Author Dave Robison
Gaming and Speculative Fiction are inextricably linked… whether the tales of Conan the Barbarian led you to explore Dungeons & Dragons, or playing Warhammer 40K led you to the marvelous Black Library, the…
David Annandale describes horror as “the cluster of tactics and strategies that set about to create the effect of horror.” As such, it can be difficult to nail down as a genre… it can creep into…
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.
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.
This week, Janet Morris and Chris Morris – creators and editors of the “Heroes in Hell” series, The Tempus Thales saga, and so much more – return to the Big Chairs (we’ve…
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.
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.
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.
If you’re going to workshop a story, you might as well do it right… bring in a scientist who has also been an editor with Dell, founded two editorial lines of books, published three novels for a hugely successful television franchise, AND has spent the last 20 years leading one of the top literary workshops in the industry. That’s exactly what we did, inviting Jeanne Cavelos, founder and lead instructor of the Odyssey Writers Workshop back to the Big Chair to brainstorm a story idea.
Jeanne Cavelos – 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.
Mercedes Yardley – author of astonishing “whimsical horror” tales like “Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love”, “Nameless: The Darkness Comes” and the newly released “Pretty Little Dead Girls” – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to ply her wicked storyteller mojo to a fabulous story workshop. With author Paul Ellis in the co-pilot’s chair, we have great fun brainstorming a unique tale of angelic intervention, bloody rebellion against an oppressive regime, and unleashing the dark side of human desire.
Mercedes Yardley’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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
“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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.