Interviews from the Void: Episode #24 – Katherine Karch

Highlights How we can use “change” language to engage our readers. Writing young adult fiction and garnering more readers for our work. How to make our writing stand out from the crowd. I avoid using the passive voice (was taken). I work to steer clear of the past perfect tense (had given). Welcome to the twenty-fourth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process and their approach to the craft. In this episode, I chat with writer Katherine Karch about her blog and her unique approach to writing. Arthur: You have a very cool and unique approach to the writing craft on your blog. In your recent article, “Writing That Hooks Readers,” you discuss the neuroscience behind engaging our readers. As writers, we’re often looking for that great first line and struggle with figuring out how to keep our readers engaged. How did you discover this neuroscience hack? How do you try to hook your own readers? Katherine: I’ve always been interested in neuroscience. My background is in science, specifically in biology. After listening to a podcast in which Joanna Penn interviewed Lisa Cron, author of “Wired for Story,” I became interested in the neuroscience of reading and writing. The proverbial “hook” is a complex notion, particularly in literature. A lot of different elements are involved, but engagement ultimately starts in the limbic system. That’s the emotional center of our brains, made up of a bunch of different regions. I sometimes call it the” deep[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #23 – Benjamin Hope

Highlights Performing research to finding the balance between mood, theme, and story. Upholding our writing craft and storytelling methods in the modern world. Deciding on point-of-view (POV) and striking a balance between the character arcs. That’s what’s wonderful about storytelling – there are no boundaries! Welcome to the twenty-third episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with writer Benjamin Hope about his approach to writing and his new book, THE PROCUREMENT OF SOULS. Arthur: There are many ways we can identify genre in writing based on the words we use. For example, science fiction might include things like spaceships, planets, warp drives, and protomolecules. Fantasy might include warlocks, alchemy, wyverns and scabbards. You’ve chosen steampunk for PROCUREMENT OF SOULS. How were you able to write the imagery so well to illustrate the steampunk atmosphere and what drew you to write steampunk as opposed to other fiction sub-genres? Benjamin: In terms of developing imagery for the reader, I tried to strike a balance between providing enough detail for the world to be imagined with clarity; and giving space for the reader to co-create the world as they read. I tend to think that overly descriptive passages have a tendency to turn off a reader’s interest, especially in this sort of genre. As such, although I am partial to a metaphor(!) and enjoy the poetry of language, I did a lot of research[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #22 – Michael Ronson

Highlights The three-minute approach to naming in our stories. Writing humorous science fiction and how a well-rounded individual makes a better writer. For self-published writers, the only impetus to keep going is self-generated. It took me an embarrassingly long period of time to realize the project I actually enjoyed should be the one I worked on. Welcome to the twenty-second episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with writer Michael Ronson about his writing, humor and approach to the craft. Arthur: I had a lot of fun reading your books. In previous interviews, I’ve discussed the importance of names in our stories. In your books, almost every time a character was introduced, I had to read their names several times – because I was laughing – to make sure I was reading it correctly. Names that are sticking out, besides Captain Space Hardcore, are Master Hoffenhoff, and Pip Tinkle. How do you come up with your character’s names? Is there any importance to them? Michael: The names of my two protagonists – Captain Space Hardcore and Ebenezer Funkworthy – were actually made by a friend of mine. I remember that we were walking somewhere and coming up with as many utterly ridiculous character names as we possibly could, going back and forth, trying to outdo each other. Those two were the ones that made me laugh the most. Captain Space Hardcore[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #21 – Kevin Mooseles

Highlights Deciding what points of view to cover in a story. Character development and where we find inspiration for how our characters behave. Lessons learned in traditional publishing and editing. I got to where I am because I refuse to give up on the dream and continue to have new things to say. Welcome to the twenty first episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with writer Kevin Mooseles about his writing and zombie apocalypse series, THE RESISTANCE IS DEAD. Arthur: There is a lot of zombie apocalypse material out there. What was your inspiration for THE RESISTANCE IS DEAD and how did you set out to make it different from the typical zombie apocalypse story? Kevin: The popularity of zombies really inspired the story. I saw a bumper sticker one day that said “I’d rather be killing zombies!” and thought to myself, “Would you? Really?” That thought led to the idea of treating zombie lore and the emergence of an outbreak as puzzle pieces to an elaborate conspiratorial mystery, which is an angle I haven’t seen used too much. Questions like “How is this possible?”, and “Why is this happening?” don’t get much lime light in traditional zombie stories. I also wondered how an American President would handle such a crisis, so I wrote that perspective in too. Arthur: What was your writing process for THE RESISTANCE IS DEAD? Did[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #20 – Joseph Pascale

Highlights The history of a writer’s first draft. Pen and notebook geekery. Different mediums for writing (notebooks, computers and typewriters) and their effects on our writing. Like many writers, a trail of failed novels came before this one, but they were only failures in the sense that they weren’t completed, not that I didn’t learn from them. Welcome to the twentieth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. In this episode, I chat with writer Joseph Patrick Pascale about his blog and new book, HOW TO GET A PROMOTION WHEN YOUR BOSS IS TRYING TO KILL YOU, which comes out September 1, 2018. Arthur: You have an awesome blog where you discuss many of the fascinating physical tools associated with writing: the notebook, in a series you titled THE PHYSICAL WRITING PROCESS. How much research did you have to do to write each article? What inspired you to start this project? Joseph: It can take quite a bit of research to gather sufficient material to write one of these articles. The series explores how writers are approaching their first draft stage. What tools do they use? What form have they created before they type it up into a proper manuscript? That’s not something writers always talk about, so it often has to be pieced together. Reading through several interviews, I can sometimes find bits and pieces of their approach to build a picture of their drafting process.[…] [Keep Reading]