Lasers, Dragons, and Keyboards Podcast

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

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LDK 57 & 58 – Lauren Brandenburg

This week we have with us Lauren Brandenburg, author of Orlo the Created! This sounds like an awesome middle grade steampunk book series, and we can’t wait to get it to share with our kids…yeah, that’s the reason. 😉

In Episode 57:

  • Orlo!
  • We talk about the earlier books in the series, focusing on Boone.
  • How much does Lauren love world-building?
  • CS Lewis quotes!
  • Having favorite characters.
  • Lauren, Aaron, and Josh’s aversion to coffee
  • Lauren’s mad ninja skills
  • What Lauren avoided talking about in Orlo.
  • Aaron’s obsession with finding a Doctor Strange figurine.
  • What Muppet is most like Lauren? And her main character?
  • What’s up for Lauren next?
  • Liberty’s got some technical issues (what else is new?)

Episode 58 (Be Excited!):

  • Plotting/pantsing
  • Scrivener!
  • Some of the cool features of Scrivener!
  • Maps!
  • Liberty continues having technical issues…
  • Lauren’s self-editing process & her editor — and incorporating her editing into her homeschooling.
  • Writer’s block and a funny story
  • How writing “Orlo” changed Lauren
  • Lauren’s unique approach to marketing (which probably not for everyone because of her market)
  • Lauren’s love of Harry Potter, and her recommendations for how a kid should read the books.
  • Awesome rabbit trails!

Links!

Lauren Brandenburg
Orlo the Created
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/antsylabs/fidget-cube-a-vinyl-desk-toy
Nadine Brandes
Rachelle Dekker
Suzanne Collins (Overlander)
Tarzan of the Apes (Edgar Rice Burroughs)
Wicked Bible

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 Episodes 53 – The Accounting Episode!

Our guest this week was the Most Interesting Accountant in the World! He also goes by Chris Morris. Chris is a CPA who caters to artists and authors, using easy to understand terms.

In Episode 53:

Chris Morris, CPA

  • Laughter immediately ensues when we get into a discussion about colors.
  • Authors and other artists all need help with accounting and tax services. Chris’ goal is to build his business to serve the author-entrepreneur community.
  • Discussion on the special challenges that authors face.
  • Rabbit trails on the most expensive pens!
  • How to determine if expenses are business-related.
  • How to treat your writing like a business.
  • ID 10T errors
  • Deductions that people miss
  • Crazy things people have asked if they can deduct.
  • Ben Wolf’s marketing practices (Ep. 10 & Ep. 11)
  • We get into a lot of the nitty-gritty of setting up businesses and funding your business when you’re not making money yet.
  • Should you hire a bookkeeper?
  • Google & Taxes are not a good combination. 😉
  • Oh $@!*# I’m Making Money, Now What?

Links:

Chris Morris
Chris’s book (as above)
Cam Scanner app
Lindsay Franklin & Wombatman
Failbook

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

Episodes 49&50: The Co-Host Grilling!

This episode brought us the joy of interviewing co-host and producer Liberty in regards to her latest book, Omission (Now available in e-format!)speidel-058

In Episode 49:

  • Who makes the better Liberty?
  • What it’s like to be a series writer.
  • Who would make the best cast for a TV or movie version of the Darby Shaw Chronicles?

512hrr9qdvlIn Episode 50:

  • We hear what the perfect music for writing mysteries is.
  • Gluten-free snacks are discussed.
  • We get profound as Liberty tells us how writing has changed her!

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Links:
Liberty Speidel
Omission

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 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 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 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

10333345_853135158049735_8229582567711318159_o

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

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