Author Dave Robison

Dave Robison has indulged in creative pursuits his entire life. His CV includes writing Curious George fan-fiction at the age of eight, improv theater at age ten, playing trumpet at age twelve, as well as a theater degree, creating magazine cover art, writing audio scripts, designing websites, creating board games, hosting mythological roundtables and generally savoring the sweet drought of expression in all its forms. His years of exploration give him a unique, informed, and eloquent perspective on the art of storytelling.

20 Minutes With...
0 20 Minutes with K. C. Wayland

Few people have impacted the world of audio theater in recent years like this week’s Guest Host, K.C. Wayland. Back in 2009, while the most of the world was just waking up to podcasting and the notion of audiobooks (and “Walking Dead” was still a year and a half from its debut), KC was writing and producing the award winning “We’re Alive” audio drama series, a tale of survival set against the backdrop of a zombie apocalypse. The superior production, performance, and storytelling of “We’re Alive” raised the bar on audio entertainment and inspired a renaissance of tales told through the “theater of the mind”.

That alone would make this a spectacular 20(ish) minutes, but wait… there’s more. My co-host for this episode is none other than the creator of the remarkable “Leviathan Chronicles” audio drama, Christof Laputka! With these two storytelling maestros together in the virtual RTP studio, you KNOW this is going to be a fabulous discussion. Tune in as we explore the distinctions between literary and audio storytelling, crafting action scenes in audio drama, killing characters, sensory challenges in audio drama, and more.

0 RTP Dialogues #4: The Changing Face of Storytelling

E-books, audiobooks, websites, podcasts, transmedia, social media, Scribd, WattPad… compared to just a decade ago, the ways to tell a story have multiplied exponentially. Readers (or listeners) can not only find the stories they want with a click of the mouse, but they can also find the authors themselves, creating a whole new dynamic of fandom.

As formats and delivery models transform and evolve, the question has to be asked: Has the ancient craft storytelling – an instinct hard-coded into the DNA of every human being – been changed as well? And if so, how? And, more importantly, what should an author know in order to tell their stories in this ever-shifting terrain?

Joining me to help address this question is Cat Rambo, Joe Bonadonna , Michael A. Armstrong, and Janet and Chris Morris, veteran tale-weavers straddling the traditional and the modern. Together, we set out to examine the “new” storytelling models, discussing ebooks, audiobooks, mobile technologies, episodic and serial storytelling, and more.

3 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.

The Podcast
2 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 more. This make-over has been long overdue. The spirit of…

Workshop Episodes
0 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.

20 Minutes With...
0 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 Episodes
0 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.

20 Minutes With...
1 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.

Workshop Episodes
1 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.

20 Minutes With...
0 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.

Workshop Episodes
0 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.

20 Minutes With...
3 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.

Workshop Episodes
0 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.

20 Minutes With...
1 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.

0 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.

One Question...
0 “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.

20 Minutes With...
0 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.

1 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

20 Minutes With...
0 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?

0 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!

20 Minutes With...
0 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.

3 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.

20 Minutes With...
0 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.

1 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.

20 Minutes With...
1 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.

0 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

20 Minutes With...
2 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!

The Podcast
1 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.

0 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!

3 RTP Dialogues #2: Transmedia Storytelling

One of the most intriguing formats that has permeated nearly every corner of our awareness is Transmedia Storytelling. By implementing diverse content threads across multiple media platforms, storytellers are able to transcend the limitations of printed word and provide their audiences with a richer, more engaging story experience.

Joining me for this transformative dialog is a cast of Transmedia luminaries, each with years of diverse experience in developing these unique storytelling experiences: Amanda Havard, Andrea Phillips, J. C. Hutchins, and Robert Pratten. I was also most fortunate to have Matthew Wayne Selznick agree to join me as co-host and bring his experience and insight to the table.

4 RTP Dialogues #1: Near-Future SciFi and the “Death” of Cyberpunk

Brion and I are joined by authors Colin F. Barnes, Alasdair Stuart, Starla Hutchton, and Stephen Godden to discuss the challenges of writing near-future scifi in a world where science fact keeps out pacing our imaginations. Along the way we manage to debunk the reported “death of cyberpunk” as well as explore the sources of the trend towards genre mash-ups.

The Podcast
25 Introducing… “Roundtable Dialogues”

Conventionally, “taking care of myself” entails “taking it easy”, “getting lots of rest”, “eating well”, and other sensible courses of action. And I’m doing all those things… really! But that kind of convalescent lifestyle includes a lot of “quiet time”, long tranquil hours where your brain is free to drift and ponder whatever errant thoughts may pique its interest.

You see the hazard that represents, right? Leaving me alone with my thoughts is like hiring an arsonist to watch over propane plant; something’s gonna blow.

The Podcast
38 Indefinite Hiatus

It’s been quiet around here for a couple weeks. Thanks for your patience as I try to get my bearings in a world that has changed dramatically for me. I…

20 Minutes With...
2 20 Minutes with Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary Robinette Kowal – renowned and lauded puppeteer, author of the exquisite “Shades of Milk and Honey”, “Glamour in Glass”, and “Without a Summer”, co-host of the “Writing Excuses” podcast, and general purveyor of wonders – combines two qualities that make her an astonishing artist: an incisive and informed perception blended with a playful spontaneity. The result is a graceful, surprising, and often lush and luxurious storytelling experience.

Brion and I were grateful for the opportunity to share 20(ish) minutes of rare conversation as Mary shares her thoughts and insights regarding the “work” of the writing craft, genre issues and what she “really wants to write”, how she cultivates her writerly mojo, and more!

3 Workshop Episode 56 (Guest Host: John Anealio)

John Anealio – renowned musician, composer, and songwriter of geek anthems covered in his albums “Laser Zombie Robot Love” and “Sci-Fi Songs” AND co-host at the fabulous Functional Nerds Podcast – returns to the Big Chair and just in the nick of time! Today, we make Roundtable history as we workshop a SONG!

Patrick Toner, a man of diverse and distinguished talents, comes to the Roundtable with a fabulous idea for a song and you know us… we just can’t say no. Thank goodness we have John on hand to help us explore these uncharted waters and, while there’s a fair amount of splashing and flailing about on our part, I still think we managed some Literary Gold!

20 Minutes With...
2 20 Minutes with John Anealio

John Anealio – musician, composer, and geek balladeer who has crafted such classics as “Steampunk Girl”, “George RR Martin is Not Your Bitch”, and so many more – is not someone you’d expect to find on a writing podcast. And yet, John’s life of exploring the creation and performance of music has given him some astonishing experiences and insights into the storyteller’s craft. On top of those credentials, he has massive geek and literary cred from his tenure as founder and co-host of the fabulous Functional Nerds podcast!

Brion and I were delighted to share a marvelous 20(ish) minutes of conversation with John, exploring the parallels of music and literature, his approach to the craft of storytelling through music, and more!

5 Workshop Episode 55 (Guest Host: Patrick E. McLean)

Patrick E. McLean – author of “Unkillable” and “How to Succeed in Evil” and founder of Good Words (Right Order) – returns to apply his unique insights and experience towards helping Ryan Stevenson and I workshop a delicious tale served up by writer, and vocal performer Patrick Lewis.

Patrick brings a SciFi tale of corporate corruption, betrayal, all centered around a really sweet caper. It’s Ocean’s Eleven set in the far future and you know we’re gonna have some fun exploring the intricacies of complex characters, crossed motivations, and making everything works out in the end… which is, or course, where everyone finds the huge stack of Literary Gold for the taking!

20 Minutes With...
1 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!

6 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...
0 “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!

20 Minutes With...
3 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!

16 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.

The Podcast
1 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.

20 Minutes With...
4 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.

6 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.

20 Minutes With...
13 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!

5 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.

20 Minutes With...
1 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.

4 Workshop Episode 52 (Guest Host: Hugh Howey)

Hugh Howey – a storyteller who’s pen has scribed many marvelous tales, including the astonishing dystopian scifi tale “Wool” that continues to impact the literary world in the most delightful ways – returns to the big chair at the Roundtable to workshop a very cool mid-grade scifi story idea offered up by the inventive and inspired Holli Mintzer.

Holli’s tale of deep space generational ships and alien first contact (and first abduction) is fraught with intriguements that set us to exploring all the nooks and crannies of Holli’s universe. Along the way, we scarf up a metric ton of Literary Gold!

20 Minutes With...
3 20 Minutes with Hugh Howey

Hugh Howey is the author of many tales, long and short, set in diverse environments and genres. But it is his dystopian scifi tale “Wool” that has captured the imaginations of not only of thousands of fans, but also most publishing and media industries in the free world (including Hollywood). It’s all too easy to narrow your focus of an individual when one work commands such attention… and in the case of Hugh, that would be an egregious error. His life experience as well as his persistence and dedication to his craft has given Hugh a unique perspective that distinguishes his writing and the path he’s chosen to pursue it.

Lauren Harris (of the Pendragon Variety Podcast) and myself took full advantage of our 20(ish) minutes with Hugh as we explore his insights and strategies on worldbuilding, his own strengths and assets, expanding a novelette into a full series, and so much more!

14 Workshop Episode 51 (Guest Host: Tobias Buckell)

Tobias Buckell – author of the fabulous Xenowealth series, Halo™ tie-in novel “The Cole Protocol”, the recently released “Arctic Rising” from Tor Books, and so much more – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to help us workshop a kind-of-superhero tale offered by Guest Writer, Jeff Xilon.

Jeff’s tale – that begins with the destruction of the last superheroes – sparks a frothing conversation as we explore a whole plethora of perspectives, POVs, backstories, and approach vectors, exposing some very cool material that might help enhance the story and also explore some new ground for the super hero genre. The Internet gods were very cruel to us (our apologies for the wretched bits we couldn’t edit out), but that didn’t stop us from unearthing some serious Literary Gold!

20 Minutes With...
4 20 Minutes with Tobias Buckell

Tobias Buckell has lived an adventurous life, not in the sense of plundering ancient tombs or fighting ninjas, but a life of extraordinary circumstances, opportunities and challenges. He says, “Fear of something is always an indicator of something I should do”… with that philosophy, he has blazed his own trail, exploring his craft – creating compelling tales like “Crystal Rain”, his exploration of his own craft in “Nascence”, and the recently crowd funded “Apocalypse Ocean” – and infusing his tales with a profoundly unique voice that has earned him a space on the New Yourk Times Best-Selling List and nominations for Hugo, Nebula, Prometheus, and Campbell awards.

This 20(ish) minutes of conversation is rich with Tobias’s refreshing perspective on so many aspects of the wrting process, including loving what you do, dealing with fear and the challenges of life as a writer, the secret of endings, and much more! The writerly goodness here here for the taking, so hit that “PLAY” button and dig in!

3 Workshop Episode 50 (Guest Host: Lauren Oliver)

Lauren Oliver – author of astonishing tales for all ages, including the New York Times Best-Selling YA series “Delirium”, and “Liesl and Po” and “The Spindlers“ (for younger audiences) AND one half of the evil genius team (with Lexa Hillyr) behind the innovative Paper Lantern Lit literary house – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to apply her experience and writerly mojo in the workshopping of a tale offered up by Guest Writer Kebreht Walker.

Keb comes load for bear (or wolf, as the case may be) with a very cool YA spin on the Red Ridinghood fairy tale, full of intrigue and danger. Ryan Stevenson and I dive in and everyone brings their “A” game resulting in a huge basket of Literary Gold. Don’t take it to Grandma’s… hit ‘play’ and keep it for yourself!

20 Minutes With...
3 20 Minutes with Lauren Oliver

Lauren Oliver brings so much fabulousity into the world – through her novels, including the much-lauded “Delerium” series, “Liesl and Po” and “The Spindlers”, and more, AND her work with partner-in-crime-and-story Lexa Hillyer at the astonishing Paper Lantern Lit – and the adventure of her pursuits thus far has refined her awareness of the writers craft without blunting her delight in the process.

During this 20(ish) minutes of intriguing conversation, Ryan Stevenson and I discover Laurens perspectives on the collaborative process, the power and virtue of YA literature, the power of understanding plot, and so much more…

13 Workshop Episode 49 (Guest Hosts: Conor McCreery and Anthony del Col)

Conor McCreery and Anthony del Col – creators and evil geniuses (genii?) behind the “Kill Shakespeare” graphic novel series (and all the astonishing treasures emerging from it) – return to the big comfy chairs at the Roundtable to lend their unique and insightful creative mojo to a workshop of a tale offered up by John w. Campbell Award candidate Anatoly Belilovsky.

Anatoly brings a tale of small Siberian town at the turn of the century that features transforming locomotives, the magic of Kabalah, and none other than the mad monk, Rasputin! Even a fussy Internet couldn’t hold us back from diving into the wonderful possibilities of this intriguing idea. And you know – with such marvelous components and such a cast of workshoppers – the Literary Gold can’t be far behind.

20 Minutes With...
2 20 Minutes with Conor McCreery and Anthony del Col

Conor McCreey and Anthony del Col – creators and motive force behind the astonishing “Kill Shakespeare” comic series and all the awesomeness that comes with it – have transformed an inspired concept into a breathtaking reality. They’re unique backgrounds and experience informed their efforts in such a profound way that Shakespearean scholars have lauded their creation and it has spawned a stage production, a screen play, a computer game, and more!

During this 20(ish) minutes of marvelous conversation, Brion and I had the pleasure of discussing their strengths as writers, their collaborative process, the translation of well-known characters into a unique story, and more.

10 Workshop Episode 48 (Guest Host: Myke Cole)

Myke Cole – author of the much-lauded “Shadow Ops: Control Point” and the forthcoming (and much anticipated) sequel “Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier” – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable, bringing his experience and insights to bear in the workshopping of a tale offered up by Guest Writer Tim Niederriter.

Tim’s YA story concept of a world where dreams are being converted into energy – and the nightmarish (yes… I went there) fallout of that industry – was not only a blast to explore, but was a great opportunity to discuss the YA genre, working out protagonist motivations, and ratcheting up the stakes in a story. In short… a classic RTP experience in digging up a great shiny stack of Literary Gold.

20 Minutes With...
2 20 (more) Minutes with Myke Cole

Myke Cole – author of “Shadow Ops: Control Point” and the forthcoming sequel “Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier” – once had a friend remark “one life just isn’t enough for you” and when you speak with him and learn about his many achievements and the passions he’s pursued, you discover that’s an accurate assessment.

His years spent cultivating his craft have given him a broad and informed perspective on writerly pursuits and he shares generously of those informed insights during this exceptional 20(ish) minutes of conversation. We dig into his desire to be a well-rounded writer, discuss the merits and perils of trunked novels, how to convey procedural information effectively, and more.

16 Workshop Episode 47 (Guest Host: Emma Newman)

Emma Newman – who’s name translates from ancient elvish into “Writes with Tea” and who has crafted such tales as “20 Years Later” and the “From Dark Places” story collection AND will soon have “Between Two Thorns” (first of the Split Worlds series) released by Angry Robot Books – graciously returns to the Bog Chair at the Roundtable to assist Brion and I in the workshopping of a tale by Guest Writer Sara Sambrook.

And, great googly moogly, what a workshop! Sara’s tale of wizardry in modern society sets everyone into a creative froth, exploring, expanding, and expounding in grand Roundtable style. Of course, the Literary Gold is served up with finger sandwiches and tea cakes and there’s plenty to go around… so come and get yours!

20 Minutes With...
5 20 Minutes with Emma Newman

Emma Newman – author of “20 Years Later” and “From Dark Places” and the soon-to-be-released “Between Two Thorns”, crafter of marvelous tales short and long, and record holder for the longest bout of Writers Block ever – has been bringing the delights (and dark things) of her imagination to the page for most of her life.

Her fiction transforms the mundane into the marvelous… and she performs the same magic with this 20(ish) minutes of conversation. Emma generously shares her insights into the nature of writing advice, the distinction between long and short fiction, her unique process, the cyclical nature of post-apocalyptic fiction, and more!

8 Workshop Episode 46 (Guest Host: E. C. Myers)

E. C. Myers – author of the acclaimed “Fair Coin” and “Quantum Coin” – returns to the Big Chair to bring his superb insights and aesthetic to help Brion and I workshop a very cool YA SciFi tale offered up by podcaster and Gentleman Twitter-kin Richard Green.

Richard brings a delightful tale of an alien school field trip on Earth that goes horribly wrong that inspires a great discussion about the qualities of YA stories, defining character arcs and relationships, and a superb exploration of how to take a great idea and make it even better (which is kinda what we do, right?). Literary Gold is pretty much a foregone conclusion.

20 Minutes With...
10 20 Minutes with E. C. Myers

E.C. Myers – author of “Fair Coin” and “Quantum Coin” – brings a veritable cornucopia of skills, perceptions, and aesthetics to his craft. His fiction is inventive and authentic, a offering a fresh and unpredictable (and immensely satisfying) feast for his readers. During this engaging 20(ish) minutes of craft discussion, E. C. explores the discovery of his distinctive authorial voice, the qualities and merits of YA fiction, his experience at Clarion West and so much more. No need to flip a coin… writerly goodness is a sure thing.

9 Workshop Episode 45 (Guest Host: Matthew Wayne Selznick)

Matthew Wayne Selznick – author of “Brave Men Run” and the sequel (in-the-works) “Pilgrimage”, social media and marketing guru, creator of online communities, and storyteller extraordinaire – returns to the big chair to workshop a tale shared by Guest Writer (and Assistant Editor at Protecting Project Pulp) Fred Himebaugh.

Fred distinguishes himself by bringing one of the wildest story ideas we’ve ever had to the Roundtable that includes Cold War politics, world leader superheros (Ronald Regan in Iron Man armor?), ancient Russian Gods… you get the idea. With Ryan Stevenson in the co-host chair, we throw the switch on the Way-Back Machine and dive in… tune in for the wild story idea, stay for the Literary gold.

20 Minutes With...
11 20 Minutes with Matthew Wayne Selznick

Matthew Wayne Selznick is a storyteller in every sense of the word. He has applied the principles of story and narrative since he was a small boy, evolving epic story arcs in the sweeping battles between his vast toy collection. He continues his explorations of expression in all his pursuits as a musician, a social media marketer and (of course) as an author.

Ryan Stevenson and I thoroughly enjoyed this 20(ish) minutes with Matt, delving into many of the topics near and dear to his heart, such as the process and application of worldbuilding, the qualities of good story telling, and so much more. Writerly goodness abounds, dear friends… hit that PLAY button and enjoy!

23 Workshop Episode 44 (Guest Host: Gareth Powell)

Gareth Powell – author of the freshly minted awesomeness of “Ack-Ack Macaque” as well as “The Recollection”, “Silversands” and more – returns to the Big Chair to help Ryan Stevenson and me workshop a delicious future-tech sci-fi thriller (with a theological spin) shared by Guest Writer Daniel Ritter.

Dan’s tale of nano-tech, deranged mega-corps, cybernetic cultures, and “The God Process” proves to be rich food for the table… everyone dives in with a gusto and by the end of the feast, we’re all sitting on piles of Literary Gold.

20 Minutes With...
1 20 Minutes with Gareth Powell

Gareth Powell – author of “Ack-Ack Macaque”, “The Recollection”, “Silversands” and many more novels, stories, and poems – continues to explore the diversity and nuance of creative expression. With experience ranging from advertising copy to music to beat poetry and (of course) speculative fiction, Gareth brings a rare aesthetic to any project with which he engages.

Ryan Stevenson and I discovered much writerly goodness in the 20(ish) minutes of conversation where Gareth explores his editing and revision process, his experiences with collaborative fiction, the genesis of “Ack-Ack Macaque”, and more!

7 Workshop Episode 43 (Guest Host: Alethea Kontis)

Alethea Kontis – author of the award-winning “Enchanted”, “The Wonderland Alphabet”, The “Alpha-Oops” series, and so much more – returns to the Big Chair to help workshop a rich luxurious story idea offered up by podcaster, voice actor, authoress (and so much more), Lauren “Scribe” Harris.

With Justin Macumber as guest co-host (founder and co-host of the Dead Robots’s Society podcast, and co-host on the Hollywood Outsiders podcast), we dive in to a delightful frothy discussion, inspirations bouncing around like pixies on egg nog, taking Lauren’s already fabulous idea and festooning it liberally in Literary Gold.

20 Minutes With...
2 20 Minutes with Alethea Kontis

Alethea Kontis – author of “Enchanted” (recently listed on Kirkus Reviews among the “Best Teen Books of 2012″), the award-winning “Alpha-Oops” series, and so much more – is a passionate and informed storyteller. Her diverse background includes, among other things, a love and respect for the theater and of the rich heritage of folklore and fairy tales, both of which informs her work and infuses it with authenticity and magic.

Justin Macumber (co-host and founder of the Dead Robots’ Society podcast) joins me in a rousing 20(ish) minutes as Alethea waxes rhapsodic on the allure of fairy tales, who she writes for, her revision and editing process, and much more. The Fairy Queen is in the house people… woot!

7 Workshop Episode 42 (Guest Host: Michael Sullivan)

Michael Sullivan – erudite and eloquent author of the “Riyria Revelations” and the forthcoming “Riyria Chronicles” – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to help us workshop a fantasy noire tale offered by Ben Love (co-host of the “First Million Words” podcast).

The synergy around the table is amazing as everyone weighs in, exploring, expanding, and rhapsodizing on Ben’s excellent idea, building on each others inspirations. It’s classic Roundtable goodness, friends, with the inevitable outcome… Literary Gold for everybody!

20 Minutes With...
0 20 Minutes with Michael Sullivan

Michael Sullivan is incredibly dedicated to his craft. He studied and scrutinized the styles of the greatest writers in literature, taking the best of each to craft his authorial voice. The hard work shines through in his “Riyria Revelations” novels which have been lauded and recognized by literati and and reviewers since they hit the shelves.

In this intriguing 20(ish) minutes, Michael shares generously with me and Ryan Stevenson some of his insights into POV, the writing of prequels, using dialog to handle world-building and backstory, and more.

2 Workshop Episode 41 (Guest Host: Lauren Beukes)

Lauren Beukes – author, journalist, comic scribe, and storyteller extraordinaire – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to infuse this week’s workshop with the insight, experience, and vision that is the hallmark of her many works in the world.

She’s joined by Guest Writer Joshua Cordasco who brings a tale of a magical power play that sees 99% of the world dead and our heroes – including a disgraced devil – left to figure it all out. Between Josh’s fabulous story and Lauren’s keen sense of story, this is classic Roundtable goodness fraught with Literary Gold!

3 20 Minutes with Lauren Beukes

Lauren Beukes will do anything to avoid writing. In spite of her best efforts, however, her literary credits continue to find their way into the world (which is a very good thing indeed). She’s a journalist, a writer of animated TV series, producer of documentaries, author of novels (non-fiction fiction, and graphic), a shark swimmer, and Queen of Cape Town.

With such a broad canvas splashed with such startling and remarkable works, you KNOW our 20(ish) minutes I and Ryan Stevenson have with her is not only a pure delight, but also brimming with writerly goodness.

5 Workshop Episode 40 (Guest Host: Bryan Thomas Schmidt)

Bryan Thomas Schmidt – author of the Davi Rhii series, editor of and contributor to anthologies, and SpecFic explorer – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to help workshop a very cool post-apocalyptic tale offered up by Guest Writer Jason Ramsey.

While this was – by far – the weirdest episode we’ve ever recorded (between the wrath of the Internet Gods and an inadvertent road-trip starting in the middle of the episode), Jason’s core framework serves as a launching point for some really stellar explorations and insights into character, genre and theme. Writerly goodness and LOTS of Literary Gold for all!

3 The NaNoWriMo Project: The Wrap Up!

It has been a remarkable journey these last 30 days as we followed these writers through their unique challenges of NaNoWriMo. As each of them shared their strategies and experiences, we all gleaned a wealth of insight into what it takes to reach the 50K goal. And now, with NaNoWriMo complete, we reach out to them one more time to learn how they did and what comes next.

20 Minutes With...
4 20 Minutes with Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Bryan Thomas Schmidt has lived life wide and tall and true. He has pursued so many forms of storytelling – from film to music to writing – that his combination of life experience and craft provide a unique and informed insight into the entire process.

His passion, enthusiasm, and witty repartee made is 20(ish) minutes fly by as we explored his transition into writing, his process, and his perspective on SpecFic, and more!

6 Workshop Episode 39 (Guest Host: Cecilia Tan)

Cecilia Tan – author, visionary, and activist who’s passions are as diverse as the literary works they inspire – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to infuse this Workshop episode with he unique and eloquent brand of literary awesomeness.

We are joined by Guest Writer Nobilis Reed, a veteran author in his own right with a wealth of stories, podcasts, and audio adventures to his name. His erotic noire steampunk fantasy (yeah, that’s right… a four-genre mash-up. One might say a veritable orgy of genres *rimshot*) inspires a vigorous discussion from all sides of the table, which leads – as always – to a mighty hoard of Literay Gold.

20 Minutes With...
3 20 Minutes with Cecilia Tan

Cecilia Tan is a visionary author whose interests, passions, and achievements span a broad spectrum of experience. To say “she is best known for [something]” is a difficult sentence to complete for exactly that reason, but that is also what makes this 20(ish) minutes with her such a remarkable and inspiring conversation.

Join us as Ceclia discusses the application of spiritual divination to modern writing techniques, the value of fantasy and scifi to our culture, and the processes of engaging activity with your creative mojo.

4 Workshop Episode 38 (Guest Host: Jerry Gordon)

Jerry Gordon – editor of anthologies and author of tales (check his “Coming Up” section below for all his awesomeness) – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable for an ​epic​ story workshop. Guest Writer, Dan Scholes, brings a scifi tale of a distant culture dominated by nanites that infect every aspect of society.

Dan’s story becomes the foundation of one our most intriguing and in-depth workshops ever. You’ll be raking in the literary gold like autumn leaves, friends… just hit that “play” button.

3 The NaNoWriMo Project – Halfway There

With only a couple weeks left, our four NaNoWriMo writers are applying every ounce of discipline and dedication to reach their goal.

And real life doesn’t take a holiday for NaNoWriMo, and that includes day jobs, academic responsibilities (tests?!), professional responsibilities, extracurricular commitments, family duties, health issues, and technical difficulties! And don’t forget holidays (Thanksgiving isn’t canceled, after all) ! This is an epic journey for our writing team and we spoke to each of them (briefly) to see how they’re doing, find out what they’ve learned so far, and hear their plans for these last two weeks.

20 Minutes With...
1 20 Minutes with Jerry Gordon

Jerry Gordon is an author and editor of short and long fiction. As an editor, his work with Maurice Broaddus in the creation of the “Dark Faith” and “Dark Faith: Invocations” anthologies have informed his knowledge and perspective on the craft and qualities of good storytelling. Writing is own fiction – including the upcoming PRE-apocalyptic “Breaking the World” has further refined those sensibilities.

This was an exceptional 20(ish) minutes where we explored the challenges of using known history in your stories, the weaving (not mashing) of genres, and the value of reviewing and critiquing other writer’s works

4 Workshop Episode 37 (Guest Host: Larry Santoro)

Larry Santoro – author of “Just North of Nowhere” and “Drink for the Thirst to Come” and host of the splendid “Tales to Terrify” podcast – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to help Paul E. Cooley and myself workshop the tale of a hero’s journey through Hell offered up by Michael Bergonzi.

Rogue angels, demon spawn, and the world after Revelations sends us all on a wild hunt for radical story lines and subverted reader expectations… and along the way we find some literary gold!

20 Minutes With...
0 20 Minutes with Larry Santoro

Larry Santoro is an explorer of expression. He has pursued and taught theater, written poetry and plays, produced films, hosted podcasts (like Tales to Terrify, part of the District of Wonders Network), and – of course – stories and novels.

While much of his work has been classified as horror, Larry contends that he’s not a horror writer… his stories just turn out that way. Paul E. Cooley joins me as co-host for this episode as we delve into the creative perspectives of this remarkable individual.

18 Workshop Episode 36 (Guest Host: Lou Anders)

Lou Anders – Editorial Director at Pyr, the science fiction and fantasy imprint of Prometheus Books Publishing – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to help workshop a story idea by podcaster, writer, and former Guest Co-Host Doc Coleman. Doc’s idea inspires a wealth of Literary Gold as Lou walks us through some exceptional insights into the storytelling craft (he even assigns homework!).

20 Minutes With...
12 20 Minutes with Lou Anders

Lou Anders – editorial director at Pyr Books – has led a hero’s journey through speculative fiction, from practically living on the sets of Star Trek and Babylon 5 to swinging Stormbringer in a parking lot with Michael Moorcock. We’re delighted to share this 20(ish) minutes we had with Lou, discussing the reasons behind genre mashups, the nature of character in relation to plot, and more! So much writerly goodness awaits you behind that PLAY button…

3 The NaNoWriMo Project (4 of 4)

And so we come to the conclusion, the final workshop/prep session with our four remarkable writers. NaNoWriMo begins tomorrow and they will be joining the thousands of bold and dedicated writers who will be burning up their keyboards to crank out the 1,667 words a day required to make the 50,000 word deadline in 30 days. This is only the beginning! The prep is done… now everyone gets to GO WRITE! :)

1 The NaNoWriMo Project (3 of 4)

It’s NaNoWriMo-Eve! Soon, thousands of bold and dedicated writers will be getting down to the business of crafting 50,000 words of fabulous story in 30 days. To support and celebrate those brave souls, The Roundtable Podcast invited four remarkable writers to gather at the table and share their own preparations for this epic annual event.

The discussion continues – as well as the brainstorming goodness – in this third chapter of the four-part podcast. The quest for writerly goodness, literary gold, and NaNoWriMo inspiration carries on!

11 Workshop Episode 35 (Guest Host: Adam Christopher)

Adam Christopher – an author who follows his amazing stories through whatever genre terrain they lead him (and we follow him cheerfully because… well.. he writes amazing stories) – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to workshop a tale of memory and madness offered by veteran game designer (and player) James Silverstein.

James’s story of lost memory, conspiracy, and deceit arrives with a substantial “Awesome” factor in its own right, which sends all of us off in search of even more Literary Gold (spoiler alert: We find it. A LOT of it). Classic Roundtable goodness awaits…

3 The NaNoWriMo Project (2 of 4)

In support of the thousands of bold and dedicated writers accepting the 2012 NaNoWriMo challenge (to get 50,000 words on paper in a month), The Roundtable Podcast invited four remarkable writers to gather at the table and share their own preparations for the NaNoWriMo event.

And, of course, it wouldn’t be the Roundtable without some brainstorming, so everyone dives in and helps workshop each other’s stories. This is writerly goodness, literary gold, and a NaNoWriMo preparation all rolled into one!

2 The NaNoWriMo Project (1 of 4)

Each year, thousands of bold and dedicated writers accept the NaNoWriMo challenge: get 50,000 words on paper in a month. At The Roundtable Podcast, we support this worthy ambition wholeheartedly, and we wanted to help… so we invited four remarkable writers to gather at the table and share their own preparations for the NaNoWriMo event.

20 Minutes With...
0 20 Minutes with Adam Christopher

Adam Christopher – author of “Empire State” and “Seven Wonders” – is one of the few debut authors whose work already has “fan fiction”. Granted, that’s because of the visionary “WorldBuilder” initiative greenlighted by Angry Robot Books and produced by Mighty Mur Lafferty but still… you gotta respect the fact that Adam crafted a story world that has the scope and nuance to support a robust and active collaborative community.

Our 20(ish) minutes with Adam was a delight and fraught with talk of shared worlds, superhero literature (what a shock) and an exploration into Adam’s writing process. Writerly goodness dressed in spandex awaits!

3 Workshop Episode 34 (Guest Host: Maurice Broaddus)

Maurice Broaddus – author of the “Knights of Breton Court” series, editor of the “Dark Faith” anthologies (with Jerry Gordon), crafter of worlds and tales of wonder – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to workshop an alt history fantasy by podcaster and Guest Writer Zach Ricks.

Zach’s tale – described as “James Bond in Harry Potter’s world during the time of Downton Abby” – launches us into a frothing brainstorming session, dealing with alternate global politics, romantic triangles, nefarious plots, and a huge dragon slumbering under Yellowstone Park. Literary gold abounds!

Literary Alchemists
0 Literary Alchemist: Jerry Gordon

Jerry Gordon is leading at least one life too many. As a full-time author, editor, college instructor, grad student, web programmer and new dad, he lacks the time to write a witty bio but assures you that if you keep drinking, he’ll get funnier.

Read his entire Literary Alchemist Profile here…

20 Minutes With...
1 20 Minutes with Maurice Broaddus

Maurice Broaddus – author of the “Knights of Breton Court” series, editor (with Jerry Gordon) of the newly released “Dark Faith: Invocations” anthology, speaker of the pompetis of love – joins me and guest co-host Ryan Stevenson for an remarkable Showcase interview. During our 20(ish) minutes with him, Maurice discusses the writer’s lifestyle, explores theme and genre, and presents an amazing personal insight into the power of genre fiction. There’s so much writerly goodness here, we can barely contain… so take some for yourself!

One Question...
3 “One Question: Your Ideal Protagonist” from WorldCon 2012

Ben Delano, The Roundtable’s Wandering Alchemist, strolled the halls of WorldCon asking some truly remarkable individuals this question: Describe your ideal protagonist. We know what you’re thinking (’cause it’s the same thing we were thinking), “These are all going to be the same answer.” Oh no, dear friends… the diversity of response that we got affirms the depth of these writer’s perceptions within their craft. Literary Gold abounds… get yours!

9 (Our First) Knighting Ceremony: John Walker

Many episodes ago we started making a promise to all our Guest Writers: Write the story… put it out in the world and we will make you a Knight of the Roundtable Podcast. We knew it would happen. It had to… with all this Literary Gold being flung about, somebody was going to write their story. And then it did. John Walker, who workshopped his story back in Episode 15 with the articulate and insightful Myke Cole, took the ideas from the workshop, applied them to his story and has released it as an e-book!

7 Workshop Episode 33 (Guest Host: Nathan Lowell)

Nathan Lowell – author, podcaster, scholar, and Asker of Interesting Questions – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to help Brion and I workshop a tale offered up by Guest Writer Michael Brundenell. Mike brings a very cool contemporary martial arts story to the table fraught with ancient societies, secret government projects, with the future of humanity in the balance. This is, of course, a veritable buffet of awesomeness and we all fill our plates high with ideas, suggestions, and “what if’s”. Literary gold ensues… get some for yourself by clicking that PLAY button!

20 Minutes With...
1 20 (more) Minutes with Nathan Lowell

Nathan Lowell was the first Guest Host to ask ​us if he could be on the show. He’s also the first Guest Host to write us and ask “When are we doing it again?”. I’m not sure what that says about us, but it speaks volumes of Nathan. He has distinguished himself in many ways – as an author, podcaster, educator, and business man – but he’s also an adventurer, a seeker, and an artist who deeply enjoys exploring his craft. This second 20(ish) minutes with him leads down the road of discovering authorial voice, the editing process, and an exploration of what makes a “strong story”. There is a surfeit of writerly goodness for everyone here, so dive in an get yours!

7 Workshop Episode 32 (Guest Host: Brand Gamblin)

Brand Gamblin – channeler of Cthonic Deities and crafter of marvelous tales of all genres – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to help us workshop a story of biblical proportions… a superhero powered by God. The tale is offered up by veteran podcaster and audio fictioneer Clay Dugger and proved to be a marvelous springboard into a discussion about presenting faith in fiction, working or avoiding tropes, and developing suspense and pacing in your story. Everyone had a blast exploring the delightful terrain of this intriguing tale… and, of course, there’s an abundance of Literary Gold to be had!

20 Minutes With...
6 20 Minutes with Brand Gamblin

Brand Gamblin is a storyteller who aggressively pursues the evolution of his craft, striving always to push the limits of his ability and expand his comfort zone. His works to date include Science Fiction, Steampunk, Alternate Future (see? He’s making this stuff up, people!) and Science Fantasy (see?). He’s also possessed of a dark humor as evidenced by his wildly successful “Calls for Cthulu” video series. We spent a fabulous 20(ish) minutes with this marvelous weaver of tales discussing his transition from programmer to writer, and from outliner to pantser… we even dig into what Spec Fic really means. There’s writerly goodness behind that PLAY button, friends… click it!

8 Workshop Episode 31 (Guest Host: Jared Axelrod)

Jared Axelrod – crafter of wonders, creator of epic fables, and and storyteller extraordinaire – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to workshop a tale set in the aftermath of a super-power cataclysm created by Guest Writer Justin Hall. Justin’s tale is fraught with possibilities and – in the face of staggering technical challenges – we managed to explore most of them in one way or another. Marvelous discoveries are made, insights shared, and (spoiler alert) everyone leaves with some Literary Gold in their pocket.

20 Minutes With...
1 20 Minutes with Jared Axelrod

Jared Axelrod is the quintessential creator. Costuming, theater, art, literature, podcasting… each artistic challenge he sets before himself is met with passion, dedication, and an instinct for grand scope and epic presentation (and his latest triumph, “The Battle of Blood and Ink”, is a powerful testament to that craft). We were delighted to be able to enjoy 20(ish) minutes with this dynamic personality, discussing his own strengths as a creator, the ways and means of prioritizing creative endeavors, his own transition from uncertainty to boldness, and more! Your week’s supply of Writerly Goodness awaits!

4 Workshop Episode 30 (Guest Host: Tim Pratt)

Tim Pratt, whose fiction has transported readers to astonishing worlds (or revealed those worlds in our own closets), returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to brings his amazing perceptions to bear workshopping an intricate tale offered up by Guest Writer Rusty Webb. It’s apparently post-apocalypse month here at the RTP, but Rusty’s tale offers a very unique perspective and setting. Mad Gods, ascended beings, the last vestiges of humanity in a world gone wrong… marvelous food for storytelling awesomeness and we uncover several veins of Literary Gold.

20 Minutes With...
0 (More than) 20 Minutes with Patrick Rothfuss

Patrick Rothfuss – crafter of the on-going epic fantasy saga told in “The Name of the Wind” and “A Wise Man’s Fear” – joins us for the special Roundtable Podcast Showcase. We were fortunate to have a little more than 20 minutes with Pat and indulged in some marvelous explorations into his perceptions of the collaborative writing model, his experiences with “The Story Board”, his approach to “writing for your readers”, and his greatest strength as a writer. An epic conversation that is just a PLAY button-click away

20 Minutes With...
2 20 Minutes with Tim Pratt

Tim Pratt is a true Literary Alchemist, weaving tales of wonder from the dross of life. His meticulous prose either reveals the magic in the mundane or exposes the truth behind the fantasy… and either way, you’re left reeling with either a goofy smile or a tear. We’re delighted to have him join us for a 20(ish) minute chat where we discuss the craft of writing gender, the challenge of time, answer some questions from Brion’s creative writing class, and so much more. Click that “PLAY” button, gang!

5 Workshop Episode 29 (Guest Host: David D. Levine)

David D. Levine – crafter of marvelous tales of all genres (and lauded and celebrated time and again for those creations) – graciously returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to workshop a multi-layered story idea by Jason Carney. Jason’s tale starts off as one thing but evolves into something else all together! It was a wonderful evolution of ideas and inspiration… classic Roundtable goodness.

20 Minutes With...
0 20 Minutes with David D. Levine

David D. Levine sees the world differently than most of us. His skills, knowledge, and experience combine in an utterly unique way in his physiology, allowing him to perceive connections and associations where many of us just see noise. To be able to spend 20(ish) minutes with a gentleman like this is a rare opportunity and we had a great time making the most of it as we discuss the nature of fiction, the structure and pattern of good fiction, the secret sauce, and more!

5 Workshop Episode 28 (Guest Host: Alicia E. Goranson)

Alicia E. Goranson – playwright, author, and creator of the Parsec Award winning “The Mask of Inanna” – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to help us workshop a tale offered up by Anthony Sunderland. Assisted by the ever-dapper Doc Coleman, we dive in to Tony’s story of alien conspiracy, genetic hybrids, and clandestine government operations. It’s like a cross between Buffy and X-Files and everyone is soon in search of the elusive Literary Gold!

20 Minutes With...
0 20 Minutes with Alicia E. Goranson

Alicia E. Goranson’s literary gifts have engendered both marvelous prose and engaging scripts for both stage and audio production. In fact, her recent audio production – “The Mask of Inanna” – just won to 2012 Parsec Award for Best Speculative Fiction Audio Drama (Long Form)! We’re delighted to have her join us for 20(ish) minutes to share her thoughts on character development, the unique challenges (and delights) of writing prose versus scripts, and more! Come get your weekly share of writerly goodness!

6 Workshop Episode 27 (Guest Host: Rachel Swirsky)

Rachel Swirsky’s literary works are elegant and lyrical creations that stir the mind and the heart. Really… it’s like tasting your favorite food for the very first time. Which is why we’re so excited to have her back in the Big Chair to help workshop a story offered up by Guest Writer Ryan Stevenson. You may have heard Ryan workshop this story of life, afterlife, and mid-life on the Dead Robots’ Society episode #209 (a podcast he once co-hosted with distinction and honor) and now we get an opportunity to play in his literary sandbox for a while. Many paths are trod, many ideas fostered, and much gold for everyone!

20 Minutes With...
0 20 Minutes with Rachel Swirsky

Rachel Swirksy – nominated for the 2012 Hugo Award for her novelette “Fields of Gold” and Vice President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America – brings a wealth of insight and experience to this Showcase Episode. One of the (many) delights of this conversation is the unique perspective Rachel infuses it with… she understands her craft very precisely and articulates her insights with clarity and and honesty. We discuss the merits of short fiction, the hallmarks of writing with a clarity of voice, as well as exploring the qualities of the Clarion and Iowa Writer’s Workshops… and more!

The Podcast
9 Trends and Tropes of Our First 25 Episodes

Peter Ellis – whose name you may recognize from the many insightful comments he’s contributed to various posts – has indulged in some statistical research and presented us with an intriguing gift: A breakdown of the stories that we’ve workshopped!

With Brion and I having our heads “deep in the weeds” and focusing on individual episodes, we can’t always see the trends and cycles of the stories we’re engaging with each week. It’s enlightening to be provided with a birds-eye view of the genres, themes, and tropes that have been workshopped on the show.

6 Workshop Episode 26 (Guest Host: Cherie Priest)

Cherie Priest, whose innovations breath vibrant life into every genre she turns her pen to, reclaims the Big Chair at the Roundtable to lend her unique insights to this episode’s fabulous workshop. For this expedition in search of literary gold, we are joined by the charming and talented Riley J. Keith who shares a rich and intricate steampunk tale set in prohibition New Orleans. Her vision of intrigue, corruption, and betrayal in The Big Easy inspires some dynamic dialogue and everybody walks away some gold in their pockets. You can get some, too… just hit that play button!

20 Minutes With...
0 20 Minutes with Cherie Priest

Cherie Priest is a true Storyteller. She’s an author (of course) who has blazed her own trail through so many genres of SpecFic – Steampunk, Horror, Alternate History, Southern Gothic, and Urban Fantasy – and has received professional accolades for her fiction (her novel “Boneshaker” has even been optioned as a motion picture). Beyond that, she is a singular personality who defies convention at every turn. Our conversation with her was not only delightful but glitters brightly with literary gold.

The Podcast
2 Support “Pilgrimage” and Get Dave’s Voice!

A couple weeks back, we had an interview with the talented Matt Selznick where we discussed his Kickstarter campaign to fund “Pilgrimage”, a sequel to Matt’s “Brave Men Run: A Novel of the Sovereign Era”. It’s two weeks later – only FIVE DAYS LEFT – and he is SO CLOSE to bringing it home. A lot of people have stepped up to throw in their own amazing incentives to help make this project happen and we want to help too!

6 Workshop Episode 25 (Guest Host: Antonio del Drago)

Antonio del Drago – Doctor of Philosophy and Religious Studies, swordsman, author and evil genius behind the fabulous online writing community – return to the Roundtable to workshop a tale of vigilante vengeance offered up by Marc Vale. The conversation starts of tentatively, but as we explore deeper, each of us discovers some truly intriguing threads to the story that end up creating a golden weave of awesomeness.

20 Minutes With...
0 20 Minutes with Antonio del Drago

Antonio del Drago brings SO much awesomeness to the table. He is, of course an author (and wait ’til you hear what he’s writing now), but he’s also a skilled fencer and has a PhD in Philosophy and Religious Studies. He’s ALSO the founder and editor of the fabulous on-line fantasy writing community. This broad spectrum of experience gives him a rich perspective on… well… everything, but specifically on the craft and process of writing. We explore those perspectives with great delight in this episode, so by all means, join us!

6 Workshop Episode 24 (Guest Host: Andrew Mayne)

Andrew Mayne – who’s diverse creative enterprises include Master Stage Magician, Media Producer, Podcaster, and Author of Fabulous Tales – returns to the Roundtable to work his magic (ba dum dum) on a story workshop. This week, we are joined by Ben Delano (of the Reader/Writer podcast) presenting a tale of super powered heroes in the old west. It’s a fascinating mashup and everyone gets down to business in true Roundtable style. There’s (literary) gold in them thar hills, and by gum we’re gonna find it!

20 Minutes With...
0 20 Minutes with Andrew Mayne

Andrew Mayne has pursued his interests (including professional stage magic and movie production) with tireless passion, achieving not only prestige but also mastery of a wide range of creative and technical endeavors. He applies the wisdom and insight from those diverse creative pursuits to his passion for writing, giving him a unique perspective of the storytelling craft. There were several “oh wow” moments to be had for both Brion and I and I’m betting you’ll find a few, too. Tune in and enjoy while Andrew shines a light into places you may not have considered about the writing craft.

1 On a “Pilgrimage” with Matthew Wayne Selznick

Matthew Wayne Selznick has been making marvelous things for a long time… and he’s gotten quite good at it. Whether it’s music, podcasts, texts, or novels, his creative innovation and authenticity shines through in each endeavor. We invited Matt to join us and discuss his latest project (a Kickstarter campaign for “Pilgrimage” , the sequel to his amazing novel “Brave Men Run”) but you know us… we can’t just talk about one thing. We delve into Matt’s creative process, his perspective on super-hero culture, and the greatest asset a writer can cultivate. It’s a great discussion and it’s just a mouse-click away!

10 Workshop Episode 23 (Guest Host: Dan Wells)

Dan Wells – author of “The Hollow City”, “Partials”, the John Cleaver series, and co-host of the Parsec-award winning “Writing Excuses” Podcast – returns to the Roundtable to add his experience and insights to this weeks workshop. Our Guest Writer is Dan Absalonson – an author with two tales on Amazon and his own podcast – who brings a marvelous zombie/robot scifi thriller tale to the table. The discussion is brisk, moving from one intriguing topic to the next, each stop revealing more literary gold. This is classic RTP goodness, friends… join us!

20 Minutes With...
2 20 Minutes with Dan Wells

Dan Wells is an author who has crafted some truly superb tales that shine a light on the darker facets of humanity, including the John Cleaver novels, the dystopian YA novel “Partials” (and the soon to be released sequel “Fragments”, The Hollow city, and more. He’s also one of the co-hosts of the Parsec Award winning Writing Excuses podcast. With such a vast range of experience in both the crafting of fiction as well as discussing the finer points of the craft, you know this 20(ish) minutes is going to be chock full of writerly goodness. And you know what? You’d be absolutely right!

5 Workshop Episode 22 (Guest Host: Seanan McGuire)

Seanan McGuire is the full artistic package, the triple threat, expressing the keen edge of her spirit through paint, pixel and pen, producing web comics and other traditional art. She commandeered a time machine exclusively for this podcast so she could actually have an hour to sit in the Big Chair and help us workshop a story. Our Guest Writer, Gloria Sigountos, serves up an fresh and innovative tale of kidnapping, intrigue, mercenary scoundrels, magical siblings, and general mayhem. It’s a delightful frothing tale that launches everyone into an amazing discussion. Grab hold of something and hit that PLAY button!

20 Minutes With...
4 20 Minutes with Seanan McGuire

Seanan McGuire – author, musician, poet, artist, essayist, (I could go on but there’s only so many pixels on the screen) – is an amazing person to speak with. It’s the conversational equivalent of speaking to the genetic fusion of Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway, and HP Lovecraft while drinking from a fire hose and holding live electrical wires. She is an astonishing and intense storyteller, versed in all mediums of the craft, and incredibly forth coming on any topic you care to throw at her. We tossed a few in and she gave us back gold… lots of it.

16 Workshop Episode 21 (Guest Host: Christof Laputka)

Christof Laputka – creator, writer, and producer of the epic audio event that IS “The Leviathan Chronicles” – returns to the Big chair to help workshop an inspired story idea offered up by podcaster, writter, and nefarious super-villain, Christopher Morse. Chris brings an amazing tale of alternate history with Rome under the influence of a vile and cunning criminal from the future. Julius Caesar, time travel, ironpunk automatons, roman soldiers, brothels… I mean DANG! There’s SO much gold in this episode, you’re going to want to bring a wheelbarrow!

20 Minutes With...
3 20 Minutes with Christof Laputka

Christof Laputka is a fascinating individual. He’s the creator and executive producer of “The Leviathan Chronicles” – a tour de force of podcast fiction production rich with original music, mind-blowing sound effects, exceptional performances, and a riveting storyline. That’s pretty awesome in and of itself, but what distinguishes him is his genuine delight and passion for what he does. For him, each episode is an exploration, a voyage of discovery in search of new ways to expand and enhance the storytelling experience. That delight is infectious and we enjoyed or 20(ish) minutes with him as he shared volumes about his experiences and insights into the craft.

4 Workshop Episode 20 (Guest Host: John Mierau)

John Mierau – whose literary endeavors span genres and media with intriguing tales that explore the boundaries of speculative fiction – returns to the Big Comfy Chair at the Roundtable to help workshop a tale offered by writer and podcaster Jay Langejans. Jay’s dystopian aquatic scifi story generated a lot of excitement around the table and ​everybody​ dove in and splashed around. This is classic Roundtable goodness, friends… a fabulous story idea, a brilliant guests, and literary gold flying around at every turn.

One Question...
8 “One Question: Why Paranormal YA?” at UtopYA Con 2012

Dedicated to “female writers of paranormal fantasy & the readers who love them,” UtopYA Con is a YA lovers paradise, fraught with wall-to-wall authors, fabulous panels and events, and an air of festive and impassioned creative mojo that you rarely see in a first-year event.

We talked to Janet Wallace (owner and prime mover-and-shaker at the Social Deviants marketing company) about the origins of UtopYA Con as well as her philosophy behind this 3-day extravaganza.

20 Minutes With...
4 20 Minutes with John Mierau

John Mierau is someone you want to talk to. I mean, he’s definitely someone you want to read because his works are startling, innovative, and richly crafted. But the depth and insight (and humor) that comprise John’s outlook on life, writing, and the creative process are things that come up almost immediately once you start a conversation with him. And that, my friends, will be time well spent. We were fortunate to have John spend 20(-ish) minutes with us where he shared some honest and inspiring perspectives on how he does what he does… a fabulous conversation we’re proud to share with you.

13 Workshop Episode 19 (Guest Host: Seth Harwood)

Seth Harwood’s career and influence as a Crime Fiction creator continues to expand (we talk about that a bit during the opening segment) so we’re double delighted that he made the time to help us on this Workshop Episode. This week we’re joined by a multifaceted creator of wonders both audio and literary, David Sobkowiak, who brings a fascinating mashup of no less than FOUR genres into a single story. The idea makes for some dazzling dialog around the table!

20 Minutes With...
4 20 Minutes with Seth Harwood

Seth Harwood is definitely an author, crafting hard-hitting crime fiction like the Jack Palm series and “Young Junius”. But it becomes very clear early in this interview that he’s much more than that. He is a scholar, a teacher, and skilled storyteller who brings to bear not only an incisive and articulate mind to his craft, but also a passion that can only come from utter dedication to something you love. We’re pleased and proud to offer this Showcase of our (too short) time with him, but don’t stand too close… the fire’s burning hot around here.

4 Workshop Episode 18 (Guest Host: Abigail Hilton)

Abigail Hilton – creator of the vast Panamindorah Universe and all the wonderful fiction encompassed within it – returns to the Roundtable and does a masterful job in workshopping our first Vampire story (squeee!) offered up by Guest Writer Mercy Loomis. Mercy has crafted a rich and detailed universe and her story got all of us in a froth of creative fervor… so yeah, the episode is longer than most, but there’s so much goodness in there that I just couldn’t cut it down.

20 Minutes With...
1 20 Minutes with Abigail Hilton

Abigail Hilton is… she’s just… wow. Perhaps best knows for her “Guild of the Cowry Catchers” series and the YA prequel (actually the pre-prequel) “The Prophet of Panamindorah”, she actually has whole volumes of material she has been drafting and revising since she was an early teen. Plus she co-hosts the fabulous Full Cast Podcast with Bryan Lincoln, so when she grabs the big chair at the Roundtable everybody better hold on tight… the writerly goodness (and the laughs) come pretty quick.

9 Workshop Episode 17 (Guest Host: Anne Lyle)

Anne Lyle – who has released the first novel in her Night’s Masque trilogy, “The Alchemist of Souls”, with more wonders, delights, and thrills to come – rejoins us at the Roundtable (she gets the comfy chair) to workshop a marvelous tale offered by Veronica Giguere. Join us as we explore an intriguing world fraught with intrigue, seafarers, pirates, ancient religions, and just a dash of Steampunk. We had a blast with this one and we’re sure you will, too!

20 Minutes With...
3 20 Minutes with Anne Lyle

Anne Lyle has crafted a lush and intricate historical fantasy thriller – “The Alchemist of Souls” – which is (thankfully) only the first in a trilogy published by Angry Robot Books. As much as we hated to take her away from her writing, she graciously agreed to join myself and the inestimable Doc Coleman (filling in for Brion) in a marvelous discussion of crafting other races, the practical use of deleted scenes, theatrical influences, and the nature of Speculative Fiction. Join us… there’s plenty of chairs.

2 Workshop Episode 16 (Guest Host: Paul Elard Cooley)

Paul Elard Cooley – acknowledged Fiendmaster and purveyor of dark psychological and paranormal horror tales (not to mention the despicable things he does to Muppets) – settles in at the dark end of the Roundtable to workshop a tale by writer and webcomic creator Christoper Wright. Chris brings us a civilized murder mystery set in a rich and complex world fraught with political struggle, mad gods, and strange magics. There’s a lot to talk about, including handling info dumps, the nature of “serious” characters, and dealing with HUGE frickin’ worlds in a story.

20 Minutes With...
0 20 Minutes with Paul Elard Cooley

Paul Elard Cooley (aka The Fiendmaster) has evolved a growing canon of psychological and supernatural horror. Notable not only for its bone-chilling dread, but also its use of history as the backdrop for the progression of tales he tells, Paula has distinguished himself as a storyteller and a student of history. And if you’ve heard what he does to Muppets, you might question our sanity in bringing him on the show. As it turns out, he’s a cool guys with a lot of excellent insights for writers and horror fans.

4 Workshop Episode 15 (Guest Host: Myke Cole)

Myke Cole – author of ShadowOps: Control Point, first in the ongoing ShadowOps trilogy – graciously returns to the Roundtable to help workshop a tale by writer John Walker. John’s story idea is the second in his series the Statford Chronicles about a scruffy gumshoe who is also the defender of humanity. When his character is called upon to defend the devil, Myke, Brion, and Dave step up to lend a hand. Mythology, religion, gumshoes, murder, and the Devil… sounds like a recipe for mayhem, and we certainly dove in to the fray!

20 Minutes With...
2 20 Minutes with Myke Cole

Myke Cole is a remarkable gentleman. He’s incredibly well read and knowledgeable on a vast array of topics from nerd culture to the foundations of speculative fiction to military theory and practice (after three tours in Iraq, that last bit comes as no surprise. But it goes beyond that. If you’ve ever heard his interviews or seen him at a con, you cannot help but be swept up in the energy and passion he infuses with every word. We were delighted to have Myke join us at the Roundtable and share some of that fire with us.

14 Workshop Episode 14 (Guest Host: Nobilis Reed)

Nobilis Reed – a man of SO many gifts and talents, including author, podcaster, editor, vocal performer, and audio guru – returns to the Roundtable for some workshop action. Joining him at the table is Terry Mixon, a gifted and prolific author and one of the co-hosts at the much esteemed Dead Robots’ Society! Terry offers up a truly epic tale, an erotic romance thriller that get’s ideas and inspirations flowing like fine wine.

20 Minutes With...
2 20 Minutes with Nobilis Reed

Nobilis Reed is an accomplished author, producing a multitude of short fiction, several novels, countless podcasts, as well as a substantial volume of audio and editing work with other writers and publishers. Widely known for his erotic fiction, he brings a wealth of insight and experience to the table which he shares generously and with style. Pull up a chair and join us in exploring a a unique perspective on writing and storytelling.

4 Workshop Episode 13 (Guest Hosts: Big Anklevich and Rish Outfield

Having Rish Outfield and Big Anklevich – the mad geniuses behind the epic Dunesteef Audio Magazine – for our thirteenth episode turns out to be very lucky indeed. Joining us at the Roundtable is the remarkable Renee Chambliss, she of the wonderful voice, the gifted pen, and the keen ear, who brings a wonderfully innovative idea for a comicbook hero to the Table for the discussion. Origin stories, multimedia storytelling, and the nature of rats… all this and more awaits you… just hit that PLAY button

20 Minutes With...
1 20 Minutes with Big Anklevich and Rish Outfield

Big Anklevich and Rish Outfield have been producing amazing full cast audio fiction and even audio dramas for years on the Dunesteef podcast. We’re here to tell ya, that requires a whole different skill set that combines an artist’s eye (and ear), highly technical skills, and gift for translating creative expression from a one format to a radically different one. With mad skills like that, you KNOW we had to get them on the show, and we so glad we did… and you will be, too.

4 Workshop Episode 12 (Guest Host: Lee Harris)

Lee Harris – editor at Angry Robot Books and Chair of the British Fantasy Society – returns to the Roundtable to discuss a sci-fi/romance presented by author and blogger Kevin O. McLaughlin. Having two experienced literati on the show really kicked the discussion into high gear and we cover a lot of ground, exploring the logistics of moonbases and deadly plagues, romance in the depths of space, and ratcheting up the tension.

20 Minutes With...
4 20 Minutes with Lee Harris

We had hoped that Lee Harris – editor at Angry Robot Books, Chair of the British Fantasy Society, and evil genius behind the Hub Fiction E-Zine – would lend a bit of dignity to the Roundtable. We were wrong, but in the most wonderful and delightful way imaginable. While he shares generously of his broad experience and vital insights into the realm of genre fiction, it turns out that he’s a warm, funny, sometimes snarky, and always charming guy. Who knew?

Literary Alchemists
1 Literary Alchemist: Lee Harris

Showcase Episode: 20 Minutes with Lee Harris Workshop Episode: Workshop Episode 12 (Guest Host: Lee Harris) Website/Blog: Facebook Page: Lee Harris is the editor with Angry Robot…

10 Workshop Episode 11 (Guest Host: Tee Morris)

Tee Morris – author, podcaster, and Renaissance Man of the New Millennium – takes the Roundtable by storm as we workshop a fantasy tale by the host and producer of The Way of the Buffalo podcast, Hugh O’Donnell. The energy is high, the ideas are flyin’, and Tee shares a wealth of experience and insight regarding story pitches, characterization, romance (in fiction) and more. Yup, it’s yet another not-to-be-missed workshop episode.

20 Minutes With...
1 20 (or so) Minutes with Tee Morris

Tee Morris is a primal force. We mean that in a good way. I mean holy crap… podcasting pioneer, author of one of the very first podcast novels, co-founder of, co-author (with Pip Ballantine) of the ever-growing canon of The Tales of the Ministry (including two novels: Phoenix Rising and The Janus Affair)… and those are just the highlights. Buckle up, friends… it’s going to be a wild ride.

6 Workshop Episode 10 (Guest Host: Bryan Lincoln)

With Bryan Lincoln as Guest Host, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to put his diverse skill set to use and workshop a good sci-fi story. Enter Tracy Bodine, offering up a truly epic space opera for discussion around the Roundtable. We had a great time (and you will, too) exploring some of the possibilities of his tale that includes aliens, time-travel, bio-augmentation, galactic intrigue and the multiverse. So sit back, fire up your Quantum Spectrometer, and enjoy!

20 Minutes With...
5 20 Minutes with Bryan Lincoln

Bryan Lincoln represents an remarkable synthesis of science and creative mojo, equally at ease in a bioengineering lab, behind (or in front of) the mic, or at the keyboard. The scope of his experiences is vast indeed and we delve into that pool of knowledge in this Showcase episode, exploring the distinctions between audiobooks, full-cast presentations, and audio drama, as well as discussing the parallels of rational science and irrational art. So sit back, grab a mass spectrometer, and enjoy this enlightening 20 minutes

Literary Alchemists
0 Literary Alchemist: Bryan Lincoln

Showcase Episode: 20 Minutes with Bryan Lincoln Workshop Episode: Workshop Episode 10 (Guest Host: Bryan Lincoln) Website/Blog: h Facebook Page: Bryan is a physicist with a passion for audio…

The Podcast
12 Gratitude

We’re crossing double digits in our episode count in a week. That and our recent Parsec Nomination (still reeling from that amazing bit of news) make it a good time – because time seems to fly so fast – to pull off the headphones, lift our hands from the keyboard for a moment and reflect. There are a lot of thoughts and emotions furiously sparking and catalyzing right now, but one shines brighter than all the rest…

4 Workshop Episode 9 (Guest Host: Mur Lafferty)

Mur Lafferty – author, podcaster, editor, and purveyor of awesomeness – grabs a seat at the Roundtable to help workshop a story by Dan Latham that’s a unique twist on the superhero tale. As always, the story sparks a fabulous discussion that delves into the “darker” superpowers, alternatives to classic villain tropes, and the transformation of spirit that having superpowers can have.

20 Minutes With...
0 20 Minutes with Mur Lafferty

Mur Lafferty has a book coming out, a Not-A-Hugo award nomination (trans. the prestigious John W. Campbell Award) is editing Escape Pod and Angry Robot Books Worldbuilder Project and continues to produce the exceptional “I Should Be Writing” podcast and STILL she managed to swing by the Roundtable Skype line. We’re glad she did (and you will, too) as Mur discusses her experiences with depression, her current challenges as a writer, why she writes specfic, and more

Literary Alchemists
1 Literary Alchemist: Mur Lafferty

Showcase: 20 Minutes with Mur Lafferty Workshop: Workshop Episode 9 (Guest Host: Mur Lafferty) Website/Blog: Other Sites: I Should Be Writing ( Escape Pod ( Princess-Scientist Book Club (…

Story Development
12 Actors Write Better Characters

There is no one better equipped to build rich authentic characters than someone who has actually “lived” (for a few hours) as someone else. In order to appear authentic on stage, an actor has to be able to respond to cues and events AS THEIR CHARACTER. If they don’t, the performance is flat and uninteresting. Writers are striving for that same authenticity… and suffer the same consequences if they fall short of the mark. So how do actors do it?

8 Workshop Episode 8 (Guest Host: Justin Macumber)

Justin Macumber – author of Haywire, co-host of The Dead Robots’ Society and The Hollywood Outsider, writer of a diverse spectrum of intriguing speculative fiction – rejoins us for an awesome Workshop episode. We are joined by Scott Roche, an accomplished author and podcaster in his own right, offering up a very cool YA superhero tale that generates an epic Roundtable Podcast discussion.

20 Minutes With...
5 20 Minutes with Justin Macumber

Justin Macumber – founder and host of the Dead Robots Society, host on the Hollywood Outsider podcast, and author of the newly released scifi novel “Haywire” – somehow finds a away to pull out of the literary fast-lane and join us for a delightful and informative session around the Roundtable. Justin pursues what he loves with honesty and passion, and generously shares some of his mojo as we explore some of the big (and small) questions that all writers have.

0 Workshop Episode 7 (Guest Host: P.G. Holyfield)

P. G. Holyfield – author of “Murder at Avedon Hill” (and the podiobook!), evil genius behind SpecFic Media, and curmudgeon of the “Beyond the Wall” podcast – finds a chair at The Roundtable and helps us workshop an epic story by Dan Eagles. We’ve got extinction viruses, “infectants”, alien technology, and the Hadron Collider… does it GET any better than that? I think not!

Literary Alchemists
3 Literary Alchemist: Justin Macumber

Showcase Episode: 20 Minutes with Justin Macumber Workshop Episode: Workshop Episode 8 Website/Blog: Facebook Page: Dead Robots Society (co-host): Hollywood Outsider (co-host): I’m the author of…

20 Minutes With...
0 20 Minutes with P. G. Holyfield

P.G. Holyfield is a walker of many worlds. Author and podcaster (, blogger and web architect (, his experience spans across most conventional media (and some unconventional ones), so we were delighted when he agreed to join us at the Roundtable for a chat. The topics of discussion for this showcase include worldbuilding, the relationship between plot and character, and the pitfalls of editing while you’re still writing.

19 Workshop Episode 6 (Guest Host: Phillipa Ballantine)

Phillipa Ballantine – author, podcaster, and maven of amazement – takes time from her frightfully busy schedule to take a seat at the Roundtable for an unforgettable episode. She’s joined by the talented and charming L. L. McKinney who offers up a fabulous story based on Lewis Carrol’s “Alice in Wonderland” (though Alice was never so badass). The show went a little long but dang… with great hosts, awesome guests and an amazing story what are we supposed to do?

20 Minutes With...
0 20 Minutes with Phillipa Ballantine

Pip Ballantine – New Zealand’s first podcasting author – takes time from the wonders of the Ministry, the Order, and the Shifted Worlds to join us for (a little more than) a twenty minute chat. In spite of her many achievements and gift for crafting exquisite worlds, Pip has her feet on the ground and speaks frankly and with ease about her work, the evolution of a story, the role of mythology in her work, and the characters she’s crafted.

4 Workshop Episode 5 (Guest Host: Alasdair Stuart)

Alasdair Stuart leaps across the Atlantic Ocean to take a seat at the Roundtable and help workshop a story by the founder of New Fiction Writers, Tony Whitford. Tony offers up the tale of a down-on-his-luck government agent who stumbles upon an alien serial killer which proves to be fertile ground for a fabulous discussion.

20 Minutes With...
0 20 Minutes with Alasdair Stuart

Alasdair Stuart quietly sits down to the roundtable and – with wit and laughter – makes it all okay. While his talents are diverse and potent – including narration, writing and blogging, editing, and game design – it is his ability express the essence of whatever topic is on the table with honesty and warmth. During this (more-than-20-minute) episode, Alasdair shares insights into what makes a story memorable, how to extract and express a theme, reveals the “true” essence of the Isle of Man, and single-handedly ends the Genre Wars.

4 Workshop Episode 4 (Guest Host: Gail Carson Levine)

Gail Carson Levine, recognized by the New York Times, LA Times, Library Journal and numerous other Best-Seller lists, joins us at the table to discuss Jacci Turne’rs intriguing YA tale of time-travel. Everyone weighs in and, by the end of the episode, Jacci departs with a large bag of Roundtable Podcast gold.

2 Workshop Episode 3 (Guest Host: Gail Carriger)

New York Times Best-Selling author Gail Carriger generously makes time in her busy schedule of book releases, tours, and numerous (and intriguing) projects to join Brion and Dave on this third workshop episode. Laura Howard steps up as our Guest Writer sharing a tale of Faerie betrayal and intrigue. Topics discussed include passive characters, the proper use of world building, and how to end a book.

Ideas and Inspiration
0 Surrender

“There are people who appear to be able to invoke creativity on command.  They sit down and BAM, creative inspirations suddenly leap from their lips like spawning salmon.  Want to…

The Podcast
0 Premature episode release

Our apologies to everyone who received a notice that Workshop Episode 2 was up and available. We’re still working out the whole “production-scheduling-release” thing so we can offer reliable and…

20 Minutes With...
5 20 Minutes with J. Daniel Sawyer

Showcase Episode: Brion and Dave sit down with J. Daniel Sawyer and discuss character development, beta readers, genre, audience and more. We think you’ll agree, the twenty minutes is over too quickly, but listeners will find a wealth of writing insights.

The Podcast
0 Email Issues

We recently discovered that some emails being sent to us were NOT making it to our Inbox. That’s deeply disturbing to us. I mean, Brion and I are social, community-oriented…

7 Episode Zero-Point-Five

Each week (starting March 6, 2012), Roundtable hosts Dave Robison and Brion Humphrey – joined by authors, publishers and other literati – invite writers to present ideas for stories they’re developing. What follows is a no-holds-barred discussion of the story’s plot, character, pacing, and theme, in an attempt to transform rough concepts and unformed ideas into literary gold (i.e. a writable story).

In this second pre-episode Dave and Brion share some news about upcoming Guest Hosts, clarify misconceptions regarding copyright, and explore some of the discoveries made in the last few weeks.

Literary Alchemists
0 Literary Alchemist: Nathan Lowell

Showcase Episode: 20 Minutes with Nathan Lowell Workshop Episode: Workshop Episode 2 Website/Blog: Facebook Page: Nathan Lowell always wanted to be a writer. In 2007, he finally did…

Story Development
0 “25 Things…” from Chuck Wendig

Check out Chuck’s post “25 Things Writers Should Be Doing (ASAFP)” at It’s remarkable how, when you decide to commit to something (like this podcast), your perspective of the…

6 Episode Zero

Each week (starting March 6, 2012), Roundtable hosts Dave Robison and Brion Humphrey – joined by authors, publishers and other literati – invite writers to present ideas for stories they’re developing. What follows is a no-holds-barred discussion of the story’s plot, character, pacing, and theme, in an attempt to transform rough concepts and unformed ideas into literary gold.

This pre-episode is much more informal with Dave and Brion introducing themselves to listeners, sharing backgrounds and experiences, and then expounding on the podcast itself. Show formats, legal stuff, and a general overview of the episodes to come is discussed.

Ideas and Inspiration
2 Make Mistakes

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” -Jack London When attending a writers’ workshop or presentation, I always cringe when the QA session…

The Podcast
0 Status Report

Okay… the basic site framework is in place.  On the to-do list… Post some content (some articles on story and idea development) Record Episode Zero with Brion Start recruiting Guest…

The Podcast
3 And so it begins…

The Roundtable Podcast is a writer’s podcast.

Now, there are a LOT of outstanding writer’s podcasts out there. Heck, we at RTP listen to a bunch of them and you’ll find links to many more here on the site.

We’re going to focus on a very specific aspect of the writing process… the ideas.