Tom Barczack, Janet Morris, Chris Morris, Uvi Poznansky, Walter Rhein
RTP Dialogues #3: Audiobooks, The New Oral Tradition

Tales around a fire. That’s how it started… the oral tradition, the first way knowledge was stored and transmitted.

Thousands of years later, we’ve rediscovered the power and presence of the human voice in the telling of new tales. Digital technology has made the recording and delivery of high-quality audio narration both convenient and affordable. Now storytellers everywhere are lifting their words from the page (or pixel) and breathing new life into their tales through audio fiction podcasts and audiobooks.

Translating a written tale into an audio presentation has unique rewards and challenges… and that’s the terrain we set out explore on this Roundtable Dialogue episode.

Oooo... new website!
Check Out the New Look!

Don’t freak out. This IS indeed the Roundtable Podcast website. It’s just… shinier. And there’s more of it. A lot…

Workshop Episode 69 (Guest Host: James Sutter)

We must have been VERY good this year, ’cause Santa really came through and gave us James Sutter – author, musician, Managing Editor at Paizo Publishing, and co-creator of the fabulous Pathfinder role-playing game – as a Guest Host! We’re delighted to have James return to the Big Chair to lend his patented writerly mojo to our stock and trade here at the Roundtable… brainstorming stories. With author/editor Jennifer Melzer in the co-pilot’s chair, we buckle in for another adventure in awesomeness.

James Sutter
20 Minutes with 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.

Workshop Episode 68 (Guest Host: Jeanne Cavelos)

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.

Jeanne Cavelos
20 Minutes with 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.

Forging a fabulous story
Workshop Episode 67 (Guest Host: Mercedes Yardley)

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.

Mercedes Yardley
20 Minutes with 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.

Firing up the Literary Gold Machine
Workshop Episode 66 (Guest Host: Karen Healey)

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.

Karen Healey
20 Minutes with 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.

Gathering the story threads...
Workshop Episode 65 (Guest Hosts: Janet and Chris Morris)

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.

Janet and Chris Morris
20 Minutes with 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 breath eloquent passion and authenticity into their tales, illuminating the shadowed corners of mythic grandeur through their craft.

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

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.

Developing an Idea
“One Question: Developing an Idea” at Balticon 48

You get an idea for a story. Now what? What happens between the inspiration and perspiration? How do you prepare and develop a story idea so it’s ready to be written?

That’s what I asked seven gifted and articulate writers at this year’s Balticon 48 (sponsored by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society). The answers from Paul E. Cooley, Jared Axelrod, Maria V. Snyder, Starla Huchton, Pip Ballantine, Nobilis Reed, and Myke Cole are as diverse and inspired as the people we asked.

Brad Beaulieu
20 Minutes with Bradley Beaulieu

This week, I’m delighted to have Bradley Beaulieu (BOW-lee-er)(no, really) take the Big Chair at the Roundtable for 20-ish minutes of some stellar writerly discourse. Brad is an author of sweeping epic fantasy, tales of rich authentic and intriguing characters told in lushly rendered story worlds. His works include: The Winds of Khalakovo, The Straits of Galahesh, The Flames of Shadam Khoreh, as well as “Strata”, a collaborative scifi tale with Stephen Gaskell. His stories have appeared in Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, The Crimson Pact, and more. AND he’s the co-host (with Greg Wilson) of SPECULATE, one of the podosphere’s premiere podcasts on the writing craft.

Workshop Episode 63 (Guest Host: David Annandale)

David Annandale – professor of fiction, film and horror, and author of tales of terror and dark mayhem – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to help us workshop of hellish trials and virtual damnation.

The tale is offered up by writer/podcaster Jim Ryan whose story of a nefarious software developer trapped in his own virtual construct of hell sets our creative fires ablaze! Joined by co-host, Jennifer Melzer (author and editor of fabulous tales), we embark on a journey through the treacherous paths of this fabulous concept worthy of Dante himself. Fortunately, the paths are strewn with Literary Gold and we fill our pockets every step of the way. You can can, too… just hit that PLAY button

David Annandale
20 Minutes with David Annandale

“By night, David Annandale brings doom to untold billions as a writer of Warhammer 40,000 fiction for the Black Library, most recently in the novels The Death of Antagonis, Yarrick: Imperial Creed, The Damnation of Pythos and Maledictus. As the author of the horror novel Gethsemane Hall, he hopes to end sleep for you forever. And in his Jen Blaylock thrillers (Crown Fire, Kornukopia, and The Valedictorians), he does his best to blow up everything in sight. During the day, he poisons minds as he teaches film, video games and English literature at the University of Manitoba. If you have any fragments of hope still left, you can have them crushed at his website or by following his Twitter account.”

Do you see why we wanted him on the RTP?

Workshop Episode 62 (Guest Host: Tim Marquitz)

Tim Marquitz – Editorial Dark Lord (trans: Editor-in-Chief) at Ragnarok Publications and pen-wielder on many tales grim and heroic (including the Demon Squad Series, The Blood War Trilogy and more, returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to workshop – what else – a grimdark tale of corrupted power and the horrific price that comes with it.

The tale of a doomed king and his wretched destiny is offered up by Rob Matheny, curator and evil genius at the Grimdark Fiction Readers & Writers Blog, and is a first short story to ever be workshopped at the Roundtable. With my co-host Moses Siregar (author of “The Black God’s War“) with me, we dive in to the shadowy world of awakened darkness and its appetite for destruction with both hands. In the end, the darkness is pushed aside by the pure auric radiance of Literary Gold!

Tim Marquitzq
20 Minutes with Tim Marquitz

This week we are delighted to welcome Tim Marquitz – Editor in Chief and Co-Publisher at Ragnarok Publications as well as author of grim and fantastical tales – to the Big Chair at the Roundtable. Tim’s experience runs the gambit from crafting novels (like the Demon Squad Series, The Blood War Trilogy and more) and short fiction (appearing in anthologies like “Neverland’s Library” along side Mark Lawrence, Jeff Salyards, and Tad Williams) to editing superb anthologies (like “Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters” and “Fading Light”) to co-authoring the Dead West series with Joe Martin and Kenny Soward.

Workshop Episode 61 (Guest Host: Delilah S. Dawson)

Author and writerly guru, Delilah S. Dawson – author of the Blud Series, featuring “Wicked as They Come”, “Wicked as She Wants”, and “Wicked After Midnight”, and her latest work, a YA tale titled “Servants of the Storm”, as well as being the instructor for a fabulous Worldbuilding Workshop at LitReactor (firing up Sept 10), returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to lend her writerly mojo to our brainstorming efforts.

My splendid co-host, Starla Huchton, and I are joined by creageous Guest Writer Karey Bunch who brings a tale of monsters hiding in plain sight, a monster squad assigned to dealing with them, and a young woman who gets swept up in all the adventure. The story sparks a froth of discussion as we weave our way through a catacomb of possibilities, unearthing some glittering fragments of Literary Gold along the way.

Delilah S Dawson
20 Minutes with Delilah S. Dawson

To have Delilah S. Dawson join us at the virtual Table is the podcast equivalent of plummeting down a water slide riding an alpaca (without the bleating and flailing of hooves).

Author of deliciously wicked tales for adults (including the Blud Series, featuring Wicked as They Come, Wicked as She Wants, and Wicked After Midnight) and honest no-punches-pulled tales for teens (like Servants of the Storm), Delilah is blazing her own path through the literary world.

Workshop Episode 60 (Guest Host: Kameron Hurley)

Hugo Award Winner Kameron Hurley – wordsmith of the epic Bel Dame Apocrypha series (featuring “God’s War”, “Infidel”, and “Rapture”) and the eagerly anticipated “Mirror Empire” (on shelves Aug 26) – returns to the Big Chair, wielding her potent storytelling mojo in the arena of the story brainstorm.

The catalyst for our workshopping-fu is provided by our Guest Writer, Shiri Sondheimer, who brings an epic scifi version of the Arthurian tales to the Table. With such a delightful weave of threads to draw upon, the ensemble entangles itself into the tale, emerging with a rich tapestry woven with Literary Gold.

Kameron Hurley
20 Minutes with Kameron Hurley

Kameron Hurely is a singular voice in the speculative fiction. Not only is she the author of the Bel Dame Apocrypha (comprised of “God’s War”, “Infidel”, and “Rapture”) and the upcoming “Mirror Empire” (hitting shelves August 26), she is also a prodigious blogger, infusing the world with her startling and articulate insights.

Workshop Episode 59 (Guest Host: Cat Rambo)

Cat Rambo, weaver of hundreds of lush story tapestries, returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to join co-host Moses Siregar (“Black God’s War”, and the ‘Adventures in SciFi Publishing’ and ‘Hide and Create’ podcasts) and myself, lending her storytelling mojo in the time-honored tradition of a good frothing brainstorm.

Seeding the thunder clouds of awesomeness is our Guest Writer, August Grappin. Gus brings a most intriguing coming-of-age tale fraught with oracles, fate, and destinies. As the episode unfolds, it becomes clear it’s OUR fate to have a rollicking good time as we brainstorm our way through the tale, unearthing a veritable cornucopia of Literary Gold

Cat Rambo
20 Minutes with Cat Rambo

We kick off the first episode of the newly reawakened RTP by enjoying 20(ish) Minutes With Cat Rambo. Cat is the whole literary package – author, editor, educator, award-winner, and VP of the mighty SFWA – and it was a pleasure to explore her craft with her. With Moses Siregar (author of “Black God’s War”) as my guest co-host and wingman, we delve into the idea of collaborating with yourself, the joys and perils of worldbuilding, and so much more!

A Dimming of the Light…

Larry Santoro has passed away. There is a silence in the world that wasn’t there before, echoes where once there was joyful noise. The warm radiance cast by this remarkable gentleman will be deeply missed… it will be reflected forever in the lives of those he touched with his tales and generous spirit.

Workshop Episode 58 (Guest Host: Joe McKinney)

Joe McKinney returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to lend his superb storytelling mojo in workshopping a tale of supernatural and psychological horror (one of his many fortes). The tale is presented by the mighty Rob Smales (who has crafted more than a few tales of terror in his time). Rob’s tale of childhood terror maturing into a horrifying adult nightmare sends us all digging in the grave dirt in search of blood-stained Literary Gold!