Lasers, Dragons, and Keyboards Podcast

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

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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

LDK 38 – Young Author Roundtable!

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Jill Williamson, Nadine Brandes, Lauren Brandenburg, and Katie Grace to discuss writing from a young author point of view.

You’ll notice that we have fewer laugh tracks because we all had our microphones muted!
Also, we had 7 people on a chat, so some of us had some technical issues. 🙁 Sorry about that!)

Some of the topics we discussed were:

  • Challenges that young writers face, from their own perspective.
  • Challenges for mentors to young writers.
  • Who mentors the mentors?
  • Creative people versus non-creative people.
  • Making time for writing and editing.
  • Different writing software–and tools and apps!
  • Character arcs of favorite superheroes.

There is no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting. — Robert Graves

Listen to the Roundtable HERE!

Books you have to read (besides our own):
The Lunar Chronicles

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]

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:

Episodes 29 & 30 – Patrick Carr

On this episode we spoke with Patrick Carr, author of the Staff and Sword Series, about his venture into the Darkwater Saga and the Shock of Night.

A trilogy of trilogies awaits!

In these episodes, Patrick keeps us laughing. Also, you’ll never believe how accident prone Patrick is!a1lciw73q9l-_ux250_

All of us wax nostalgic at some point…you’d think we’re old or something!

In Episode 29

  • Odd character traits with Patrick’s main character. (How does sleep walking and murders correlate?)
  • Writing with an unreliable protagonist.
  • Hating your writing while you’re writing.
  • Juggling. Emergency room visits! We manage to gross Aaron out. How Patrick uses his own accidents to inform his books.
  • How to recast your books from one setting to another when your editor and agent tell you to.
  • Fencing stories! Some engineering talk, which is totally fascinating.
  • Googling has some interesting answers…including how dogs see.
  • We get off into old time radio and radio broadcasts in general because of Patrick’s answer to the superhero question.
  • You will NEVER guess Patrick’s answer to his Captain. Never, never, never!
  • Patrick’s looking forward to teaching a class at Realm Makers!

51kwf1dzaql-_sx322_bo1204203200_In Episode 30

  • Character-driven fantasy, and how he accomplishes this in his plotting process.
  • Patrick and his disagreeable muse.
  • Planning for a series long-term + happy circumstance
  • Re-doing books from scratch…under deadline
  • Carrying around your books and your characters in your head all the time.
  • Patrick’s advice: be a merciless critic where your writing is concerned.
  • Patrick’s methods for attacking writer’s block
  • Candy bar in a cup drinks at Starbucks at Christmas
  • Patrick shares some of his techniques for making perfect fudge (yes, seriously)
  • Patrick and Liberty discuss rigor mortis…and gross Aaron out
  • Traditional marketing advice from Patrick’s agent, Steve Laube. The phrase “literary Amway guy” comes into play.
  • Patrick’s funny experiences of being an author

Links:

Patrick Carr
The Darkwater Saga
The Shock of Night
Home Improvement
Steve Laube (Patrick’s agent!)
David Eddings (The Belgariad)
Steven R. Donaldson (The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant)
Robert Ludlum
Brandon Sanderson
C. S. Lewis (Screwtape Letters; The Space Trilogy)
Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series
The Magician by Raymond Feist

 

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