Rank #1: The Realities of Writing Careers
Join Stephan Bugaj, Justin Sloan, and Kevin Tumlinson as they discuss what it really takes to establish yourself as a creative writer.
NOTE: We apologize for the audio not being perfect in this episode. We're taking steps to ensure better audio quality in the future.
You have to be 100 percent dedicated ...which can be tough advice, we get that. But here we discuss the commitment needed to make it as a writer if you hope to make it a career.
We don’t say to drop everything and only write, but discuss how to make sacrifices and when to be committed to it.
The group further discussed:
- Sacrificing sleep. Or work (if you can do it).
- Keep in mind that how good you are is relative (just because your college English teacher said you were amazing, that same level of amazingness may not be the same when surrounded by professionals.
- Watch out for the scams!
- How to break in, or how we did.
Some awesomeness brought up in this episode and cool links:
- The UCLA Professional Program: http://www.tft.ucla.edu/programs/professional-programs/
For more descussion like this, check out the books in the Creative Mentor series:
Nov 09 2015
Rank #2: Fantasy and Supernatural Thriller Author and BookTuber PT Hylton
This episode starts with Justin fan-boying over PT Hylton's book, Thorns and Tangles. The first book is only $0.99 and is amazing, and Justin wanted to know the strategy behind publishing 6 books of 100-ish pages each, versus going for a trilogy.
Next, the group discussed the differences between fantasy, urban fantasy, and supernatural thriller, and finished with a discussion on BookTubers and how doing stuff like this can be useful as an author.
- Who is PT Hylton? (from his website):
I mostly write about secrets. People with secrets. Towns with secrets. How keeping secrets tears people apart, and how sharing secrets, even terrible ones, brings people together.
In that spirit, I’ll share my own secret origin story.PT Profile
I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and I’ve written in some form or fashion ever since I could. But it wasn’t always fiction. After college, two friends and I started a small production company called Plethora Films. We spent a few years making short films and almost-but-not-quite finishing a feature film. For better or for worse, we disbanded just before YouTube hit the scene. To my knowledge, none of our shorts are even online.
I spent the next eight years putting all my creative energy into making podcasts, most successfully with the long-running guitar podcast Six-String Bliss. I also had some short-lived podcasts, including Guitar New Weekly, Real Dad Fitness, and Time-Traveling Film Critics.
One day I was talking with my daughter and encouraging her to go after her dreams.
“Do you have any dreams, Daddy,” she asked.
“I want to be a writer,” I said.
“Then why aren’t you doing it?”
That lit a fire under me something fierce, and I got to writing.
The things I’ve published so far:
The Deadlock Trilogy – A science fiction suspense series about a small town with a secret. Includes Regulation 19, A Place Without Shadows, and The Broken Clock.
Zane Halloway -The Zane Halloway series takes place in a world of magic, mystery, and assassins. It’s an epic sword and sorcery tale told in novella-sized chunks.
Drop me a line on Twitter or through email and say hello!
You can do so by commenting on his YouTube channel, HERE.
May 23 2016
Rank #3: New to Writing in the New Year? Start Here!
The guys discuss starting as a writer, how to approach the decision of outlining or discovery writing, where to find readers and form a newsletter, how to take criticism, and more.
He wanted to bring his fiancée back from the dead. If he's not careful, he'll join her. Evans's world was turned upside down when he lost his fiancée Senna in a tragic accident. He misses her so desperately that he's resorted to the dark arts to bring her back.
Frank Altemus is a doctor with strange connections to the occult who promises to revive Senna from the afterlife in exchange for Rohan's help on a "special" expedition. To Russia. To rob an ancient temple with a dangerous secret.
Rohan had no idea what he was truly signing up for. But if he wants Senna back, he'll have to make a deadly sacrifice.
Death Marked is the first book in the urban fantasy Modern Necromancy series. It's a fast-paced chase around the world that will keep you on the edge of your seat and fear the dead.
-- ALSO: Justin will be at the SDSU Writers Conference this weekend, talking self publishing and the multi-media writer. See you there!
Jan 16 2017
Rank #4: Jason Pinter on Writing Thrillers
Author Jason Pinter joined us to talk writing Thrillers and Running a Publishing Company
Check out his links and posts!
Jason Pinter is the bestselling author of five novels in his Henry Parker thriller series, which
have over one million copies in print worldwide and have been published in over a dozen
countries, as well as the Middle Grade adventure novel Zeke Bartholomew: SuperSpy. He has
been nominated for the Thriller Award, Strand Critics Award, Barry Award, RT Reviewers
Choice Award, Shamus Award and CrimeSpree Award. Two of his books—The Fury and
The Darkness—were chosen as Indie Next selections, and The Mark, The Stolen and The Fury,
were named to The Strand’s Best Books of the Year list. The Mark and The Stolen both
appeared on the ‘Heatseekers’ bestseller list in The Bookseller (UK). The Mark was optioned to
be a feature film.
He is the Founder and Publisher of Polis Books, an independent publishing company he
launched in 2013. He was named one of Publisher Weekly’s inaugural Star Watch honorees, which “recognizes young publishing professionals who have distinguished themselves as future leaders of the industry.” He has written for The New Republic, Entrepreneur, The Daily Beast, Medium and The Huffington Post, and been featured in Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, MediaBistro, Mystery Scene and more.
He was named one of the top writers on Twitter (@JasonPinter) by Mashable
and the Huffington Post, and his articles and essays have been covered in the New York Times,
Los Angeles Times, CNN, The Atlantic, Boston Globe, New York Observer, Baltimore Sun, Salon
and as far as Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald. He was born in New York City in 1979 and
currently lives in Hoboken, NJ with his wife, their daughter, and their dog, Wilson.
Sep 05 2017
Rank #5: Writing Dark Horror and Post Apocalyptic Fiction with J Thorn
Check out J Thorn's advice on writing dark horror and post apocalyptic fiction, and while you're at it, go get his guide to post-apoc and his new book "American Demon Hunters."
- Thorn is a Top 100 Most Popular Author in Horror, Science Fiction, Action & Adventure and Fantasy (Amazon Author Rank). He has published over one million words and has sold more than 170,000 books worldwide. In March of 2014 Thorn held the #5 position in Horror alongside his childhood idols Dean Koontz and Stephen King (at #4 and #2 respectively). He is an official, active member of the Horror Writers Association and a member of the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers. J. is a contributor to disinformation.com and a staff writer for HeavyPlanet.net as well as a founding board member of the Author Marketing Institute.
Thorn earned a B.A. in American History from the University of Pittsburgh and a M.A. from Duquesne University. He has spent the last twenty years researching mysticism and the occult in colonial American history.
Oct 31 2016
Rank #6: Make Comics Like the Pros with Fred Van Lente
Fred Van Lente has worked at Marvel on comics and games, Telltale with Justin on the Walking Dead: Michonne. Fred has worked on such titles as Amazing Spider Man, Incredible Hercules, Iron Man, GI Joe, Conan the Barbarian, and the books Action Philosophers and Action Presidents (HarperCollins Kids).
Fred also created the awesome book Make Comics Like the Pros, with the amazing Greg Pak.
Listen to hear Fred's tale about breaking into the comics industry, how it's different from writing for games, and the stories behind Men in Black and Cowboys and Aliens.
Make Comics Like the Pros
A step-by-step guide to all aspects of comic book creation--from conceptualization to early drafts to marketing and promotion--written by two of the industry's most seasoned and successful pros.
Discover the Secrets of Your Favorite Comic Book Creators
Do you want to break into the comics industry? There are many creative roles available—writer, penciller, inker, colorist, letterer, editor, and more. Each creator serves a vital function in the production of sequential art at companies such as DC, Marvel, Image, and Valiant. In Make Comics Like the Pros, veteran comics creators Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente team up with a who’s who of the modern comic book scene to lead you step-by-step through the development of a comic. With these two fan-favorite writers as your guides, you’ll learn everything from script formatting to the importance of artistic collaboration to the best strategies for promoting and selling your own sequential art masterpiece. Pak and Van Lente even put their lessons into practice inside the pages of the book—pairing with Eisner Award–winning cartoonist Colleen Coover (Bandette) to produce the swashbuckling, adventure comic Swordmaids, and giving you front row seats to their creative process. Make Comics Like the Pros provides all the answers you’ve been seeking to take your comic book–making dreams all the way to professional-level reality.
And CREATIVE WRITING CAREER 2 the #Audiobook is now available. Exciting!
May 09 2016
Rank #7: Fantasy Author Brian D. Anderson, The Godling Chronicles
Justin first came across Brian through a BookBub ad Brian was running with his The Godling Chronicles. The covers were amazing, and drew Justin in right away (it didn’t hurt that Justin has a book called Land of Gods, and the idea of exploring gods in fiction intrigues him).
With that in mind, Justin, Stephan, and Kevin discuss writing fantasy, marketing fantasy (to include how to get on BookBub), and finding amazing cover art.
Brian’s amazon author profile:
Brian D. Anderson was born in 1971, and grew up in the small town of Spanish Fort, AL.. It was through the trials and tribulations of growing up in small town America that he stumbled upon his true calling. Supreme ruler of the world, and history's most beloved Super Villain. For years he scoured the globe for a base of operations. His first choice - an abandoned missile silo in the Mohave Desert - was too far beyond his meager budget of $16.89. And as the owner had a VERY big gun, and Anderson only an empty soda bottle, a violent takeover of the facility was not a prudent course of action. Ultimately, he settled for a tree hut on the Island of Yap where to this day he plans and plots, biding his time until the moment is ripe for his master plan to unfold.
And he also writes books.
You can learn more at :
Apr 25 2016
Rank #8: Worldbuilding in Scifi and Fantasy with Star Brigade Author CC Ekeke
Author C.C. Ekeke shares his experience writing science fiction with Justin, which includes discussing what sort of subcategories work best in scifi, how to approach worldbuilding in these stories, and how to build a newsletter.
C.C. Ekeke spent much of his childhood on a steady diet of science fiction movies, television shows and superhero comic books. He discovered his desire to write books in college when studying for a degree in advertising. An international trip or two provided further inspiration for the aliens and worlds seen in his writing. STAR BRIGADE: Resurgent, his debut novel, was originally published in December 2005 - this is the enhanced edition relaunched in preparation for the next books in the Star Brigade series.
To contact C.C. Ekeke, check out the author's homepage: http://ccekeke.com
And check out his new cover for his book Star Brigade: Resurgent - it looks amazing!
Jan 30 2017
Rank #9: Using Short Fiction and Films to Further Your Career
In this episode, the gang discusses how they have used short fiction and what it has taught them. For example, Kevin is posting short stories on his blog recently. He's been getting some great feedback from his followers (and you can check them out too, at http://kevintumlinson.com/blog.
Justin is also toying with posting his short fiction at www.JustinMSloan.com, and both Justin and Stephan have had experience with short films.
Short fiction can be a great way to experiment with the craft, and filming a short can be extremely educational. Tune in to see what these guys have learned from the process.
Want to support the Creative Writing Career podcast? Great, it's because of you we can keep the show going. Support us by donating at Patreon.com/CWC or by purchasing Creative Writing Career 2 and 30-Day Author.
Apr 05 2016
Rank #10: Writing SciFi and Fantasy with SFWA member LJ Cohen
Lisa Janice (LJ) Cohen shares her advice on writing speculative fiction, how to approach craft, and what joining memberships like SFWA means.
LJ Cohen is a poet, novelist, blogger, local food enthusiast, Doctor Who fan, and relentless optimist. Lisa lives just outside of Boston with her family, two dogs (only one of which actually ever listens to her) and the occasional international student. When not doing battle with a stubborn Jack Russell Terrier mix, Lisa can be found writing, which looks a lot like daydreaming. She writes SF, Fantasy, and YA novels under the name LJ Cohen.
Check out here books on Amazon, here.
And you can get a free copy of any of her audiobooks at AudibleTrial.com/CreativeWritingCareer.
Feb 22 2016
Rank #11: Dan Wells on Writing Excuses, Writing Books and Television, and His New Books
Author Dan Wells shares his experience writing horror and YA books, such as I am Not a Serial Killer, Partials, and more - he's written TV and seen one of his books become a movie.
Justin had the pleasure of meeting Dan Wells at 2016 Gen Con, so they talk about why you need to attend the Gen Con Writing Track (which Dan says is the best writing track at a conference - aside from the Writing Excuses Cruise.
Dan also shares some exclusive news - first heard here! But... You'll have to listen for that one :)
His website: http://thedanwells.com
His Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Dan-Wells/e/B002S2VIBS
Writing Excuses Podcast: http://www.writingexcuses.com
Oct 25 2016
Rank #12: Tails of Dystopia with Samuel Peralta, Chris Pourteau, David Bruns, and Sean Quigley
On today's episode, we spoke with Samuel Peralta, Chris Pourteau, David Bruns, and Sean Quigley about the Tails of Dystopia anthology.
1984 meets The Incredible Journey in thirteen dystopian tales by some of today's most accomplished writers of science fiction.
In this title in the acclaimed Future Chronicles series of speculative fiction anthologies created by award-winning author Samuel Peralta, discover tales of dark futures, tragic pasts, and a present that's run off the rails are presented in landscapes as varied as their authors' imaginations.
Set in bestselling worlds fully realized by their authors, the stories of Chronicle Worlds: Tails of Dystopia unfold as seen through the eyes of animals -- tamed and feral, domestic and savage -- as they traverse a world of perdition where often their capacity for nobility and self-sacrifice transcends our own.
Enter these worlds with some of the most inventive authors writing today, including USA Today bestselling authors David Adams and Cheri Lasota, Wall Street Journal bestselling authors Daniel Arthur Smith and Ann Christy, and Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award winner Rysa Walker.
Dystopian deserts, post-apocalyptic mountain ranges, the medieval English countryside, the far reaches of the galaxy - in each of these and more, animals and their human companions discover heart-stopping adventure among the ruins - and you will, too.
Discover Chronicle Worlds. Discover Tails of Dystopia.
Proceeds from this volume of The Future Chronicles help support the charity Pets for Vets, which rescues and re-trains shelter animals and matches them with military veterans in need of a companion animal.
Nov 20 2017
Rank #13: Writing Non-fiction and More, with Honoree Corder
Kevin fist met Honoree at one of the Sterling & Stone events, and they've been besties ever since. Honoree writes non-fiction and more, including her book Prosperity for Writers and the accompanying journal.
Honoree talks how to make a living from writing. While everyone defines being a prosperous writer, Honoree defines it as making enough to live off of from solely your writing. This should be a goal for all of us writers.
Honorée Corder is an authorpreneur, business coach, and serial entrepreneur who helps people clarify their visions and turn them into reality. She empowers others to dream big and go for what they truly want.
Success is simple and not always easy. Honorée's books provide the real-world, time-tested strategies she's used herself and with her clients, so you can get to your next level faster, easier, and with less effort and stress. While she doesn't promise the world, she gives her step-by-step advice to you in a straight-forward, no-nonsense fashion you can use today to get the results you want tomorrow.
In her spare time, she watches too much television, loves to read, travel, learn languages, hang out with her family, and talk about herself in the third person.
Honorenter link description hereee's Amazon Author Page.
Mar 14 2016
Rank #14: Glynn Stewart on Science Fiction Fantasy
Author Glynn Stewart discusses his science fiction / fantasy series.
Glynn Stewart is the author of the Castle Federation and Starship's Mage space opera series.
Writing managed to liberate him from being an accountant before he lost all personality, and he now lives in Kitchener, Ontario with his wife and their demanding cats.
Check out his recent book with Terry Mixon - HEART OF VENGEANCE
And one of my new favorite books, STARSHIP'S MAGE, with over 300 amazing reviews.
Aug 28 2017
Rank #15: Achieving Writing Goals and a Look Back at 2016
Justin and Kevin discuss how to achieve your writing goals, which ones they accomplished in 2016, and what's in store for 2017.
This includes such topics as speaking at writing conferences, collaborations, film and television adaptations, and more!
Dec 26 2016
Rank #16: Brandon Barr Talks Age of Magic, Fantasy and Scifi, and Overcoming Obstacles
Author Brandon Barr joins us to chat about his upcoming series in the Age of Magic universe, about his Song of the Worlds trilogy (a bit of magic and fantasy), and writing while dealing with cancer.
It's an inspiring episode, so check it out!
Brandon Barr is an American author living in Southern California. He writes in the genres of science fiction and fantasy and often combines the two, preferring stories where the science is soft, the fantastic is vivid, and the flesh and soul characters are front and center.
The Song of the Worlds saga is his breakout, genre-blending science-fantasy drama set in a vast fantasy universe where elements of science fiction are dominated by gods and monsters, visions and gifts. For updates on new releases, promos, freebies and giveaways, subscribe to his mailing list and connect with him at www.brandonbarr.com
Also, if you want to be notified of all Age of Magic books (never miss one!), signup here.
May 22 2017
Rank #17: Amazing Self-Published Fantasy with Will Wight, Author of House of Blades
Join Stephan Bugaj, Justin Sloan, and Kevin Tumlinson as they sit down with Will Wight to discuss his awesome books and how he has succeeded in self-publishing.
YES, HE WROTE HOUSE OF BLADES …And he wrote it while working on his MFA thesis. Will talked about how his program was very literary writer focused, as was Justin’s and they talk about how they couldn’t be broken from their fantasy writing.
The group further discussed: - Writers groups - Why one would go self-publishing versus traditional - How to come up with magic systems and where inspiration comes from
Some awesomeness brought up in this episode and cool links:
For more interviews like this, check out the books in the Creative Mentor series:
Nov 02 2015
Rank #18: Scott Lynch on the Best Fantasy Books Ever - His
Justin and special guest cohost PT Hylton sat down with Scott Lynch to talk about his amazing fantasy books, writing epic fantasy, how to work on your craft and improve your prose, why playing video games is important, and more!
Scott Lynch the Author
You might know Scott from his books:
The Thorn of Emberlain (forthcoming)
The Ministry of Necessity (forthcoming)
The Mage and the Master Spy (forthcoming)
Inherit the Night (forthcoming)
Scott Lynch was born in 1978 in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he still lives now. In addition to being a freelance writer for various role playing game companies, he has done all the usual jobs writers put in their bios: dishwasher, waiter, web designer, marketing writer, office manager and short-order cook.
Mar 20 2017
Rank #19: Screenwriting for Disney and the videogame Shadow of Mordor with Elias Madias
Join Stephan Bugaj, Justin Sloan, and Kevin Tumlinson as they sit down with Elias Madias to discuss his journey as a screenwriter and video game writer.
SHADOW OF MORDOR! That’s right, that’s what we said. But before we get there, we talked with Elias about how he came up in the industry through being a Director’s Assistant, how he found a writing partner and bust down the first door in his way (to get to Disney!), and how he got into games (the secret? Connections. Networking. Duh).
He spent a few minutes talking about the Austin Film Festival, since he’ll be on a panel with Justin. The key there is to go and talk to everyone as peers, because everyone’s there to have a good time. And don’t ask – wait for them to offer.
And Justin terrified the guest by speculating that the AFF panel may be recorded! Check out the Austin ON STORY podcast to see if their panel makes it.
Want to get an intro to Elias, check out this episode! Want to see what’s he is like when spending too many hours at a bar, go to the Austin Film Festival!
Other awesomeness brought up in this episode and cool links:
And in case you somehow didn’t know, Shadow of Mordor is based on The Lord of the Rings.
For more interviews like this, check out the books in the Creative Mentor series:
Oct 26 2015
Rank #20: Author Monica Leonelle on Branding, Pivoting, and Being an Author
This week we had Monica Leonelle on the show!
Monica Leonelle is USA Today bestselling author best known for her young adult urban fantasy and paranormal romance series, Waters Dark and Deep. Monica started reading young adult books when she was seven and never managed to grow out of them. She LOVES Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, The Mortal Instruments, The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and more!
Monica also writes about indie publishing at ProseOnFire.com. Her most recent nonfiction series, Growth Hacking for Storytellers, has helped thousands of writers write faster, become better storytellers, and find their way to success. She’s also the creator of the Breakout Author Masterclass.
Before becoming an independent author, Monica led digital marketing efforts at Inc. 100 companies like Hansen’s Natural and Braintree. She’s been an avid blogger of marketing and business trends since 2007. Her ideas have been featured in AdAge, The Huffington Post, the AMEX OpenForum, GigaOm, Mashable, Social Media Today, and the Christian Science Monitor.
Monica lives in a very, very old, 3-story home in St. Louis, MO with her husband and adorable westie, Mia. It possibly has ghosts. And definitely has a secret passage. To find out what she’s up to and get access to her latest fiction updates, exclusive giveaways, advanced review copies, and more, sign up at MonicaLeonelle.com
Sep 25 2017