unknown Speaker  25:29  

We were never like that though. That's true. No, we were we've always had our own separate things going on.


Unknown Speaker  25:35  

Yeah, I like having my own hobbies. My hobbies are not your hobbies. You hate gardening?


Unknown Speaker  25:41  

Well, no, it's not that I hate gardening. I just there's no way any plant would survive under my hand. Hence, there's no way everything would die. It would be that you know, I need to kill people in literature because I'd kill your tomato plant.


Unknown Speaker  25:55  

I would not be happy if you kill me to me. I know. I


Unknown Speaker  25:57  

know why I did. Kill her. Plants once more than once leaving them in the car. Yeah, we were first married. That was not. That was sad.


Unknown Speaker  26:07  

Yeah, he's mowed over trees that I've planted. He's mowed over rhubarb that I've planted. He knows over the spring flowers that pop up in the yard. Okay, that's


Unknown Speaker  26:17  

probably enough on the whole killing plants thing. So I you know, I think that's about it. I really can't think of too much more to talk about, is there any parting thoughts you would have about? If a friend came to you and said, my husband wants to be a writer, or my wife wants to be a writer?


Unknown Speaker  26:37  

I'd say just let them write.


Unknown Speaker  26:40  

You know, tell how important is patience, though.


Unknown Speaker  26:43  

Oh, I have to have tons of patience with you. It's you.


Unknown Speaker  26:47  

You're trying sometimes I gotta be patient with you. I always try. You don't always succeed, but I always try. So that's about it for today's show. I want to thank you very much for listening. Remember, if you enjoyed This content or any other content I put out, hit subscribe so you know when the next one comes out. Also, I would appreciate any donations that you would like to make to help support the show. Remember, if you donate $30 or more, I will send you the book of your choice, right, a nice little dedication to you inside of the book. And I'll send it to you wherever you happen to be for my wife, Tanya, and me, Brian, the writer. We are signing off. podcasting is one of the fastest growing mediums. Have you ever thought about getting your own show on the air? It's easy. All you need are some gear that you likely already have in a quiet space at all things writing, we use buzzsprout as a platform due to its ease of use resources and advice to help make your show the best it can be. podcasting is easy when you have the right team supporting you and the team at buzzsprout is passionate about helping you succeed. buzzsprout gets your show listed in every major podcast platform gives you a great looking website. audio players that you can drop into other websites and tons more. Don't just take my word for it, follow the link posted in the show notes and check it out for yourself. Following the link lets buzzsprout know we sent you get you a $20 amazon gift card if you sign up for a paid plan and help support our show, join over 100,000 podcasters already using buzzsprout to get their message out to the world. I did and I'm glad I did. Check them out today. I cannot thank you enough for joining me today on all things writing. If you've heard something sparked your interest, check out the links in the show notes. And remember to follow the show like many others have so that you will know when the next show comes out. As for me in my novels, you can find all of my books at Bryan that is Brian with a why or you can find me on Amazon or wherever you buy your ebooks. As a reminder any music or sound effects that you may have heard was used under license or provided through the good graces Have the people at sound Bible calm. Thanks for listening and have a blessed day.