Lasers, Dragons, and Keyboards Podcast

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

Author: libertyspeidel (Page 1 of 2)

LDK 56 – Happy 1st Anniversary!

We finally sat down to do our anniversary episode, and since we hadn’t chatted lately, added in short discussions of the two best movies of 2016: Doctor Strange and Rogue One.

It didn’t take long for hilarity to ensue (really, so you expect any different from us?) as we had some frank discussion over the movies and our desire to see both again (pre-order anyone?) 18 stars for Doctor Strange from the three of us and 8.5 – 9 stars for Rogue One (since Aaron hadn’t seen it yet!)

After talking movies & books, we get into a recap of the last year and hint at what’s coming up in 2017. Aaron hits his sugar high for the day, and turns into the LDK version of Twitchy from Hoodwinked. Liberty tries to be serious, but this is LDK. It doesn’t last long!

We have to be serious for a moment and thank our listeners for tuning in, and our guests for being willing guinea pigs, err, victims, err, to come on the show and hang out. We love doing the show and love sharing a bit of ourselves with you. We can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store!


In this episode:

Doctor Strange
Rogue One 

Redshirts (on Audible)
The Dispatcher (on Audible)
IT Crowd (For mature audiences!)
Powerless
Hoodwinked 

LDK 51 & 52 – CW Briar

This week we have with us CW Briar, author of Wrath & Ruin, an anthology filled with spec fic ranging from horror to humorous sci-fi. We discuss gnomes–eep!13718810_1834962903398255_6073621401561895564_n

In Episode 51:

  • Why he wrote an anthology rather than starting with a full-length novel.
  • Accomplishments and interesting experiences as a first-time author.
  • CW’s favorite characters from the anthology.
  • How CW’s desires for a certain effect shaped some of his stories.
  • Interesting juxtapositions of CW’s research.
  • CW can’t pick one captain. 🙂
  • We get off on a bit of Doctor Who riff.
  • How writing Wrath & Ruin has changed CW.

51ykxjb9yql-_sy346_In Episode 52:

  • CW & Liberty agree it’s very difficult to write a mystery without an outline.
  • How CW works around his career and his kids and using his commute to maximize his time.
  • CW’s preference for Word over Scrivener, and how he organizes it.
  • How CW’s job as an engineer informs his writing and outlining process.
  • Stealing from your beta readers.
  • Canadian mining practices in the 19th Century
  • Cthulu!
  • Learn to Love Editing

Links!
CW Briar
Wrath and Ruin
Brandon Sanderson
Algernon Blackwood
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterston
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Dragon Speaks!
Epic Music from YouTube

LDK 47 & 48 – Keven Newsome

51e2fqn4mfl-_ux250_In these episodes, we have with us pastor and sci-fi writer Keven Newsome, author of the Winter series!

*** We must apologize for some technical issues in these episodes. Liberty tried her best 51nwuzi2b6sl-_uy250_to clean up the files, but it wasn’t having any of it. ***

In Episode 47:

  • Liberty gets her geek card revoked by Keven as we discuss the Chronicles of Narnia.
  • We have a lively discussion in general–as per usual–without Josh.

In Episode 48:

  • Plotting/pantsing theory.
  • Keven’s modified Snowflake method (shoutout to Randy Ingermanson).
  • Writing and editing tips in Scrivener from Keven & Liberty.
  • How Keven uses One Note to track his notes and research.513v3ogmznl-_uy250_
  • Keven’s editing process and tips.
  • Joss Whedon advice on writer’s block.
  • Keven’s Musicality in his writing.
  • Marketing tips that DON’T work.
  • Writing a series.
  • Liberty has to roll solo when Aaron’s router drops out.
  • We talk classic Doctor Who, which is always a fun topic.

Links:
Keven Newsome
The Winter Series
P.A. Baines – Alpha Redemption
Robin McKinley – Hero and the Crown
The 5 Stage plot (from Keven’s blog)
One Note
Keven’s Epic Radio on Spotify
Doctor Who

Listen to Episode 47!
Listen to Episode 48!

LDK 43 & 44 – John Brhel

We had John Brhel on with us in these episodes. He was a bit of an unknown to us,8mrtazpd but we had a lot of fun hanging out with him and talking about Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop. He’s part of a writing duo with Joseph Sullivan and they tend to write horror. Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop definitely has a horror vibe to it even though it’s more paranormal fantasy, but also a lot of human interest.

Episode 43:

  • The influences that helped create Doctor Marvelry and Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop.
  • Some of the history that helps color the stories.
  • Fun things John and Joe had to research!
  • Does Indiana Jones qualify as a superhero?
  • Read free books by the dead guys, but buy indie author’s books!
  • Liberty somehow makes a connection to one of John’s upcoming books and the Village People (listen to see if you can follow her logic!)

13528500_1740504972898594_8038887055846846698_oEpisode 44:

  • Not getting boxed in by outlines.
  • Working with a co-writer.
  • Knocking out drafts in a day or two.
  • Writing with infants (and how that affects writing software choice!)
  • On the fly research.
  • Real-time editing with a co-writer.
  • Various techniques to overcome writer’s block
  • Liberty learns that there’s such a thing as video game soundtracks!
  • How John’s day job influences his marketing, and some of his tips and tricks to market his books.
  • Things you shouldn’t be doing as authors when you’re marketing.

Links:

John Brhel
John on Twitter
John & Joe’s Website (Cemetery Gates Media)
Marvelry’s Curiosity Shop
At the Cemetery Gates
Stephen King’s Needful Things
Are You Afraid of the Dark? (Nickelodeon Show)
M.R. James (Early 20th century ghost stories)
King Solomon’s Mine (H. Rider Haggard)
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Christopher Walken’s reading of “The Raven”
Edgar Allen Poe
Stephen King
John Steinbeck
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Brandon Sanderson

Listen to Episode 43!

LDK 36 & 37 – Randy Streu

12814684_1693764484207815_8102787109426640368_nThis week on the show, we have Randy Streu, who is the producer of Beyond the Rim, a sci-fi and horror audio drama/podcast.

13412859_10154165155322435_7284199450524026542_nIn Episode 36

  • Randy discusses how he got into radio drama, with its roots coming from college.
  • We discuss PEG…and how she ties to one of our hosts.
  • Why writing for radio is good for lazy writers!
  • Social commentary in writing.
  • The gruesome research for Shoo, Fly, the first production for Beyond the Rim.

    LDK - Aaron & Randy Streu

    Aaron & Randy Streu

Listen to Episode 1 of Beyond the Rim Here!

In Episode 37

  • Too lazy to plot.
  • Music selections for the horror writer.
  • Ommwriter.
  • Writing flash fiction.
  • Staying fully immersed and how it can be difficult.
  • How to adapt a story for audio.
  • Randy’s unique way of dealing with writer’s block. “Books I Didn’t Write.”
  • The differences and similarities between marketing an audio drama versus a book.
  • The problems of not being able to pick a favorite movie (or book).
  • Write it anyway, even if you think no one wants to hear what you have to say.

Links!

Randy Streu
A Flame in the Dark Productions
The Tick (TV show)
Master & Commander (books  by Patrick O’Brian & movie)
J-Pod (Douglass Coupland)
Ted Dekker
Frank Peretti
Stephen Lawhead
The Audio Drama Podcast
Microserfs by Douglas Coupland
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
The Sherlock Holmes Mysteries (with John Gielgud)
The Thing on the Fourble Board – Episode from “Quiet, Please!”
The Death Robbery (with Boris Karloff) – Episode from “Lights Out”
The Peoria Plague
We’re Alive by Kc Wayland
Campfire Radio Theater
Tales from the Museum ( DarkerProjects.com )

Listen to Episode 36
Listen to Episode 37

LDK 35 – Realm Makers Wrap Up

In this week’s (bonus!) episode of the show, Josh and Liberty pick Aaron’s brain on what happened in Philadelphia at Realm Makers 2016. For anyone who hasn’t been, the camaraderie is amazing, and you immediately feel like you’ve found your tribe.

This year, Aaron got to hear sessions from Thomas Locke, Tosca Lee, and Kathy Tyers, among others. Aaron shares some of his notes from Tosca’s sessions on characterization (these are really good!) Josh and Liberty wished we were in this session alongside him!

We decide that for 2017, we need a cloning machine. There’s too many sessions that we want to go to! (But we’re pretty sure that’s part of the plan since the founders do sell recordings!)

Creativity is one of the rarest gifts. We have our creativity to honor God with, and that’s who we are, no matter what our day job is. Love it and know you’re meant to do that. — Tom Black

Realm Makers 2017 is at the Atlantis Casino & Resort in Reno, NV July 27 – 29. You need to be there! Registration opens in the spring (usually in late March or April 1.)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqGc3VZy0sQ]

Episode 27 & 28 – Mike Duran

Mike Duran, author of The Ghost Box and Saint Death, novels in the Reagan Moon para-noir series, joins us in Episodes 27 & 28 this week. We had a blast talking to him. Sometimes funny, sometimes very serious, Mike is a former pastor and he definitely keeps us on our toes throughout both episodes.

As Christian writers…hope has to be a pretty big factor in our writing. ~Mike Duran

In Episode 27:

Mike shares about his unlikely background, which includes 5190nmiuc1l-_ux250_going from dabbling in the occult to being a pastor. We’re pretty sure it informs Reagan Moon’s stories, which are definitely fun reads, but they may not be for all our listeners. Mike describes Reagan in a bit of a…colorful…manner. 😉

We discuss paranormal stuff…and Mike suggests that a lot of that may exist more than people realize. You may or may not agree, but it’s still a fascinating discussion.

So, what you’re saying is that life is a little more like Hot Topic than we want to admit? ~Aaron DeMott

Why Los Angeles needed to be the setting for the Reagan Moon books…I think when you hear his reasoning, it’ll make perfect sense.

The background for Saint Death is really a fascinating discussion, and some of it has been in the news in the last few months (I vaguely remember hearing about it.) Mike describes a research trip he and his wife did in the process of writing this book. It’s interesting, to say the least.

610a62u5jdl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Mike’s answer to our superhero question raises a few eyebrows. But given his background, it makes perfect sense.

Gremlins! (And not the movie!) The true origins of ghost boxes (who knew?)! Some moderately gross stuff (that may make some of our listeners squeamish!)

Mike’s “what’s up next” is definitely something to look forward to if you’re a writer interested in horror and/or writing from a faith perspective and what the parameters are for that.

In Episode 28, Stand On Your Head:

Our Plotting vs Pantsing question sends us down a hilarious rabbit trail, before Mike helps us get back on track. Then he talks about his own paranoia as a writer. Mike shares how he figures out what book to write next.

We discuss the learning curve of Scrivener, but also the benefits, too. (Hint: we all use Scrivener and LOVE it.)

Mike compares the editing process to a visit to a dentist, and while it’s a gross comparison in a way, it has a lot of merit. Had us in stitches! 🙂51hd5bw5rbl-_sx322_bo1204203200_

Writer’s block, or the lack thereof. Mike’s solutions for feeling inspirationally dry are tremendously helpful (and is a technique I’ve used myself!) Mike starts waxing philosophical about writer’s inspirational…and it gets deep (in a good way.)

Mike recommends not eating or drinking during writing, and also uses a standing desk. He believes he writes better when he’s standing.

What characteristic does Mike share with his son? (Hint: it kind of grosses Aaron out!) And yeah, we went there. Mike compares his marketing practices to corpses about to be autopsied. (He’s kidding.)

Through giggles, we manage to get in some deep theological discussion. Which, if you’ve read Mike’s blog, shouldn’t surprise you at all. When we start discussing theology in tandem with physics and the reality of time, it gets deep. Truly a fascinating discussion.

Listen to Episode 27
Listen to Episode 28

Links:

Mike Duran
The Ghost Box
Saint Death
Peace Like a River (Leif Enger)
Moby Dick
Dante
Twilight Zone
Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas Series
Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein
Tosca Lee’s Demon
Realm Makers
Ex Machina (motion picture)
Drawing On the Right Side of Your Brain
Eternity in Their Heart
The Creator and the Cosmos

Episode 26 – The Writing Life

Due to some last minute circumstances, we had our guest for our normal recording session reschedule on us, so what’s a podcast to do? Well, we filled it with discussing some aspects of the writing life! Sorry to our reader-only listeners, this one is mostly focused on writing. But we do take a few bunny trails that our readers may enjoy!

13263826_733599883443787_7589090540668477462_nAaron & Josh have some helpful marriage advice for all the guys out there, some of it coming from The Red Green Show.

Then we get into the meat of the podcast. All three of us share what our “normal” lives look like, and then how we balance in our writing time.

We were taking listener questions during this episode, and someone asked us how long it takes for us to WRITE our first drafts. I (Liberty) kind of took over the show at that point for a while before giving the guys a chance to share.

First draft: Say it.
Second draft: Say what you mean.
Third draft: Say it well.
~Sean Platt

We do talk editing at length (and I think we need to do an editing episode–any freelance editors want to come on and talk editing exclusively?) And we also talk about goals with our careers.

Some of our favorite resources come up (see our short links list below!) Fight scenes are a lengthy part of the discussion.

And we cover some of the quirky questions we ask our guests. 🙂 Aaron and Liberty disagree about the quality of Star Trek: Voyager (which we’re pretty sure is going to be a topic that comes up again…and again…and again…) Discussion about the merit of time-travel episodes may or may not happen.

Tune in to hear which books we think should be turned into movies and/or TV shows.

Listen Now

Links

Writing Fight Scenes by Rayne Hall
Anne McCafferey’s Pern Series
Codex Alera by Jim Butcher
Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
Dresden Files (TV series)
Wheel of Time
J.D. Robb’s In Death series
Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey
The Martian by Andy Weir (book)
The Martian (movie)

Episodes 20 & 21 – Kat Heckenbach

We were delighted to have Kat Heckenbach on the podcast this week! Kat is the author of head2bshot2btrim2b2Finding Angel & Seeking Unseen, both entries in the Toch Island Chronicles. With origins in biology, math, and art, her journey to become an author took a bit of circuitous route.

We had a bit of technical difficulties with this podcast, so we apologize for a few blips here and there. I think Aaron suggests juggling a couple rabbits and/or tin foil for the next time. 😉

Happenings In Part 1:

angel2bcover2bnookWith Kat’s background in biology, she shares how that informs the Toch Island Chronicles. The flora and fauna are very important details in her books! The Lord of the Rings is also discussed and how it figures into Kat’s favorite character in her books. There’s magically-powered electric guitars involved! (This, I gotta see!) With the biology background, it really feeds into how adamant Kat is about the setting of her books. I can’t recall if we’ve seen any of our guests so far be so firm about a story location! Reasons for writing fantasy abound, and there be sheep involved! And as we get into Kat’s answer to our superhero question, Aaron brings up some trivia about the making of The Avengers.

Goings On In Part 2:

22-seeking-250As we shift into writing mode, we of course ask our plotting versus pantsing question. Kat’s answer involves a lot of notecards. Can you guess her answer? Because Aaron has an irreverent solution to her notecard “problem.” About that point in the show, we start plotting against Aaron’s neighbor’s tree….which continues to cause connectivity issues for the podcast. Getting back on track (is this a possibility with this bunch?), we talk about a lack of snacks and drinks with Kat and why that is.

We hates research, Precious! That is why we writes fantasy!

Every writer’s favorite part of the episode: Kat offers some of her favorite tips for marketing, and some are pretty off beat options, but definitely viable for most every author.

Even though Kat’s is a well-known Harry Potter fan, her answer to our new fandom question may surprise you. But her favorite book is the Harry Potter series. Can you guess which one? And as we wrap things up with Kat for this time, her most surprising thing about being a writer may just surprise you as well.

This and a whole lot more—with lots of laughing!—in this week’s episode.

 

Links to topics we discussed:
Kat Heckenbach
Finding Angel
Seeking Unseen
J.K. Rowling
Brandon Sanderson (Y.A. stuff)
Brandon Mull (Fable Haven series)
Cornelia Funke
Sage Blackwood

 

Listen to Episode 20
Listen to Episode 21

Giveaway Winner!

41jp2lwgyel-_uy250_Congratulations to Bokerah B. who is the lucky winner of Jeff Gerke’s The Irresistible Novel! If you didn’t win this signed copy, you can bounce over and purchase your own copy at the links below.

Bokerah B., look for an e-mail from Aaron in the next few days so he can get your address and get your book out to you. If you need to contact us, please do so at: LasersDragonsKeyboards [at] gmail [dot] com .

Purchase The Irresistible Novel at:
Kindle
Kobo

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