Online fiction authors and multimedia producers Birdy and Mike Diamond follow a concept they call “Fiction Isn’t,” which they discovered whilst exploring psychic channeling. It’s the idea that, when authors say that their characters suddenly started telling their own stories, that’s what’s really happening: the author has made a mental link to actual people in realms elsewhere from ours. Instead of creating stories, authors are writing the biographies of these people.
Birdy and Mike are making early ventures in getting paid to play under their brand, JourneyBirds’ Wonderland. They’ve created a Patreon page to support their works, which include Arrows in Flight, an Arrow-inspired vigilante story; Church of the Guardian Angel, where two unlikely servants of a cat goddess quietly work to keep the world sane; and Crosswell’s Flying Circus, an unusual airshow company dragged into a dark conspiracy (all of which feature readings by yours truly)! They’ve also developed some tools to help writers find inspiration and crank their daily word count out!
I chat with Birdy and Mike about getting serious about writing whilst being trapped in a hospital bed, psychic hyperlinks, the struggle to be open about yourself in a society that frowns on the unusual, warbird outfits, winning NaNoWriMo, minimum viable perfection and how fiction facilitates the conversations we need to have about the issues that truly matter.
Andrew Navaro, Art Director for Fantasy Flight Games.
It’s one thing to create the beautiful pieces of art that grace the pages and playing pieces of Fantasy Flight Games’ products. It’s another thing entirely to ensure that each image not only fits with the tone, themes and atmosphere of not just a given product but also a whole line of products.
Artist and tabletop gamer Andrew Navaro is the leader of a team of art directors at Fantasy Flight. It’s his job as art director to oversee the art direction of Fantasy Flight’s lines and manage the relationships between Fantasy Flight and its roster of freelance artists.
In this chat, Andrew and I discuss his love of gaming, how he came to work at Fantasy Flight Games, just what his job involves and the current state of art in the tabletop gaming industry!
It’s easy sometimes to feel that you have so much on your plate that you’ll never get anything done. North Queenslander Saffron Bryant is one of those people who puts the lie to that belief. Saffron turns twenty-two in December, and in the last couple of years, she not only completed a degree in biomedicine, but she also wrote and self-published the first in a series of fantasy novels, The Fallen Star.
If that wasn’t enough to show people that there are no excuses, Saffron completed those two massive projects whilst undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumour.
On top of all that, Saffron is going back for more of, thankfully, two of the above three things, working to complete an honours degree in biomedicine and the second novel in the Lost Child Saga. I just had to have a chat with her about how she got and still gets it all done.
Mur Lafferty is one of the first podcasters I ever listened to. When I decided to take a crack at writing again, I stumbled across Mur’s podcast I Should Be Writing and downloaded as much of it as I could – which is a lot of episodes. Just recently, Mur recorded her 250th episode – and that’s not counting all the extra episodes she’s done.
I Should Be Writing is for people who want to be authors what I hope my podcast is for people who want to follow their passions. Though she has a strong genre focus, Mur interviews authors who have secured themselves publishing deals for any works, asking them about how they write and how they got published. Not only that, Mur gives all us wannabes a little moral support by talking about her own progress to published authordom.
That’s right; Mur Lafferty is also an author, with two novels (one published and one self-published), a series of novellas and a raft of short stories – not to mention another novel coming out next year via publisher Orbit Books!
But not only is Mur a podcaster, she’s a podcasting professional. On top of I Should Be Writing, Mur is the senior editor of the science fiction short story podcast, Escape Pod (for which she also writes and narrates) and host of the official podcast of UK publisher Angry Robot Books.
So I just had to interview her about how she gets it all done!
I’m sad to say that some connectivity issues prevented this interview with bestselling romantic fantasy author Elizabeth Vaughan being as good as it deserved to be. The podcast you’ll hear is actually our the second attempt at this interview after my call recorder butchered the first take a week before.
This time I made sure to run two recordings simultaneously. While the second one was largely intact, editing it took longer than otherwise, and some of the times I’m speaking you’ll hear some hiss in the background.
But you know you have a quality guest when, after you discover that your recording is stuffed, your guest agrees to come back a week later and do it all again! I must thank Elizabeth for giving of her precious writing time twice over to chat with me.
In this interview, we talk about how Elizabeth was dared to start writing seriously by a friend and how that dare became seven novels (two of which made it into the USA Today bestseller lists) with at least three more on the way. We also discuss Beth’s influences, friends, mentors and motivators, as well as science fiction and fantasy conventions and her love of Dungeons & Dragons.