Archive for the ‘Podcast’ Category

Ghost in the Machine – E. Rose Sabin

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Guest E. Rose Sabin reads an excerpt from her book, “Mistress of the Wind.”

Ghost in the Machine–Guest E. Rose Sabin

Ghost in the Machine – James Maxey (Bitterwood)

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Welcome to a special podcast featuring the first chapter of James Maxey’s, Bitterwood, read by Dave Thompson.

Ghost in the Machine–Guest James Maxey

1. What is the title of your newest book or short story? What’s it about? Where can readers find it?

My newest book is actually one of my oldest books in a new format. My debut fantasy novel Bitterwood was released by Solaris Books back in 2007. In the intervening years I’ve been asked repeatedly when an audio edition of the book would become available. Lo! It has come to pass! Producer and narrator Dave Thompson has recorded an amazing performance of the book, now available on Audible, Amazon, and ITunes.

2. What inspired your new book or story?

Bitterwood is set in a world ruled by dragons. Humans live among them as slaves, pets, and prey. The mysterious dragon-slayer Bitterwood has been waging a one man war against the beasts for years, but when he kills the son of the dragon-king Albekizan, he triggers a war in which the dragons unite to wipe out all mankind.

I was drawn to this story first by Bitterwood himself. I had a vision of an old, burned out warrior who hated mankind as much as he hated dragons, an utterly unheroic figure who just happens to be the best hope for victory against the dragons. But, as I wrote the book, I kept fleshing out the dragons, exploring their politics, religion, and personal relationships, until the dragon cast was fleshed out as completely as the human cast. I think this gives the book a higher level of tension. You care about both the humans and the dragons, but it’s difficult to see how there can ever be peace between them.

3. What’s your favorite part of writing a new book or story? What do you like the least?

My favorite part is all the daydreaming. I can’t believe that I get to let my imagination run wild, write it all down, then sell the results. I keep worrying that someone is going to catch onto my scam… “Hey! He’s just making this stuff up!” Thinking up stories leaves my head buzzing and my body full of energy. It’s like drinking a dozen cups of coffee.

The worst part of writing is probably the, um, writing. Sitting in a chair for months writing draft after draft of the same book. As wonderful as the high of daydreaming is, there’s a point where, if you want to see the book in print, you have to engage in actual work. While I have no first hand knowledge to compare the two experiences, I would say writing a novel and having a baby have some parallels. The initial process of creation is a lot of fun, but there’s nine months before it amounts to anything, and it doesn’t come out without labor.

4. How do you research your stories?

I don’t. I just pursue the things that interest me, like dinosaurs, comic books, mythology, religions, economics, exotic foods, and anything that catches my fancy. Keeping my head full of fresh facts provides fuel for my imagination. A few years ago, I ate beef tongue for the first time. I loved it! I went home and wrote a scene at the beginning of Bitterwood where he cooks and eats a dragon’s tongue, and in the second book, Dragonforge, he talks about how tongues became his favorite part of the dragon. It’s very rare that I have an idea for a story that depends on things that I don’t know about. I don’t know a lot about, say, Russian history, so it’s unlikely I’ll come up with a story idea that has to be set in Russia in some past era, then have to go out and read up on this. Instead, I follow the oldest advice given to writers, and write what I know. This means every moment of my life is research.

5. What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

This might sound a little self-serving, since I’m here plugging my just released audiobook, but I can honestly say that listening to audiobooks has had a real impact on the way I write. I think it’s important that a writer remember the connection between those little symbols on the page and the vocal sounds they’re supposed to represent. Spoken language predates written language by hundreds of thousands of years, and many people still “hear” the words as they read. Some really prolific readers can skip hearing the words and just absorb the meaning by looking at the letters. It’s efficient, but if you write without thinking about how your sentences sound when read out loud, you can produce dense and difficult prose that just doesn’t flow correctly. Listening to audiobooks is a great way of reconnecting the written word with the spoken word, allowing you to produce more natural, and sometimes more lyrical, prose.

Ghost in the Machine – James Maxey

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Welcome to a special podcast featuring a reading from The Witchbreaker and a q&a with Guest James Maxey .

Ghost in the Machine–Guest James Maxey

1. What is the title of your newest book or short story? What’s it about? Where can readers find it?

Witchbreaker is my most recent novel. It’s the third book in my Dragon Apocalypse series. The second book introduced a young witch named Sorrow. She’s a materialist, which means she gains her powers by shaping special nails from various substances and driving them into her skull. She gains total mastery over a substance in this way. Since she has a nail of iron, she can shape iron with her hands like it’s nothing more than clay, and she can cause any iron she touches to rust and crumble with but a thought. In the second book, Hush, she expands her powers greatly when she encounters Rott, the primal dragon of decay, and steals a sliver of his tooth she uses to form a nail. Now, she has all of the dragon’s destructive powers. Unfortunately, the power is so great she’s losing control of it, and of her body. At the start of the novel, the lower half of her body is completely covered in thick black scales. Her physical changes only get more drastic the more she uses her powers. The novel follows her quest to learn all the lost secrets of witchcraft to regain control of her magic before she loses the last of her humanity.

2. What inspired your new book or story?

I actually had the plot of this novel in the back of my mind for years, but had very different characters in mind. When I introduced Sorrow in Hush, I kind of fell in love with her and knew she was going to be the hero of the next book, and felt like the plot was a natural outgrowth of her personality. Sorrow’s father was a famous judge—or perhaps I should say infamous, since he’s known far and wide as the man who ordered his own mother hanged for practicing witchcraft. Sorrow rebels against her father by actually becoming a witch, but she sees that her father isn’t the real source of injustice in the world, that he is just a product of the religious and legal institutions that have created him. So, she’s literally on a quest to change the world by destroying the Church of the Book, the dominant religion of the world, and bringing an end to the age of monarchs. I like her because she’s never lost her capacity for outrage. She’s never looked at any problem in the world and thought, “That’s not my problem.” She’s smart, confident, and fearless. Of course, she’s also walking the line between being a savior or a supervillain. I love characters who exist in moral gray areas.

3. What do you read for fun?

For 2013, I’ve made a commitment to read nothing but classics that I somehow have managed not to read up to now. I consider myself fairly well read, but the list of important books I have read is daunting. So far this year, I’ve read The Wizard of Oz, Pride and Prejudice, The Time Machine, and am currently half way through The Island of Dr. Moreau. Frankenstein, Dracula, and 20,000 Leagues under the Sea are in my reading queue. I know all of these stories from movies and other adaptations and derivative works, but have somehow managed to skip reading the actual source material. This is the year I remedy that. So far, I’m having a blast.

4. Was there a book you read in your childhood or teen years that changed your world? Tell us which book and how it made a difference for you.

Lots of them. But, if I had to point to one, I would say Dragons of Eden by Carl Sagan. In it, he presents the scientific theories and evidence about the birth of the universe and our world, including the rise of mankind, and uses the Biblical story of creation as a framing device. Since I was raised a fundamentalist Christian, this book had a huge impact on me when I read it as a teenager, completely upending my supernatural world view and replacing it with a rationalistic one.

5. What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Write. It’s really just that simple. Writing is just like any other artistic skill. If you want to play piano, you have to sit in front of a piano pressing keys for years to master it. If you want to be a great artist, you have to fill up a lot of sketchpads. If you want to write, you’ve got to put your butt in the chair and tap out stories. You can gain advice from reading books or going to workshops, but you won’t actually learn to write until you’ve strung together many, many thousands of words into some sort of narrative structure. Quantity is the surest path to quality.

Author Gail Z. Martin reading an excerpt from Ice Forged

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Ghost in the Machine–Author Gail Z. Martin reading an excerpt from Ice Forged

Ghost in the Machine – David Wood

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Host Gail Z. Martin (Chronicles of the Necromancer series and Fallen Kings Cycle) talks with guest David Wood (Quest) about written in someone else’s universe.

Ghost in the Machine–Guest David Wood

Ghost in the Machine – Tricia Wildridge

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Host Gail Z. Martin (Chronicles of the Necromancer series and Fallen Kings Cycle) talks with guest Tricia Wildridge about about women, fantasy and Broad Universe.

Ghost in the Machine–Guest Tricia Wildridge

Ghost in the Machine – Jim Stratton

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

Host Gail Z. Martin (Chronicles of the Necromancer series and Fallen Kings Cycle) talks with guest Jim Stratton about how the publishing industry is changing, yet still staying the same.

Ghost in the Machine–Guest Jim Stratton

BroadPod Podcast

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Our host this month is Michelle Murrain, bringing you tales of Faith and Fear from readers Gail Z. Martin, Larissa Niec and Roberta Gregory.

Ghost in the Machine – Philippa (Pip) Ballantine and Tee Morris

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Host Gail Z. Martin (Chronicles of the Necromancer series and Fallen Kings Cycle) talks with Philippa (Pip) Ballantine and Tee Morris about the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.

Ghost in the Machine–Guests Philippa (Pip) Ballantine and Tee Morris

Ghost in the Machine – John Hartness

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Host Gail Z. Martin (Chronicles of the Necromancer series and Fallen Kings Cycle) talks with John Hartness (Bubba the Monster Hunter) about writing novellas.

Ghost in the Machine–Guest Emilie P. Bush