Our “20 Minutes With…” series of episodes, showcasing the diverse and astonishing Guest Hosts of our podcast
Browsing: 20 Minutes With…
Cat Rambo – author of over 150 tales (and soon 1 published novel, “Beasts of Tabat (The Tabat Quartet Book 1)”), purveyor of online writerly wisdom, VP of the Science Fiction…
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…
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…
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.
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…
The last time they were on the show (back in October), we all had such a blast that we promised we’d do it again soon. We’re very happy to keep…
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.
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
“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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
Joe McKinney is our guest for this edition of 20 Minutes With, talking horror, suspense, zombie pride
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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…
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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
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.