Our “20 Minutes With…” series of episodes, showcasing the diverse and astonishing Guest Hosts of our podcast
Browsing: 20 Minutes With…
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.
Lou Anders – editorial director at Pyr Books – has led a hero’s journey through speculative fiction, from practically living on the sets of Star Trek and Babylon 5 to swinging Stormbringer in a parking lot with Michael Moorcock. We’re delighted to share this 20(ish) minutes we had with Lou, discussing the reasons behind genre mashups, the nature of character in relation to plot, and more! So much writerly goodness awaits you behind that PLAY button…
Adam Christopher – author of “Empire State” and “Seven Wonders” – is one of the few debut authors whose work already has “fan fiction”. Granted, that’s because of the visionary “WorldBuilder” initiative greenlighted by Angry Robot Books and produced by Mighty Mur Lafferty but still… you gotta respect the fact that Adam crafted a story world that has the scope and nuance to support a robust and active collaborative community.
Our 20(ish) minutes with Adam was a delight and fraught with talk of shared worlds, superhero literature (what a shock) and an exploration into Adam’s writing process. Writerly goodness dressed in spandex awaits!
Maurice Broaddus – author of the “Knights of Breton Court” series, editor (with Jerry Gordon) of the newly released “Dark Faith: Invocations” anthology, speaker of the pompetis of love – joins me and guest co-host Ryan Stevenson for an remarkable Showcase interview. During our 20(ish) minutes with him, Maurice discusses the writer’s lifestyle, explores theme and genre, and presents an amazing personal insight into the power of genre fiction. There’s so much writerly goodness here, we can barely contain… so take some for yourself!
Nathan Lowell was the first Guest Host to ask us if he could be on the show. He’s also the first Guest Host to write us and ask “When are we doing it again?”. I’m not sure what that says about us, but it speaks volumes of Nathan. He has distinguished himself in many ways – as an author, podcaster, educator, and business man – but he’s also an adventurer, a seeker, and an artist who deeply enjoys exploring his craft. This second 20(ish) minutes with him leads down the road of discovering authorial voice, the editing process, and an exploration of what makes a “strong story”. There is a surfeit of writerly goodness for everyone here, so dive in an get yours!
Brand Gamblin is a storyteller who aggressively pursues the evolution of his craft, striving always to push the limits of his ability and expand his comfort zone. His works to date include Science Fiction, Steampunk, Alternate Future (see? He’s making this stuff up, people!) and Science Fantasy (see?). He’s also possessed of a dark humor as evidenced by his wildly successful “Calls for Cthulu” video series. We spent a fabulous 20(ish) minutes with this marvelous weaver of tales discussing his transition from programmer to writer, and from outliner to pantser… we even dig into what Spec Fic really means. There’s writerly goodness behind that PLAY button, friends… click it!
Jared Axelrod is the quintessential creator. Costuming, theater, art, literature, podcasting… each artistic challenge he sets before himself is met with passion, dedication, and an instinct for grand scope and epic presentation (and his latest triumph, “The Battle of Blood and Ink”, is a powerful testament to that craft). We were delighted to be able to enjoy 20(ish) minutes with this dynamic personality, discussing his own strengths as a creator, the ways and means of prioritizing creative endeavors, his own transition from uncertainty to boldness, and more! Your week’s supply of Writerly Goodness awaits!
Patrick Rothfuss – crafter of the on-going epic fantasy saga told in “The Name of the Wind” and “A Wise Man’s Fear” – joins us for the special Roundtable Podcast Showcase. We were fortunate to have a little more than 20 minutes with Pat and indulged in some marvelous explorations into his perceptions of the collaborative writing model, his experiences with “The Story Board”, his approach to “writing for your readers”, and his greatest strength as a writer. An epic conversation that is just a PLAY button-click away
Tim Pratt is a true Literary Alchemist, weaving tales of wonder from the dross of life. His meticulous prose either reveals the magic in the mundane or exposes the truth behind the fantasy… and either way, you’re left reeling with either a goofy smile or a tear. We’re delighted to have him join us for a 20(ish) minute chat where we discuss the craft of writing gender, the challenge of time, answer some questions from Brion’s creative writing class, and so much more. Click that “PLAY” button, gang!
David D. Levine sees the world differently than most of us. His skills, knowledge, and experience combine in an utterly unique way in his physiology, allowing him to perceive connections and associations where many of us just see noise. To be able to spend 20(ish) minutes with a gentleman like this is a rare opportunity and we had a great time making the most of it as we discuss the nature of fiction, the structure and pattern of good fiction, the secret sauce, and more!
Alicia E. Goranson’s literary gifts have engendered both marvelous prose and engaging scripts for both stage and audio production. In fact, her recent audio production – “The Mask of Inanna” – just won to 2012 Parsec Award for Best Speculative Fiction Audio Drama (Long Form)! We’re delighted to have her join us for 20(ish) minutes to share her thoughts on character development, the unique challenges (and delights) of writing prose versus scripts, and more! Come get your weekly share of writerly goodness!
Rachel Swirksy – nominated for the 2012 Hugo Award for her novelette “Fields of Gold” and Vice President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America – brings a wealth of insight and experience to this Showcase Episode. One of the (many) delights of this conversation is the unique perspective Rachel infuses it with… she understands her craft very precisely and articulates her insights with clarity and and honesty. We discuss the merits of short fiction, the hallmarks of writing with a clarity of voice, as well as exploring the qualities of the Clarion and Iowa Writer’s Workshops… and more!
Cherie Priest is a true Storyteller. She’s an author (of course) who has blazed her own trail through so many genres of SpecFic – Steampunk, Horror, Alternate History, Southern Gothic, and Urban Fantasy – and has received professional accolades for her fiction (her novel “Boneshaker” has even been optioned as a motion picture). Beyond that, she is a singular personality who defies convention at every turn. Our conversation with her was not only delightful but glitters brightly with literary gold.
Antonio del Drago brings SO much awesomeness to the table. He is, of course an author (and wait ’til you hear what he’s writing now), but he’s also a skilled fencer and has a PhD in Philosophy and Religious Studies. He’s ALSO the founder and editor of the fabulous MythicScribes.com on-line fantasy writing community. This broad spectrum of experience gives him a rich perspective on… well… everything, but specifically on the craft and process of writing. We explore those perspectives with great delight in this episode, so by all means, join us!
Andrew Mayne has pursued his interests (including professional stage magic and movie production) with tireless passion, achieving not only prestige but also mastery of a wide range of creative and technical endeavors. He applies the wisdom and insight from those diverse creative pursuits to his passion for writing, giving him a unique perspective of the storytelling craft. There were several “oh wow” moments to be had for both Brion and I and I’m betting you’ll find a few, too. Tune in and enjoy while Andrew shines a light into places you may not have considered about the writing craft.
Dan Wells is an author who has crafted some truly superb tales that shine a light on the darker facets of humanity, including the John Cleaver novels, the dystopian YA novel “Partials” (and the soon to be released sequel “Fragments”, The Hollow city, and more. He’s also one of the co-hosts of the Parsec Award winning Writing Excuses podcast. With such a vast range of experience in both the crafting of fiction as well as discussing the finer points of the craft, you know this 20(ish) minutes is going to be chock full of writerly goodness. And you know what? You’d be absolutely right!
Seanan McGuire – author, musician, poet, artist, essayist, (I could go on but there’s only so many pixels on the screen) – is an amazing person to speak with. It’s the conversational equivalent of speaking to the genetic fusion of Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway, and HP Lovecraft while drinking from a fire hose and holding live electrical wires. She is an astonishing and intense storyteller, versed in all mediums of the craft, and incredibly forth coming on any topic you care to throw at her. We tossed a few in and she gave us back gold… lots of it.
Christof Laputka is a fascinating individual. He’s the creator and executive producer of “The Leviathan Chronicles” – a tour de force of podcast fiction production rich with original music, mind-blowing sound effects, exceptional performances, and a riveting storyline. That’s pretty awesome in and of itself, but what distinguishes him is his genuine delight and passion for what he does. For him, each episode is an exploration, a voyage of discovery in search of new ways to expand and enhance the storytelling experience. That delight is infectious and we enjoyed or 20(ish) minutes with him as he shared volumes about his experiences and insights into the craft.
John Mierau is someone you want to talk to. I mean, he’s definitely someone you want to read because his works are startling, innovative, and richly crafted. But the depth and insight (and humor) that comprise John’s outlook on life, writing, and the creative process are things that come up almost immediately once you start a conversation with him. And that, my friends, will be time well spent. We were fortunate to have John spend 20(-ish) minutes with us where he shared some honest and inspiring perspectives on how he does what he does… a fabulous conversation we’re proud to share with you.
Seth Harwood is definitely an author, crafting hard-hitting crime fiction like the Jack Palm series and “Young Junius”. But it becomes very clear early in this interview that he’s much more than that. He is a scholar, a teacher, and skilled storyteller who brings to bear not only an incisive and articulate mind to his craft, but also a passion that can only come from utter dedication to something you love. We’re pleased and proud to offer this Showcase of our (too short) time with him, but don’t stand too close… the fire’s burning hot around here.
Abigail Hilton is… she’s just… wow. Perhaps best knows for her “Guild of the Cowry Catchers” series and the YA prequel (actually the pre-prequel) “The Prophet of Panamindorah”, she actually has whole volumes of material she has been drafting and revising since she was an early teen. Plus she co-hosts the fabulous Full Cast Podcast with Bryan Lincoln, so when she grabs the big chair at the Roundtable everybody better hold on tight… the writerly goodness (and the laughs) come pretty quick.
Anne Lyle has crafted a lush and intricate historical fantasy thriller – “The Alchemist of Souls” – which is (thankfully) only the first in a trilogy published by Angry Robot Books. As much as we hated to take her away from her writing, she graciously agreed to join myself and the inestimable Doc Coleman (filling in for Brion) in a marvelous discussion of crafting other races, the practical use of deleted scenes, theatrical influences, and the nature of Speculative Fiction. Join us… there’s plenty of chairs.
Paul Elard Cooley (aka The Fiendmaster) has evolved a growing canon of psychological and supernatural horror. Notable not only for its bone-chilling dread, but also its use of history as the backdrop for the progression of tales he tells, Paula has distinguished himself as a storyteller and a student of history. And if you’ve heard what he does to Muppets, you might question our sanity in bringing him on the show. As it turns out, he’s a cool guys with a lot of excellent insights for writers and horror fans.
Myke Cole is a remarkable gentleman. He’s incredibly well read and knowledgeable on a vast array of topics from nerd culture to the foundations of speculative fiction to military theory and practice (after three tours in Iraq, that last bit comes as no surprise. But it goes beyond that. If you’ve ever heard his interviews or seen him at a con, you cannot help but be swept up in the energy and passion he infuses with every word. We were delighted to have Myke join us at the Roundtable and share some of that fire with us.
Nobilis Reed is an accomplished author, producing a multitude of short fiction, several novels, countless podcasts, as well as a substantial volume of audio and editing work with other writers and publishers. Widely known for his erotic fiction, he brings a wealth of insight and experience to the table which he shares generously and with style. Pull up a chair and join us in exploring a a unique perspective on writing and storytelling.
Big Anklevich and Rish Outfield have been producing amazing full cast audio fiction and even audio dramas for years on the Dunesteef podcast. We’re here to tell ya, that requires a whole different skill set that combines an artist’s eye (and ear), highly technical skills, and gift for translating creative expression from a one format to a radically different one. With mad skills like that, you KNOW we had to get them on the show, and we so glad we did… and you will be, too.
We had hoped that Lee Harris – editor at Angry Robot Books, Chair of the British Fantasy Society, and evil genius behind the Hub Fiction E-Zine – would lend a bit of dignity to the Roundtable. We were wrong, but in the most wonderful and delightful way imaginable. While he shares generously of his broad experience and vital insights into the realm of genre fiction, it turns out that he’s a warm, funny, sometimes snarky, and always charming guy. Who knew?
Tee Morris is a primal force. We mean that in a good way. I mean holy crap… podcasting pioneer, author of one of the very first podcast novels, co-founder of Podiobooks.com, co-author (with Pip Ballantine) of the ever-growing canon of The Tales of the Ministry (including two novels: Phoenix Rising and The Janus Affair)… and those are just the highlights. Buckle up, friends… it’s going to be a wild ride.
Bryan Lincoln represents an remarkable synthesis of science and creative mojo, equally at ease in a bioengineering lab, behind (or in front of) the mic, or at the keyboard. The scope of his experiences is vast indeed and we delve into that pool of knowledge in this Showcase episode, exploring the distinctions between audiobooks, full-cast presentations, and audio drama, as well as discussing the parallels of rational science and irrational art. So sit back, grab a mass spectrometer, and enjoy this enlightening 20 minutes
Mur Lafferty has a book coming out, a Not-A-Hugo award nomination (trans. the prestigious John W. Campbell Award) is editing Escape Pod and Angry Robot Books Worldbuilder Project and continues to produce the exceptional “I Should Be Writing” podcast and STILL she managed to swing by the Roundtable Skype line. We’re glad she did (and you will, too) as Mur discusses her experiences with depression, her current challenges as a writer, why she writes specfic, and more
Justin Macumber – founder and host of the Dead Robots Society, host on the Hollywood Outsider podcast, and author of the newly released scifi novel “Haywire” – somehow finds a away to pull out of the literary fast-lane and join us for a delightful and informative session around the Roundtable. Justin pursues what he loves with honesty and passion, and generously shares some of his mojo as we explore some of the big (and small) questions that all writers have.
P.G. Holyfield is a walker of many worlds. Author and podcaster (http://www.pgholyfield.com), blogger and web architect (http://specficmedia.com/), his experience spans across most conventional media (and some unconventional ones), so we were delighted when he agreed to join us at the Roundtable for a chat. The topics of discussion for this showcase include worldbuilding, the relationship between plot and character, and the pitfalls of editing while you’re still writing.
Pip Ballantine – New Zealand’s first podcasting author – takes time from the wonders of the Ministry, the Order, and the Shifted Worlds to join us for (a little more than) a twenty minute chat. In spite of her many achievements and gift for crafting exquisite worlds, Pip has her feet on the ground and speaks frankly and with ease about her work, the evolution of a story, the role of mythology in her work, and the characters she’s crafted.
Alasdair Stuart quietly sits down to the roundtable and – with wit and laughter – makes it all okay. While his talents are diverse and potent – including narration, writing and blogging, editing, and game design – it is his ability express the essence of whatever topic is on the table with honesty and warmth. During this (more-than-20-minute) episode, Alasdair shares insights into what makes a story memorable, how to extract and express a theme, reveals the “true” essence of the Isle of Man, and single-handedly ends the Genre Wars.
Gail Carson Levine – best-selling author (on just about every literary list) of Ella Enchanted and many more delightful tales and fairytale re-visionings – takes a few minutes from…
Joining Brion and Dave this week is paranormal steampunk author, archeologist, and confessed Victorian junkie, Gail Carriger. Gail’s latest work – Timeless – just crested the New York Times Bestseller…
Wrecking the word-count curve for writers everywhere, Nathan Lowell joins Dave and Brion on this Showcase Episode. The eternal writer in quest of a story, Nathan generously shares his insights…
Showcase Episode: Brion and Dave sit down with J. Daniel Sawyer and discuss character development, beta readers, genre, audience and more. We think you’ll agree, the twenty minutes is over too quickly, but listeners will find a wealth of writing insights.