thewritingcoach's podcast

In episode #94 of The Writing Coach podcast, I speak with author Fred Waitzkin.

Fred was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1943. When he was a teenager he wavered between wanting to spend his life as a fisherman, Afro Cuban drummer, or novelist. He went to Kenyon College and did graduate study at New York University.

His work has appeared in EsquireNew York magazine, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, the New York Times Book ReviewOutsideSports IllustratedForbes, the Huffington Post, and the Daily Beast, among other publications. His memoir, Searching for Bobby Fischer, was made into a major motion picture released in 1993. His other books are Mortal GamesThe Last MarlinThe Dream Merchant, and Deep Water Blues. Recently, he has completed an original screenplay, The Rave.

Waitzkin lives in Manhattan with his wife, Bonnie, and has two children, Josh and Katya, and two grandsons, Jack and Charlie. He spends as much time as possible on the bridge of his old boat, The Ebb Tide, trolling baits off distant islands with his family.

During our discussion, Fred describes:

  • Where he finds the ideas for his stories
  • How he views the unique relationship between fiction and non-fiction
  • What his daily writing process looks like
  • How having his memoir adapted into a hit Hollywood film impacted his life and his writing
  • His approach to mentoring writers
  • How a coaching experience led to a breakthrough in the writing of his latest book, Deep Water Blues
  • And much more!

For full show notes visit

Direct download: WC094.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:47pm EST