20 Minutes with James Sutter

December 16, 2014 Posted by Dave Robison

James Sutter

James Sutter

“Gaming is all about providing people with tools to tell stories rather than just telling a story”

– James Sutter

Rocker. Author. Editor. Gamer. Co-creator of “Pathfinder“, the biggest selling role-playing game in the world. Managing Editor at Paizo Publishing, the good people who MAKE Pathfinder (for those of the non-RPG persuasion). If there is anyone who has been a contributing factor to the recent (and long overdue) trend of geeks being cool, it’s James Sutter. From his early days as a journalism student to his current standing as author of the much (and justifiably) lauded “Death’s Heretic” and it’s sequel, “The Redemption Engine“, AND Managing Editor of Paizo’s fiction line, James has been all about the story.

Joined by author, editor, and gamer (do you see a trend here?) Jennifer Melzer, we spend 20-ish minutes in astonishing writerly discourse with this Renaissance Man of geekery. For those of you with OTD – Obsessive Temporal Disorder – the “ish” allows us an extra 15 minutes without violating any truth-in-advertising laws… and you’ll be glad we do as Jennifer, James and I discuss the merits of outlining and fostering discovery, the difference between an “artist” and an “artisan”, the creative power of deadlines, and more. Wrap your head in an Ace Bandage ’cause we’re gonna blow your mind. (and, once you stuff your brains back in, tune in to James’s Workshop episode airing December 23rd).

PROMO: “Broken” by Cedric Johnson and Veronica Giguere (in podcast audio or on Amazon)

Showcase Episode: 20 Minutes with James Sutter

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James Sutter, rocking the Internet…

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Workshop Episode 68 (Guest Host: Jeanne Cavelos)

December 9, 2014 Posted by Dave Robison

The Roundtable Podcast, Workshop Episode 68, with Jeanne Cavelos and Austin Malone

If you’re going to workshop a story, you might as well do it right… bring in a scientist who has also been an editor with Dell, founded two editorial lines of books, published three novels for a hugely successful television franchise, AND has spent the last 20 years leading one of the top literary workshops in the industry. That’s exactly what we did, inviting Jeanne Cavelos, founder and lead instructor of the Odyssey Writers Workshop back to the Big Chair to brainstorm a story idea.

(Spoilers… it’s fabulous)

Our creageous (creative and courageous) Guest Writer is Austin Malone who brings a YA fantasy tale of an island forged by three goddesses and fueled by a powerful magic. Austin’s tale of Peth and his quest thwart his destiny and purge the island of corruption sends Jeanne, myself, and co-host Doc Coleman on an epic journey of writerly brainstorming, weaving threads of story mojo into a tapestry of Literary Gold. Cuz… that’s pretty much what we do around here. Click the “PLAY” button and see for yourself (and if you’re still primed for more writerly goodness, make your way over to Jeanne’s superb Showcase Episode!)

PROMO:  The Odyssey Writers Workshop

Workshop Episode 68 (Guest Host: Jeanne Cavelos)

[caution: mature language – listener discretion is advised]

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Coming up for Jeanne…
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20 Minutes with Jeanne Cavelos

December 2, 2014 Posted by Dave Robison

Jeanne Cavelos

Jeanne Cavelos

Jeanne Cavelos – Scientist, former editor at Dell Books, author of the Babylon 5 trilogy “The Passing of the Techno-Mages“, and founder/director of the Odyssey Writers Workshop – has pursued her passions at every stage of her life. From scientist to editor, author to teacher, with each path she has gathered intriguing insights and a deep understanding of the storyteller’s craft. We’re delighted to have her take the Big Chair and share some of those writerly jewels with us.

Joined by my good friend and podcasting colleague, Doc Coleman, we indulge in 20(ish) minutes of exploration into some of the challenges facing writers (and how to overcome them), what makes a scene an “effective” scene, and we even indulge in a little Tolkien rap (oh yeah, baby… phat tracks from Tom Bombadil!). You don’t want to miss this one, gang (and, after you hear this, you KNOW Jeanne’s Workshop episode is going to be fabulous).

PROMO: The Odyssey Writers Workshop

Showcase Episode: 20 Minutes with Jeanne Cavelos

[caution: mature language – listener discretion is advised]

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Jeanne is working wonders out there…

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Workshop Episode 67 (Guest Host: Mercedes Yardley)

November 25, 2014 Posted by Dave Robison

The Roundtable Podcast, Workshop Episode 67, with Mercedes Yardley and Martin Spernau

Mercedes Yardley  – author of astonishing “whimsical horror” tales like “Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love“, “Nameless: The Darkness Comes” and the newly released “Pretty Little Dead Girls” – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to ply her wicked storyteller mojo to a fabulous story workshop. With author Paul Ellis in the co-pilot’s chair, we have great fun brainstorming a unique tale of angelic intervention, bloody rebellion against an oppressive regime, and unleashing the dark side of human desire.

The story is presented by “creageous” Guest Writer Martin Spernau and his tale of a man rendered unkillable by the protection of a guardian angel unleashes a torrent of inquiry and speculation. Exploring the nature of the angel, the orientation of the protagonist, and describing his descent (and possible destruction) made for a stimulating discussion… and hopefully inspiring listening as well. Literary Gold is just a click of the “PLAY” button away! (and there’s even more writerly goodness to be found in Mercedes’s Showcase Episode).

PROMO:  “Hidden Harbor Mysteries” written by Jay Smith and produced by Bryan Lincoln

Workshop Episode 67 (Guest Host: Mercedes Yardley)

[caution: mature language – listener discretion is advised]

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On the whimsical horizon for Mercedes…
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20 Minutes with Mercedes Yardley

November 18, 2014 Posted by Dave Robison

Mercedes Yardley

Mercedes Yardley

Mercedes Yardley‘s literary voice is singular, beautiful, and striking in its poignant honesty. If you read anything from her marvelous canon – including “Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love“, “Nameless: The Darkness Comes” or the newly released “Pretty Little Dead Girls” – you will discover tales that defy category (she calls them “whimsical horror”) and will be a splash of wonder that will wake up and delight you.

Joined by author Paul Ellis, we dive into an astonishing 20(ish) minutes of writerly discourse, exploring the nature of believability in genre fiction, celebrating the small victories, the relationship between writer and reader and more. There were several “ah-ha” moments for us in this one, and I’ll bet you’re gonna find some, too. Click “PLAY” and find out. ;) (and after you hear this, you’re gonna be as pumped as we are for Mercedes’s Workshop episode).

PROMO:  The We Be Geeks Network

Showcase Episode: 20 Minutes with Mercedes Yardley

[caution: mature language – listener discretion is advised]

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Mrs. Stabby is EVERYWHERE! (don’t look behind you)…

(more…)

Workshop Episode 66 (Guest Host: Karen Healey)

November 11, 2014 Posted by Dave Robison

The Roundtable Podcast, Workshop Episode 66, with Karen Healey and Emery Colin

Karen Healey – educator, advocate, and author of astonishing YA novels like “When We Wake” and the newly-released sequel “While We Run” – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to catalyze our brainstorming efforts into a maelstrom of awesomeness with her storytelling mojo (spoilers: she succeeds). Joined by the eloquent and insightful Katie Bryski (author of Hapax, numerous short tales, AND a children’s opera), the stage is set for a fabulous story workshop.

This week’s Guest Writer, Emery Colin, brings a very cool tale to the table, one that blends SciFi and Fantasy with a mysterious mythic heritage. A stranded transport, ancient orders, demons, and an inexperienced protagonist assigned a perilous task are the ingredients for a brainstorming buffet that leads us inevitably to discover a lost relic forged of – you guessed it – Literary Gold (and if your thirst for writerly goodness remains unslaked, then I recommend you check out Karen’s Showcase Episode!).

PROMO:  “DanDan The Art Man Book Reviews

Workshop Episode 66 (Guest Host: Karen Healey)

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Coming up for Karen…
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20 Minutes with Karen Healey

November 4, 2014 Posted by Dave Robison

Karen Healey

Karen Healey

Author, educator, and articulate advocate of comics (and so much more), Karen Healey brings an astonishing voice and perspective to the writer’s craft. Her passion for storytelling is deeply rooted in the connections it forges between people, cultures, and histories. Her work has been lauded many times, including the 2011 Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best New Talent and includes “Guardian of the Dead“, “The Shattering“, “When We Wake“, and its sequel “While We Run“. In addition to her delicious prose and richly-drawn characters, Karen brings a fierce integrity and commitment to the truth that underlies each of her stories.

Joined by the delightful and inspired Katie Bryski (soon-to-be Stonecoast Master of Fine Arts graduate) as my co-host, we engage in a fabulous 20(ish) minutes of writerly discourse with Karen, exploring the merits of fan fiction, embracing diversity, integrating mythology into stories, and more (and be sure to check out Karen’s Workshop Episode for even more writerly goodness).

PROMO:  The Melting Potcast – writers, stories, and more!

Showcase Episode: 20 Minutes with Karen Healey

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Karen may be in New Zealand, but you can find her everywhere…

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Workshop Episode 65 (Guest Hosts: Janet and Chris Morris)

October 28, 2014 Posted by Dave Robison

The Roundtable Podcast, Workshop Episode 63, with David Annandale and Jim Ryan

This week,  Janet Morris and Chris Morris – authors of  The Sacred Band of Stepsons series, “I, the Sun“, and the Heroes in Hell series, and so much more – return to the Big Chairs at the Roundtable to infuse our story brainstorming with their incredible writing mojo. Joined by my co-host, the eloquent and insightful Michael R. Underwood ( “The Younger Gods“, “Shield and Crocus“, “Geekomancy” and more), this can only be described as a Master Class Story Workshop.

Our “creageous” Guest Writer (both creative AND courageous) for this episode is Melissa L. Hayden, curator and evil genius at the “My World in Words and Pages” blog. Melissa brings a tale of patricide and political upheaval in a land of dragons and ancient magic… a veritable buffet of story goodness. As the workshop unfolds, Janet, Chris, and Michael explore unexpected and startling paths of insight and inquiry, teasing out some potent thematic, character, and story elements.

To say that Literary Gold abounds would be an understatement… this is one of the finest literary workshops in which I’ve had the pleasure of participating. Click the “Play” button, sit back, and let the muse inspire you. (and if you haven’t tuned in to Janet and Chris’s Showcase Episode, then that’s you’re next stop for writerly awesomeness).

PROMO:  “Glow-In-The-Dark Radio” featuring Mike Luoma

Workshop Episode 65 (Guest Hosts: Janet and Chris Morris)

[caution: mature language – listener discretion is advised]

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Donning the Robes of Prophecy for Janet and Chris…
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20 Minutes with Janet and Chris Morris

October 21, 2014 Posted by Dave Robison

Janet and Chris Morris

Janet and Chris Morris

When you sit down to talk with Janet Morris and Chris Morris, be prepared for a conversation unlike any you’ve had before. The scope and breadth of their experience spans fiction and non-fiction, government policy, music, history, horse breeding, and more. They are storytellers who breathe eloquent passion and authenticity into their tales, illuminating the shadowed corners of mythic grandeur through their craft.

Their fiction work includes The Sacred Band of Stepsons series, “I, the Sun“, and editing and contributing to the Heroes in Hell series (which includes tales from the luminaries of genre fiction), and so much more (even their Wikipedia pages include a “select fiction biography”). With such a vast tapestry of tales woven between them, you know this is going to be a conversation fraught with writerly delights.

With Michael R. Underwood (author of “The Younger Gods“, “Shield and Crocus“, “Geekomancy” and more, co-host at the fabulous Skiffy and Fanty Podcast, and Guest Host on the RTP) as my co-host, we engage in (way more than) 20 minutes of astonishing discourse, exploring the symmetry between music and story, the resonance of the craft of fiction and non-fiction writing, and how to “ascend from the pit of self-doubt into the light of self-knowledge and mastery”. Yeah… you don’t want to miss this one, gang. (and you know Janet and Chris’s Workshop Episode is an epic event!).

PROMO: “Still Water” by Justin R. Macumber

Showcase Episode: 20 Minutes with Janet and Chris Morris

[caution: mature language – listener discretion is advised]

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Janet and Chris in the world…

(more…)

Workshop Episode 64 (Guest Host: Bradley P. Beaulieu)

October 14, 2014 Posted by Dave Robison

The Roundtable Podcast, Workshop Episode 63, with David Annandale and Jim Ryan

Brad Beaulieu – author of lush and richly-rendered epic fantasy tales and co-host of the fabulous Speculate podcast – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to workshop a tale of nerds transported into a an epic fantasy world.

The story is conjured from the imagination of creagous Guest Writer, John McCarthy (Surfside Jack to his friends), a coming of age tale of thwarted destinies, grim nemeses, and the fate of worlds hanging in the balance. Moses Siregar joins me as co-host and together we delve into the tale, exploring everything from genre to character arc, worldbuilding to romance. It’s a classic brainstorming froth that culminates in a trove of Literary Gold for all.  (and there’s more writerly goodness awaiting you in Brad’s exceptional Showcase Episode too!).

PROMO: Bryan Lincoln Productions presents… “Hidden Harbor Mysteries

Workshop Episode 64 (Guest Host: Bradley P. Beaulieu)

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Coming up for Brad…
(more…)