ARCHIVOS: Brainstorm Episodes

When writers brainstorm a story idea with a veteran Storyteller, the result is a creative alchemy transforming a raw idea into Literary Gold!
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!).

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…

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!

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!

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!

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.

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.

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.

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!

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!

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!

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 MythicScribes.com 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.

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!

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!

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!

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!

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.

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!

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.

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!

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.

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!

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.

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

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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!

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?

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.

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.

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.