Blog Archives

Getting PWNED by Owner’s Share

Today’s review / Pimpage is on Owner’s Share From Nathan Lowell first off lets get the links out of the way

@Nlowell – Nathan Lowell on Twitter

http://solarclipper.com – Trader’s Diary – The Website for the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper

http://www.podiobooks.com/title/owners-share -Owner’s Share on Podiobooks

And while we’re at it  let’s give a big fucking shout out and thank you to Evo Terra and Podiobooks.com for providing a metric shit tonne of awesome content to listen to – Lots of great Podiobooks in many genres by many talented writers – You can find them at http://www.podiobooks.com @podiobooks @evo_terra

Now on to the meat and potatoes – First off Nathan asks that we not spoil the ending by invoking Article 37… Screw Article 37 I’ll tell you how it ends… Like always – Nathan being a hell of a guy and thank you for listening… If you want how the story ends get off your ass and listen to it yourself… my words can’t do it justice.

Do you want 30 foot T-Rex’s jumping out of scrubbers and devouring half the crew, and exciting flitter chase where Ish dives out of the craft shooting the pirates through the armor glass port and Pip coming out of nowhere and saving him with a rocket pack?  Me too but that’s not the kind of stuff Nathan writes in the Share series, his ideas are a hell of a lot cooler if a lot more sedate.

Again Nathan delivers a great story, with a fantastic read.  You feel the highs and lows of the crew.  You get it through the way the words flow, and you hear it in his voice.  You’ll feel the shock and betrayal when the crew realizes that ARTICLE 37 is the one behind ARTICLE 37.  Oh and when ARTICLE 37 does ARTICLE 37 with ARTICLE 37 it’s just mind blowing.  I mean when ARTICLE 37 let ARTICLE 37 in the back ARTICLE 37 it was like whoa … I mean really how the hell does one get  a ARTICLE 37 into a 3×3 cubicle with ARTICLE 37 ,ARTICLE 37 ,ARTICLE 37  and 4 ARTICLE 37s… okay I went a little heavy on the ARTICLE 37.  Back to seriousness though – Again Nathan provides a great story, with a couple of twists that left an entire busload of people (literally I was on the bus listening to it) giving me dirty looks when I audibly expressed my incredulity at the twists.

As always it’s a well written story performed by a great voice talent.

Didn’t want to jump on the bad wagon yesterday though I kinda did through facebook but I’ll do it here and now and maybe another post on it tomorrow if I have the time… presence of mid to actually remember damned squirrels stealing my thoughts…

Thank you Nathan for not only providing free content but kick ass free content, it’s all too easy to just provide crap for free and make people pay for the good stuff.  Through the years I have sat impatiently waiting the next step in Ish’s Journey.  I still impatiently wait the next step.  Thank you for not wrapping everything up in a pretty red bow and doing the they sailed off into the deep dark happily ever after thing.  The books end how the entire series appealed to me – Feeling real.

Now stop reading and get back to work I can feel the withdrawal kicking in already!!!! More content!!!  errr…ummm I mean more content please Sahr.

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 Review – Dreamer’s Thread and Cybrosis.

Random Pimpage is back on track again and for now… Because of the lack of content for the past couple weeks I promised this week to be double content week.  To that end I’ll pimp two great Podcasts.

We’ll Start with Starla Huchton’s The Dreamer’s Thread.

The Dreamer’s Thread – is a fun fantastic journey into the world of dreams, and fantasy.  It’s a fun ride, to me it’s kinda like Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur’s court had a bastard love child with The Never Ending Story and  set it in the land of Dreams.   (And let me mention that I find that to be a GOOD thing I like the Never Ending Story… Don’t diss Bastion…nah… AH…NAH-AH-AH – it was the sequels and the fucked up cartoon that screwed it up the original was pretty decent)  It’s a dreamy (pun intended) tale of Aura a dreamer who get’s pulled into the land of dreams to save the world from the nightmare realm.  I think the voices were dead on, they seemed to fell right on the characters.  It was fun ride, a well put together podcast, and a fun story one that should it ever make it into print I will read to my daughter on a regular basis.

Congratulations on the podcast / story being a wonderful success (least I think it turned out that way) and on the birth of your new minion.  I can’t see what else you’ve got to put out… fiction wise I mean… I don’t need to see the Minions – well unless you REALLY REALLY fell like sharing…

You can follow Starla on Twitter @RiznPhnx or you can check the Novel on Itunes or at it’s home on the web over at http://www.thedreamersthreadnovel.com/

Seriously check it out it’s a hell of a great story and a fantastic cast.

Our Next quick review is going to be a work in progress there still 7 wellafter tonight I think it’ll be 6 Episodes left to drop on a weekly Friday release schedule.  Cybrosis is an awesome hold on to your pants or you will be blown out of them (and really do you want to be blown out of your pants and just stand around in your undies and an Ipod you’ll likely be put on a list and not allowed near schools or petting zoos anymore) technothriller / cyberpunk action filled ride.  And that’s the first Episode it’s gets much better from there.  PC Haring did a great job with his cast and I think the production is great.  At times I think the music kinda overwhelms his narration but I find those few and far between and may actually be the way I’m listening they seem fine on my earbuds but when I go over my car speakers okay minivan speakers 😛 is when I have some trouble hearing him over the music…  It’s kinda like the Bionic Woman done right.  Teh characters have a realness to them that makes this one of the few Cyber Punkish novels / stories that I actually will finish.  I’m normally not a fan of the genre.  Then again I spend all day screwing with computers I really don’t need uber tech crap in my novels that just frustrate me and remind me of end users I use reading as an escape not a prison.  It’s actually making me wonder how many other Cyber Punk novels I should try to give another chance.  So yeah this one story is actually making me reconsider my stance on an entire freaking genre.

Thanks PC it’s a wonderful story so far and I can’t wait to get the last few episodes I really need to get that damned time machine finished and … wait here’s a note.. it has a totally kick ass ending I’m not going to spoil it love Future me… dammit book Blocked by meself …  RIIIIIICH!!!!!! I really need to kick future me in the nads if I meet myself…. but anyway… The action is fun, and is easy to bring it to the mind’s eye it’s a very cinematically written work… is that even an adverb… screw it, it is now!  It translates very well.

You can Follow PC on twitter @PCHaring or you can check the Novel on Itunes or at it’s home on the web over at http://www.cybrosisnovel.com/

Both of these novels are very well done, both have a cast that I cannot think of any way to improve on that doesn’t make me sound like an egotistical ass (which I am) and that’s just because I’m jealous at how well these shows were / are done.

PC and Starla keep up the good work can’t wait to see what is next from either one.   I lucked out with Dreamer’ Thread I got to listen to it straight through, but I’m jonesing for more Cybrosis.. I might have to add PC to the don’t listen to until it’s done because it’s so distracting waiting for the next freaking episode.. and the dude releases ON TIME and I still can’t wait for the next Episode… I mean it’s not even like Sigler who get’s hit from out of the bleachers and you just wait and wait and wait for things to get back on track this is an on time weekly schedule.   I will gladly say that to this date in 2010 Cybrosis is 95% likely to be the best Sci Fi Podcast Novel I’ve listened to so far this year and Dreamer’s Thread easily takes a top 2 Placing just behind Nathan Lowell and Ravenwood (by a scant few points at that.)

Take it lite folks see ya on the other side.

Rich

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

Making the Cut – Ironically Yes it Did… And so much More

This Weeks Pimpage is going out to Metamor City and it’s Author Chris Lester.

Lets get Links out of the way

Metamor City- http://www.metamorcity.com/

Chris on Twitter – @etherius

Don’t recall where I heard my first promo for Metamor City, I want to say I think it was from Dragon’s Landing Inn Gaming Podcast, but it intrigued me because the promo I hear called it Spellpunk.

I checked it out and the first couple short stories got me hooked.  Then came Making the Cut – The First Metamor City novel.

First off the world of Metamor City is just a exiting colorful Urban Fantasy landscape that is engrossing and immersive.  Chris does a hell of a job painting a world that is very ominous yet awe inspiring, not knowing whether the next corner turned is going to bring wonder or danger.  It’s got plenty of action and intrigue to get you hooked fast and keep you hooked.  The cast is excellent, and very well chosen.  It took me half the damn book to realize that two of my favorite characters were voiced by the same guy.  Not that it was hard once I sat back and actually looked (well listened) at it but the story did a good job of distracting me enough not to notice.  I will say I think we need more Artax in the stories but that’s just because Artax freaking rocks.

The story follows Daniel Sharabi member of the Psi Collective that isn’t powerful enough to matter to the powers that be among the Collective, and the lengths he’ll go to to be with the woman he loves, and the consequences of those actions, some kinda funny, some kinda dark.  I found some scenes to be uncomfortable and awkward to listen to, but that’s because of my morality trying to impose itself on the work.

This is not a happy kitty fun ride by any stretch of the imagination, as a warning I’m letting you know there is some sex, a good deal of violence, and some really fucked up scenes looking through the eyes of a psychopath (but don’t let that put you off you may sleep funny after certain scenes but it’s well worth the weird dreams).  If you don’t have earphones, don’t listen at work or around kids.  The release schedule was rough in places but seeing as he moved halfway across the country to accept a teaching gig during the process, it’s a wonder that things managed to stay running as smoothly as it did.  It got kinda annoying during the cliffhangers when that happened (but I kept listening anyway and I’m easily di… hey a shiny!!!!) but you get to DL it straight and listen straight through.  This was rough one to have to wait for but that’s because it was that good.  I found myself putting a couple episodes off at a time so I could have larger chunks of the story at one time.

All in all an enjoyable experience.

Would I listen again… YES!!!…. even if I had to do it to the same schedule… YES!!!  It’s a hell of a story, it’s a wonderful beautiful scary world that Chris is describing for us and the thing I like best about it is it isn’t a perfect world, you see the decay the corruption and that just draws you closer in.  Remember kiddies have your charms and amulets handy because the city does bear a curse, and once you get sucked in, it’s all the protection you have.

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

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.

It’s how you Rig the Game – Predestination Book 1

Lets get the Links out of the Way first –

Predestination at Podiobooks – http://www.podiobooks.com/title/predestination-and-other-games-of-chance

Lterary Abominations – the Home of JD Sawyer – http://jdsawyer.net/

And you can find him on Twitter @DSawyer

Antithesis – Book 1 Predestination and Other Games of Chance – Yes it’s a mouth full  to say (and a hand full for a dyslexic to type Thank you spellcheckers) J Daniel Sawyer does a fantastic job of getting you hooked early.  He promised to have you hooked in four, he got me on the prequel short The Man in the Rain.  It did take me two attempts to get through the story but that was because my Ipod was stolen and it took me a while to be able to get another one then get back to the story.  It’s the kind of story where many threads are being woven throughout, and it very quickly becomes a wicked web that tangles you and won’t let go.  It’s a tale that I frankly find hard to describe.  More plot twists than a Soap Opera (and frankly a hell of a lot better… what so I’ve watched soaps… don’t judge me!!!), it’s an Edge of your seat if you don’t have a seat you better damn well get one before you tip over intrigue.  Dan does a hell of a job sucking you in and keeping your attention.   This is not a story I recommend listening to if you have to concentrate on something like work, homework, driving, piloting a plane, open heart surgery because you will miss something… like an airport (I think that’s what really happened to those pilots – “Hey COPILOT let’s fly around a little longer I want to see how this episode ends… dammit well one more episode won’t hurt” 150 miles later they get busted.  Hey they had laptops with them….)  Dan has made himself another author that I don’t want to listen to until the story is done because I hate the wait to find out what happens next.

I’m not a scholar I’m just a goof with a viking helmet some free time and an opinion.  This is a story worth listening too.  Fair warning, there are some scenes that are hard to listen to because of content.  There was an attack that left me kinda stunned.  It’s not something I was expecting, and the actress did a GREAT job making you think she was really being attacked.  The actors did a hell of a job making this one of the best Podcasts I listened to in 2009.  If you listen at work with only one earbud in (and I suggest not listening over speakers at work, nor around kids) make sure you convert it to mono first or you will literally miss half the story as it’s produced in stereo – great effects that draw you into the story.  You can almost really believe you’re in the locations.

Currently Dan is releasing 2 podcast fiction pieces – Down from 10 and Free Will book 2 of the Antithesis Progression.  More on those when they finish and I have a chance to listen to them.