Interviews from the Void: Episode #40 – Dana L. Brown

Highlights The importance of the technical aspects of writing, beyond putting words on paper. How themes can be derived from our own life experiences. Creative marketing ideas beyond social media. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how you’ve spent the majority of your life, you’re never too old to start a new path. Welcome to the fortieth 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 Women’s Romantic Fiction writer Dana L. Brown. Arthur: Tell me about your writing journey. How did you start writing and what brought you to where you are today? Dana: I like to call my writing journey My Fairytale. An avid reader, a book started forming in my mind as my husband and I rode our bicycles on the weekends, and in 2014 I told him I wanted to take early retirement to write a book. Once the “deer in the headlights” look left his face he asked if I could one more year, and I did. On February 5, 2016 I retired from a thirty-two career in banking, and on February 8, after the celebration was over and out of town guests had gone home, I sat down to write. Maybe because I had been writing the book in my head for two years, or maybe because I was so determined to prove I could do it, Lottie Loser almost wrote itself. In[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #39 – Mica Scotti Kole

Highlights You need to be able to answer the question: “What sets your book apart?” The most common problems an editor sees when reviewing a manuscript. How to write a great first sentence of a book. The overuse of “was/is” and “felt/feel” is the most concrete problem I see. Welcome to the thirty ninth 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 YA fantasy writer and editor Mica Scotti Kole. Arthur: Your Twitter account indicates you once wrote 25k words in a day. Tell me more about this day. What did you write? How did you achieve this word count? How were you able to focus for so long? Was it one long writing session, or broken up throughout the day? Mica: Oh, it was definitely not one straight session! I did this for the 3-Day Novel Contest, where you write a book over Labor Day Weekend. I had an outline, subsisted on Monster Energy and Spaghettios, and had to have someone else watch my cat for the day so she’d leave me alone. And I just tore through. The inspiration and momentum were there. By the end of the three-day weekend, I had over 50,000 words written and revised once. It was a wild ride. (This was the first draft of my first major publication attempt, the Adult Fantasy THE TOWER WITH NO WALLS.) Arthur: Tell me about your[…] [Keep Reading]

THE SCHLIKT Audio

Halloween 2018 was one of my personal favorites. We had a great many riveting writers sharing their work via audio for the Kyanite Press Special Halloween Edition. A special thanks again to the team at Kyanite Press for promoting such a fun way to share the Halloween spirit. If you haven’t picked up your copy, it’s a great edition. Also be sure to check out the audio version of my short story, THE SCHLIKT, for what I hope to be a riveting experience for my readers (and now my listeners).  [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #38 – Matthew William

Highlights Bringing a story to different formats for our audiences. Why writing for the audio drama is different than writing a novel. Why conflict is essential to our stories, no matter what the format. The act of creating something was thrilling. Here’s a world that exists now and it didn’t a moment ago. Welcome to the thirty-eighth 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 audio drama writer and screenwriter Matthew William. From Matthew’s short story, THE MORE I DISAPPEAR: “It’s hard to remember that he’s not me. Not exactly anyway. Genetically speaking, yes, he’s a perfect match. But since the moment he was born our experiences have been slowly and steadily forming us into different people. Driving us further and further apart, like two roads diverging in the woods, never to cross paths again.” Arthur: Tell me more about your writing journey. What is your background and how did you come upon the writing craft? Matthew: I wrote my first story in school when I was about 7 or 8. It wasn’t a writing assignment or anything like that, just something I decided to do on my own. And I discovered that the act of creating something was thrilling. Here’s a world that exists now and it didn’t exist a moment ago. And even though it was just a crappy Wizard of Oz knockoff, I was hooked. For some reason my[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #37 – Josh Hughes

Highlights Discussing the basic outlining process for a screenplay. Conflict is what drives the story onward. How to write great dialogue. I craft extensive outlines for all my writing. Welcome to the thirty-seventh 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 screenwriter Josh Hughes. Arthur: Tell me more about your writing journey. How did you learn the format and craft of screenwriting? Josh: I can remember back to when I was 9 or 10 I would tag along with my mom to her office on Sunday’s to “help clean.” The only reason I wanted to go was to play around on the computer. I ended up just writing these extravagant stories which were basically re-writes of the movies I watched with my parents. That pretty much started my interest in crafting a story. I got really interested in writing screenplays when I got to college. I had just switched from a marketing to a film degree and I wanted to be a director because I thought they had total control over films. Turns out they don’t and writing is where the real magic happens… well at least to me. I wrote my first short film to be produced based off the Stephen King short story Strawberry Spring. Here is a link. In my last couple years of college I wrote some Beavis and Butthead specs and started my first feature.[…] [Keep Reading]

The Latest from OKULOUS-10

KINMIL LOG 03 OKULOUS-10, based on our LOG 02 and your LOG 32 we estimate the comm delay at 3 Earth days in each direction. What is the extent of memory loss? Is it accompanied by aggressive tendencies? Can you gather and analyse samples from impact location? E5R LOG 36 Navigation lead by Paulo Cucco. I need to fix two light sensors to finalize our location. Navigational database won’t refresh without sensors. Paulo hoping to access our location history. Simulated farming systems operational and lead by Sahra Tofleson. E5R LOG 37 Planning Objectives to be lead by Aditya Serinath. She confirms previous three objectives are critical. All of us are concerned about Foley, still under quarantine. Mishings is running memory tests on her now. Night and day shifts seem to be working. E5R LOG 38 Silence in the ship and dark space outside has different effects on some crew members mental health. Others miss Earth. Schmidt thinks music may help with mental health. He instituted a daily requirement for crew to listen to their favorite music. E5R LOG 39 KINMIL, unable to gather samples to analyze without compromising ship atmosphere. Colored areas do not come away from shell plating. Two crew members don’t remember their time on Earth before zombie sleep. No aggressive tendencies, just minor confusion. E5R LOG 40 One exterior sensor is fixed. The other isn’t repairable without spare parts. Need to check storage. Surprising that I haven’t been down there yet. Still many areas of the ship I[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #36 – Rick Hoffman

Highlights Finding the right ending is often a matter of discovery. How writing with pen and paper makes us think of every word as we write. Deliberate practice and how it helps us improve our prose. My experience with writing plays helped to train my ear for human voices. Welcome to the thirty-sixth 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 fiction Rick Hoffman. From Rick’s short story, THE INITIATION: Christmas Eve and the eight-­year-­old boy wakes to darkest midnight. He has been dreaming about heroes and monsters, and their battles have frightened him awake, as they often do. Eyes open in the blue­-black of his room, he sits up alert to noises downstairs. He stumbles to the window, opens it to crisp night air and a quiet wind in the pines. He hears again the noise that startled him, clearer now with the fog of sleep fading. A shuffling downstairs. Someone is awake. Arthur: Has your experience as a playwright helped you in your novel writing? How?  Rick: First of all, thank you so much for the opportunity to have a voice on your platform. I think this it’s a wonderful thing you’re doing to allow emerging writers a chance to be heard. But back to your question. My writer friend Adam Bjelland says he loves my dialogue. I think my experience with writing plays helped to train my ear[…] [Keep Reading]

OKULOUS-10: Chapter 1, First Transmissions

E5R LOG 00 ESTABLISHING CONNECTION….ESTABLISHING CONNECTION….ESTABLISHING CONNECTION….OKULOUS-10 LINK ESTABLISHED. CONFIRMING SITE….SITE E5 RECEIVING. CONFIRMING SIGNAL….RECEIVING TEXT ONLY. BROADCAST UNAVAILABLE. E5R LOG 01 Alexandra Boldt here, Communications Specialist for OKULOUS-10, waking from zombie sleep. Groggy. Other crew members awake before me. Muscular atrophy. Hope it goes away soon. A few hours to walk to communications. Protocol 010: Communications. E5R LOG 02 Ship Status reporting, all systems functional. Except….we can’t receive signals from Earth. Text broadcast only. Hopefully COMMAND is receiving this. We will broadcast daily. Update on crew tomorrow. Muscular atrophy still impeding most actions. E5R LOG 03 More issues with ship systems. Temperature control, unable to maintain constant temperature within the ship. Too cold. All crew using blankets to keep warm. Probably due to continuing support for zombie sleep systems. Not all crew members awake yet. E5R LOG 04 Engine systems good, however unable to confirm our ship’s location. Working on solution. Coordinates database still refreshing. Zombie sleep should be down by now, but it isn’t. This worries me. Three crew still not awake. All other crew awake and healthy. E5R LOG 05 Need Anders to wake from zombie sleep to fix temperature control systems. In such cold, can’t reduce muscular atrophy. Anders would know how to fix. Others and myself looked through heating, but appears too complicated. Average ship temp 54 degF. E5R LOG 06 Coordinates database still refreshing. Should have refreshed by now. Can’t access any historical logs. Allison Mishings woke from sleep today. Two remaining, including Anders.[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #35 – Jonathan Whitelaw

Highlights Being creative when it comes not only to writing, but finding time to write. Understanding the publishing industry will create more opportunities for us writers. The importance of making writing a daily habit to better your success as a writer. And all the while writing, writing and writing. Welcome to the thirty-fifth 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 Jonathan Whitelaw. From Jonathan’s book, HELLCORP: Steepling his fingers, The Devil prepared to make his pitch. “Okay, are you ready for this?” he asked.  The Pope did not reply. Not to be undeterred, The Devil pressed on. “I’m going to make Hell a legitimate business.” The old man remained silent. For a moment, he thought over the words and then, still dumbfounded, thought how best to put across his confusion.  “How do you mean legitimate?” I mean legitimate legitimate,” said The Devil. “I’m going to make it a business, a one-stop shop for anybody and everybody who wants to get on in life. Arts, culture, business, anything and everything. It’ll be a school, a place for education, somewhere the mortal soul can go to learn all the tricks of the trade and be a success in this life. Going to call it Hellcorp. What do you think?” Arthur: Tell me about your writing career. What is the history behind your writing journey? What did you start writing and[…] [Keep Reading]

The Latest from OKULOUS-10

E5R LOG 00 ESTABLISHING CONNECTION….ESTABLISHING CONNECTION….ESTABLISHING CONNECTION….OKULOUS-10 LINK ESTABLISHED. CONFIRMING SITE….SITE E5 RECEIVING. CONFIRMING SIGNAL….RECEIVING TEXT ONLY. BROADCAST UNAVAILABLE. E5R LOG 01 Alexandra Boldt here, Communications Specialist for OKULOUS-10, waking from zombie sleep. Groggy. Other crew members awake before me. Muscular atrophy. Hope it goes away soon. A few hours to walk to communications. Protocol 010: Communications. E5R LOG 02 Ship Status reporting, all systems functional. Except….we can’t receive signals from Earth. Text broadcast only. Hopefully COMMAND is receiving this. We will broadcast daily. Update on crew tomorrow. Muscular atrophy still impeding most actions. E5R LOG 03 More issues with ship systems. Temperature control, unable to maintain constant temperature within the ship. Too cold. All crew using blankets to keep warm. Probably due to continuing support for zombie sleep systems. Not all crew members awake yet. E5R LOG 04 Engine systems good, however unable to confirm our ship’s location. Working on solution. Coordinates database still refreshing. Zombie sleep should be down by now, but it isn’t. This worries me. Three crew still not awake. All other crew awake and healthy. E5R LOG 05 Need Anders to wake from zombie sleep to fix temperature control systems. In such cold, can’t reduce muscular atrophy. Anders would know how to fix. Others and myself looked through heating, but appears too complicated. Average ship temp 54 degF. E5R LOG 06 Coordinates database still refreshing. Should have refreshed by now. Can’t access any historical logs. Allison Mishings woke from sleep today. Two remaining, including Anders.[…] [Keep Reading]