Interviews from the Void: Episode #34 – Reg Monroe

Highlights Identifying our writing weaknesses and working daily to overcome them is important to improving our craft. Having trust and confidence in ourselves as writers is vital to our success. How to approach description and scenes. Write something worthwhile, then treat it as such. Welcome to the thirty-fourth episode of Interviews from the Void, where I interview writers about their writing process, discussing the mechanics and physicality of the craft. I’m very excited for the interview this week. In this episode, I chat with writer, digital artist and personal friend Reg Monroe about his writing and artwork. Synopsis of Reg’s primary character, Tinker, who is featured in many of his short stories: Tinker’s quest – his Amendment – is to find a way to go back in time and prevent [amend] the Accident. His only companion – a cat with no name that he simply calls Cat. Wearing only the pendant containing Enola’s rose, bouncing from planet to planet, system to system, together they would haunt the halls of time. Arthur: Tell me about your writing journey. When did you start writing? What have you learned most from the craft? What are your major writing accomplishments?  Reg: You know, it’s funny, I remember attempting to write something in junior high. It was horrible, some kind of teen romance thing. But as far as anything mature I started writing notes for a novel soon after I got out of the Viet Nam era Navy. I was taking an English course at[…] [Keep Reading]

Short Story: THE SCHLIKT

Super happy to announce my short story, THE SCHLIKT, was published this month in Kyanite Press’ special Halloween addition. A lot of great writers have their work in this publication, including Benjamin Hope and Eric Lahti. I’ve interviewed both of these great writers and can’t wait to see more of their work. Benjamin’s piece in particular reminded me of M. R. James, one of my personal favorites. A very special thanks needs to be given to B. K. Bass, for putting this all together. In addition, thank you Sam Hendricks for her editing and proofreading work. Thank you so much. And of course, thank you to the writers who contributed their work for the rest of us to read and enjoy. It’s all about the story and the creative minds behind it. [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #33 – Hugh Howey

Highlights The importance of cover art. How we can write “remarkable” stories by pushing out of our comfort zone. How real-life adventures can serve as great sources of inspiration for our writing. I always took cover art seriously from my experience as a bookseller (and as a reader who would avoid a book with a terrible cover). Welcome to the thirty 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 Hugh Howey. From Hugh’s short story, THE WALK UP NAMELESS RIDGE:  At sixty thousand feet—the height of two Everests stacked one on top of the other—man and machine alike tended to break down. We were at the limit of my regimen of steroids. The gears in my hiking pants could be heard grinding against one another, even over all that wind. And the grease smeared over the parts of my face not sheltered by the oxygen mask had hardened until it felt like plaster, like blistered and unfeeling skin, but to touch it and investigate it was to invite exposure and far worse. Arthur: I’m fascinated with your career, as are many writers and readers. There’s the actual writing required to get a book out there, then there is the cover design. I’m also curious about your covers. Do you have a process for each of your books when it comes to designing a great cover? Do you have any[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #32 – Kellie Parker

Highlights Finding meaning in our lives by looking right in front of us. Improving our writing craft takes time, patience, and perseverance. An ending requires a conflict to be resolved. The process was rather reflective of my writing journey – being willing to experiment, learn through trial and error, and persevere until I was satisfied with the story. Welcome to the thirty-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 YA fantasy and adult romance writer Kellie Parker about her writing and short stores. From THE SECRETS AT THE END OF THE UNIVERSE: At the end of the universe, on an obscure planet resembling a floating chunk of rock, there is a cave containing a long, underground passage. If you find this secret place, and follow the winding, twisting way through the rock past the requisite number of booby traps, you’ll find yourself on the threshold of a room. And in this room, in a large file cabinet, are stored the secrets of the universe. Arthur: Tell me about your writing career. What are the small successes which have lead you to this point? Kellie: I’ve always loved reading and writing fiction, but I didn’t dive seriously into writing as a career until about four years ago. At that time, I had one mediocre completed manuscript for a romantic suspense that I’d finished a few years prior and a lot[…] [Keep Reading]

OKULOUS-10: The Latest Communication Logs

LATEST COMMUNICATION LOGS FROM OKULOUS-10, RECEIVED VIA SITE E5R. 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[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #31 – Sarah Beth

Highlights Why it’s important to finish our work before sharing it with readers. How being in touch with the world and our lives can help shape our writing. Resources for digital art and book covers. Feed your imagination, don’t try to reign it in. Welcome to the thirty 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 YA and urban fantasy writer Sarah Beth about her stories. From THE FAYE’S SECRET:  “It’s impossible to stay focused on her homework with a ghost staring at her. Every time Abby lifted her eyes from the page in front of her, the woman would be standing there, blood covering her white lace blouse.” Arthur: This is a very engaging first line for a book. In another interview with fantasy writer Bill Ricardi, he talks about the first line and paragraph being his promise to the reader. How did you come up with your starting line and paragraph for THE FAYE’S SECRET? Sarah: Honestly, it takes a lot of time for me to solidify the opening pages of a story. Some people have trouble with the middle, or the end, of books. For me, it’s always been the beginning. The first chapter of TFS evolved a lot, the first chapter now is completely different to the first draft. The presence of a ghost was always there, but even that has changed a lot since draft one.[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #30 – Allison Mullinax

Highlights How our upbringing, favorite restaurants and vacations can have influences on the settings for our stories. The importance of the inciting incident and why it needs to happen as soon as possible. How dialogue is essential to character development and relationships. I have always been over-imaginative, and I think this is a quality that all writers share. Welcome to the thirtieth 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 Allison Mullinax. From BREAK THE LINE: “The weight of the rod handle rests firmly in the palm of my hand. The feel of it always reminds me of coming home. I may have fished on hundreds of lakes across this nation, and won my share of tournaments, but the feel of a rod in my hand when I cast out the line never gets old. The anticipation of what could be waiting for me under the murky waters sends a wave of chills underneath the seat pooling on my forearms.” Arthur: Tell me about your journey to becoming a writer. When did you start and what would you consider to be a few of your major accomplishments as a writer?  Allison: Thank you so much for having me! I have always been over-imaginative, and I think this is a quality that all writers share. Often times, an author’s day dreams make the best novel premises, and this is exactly[…] [Keep Reading]

OKULOUS-10: The First Manned Mission Beyond Our Solar System

OKULOUS-10 launched with a very special mission objective: explore space beyond the Kuiper Belt, Pluto, and the extend of our known solar system – farther than any satellite launched into space. The crew of 25 will be waking from zombie sleep – a kind of cryo-sleeping equivalent intended to keep their bodies safely preserved – once OKULOUS-10 reaches its programmed destination. Their first mission protocol requires them to transmit the status of the crew and the OKULOUS-10 spacecraft. Starting on September 10th, 2018, at 10am EST, their mission updates will be transmitted daily. To stay up to date with OKULOUS-10 and its crew, be sure to follow @okulous10 for daily updates on their mission as they document their discoveries of space beyond our current understanding of the mysterious colossal blackness. I’m super excited about this project and there’s so much in store for it. I hope readers will enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing the content for OKULOUS-10. I also want to extend a big thanks to GrahamTG for allowing me to use his artwork for this writing project. It would not be possible without him. [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void: Episode #29 – Victor Gischler

Highlights How writing for comics differs from writing novels. Over-outlining is a real possibility and should be avoided. Writer should focus more on their writing projects rather than getting published and finding an agent. I was always a reader and I wanted to be on the other side of that equation. Welcome to the twenty 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 novelist Victor Gischler. From Victor’s Book, INK MAGE:  Dawn bloomed on the horizon, washing the wide-open grasslands in pale orange light. Lonely and crooked trees a mile apart dotted the landscape like bent old men, their shadows stretching away from them in the burgeoning sun. Arthur: You have a significant amount of writing out there, from comics (X-Men, Deadpool, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer) to books (your new fantasy series, A FIRE BENEATH THE SKIN). How did you grow into your writing career? VG: I’ve always loved stories, and as a kid, I was a big reader. That was the start, I guess. In high school, I’d write goofy stories staring my friends. Novels always transported me to another world.  I was always a reader, and I guess I just wanted to be on the other side of that equation. Arthur: What would you consider to be “lessons learned” from your writing career thus far? VG: Sharks need to keep swimming. Writers need to keep writing.[…] [Keep Reading]

Interviews from the Void

My goal is to build a community of writers and inspire the pursuit of the writing craft. Below is my INTERVIEWS FROM THE VOID project, where we’re building a community of writers by sharing our strategies for focus and creation. Episode #48 – Andy Weir Writing about the future can be a positive experience. Regular output is critical to writing. Finish the project you start. Don’t wander off. Episode #47 – Brenda Drake Practice is the best way to improve our craft. Reading is essential for great writing. The important of reading in our writing lives. Episode #46 – Victoria Griffin Starting a book at the right point in the story is essential. Tips on managing social media. How “fluff” can reduce the effectiveness of our prose. Episode #45 – Traci Ison Schafer Just start writing your story, even if you don’t know all the “rules”. The importance of book covers and editing. Using social media to truly connect with your readers. Episode #44 – Paul Bae Grabbing a listener’s attention. Developing characters that suit a particular conflict will create better stories. How we stumble onto truths as we write our stories. Episode #43 – Kayelle Allen The importance of regular writing and blogging to build an audience. Great resources for book covers and other art design. Writing is just as much about asking questions as it is telling the truth. Episode #42 – Kathy Garvey The difference between being distracted and writing production. What book reviews really mean. The[…] [Keep Reading]