Podcaster Zibby Owens' first novel hits stores, inspiration came from author interviews

Friday, March 1, 2024
Podcaster Zibby Owens' first novel hits stores, inspiration came from author interviews
Sandy Kenyon has the story.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- You may have seen Zibby Owens on Good Morning America where she is a contributor who recommends books to read.

Owens is the host of a popular podcast "Moms Don't Have Time to Read Books" featuring her interviews with dozens of authors. Those duties have prepared her to write her first novel called "Blank" which is in stores as of Friday.

Owens read her first novel when she was 8-years-old, and like many of us that book was "Charlotte's Web." When she'd finished shedding a few tears as a young girl, Owens decided to become a writer herself.

It took a few years and some twists and turns in her life, but she has succeeded and that's not all. In addition to being a novelist, Owens is a mom, a podcaster and a publisher.

The woman in charge has a staff of book lovers and a shelf full of titles, Owens has written two books herself. The latest? A novel - a satire of the publishing industry that she has come to know very well.

"The title of the book is 'blank' because the main character, 'Pippa Jones,' who is a former bestselling author, decides to hand in her second book completely blank like no words on any page," Owens said.

Over the past few years, we have watched as Owens leveraged her considerable assets and talents to build a small empire, which began when she figured "Moms Don't Have Time to Read Books" and began what became an influential podcast.

"I felt it was like this calling," she said. "Like I was in a position where I could help these authors."

Owens started an awards show to reward the best of them and took the next step by opening her own publishing house to put out books like "The House of Plain Truth".

"It is the story about a 60-something-year-old woman who decides to give up her life and move back to Jamaica to help take care of her dying father, and there are not many stories that are written about women at that age," added author Donna Hemans.

Hemans was a guest on Owens' podcast and found her receptive.

"As an author, I think we like to see the enthusiasm for our work, and I think she has a lot of enthusiasm for writers and readers," she said.

Hemans novel about the true meaning of home fits right in with the other titles.

"What characterizes the Zibby books is a strong sense of voice and place, propulsive narratives, and beautiful writing," said Owens. "But books that also leave you taking something away that can make your own life a little bit better."

Owens continues to put out books, but when it came time to publish her first novel, she turned to a company owned by Amazon because she told me, "It felt like cheating" to put out her own book.