A blog about writing and self publishing

Podcast Ep 158 – Using Obsession to Drive your Debut Novel with Nora Decter

#158 – Using Obsession to Drive your Debut Novel with Nora Decter

Nora Decter, Kobo’s Emerging Writer Prize Winner for Literary Fiction, chats to us about her debut novel How Far We Go and How Fast. She talks about what pushed her to finish her first book, how she created an album to go with the novel and her experience winning the emerging writer prize.

Nora Decter, Kobo’s Emerging Writer Prize Winner for Literary Fiction, chats to us about her debut novel How Far We Go and How Fast. She talks about what pushed her to finish her first book, how she created an album to go with the novel and her experience winning the emerging writer prize.

Nora Decter at the 2019 Kobo Emerging Writer’s Prize Gala
  • Nora tells us about her writing journey, motivation and drive during her first draft. We hear about how the novel transformed along the way between drafts and the writing process, including reaching its conclusion while Nora spent her summers writing in a cabin in Manitoba.
  • Nora opens up about her experiences as a writer in the eye of her family, and the support received over the years.
  • We hear about Nora’s process of working music into the story, using it to inspire the story itself. She shares her experiences as a teenager with music and how it ultimately dictated the course of the story. The book has an EP of the songs written in the novel by the main character Jolene, which was a collaboration with musician Nicholas Lefebvre.
  • Nora talks about her experiences on Kobo Writing Life and being nominated for the Kobo Emerging Writer’s Prize.
  • We get a glimpse into what’s coming up for Nora, a future novel currently in the works. She shares her experience of committing to a draft for a long time and ultimately being okay with letting it go when the story no longer works for her as an author; “I had to give myself permission to write what I really wanted to write.”
  • Using your passions and obsessions as a driving force for writing is one of her best advices for new authors.
  • This episode features music from the EP, enjoy!

Want a full list of all the ebooks and audiobooks we’ve talked about on the KWL Podcast? Check out the full list here!


Nora Decter grew up in the North End of Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature from Stony Brook University and a BA in English and Creative Writing from York University. She lives most of the year in Toronto, Ontario. She has a rock ‘n’ roll past. For more information, visit www.noradecter.com.

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