Season 1

Welcome to the Podcast  

Season 1 | Episode 001

Our very first episode! We're excited to take listeners along for the ride as we showcase our lighting round questions (featured in every interview) and give you all some insight into who we are, how we met, and where the idea for Exploring the Blank Page came from. 

Mentioned in this episode
Pentel EnerGel Liquid Gel Pens .05 (Em's favorite pen)
Pilot G2 .07 (Christen's favorite pen)

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Holding up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
13 Doorways Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby
One Writer's Beginnings by Eudora Welty
Winter, White, and Wicked by Shannon Dittemore
Skyhunter by Marie Lu
Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Romanov by Nadine Brandes
Solo by Kwame Alexander
The Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds 

Guest Kara McDowell 

Season 1 | Episode 002

Kara McDowell was born in the mountains and raised in the desert. She spent her childhood swimming, boating, and making up stories in her head. Now she lives in Mesa, Arizona, where she divides her time between writing, baking, and playing board games with her husband and three young sons.

Mentioned in this episode

Pitch Wars - A mentoring program where published/agented authors, editors, or industry interns choose one writer each to spend three months revising their manuscript. 

Anatomy of Story by John Truby 

Scrivener - Writing software
Clue - Game

Changing Hands Tempe, AZ  - Bookstore


Today, Tonight, Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

The Scorpio Races  by Maggie Stiefvater

Anna and the French Kiss  by Stephanie Perkins

You’ve Got Mail
To All the Boys I Loved Before Movie  

All I Want for Christmas is You  

Guest Shannon Dittemore  

Season 1 | Episode 003

Shannon Dittemore is an author, speaker, and contributor to the blog Go Teen Writers, which was one of Writer's Digest’s 101 Best Websites for Writers. When she's not at her desk, she can be found in the wilds of Northern California, adventuring with her husband, their two children, and a Husky named Leonidas.

Mentioned in this episode

Frozen -

Ice Road Truckers Show  


Nomad by RJ Anderson 

Lady Emily Series by Tasha Alexander  

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein 

NaNoWriMo Pep Talk 

Season 1 | Episode 004

Today's episode talks about one of our favorite things happening this November: NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month! We share about what this is, our experiences with NaNo, what we'll be working on this year, and then we offer 10 tips for those attempting NaNo 2020.

And guess what? We're hosing an ETBP (Exploring the Blank Page) NaNoWriMo community on Instagram this year! If you're joining NaNo and want to be part of our "community writing" use the hashtag #NaNoWithETBP2020 and feel free to use the badges below  to let everyone know you're joining in! Just right click and choose the 'save' option. The black and white images are PNG's you can add over your own photos!

Got questions about this? Contact us!

Mentioned in this episode

Moleskin Journal /Bullet Journal Recs
3 Act Structure Emilie uses the second one picture in this post but with alterations.
Bookish Candle shops we love (and have candles from): Wick and Sarcasm, Novelly Yours, Rose and Adder, Fire Nation Creations, Bubble & Geek, and Nerdy Wicks.
Howler Timer App (Emilie uses this but any timer will do!)
4 the Words
Write or Die
#FindMyWritingCommunity created by Adrienne Young & Kristin Dwyer
“You can always edit a bad page. You can't edit a blank page.”― Jodi Picoult

Jill Williamson 

Reverse NaNo word count is below - just right click and save to your desktop to post or print! You can also see Christen's blogpost about it here!


It Happened At Christmas by Christen Krumm
Fable by Adrienne Young 

Connect with Us
Instagram: Christen @christenkrumm & Emilie @createexploreread
Instagram page for our podcast: @exploringtheblankpagepodcast
Emilie's NaNo account (click and add her as a buddy)
Christen's NaNo account (click to add her as a buddy)

Guest Natalie Mae  

Season 1 | Episode 005

Natalie Mae is an ex-programmer, dark chocolate enthusiast, and author of young adult novels. She has also been a freelance editor and a Pitch Wars mentor, and she feels it notable to mention she once held a job where she had to feed spiders. When not writing, she can be found wandering the Colorado wilderness with her family. 

Mentioned in this episode

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory -
Ghirardelli dark chocolate -
The Kinder Poison Pinterest board -


Sources Say by Lori Goldstein -
Vicious by V.E. Schwab -

Connect with Natalie Mae



Purchase Natalie's Book:
The Kinder Poison

Writing Update

Season 1 | Episode 006

In this episode we're chatting about our August project — what it was, what we've learned, and where we're going from here. 

Guest R. J. Anderson 

Season 1 | Episode 007

Born in Kampala, Uganda and raised in various parts of Ontario, Rebecca has spent much of her life dreaming of other worlds entirely.

As a child she immersed herself in fairy tales, mythology, and the works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkienand E. Nesbit; later she found inspiration in books by Ursula LeGuin, Patricia A. McKillipand Robin McKinley, and learned to take as much pleasure from the authors’ lyrical style as the stories they told.

Now married and a mother of three, Rebecca reads to her sons the classic works of fantasy and science fiction that enlivened her own childhood, and tries to bring a similar excitement and timeless wonder to the novels she writes for children and teens. She lives in the beautiful theatre town of Stratford, Ontario.

Mentioned in this episode

Joni Movie

A Wrinkle in Time series | Madeleine L'Engle

Merciful Crow | Margaret Owen

The Queen Thief series | Megan Whalen Turner

Guest Kristin Dwyer

Season 1 | Episode 008

You may have heard of today’s author because of her amazing online presence and genuine approach to social media. She is a lover of all things South Korea and K-Pop, best friends to Adrienne Young, and just got some exciting news we’re dying to hear her talk about on today’s podcast.
UPDATE: In the weeks since our interview, Kristin gave a HUGE announcement that her debut, Some Mistakes Were Made, was acquired by HarperTeen! You can see her post on Instagram about it here. We are so excited and celebrating with her!

Mentioned in this episode

KD's agent announcement on instagram |

Y'all Fest |

Vampires Diaries |

Guardian: The Lonely and Great God |

Viki streaming service |

Outer Banks |

Books mentioned:
It Happened at Christmas
Woven in Moonlight |
Spinning Silver |

More than Maybe |

Serpent and Dove |
Blood and Honey |

Red, White, and Royal Blue |

Sky in the Deep |

Guest Natalie Walters 

Season 1 | Episode 009

Natalie Walters is the author of Carol Award finalist Living Lies, Deadly Deceit, and Silent Shadows. A military wife, she currently resides in Hawaii with her soldier husband and their kids. She writes full-time when she’s not reading, cooking, and traveling. Natalie comes from a long line of military and law enforcement veterans and is passionate about supporting them through volunteer work, races, and writing stories that affirm no one is defined by their past. 

Our Writing Mastermind tips mentioned in this episode:

-Have structure and a time frame for the meeting

-Be respectful of your groups time “Be strucutred but not strict” - natalie 

-Be consistent 

-You can use Zoom - seeing each others faces is really helpful 

-Don’t limit yourself to only those in your genres 

-Have a mission for your group & make sure everyone in your group is on the same page 

-Take a chance asking people to join your group 

-Your group could be just for a season as well!

Guest Kara Swanson

Season 1 | Episode 010

As the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent her childhood running barefoot through the lush jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the fantasy genre.

Swanson is the award-winning author of The Girl Who Could See and Peter Pan retelling/sequel Dust (Enclave Publishing, July 2020). She helps young writers explore their passions as a faculty member of the Young Writer's Workshop and also offers her own author coaching services.

Kara is passionate about crafting stories of light shattering darkness, connecting with readers, and becoming best friends with a mermaid--though not necessarily in that order.

Mentioned in this episode

Young Writer's Workshop 

Peter Pan | JM Barrie |

Return to Neverland |

Hawk | James Patterson |

Nadine Brandes |

Sara Ella |

Lindzy Franklin |

Mary Weber |

Chronicles of Narnia |

Connect with Kara Swanson:




Purchase Kara's books:
The Girl Who Could See | Kara Swanson |

Dust | Kara Swanson |

Guest Sara Ella 

Season 1 | Episode 011

Once upon a time, Sara Ella dreamed she would marry a Disney prince and live in a castle. Now she spends her days homeschooling her three Jedi in training, braving the Arizona summers, and reminding her superhero husband that it's almost Christmas (even if it's only January). When she's not writing, Sara might be found behind her camera lens or planning her next adventure to California. A lover of fairy tales, she believes “Happily Ever After is Never Far Away.”

Mentioned in this episode

Frozen |

Onward |

Brave |

Big Hero 6 |

Disney Story Origins Podcast |

Dust | Kara Swanson |

The Lunar Chronicles | Marrisa Meyers |

Welcome to Wonderland |

Ready Player One Soundtrack |

Warcross | Marie Lu |

The Selection | Keira Cass |

Harney and Sons Paris Tea |