Episode 21: Using Other People’s Words

Sharon and Christy discuss the creative possibilities and potential pitfalls of using other authors’ words in your book through epigraphs and quotes. They share thoughts on:
  • Navigating permissions for quoting lyrics, poems, and book passages
  • When short quotes may fall under fair use
  • Crafting fictional quotes and sources to fit your story
  • Using epigraphs artfully to set tone and expectations
  • Studying how mentor authors incorporate quotes
  • Deciding if quotes are right for your book and audience
This episode explores how quotes, epigraphs, and excerpts can legally and effectively enhance your work. Sharon and Christy provide tips and food for thought, but always recommend consulting official legal resources.
Books Mentioned:
  • Blood from a Rose by Sharon Skinner
  • The King of Elfland’s Daughter by Lord Dunsany
  • Mirabella and the Faded Phantom by Sharon Skinner
  • Lostuns Found by Sharon Skinner
  • A Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  • Attack of the Black Rectangles by A.S. King
  • The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen
  • A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle

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For more information about Sharon Skinner, visit or follow her on Instagram @sharon_skinner_author_bookcoach and Twitter @SharonSkinner56.

For more information about Christy Yaros, visit or follow her on Instagram and Twitter @ChristyYaros.