Joshua Doležal is a writer and award-winning teacher with 20 years of experience in publishing and editing. His mentor was Ted Kooser, former Poet Laureate of the United States and Pulitzer Prize winner.
Josh's work has appeared in more than 30 magazines including The Kenyon Review and The Chronicle of Higher Education. His memoir Down from the Mountain Top: From Belief to Belonging was short-listed for the 2016 William Saroyan International Prize. He writes at The Recovering Academic on Substack, AND...he's a “book coach”.
What’s a book coach? We met via Zoom to answer this question. Topics discussed include: the roles of a book coach and the qualifications you need to be one; writing tools that Josh recommends his clients use; the concept of defamiliarization; horror films and the element of surprise; three-step strategies for drafting manuscripts; Lisa Cron; James Paterson; turning points, resolutions and reckonings; tent poles and cairns; the importance of discovering things while you write; literary agents; advice for me on my podcast catalogue “book” project; Sting's backlist; pertinent questions to ask yourself if you want to write a book, such as: ‘why are you writing this book?’ and ‘why should readers care?’; plus, much more.