DIY MFA Radio Episode 143: Interview with K.J. Howe — ThrillerFest and Writing Strong Female Characters

diy mfa ep 143 k.j. howe

In this episode, Gabriela Pereira interviews K.J. Howe, debut thriller author of The Freedom Broker, Daphne du Maurier Award-winner, and executive director of ThrillerFest. They talk about how to craft strong female leads in thrillers and why it’s important to give even the most heroic characters a flaw or personal obstacle to overcome. Also, for the first time ever on this show, Gabriela shares an obstacle she has faced in her own life. This deep and honest conversation between two authors about how to bring authenticity to your characters.


Here’s a secret no one ever tells you. The typical MFA (Master of Fine Arts) boils down to one simple formula:

Writing + Reading + Community = MFA

This means that to create a do-it-yourself version of the MFA, all you need to do is: write with focus, read with purpose, and build your community. Read on to learn more or use the menu above to explore each category. We’ve also highlighted some key DIY MFA articles below to help you get started.