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

Author: libertyspeidel (Page 2 of 2)

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:

Episodes 15 & 16 – Becky Minor

61zknlefpwl-_ux250_As the founder of the first–and only, to the best of our knowledge–conference for writers of faith with a sci-fi and fantasy bent, one may think Rebecca “Becky” Minor might be a bit too busy to sit down with us lowly podcasters. However, Becky is a wonderful person to chat with, and we’re delighted that she took time out of her schedule to have a lively discussion with us this week!

Writing as Rebecca P. Minor, Becky authors the Windrider Saga (the only one out right now is Divine Summons), which I am definitely going to have to put on my TBR pileerr, mountain…err, okay, well it’s a library at this stage. The description of her protagonist alone is enough to make someone say, “Uh, yeah, I need to read that!”

In Episode 15, you’ll learn the following:

  • How Becky’s interesting history informs her writing.51nbukvohbl-_sx332_bo1204203200_
  • What drives Becky crazy in other author’s books?
  • Some of her favorite authors–there’s a few names on the list who are familiar, and some others who may not be.
  • How her art–and she is an amazing artist!–informs her writing.
  • Plus a lot more, including her plans to do something special with her existing books…

Episode 16 features more discussion on her writing, as well as Realm Makers, the world’s most AWESOME writing conference for nerds and geeks of faith!

  •  Becky’s writing process, since she’s a full-on pantser. We have a lengthy discussion about how Scrivener can be used by the pantser…even though Becky isn’t an adopter.
  • Becky’s odd item that she’s Googled is quite unusual.
  • We discuss Becky’s favorite book (you probably won’t be surprised) and the version she has on her bookshelves.
  • Costco is one of our famous bunny-trails…and you’ll find the diversion quite hilarious. (One word: Pickles.)
  • Realm Makers! What is it, how did it get started, and what’s coming up for it in 2016! (Awesome writer’s conference for us geeks–you really should come!)
  • And much, much more!

Links to Things and People we discussed:

Episode 15 Audio Link
Episode 16 Audio Link

Episodes 12 & 13 – Grace Bridges

2014-05-30 19.05.41This week we interview the Space Kiwi, Grace Bridges. (10 nerd points for everyone who knows why she has that nickname!)

We start off with Aaron knowing who he is for once… sort of…

The Week Of Firsts continues, as we don’t emediently imediently imediantly right away start off down a rabbit trail! (I know, I can’t believe it either! – Aaron)
Ah, that’s better, a side discussion on philosophy. Much better…

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: The question “Is there an author who’s favorite superhero ISN’T Batman?” has been answered! (You’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out who…)

We talk about favorite movies, and Aaron brings up Earth Star Voyager… and no one else has ever heard of it. Sigh. Grace’s favorite captain is no surprise to any of us. Aaron opines about Voyager, but does state that Season 3, Episode 7, “Sacred Ground” is one of the best hours of sci-fi ever, except for one tiny flaw…

In part two, we start things off right. That’s right, we’re immediately sidetracked talking about tea. (And Aaron manages to insult Liberty’s favorite–Earl Grey–while she’s drinking it.)

Grace next mentions here favorite book, and we follow that up with a discussion of the metric system. (No, the two are not related… at all…)

We manage to ask a few relevant questions, before we get sidetracked by cats (which Liberty may or may not have edited out.) Then we talk about marketing, which Grace does know something about. You’ll have to listen to figure out how to get more people to open your e-mails…

Links to Things of No Interest That We May Have Blathered On About For A Bit:



Episode 7 & 7.5: The Star Wars Bonus Episode

12509403_530637840443972_4593858077574301851_nSo we decided that we couldn’t ignore Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens, (Read: “Liberty FINALLY saw it…”) and it deserved its own episode. Ironically–and we didn’t plan this–it coincided as our 7th episode!

We got off to a rip-roaring start, launching immediately into what we didn’t like about the movie, but that quickly shifted into analysis of the story, what we loved, and what we hope to see in Episodes 8 & 9.

But beware of the rants! Each of us launch into at least a couple, although I’m pretty sure Aaron is the rant-master as he occupied the floor much of the time. But he made a lot of good points, and I think you’ll find his insight into the movies valuable. He’s our resident Star Wars expert, having read much more in the expanded universe than Josh and I combined. I mean, look at how he made an impression on both Josh and I when we met in August 2015:


If you aren’t laughing uproariously with us by the end of both of the episodes, you may want to check if you have a pulse. We sure enjoyed doing this episode, and are contemplating doing analysis of future movies…although both the guys won’t be going to see Deadpool, so don’t get your hopes up about that one. (I’m still weighing it, but I won’t do a podcast without Josh and Aaron.) Isn’t Guardians of the Galaxy 2 coming out this summer…?

10548837_10153188588877397_6928215781338276545_oFor convenience sake, we did break this up into two parts, however if you leap from 1 to 2 immediately, it will make a lot more sense. We don’t recommend listening to 7.5 before you listen to 7.

Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments or send us an e-mail!

Links to things we discussed:
Star Wars: Aftermath (book that takes place between ROTJ and TFA)
The novelization of the movie
Huffington Post 40 Plot holes article
Star Wars fan “debunks” 40 Plot holes article
– and calls everyone who doesn’t agree with him an idiot
Pre-order Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Emo Kylo Ren on Twitter
Very Lonely Luke on Twitter
Darth Jar Jar Theory
Star Wars: Rebels (Animated TV Series)
Star Wars: Clone Wars (Animated TV Series)
Star Wars: Clone Wars (Animated Movie)

Direct Download links to the podcast:
Episode 7: The Force Awakens
Episode 7.5: The Return of the Podcast

Episodes 5 & 6 with K.M. Weiland

This week on the podcast we’re thrilled to have historical/speculative author and all-around writing guru, K.M. Weiland. We covered a lot of ground in both episodes, so it’s well worth a listen!

mainavatar2A good deal of our first podcast revolves around Katie’s new book, Storming, which I (Liberty) highly recommend. It’s a great introduction to the dieselpunk subgenre, and besides that, a very enjoyable read. Katie discusses why she set the story in her hometown, and how fun it was to dig into her town’s history. She also talks about some of her story research, which revolves heavily around barnstorming and the absolutely insane stunts people pulled back in the day when barnstorming was popular. She gives some examples, which I think stunned all three of us. Perhaps it will surprise you as well.

Storming coverIn the second podcast, we discuss Katie’s extensive outlining and editing processes. If you’ve never had a chance to read Outlining Your Novel or Structuring Your Novel, you’re in for an eye-opening interview. When we say it’s extensive…well, let’s just say that we were only able to hit the highlights of her process. There’s a reason why it takes three years for her to put out a new novel!

Katie also shares a bit about her overall marketing strategy, and how to set your writing as a priority. Both pieces are very informative and thought-provoking.

As always, we have a lot of laughs, talk about fandoms and superheroes, and wander off-topic a bit.

Thanks so much to K.M. Weiland for joining us! We hope she’ll be back in the future.

Links to things discussed:
K.M. Weiland
Helping Writers Become Authors
Outlining Your Novel
Timothy Zahn – Thrawn Trilogy
I, Jedi by Michael A. Stackpole
Orson Scott Card
Charles Dickens
Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin Series
Realm Makers
The Creative Penn

Episode 5
Episode 6

After quite a bit of technical difficulties, we were thrilled to finally have H.A. “Heather” Titus on with us! She’s the Celtic Urban Fantasy Author of Forged Steel, which came out in summer 2015.

Downtown. Coffee shop. 2 AM. 51ynfuosfcl-_sx322_bo1204203200_

One minute, Josh is firing off sarcastic remarks at his best friend Marc – the next, they’re running from shape-shifters. Apparently, even best friends don’t share all their secrets.

Now Josh is in danger. He can see the monsters among the humans.
When Marc is kidnapped, Josh finds himself pulled into the schemes of the fae courts, and throws in his lot with Marc’s allies: the lovely Larae, a human named David, and the fighter, Eliaster. But what began as a rescue mission becomes something much more involved…

And all Josh wants to do is get out before it’s too late.

In addition to talking about her book and her writing process, Aaron gave Heather a hard time about being from “da U.P.” (Upper Peninsula of Michigan). DC’s Arrow came up, as did Aaron’s theory that the rebooted Star Trek movies aren’t “true” Star Trek.

The idea of “plotsing” comes up, and you’ll have to listen to hear how that word came into being. Heather also discusses some of the weird facts she had to Google, and one of them has to do with werewolves and the Mark of Cain. Kinda interesting stuff!

Oh, and Aaron’s trying to get us our first hate mail. 😉

HA TitusThanks to Heather for hanging out with us, muscling through the technical difficulties, and being one of our early “victims” in this experiment we lovingly refer to as Lasers, Dragons, and Keyboards. Our learning curve is high, but we sure are having a blast learning!


Links to people and things we discuss:
H.A. Titus
Forged Steel
Starfleet Corps of Engineers series
Jim Butcher
Neil Gaiman
Becky Minor’s Windrider Series
DC’s Arrow TV series
Brandon Sanderson

Episode 3

Episode 4

We’re just a couple weeks away from bringing you our debut podcasts, and you may be asking: why lasers, dragons, and keyboards (or LDK)? Or maybe who will I be listening to?

First, why LDK?

We’re writers. Writers of fantasy and science fiction. Aaron, Josh, and I met at a sci-fi/fantasy writers conference. All three of us write different things and have different interests within the broader sci-fi/fantasy genre, but we have one focus: we love great science fiction & fantasy books &  films.

As writers, we want to bring you interviews and insight from your favorite–or maybe your next favorite–sci-fi or fantasy authors. We want to talk about their books, and we want to talk about their process. If you’re a reader, you’ll love hearing about books and authors you’re eagerly anticipating, or about someone you want to put on your TBR list on Goodreads. If you’re an author, we hope our writer-casts will inspire you and bring you new insights into the writing process.

Now, who will you be listening to?

Obviously, Aaron, Josh, and me (Liberty). We’ll be doing a few short shows that will clue you in to how crazy we all are. But I can tell you one thing–we have a blast together, and we think you’ll enjoy our special brand of geekiness.

About Aaron: Aaron has had a few different jobs, ranging from computer tech support, to real-estate, and lawn and farm sales and service. He also enjoys photography and reading, and has been a Star Trek and Star Wars fan for as long as he can remember. The Psygen Chronicles, Book 1: A New Threat is Aaron’s first novel.

About Josh: Josh is an avid reader, ecumenical nerd, and lover of puns. He lives in Minnesota with his wife and two high-energy children. He helps out – and cracks wise – at the men’s group at his church. When not living in worlds of others’ devising, Josh enjoys nighttime walks and board games. He’s currently hard at work on his first novel.

About Liberty: I cut my teeth on Star Trek: TNG and never really looked back. Wife and mom now, I spend way more time than I probably should with my head outside our solar system or reality.

We hope you’ll join us for our debut episodes very, very soon!