2013 March

Patrick E. McLean
20 Minutes with Patrick E. McLean

Patrick E. McLean isn’t really all that interested in how things have been done. Sure, it’s useful for a sense of context and perspective, but if you’re going to imagine a new future, you simply can’t let “convention” get in the way. As the author of “Unkillable” and the “How to Succeed in Evil” series of fiction as well as the founder of “Good Words (Right Order)”, Patrick has stepped boldly off the path and, in doing so, discovered a wealth of insight and inspiration.

During this 20(ish) minutes of discourse he shares generously of both with Ryan Stevenson and myself, discussing the “work” of creativity, the value of performance in the context of writing, how things go right (and wrong) and so much more!

Workshop Episode 54 (Guest Host: Leanna Renee Hieber)

Leanna Renee Hieber – performer, playwright, and author of lush and luxurious tales of dark Victorian and Gothic splendor – returns to the Big Chair to help Brion and I workshop a marvelous magical spin on a venerable theater superstition offered up by Guest Writer Mac McEntire.

Mac’s tale may be YA or midgrade, but it’s filled with many levels of genuine drama, humor, and character nuance. With all our theatrical enthusiasm escalating our natural delight in seeking out the awesomeness of a story, we all find many paths to explore on our way to a mountain of Literary Gold!

One Question: The Future of Storytelling
“One Question: The Future of Storytelling” from NYCC 2013

Back in October, one of our fearless and loyal Wandering Alchemists, John McCarthy (aka “Surfside Jack”), braved the ravening hordes of the frothing mayhem that IS New York Comic Con 2012, microphone in hand, in search of (among other things) Literary Gold.

He asked only one question: What is the future of storytelling?

Join us as John and I explore the answers and insights offered by Alethea Kontis, Sam Ita, Howie Noel, and Brad Guigar!

Leanna Renne Heiber
20 Minutes with Leanna Renee Hieber

Leanna Renee Hieber – author of “The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker”, “Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul”, contributor to Ellen Datlow’s “Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy” anthology, and more – has fiercely and passionately pursued her own path in the world. While that path led her through the realm of live theater (she’s a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild) and other artistic/creative domains, it was the combination of the luxurious complexity of the Victorian Era and the evocative mythologies of speculative fiction that have become the primary colors of her artistic palette.

The depth and diversity of Leanna’s experience informs every moment of this marvelous 20(ish) minutes of conversation as she discusses cohesion and “connective tissue” between characters, the power of having fun and getting stuff on the page, the audience (tangible and less so) for whom we write, and more!

First Anniversary Episode, Part II (Guest Hosts: J. Daniel Sawyer and John Mierau)

The Roundtable Podcast, First Anniversary Episode pt II, with J. Daniel Sawyer, John Mierau, and Dave RobisonWe conclude our anniversary celebration with a remarkable workshop worthy of the first year of our quest for Literary Gold.

We have our returning Guest Host, J. Daniel Sawyer – author of sweeping sci-fi thrillers, rich and complex mysteries, comprehensive guides and resources for writers, and so many more artistic and literary explorations – lending his substantial vision and experience to the workshop. Add to that the articulate and insightful John Mierau, another veteran Guest Host of the Roundtable and crafter of exquisite tales with casts of nuanced and complex characters. With these two creative trailblazers as our guides we launch into a workshop… of my story!

My tale of a young woman’s shame in denying her child an honorable death in a culture that reveres their sacrificed innocents spawns a remarkable discussion, affirming once again our decision to bring seasoned and experienced authors to the table. Dan, John, and Brion all helped reveal layers of both the story AND my approach to it that gave a new appreciation of my own process and the depth of the story I had undertaken. In short, it was a smorgasbord of Literary Gold.

Trends and Tropes of our First 52 Episodes

One of the many distinguishing aspects of the Roundtable Podcast is our listeners. In addition to showing unparallelled good taste, they’re a creative and insightful crew, always keen to find a new way to look at what everyone thinks they’ve already seen.

One such listener is Peter Ellis. Six months ago, he showed us the trends and tropes of our first 25 episodes. And now, at our one year anniversary, Peter has graciously returned and delivered an even more thorough and revealing summary of an entire year of story workshops.

J Daniel Sawyer
20 (more) Minutes with J. Daniel Sawyer

Dan Sawyer – consummate storyteller, media producer, and creative visionary – was our first Guest Host. One year ago, nervous and uncertain, Brion and I interviewed Dan and launched a podcast, starting a journey that has led to so many discoveries, friendships, and opportunities to explore the creative process. Dan is the ideal catalyst for such a journey, given his diverse and extensive experience in the art of expression.

During this celebratory 20(ish) minutes of conversation, we delve a bit deeper into Dan’s writing process, discuss the pros and cons of genre-jumping, uncover some strategies to keep your audience guessing, and more.

Christopher Moore & Alasdair Stuart
First Anniversary Episode, Part I (Guest Hosts: Christopher Moore and Alasdair Stuart)

So here we are, one year into our ongoing search for Literary Gold and we were wondering how we can celebrate. The answer came from long-time fan Peter Ellis… workshop our OWN stories (thanks, Peter)!

We have the remarkable Christopher Moore – author of exquisite tales of satirical humor – returning to the Big Chair, and we wheel in a second Big Chair for our Special Co-Guest Host and veteran RTP Host Alasdair Stuart! With this astonishing Duo of Awesomeness we are primed for some epic story workshopping… of Brion’s story idea!!

Brion’s tale of a dystopian post-apocalyptic horror serves as a marvelous opportunity not only to explore a very cool story idea, but also to observe how two masters of their craft approach the same story terrain. The end result is an intricate tapestry of concept and perception woven densely with threads of Literary Gold.

Christopher Moore
20 Minutes with Christopher Moore

Christopher Moore – who translates his unique and irreverent perception into astonishingly hilarious novels (that have been accused of being bitingly satirical) such as “Lamb”, “Fool”, “A Dirty Job” and many more – has truly forged his own path through the storytelling wilderness. His experience and instincts have served him well and cultivated a unique voice that has not only engaged a devoted legion of fans, but has also seen every one of his novels optioned for film or television (dude’s doing something right).

Brion and I had so much fun with Chris that we completely ignored the clock and went 30+ minutes (reckless daredevils that we are) discussing the essence of opinion versus genre, luck versus skill, when to put on the brakes, and so much more. It’s buffet of writerly goodness so grabv a plate and hit that PLAY button!

Workshop Episode 53 (Guest Host: Michael R. Underwood)

Michael R. Underwood – author of the marvelous “Geekomancy” and the forthcoming sequel “Celebromancy” (gracing bookshelves in July 2013) – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to help Brion and I workshop an exceptional story idea from Linton Bowers.

The working title for Linton’s YA superhero tale is “Fat Boy Hero” and, while that certainly piqued our interest, the story workshop itself was a creative froth worthy of the RTP. The internet was persnickety again, but that did NOT deter us from unearthing a veritable mountain of Literary Gold… so there’s plenty to share with you.

Michael R. Underwood
20 Minutes with Michael R. Underwood

Michael R. Underwood – author of the phenomenal “Geekomancy” and the forthcoming sequel “Celebromancy” AND North American Sales & Marketing Manager for Angry Robot Books – is a scholar of wonders and delights. No, it doesn’t say that on his business cards, but it should. He is one of those rare creators who are simply not content with sitting back and watching. He learns by doing and he’s very thorough about his studies… whether it’s ancient weapons styles, Asian folklore, or AD&D, Mike will scrutinize every nuance to get the most out of the experience.

Our 20(ish) minutes of conversation with this remarkable storyteller is fraught with new perceptions, intriguing insights, and at LEAST 2 “ah-ha!” moments… so hit that play button and prepare to be delighted.