We may have fan-girled out a little bit talking to the amazing Nina Kiriki Hoffman!

Over the past thirty-odd years, Nina Hoffman has sold adult and YA novels and more than 300 short stories.  Her works have been finalists for many major awards, and she has won a Stoker and a Nebula Award. Nina’s novels have been published by Avon, Atheneum, Ace, Scholastic, Tachyon, and Viking.  Her short stories have appeared in many magazines and anthologies. Nina does magazine production work and teaches writing.  She lives in Eugene, Oregon.


You can listen on iTunes or Podomatic or listen now.


Nina describes how moving to Eugene, Oregon and the Pacific Northwest informed her sense of place in her stories. Neighborhood “tree-walks” and the study of local plants and herbs provide her with the rich detail she

develops in the settings of her stories.

We also look at how Nina crafts both her characters and her world by traveling through Oregon and reimagining the places she visits and how she develops the content of her work through “discovery writing.”

“Keep learning new things, keep reading, keep watching movies, it all goes in the mix, it all goes into your brain, and is transformed into something magical. Be open to the cool stuff that is out there.”


We discover the origins of folklore and magic in Nina’s worlds, where she draws her inspiration from and how she wishes to blend together two distinct worlds, folding her own experience living in Eugene into the life of her characters using magic and imagination.

Nina shares her story on becoming a writer in Idaho and the support and camaraderie involved in a fantastic writers group, especially the long-time science fiction writers group that meets at a local café


We take a look at the role of literature in informing the reader’s real-life choices and how writers aim to create characters who “address the darkness and show people surviving it and dealing with it.”

The two things Nina has learned on writing are to

  1. Do a global search on “that,” pull every single one out and get rid of it if you can
  2. Exchange the conditional grammatical form “if I could feel this” for the first-person present form, “I felt,” because the conditional form means you did not actually experience the emotion


Nina’s on Facebook as Nina Kiriki Hoffman 

Learn more about Nina at