Episode 56 of Speculate! – Writing Advice from the Wellspring Writers

Welcome to a special episode of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans. In this episode, Greg and Brad interview the authors who attended the Wellspring Writers Workshop held in Lake Geneva, WI. We asked each of our guests, all accomplished writers, to talk about one of their “Ah ha!” moments in their writing career, those moments of insight that helped them to turn a corner in their writing. The writers who joined us for our chat were: Grá Linnaea, Kelly Swails, Kameron Hurley, Vincent Jorgensen, Chris Cevasco, E.C. Myers, Stephen Gaskell, and Brenda Cooper.

We had a wide variety of responses that may in fact help you. What were some of your “Ah ha!” moments? Please share in the comments. As always, please enjoy, and thanks for spreading the word.

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Episode 55 of Speculate! – The State of the Field, with Special Guests Mary Robinette Kowal and Michael Underwood

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Welcome back for Episode 55 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we take a second look at the state of the speculative fiction field with special guests Mary Robinette Kowal, former vice-president of SFWA and Hugo-award winning writer, and Michael Underwood, North American Sales and Marketing Manager for Angry Robot and the author of Geekomancy.  Our discussion (recorded at the recently concluded GenCon) covers a variety of topics, focusing particularly on new ventures in e-publishing, marketing strategies, and the differences between an author’s online and offline personas, and we hope you’ll find the conversation as interesting (and helpful) as we did.  If you like what you hear, don’t forget to check back next week for a series of short interviews with the intrepid participants in the Wellspring Workshop 2012.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word!

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Episode 54 of Speculate! – Saladin Ahmed Writing Discussion

ThroneOfTheCrescentMoon

Welcome back for Episode 54 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we conclude our quadtych of shows on the work of Saladin Ahmed with a look at some of the specific writing techniques used in his debut novel Throne of the Crescent Moon, focusing on narrative pace and character description, misdirection, filling in the world, character development, and cultural portrayals.  If you enjoy what you hear, don’t forget to check back soon for a series of short interviews from GenCon and the Wellspring workshop.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

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Episode 53 of Speculate! – Saladin Ahmed Author Interview

Saladin-Ahmed

Welcome to Episode 53 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans. In this episode we continue our trademarked “quadtych” of shows on Throne of the Crescent Moon, the new sword and sorcery book by Saladin Ahmed, with an interview of the author himself. Saladin was one of our first interviews, way back in Episode 2, and it was fun to catch up with him now that he’s a published novelist. We talk to Saladin about his inspirations, the place of politics in fiction, and one of the many Easter eggs in Throne. Easter egg, you say? Yes, but you’ll need to listen to the episode to find out what. If you like what you hear, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll discuss writing technique inspired by our read of Throne of the Crescent Moon. Until then, thanks as always for listening to the show, and please continue to spread the word!

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Episode 52 of Speculate! – Betsy Wollheim Editor Interview

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Photo courtesy of the talented Al Bogdan.

Welcome back for Episode 52 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we continue our sequence of shows on Throne of the Crescent Moon, the new sword and sorcery book by Saladin Ahmed, with an interview of DAW Books president, editor-in-chief and veteran observer of the field Betsy Wollheim.  In this discussion Betsy explains what she enjoyed the most about editing Saladin’s book, but also ventures farther afield to talk about her general editorial philosophy, what authors most need to remember about what they choose to write and what the future of the industry looks like–and why she’s bullish on the potential of E-books and digital publishing. If you like what you hear, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll interview Saladin himself.  Until then, thanks as always for listening to the show, and please continue to spread the word!

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Episode 51 of Speculate! – Saladin Ahmed Novel Review (Throne of the Crescent Moon)

ThroneOfTheCrescentMoon

Welcome back for Episode 51 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we begin a new triptych plus one (is that a quadtych?) of shows on the work of Saladin Ahmed, who previously appeared on Episode 2 of Speculate! as we discussed one of his short stories; this time we’re looking at his debut novel Throne of the Crescent Moon, a sword and sorcery tale which NPR calls “Lord of the Rings meets Arab Spring.”  With a line like that, how could we resist taking our own look at a book with dervishes, ghuls, and a fantastic city with an Arabian flair?  If you enjoy the discussion, don’t forget to check back next week when we’ll be conducting an interview with the book’s editor, DAW president Betsy Wollheim.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

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Episode 50 of Speculate! – Ian Tregillis Author Interview

TheColdestWar

Welcome back for Episode 50 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  We celebrate turning 50 (that sounds less ominous when we’re talking about episode numbers, somehow) with an interesting interview with Ian Tregillis, author of the alternative history series The Milkweed Triptych (he likes that last word as much as we do).  Here we get a chance to talk to Ian about alternative history, how Nazis and warlocks make a cool mixture for speculative fiction purposes, and other miscellaneous subjects like covers, audiobooks and batboys, not necessarily in that order.  If you like what you hear, don’t forget to tune in next week when we’ll start our next triptych of shows on Saladin Ahmed‘s Throne of the Crescent Moon.  Until then, thanks as always for listening to the show, and please continue to spread the word!

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Episode 49 of Speculate! – Origins 2012 Author/Editor Interviews

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Welcome to Episode 49 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we bring you a series of interviews done with authors and editors attending Origins, which along with Gen Con is one of the oldest gaming industry conventions in the world.  Origins recently started its own writing track (called The Library), and we got to talk to a good mix of new and veteran attendees, hearing from Mike Stackpole, Jennifer Brozek, R.T. Kaelin, Steven Saus and Jean Rabe on what makes the convention experience generally and Origins specifically a worthwhile one for speculative fiction authors and fans.  If you like what you hear, make sure to tune in two weeks from now when we’ll be starting a new triptych of shows on Throne of the Crescent Moon, the new novel from Saladin Ahmed.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

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Episode 48 of Speculate! – Ian McDonald Writing Discussion

TheDervishHouse

Welcome back for Episode 48 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.  In this episode we conclude our series of shows on the work of Ian McDonald with a look at a few of the specific writing techniques used in The Dervish House, particularly his approach to cinematic writing, evoking all the senses, worldbuilding and atmosphere, using contrasting characters and points of view to establish a (reasonably) objective truth, and not being afraid of science–or even educated guesses about what science might reveal in the future–in writing science fiction.  If you enjoy what you hear, don’t forget to check back next week for our series of short interviews from Origins 2012.  Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

(Side note:  During the show Brad refers to a roundtable he recently participated in over at SF Signal with a host of SFF luminaries including Elizabeth Bear, Charles Stross and recent Speculate! guest Rob Ziegler, moderated by Jeremy Lassen.  There are a lot of interesting insights to be gleaned from the discussion, and if you find today’s episode interesting we recommend you head here for more.)

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Episode 47 of Speculate! – Ian McDonald Author Interview

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Welcome back for Episode 47 of Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans. In this episode we continue our series of shows on Ian McDonald’s The Dervish House as we interview the author himself on subjects from research to language to writing process–and how at times seducing the reader is a better way to go than making everything obvious up front. If you enjoy our discussion with Ian, make sure to check back next week when we release our final episode in this triptych, an analysis of some of the writing techniques used in the book. Until then, thanks as always for listening, and please continue to spread the word about the show!

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