20 Minutes with Matthew Wayne Selznick

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!

20 Minutes with Gareth Powell

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!

20 Minutes with Michael Sullivan

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.

20 Minutes with Lauren Beukes

Lauren Beukes will do anything to avoid writing. In spite of her best efforts, however, her literary credits continue to find their way into the world (which is a very good thing indeed). She’s a journalist, a writer of animated TV series, producer of documentaries, author of novels (non-fiction fiction, and graphic), a shark swimmer, and Queen of Cape Town.

With such a broad canvas splashed with such startling and remarkable works, you KNOW our 20(ish) minutes I and Ryan Stevenson have with her is not only a pure delight, but also brimming with writerly goodness.

20 Minutes with Bryan Thomas Schmidt

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!

20 Minutes with Cecilia Tan

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.

20 Minutes with Jerry Gordon

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

20 Minutes with David D. Levine

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!

20 Minutes with Rachel Swirsky

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!

20 Minutes with Cherie Priest

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.

20 Minutes with Antonio del Drago

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 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!

20 Minutes with Andrew Mayne

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.

20 Minutes with Dan Wells

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!

20 Minutes with Seanan McGuire

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.

20 Minutes with Christof Laputka

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.

20 Minutes with John Mierau

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.

20 Minutes with Seth Harwood

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.

20 Minutes with Abigail Hilton

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.

20 Minutes with Anne Lyle

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.

20 Minutes with Paul Elard Cooley

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.

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!

20 Minutes with Myke Cole

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.

20 Minutes with Nobilis Reed

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.

20 Minutes with Big Anklevich and Rish Outfield

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.

20 Minutes with Lee Harris

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?

20 (or so) Minutes with Tee Morris

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, 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.

20 Minutes with Bryan Lincoln

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

20 Minutes with Mur Lafferty

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

20 Minutes with Justin Macumber

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.

PG Holyfield
20 Minutes with P. G. Holyfield

P.G. Holyfield is a walker of many worlds. Author and podcaster (, blogger and web architect (, 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.

Phillipa Ballantine
20 Minutes with Phillipa Ballantine

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
20 Minutes with Alasdair Stuart

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 Carriger
20 Minutes with Gail Carriger

Joining Brion and Dave this week is paranormal steampunk author, archeologist, and confessed Victorian junkie, Gail Carriger.  Gail’s latest work…

Nathan Lowell
20 Minutes with Nathan Lowell

Wrecking the word-count curve for writers everywhere, Nathan Lowell joins Dave and Brion on this Showcase Episode.  The eternal writer…

J Daniel Sawyer
20 Minutes with J. Daniel Sawyer

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.