Blog Archives

From the Vaults – 8 Questions with Pip Ballantine

Still bringing stuff back from the vaults fore the moment – While I’m getting caught up with some materials – or more like waiting for some material to catch up with me… Yes I’m looking at you Nathan Lowell…

Without any further ado – From the Vaults – 8 Qs with Pip –

It’s Monday again boys and squirrels and other woodland creatures that we cannot mention due to a gag order from PETA ( I swear eat one fried platypus and they brand you for life….) and no I don’t mean it ‘s time for it to put the lotion in the basket or it gets the fire hose (That was yesterday… erm nevermind) It’s time for another round of 8 Questions – This week we feature Philippa “Pip” Ballantine – The Podiosphere’s favorite saucy flightless bird or small furry banana strawberry thing you choose.

1 ) What’s one thing we Americans take for granted about New Zealand that really frustrates you?

Actually Americans don’t really know enough about New Zealand to take much for granted. The one thing people do know about us is what they have seen in Lord of the Rings. New Zealand is that beautiful, and that empty. (A country the size of Great Britain, but with only 4 million people in it) but it does have more than that. It’s something that you can’t explain, you have to come visit. (Honestly I am not working for Tourism New Zealand)
2 ) What’s next podcast wise after Digital Magic finishes it’s run?

It will be the anthology series set in the world of Geist. I am not quite sure how many people I will have involved in it, but I am hoping lots of other podcasters will be excited to join me in. I am looking forward to exploring the world.
3 ) When did you start writing and Why?  Do you remember that “1st” story?

I first started writing when I was about thirteen, and I guess I started because I was a voracious reader. I read all my Dad’s books and thought ‘I can do that’. My first book was a story about a woman haunted by some demonic creatures she could only see out of the corner of her eye. Which is interesting, because elements of that are in Geist.
4 ) Erotica Ala Carte got booted out of Itunes after the 1st Episode.  Did that fluster or flatter you?

I think that happened because itunes was clearing the literature category of anything sexual. I am not sure why (because itunes never communicate or respond) but it doesn’t seem to have effected the numbers of listeners. I was actually kind of impressed!

5 ) Why Erotica?

Why not? 🙂 Actually I did it because I was afraid of erotica. I think a writer should be always able to write what the story requires. Sex reveals a lot about the characters, and can be a plot point as well.  I didn’t like the fact that I was shutting the bedroom door all the time. So like a good, stubborn person I decided to face my fears. I’m pretty happy with the result.

6 ) How did you get into Podcasting?

Tee Morris. Enough said? 🙂
He was my colleague at DragonMoon Press and he was always banging on about the joy of podcasting- little did I know that it would be so addictive.
7 ) Why are New Zealanders called Kiwis?

Many people think it is the fruit, but it started long before NZ started growing them. It’s the bird- though why we nicknamed ourselves after a nocturnal, flightless bird I cannot say. I think it has something to do with World War I and regimental crests or some such.

8 ) Were you able to pull a deal with Ace like Sigler was able to do with Crown to allow you to podcast Geist and it’s sequel?

Unfortunately not. The anthology deal was the best we could do. I think publishing is slowly coming around to the idea, but it is still a work in progress. We’ll have to see how that pans out.
** Okay since some of the questions have more than one part technically this is more than 8 questions but meh…..

Bonus Questions – You don’t have to answer these but you can if you want.
b1 ) What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

I wouldn’t know, all our birds are flightless
b2 ) 42 is the answer but what is the question?

At what age does a man mature like a fine cheese
b3 ) If at first you don’t succeed _____________ (fill in the Blank)

If at first you don’t succeed keep podcasting

Pip can be found online at her own site http://www.pjballantine.com/

Pip is also organizing the Boom Effect Auction a benefit for Sonic Boom http://www.theboomeffect.org/

And of course on twitter as @PhilippaJane

Advertisements

Random Pimage Presents 8 Qs with @AlRuff and @Obajoo

Well it’s Monday once again and you know what that means…  No it’s not time to feed your sibling to a volcano to appease the fire gods… though on second thought I still owe my sister for telling on my about sneaking out when I was.. err nothing… Love ya sis don’t pay any attenion to the Mayan death cult on it’s way to your house…   No it’s actually time for more 8 Questions.  This week I bring you another double stuffed 8 Qs.  The wonderful talent behind the Gearheart Podcast Novel.  If you haven’t given it a listen really what are you waiting for?  … No really why haven’t you listened to it yet…  You’re gonna make Alex Cry and he’s good peeps…. Again like I was saying before… ooh SHINY!!!! This week I bring you the talented and and just totally freaking awesome couple behind the Gearheart Alex and Renee White.

Alex White

1 ) How did you get into Podcasting?

I got into podcasting because no one would read my novels.  I don’t know if people thought they sucked or what, but I could almost never get someone to finish a book.  I think everyone has been burned by having a writer friend who makes them read something truly awful.  I eventually decided that it was the medium- reading off a computer screen kind of sucks- and I thought I’d podcast the book.  After all, if you can combine it with something you have to do anyway, like manual labor or commuting, it would at least be a diversion.  So yeah, I started podcasting because I thought it would suck less than reading it off a computer screen.  Naively, I believed that I had a new idea.  Imagine my surprise when I found a blossoming community of awesome people!

2 ) When did you start writing and Why?  Do you remember that “1st” story?

I started writing poetry as a little boy.  I loved limericks and I avidly consumed Shel Silverstein.  When I got a little older, I had a girl I wanted to impress, so I wrote a story about an adolescent werewolf named Percy.  She liked it, so I kept writing horrible short fiction for girls in the hopes of impressing them.  Wow.  This question has made me realize that my artistic life began as a very base pursuit…

3 ) What’s it like working on a Podcast like the Gearheart with your Spouse?

It’s great fun!  At first, things were pretty crazy, and it took us a long time to get into the swing of production.  Poor Renée… she’s always getting dragged into my hairbrained schemes.  I’ve put her in prank movie trailers, comic projects, music and now this.  Other than our marriage and our child, The Gearheart is the longest running project we have ever undertaken.  I’m proud of the working rapport we’ve built, and I think it serves us very well.  Things weren’t always easy- creative disagreements were had, but we came out ahead.

4 ) You’re also a graphic artist does that play for or against your writing crative efforts?  (Are you ever working on one when the urge takes over to be working on the other?)

I’m a writer who happens to be good at graphic design.  Every other talent- music, design and marketing- is geared toward making more people hear and enjoy my stories.  I pay the bills with my design, but if I had my druthers, it would be the other way around.  So I use my honed skills to enhance my writing.  If you need a fancy cover and a soundtrack to make you read/listen to my book, I’ll make it for you.  I just want to be taken seriously, and I think presenting my ideas in a way people understand will help.  The mass media is capable of such a slick presentation, and I don’t want to be stifled by the fact that I can’t match their values.  I’ll just try to learn how they do things and make it myself.

5 ) If I remember correctly you do your own music for the podcast too.  Is there any part of the production you don’t do yourself (other than the female parts)?

Renée handles the all-important detail of making sure we believe in the tension between the male and female characters.  I make sure that when the spotlight is ready to go on, everything is in place.  I handle graphics, web design, music, mastering, mixing and tagging.  Also writing, but who cares about that?

6 )  I’m going to make an ass out of u and me and assume here that you have a fascination with old time radio because of the “commercial” you’ve done for the show – What are some of your favorite old radio dramas and what drew you to them and your style of podcast?

Well, I had a boxed set of tapes of The Shadow that I used to listen to all the time, but not a lot other than that.  I always liked the promise of old radio dramas, but I never really got into the execution.  That’s probably why I don’t actually do a full-on radio drama for The Gearheart.  I did look at a lot of movies and TV, such as “O Brother Where Art Thou” for the “Pappy O’Daniel’s Flour Hour.”  I like those little things.  The commercials started out as a fun diversion, and I wanted to make something in the vein of the era I was going for.  I wanted pulpy 20s, so that’s where those come from.

7 ) I saw on twitter you were working on a Agustus short story, any chance we might see a little more of the other characters’ pasts like maybe that of the mercenaries?

Well, I don’t want to spoil anything.  Let’s just say we learn a LOT about them in the next book.

8 ) Now that the Gearheart has finished up – What’s next?

Next? I don’t get to take a break?  *sobs*  Actually, I’m planning to begin production on my next podcast very soon, with a planned Fall release.  It’s called “Festival of the Bizarre,” and it’s a near-future noir thriller.  It should entertain those of you with more… shall we say… violent streaks…  I’m also working on “Maiden Flight of the Avenger,” the Augustus short story, hopefully to be released soon.  Lastly, I’m working on a secret Gearheart project that should please everyone.  I’ll try to drop more details as I firm things up for publication.

Thanks for the opportunity, Robert! Keep on pimpin’!

(btw it’s Rich… not Robert)

Renee White

1 ) How did you get into Podcasting?

Honestly, I’d never thought about it until Alex started doing The Gearheart podcast.  Originally, he was doing all the voices on his own.  He had asked me if I wanted to help, but I said no because I had never acted before.  The extent of my voice talents at that point were making silly voices for Ari’s stuffed animals.  But after listening to Alex doing the female voices, and honestly thinking he sounded completely ridiculous, I decided to give it my best shot.  I knew how much this story meant to him, so I wanted to help him make the best product he could.

2 ) What’s it like working on a Podcast like the Gearheart with your Spouse?

At first it was really weird!  I still get a little shy around him like some star-struck teenager.  I’m told that will wear off in time.  I made a rule in the beginning that he couldn’t look at me when I was acting.  Silly, I know, but I felt so self-conscious!  Unfortunately, that shows in the beginning episodes when my “acting” was really just dryly reciting lines.  As the podcast went on, I learned to ease up and really get into the characters.

3 ) Is it difficult keeping all the characters straight that you have to do for the Podcast?

Oh goodness, yes.  Ever had a conversation with yourself, but trying to use two different personalities?  It’s bonkers.  I don’t just have to worry about the voice pitch, but also the cadence with which the characters speak.  If it gets really difficult, we’d record all of one character and then the next character afterwards, and edit them together in post to make sure the voices stay consistent.

4 ) What Exactly is a “Domestic Scientist”?

“Domestic Science” was the term used back in the 50’s for “homemaking” when they taught it in schools.  I wanted a term that was kinda geeky sounding, but also encompasses all the crafty stuff I do.

5 ) Okay I see the geeky and awesome looking Baked goods pics at your blog, and your Avatar on twitter – Any other cool baked goody projects in the planning / execution stage?

I REALLY want to do a Dr. Who cake for my birthday in April, but I don’t know if I’ll have time to do it.  I’m also planning on making a D20 cake tutorial for @kyledockery (http://twitter.com/kyledockery) sometime soon.  Life has been a little insane these last few months, so I haven’t had a lot of time to make really crazy stuff.

6 ) What other creative hobbies help you pass the time?

here are too many to name!  I seem to make a hobby of collecting hobbies.  If I see something cool on the internet, I want to learn how to do it.  I picked up knitting, crochet, and cross-stitching just to make video-game related crafts.  (You can see those at my Flickr set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/obajoo/sets/900086/)  I am learning photography, and I also draw a bit.  I’ll hopefully be using that last one to make some art for a potential Gearheart game Alex and I have designed.  It’s still in testing, but it is going very well!  I also love board games and video games.

7 ) What are the biggest changes you’ve had to make to adjust to your son’s diagnosis?

It would almost be easier to answer what HASN’T changed.  When your kid has autism, your entire life is turned upside down.  Since I feel that we need to concentrate on Ari’s therapy, I’ve basically put my life on hold.  No going back to school for me, no having another kid for at least 3 years, no job to bring in extra income.  And that’s the long run stuff that’s easy to ignore.  It’s the day to day routine that can completely wear me out.  For instance, when he is thirsty and wants some juice, I can’t just give him the juice cup.  He has to vocalize for it.  Just one little syllable: “ju-” is all we need.  But that is so hard for him, that he’ll break down into tears, screaming and kicking, because he’s so frustrated that he can’t communicate what he needs.  And I have to wait the tantrum out, patiently repeating “Juice?  Want juice?  Say ju ju ju….”  Those tantrums can go on and on.  Not the normal 2 year old fits, but like 30 minutes and counting.  He ran around randomly crying off and on after lunch today for over an hour and I still don’t know why.  As for other changes, our lives are filled with therapist meetings, doctor appointments, researching articles on sensory integration disorder and autism, reading book after book on autism, listening politely to “advice” from people who read an article one time so now they think they’re experts.  Luckily he’s not that bad in public, but when he has his bad days, we have to deal with people staring at us for one reason or another, judging us.  If he’s acting up they stare with a sneer, obviously thinking I’m a bad parent that can’t control my kid.  If he’s making weird sounds, or shaking his head violently despite my efforts to calm him down, they stare wondering “What’s wrong with him?”  I try not to let it get to me, but it still hurts.  But things are looking up!  His therapy is going very well and can now use 4 words.  He works harder than any other 2 year old I know, and I love him more and more and couldn’t be more proud of him.  Together, we’ll get through this.

8 ) What does Obajoo stand for / mean?

It’s a nonsense word, actually!  When Alex, our friend Joey, and I were making up nick names for ourselves for a freelance design group, I couldn’t think of a thing.  I think I saw an Odwalla truck or something earlier that day so I said “Quick!  What’s a three syllable word that begins with O?” being silly more than anything.  And Joey pops in with “OBAJOO!”  So it stuck. 🙂

You can Find them both on Twitter Alex as @ALRUFF and @TheGearHeart and Renee as @Obajoo

You can find more on the Gearheart at it’s homepage – http://www.thegearheart.com/

and you can find Renee’s Blog The Domestic Scientist over at http://www.thedomesticscientist.com/

Double sized 8 Qs with @MickBordet, and @KMLaw

It’s Monday and you know what that means right?  Yes I get off my lazy ass and post up 8 Questions – This week since I’ve been busy dealing with other things life has thrown my way I will bring you a double sized 8 Qs and an apology for letting life get in the way, but the only cure for that means you don’t get any more content from me either… hey put that pistol down… stop I mean it.. MOMMY!!!!

Without any further Ado here we have the Frightening minds behind Every Photo Tells their collaborative effort as well as their individual efforts of Some Other Scotland and Luscious Leftovers Mick Bordet and Katharina from Vienna

1 ) What prompted Some Other Scotland?

When I finished writing my first novel I had learnt so much that I wanted to get straight into writing the next one, but didn’t really have anything planned. This coincided with my first encounter with podiobooks.com and it seemed natural to create a podcast novel that would get my writing online and heard by an audience. I figured that if I was going to benefit from using the internet in this way, I might as well make use of its interactive nature to help form the story, hence asking people to choose a topic from recent news stories. Setting it in Scotland was just a way of keeping the locations and characters familiar to me and avoiding having to read too many news feeds.

2 ) A Lot of what Americans know about Scotland comes from movies and BBC programs that make it over here – Do Scottish folks actually eat Haggis? And what exactly is it? And if it’s what I think it is Why?

Let’s put it this way: the average Scottish supermarket probably dedicates about 0.05% of its chilled meat cabinets to Haggis, until the week before Burns’ Night when it leaps up to about 2%. I guess it is comparable the peak of popularity of turkey around Thanksgiving. Haggis is a spicy mix of minced sheep offal, onion and oatmeal, traditionally cooked in a sheep’s stomach and served with neeps and tatties (i.e. turnip and potato) – the description does put a few people off, but it’s not that far removed from a sausage and is, quite frankly, damned tasty.

3 ) What was the scariest moment in your life?

Going for a walk along a river where the sides of the valley became steeper until I ended up stuck on a near-vertical cliff face with a long drop below me, about 6 inches of ledge under my feet and no way to get back the way I had come because of the angle I had approached it from. Not expecting to find myself in that position, I had no climbing gear or anything that would help me get out and this was in the days before mobile phones. I knew that if I made one wrong move I’d be dead or severely injured; it was one of those ‘life flashing before your eyes’ moments. In the end I pulled myself up using exposed tree roots, hoping that they would hold my weight. Apparently they did.

4 ) What prompted the idea behind your joint effort with Katharina – Every Photo Tells?

We started writing a story a while ago where we took it in turns to write blocks of 500 words each, which I began based on inspiration from a photograph I took years ago. Katharina came across a blog with stories based on pictures and suggested we could expand on the idea as a joint venture.

5 ) How did you get into Podcasting?

I started with listening to the Spellbound theremin podcast (http://spellbound.purplenote.com) and was keen to try something similar myself, but didn’t just want to focus on music. When I came across the concept of serialised audiobooks, the idea just fit perfectly with what I was doing at the time.

6 ) When did you start writing and Why? Do you remember that “1st” story?

I started writing for my own enjoyment when I was about 13 – I wrote a series of short stories about a man with no bones in his body and his friends… a guy with a 6 foot long leg, a plastic bag and half a tin of spilt baked beans (called Marantaz for some reason). I wish I still had them – they were pretty ridiculous, but a lot of fun.

7 ) Are there any stereotypes about Scots that aren’t true really gets your goat?

I’ve never really been concerned about stereotypes; it’s just human nature to try to label and categorise things. Anyone with a modicum of common sense knows that not every Scot wears a kilt, has a sporran full of haggis and does the Highland Fling all day long. I mean, I know at least two people who don’t 😉

I do enjoy taking a stereotype and playing with it to come up with something new, though.

8 ) What’s the Day Gig – and Does it Influence your writing, and if so how?

I do commercial crime pattern analysis, which is pretty interesting, but hasn’t influenced my writing (yet). It does take me around the country fairly regularly, which I think has an impact on some of my writing. I had a few years of travelling almost every week between London and Edinburgh, which became a major plot point of my first book, because it messes with your head after a while.

**Okay since some of the questions have more than one part technically this is more than 8 questions but meh…..

Bonus Questions – You don’t have to answer these but you can if you want.

b1) What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

0 mph (at least it was at the point of impact with my living room window. Stupid bird.)

b2) 42 is the answer but what is the question?

How many songs have you written that now make you cringe?

b3) If at first you don’t succeed _____________ (fill in the Blank)

… try being second.

thanks for getting the grey matter moving 🙂

And Because I promised a double sized week this week I also include 8 Questions from Katharina from the Luscious Leftovers Podcast and the Every Photo Tells Podcast.

1 ) I have to say that Luscious Leftovers is the first podcast I have encountered with it’s mix of sensuality and food.  What prompted the Idea for the Podcast?

Other than the obvious: I could live on sex and food! I think nowadays both are widely under-appreciated, under-enjoyed and under-done. Whatever I can do to change that.

2 ) What was the worst trouble you got into as a child?

Pre-Skype times… extremely high phone bills and a weird thing for long distance relationships.

Oh, as a KID you said? Uhm… Pretty much the same. Only weird pen pals back then. I should’ve stayed away from the internet. Or maybe I am just AS weird…. Hmmm…. Need to think further about that.

3 ) When did you start writing and Why?  Do you remember that “1st” story?

I got that story told so many times, I don’t even know anymore if I remember it or if it was just my parents telling it so often….

It was my grandfather’s 60th birthday, I was about 4 years old. One night I woke up my dad, telling him I wanted to write my grandpa a story for his birthday. So my dad had to get out the old typewriter and I dictated him the story. It was about a hedgehog and another animal. Too bad I wasn’t able to find the story in my grandpa’s papers after he died…

4 ) Okay replace that Q with Who have you not been able to have on the show yet that you’re really wanting to be a guest?

Before I got him on the show I would’ve said Tee Morris. Now, to be completely honest, the ONE person that I really want on my podcast is my husband.

5 ) How did you get into Podcasting?

I listened only to MuggleCast and PotterCast for a long time. When I got into Lost, I started to look up podcasts according to the things I was interested in. Ended up on the forums of a big Lost podcast. That’s where I met a lot of people who wanted to try it out. So, about 2 years ago, I started my first podcast.

6 ) Okay I have to ask… Mozarts Balls?  Leave it to Austrian Scientists to clone a mans Genitals stuff them with Marzipan and Dip them in Chocolate…Why?

You know how there’s the tongue of this saint on display in a church in Italy?

No that’s not the reason – the German word “Kugeln” (Mozart Kugeln) does not mean the balls as in genitals in German. It just get’s lost in translation somehow. In German, “balls” are “eggs”. Don’t ask me why, though. ☺

7 ) You were hoping the episode you did with Pip would be too hot for Itunes?  Did you succeed and if not are you guys gonna make another run to get dropped?

No, I haven’t been banned from iTunes yet, and I am utterly disappointed to be quite honest. Yes, the goal was either to get banned from iTunes, invent the PORN tag or melt the whole internet in its entirety.

I will definitely try again – maybe I need to chance to some boy-on-girl-action this time… We’ll see. I haven’t given up yet!

8 ) And I might be losing you with the pop reference form here in America but just what would you do for a Klondike bar?  (Figured I’d throw one in for Mick’s sake)

I can imagine what the pop reference aims at. All I can tell you is what I would NOT do for it.

1) Give up the kilt

2) Give up Apple

3) Give up meat

Other than that…….. Uhm…….. ☺ Make me an offer!

Okay since some of the questions have more than one part technically this is more than 8 questions but meh…..

**Bonus Questions – You don’t have to answer these but you can if you want.

b1) What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

13.5 kilometres/hour

b2) 42 is the answer but what is the question?

What is the highest number in LOST?

b3) If at first you don’t succeed _____________ (fill in the Blank)

I am trying my hardest not to say “make someone else do it instead” 😀

You can find Today’s wonderful guests online at the following locations.

Some Other Scotland – http://www.someotherscotland.com and over at podiobooks http://www.podiobooks.com/title/some-other-scotland

Luscious Leftovers – www.lusciousleftovers.com

On Twitter @MickBordet & @KMLaw

And Every Photo Tells – http://www.everyphototells.com/

8 Questions With Brand Gamblin.

It’s Monday and you all know what that means.   No not that it’s time to give the sleeping Great Old Ones another does of that Ambien Suppository… ah hell actually yes it does… but it also means another round of 8 Questions.  This week we’re lucky to have The brain beind Calls for Cthulhu and the YA Podiobook Tumbler – Everybody let’s hear it for the one the only Brand Gamblin *Insert Kermit Freakout here* Yaaaaaaaay!!!!  (Kermit and Cthulhu…  hmmm wonder if there’s a tie in…..  Right now Kermit is in the midst of some dark plan to rouse the great old one and realizes I figured him out my life is now in danger…. and think about it Miss Piggy is bitch Kermit couldn’t actually like her she’s just meant as a breakfast… Pig = Bacon / Sausage / Ham hello perfect breakfast… and all the chickens that Gonzo kept around….  The muppet show was a front fora Cthulhu cult….)  That moment of oddity was brought to you by it’s Monday, it’s Morning and I need caffeine, and have a short… SHINY!!!! And now back to the regularly scheduled feature…. already in progress.

4 ) What inspired Calls for Cthulhu, and where did you get that wonderful puppet?

Many years ago, I found a plush puppet of the mighty Cthulhu in a comic book store. I bought it on a lark, and at lunch the next day, I mentioned to some friends that it would be fun to do a call-in show for Cthulhu. I told them about the puppet, and one of my friends dropped his fork, saying, “You’ve got to do this.”

We put together a cheap set, green-screened in a background and made a little video. We put it up as a one-shot joke, but people started writing in, asking when the next one would be out. One video turned into two, then a short series, and so on.

Right now, you can get the puppet from anywhere ToyVault plushes are sold. You can buy them directly from us at http://www.CallsForCthulhu.com/store. You can also buy copies of the C4C DVD, and other Cthulhu-based merchandise.

5 ) When did you start writing and Why?  Do you remember that “1st” story?

I remember a story I did for the school newspaper when I was in the 6th grade. It was the story of a girl who, while trying to discover time travel, ended up in “D&D world”. I thought it was silly and derivative, but the other students asked for me to continue the story. . . I got nervous and bailed on it.

6 ) You’re working for a Print release for Tumbler – Hows that going?  How far along in the project are we, and do we have an ETA when we can expect to see a finished product?

The plan was to have a finished version by now, but then Patrick E. McLean showed me how to make it about five times better, so I had to start a new round of edits. With a good headwind, I should be done with this latest round of edits by the end of March. I’m going to submit that version to some publishers, but because I’m anxious about seeing it published, I’ll probably also submit it to CreateSpace at the same time. If all goes well, I should have a print version available by Balticon.

7 ) Will we be seeing any new  C4C content or is ther enew content and Itunes just hates me?

With the writing, editing, and programming I’ve been doing recently, I haven’t had a lot of time to work on C4C. Occasionally ideas come to me and I scribble them down, but I couldn’t say when I’ll get time to do another episode.

8 ) What was the biggest WTF moment you’ve ever had or been witness to live?

In 1996, while moving cross-country, I was driving through Maryland in February. I was in a U-Haul truck, dragging my car behind me from Texas to Maryland. I was at that point where you have to bite your tongue, roll down the windows, and play loud heavy metal to stay awake. I was driving in the middle lane between two 18-wheelers, when one of them (not seeing me) started to move into my lane. It suddenly looked like a scene from Indiana Jones, where the walls start moving in on you, and you have to look for the hidden switch.

As I slammed on the brakes to get out of the danger zone, I realized that we were on a curve and the highway was slick with ice. I lost traction and the truck slid out of my control. I was pretty sure at that point that I was going to die.

As I slid clockwise, the car I was dragging slid counterclockwise due to basic physics. The car sliding in the opposite direction counterbalanced the truck keeping me moving straight despite the lack of traction. The 18-wheelers saw me as my headlights reflected off the side of their load, and veered away from me. I got the truck under control and continued slowly down the highway. My wife, waking up in the passenger seat, asked me if I wanted to switch drivers, but I was wide awake.

**Okay since some of the questions have more than one part technically this is more than 8 questions but meh…..

Bonus Questions – You don’t have to answer these but you can if you want.
b1) What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

The same as the airspeed of a swallow that mates regularly.

b2) 42 is the answer but what is the question?

What is, “I’ll take Molybdenum for $200, Alex?”

b3) If at first you don’t succeed _____________ (fill in the Blank)

Change Spock’s test to show him how you don’t like to lose.

You can Find Brand on the web at:

The Calls For Cthulhu site http://www.callsforcthulhu.com/

The Tumbler Novel Site – http://brandg.myip.org/Tumbler/

And on twitter as @BrandG

What you thought I was actually gonna not give you half the questions, this is text I don’t have a time limit…

1 ) What inspired Tumbler?

I’m a huge fan of Robert A. Heinlein, so when I decided to do the National Novel Writing contest, I wanted to write a story in the vein of Heinlein’s Scribner juveniles. The story had to be like one of his (young kid is lost and down on their luck, has to get up by their bootstraps, etc.), and I tried to incorporate as many elements as possible (strong scientific realism, communal showers, financially conservative heroes, powerful work ethic). I didn’t keep with his writing style exactly, but fans of Heinlein have told me that they enjoyed the work, without really drawing the connection.

2 ) How did you get into Podcasting?

When I first started Podcasting, I didn’t know I was doing it. I had a video show on YouTube (Calls for Cthulhu) and I set up a blog for the show. The blog had an RSS feed, and I only found out later that what I was doing was already an established process called “Podcasting”.

3 ) Project wise what’s next on the list?

After I’m done editing “Tumbler”, I need to finish the story I won NaNoWriMo 09 with. It’s a steampunk retelling of George Orwell’s 1984. It has more adventure, and less NewSpeak, but is still quite unsettling.

8 Questions with Pip Ballantine

It’s Monday again boys and squirrels and other woodland creatures that we cannot mention due to a gag order from PETA ( I swear eat one fried platypus and they brand you for life….) and no I don’t mean it ‘s time for it to put the lotion in the basket or it gets the fire hose (That was yesterday… erm nevermind) It’s time for another round of 8 Questions – This week we feature Philippa “Pip” Ballantine – The Podiosphere’s favorite saucy flightless bird or small furry banana strawberry thing you choose.

1 ) What’s one thing we Americans take for granted about New Zealand that really frustrates you?

Actually Americans don’t really know enough about New Zealand to take much for granted. The one thing people do know about us is what they have seen in Lord of the Rings. New Zealand is that beautiful, and that empty. (A country the size of Great Britain, but with only 4 million people in it) but it does have more than that. It’s something that you can’t explain, you have to come visit. (Honestly I am not working for Tourism New Zealand)
2 ) What’s next podcast wise after Digital Magic finishes it’s run?

It will be the anthology series set in the world of Geist. I am not quite sure how many people I will have involved in it, but I am hoping lots of other podcasters will be excited to join me in. I am looking forward to exploring the world.
3 ) When did you start writing and Why?  Do you remember that “1st” story?

I first started writing when I was about thirteen, and I guess I started because I was a voracious reader. I read all my Dad’s books and thought ‘I can do that’. My first book was a story about a woman haunted by some demonic creatures she could only see out of the corner of her eye. Which is interesting, because elements of that are in Geist.
4 ) Erotica Ala Carte got booted out of Itunes after the 1st Episode.  Did that fluster or flatter you?

I think that happened because itunes was clearing the literature category of anything sexual. I am not sure why (because itunes never communicate or respond) but it doesn’t seem to have effected the numbers of listeners. I was actually kind of impressed!

5 ) Why Erotica?

Why not? 🙂 Actually I did it because I was afraid of erotica. I think a writer should be always able to write what the story requires. Sex reveals a lot about the characters, and can be a plot point as well.  I didn’t like the fact that I was shutting the bedroom door all the time. So like a good, stubborn person I decided to face my fears. I’m pretty happy with the result.

6 ) How did you get into Podcasting?

Tee Morris. Enough said? 🙂
He was my colleague at DragonMoon Press and he was always banging on about the joy of podcasting- little did I know that it would be so addictive.
7 ) Why are New Zealanders called Kiwis?

Many people think it is the fruit, but it started long before NZ started growing them. It’s the bird- though why we nicknamed ourselves after a nocturnal, flightless bird I cannot say. I think it has something to do with World War I and regimental crests or some such.

8 ) Were you able to pull a deal with Ace like Sigler was able to do with Crown to allow you to podcast Geist and it’s sequel?

Unfortunately not. The anthology deal was the best we could do. I think publishing is slowly coming around to the idea, but it is still a work in progress. We’ll have to see how that pans out.
** Okay since some of the questions have more than one part technically this is more than 8 questions but meh…..

Bonus Questions – You don’t have to answer these but you can if you want.
b1 ) What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

I wouldn’t know, all our birds are flightless
b2 ) 42 is the answer but what is the question?

At what age does a man mature like a fine cheese
b3 ) If at first you don’t succeed _____________ (fill in the Blank)

If at first you don’t succeed keep podcasting

Pip can be found online at her own site http://www.pjballantine.com/

Pip is also organizing the Boom Effect Auction a benefit for Sonic Boom http://www.theboomeffect.org/

And of course on twitter as @PhilippaJane

8 Questions with Justin Macumber of the Dead Robots Society.

It’s Monday my friends and followers and stalkers.. (yeah you I noticed you back there with the live chicken and the weedhacker… sick freak… doesnt’ understand 500 yds… ) and we all know what that means – More bitching from Garfield.. No it means another round of 8 Questions. – Today we have Justin Macumber the creator and one of the original hosts of the Dead Robots Society that is still with the show.  Justin also had a short Story featured in Ray Gun Revival, and has podcasted that Story (now a Chapbook available from his website below) The Story is – The Ties that Bind a Tale of the Breaking Dawn – I Liked it a lot I recoment you go download it right now… I’ll wait… really.  He also has another Chapbook that he podcasted – The Pirates of the Crimson Sands – also available at his website (also well done in my not so humble opinion).  Justin is a fun and talented writer and host of the Dead robots Society, plus all around really great, friendly, and helpful guy.
On to the Interogatio.. er Interview… yeah Interview… (and for the record no Dead Robots were harmed during the making of this 8 Questions no matter what Justin says… )

1 ) What prompted you to create the DRS?

1. I had been listening to podcasts for a couple of years, and hearing so many normal individuals like me find a way to express themselves in a way that touched the lives of similar fans was empowering. I wasn’t sure what topic I was versed or passionate enough about to create a podcast around until I started listening to Mur Lafferty’s “I Should Be Writing” and Michael Stackpole’s “The Secrets” podcasts. Then it hit me – writing. I came up with the title Dead Robots’ Society pretty quickly after that, and the rest is history.
2 ) Are you guys ever gonna stop giving Ryan grief over the “Topless Street Crossing”?

2. Maybe, but we’ll never stop giving him grief about SOMETHING. I mean come on, the guy’s Canadian – he’s got it coming. So damn smug and superior…

3 ) How did you get into Podcasting?

3. After coming up with the name and the theme, I started hunting around for ideas on where to host the show, what sort of equipment I needed, software, and then I made an effort to find hosts who were like me – young(ish), aspiring, fun, and vocal. Getting hosting and a recording rig together were easy compared to finding the right people to host the show with me. We’ve gone through several over the two plus years we’ve done the show, and I’ve loved them all. Ryan, though, has been with me since the beginning, and I wish the guy lived closer so that we could be friends in the real world. I really like him, despite all the crap I give him. He’s good people. Terry started out as a listener and contest winner before we asked him to join us full time when some hosting chairs went empty, and it’s been the three of us for over a year now. We’ve had people ask to come on as hosts, and we’re talking about it, but the problem with it is that the more voices you have, the more difficult interviews and discussions become. If we were all in the same room it might be different, where we can see each other wanting to say something, but online we occasionally trip over each other and interrupt one another, and that gets worse the more people you have on. We’re talking about it though, so there might be more co-host changes in the future.

4 ) You had a four parter short story , I believe it was The Ties that Bind (loved the podcast version of it btw) printed in Ray Gun Revival, anything else coming in print in the near future?

4. I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been able to have my stories do overtime work for me, appearing in more than one publication or website. “The Ties That Bind,” for example, was not only in Ray Gun Revival, but it also won Honorable Mention in the Writers Of The Future Contest, and I’ve self-published it for the Kindle, the iPhone, and in paperback form via CreateSpace. There’s also a free PDF version, all of which are available from my site (www.justinmacumber.com). Coming up I have a short story appearing in two publications at once. It’s called “Pirates of the Crimson Sands.” It was previously published in eMuse, but next up it will be appearing in the print version of Golden Visions Magazine of Science Fiction & Fantasy, and soon after it will be in a print anthology of podcasted short stories called “No Subscription Necessary: Dark, Light & Twisted Tales from the Podosphere.” I’m incredibly proud of the success both of these short stories have had, and it’s proof positive that a story can get you a lot of mileage if you try hard enough.

5 ) When did you start writing and Why?  Do you remember that “1st” story?

5. I wish I could say that I’d been writing since my hand could hold a pencil, but that isn’t the case. As a kid I was more interested in drawing. I was never very good at it, but enough people encouraged me to keep at it that I made it my central artistic focus for more years than I should have. But, as a teenager I played a lot of Dungeons & Dragons, and one of my favorite things to do was to write the adventures my party would play through rather than use a store bought manual. I also dabbled a little in writing my own comic book, but I was more interested in the art side of it than the story, which I guess is why I eventually gave it up. In high school, though, I had two teachers who really took an interest in my writing, and who pushed me to do more of it. Because of them, and because of a little movie I saw called “The Dead Poets’ Society,” I shifted my attention from drawing to writing, and I’ve not looked back since.

6 ) Of the guests you’ve had on the show so far were there any that gave you that “HOLY CRAP we get to talk to _____!!!!111One One!” moment?

6. Oh sure. My first giddy interview came with Tracy Hickman. My childhood was filled with the stories that he and Margaret Weis wrote, and to this day I consider the man a master. So, when I got up the courage to ask him to be on our show, and he said yes, I nearly fell out of my seat. And then, when he was finally on the air with us, I really was just gobsmacked. Listening back to that show is painful, because I sound like such a fanboy sycophant. We’ve had Tracy on a couple of times since then, and the man is a pleasure to talk with. He’s gracious, he’s easy to talk to, he knows very much whereof he speaks, and he’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I feel incredibly fortunate that I can call him my friend. We’ve interviewed a lot of people, though, and I can’t say that a single one of them was ever rude or difficult. Doing this show, and speaking with these people, has reaffirmed my faith in the writing community. Now if only I could get Stephen King and Joss Whedon on the show… THEN you’d see real slobbering sycophancy.

(Editor Note – Really Who wouldn’t?)

7 ) Seriously the first thing you noticed about PG was Tiny Feet?

7. Have you seen his feet?! They’re tiny! Like a doll’s feet! When I met him he seemed so normal, but as soon as my eyes went to the floor and I saw those nubs for feet, I was amazed. Luckily the guy has enough intellect and charm to draw your attention away from it. And, I must say, the guy is damn handsome. Ladies, don’t let his small feet turn you away. I’m sure that isn’t an indicator of anything else.

8 ) Have there been any guests that you’ve been trying to get on the show but just haven’e been able to synch schedules?

8. Not really. For awhile getting Scott Sigler on the podcast seemed like some kind of cruel snipe hunt, but eventually we brought that beast to ground and wrangled him kicking and screaming onto the show. Everyone else, though, came on without too much difficulty. I’d like to have Michael Moorcock on, and he said he’d do it, but we have to wait for his schedule to clear up in the next couple of months. His Elric books were nearly as influential to me in my youth as Tracy Hickman was, so having him on will be wonderful. Might even be able to get PG to come out of retirement for that.

**Okay since some of the questions have more than one part technically this is more than 8 questions but meh…..

Bonus Questions – You don’t have to answer these but you can if you want.
b1 ) What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

b1. An African or European swallow? And really, isn’t that kind of racist?

b2 ) 42 is the answer but what is the question?

b2. The pants size I’d like to get back down to one day. Or the meaning of life. Your choice.

b3 ) If at first you don’t succeed _____________ (fill in the Blank)

b3. If at first you don’t succeed, give up and figure something else out for you life, because obviously that wasn’t it.

Justin can be found at his own Website http://www.justinmacumber.com/

as well as at the Dead Robots Society website http://deadrobotssociety.com/

and of course on Twitter as @JustinMacumber and @DRSPodcast

Answers to 8 Question Reversal Part 2

Okay here are the answers to the questions from Michael Falkner aka @Womprat99 on twitter , Odin aka @Odin1Eye on twitter, Nathan Lowell aka @NLowell on twitter,  Brand Gamblin aka @BrandG on twitter.  Really Fun and interesting Questions Guys Thanks. – Lot more thought Provoking in this batch.

I’ll go more thought-provoking. 🙂

1. Why do you like Vikings so much?

Well I have an equal fascination of all the cultures that I’m descended from The Norse – German and Swedish happen to be the largest part of my heritage, but I’m fascinated by all things Irish too.  But I’m 6’4” extra fatass build I look like I should be swinging a warhammer instead of fixing computers so the Viking look kinda just sticks.

2. If you were granted the ability to travel back in time and fix one thing in your life, what would it be and why?

Nothing if I change anything there’s no guarantee that I’d be with the woman I married, or have my kids.  All the crap I’ve endured in my life, the headaches the heartaches are worth the time I have with them. And I’d gladly suffer through it a thousand times to keep ending up with them each time.

3. What is Farscape?

Kickass Show from the 90’s that I was able to catch like half the first season before I wasn’t able to watch it anymore and forgot all about it til you brought up the Scapecast a few months ago… now when I get time and money to hit Best buy I’m gonna see if I can get a season or two.

4. If you in the present could call yourself at the age of 15, what would say? The phone call is limited to five minutes.

Richie shut the hell up let me speak and listen carefully.  Stop Rolling your eyes dumbass I’m you I know what you’re doing.  Gramma is right – Life is gonna suck but those dark points are worth it, you end up with a woman that you’d die for and who’d die for you.  Keep your head up and enjoy the bright points while you can suffer through the shit, because in the end it all works out and is worth it.  The bright points will return and be that much more sweet.

5. What crappy movie do you consider a guilty pleasure?

When I was younger it was Deathstalker 2 or 3.  Damn near anything by full Moon Entertainment or Tromaville.  Yeah I’m a cheesy horror film junkie.  If you ask my wife and Kids they’d say my guilty pleasure crappy movie would be Casablanca because all their taste is in their mouth – Casablanca is one of my faves now that I actually watched it – has been for about a decade now

6. What is love?

The one thing that makes all the headache and heartache worth it.  The thing that give me a reason to press on through the worst of my depressions when they kick in.  The reason I want to start living a healthier lifestyle because now I have a reason to live.  That thing that makes it impossible to be pissed at someone beyond a moment and just becomes more powerful because they pissed you off.

7. If you could add an extra day to the week, what would you do with it?

Spend time with my wife and kids.  We run too much during the week I have a 3 hour commute each way I get home they’re about ready for bed, Saturday Misty watches her sister’s kids so we really only get Sunday but we’re so worn out that we just detox from stress rest and play WoW – and Extra day would allow us to actually do family things go hiking play at the park etc.

8. You are approached with the opportunity to rule the world for one week with the caveat that you cannot leave the post voluntarily until the week is over. You take the job, and Monday morning you find yourself in the office behind the big desk. What do you do for the next seven days?

Wonder why the hell I agreed to this, I promised myself I’d never do this.  Then go over the list of issues that I need to address figure out the ones I can’t handle delagate those, then dig in to fix what I think I can (which is prolly what the menu will be for the week). And then hire my Wife as an Intern and go all Bill Clinton on her ass.

Michael Falkner said this on February 5, 2010 at 10:21 am

Sorry, for the delay… Here they are:

1. If Misty were a fruit, which fruit would she be?

Well I’d say peach but she hates peaches (so it actually kinda fits because of her self esteem issues though I don’t understand why she has them because I think she’s fucking awesome) but I don’t want her to hate herself, and while she’s the apple of my eye I’d like to say kumquat but that’s just because it’s a funny word and not that she has any kumquat similarities in fact all I know about kumquats is they have a funny name are orangeish and sound very naughty when you say their name, so I’d have to go with strawberries… can be amazing just plain and fresh and innocent, but very decadent at the same time with the right preparation.

2. Why don’t you have a pimp hat and coat on for your avatar (photoshop dude)?

Because everybody digs the Viking Helm… plus I’m actually trying to figure out a way to make my own hats – yes I’m really that fucking nerdy.  And Crossbreed pimp hats and Fedoras with viking helmets…Face it the Viking archeologist and Viking Pimp need their hats too…

3. Who would you rather meet Shia Le Bouf or Tom Cruise (have to choose)?

Tom Cruise but Top Gun Era Tom Cruise. – -Because Top Gun was one of my Fave movies of all time I wore out 2 VHS tapes and if I could wear out the DVD I would have a few times over by now.  And like I do with RP now I’d like to thank him for a movie that entertained me so much.

4. Why?

Okay getting All philosophical on me now?  Because if we don’t the gerbils will spontaneously evolve opposable thumbs and drive Richard Gere and the Backdoor.. errr street Back Street Boys around like flesh mechs and take over Nevada.

5. Jen or Angelina

Frankly though both are lovely ladies, Neither Misty Hands down Every single time…  I love my wife I need no other woman, I want no other woman, and I’m going to enjoy Misty for as long as God lets me.  (Folks I’m born and raised Indiana Boy – My Pops is from backwoods Wisconsin – yes I can really be and am this way.  I’ve seen what cheating in a relationship can do to everyone else in the family I will not do anything to jeopardize my family, and our happiness)

6. Which character in which podcast would you like to be?

For the real answer to that I have to finish writing Nightgames and Podcast it, or Bear of Avalon/Caledonia still fiddling with the title on that one.  But as neither of those are anywhere near completion…. I’d have to say Minor Character Crew member of Rafe’s Crew from Morevi.  Don’t want to be in the limelight just come to the party, and I can’t imagine anyone’s party being cooler than Rafe’s

7. Which podcasters would make you turn all fanboi?

Sigler, Tee, PG Holyfield, JC Hutchins, Nathan Lowell, they’re all truly great authors, and great guys that take the time to actually talk to not AT fans.  Tracy Hickman Should be part of that list to, I always forget about Dragon Hearth and I can’t figure out why.

8. Which Python skits can you recite from memory?

Depends.. I have a very odd mind  I used to be able to do Holy Grail from Beginning to end and Meaning of Life Beginning to end, as well as a few skits from the show.  Right now because I’m trying to think of them they are fleeing like cockroaches – I have a very strange memory that chooses to recall data usually at inappropriate moments – like reciting parts of the Spanish Inquisition skits during Church.

odin1eye said this on February 5, 2010 at 11:16 am

1. Niesche or Kafka?

Kafka just freaked me the hell out with Metamorphosis so ummm I don’t know they were both decent reads when I read them back in HS and College but they’re a little heavy for the reading I normally like doing.  I guess Kafka, I think Nietzsche is a little heavy handed for my taste.  He seemed more worried about superiority than Kafka did from my recollection.

2. What made you decide to do Random Pimpage and what do you like LEAST about it?

I’ve wanted to do something like this for years, but what actually kicked me in the ass was JC Hutchins.  He was promoting for Personal Effects: Dark Art – and he was asking all his followers on twitter to shake their tales and do some pimpage for him.   So I figured I’d start randomly pimping the Podcasters and Authors I follow in Twitter.  Well you’ve seen my pimpage 140 chars doesn’t quite measure up.  So I started yet another Blog and actually started linking to it so people could actually see it.  Then I moved it over to a wordpress blog because I think it makes it a lot easier to manage and track.  What do I like least.  The effort I have to put out sometimes when I just feel like hell.  Yeah I’m just a faceless.. well okay I do post my mug up for everyone to see but still in the grand scheme of things I’m pretty faceless, slacker that really isn’t beholden to anybody so it really doesn’t matter if I miss a posting but I feel guilty.  And sometimes the Tuesday’s causes that I started make me feel a little down about myself because I should be doing more to help those around me.

3. Betty or Wilma?

Something tells me that Betty could totally take Wilma in a steel cage deathmatch… that was the question right?

4. Do you think that podcast fiction is a distinct artform different from – say serialized text? Why or why not?

Yes.  As far as just an artform I feel that different writing styles and painting styles etc should count as their own artforms.  More specifically I think that Podcasting and Podcasting fiction has more power to sway and influence than text.  Great authors can sway with just words on paper but the voice is a VERY powerful tool in influencing emotion and perception.  I think Podcasting fiction give it a lot more power makes it almost palpable.

5. How many fingers am I holding up?

Technically fifteen… though why you’re holding a dismembered hand…. with Elvis’s fingerprints… ummmm SECURITY!!!!!

6. When will you do your own podcast and what will it be about?

I’ve been planning on releasing the Behind the 8 Podcast for close a year now but distractions like the LDM (my youngest child the Little Demon Monkey), Meatspace emergencies, and my perfectionist attitude about my creative endeavors keep pushing it back.  Though since rearranging the house I’m going to see if i can rig up something to hold a couple quilts up and I think I might have softened my recording space enough to not get as bad an echo.  As far as content just the views of a geek living life and learning lessons from the Behind the 8 ball.  It’ll be me ranting, thinking, an audio version of  Random Pimpage something to get my mind off my fiction to get my fiction to flow better.  Me being me and just having fun.

7. Where did you get your sense of humor?

It’s a Mixture I get it some from Spiderman and some from the fact that my Maternal Gramma and My dad used to bicker like siblings.. well they were cousins (Actually I’m not kidding – Her mom died and her dad married my dad’s aunt but I am my own cousin 3 times removed by marriage I think?).  But they were both major smartasses –  I was never that good at physical conflict, (I’m big I’m strong but I’m afraid to hurt people on purpose unless protecting my family) so I had to find someway to avoid a fight if I could.  A Wisecrack at the right moment can cause someone to either crack up and forget about fighting, or cause them to hesitate long enough for a cheap shot and bolting like a rabbit.

Another thing is the most important lesson my maternal Gramma taught me is the best gift you can give is a smile.  Never the wrong size or style or color, they’re always needed, you can never have to many, they rarely cost a thing, and for one brief moment you brighten another’s life.  Sadly I have to say that because of that I enjoy the feeling I get when making people smile and I do it because I like that feeling.  As altruistic as I want to be I do it because I like how I feel at the end of the day when I can make people smile.

8. What did you do before you were a twitter celebrity?

Still waiting to be a twitter Celeb.  I’m just a geek working Helpdesk at a lawfirm telling Lawyers to reboot and helping them find the any key.

Just a guy living life the best I can and loving his wife and kids as long as God will let me.

Granted I am Amazed that I have the number of followers as I do, and I’m impressed at the numbers (though Low for some blogs out there it’s a lot more traffic than I thought I’d get) I get at Random Pimpage too.

Nate said this on February 5, 2010 at 12:39 pm

1 ) You’ve mentioned a very exciting home life. Can you describe the relationship you have with everyone in your household?

Household – Me, My Wife Misty, Our Son Zach (oldest child), Our Daughter Brittany (middle child), LDM (Little Demon Monkey our Youngest) – Zach and Britt are old enough to have an online presence so I have no problem actually naming them by name, but LDM is only 2, I’m protecting her privacy until she gets a little older. And I can’t forget our pets Cookie Gargantuan Cat, and Phoebe Mae our Italian Greyhound (think of a Greyhound little taller than a dachshund.)

Zach and Brit came with the marriage (they may not be mine biologically but I support them I’m there for the headache and heartache when they let me.  They are my kids we do not use the term “step” in my family unless we are describing the legal relationship)  I love them to death but they are teenagers so occasionally I want to strangle them to prove it.  They’ve had some issues in the past with Misty’s Ex, that makes it hard for them to trust another father figure especially one that has anger management issues.  I have never struck my wife or any of our kids in anger, I have spanked the children for correction.

Zach is too much like me for either of our own good.  We have a decent relationship most of the time, but he’s not overly fond of having to turn the Alpha Male spot over to me.  He’s used to being in a house where he can take whatever he wants whenever he wants, and not have to show respect.  Every few months we have a major blow out but they seem to be getting farther and farther apart.  He sometimes thinks I’m a controlling ass (thought he wont’ say it to my face I can see it in his eyes) even though I’m just trying to make sure he can handle himself in the real world after all in little over a month and a half he can walk out that door and I can’t stop him.

Britt is afraid of me when I lose my temper, she’s a very gentle soul and spooks easy.  She’s a lot brighter than she seems at first she has a good memory when she wants to.  She aggravates me because I’m not used to special needs kids but I’m trying to learn patience (but I’m part Irish.. yeah that doesn’t work so well),

LDM – She’s a holy terror that has figured out counting means drop what I’m doing and hide my butt.  She’s 2 she’s evil, she makes me really wish I had this time with my older two.  She’s only 2 so there isn’t a whole to report on, she watches a lot of Nick Jr. and Colors, and drinks milk and Juice and tear asses about the house.  Oh and she’s a little ham.

Misty – My Beloved wife.  She’s had some issues with her ex that makes it hard for her to trust, and has given her some very major jealousy issues (she has come MILES since we have been married and I applaud her on the effort)  For the most part we have a good relationship, but we come from different worlds, so there are a lot of fights that stem from miscommunication.  We just don’t see the world exactly in the same way, she wants to see the best in people I’m a bitter cynical fuck trying to figure out the angle of the person smiling at me.  I’m also silly goof and just act up in public to embarrass her and the kids.

Not sure if that was exactly what you were looking for.

2 ) How is it you don’t have a podcast?

Laziness, Perfectionism , short attention span and poor house layout.  Too Lazy to move the furniture around so that I don’t have as bad of sound reflection.  (recently that has changed so that’s two birds one stone) I have an issue with being a perfectionist when it comes to my fiction, and to the Podcast that I’ve been prepping to do for a while.  But I’m either getting an H2 or a Mic and Stand rigging up some baffling to kill more reflection, and the Behind the 8 Podcast should be up sometime int he somwhat near future I’m gonna have to take it from Mur It’s gonna suck, I’m not Mozart I’m not gonna leap out of hte box with a fully formed perfect cast I gotta work at it and break things to learn how to do it right.  Better done than perfect.

3 ) Could Boba Fett defeat Chuck Norris?

They couldn’t show you the truth in the prequels.  Jango Fett was really Chuck Norris, so all the clone troopers and Boba were all Chuck Norris clones, they used an actor that looked nothing like Chuck Norris because they didn’t want to cause a global scare about that much ass kicking power at in the hands of Palpatine.

4 ) What is the fastest land mammal?

That would be either dickeadicuscrotchrocketis or midlifecisisdudicus.  If you’re talking about powered solely by their own power and not in a vehicle I’d have to say my pets when it’s time to go to the vet.  They lapped the fucking cheetah!!

5 ) You’ve mentioned that LDM is a special child. How exactly is she special?

LDM is my youngest. I. don’t recall mentioning her as special (well beyond any child being special to their parent), just ohnrey too smart for my own good and evil… dammit she’s just like her pops.  My older daughter Brittany is a special needs child.  She’s been diagnosed with ADHD, and she has some other developmental / learning issues.

6 ) Windows or Mac?

Windows but only because I’m a helpdesk geek in a all windows shop.  Havent’ had time to play with Linux, last time I touched a Mac on Purpose was in 1991 in HS for a class.  Wait no I did help a firend move back in the mid to late nineties and she was a satanist… er Mac user.  Seriously Soon as I can get a check from my creative endeavors large enough for me to by a Mac Laptop outright I will.

7 ) If you were a dinosaur, what kind of dinosaur would you be?

I guess being Abe Vigoda wouldn’t be bad or are we not talking that kind of Diino?  Seriously though well if we go solely by size and temperament likely a Ankylosaurus, though I’d rather be a Troodon becasue they were thought to be the most intelligent of the Dinos.

8 )Why do you pick podcasts for “Random” pimpage?

Why do I pick Podcasts or why do I pick the Podcasts I do?

Why Podcasts – because that’s my main medium of entertainment now.

Why do I pick the Podcasts that I do – Because I think there are a ton of good podcasts out there that people might pass by without giving it the proper attention, God (or in your case I guess Cthulhu) knows that I’ve done that, Truthfully had it not been for twitter and the podcasting community there I’d have missed Tumbler – which was a hell of a good story btw, and I might still be looking at the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper and saying maybe after I finish catching up on this cast or that cast.

Brand Gamblin said this on February 8, 2010 at 10:26 pm

8 Questions with Nathan Lowell

It’s Monday we al lknow what time it is right?  Right t Minus x hours til Chuck… well your right but that’s not what I was thinking.  It’s time once again for 8 Questions form Random Pimpage – Today it’s a great honor for me to present Nathan Lowell teh talented Author of The Golden Age of the Solar Clipper and the Tanyth Fairport Adventures and all around just great guy.

Nathan Lowell is in my not so humble opinion.. (yeah I admit it I have an ego… but think about it I’m posting my thoughts on the internet so people can read them.. you have to admit that requires a little bit of an ego… ) one of the best Podcast novelists out ther and I don’t mind sounding like a geeky idiot fanboy by saying when he agreed to do 8 Random Questions I about fell out of my chair.  Now as far as people I listen to Nathan came to the party late.  I was a freaking idiot thinking that the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper stories sounded interesting but I had more pressing stuff on my list to listen to.  I finished the first 4 Podibooks in less than a week and the fifth in less than 24 hours after it finished (Nathan is one the authors that I have to wait until the podcast is finished because I’m driven to distraction to find out what happens next.

1 ) I hear that a Publisher wised up and you have a deal, first off Congrats  on that, secondly, is it for the single book Quarter Share or is Ridan going  to make many of us happy and get the entire series?

We signed a contract for the first book because that’s their business
model. We’ll do one book, get it right and then move on to the next.
The intent at the moment is that Ridan will pick up all of my works.
I’ll be working with them to produce some of their other authors in
podcast format as well as helping them become more active and visible
in the social media and new media spaces. It’s really shaping up to be
a great — and I hesitate to use this over-worked buzzword, but in
this case it really does apply — synergistic effort.

2 ) When did you start writing and Why?  Do you remember that “1st” story?

I started writing in junior high — what we called “middle school”
back in the olden days. I started with poetry and was greatly
influenced by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. I don’t remember the first story
I ever wrote, but I had a poem published in an annual junior high
school anthology of poetry about 40 years ago. The title was
“Tomorrow” and the theme was how you can never get to yesterday or
tomorrow, but only have today. I suspect it was quite pretentious for
a 12 year old.

3 ) What’s you favorite leisure Activity? Don’t say writing we see that you write like a machine Mr. I finished NaNo in 15 days.

I love reading and messing about with technology. I spend a lot of
time in Second Life building, scripting, taking photographs, and
participating in the virtual fashion world.

4 ) How did you get into Podcasting?

I started listening in October or November of 2004. At that time there
were only a few podcasts to listen to. I remember Adam Curry’s “Daily
Source Code” and “The Dawn and Drew Show.” Pretty soon I discovered
Coverville, Austin Riffs, and Earthcore. Earthcore led me to
Podiobooks, and once I went thru all the completed books there —
wasn’t many at the time — I decided that they were having way too
much fun to be allowed to do it without me. The idea that I could
write a novel — something I always wanted to do — and put it up as a
podiobook just made so much sense.

The problem new authors face is getting noticed in a sea of other
works. With podcasting just starting up — in those days there were
fewer than 10,000 I think — and millions of hungry MP3 players
beginning to circulate — every one of which needed fresh content —
it seemed like a good way to get my work out in a more forgiving
environment than print and to use that to see if I could actually
write a novel.

5 ) What is Durandus?

Durandus is the last name of a really esoteric writer — William
Durandus – who wrote one of the first collections codifying the rules
of Catholic practice — Rationale divinorum officiorum. It was first
published in 1459 by Fust and Schoeffer in Mainz, Austria. While
Gutenberg got the credit for printing the first Bible, as an example
of the art of printing, Gutenburg’s Bibles are … um … early works.
Fust and Schoeffer’s work was much better and established many of the
ideas about page layout, print “color” and the art of printing that
are in use six centuries later.

Back in the late 90s I started a web designer while I was in grad
school. In those days, web design was largely governed by what would
become the “MySpace School of Crappy Pages” — replete with animated
gifs, blink tags, and marquee scrolling. I designed with a sparse
style that owed more to European art printers than Microsoft Blink
tags. Having studied print, typography, and layout, I knew about the
history of print and the part that Durandus’s Rationale played in it,
so I adopted “Durandus” as the name of my web design company and I’ve
kept it ever since.

6 ) You’ve now taken us to Lammas Wood with Tanyth Fairport, are we going to  be seeing more of her in the future?

Oh yes indeed. I wasn’t sure about the book before I got into it. One
of my first reader corps has been after me to “write a female
character” for a while and when Mur challenged me to the 15 day
NaNoWriMo, and a certain other individual challenged me to write
fantasy, I figured I may as well do the trifecta. I thought this was
going to be a single volume, but when I got dug into the story, I
realized it’s probably a trilogy. Now that I’ve got the world
introduced, Tanyth can go on to find Gertie Pinecrest up in Lammas
Wood and I’m expecting that to fall into two parts.

7 ) Did you ever expect to be looked up to by so many fledgling writers or have this kind of a following?

Short answer: No!

I don’t know that I’m looked up to by many except as a writing
machine. All things considered (and I’m having my face rubbed in it as
I prepare Quarter Share for print), I’m not a great writer. I think
I’ve improved as I’ve gone along. I figger, over 800,000 words in less
than three years better teach ya something about writing or you’re
doing it wrong. What I *do* consider myself is a *story teller.* The
distinction is subtle but important. A writer looks for the perfect
word or phrase that says exactly what he or she wants to say. A story
teller may tell the same story a hundred times, and never tell it the
same way twice. This is particularly true in an oral medium like
podcasting. For me the One True Thing is really the story — who does
what to whom and how does it work out?

As for following, I started out thinking if I could get a couple
hundred people to listen and like my work, and I could have some fun
doing it, then it would be cool. I knew about the Long Tail and was
only shooting for a small segment of it waaaaay down the power curve.
That left me free to write the kinds of stories I wanted to read
without having to worry about whether any of them would have a broader
appeal and — it turns out — a lot of people besides me like these
kinds of stories.


8 ) You started off on a Iriver and in a Taurus,  how has your recording equipment and environment changed?

First generation was a $20 Radio Shack head set plugged into an iRiver
ifp799. I recorded on 64 kbps MP3 format while sitting in the front
seat of my Taurus. It was the quietest place I could find. I worked
off printed pages. I was also doing the work under the table – trying
to surprise my wife with a completed work. She’d suffered through many
an effort that was never actually finished and I didn’t want to put
her through the pangs of Work In Progress again. That was Quarter
Share.

Second generation, I was still recording on the iRiver but in 394kpbs
MP3. I used a BLUE 8-Ball plugged into a Behringer Preamp that fed the
iRiver. I did Half Share and most of Full Share on that.
Unfortunately, the cartridge on the 8-Ball gave out just before the
end of Full Share and I wound up recording the last episode on a Radio
Shack $30 dynamic mic. All things considered, that’s not a bad mic.

Third generation (current), I use a Rode NT1-A driving a Prosonus
TubePre amp and recording on a Zoom H4 (the old one, not the new N
model). I can record in a lossless WAV format and the Rode is
sensitive enough for me to whisper still gives me a good sound
profile.

One thing that changed with Ravenwood – I stopped reading off paper
and tried using my netbook as text source. It worked ok, and certainly
saved a lot of paper. The Rode is so sensitive tho, that it did pick
up the very faint sounds of the computer whenever the furnace wasn’t
running. I need to think about whether I want to do that going
forward. The clicking sounds showed up in several places that I wasn’t
happy about.

I record in our spare bedroom and need to re-arrange some furniture to
create a more durable environment. It looks like I’ll be doing a lot
more recording so some of the “temporary” fittings need to be
redesigned.

**Okay since some of the questions have more than one part technically this is more than 8 questions but meh…..
Bonus Questions – You don’t have to answer these but you can if you want.
b1 ) What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
African swallow or European swallow?

b2 ) 42 is the answer but what is the question?

What is the meaning of Life, the Universe, and Everything?

b3 ) If at first you don’t succeed _____________ (fill in the Blank)

… redefine the model.
or
… look in the wastebasket for the instructions.
— thanks again 🙂
NL

You can Find Nathan Online here

Durandus.com the Home of Nathan Lowell’s Ficiton on the Web – http://durandus.com/

On PodioBooks.com – http://www.podiobooks.com/podiobooks/search.php?keyword=Nathan+Lowell

And on Twitter @NLowell

Answers to 8 Question Reversal Part 1

Okay here are the answers to the questions from Wintyr Bourne aka @WintyrBourne on twitter , karenfrommentor aka @karenfrommentor on twitter, Scott Roche aka @SpiritualTramp on twitter,  kmaimer aka @KMLaw on twitter.  Really Fun and intersting Questions Guys Thanks.

1: Who are you and what have you done with my Iguana?

Just a Smartass who wishes to Weigh in onthe world… and I thought that was teh tunafish my wife packed for me for lunch today… if it’s any consolation he was tasty with Mayo on Whole Grain Wheat.

2: is it just me or is Cog Antonello hawt?!

Ummm I’ll have to guess it’s just you, girls that can kick my ass with both arms and both legs tied behind their back and locked in steamer trunk and buried in molten lead scare me not “thrill me” but she is pretty damn cool otherwise.

3: Can you recomend a good place from which to rent a singularity at a reasonable price?

Sadly no Honest Earl’s the place I normally rent mine from recently was closed down, something about inappropriate use of midgets in sheep costumes… I really don’t want to ask his wife the details… but I understand that in Communist Russia Singularity rents you….

4: should Garfield be electrocuted, beheaded, hanged, or buried alive?

He’s my favorite member of the Teen Titans I’d do no such thing… oh you mean the cat?  Umm I think he should be sodomized with Nermal, not by but With, then baked in an oven at 325 Degrees for 3 hours basted with a white wine reduction then served at a PETA dinner.

5: given that energy equals mass times the speed of light squared, is there any chance that David Guilmore will ever tour the U.S. Now that Rick Wright is dead?

No… it’s in his contract that the remaining living Beatles and their offspring must peel strictly 1 Billion tonnes of yellow M&M’s for him before he’ll tour, and frankly Paul just won’t get with the program and keeps peeling Orange instead.

6: Why 42 and not 7 or 1066?

Because that’d just be silly, 7 what kind of answer is 7…and 1066 sounds like an insurance claim…

7: Is there any truth to the rumor that Barak Obama will admit his foreign birth at the end of his administration just to set the precedent for Arnold Schwartzebooger to run for POTUS?

Doubtful, since the real Barrack Obama was really an Alien Test Tube baby from Chiron Beta Prime and the Robot overlor.. er I mean Prootectors [REDACTED]

8: Should I quit driving a truck for a living and start building my custom car and aeroplane?

If you have enough money yeah sure go for it.  If you still need the funds you might want to hold off for a little bit before chucking it all to build your dream vehicle.  Luckily mines a Pogostick with a side car I can do that over a weekend if I have enough liquor…

Wintyr Bourne said this on February 4, 2010 at 1:53 pm

*****

you know what they say…ask and ye shall receive….

1: belly button..inny or outie?

Innie.

2: cheese whiz or whipped cream?

Depends on the purpose on my wife Whipped Cream on Nachos Cheeze Whiz… ona  slip and slide… vodka…

3: clouds or unicorns?

Again depends on the purpose… but more than likely Clouds

4: stranded on desert island…have battery powered dvd player and one season of lost washes ashore….irony or destiny?

Fate being a bitch again and kicking me square in the Jewels I beat that Addiction I’m not going back fate do you hear ME.. NEVER… well maybe because I do miss Hurley…. erm I mean NEVER!!!!

5: if you were a cartoon character how much would you be paid?

500,932 Sporks, and 5 Million cans of Spam an episode.

6: do you know where my left argyle sock is?[hint] I’ve looked in the dryer already.

Check behind the catbox they have a thing for Argyle while the do their business.

7: what do you think about passing a law that says everyone must wear bunny costumes on random wednesdays in February during the full moon?

Where do I vote for that?

Ah…8: Favorite make out song of all time? Or favorite stripper song…your choice…

Well I’ve been trying to talk Misty (My Wife and yes that is her real name) into doing a Lapdance for me to Hot for Teacher but she’s too embarrased.  As for Makeout song I have to go with Marvin Gaye, Let’s Get It On.

karenfrommentor said this on February 4, 2010 at 2:25 pm

*****

1 ) What was your first computer?

Very First Casio Digital Wrist watch when I was 6– Actual Computer – Aquarius – All I could do was write basic and play a couple of games – I couldn’t even save my code – First REAL computer – Tandy 100 TX which was more like a calculator with an Ego It was a 286 that only ran at 8086 speeds.  Had to Jury rig it to accept a 10 MB HD.  My first REAL REAL Computer – home made from parts at a computer show when I was 22.

2 ) What do you fear most?

Failing my wife and kids on any level, financial, protective, spiritual, or emotional..

3 ) What is the highest height you’ve ever climbed under your own power?

Stairs – about 25 floors.. .my legs were Jello for the next week.  Tree – about 50 feet managed to get about 25 feet back down it before I slipped and woke up on the ground with my mother standing over me saying “RICHARD if you’ve killed yourself I’m going to beat your ass!!!” – Sadly I’m not joking about that last part either – Those that know my Ma know I’m telling the truth. She wasn’t abusive just part Irish.

4 ) Who was your favorite teacher and why?

Tossup – Mrs. Patricia Harris 9th Grade English and 12th Grade Creative Writing and Advanced Creative Writing, and Mr. Marion Kellum 11th Grade Drama and Advance Drama – For helping me with my creativity and giving me an outlet and helping me learn that any idea can be workshoppped.

5 ) What one song sums you up?

One song to sum me up… Man that is the hardest question I’ve had to answer yet.  I’d Like to say John Parr Man in Motion, or Matthew Wilder Break My Stride – but the reality is more like The Three Stooges Swing the Alphabet – Slightly educational but mostly just Silly.

6 ) What’s the first thing that you bought with your own money that cost more than $10?

Hound – Transformer g1 Jeep (Still my favorite toy I ever had because I earned the money for it and bought it on my own.)

7 ) What is your favorite guilty pleasure movie?

Well Cutting Edge would have to the only one I really can think about…  Yeah I like Chick Flicks yet my wife doesn’t.

8 ) Where would you travel to if money were no object?

The Countries that I’m descended from to see where my ancestors came from.

Scott Roche said this on February 4, 2010 at 2:42 pm

*****

1. What would be the podcast you would most want to listen to – that you are not allowed to listen to now?

Honestly I don’t know.  There are so many podcasts that I have scheduled that I need to listen to for Random Pimpage that it really takes up the bulk of my time.  But Simply because I think Nobilis is a great guy and fun to talk with on Twitter I’d Have to say Nobilis’s Erotica Podcast.  I have a chance to review Pip with her other fiction, but I’m not sure Nobilis has anything that would be “Misty Safe”, and one think I love to do is Pimp the people I tweet with on a regular basis.

2. Do you prefer britney spears’ left or right boob?

Neither I prefer my boobs to be skank free.  And I only want Misty’s (which is kinda lucky as she’s my wife) If I start lusting after other boobs then I really don’t need to be married.  I enjoy my marriage, even the rocky parts because I get o be with the sexiest most wonderful woman I could ever dream of being with Misty Asplund – my wife.

3. Who is smuttier? Me or pip?

Dunno… You and Mick get close to mind bleach over twitter, but Pip does have the Audio Porn sorry Erotica Podcast.  I dunno, maybe you guys need to do a Smut off for theboomeffect.org Winner gets to listen Live as you and Pip try to out smut each other. – Why do I think I just suggested something that would easily pay for SB to go to Harvard and have a Library named after her…

4. Would you rather have a 15″ or 17″ MBP?

HP 17” – I don’t deal with those tools of the Devil.  Okay Seriously if I had to choose only a Mac Product 17” I’m a big guy I have a big lap I need a big laptop.  Other wise I look like a gorilla typing on a toy.

5. Would you rather date a goat or a sheep?

Well damn… since I love Gyros I guess I’d have to go with Goat because as far as I know I don’t eat any goat products… but then again with a sheep you can shear her and wear her wool around to remind you of her all the time… and I scare myself at how indepth I can get on a question like this off the top of my head….

6. What would you wear under a kilt?

I believe the proper response would be “what God gave ya and a long bladed knife strapped to your inner thigh”.  Though til I got used to a kilt I’d still wear my boxers to make sure I wasn’t showing the world what God gave me.  But in the private just for Misty.. hell yeah nothing. But kilt.

7. If you wanted to make one podcast disappear, which one would it be?

So far… none.  I cannot think of any Podcast I want to fall off the face of the Planet – Now after I finally Launch Behind the 8, I might want that one to disappear until I get it sounding good in my own mind.

8. Tee Morris or Mick Bordet?

For what?  To lead me on a Pirate Raid The Cap’n most sure me lass.  Tee in prolly most things actually – No Offense to Mick – He rocks and all but Tee is one of the podcasters I’ve been listening to longest.  It’s gonna be like a wrestling a donut from a cop or a porkchop from a pittbull to get Tee, Hutchins, Sigler, Lowell, or Holyfield out of my hands or off my Ipod.

———–

🙂 have fun!

Katharina

kmaimer said this on February 4, 2010 at 4:47 pm

8 Questions with JR Murdock of V&A Shipping

It’s another manic Monday so you know what that means right? …. No Not another Bangels reference… CRAP I just made one didn’t I… meh it happens it’s time for another round of everybody’s favorite 8 Questions… sure it’s their favorite they just don’t know it yet… hey it beats the hell out of gall stones.. trust me on that one…

Thanks for taking the time man I really appreciate this.

It’s my pleasure. Seriously, it is. I’d never thought I’d be in a position to answer questions from a fan of my show and to be in that position tickles me to no end.

1) Any plans on changing up the straight read format of your podcast fiction to a partial or even full cast model ala Morevi Remastered?

I have no plans to revisit my past recording. I plan on pressing forward as I feel that my fans are better serviced by new and fresh content versus a rehash of what I’ve already done. I’ve written a large number of books and short stories and this is but one. After I have a few released, I’ll entertain thoughts of re-recording some of the past episodes as I learned a lot about recording and can only make the earlier episodes better. For having a cast, That would require far more time than I can commit to a project and, again, I’d rather keep content coming out on a steady basis.

2) How did you get into Podcasting?

Wow! Actually I started listening to a few friends that appeared on the Dragon Page Cover 2 Cover BEFORE podcasting was even a word. I had to visit dragonpage.com and actually download the episodes. From there I discovered Dave Slusher’s Evil Genius Chronicles (also a pre-podcast show). Once podcasting started to take flight, I was a regular contributor to Dragon Page Wingin’ It! and was subscribed to all the early shows when they first started. From there I did a short-lived podcast “Confessions of a Struggling Writer” where I did updates to my writing, writing tips, and the occasional short story (some of which will be cleaned up and re-podcast in Murdockian Tales). I’ve always been in the community, but only recently decided to throw my hat into the arena of podcast fiction and once I made that commitment, I decided it was time to keep going.

3) Is there anything that you’ve learned that you never thought you would use in “Real Life” but end up using all the time?

Math. I learned so many formulas that I thought were useless, but it turns out that all those triangles, squares, and circles intrude in everyday life and need to be calculated.

4) When did you start writing and Why?  Do you remember that “1st” story?

When I told my mom that I had no idea where those muddy footprints that just happened to be the same size as my feet came from. After telling her a great fabrication that consisted of someone stealing my shoes and hiding them under my bed after walking in the mud and then running away, I knew I was destined to tell stories. My first actual writing didn’t happen until far later in my life as I had many learning disabilities to overcome (not the least being severe dyslexia which still plagues my spelling to this day). I began writing in earnest in my tenth grade ‘Creative Writing’ class. My thought was, heck, I tell a good story. That’ll be an easy A. I did get an A in that class and produced a large quantity of writing in several forms including short stories, poetry, and haiku. I had seven pieces selected to be printing in the teacher’s annual collection (the most of any of her classes). Unfortunately that saw print and was burned because one of the students copies the lyrics of a song entitled ‘Wicked Bitch’ and it was printed in the collection. A few parents were enraged enough to burn the entire batch rather than see them in the students hands. That sucked.

My first actual novel I began writing when I was in the Navy and took me MANY years to write. It went through many forms and false starts before I decided to write it as a comic (I even had an artists and printer all lined up and ready to go before my artist got a job with Jim Lee of Image Comics [he now works with Marvel and DC]). That got me really primed and pumping out words at a blazing pace. I realized that my first draft didn’t need to be perfect and re-writing became my friend. That story is Of Gnomes and Dwarves and its main characters are based on D & D Characters that my friends and I played back in high school. It’s not your typical D & D Story though.  At least I don’t think it is. Once that book was written, I never looked back.  Nine novels and over one hundred short stories later, I made it to where you find me now. Answering 8 random questions 🙂

5) What’s the day gig and how does it effect your fiction?

My day gig is being a computer programmer and there are bleed effects from the day job and my hobby. Interestingly enough, programming is as much a creative/logic adventure as writing a novel is. You know where to go, how to get there, and there are many paths you can take to get to your goal. I’m lucky in the fact that my profession and hobby tie together so well and allow me so much flexibility. I find if I’m stuck in one I can flip to the other and allow my brain to work out the details when I’m not trying to think so hard about the solution to the problem.

6) Currently we’re getting the Murdockian Tales in the feed while we’re waiting for Billy Barbarian, what’s in store after that?

After that I’ll do some more short stories (I’ve got a LOT of them) and after I do set 2 of Murdockian Tales I’m thinking about doing either Paradise Palms or Of Gnomes and Dwarves. I think I’ll leave that up to my listeners. Paradise Palms is a lot more serious than V & A Shipping or Billy Barbarian. It’s darker and a lot more intense where as Of Gnomes and Dwarves is along the lines V & A and Billy where it’s fast-pace and light-hearted with deeper undertones for those who are looking for them. Of Gnomes and Dwarves, of course, it Fantasy, but not Epic Fantasy. I love to read Epic Fantasy but I don’t have the attention span to write doorstop epics that span generations. I really prefer to keep my fiction in the heat of the moment and pushing forward with action rather than all the in-depth thought provoking melodrama . My fiction falls into the escapism category rather than the soul-searching type.

If life continues to cooperate, I’ll keep pumping out fiction as fast as I can write it! I’ve got a back log of work to get through and I’m currently working on three new novels with ideas in my head for three more novels plus all the sequels for anything I’ve written. Yes, I have a habit of leaving my stories ripe for a sequel.

I almost forgot to mention, I’ll be blogging one of my novels while I podcast Billy. I’ll be blogging Astel, a YA Fantasy novel about a girl and her dragon. Well, it’s deeper than that, but it’s also a fun and fast story where a girl must make a choice of being taught science by the castle wizard of magic by a dragon. I also plan on releasing this one as  POD, Kindle, and ebook version.  If I get enough interesting, I’ll do the same with V & A Shipping and Billy Barbarian. We’ll have to see how all that goes. I’d love to one day see all these works in print. Time will tell.

7) Any Guilty Childish pleasures that you still indulge in Footie PJs or a big bowl of sugary cereal to get your day started?

Is there anything better than a big bowl of Fruity Pebbles? Well, actually Fruit Loops are better because they don’t get as soggy as quickly. With Fruity Pebbles you need to have a small bowl and keep refilling. Other than that, I still like the feel of mud between my toes.  I still hate wearing shoes as I was a barefoot child nearly everywhere I went. I like the way things feel under my feet, not ON my feet.

8) In the Podoshphere and in general who are your greatest influences?

No list of influences is complete with Tee Morris, Scott Sigler, and the entire Dragon Page crew.  They were the ones that started it all for me and I’ll always listen to anything they put out with rabid fascination. Tee had me hooked from the onset. Sigler took a bit to grow on me as I wasn’t a huge fan of the story behind Earthcore (just not my cup of tea) but I love WHAT he was doing and his stories have gotten so much better as the years have gone by. The Dragon Page always had an open door policy with regards to submissions and with names like Jack Mangan and Mur Lafferty getting their start there, what better sandbox to play in?

For more current people who keep me motivated I’d have to make a list. Nathan Lowell, Christiana Ellis, Mark Jeffries, J.C. Hutchins, Coach Ian Scott, Michell Plested, Pip Ballentine, Evo Terra, P.G. Holyfield, Christ Lester, the list can go on and on, but suffice to say that there are so many great podcasters out there that I couldn’t possibly name them all or give reasons for why they continue to inspire and motive me.  I used to look at some of their work and think “I could NEVER do that. I’m just not good enough.” Now I look at what they do and think, I may not be as good as they are in my mind, but if I put my work out there and try, I have a far better chance of finding an audience than if I leave all these stories in my drawer (or on my hard drive). The fact that I was asked to participate in answering 8 random questions on Random Pimpage shows that I made the correct choice.

**Okay since some of the questions have more than one part technically this is more than 8 questions but meh…..

More is always better, right? WOO WOO!

Bonus Questions – You don’t have to answer these but you can if you want.
b1) What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

What do you mean? An African or European Swallow?

b2) 42 is the answer but what is the question?

Six by Nine. Forty two. That’s it. That’s all there is.  I always thought something was fundamentally wrong with the universe.

b3) If at first you don’t succeed /Call it version 1.0/. (fill in the Blank)

JR Murdock is the Author, Voice Talent, and production for V&A Shipping and Murdockian Tales which can be found on Itunes or Direct from his website http://ofgnomesanddwarves.com/

He’s also on Podiobooks  http://www.podiobooks.com/podiobooks/search.php?keyword=J.R.+Murdock

You can also reach Jay on Twitter @JRMurdock He’s a great guy to chat with.  In Short he’s good people.