Browsing: 20 Minutes With…

Our “20 Minutes With…” series of episodes, showcasing the diverse and astonishing Guest Hosts of our podcast

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Myke Cole – author of The Shadow Ops Series (including “Gemini Cell”, “Javelin Rain” and the forthcoming “Seige Line” – has achieved some astonishing things since his last appearance in 2013.…

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To meet Ada Palmer – scholar, composer, and author of the astonishing and richly-acclaimed “Too Like the Lightning” (and so much more) – is a singular experience. Her life is a vibrant tapestry of creative and academic passions that she weaves together at every opportunity. The delight and wonder she has for the world radiates from her and you can’t help but get caught up in the excitement.

I’m joined by the remarkable Melanie Meadors in the Co-Host chair (a multifaceted jewel of nerdish mojo), and together we indulge in (far more than) for 20 minutes of writerly discourse with Ada, discussing the optimal skill set for a student of the writerly arts, Ada’s fascination with speculative fiction, the challenges of writing short fiction, and more. All this writerly fabulousity can be yours with a mere click of a “PLAY” button!

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Jeanne Cavelos – scientist, author, and founder of the astonishing Odyssey Writers Workshops – has dedicated herself to exploring the terra incognita of the imagination through storytelling. Her stories and…

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Kelly Robson – author of the Nebula-nominated “Waters of Versailles” (published by Tor.com) and many other marvelous tales – has lived a life in preparation of embracing her writerly passions. Her diverse and extensive experience coupled with her genuine love and reverence for storytelling give her an utterly unique and authentic voice, a voice that infuses her stories (which, time and again, are recognized for their excellence).

With the marvelous Marie Bilodeau in the Co-Host chair, we have a marvelous conversation with Kelly exploring the qualities of fine non-fiction and it’s value to a writer, struggling with self-doubt and giving yourself permission, golden nuggets of writerly wisdom acquired from others, the secrets of scene-craft, and more. So much writerly goodness… just a “PLAY” button click away! (and make sure you’re around for Kelly’s awesome Workshop Episode on Nov 8!)

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Jake Kerr makes his literary home on fringes of the craft, exploring every shadowed corner as he refines and reinvents his craft time and again. He’s a repeat offender here at the RTP. You can hear his brilliant (and slightly creepy) intro from his interview back in March of 2015). He’s been busy in the intervening year and a half, expanding his horizons as a storyteller AND expanding his canon of work in the world..

We’re delighted to welcome back Marie Bilodeau to the Co-Host chair (after her recent Adventures in Canadian Convention Attendance) and together, we embrace the opportunity to chat with Jake, exploring the pros and cons of non-fiction as a foundation of writing style, details as a catalysts for reader immersion, the processes of adapting classic fiction, and more. Awesomeness and fabulousity? We got ’em… and so can you! Just click that “PLAY” button!

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“Mighty” Mur Lafferty – author of “The Shambling Guide to New York City”, “Ghost Train to New Orleans”, and so much more (“Six Wakes”) – has earned her street cred. Through her “I Should Be Writing” podcast, listeners have shared every step of her journey from “aspiring” to “published”, including getting her MFA through Stone Coast and being awarded the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Her voice – both physical and literary – is known for it’s honesty, candor, and humor.

I have the singular pleasure of being joined by Alasdair Stuart (host of Pseudopod and Lord Commander of the Nor… er… fearless leader of Escape Artists, Inc.) as my co-host and together, we indulge in 20-esque minutes of writerly discourse with Mur, exploring the distinctions of writing in different genres, her dream projects, dissecting the frog of humor, and more. Your writerly tool box is about to get fuller, gang… just click that “PLAY” button!

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The scope and breadth of Marie Brennan’s experience is pretty remarkable. Anthropology, archaeology, languages, martial arts, music, dance… she’s pursued many passions. But the fundamental passion that has endured through out her life is writing. Author of “A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent”, The Onyx Court Series, and “Lies and Prophecy” (and so much more), she has applied her many passions like facets of a jewel to her storytelling. The result is rich authentic story worlds filled with compelling characters and captivating tales.

Joined by the splendid and insightful Marie Bilodeau as co-host, we explore the intersection of gaming and fiction, the development of a solid narrative, indulge in a bit of worldbuilding conversation, and more. This is one for the books, gang, a fabulous conversation fraught with writerly goodness… and it’s all just a click of the “PLAY” button away!

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In a very short amount of time, Fran Wilde has done many marvelous things – including crafting marvelous stories like Updraft and The Jewel and her Lapidary. But she has also explored the realms of technology, explored art and a broad spectrum of diverse disciplines, crafts, and exotic pursuits. These explorations give her a unique perspective, both on the world and the writerly arts.

Joined by the fabulous Marie Bilodeau as co-host, we wax rhapsodic with Fran, exploring the value of critiquing both in a writing group and as writer, the way stories start, the merits of curiosity and more. It’s a conversation fraught with writerly goodness… click the “PLAY” button and let the fabulousity commence! (and join us on July 19 for Fran’s equally awesome Workshop Episode!)

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Clint Gaige tells stories with light and sound. He’s a film maker with dozens of titles gracing screens (silver and digital) around the world and a life time of experience in the world of media storytelling. His “Shotgun Mythos” series has been picked up by several television stations, his latest endeavor – “A Clean Exit” (from Growth Media Productions) – is making the festival circuit now, and he’s far from finished. His insights into the process of storytelling for film transcend media, opening new perspectives for artists of all disciplines.

Joined by the remarkable Marie Bilodeau – author of the Nigh series, as well as “Hellmaw: Eye of Glass”, and more – we indulge in a exceptional 20(ish) Minutes of writerly discourse with Clint, exploring the considerations for storytelling in film, the value of doing it and the bane of “perfection”, the keys to successful collaboration, and more. Writerly inspiration awaits you, dear friends… just click that “PLAY” button!

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Kat Richardson – author of the Greywalker Series as well as fabulous novellas and shorter tales – takes her storytelling damned seriously. Mind you, she has a marvelous sense of humor and is a delight to chat with (as you’ll soon discover)… but when it comes to writing, she’s not messing around. She pushes herself with each story, expanding and refining her craft because it’s something she deeply loves and respects.

Joined by the marvelous Heather Welliver – friend of the RTP and vocal performer extraordinaire (check out her performance in Cybrosis by P.C. Haring) – we indulge in a fabulous 20(ish) Minutes of writerly discourse with Kat, exploring the challenges she set for herself as a writer, her process, her experience writing a “mosaic” novel, and more. Writerly inspiration awaits you, dear friends… just click that “PLAY” button!

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Tim Waggoner’s writing spans genres, demographics, and even licensed properties. His experience both as a writer and as a professor of popular literature and creative writing give him a deep understanding of the craft… and yet his vision of that craft and it’s execution is elegantly simple.

Joined by Samantha Murphy as my co-host, we engage in 20-ish minutes of writerly discourse exploring tactics for developing your craft, writing short and long fiction, character development, and more. It’s a facinating exploration of the writerly arts (as always), and it’s all yours… just click that “PLAY” button!

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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!

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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

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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…

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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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

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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.

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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!

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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!

20 Minutes With... Seth Skorkowsky
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Don’t be fooled by all that seems familiar about Seth Skorkowsky. Yes, he’s written several novels, including “Damoren” and “Hounacier” (of the Valducan series from Ragnarok Publications), he’s articulate and informed…

20 Minutes With... Peter Orullian
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Peter Orullian – author of the Vault of Heaven series, including “The Unremembered” and the recently released “Trial of Intentions” – is a creator who tells stories in many forms. An award-winning…

20 Minutes With... Justin Landon
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Justin Landon knows stories. As host of the fabulous Tor.com podcast “RocketTalk”, co-editor of the “Speculative Fiction 2012: The Year’s Best Online Reviews, Essays and Commentary” compilation, and maestro of the now-quiescent…

20 Minutes With... Peter Newman
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Peter Newman – author of “The Vagrant” (releasing in the US in just a couple days!), co-writer for the “Tea and Jeopardy” podcast, and performer in that same delightful podcast -…

20 Minutes With... Dr. Jilly Dreadful
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Jilly Dreadful – with a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California, Associate Editor of NonBinary Review and Unbound Octavo, and founder of The Brainery Workshop – has some serious…

20 Minutes With... Jake Kerr
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Jake Kerr is a most skilled and accomplished wordsmith. His whole life has focused on weaving words into tapestries of delight, first for the music industry and now (thankfully) in the…

20 Minutes With... Sam Sykes
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Sam Sykes – author of the Aeon’s Gate series and the newly released “The City Stained Red” – is a distinctive and articulate voice in the Spec Fic community. His sense…

20 Minutes With... KC Wayland
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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.

20 Minutes With... Cavan Scott
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Cavan Scott has written… well… just about every type of story there is to write. Audio plays for Dr. Who, Blake 7, Iris Wildthyme and more… fiction for Dr. Who, Skylanders, WarHammer 40K, and…

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