Browsing: Episodes

View a collection of all the Roundtable Podcasts here

Workshop Episodes ep100
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Cat Rambo – author of splendid tales of wonder and delight, including “Beasts of Tabat (The Tabat Quartet Book 1)“ – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to once more ply her wizarding ways in the brainstorming of a tale about a wizard who savors the pleasures of status and wealth but has the deep misfortune of being targeted by a demon.

The tale is offered up by Guest Writer Kelby Barker, a truly engaging yarn of dueling wizards and ruthless bounty hunters unwittingly caught in a war between demon-kind. Returning as co-host chair, Denise Lhamon joins in the froth and together the four off us wander the fabulous labyrinth of Kelby’s tale, ultimately emerging victorious and laden with Literary Gold. We kept some for you… all you have to do to claim it is click that “PLAY” button!

20 Minutes With... cat-rambo-3
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Cat Rambo is one of THE most dedicated storytellers I’ve ever met. Her commitment to her craft and the enthusiastic determination with which she pursues it is inspiring (and exhausting). This will be her third tour as Guest Host on the RTP and – while I’ve already done the “stalkerish” intro for her – just catching everyone up on her achievements between episodes becomes a whole new epic saga. She is truly a champion storyteller.

In the co-host chair is Denise Lhamon, former Guest Writer, artist, and storyteller who joins us from the ranks of Onder Librum’s Sessorium of Creatives. The three us use Cat’s upcoming class roster as the sylybus for our conversation, exploring the retelling of myths and fairy tales, the use of literary techniques in genre fiction, how to start a novel, and more. Writerly goodness is pretty much guaranteed, gang… just hit that “PLAY” button!

Workshop Episodes ep099
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J. Robert King – author of Guild Wars: Edge of Destiny, the Mad Merlin series, and Hellmaw: Incubus Tweets – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to lend his considerable storytelling mojo to brainstorming a scifi tale of humanity on the brink of interstellar expansion and a tormented man who has the potential to save it from a dark conspiracy or bring it all crashing down.

Our Guest Writer, Terry Mixon is a repeat offender… er… has appeared in the Guest Writer chair before and this time he brings us a tale of extreme future sports in a solar system where warp drive is possible, but strictly controlled, and dark violent forces are arrayed to seize power for their own ends. With Serving World’s John Mierau returning to the co-host chair, we strap in for from the jump to Awesome Space and havest asteroids loaded with Literary Goal. It’s a heck of a haul… you can get some for yourself by clicking that play button! (and if you want even more writerly goodness, check out Rob’s fabulous 20 Minutes With… episode!)

20 Minutes With... J_Robert_King
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J. Robert King has told hundreds of stories, including “The Incubus Tweets”, “Guild Wars: Edge of Destiny”, “Angel of Death”, and more… and with each story, he seeks a truth. What he finds is rarely what he set out looking for, but he persists in following his stories faithfully and honestly. That makes him a badass in our book.

Joined by veteran podcaster, storyteller, and former Guest Host, John Mierau, we engage in a most intriguing 20(ish) minutes of writerly discourse with Rob, exploring the nature of evil in fiction (and ourselves), the end of the “age of the author”, and more. There’s writerly goodness (and maybe one or two epiphanies) awaiting you, friends… it’s all just a “PLAY” button away

Workshop Episodes ep098
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Jeanne Cavelos – author, editor, and founder of the exceptional Odyssey Writers Workshop – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable, bringing her storytelling mojo to the brainstorming of a tale about the discovery of aliens on a near-future Earth… but are they here to help us defend ourselves from a threat beyond the stars or are they the true threat?

Our brainstorming table is set by Guest Writer, Jeff Brackett, whose tale of alien manipulation of the human race and its accidental revelation to the entire planet serves a fine spring board for a brainstorming feast. With co-host Nicholas Fife (who is contributing a tale to the very cool Folklore: The Affliction game), we delve into the tale and discover – beneath the alien conspiracy – a veritable trove of Literary Gold. There’s plenty to go around, so come and get yours!

20 Minutes With... j-cavelos
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Jeanne Cavelos is an astrophysicist, an author (of fiction AND non-fiction), an award-winning editor, AND founder of the astonishing Odyssey Writers Workshop. That esteemed program is entering it’s 21st season of incredible…

Workshop Episodes ep097
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Returning to the big chair at the RTP this week is the astonishing Madeline Ashby – futurist and author of “Vn”, “iD”, and the soon-to-be-released “Company Town” – leveraging her storytelling mojo in a brainstorming session for a grimdark tale of political intrigue, entangled destinies, and ancient corruptions.

The tale is offered by Guest Writer David de Burgh, the story of an diplomat caught between four nations, who must unravel the mystery of the current conflict and his own past in order to prevent a devastating war. We are joined once more by the eloquent (and efficient) Lauren “Scribe” Harris – podcaster, narrator, and author of the Millroad Academy Novels “Exorcising Aaron Nguyen” and “The Girl in Acid Park” – and together we have a truly memorable conversation exploring the qualities of an authentic matriarchy, balancing the number of POVs, and so much more. It’s an incredible workshop fraught with Literary Gold… come get some for yourself!

20 Minutes With... Madeline Ashby
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Madeline Ashby – futurist and author of “Vn”, “iD”, and the soon-to-be-released “Company Town” – is most definitely ‘a danger to those who profit by the way things are.’ It says so right on the title of her blog (drawn from a quote by Ursula K. LeGuin) and she’s earned that appellation through her rigorous studies into diverse disciplines and her fearless expression of her discoveries and beliefs through her beautifully wrought prose.

Joined by Lauren “Scribe” Harris – my podcast sister and author of the Millroad Academy Novels “Exorcising Aaron Nguyen” and “The Girl in Acid Park” – we indulge in (far more than) 20 minutes of writerly – and geeky – discourse with Madeline, exploring her perspective on the fundamental motivation of many writers, the spirit of fandom in relation to genre fiction, how to write a sterling first scene, and more. Bring your back-up brain… you’re gonna need it!

20 Minutes With... Mike_Underwood
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Michael R. Underwood brings a rare combination of perspectives to any literary discourse. His insights into the industry and market of speculative fiction is informed by his experience as North American rep for Angry Robot Books. His knowledge of narrative form and structure is refined by his academic achievements. But his understanding of storytelling comes from a deep commitment and practice of the craft.

Joined by co-host Giles Hash (co-host of the Beyond the Trope podcast) we engage in (far more than) 20 minutes of writerly discourse of Michael, exploring the structure and execution of the novella, the effective utilization of tropes in storytelling, and a unique perspective on framing your writing towards a specific market. Writerly goodness is at your fingertips, friends… just click that “PLAY” button!

Workshop Episodes ep095
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Erin M. Evans – author of “Ashes of the Tyrant” (book FIVE in the Brimstone Angels series) – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to lend her uncanny mutant brainstorming skills to a post-apocalyptic tale of humanity struggling to survive through the aftermath of a holocaust.

The tale is offered up by Guest Writer Dayn Leonardson, who comers to the table with basic story concept of humanity sheltering underwater after nuclear Armageddon and leaves with… well, something bigger. A LOT bigger. Thanks to the sterling efforts of Erin and co-host Katie Bryski, we have what may be the fastest, most explosive succession of ideas and inspirations in Roundtable history. Literary gold is EVERYWHERE, but don’t take my word for it… just click that “PLAY” button!

20 Minutes With... Erin_M_Evans
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Erin M. Evans – author of “Ashes of the Tyrant” (book FIVE in the Brimstone Angels series) – weaves many threads into her literary creations. Between her degree in anthropology, her years working as an editor, and her long-standing love affair with storytelling, her tales are richly woven tapestries of epic adventure drawn from the hearts of her beloved characters.

Joining me in the co-host chair is Katie Bryski – Stone Coast Alumni and author of “Heartstealer” and “Hapax” – we engage Erin in 20* Minutes of writerly discourse, exploring serialized fiction, structure complex character arcs, white boards, and more. You’re writer’s toolbox is about get some additions, friends… just click that “PLAY” button!

Workshop Episodes ep094
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Jake Bible – author of “Reign of Four: I”, “Dead Team Alpha”, and so much more – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to lend his brainstorming mojo (literally) to workshopping a tale of zombies as you’ve never. seen them before.

The tale is offered up by Guest Writer (and fellow Onder Librum creator) AJ Hare, a story of college life, fast/slow brilliant zombies, and the challenges of overcoming the world’s expectations of you. Joined once again by co-host and author Suzzane Church, we delve into AJ’s twisted world of slackers, frat boys, and diabolical zombies, in search of sweet sweet brains… I mean, gold! Literary Gold! Which, of course, we find. The creative mayhem begins as soon as you hit that “PLAY” button!

20 Minutes With... Jake-Bible
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Jake Bible writes to entertain his readers. Judging by his readership and the sheer size and scope of his canon, he’s damned good at it. He’s written more books in the last 5 years, than many authors write in a life time (including “” and “”) and exemplifies the discipline and commitment to his craft that paves the way for a truly unique authorial voice in multiple genres for broad spectrum of readers.

My co-host is fellow Onder Librum creative and spec fic author Suzzane Church, author of “Elements” and a vast canon of short fiction that has appeared in numerous “Years Best” anthologies. Together, Suzzane and settle in for a marvelous 20(ish) minutes of writer discourse with Jake, exploring his notions of pulp fiction, the art of the mashup, his writing process, and more. There’s writerly goodness awaiting right on the other side of that “PLAY” button friends… click it!

Workshop Episodes ep093
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David Nickle – author of Knife Fight and Other Struggles, Eutopia, and so much more – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to lend his considerable storytelling prowess to a steampunk fantasy set in the old west.

The tale is offered up by creageous Guest Writer, Robert Lewis, who’s tale of demon hunters trying to find sanctuary in the American west proves to be a catalyst for a truly memorable brainstorming feast. How could it be otherwise when the mighty Alasdair Stuart joins us in the co-host chair? Together, David, Alasdair, and myself launch into an inspiring exploration of Rob’s tale, unearthing vast expanses of writerly goodness and a mother lode of Literary Gold. The goodness begins, when you hit that “PLAY” button

20 Minutes With... David_Nickle
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David Nickle is a singular and unforgettable voice in speculative fiction. His stories disturb and unsettle readers deeply and in ways that linger long after the last page is turned. His works have appeared in editions of The Year’s Best anthologies and won prestigious awards… speaking with him, you can hear the reverence for the writer’s craft in his words, a reverence that drives him to write uncommon stories and hold himself to the highest standards.

Joining me in the co-host chair is another champion of superlative fiction, Alasdair Stuart, the visionary captain of the Escape Artists podcasts and articulate scribe in any medium that involves storytelling. Together, we engage David in 20(ish) minutes of writerly discourse, exploring how one introduces “atmosphere” into a story, the value of writer’s groups, the merits gained by cultivating a critique’s aesthetic, and more. It’s an inspiring conversation fraught with writerly goodness… just click play and let the awesomeness ensue

Workshop Episodes EP092
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Andrew Weston – author of “Hell Bound” from Perseid Press – returns to the big chair to workshop a story of survival amid the frozen wastes of a planet in the cold darkness of space.

The story is served up by Guest Writer Justin Tseng whose tale of a colony ship arriving at its destination only to spark a bitter war between the inhabitants of the planet is a fabulous feast for the brainstorming table. With John Mierau (of Serving Worlds fame… known to some as “El Writer Libre”) joining us on this epic quest of epicness, we launch into a brain maelstrom fraught with thunderbolts, epiphanies, and lots of “Oh YEAHs”. A jump start for your creative mojo awaits behind that “PLAY” button… El Writer Libre says “CLICK IT!”

20 Minutes With... Marguerite-Reed
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Marguerite Reed, author of the newly released (and much acclaimed) “Archangel (The Chronicles of Ubastis)”, knew she was going to be a writer at 13. In her journey to discover her authorial voice, she found her own, along with a love for history, science, and a good fight. Her storytelling is fearless, her characters are authentic, and her artistic vision is fueled by her passion for the writer’s craft.

Joined once again by Lauren “Scribe” Harris – author of “Exorcising Aaron Nguyen (The Millroad Academy Exorcists Book 1)” – as my co-host we launch into a whirlwind of writerly discourse, exploring Marguerite’s perspective on the First Person POV, her process of refining a story, discussing women in Science Fiction, global authenticity in storytelling and more. It’s a veritable buffet of writerly goodness… to fill your plate, just click that “PLAY” button

20 Minutes With... J Daniel Sawyer
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He was our first Guest Host and now the first person to BE a Guest Host three times. But it’s always worth it… J. Daniel Sawyer – author of “Predestination”, “The Resurrection Junket”, “Making Tracks: A Writer’s Guide to Audiobooks (and How to Produce Them)” and much more – is a rare combination of deep knowledge, savvy business, and writerly mojo.

Joined by Mighty Mike Luoma (of the “Glow in the Dark Radio” podcast), we engage Master Sawyer in 20(ish) minutes of superb writerly discourse, exploring how to prepare and develop a multi-book story arc, the value of using screenplay structure for developing stories, how to assess the storytelling format, and more. The writerly goodness flows as soon as you hit that “PLAY” button.

Workshop Episodes ep089
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Gail Carriger – author of the Parasol Protectorate series, The Finishing School series, the Custard Protocol, and more – returns to claim her rightful seat in the Big Chair at the Roundtable (with a nice cup of tea) to lend her not inconsiderable writerly mojo to brainstorm a tale of young adventurers in a most dangerous city.

The table for our brainstorming feast is set by creageous Guest Writer Rick Milone, a story of friends caught in conspiracies in a city that defends the world against its greatest evil. Joined once again by the incomparable (and brilliant) Lauren “Scribe” Harris as co-host, we launch into a truly epic, sometimes (very) silly, but ultimately fabulous search for Literary Gold. We found SO MUCH we can’t carry it all… we need your help, so click that “PLAY” button and get you some.

20 Minutes With... Gail-Carriger
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It has been far too long since Gail Carriger graced the RTP virtual studios with her presence and we are delighted to rectify that situation today. Author of the New York Times Best Selling “Parasol Protectorate” series and equally decorated “Finishing School” series, AND the newly launched “Custard Protocol” series, Gail brings a wealth of experience and insight into the writerly arts to the table. Of course, she’s also an archaeologist and a scientist which adds depths of scholastic rigor and research into the mix. The result is a singular and unforgettable conversation.

Joined by my sister in podcasting, Lauren “Scribe” Harris, as co-host, we engage Gail in 20(ish) minutes of writerly discourse exploring Gail’s process for developing a story idea, the influence of academic experience on the writer’s craft, the defining elements of the steampunk genre, an exciting alternative to the Hero’s Cycle narrative format, and more. There is some prfoundly fabulous writerly goodness awaiting you on the other side of that “PLAY” button friends… click it!

Workshop Episodes EP088
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Andrea Phillips – author of “Revision”, “The Daring Adventures of Captain Lucy Smokeheart” and some much more, returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to lend her diverse and refined storytelling mojo in workshopping a tale of death denied and the obsessive allure of creative success.

Our brainstorming feast is provided by creageous Guest Writer Laura Nicole (author, vocal performer, and host of the Gypsy in the Attic podcast), a tale of an obsession so powerful that it defies death… but Death can never be denied. Joined once again by the charming and insightful Dave Thompson as my co-host, we launch into tangled weave of story treads, untying knots (and making a few of our own), until we knit ourselves a tapestry of Literary Gold.

20 Minutes With... Andrea Phillips
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Andrea Phillips – author of the freshly minted novel “Revision” as well as “The Adventures of Captain Lucy Smokeheart” and countless transmedia story events – understands stories differently than most of us. Her work in the storytelling business has been predominantly interactive and collaborative, spanning every media type available. She knows storytelling from every angle, not just the view from the notebook or computer screen. Her unique perspective and extensive experience makes her a truly innovative voice in the writerly arts.

Joined by the remarkable Dave Thompson as co-host, we dive deep into those mysterious waters, exploring the essence of the transmedia experience, unique perspectives on the art of discovery writing, the origins of obscure pirate curses, and more! Avast! There’s writerly goodness dead ahead! Just hoist the sails and click that PLAY button! (and tune in on Sept 29 to catch Andrea’s Workshop Episode).

20 Minutes With... Django-Wexler
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Django Wexler – author of the Shadow Campaigns saga (“The Thousand Names”, “The Shadow Throne”, “The Price of Valor”), the Forbidden Library tales (“The Forbidden Library”, “The Mad Apprentice”), and more – wrote 6 full novels before he finally published one. His commitment to his craft is matched by his love of history and storytelling which infuses his tales a rich tapestry of authentic and engaging storytelling.

Joined by former Guest Writer, David Sobkowiak, we engage Django in some marvelous writerly discourse, exploring the writing of middle-grade fiction, crafting narratives for large-scale battles, the evolution of minor characters into major POV entities, and more. Kick back, pour yourself your favorite libation, and open the loading dock for your brain, ’cause we have some writerly goodness to pour into it.

Workshop Episodes EP086
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If you think talking with Ed Greenwood – New York Times best-selling author of almost 200 books and thousands upon thousands of articles, short stories, game modules, campaign settings and more – is a literary thrill for the senses, wait until you brainstorm with him. The “Archmage” returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to lend his potent storytelling mojo to a tale of a race’s cultural heritage betrayed and rewritten.

The tale is offered up by creageous Guest Writer Justin Cary, and is a story of class struggles and cultural purity among the Elvish race and the lengths some will go to preserve their racial legacy. It’s an incredible story feast, make even more delectable by having Alasdair Stuart return as my co-host. With the table set, we tuck in, exploring the possibility of ALL the characters being antagonists, examining the best way to present magic in a story, presenting with character crisis moments, and SO much more. Yeah, it’s a little longer, but you won’t notice. Trust me… click that “PLAY” button and rock the brainstorm

20 Minutes With... Ed-Greenwood
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Ed Greenwood – New York Times best-selling author of almost 200 books and thousands upon thousands of articles, short stories, game modules, campaign settings and more – has inspired creative expression and a love of “story” in the hearts of millions of gamers and readers. His novels alone have sold more than 20 million copies in over 30 languages; there are an estimated 50 million-plus copies of his creations out there somewhere.

It is a rare opportunity to sit down with one of your heroes. To do so with the astonishing Alasdair Stuart as my co-host makes this an unparalleled delight. The three of us indulge in (far more than) 20 minutes of writerly discourse with the “Archmage”, exploring the qualities of satisfying fiction, how to keep track of a massive storyverse, the future of storytelling, and more. Settle in and buckle up, dear friends… THIS is a legendary conversation.

Workshop Episodes Brian Kirk
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For Brian Kirk, storytelling is more than a career. It’s a way of life and a way of living. Author of the newly released (and deeply disturbing) “We Are Monsters”, Brian pursues his craft with the rigor and discipline of someone who truly loves what they do.

Joined by co-host horror writer CW LaSart (who has been on the RTP a few times before), we indulge in a fabulous 20(ish) minutes of writerly discourse with Brian, discussing why he writes, finding the “writer’s zone”, how to infuse terror into any scene, the distinction between “hero” and “protagonist”, and more. The writerly goodness flows like wine… grab a cup, hit the “PLAY” button and get some for yourself

Workshop Episodes There's No Punk Like a Steampunk
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Zig Zag Claybourne – author of “The Brothers Jetstream: Leviathan”, “Historical Inaccuracies”, and so much more – electric boogaloos his way back to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to lend his unique and insightful writerly mojo to brainstorming a steampunk tale of divided societies, betrayal, and revolution.

The story is offered up by Guest Writer Gabriel Snell, a tale of kindred spirits separated by a cultural divide, enslaved populations, and airship pirates. With Brion Humphrey returning once more to the co-host’s chair, we dive in to Gabriel’s story, gender flipping protagonists, delving into true character motivations, and generally doing that voodoo that we do so well. Literary Gold? Check!

20 Minutes With... Zig-Zag-Claybourne
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Besides being funkalicious, Zig Zag Claybourne is a storyteller whose vision comes from deep within the creative forge. He brings to life tales you’ve never heard before about people you know, characters you recognize in situations you could never imagine. I can’t think of a better definition for “speculative fiction” and Zig is building a whole new wing on that venerable estate.

As fabulous as any conversation with such a gentleman would be, this particular dialog is made even more fabulous by the return of Brion Humphrey, the man who started the RTP with me oh-so-many years ago. With these two visionaries at the Table we launch into a superb 20(ish) minutes of writerly discourse, exploring the creation of conflict, the nuances and practicalities of diversity, authentic character development and more. Buckle up, kids… this is an “E” ticket ride!

20 Minutes With... CW LaSart
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Award-winning author CW LaSart is serious about her storytelling. Her passion for the writerly arts is evident in the clarity and insight with which she speaks about her craft. LaSart’s “Ad Nauseam” and her contributions to to over a dozen publications and anthologies (including “Grimm Mistresses” from Ragnarok Publications) are just the first installments in her canon of tales that push the boundaries of horror.
Joined by the mighty Mike Luoma, we indulge in 20(esque) Minutes of seriously writerly exploration, uncovering some startling truths about the nature of short fiction, the dynamics of discovery writing, the key to building suspense, how much is too much in horror, and more. Great googly-moogly, gang… have your pencils poised and your seat belts strapped, then click that “PLAY” button and hold on!

Workshop Episodes Courting the Dark Muse...
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Andrew Weston (author of many tales of thrilling adventure, like “The IX” from Perseid Press – returns to the BIG Chair at the RTP to lend his storytelling mojo to to a tale of evil queens, twisted cobblers, and ultimate balance of power.

The tale is offered up by Guest Writer Clara Robertson, a storytelling trickster in her own right. Her story of the Wicked Witch returning to her land after her defeat from Prince Charming and the mayhem that ensues serves as a marvelous feast for workshop delights. Joined by fabulous co-host Mike Luoma, we dive into brainstorming deep waters, exploring the nature of interweaving characters, the value of foreshadowing, and so much more. Literary Gold awaits you… just click that “PLAY” button!

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