Australian science fiction and fantasy author Saffron Bryant has been writing since she could first hold a pencil but only started getting serious in 2011. Saffron’s first book, The Fallen Star, was released in 2012 after Saffron was forced to take leave from her studies in biomedical science at uni while recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumour.
Now, at the age of twenty-six, Saffron has fifteen novels available for sale on Amazon, a degree in Biomedical Science (with honours) and has just finished her PhD in chemistry at the University of Sydney. As of last year Saffron earned enough royalties to pay all her bills.
In her spare time, Saffron is a huge fan of multiple fandoms, including The Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones and Stephen King (especially The Dark Tower). She also plays Massively Multiplayer Online RPGs and even tabletop ones like Dungeons & Dragons.
Join Saffron and I as we get back together (after our chat for Episode 16) for a great chat about the first fiction you write, how writing is the perfect cure for the boredom of convalescence and the process of screening editors – not to mention a geek-out about Doctor Who!
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.
(Wouldn’t Hengineer Smith and the Spaceteam Admiral’s Club make a great title for a pulp novel?)
WARNING: Though I’m happy with the sound quality, the rush to get this up meant I didn’t edit out some audio problems at my end, mostly revolving around our dogs acting up. I owe a HUGE debt (and several bouquets of flowers) to my wife Vickie who got up on several occasions between 6AM and 7AM to deal with them while I chatted with Henry.
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.
Update: At the end of 2013, Foxtel closed SFtv Australia down, making Gavin redundant. He still blogs at his own domain, ShoutyBeardyThing (see the links below).
Don’t let the picture of the medieval gent with the sword fool you; Gavin Lucan is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. I’ve known him since the late nineties, and was frankly a little envious when I found out he’d parlayed his experience in scheduling pay TV channels into a gig at Australia’s branch of the SciFi Channel.
Shortly afterward, I signed up for an e-mail newsletter in which Gav offers wry observations on the week’s events in genre fiction, from books to comics, movies to television, games to conventions, and now SFtv feature that newsletter as a weekly blog on their website!
Given that he’s a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy, my friend Gav is definitely getting paid to play. Join me as I find out how he got there!