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: Writing Fiction, Hacking the System, and Forming a Writing Posse with Michael Anderle
You may know Michael Anderle from his amazing 20Booksto50k group, as well as his books that have done AMAZINGLY well on Amazon. He is a KU fan, meaning you can get all of his books #Free if you're a KU subscriber.
Tune in to hear how Michael hacks the system with his crew of mentees / students, and how he uses his business background to ensure his publishing success.
Visit Michael's Amazon page.
Michael Anderle (1967-Hopefully a long time from NOW) was born in Houston, Tx. A very curious child, he got into trouble - a lot. What to do with an inquisitive mind when he was grounded? Read! That hasn't changed since he was in elementary school. The Kindle was developed with him in mind. In the first 20 years, he mostly read Science Fiction and Fantasy. In the last 10 years he has enjoyed Urban Fantasy and Military Fiction. Using these influences, he has developed The Kurtherian Gambit. A series dedicated to watching how one genetically modified person with an incredible team behind her might be able to change the future, if she can survive along the way.
His books: http://kurtherianbooks.com
Aug 08 2016
Rank #3: 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 #4: Distractions from Writing and Coping with Always Having Too Much Going On
In this episode, Justin and Kevin discuss how to continue to write when your life is full of distractions. Maybe it's just about changing your schedule to fit with the distractions, or learning to do creative work at a certain time of day, and the more menial tasks at 'distraction time.'
They talk Gen Con and lessons learned there, such as how to stop always "Muster-bating." Yeah, you'll have to listen to see what that is. Also, how can partnerships help in this regard? Are they sometimes a distraction?
If you deal with distractions, tune in and then go to the comments let us know what we left out.
And of course, we talk about how AMAZING the Stranger Things show is.
Oh, this Unofficial Minecraft book looks cool... BLADE OF THE SEA.
Aug 15 2016
Rank #5: 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 #6: 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 #7: Writing Fiction as a Business and Being Awesome with Michael Scott Earle
Kevin, Justin, and Stephan are joined by the amazing author of THE DESTROYER (epic fantasy) and some other amazing books -- Michael-Scott Earle. He shares how he taught Justin to treat fiction like a business, and it's not just a saying. Want to get serious about your fiction too? Tune in to this episode!
What else do you need to know about Michael-Scott Earle?
You can find out all of his deep, dark secrets at these websites:
Michael' book recommendations:
Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover
The Lions of al-Rassan
Sailing to Sarantium
A Song for Arbonne
by Guy Gavriel Kay
and then "The Sword" by Luna Brothers
And you can get them on Audible for free with a trial!
Michael's Bio from his AMAZON PAGE:
Thanks for reading my books! If you enjoyed any of my novels please leave a review, join my mailing list, and share with your friends.
I'm currently working on a space opera series and have outlines for a supernatural horror series, a Western horror series, a futurist cyber-punk series, a comedic fantasy series, and a series in the Destroyer universe that will take place a few months after the end of book 4.
When I am not working or writing, I enjoy cycling (road and mountain), guitar/bass guitar playing, esoteric music, reading, exercising, and spending time with my family.
check out www.michaelscottearle.com for more info.
Aug 02 2016
Rank #8: 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 #9: 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 #10: 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 #11: Writing Thriller Books, TV, and Film with Drew Chapman
Drew Chapman got into writing because he couldn't play professional basketball and for his love of Hemingway. It led to an awesome career writing for television, such films as Disney's Pocahontas, and now his amazing novels, The Ascendant and The King of Fear.
Drew stands up for genre novels, saying that the difference between these books and so called "literary" novels is disintegrating. He says his novels are a character study, with action thrown in.
Additionally, we delve into Drew's writing process (especially focusing on developing characters), his advice for publishing and breaking into Hollywood, and so much more.
OUR BOOK OF THE WEEK:
The Ascendant, narrated by George Newbern - free with an audible trial at AudibleTrial.com/CreativeWritingCareer.
Jan 18 2016
Rank #12: 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 #13: 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 #14: 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 #15: CN Crawford Talks Writing Teams, Urban Fantasy, and Magic
CN Crawford Talks Writing Teams, Urban Fantasy, and Magic. We had a lot of fun discussing stories, where the writing team's ideas come from, how they approach writing as a team and husband and wife, and more.
C.N. Crawford is not one person but two. We write our novels collaboratively, passing our laptops back and forth to edit each other's words.
Christine is from Lexington, Massachusetts and has has a lifelong interest in New England folklore--with a particular fondness for creepy old cemeteries and execution histories. Nick spent his childhood reading fantasy and science fiction during Vermont's long winters, which have rendered him impervious to the cold.
After the fact, we chatted about marketing, and Christine had this to say:
I’ve read Chris’s book and I would say that I definitely try to “write
to market,” which to me means discovering what people love about the
genre you’re writing it. That’s why it helps to love the genre you’re
writing, because you already have that insight. As a school
psychologist, I taught social skills, and I view “writing to market in
the same way” because they both involve learning about what other
people are interested in and thinking about other people’s
perspectives and internal worlds, not just your own
Check it out!
Jul 03 2017
Rank #16: Jasmine Walt on Writing Urban Fantasy, Book Launches, and Karaoke
Justin and Kevin chat with Jasmine Walt about how she went from Ghost Writing to becoming an author we know and love. Her urban fantasy books are amazing, and their covers are perfect. She talks how she works with a writing partner, how she got into writing, and where she gets her book covers.
We also talk Tough Guy Urban Fantasy, box sets, photo manipulation covers vs illustrated covers, and karaoke at NINC. Exciting!
Check out Jasmine's Amazon Page, and these books:
And the book that J.A. Cipriano is doing (which we discuss): Throne to the Wolves
I’m obsessed with books, chocolate, and sharp, pointy objects. Somehow, those three things melded together in my head and transformed into a desire to write. Usually fantastical stuff, with a healthy dose of action and romance. My characters are a little (okay, a lot) on the snarky side, and they swear, but they mean well. Even the villains sometimes.
When I’m not working on my next book, you can find me working on my dao sword form, spending time with my family, or binge-watching superhero shows on Netflix.
Want to connect? You can find me on Twitter at @jasmine_writes, or on Facebook here.
Oct 17 2016
Rank #17: Tools for Writing on the Road
Following the previous week's discussion on writing remotely for games and film, this week Kevin, Justin, and Stephan talk about tools we use when writing remotely. This of course includes Evernote, Scrivener, and Amazon's Story Writer.
Kevin talked a bit about using his iPad for writing and the debate of whether it can replace a computer.
And the discussion delved into writing styles and what works for each of us.
And this week we have THREE books of the week:
Justin: Teddy Bears in Monsterland, by Justin Sloan and read by Michael Gilliland
Kevin: The Passage, by Justin Cronin and read by Scott Brick
Stephan: Save the Cat Strikes Back, by Blake Snyder and MacLeod Andrews
Feb 15 2016
Rank #18: Writing Interactive Fiction and Fearless Fantasy with Michael La Ronn
Join Justin and Kevin as they get into the details of what makes author Michael La Ronn click. Michael shares the medical emergency that pushed him toward becoming an author, how using mailing lists helped him decide what book to write (it was Android Paradox), and how he markets himself as an author. Check out his fearless fantasy, and decision select novels (kind of a modern Choose Your Own Adventure, but for grownups).
NOTE: We apologize for the audio not being perfect, but with interviews this sometimes can't be helped. We're taking steps to ensure better audio quality in the future.
Michael La Ronn is an author, poet, public speaker, and entrepreneur. He writes fearless fantasy and Decision Select Novels, and he is known for his quirky, imaginative writing style. He also writes nonfiction about writing and indie publishing.
In 2012, a life-threatening illness put him in the hospital. Realizing that life was too short, he devoted himself to self-publishing, entrepreneurship, and all the other punishments that indie authors love to bring upon themselves. And he loves every moment of it.
Jan 04 2016
Rank #19: 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 #20: Writing Children's Books that Matter, with Esther Goldenberg
This week we spoke with Esther Goldenberg about writing children's books that help children really want to read.
Esther Goldenberg is the author of Hypatia Academy and the My Nutty Family series. She lives in Maryland with her family. For more information including back stories from her books and author visits, visit www.EstherGoldenberg.com and www.ThreeGemsPublishing.com.
Mar 13 2017