Lasers, Dragons, and Keyboards Podcast

Sci-fi, fantasy, and writing–who could ask for more?

Author: aarondemott

LDK 60 – Janeen Ippolito & Julia Busko

We were delighted to have on the show with us horror authors Janeen Ippolito and Julia Busko this week, authors of Blood Mercy.

In this episode…

  • Characters and their quirks and how they may or may not resemble actual people.
  • Favorite vampires!
  • Being horror junkies
  • Favorite scenes
  • Dream actor casting!
  • Questing!
  • Doctor Who and our favorite doctors
  • Gaming!
  • Upcoming release (October 2017) Blood Mercy: The Darkest Stain

 

Links!

Janeen Ippolito
Julia Busko
Blood Mercy
Mike Duran
Christian Horror
Uncommon Universes Press

LDK 45 & 46 – Kerry Nietz

71vd27gppvl-_ux250_We were totally delighted to hang out with one of the forefathers of the awesome Realm Makers conference in these episodes, Kerry Nietz! Kerry, as he says, is a refugee from software engineering, and is the author of Amish Vampires in Space (as seen on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon!)
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSiTIZW3WEo]

In Episode 45:

  • Revisiting story worlds by writing Frayed.
  • Threadbare, the main character, and why Kerry loves him.
  • Throwing characters curve balls (No, not literally…)
  • Liberty’s cold leads to a misinterpretation of one of our questions, and an interesting answer.
  • Research into boxing!
  • Kerry’s favorite superhero and the version he prefers!
  • Usually, one’s superhero and one’s Captain have similar traits… Mr. Nietz is an exception…

51bhqsotepl-_sy346_In Episode 46:

  • How Kerry structures his writing time so he can end his session in the middle of a scene.
  • Oh, Scrivner, do we love thee? Let us count the ways…
  • Kerry’s really good first drafts, and how he handles editing.
  • Developing a thick skin! (Metaphorically…)
  • Developing habits to overcome writer’s block (literally…)
  • Mayans, mythology, and vampire gods – Oh My!
  • Never stop writing-never surrender!
  • The differences in traditional publishing versus self-publishing, at least from Kerry’s perspective.

Too lazy to type out the links while you’re listening? We’ve got you covered! (If they don’t work, it’s Liberty’s fault….)
Kerry Nietz
Frayed
Amish Vampires in Space
Mike Duran
Tosca Lee
Nadine Brandes (editing services)
Jeff Gerke (editing services)
Ray Bradbury (Hey, he won a Pulitzer! But not for what you’d think…)
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Michael Crighton

LDK 41 & 42 – Celesta Thiessen

This week on the show, we have Celesta Thiessen, the author of the Super Seven series. She hails from Manitoba (I think she’s our first Canadian author!), and had a lot to share 14528234_1070374343011379_179943636_nabout her series and writing.

In Episode 41:

  • Celesta’s favorite parts of writing the series.
  • An impromptu author reading of her favorite scene from Two of a Kind!
  • The science behind her superhero powers in her books.
  • Celesta’s favorite superhero…and how he figures into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We spend some time analyzing the movie.
  • Many bunny trails on the parts of the hosts…

51e7kutpu7l-_sy346_In Episode 42:

  • Celesta’s pantsing process. (We all agree it’s brave!)
  • Aaron is amazed at the earliness at which Celesta writes.
  • And Aaron also is really quick on puns and quips in this episode!
  • We talk strange place names where we all live.
  • Celesta’s unusual research methods.
  • Self-editing and Celesta’s lengthy process (which includes her husband!)
  • We get into a bit of a Mac vs. PC debate.
  • Celesta’s long term goals!

Links!

Celesta Thiessen
The Super Seven
Salt Eden (Celeste’s new book for adults!)14518728_1070379669677513_467426836_n
The Physics of Superheroes
Kathy Tyers
Kerry NietzA Star Curiously Singing

Listen to Episode 41Listen to Episode 42
Listen to our Star Wars episodes Part 1 and Part 2

 

writing-is-easy-just-put-a-sheet-of-paper-in-the-typewriter-and-start-bleeding

LDK 39 & 40 – Laura VanArendonk Baugh

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This week on LDK, we have a wonderful time talking with Laura VanArendonk Baugh (try saying that three times fast!) We managed to get a few details about ancient Japanese culture, of which, Laura seems to be a near-expert on.

kitsune-tsuki-cover-copy-small

In Episode 39

  • Kitsune is a fox spirit, hence the foxes on the covers of her books.
  • The folklore roots within her books, including some loose relation to Pokemon.
  • Laura thinks our favorite character question is a mean question to ask!
  • Kitsune-Tsuki was written in one sitting (!!!).
  • Laura defines our superhero question in an interesting way.
  • We introduce a new question!
  • Aaron gives his opinion on what the best of the Star Trek movies is. (May or may not be what you expect!)

In Episode 40

  • We nearly kill Aaron with Laura’s response to plotting  problems. Laura definitely had us in stitches with this one.
  • We talk Scrivener, which we’re delighted to find she makes use of it, though not 100% of the time.ebook-cover
  • Laura’s winning editing process.
  • Laura’s reasons for eating chocolate!
  • Training your subconscious.
  • The non-coffee-drinking writers!
  • Crazy research–and how it’s paid off in Laura’s life! (And don’t Google search the one thing she mentions!)
  • Some of Laura’s marketing techniques (hint: a lot of it has to do with personality!)

Links!
Laura VanArendonk Baugh
Buy her books!
Dave Duncan (The Gilded Chain)
Susan Spann (Shenobi Mysteries)

Listen to Episode 39

Listen to Episode 40

LDK 33 & 34 – Mary Ruth Pursselley

This week on the show, we’re lacking Josh, but we have the wonderful Mary Ruth Pursselley on with us! Aaron and Liberty have trouble getting into a good rhythm without Josh, so there’s a bit of back and forth as those two try to get going.Mary Ruth Pursselley

Mary Ruth is the author of epic fantasy novel, Song of the Wren Falcon, and a lover of hot tea.

In Episode 33:

  • Mastering subtext–or at least faking it when your readers pick up on something you didn’t necessarily intend.
  • Rewriting and redrafting multiple times on your first novel.
  • Doing a redemption theme well. (Aaron kinda geeks out about this!)
  • Embarrassing ways to be discovered while figuring out choreography for a sword fight by ones brother.
  • Interesting medical stuff researched.
  • Aaron talks Mary Ruth out of her favorite superhero, then proceeds to tease both the women about Tom Hiddleston.
  • Early childhood crushes.
  • Mary Ruth’s boyfriend had to twist her arm to be in a relationship by watching a particular movie.
  • Mary Ruth shares some bitterness towards the hosts for forcing her to join Facebook. 😉

In Episode 34:

  • Confessions of a full-on pantser!
  • Chaotic first drafts and how they inform you in the future when you look back.
  • Binge-watching My Little Pony.
  • Having friends to help with problems in your book.
  • The benefits of having neighbors far away when you’re a fantasy novelist.
  • Useful ideas on how to overcome writer’s block.
  • Mary Ruth’s Earl Grey snobbery. 😉
  • The crazy things Mary Ruth has Googled and her new favorite word.
  • Mary Ruth’s profound advice to new authors (not what you’d expect!)you-must-write-it

Links:

Mary Ruth Pursselley
Song of the Wren Falcon
Raphael Sabitini (Captain Blood, The Seahawk, Scar Moonshade)
Patrick W. Carr (listen to his interviews: Part 1 & Part 2)
J.R.R. Tolkien
L.M. Montgomery (Emily of New Moon)
Mary Ruth on Instagram

Mary Ruth on Facebook

While forcing Mary Ruth to join Facebook (Aaron in center, photo taken by Liberty.) Previous guests Kat Heckenbach and Grace Bridges pictured.

LDK 31 & 32 – Kessie Carroll

We’re delighted to have contemporary fantasy author K.M. (aka Kessie) Carroll on our show this week! After we discuss the heat in Arizona (where Kessie lives), and Aaron gives Liberty a really hard time, we actually get down to the business of the day.10635985_758640150860816_7609897098840956548_n

In Episode 31

  • The Spacetime Legacy, Kessie’s urban fantasy series, and her wish to see it in a Manga form.
  • The origins of her series
  • Sacrificial cars
  • Superstition Mountains (super creepy stories!)
  • Arizona Vortexes (No,  not that kind…)
  • Classic Batman show from the 1960s…and her kids’ likely reaction to watching the show. (Hilarity ensues.)
  • Kessie’s Doctor (Who)
  • Writing with 5 kids (great advice for ALL of us parents.)
  • Scrivener for iOS (Which should be out by the time you can hear this! Yay!)
  • Discussing Jim Butcher (some of it got cut…if our listeners could be flies on the walls during our intermissions!)

5128npogaulIn Episode 32

  • Overly suggestive book titles for outlining (Take Off Your Pants)
  • Dealing with writer’s block, and why it may be happening.
  • Kessie’s ideal Chai latte, as well as hot chocolate
  • How a city might respond to a zombie apocalypse.
  • E-Reader News Today & Pixel of Ink going belly up. 🙁
  • A very unusual answer to our fandom question. 🙂
  • When readers read into your books deeper than you intended. Lots of funnies.
  • You’re allowed to write crap, just keep writing.

 

Links:

Episode 19 with Cindy Koepp

T51uuvdypjkl-_uy200_his week with Cindy Koepp…

Hi ho, Silver, away! We learn about the strange inspiration for “Like Herding the Wind”… Also, this book was apparently set in every location known to man (and some that weren’t) before the final draft.
We also learn that Cindy loves to write fight scenes… hmm….

What does a 1925 Ford have to do with Like Herding the Wind? You’ll have to listen to find out. Also, we get a new answer to “What’s your favorite superhero?”!!51nwjccmb5l-_sx322_bo1204203200_

Part 2:

Some people make it up as they go, some people take a few notes along the way, then there’s Cindy… take a listen to learn about her… detailed… process.

Cindy also talks about too many subplots, and what to do with those little rascals, and a lot more.

Things we talked about:

Episode 19 Audio

Episodes 10 & 11 with Ben Wolf

This week we interview Ben Wolf (who is, sadly, not an actual wolf). Ben doesn’t know81omtdtpkul-_ux250_ what he wants to be when he grows up, as he has authored vampire novels, children’s novels, and, of course, westerns. He’s also a flash-fiction magazine publisher, and a freelance editor.

We got off on a rabbit trail faster then ever before (but hey, you interview a Wolf, you gotta expect them to chase rabbits.)

After that, we did eventually get around to discussing I’d Punch a Lion in His Eye for You (or, for short, IPAL (not to be confused with an Apple product.)) We also discuss his Christian Horror book, Blood for Blood. This naturally lead to a discussion of the differences between writing children books and novels.grow old

We also learn that Ben is terrified of sharks (makes sense, Wolves are land animals, and sharks live in the water…) and how that ties into IPAL (see pages 17 and 18.)

At some point here, Ben calls Aaron fabulously immature. (What? So I like kids books…) … and then you’ll never guess who Ben’s favorite superhero is…

Speaking of immature, who might wear a tutu??

 

In the second part, we have a rare moment of lucidity and discuss the differences between plotters and pantsers, and why all four of us are hybrid writers. Ben then gave some details 51dc9udyjbl-_sx318_bo1204203200_on his unique outlining/writing method.

Thankfully, the lucid moment passed, and we got kinda off-track again when talking about snacks, and why Ben is now sadly caffeine-free 🙁  (on that note, I’ve just run out of Skittles while typing these notes – Aaron) We then shift into familiar rabbit trial territory and Ben talks about making bets with his future fiancee (Aaron, Josh, and Liberty are all married, and caution Ben never to mention this in public… oops…)

Next, we, ah, well, it’s probably a good thing Ben’s not on with us on every episode, or we’d never make any sense…

Ben talks about his experiences using Kickstarter to fund IPAL, and what he’s learned from that. And, to wrap things up, we talk about why authors should never do their own book covers. (Well, unless you’re a graphic designer or something…)

Things we talked about:

Ben Wolf
I’d Punch a Lion In the Eye For You
Blood For Blood
ACFW Conferences
Ben Powell (author and illustrator for Ben’s children’s book)
Frank Peretti (The Oath)
Robert Liparulo
Tosca Lee
Ted Dekker
Randy Ingermanson (Writing Fiction for Dummies)
Chris Morris, CPA.

Episodes 8 & 9 with Jeff Gerke

This week we welcome novelist, publisher, and editor; the one and only Jeff Gerke.a1kntcyxqrl-_ux250_

In part one, we make a LOT of Star Wars references (is Jeff or Aaron the bigger fan?) We also come really close to getting Liberty to enter a giggle feedback loop. (Remember: breath in, giggle out. Without this advice, Liberty might have passed out!)

We even discuss some matters of actual importance, such as the frustrating and contradictory “Rules of Writing”, and more importantly, how, when, and why to ignore them. There’s even neuroscience behind it, not kidding! Yes, you too can use this technique to make your books as addictive as crack for the low monthly price of… free?? Yes, FREE! Check out the giveaway farther down on this post…

And Jeff continues our trend for authors who love Batman as their favorite superhero. Will we find someone who prefers another hero? You’ll have to come back for future episodes to find out…

41jp2lwgyel-_uy250_In part the second, Jeff talks about writers that are either plot first (typically plotting writers) and character first (pantser writers.)

We also talk more about freeing yourself from the rules of fiction (Aaron does interrupt with a rule that can’t be broken…) Jeff talks about his writing process, how it has evolved over the past 20 years, and how he keeps his writing flow going.

And, to the surprise of absolutely no one, we get off track and talk about Star Wars again! (and Lord of the Rings, and a few others…) But, to the surprise of all of us, there is a point to it! (Really, not kidding!) These stories, and chances are, a lot of other ones you love, all use the Hero’s Journey. Don’t know what that is? Want to know how it influenced Jeff as a writer? Listen to the podcast…

Still confused, want more? Don’t worry,  Jeff is available as a freelance editor and typesetter. Check out his website for details and pricing… do it… you know you want to…

Wait, you’re wanting the giveaway, right? Well click this handy-dandy link and all of the ways to enter will be displayed for you! Enter early, enter often, and share with your friends. 🙂

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Links to things we discussed:
Jeff Gerke
The Irresistible Novel
Plot Vs. Character
The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction
Jung’s Archetypes
Joseph Campbell’s Hero With a Thousand Faces
Aristotle’s Rhetoric
Raymond Feist’s The Magician
Bernard Cornwell (Arthur Trilogy)
Nadine Brandes
Kerry Nietz
Jill Williamson
Mark Schooly
Sharon Hinck
Morgan Busse
John Otte
Steve Raza
Just B. Jordan

 

Links to the show:
EPISODE 8
EPISODE 9

Coming soon!

All sorts of cool sci-fi, fantasy, and writing stuff coming soon…

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