17Aug/18

Chris Bedell

August 17, 2018

It gives us great pleasure to welcome Chris Bedell as the guest on Episode 177 – I Know How to Tease A Little Bit!!

Chris Bedell joins us to discuss his upcoming release In the Name of Magic – a Y/A dystopian fantasy set in an earth-like 1920s – as well as discussing the craft of writing for a Young Adult audience.

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Bio:

Chris Bedell’s previous publishing credits include Thought Catalog, Entropy Magazine, and Foliate Oak Literary Magazine to name several examples. His debut YA Fantasy novel In the Name of Magic is forthcoming from NineStar Press and is the first book in a trilogy. Furthermore, Chris sold a second series to NineStar Press. A YA Sci-Fi Thriller series that can be described as Adam Silvera’s More Happy Than Not meets Arrow, and involves cryogenics and superheroes.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
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10Aug/18

Todd Allen Smith

August 10, 2018

It gives us great pleasure to welcome Todd Allen Smith as the guest on Episode 176 – A Deep Wound You Don’t Feel At First!!

Todd Allen Smith joins us to discuss his memoir Murder, Romance, and Two Shootings where he recounts being shot twice and the death of a close friend in a gay bashing. He also shares his expertise on the rising gun violence and the dangers of violence against the LGBTQ community in the US.

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Books mentioned in this episode:

Organizations Worth Your Time:

Bio:

Todd’s credentials include 20 years of experience as a writer.

He earned a Master’s in Journalism from the University of Kansas and has worked professionally as a reporter and editor for both newspapers and websites.

Having shared his viewpoints of the Kirkwood Missouri City Council shooting with the New York Times, Newsweek, MSN and local media outlets in St. Louis, he’s still sought out by national media for his viewpoints when it comes to mass shootings and violence (e.g., Ferguson).

In “Murder, Romance, and Three Shootings,” he shares for the first time the complete story of his survival and recovery from the robbery attempt in which he was shot in the leg, the Kirkwood shooting, and the gay bashing death of his close friend.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
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03Aug/18

Giovanna Reaves

August 3, 2018

It gives us great pleasure to welcome Giovanna (Gia) Reaves as the guest on Episode 175 – Everybody Has A Little Fear of Something!!

Giovanna Reaves joins us to discuss facing her fear and starting her journey as a writer, her most recent novel Ryland’s Inferno, the worlds she builds in her books, and attending GRL for the second time!

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Bio:

Giovanna (Gia) Reaves is the alter ego for a dreamer. A dreamer who spends her days and nights creating worlds from her imagination. Being an avid reader allowed Gia’s imagination to take hold. With the encouragement of her loved ones, Gia has given into the voices in her head, putting their words and worlds to paper. Gia is also a mother, wife and veteran. Gia is also a serious chocoholic and loves to read MM Romance just as much as she loves writing them. The sweeter the better, especially, on a snowy or rainy day is how she like to fill her days when she is not writing.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
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27Jul/18

Karelia Stetz-Waters

July 27, 2018

It gives us great pleasure to welcome Karelia Stetz-Waters as the guest on Episode 174 – Rest Your Heart for a Little While!!

Karelia Stetz-Waters joins us to discuss her novel Worth the Wait (Out in Portland), how her activist past fueled her passion to write, and why the LGBTQ crowd needs slightly different Happily Ever Afters!

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Bio:

Karelia Stetz-Waters is a contemporary lesbian writer. She is passionate about providing happy endings and a vision of redemptive love for readers of all orientations. Her novels include For Good, Something True, The Admirer, The Purveyor, and Lambda Literary Award and Golden Crown Literary Society finalist Forgive Me If I’ve Told You This Before. Karelia teaches English and writing at Linn-Benton Community College, where her students include everyone from drag queens, to farm boys, to Sudanese refugees. They all tell stories of passion and perseverance and inspire her to write characters that are real and diverse.

Karelia has a BA in comparative literature from Smith College and an MA in English literature from the University of Oregon. She also teaches writing for the Gold Crown Literary Society Writing Academy, a non-profit organization that seeks to promote and strengthen lesbian fiction.

She is married to her beloved wife of 19 years and lives with her a friendly cat and a breed of dog never-before-seen: the King Pug Spuglette (a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a pug).

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
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20Jul/18

Brenda Murphy

July 20, 2018

It gives us great pleasure to welcome Brenda Murphy as the guest on Episode 173 – Write the Effer!!

Brenda Murphy joins us to discuss her novel Both Ends of the Whip, working as a creative person with ADHD/ADD, and to give some methods for attaining focus and getting the work done!

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Bio:

Brenda Murphy writes short fiction and novels. She loves tattoos and sideshows and yes, those children are her monkeys. When she is not loitering at her local tea shop and writing, she wrangles two kids, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot. She reviews books, blogs about life as a writer with ADHD and publishes photographs on her blog Writing While Distracted.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
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17Jul/18

Magic or Die (Inner Demons 1) by J P Jackson

J. P. Jackson has recently been on our show to tell us about Magic or Die. To find links and support his work, check out Episode 169: Put Strange Things In Your Mouth

Nice bit of world building from J.P. Jackson, author of Daimonion, and a great addition to the horror/fantasy genres. This is his second novel and it shows, with a surer hand and confidence in the writing. It’s unfair to compare the two books because they are so different. Daimonion was a good, gory read, but with Magic Or Die, the self-assured plotting, scene-building and dialogue make for a book that is more accessible to people unused to the demon genre.

In a nutshell, we have James who has his own demons, namely guilt, grief and alcohol. The blurb describes him as an alcoholic, but I wouldn’t have gone that far. Yes, he uses drink to numb his pain, but he seems to function perfectly well once he has his five students on-side and they are fighting for survival. He only has a few months to get them under control and able to use their powers in a way convenient to a sinister organisation (CMRD – read blurb). If he fails, it’s curtains for all of them. I won’t say more because this is a review, not a synopsis, but you get the idea.

I love the way the author has made everything very clear. From the start, I knew what the modus was, and the problems James has to overcome in order to achieve it. I understood the difference between Arcanes and Elementals because all that information is right there, and so often in these genres it just isn’t. He manages this without patronising the newbie or alienating readers experienced in the genre. In short, it’s a bloody good, enjoyable read.

The students all had their own demons (surely an allegory for real life.) I was waiting for the poison pill, the one to screw things up for everyone else. There is a candidate, but I won’t spoil it. The real boo-hiss villain is Miriam, a cross between Cruella de Ville and that evil witch from The Emperor’s New Groove. Maybe she is a little too much of a caricature, but it’s a small point in a book of interesting characters and curious dilemmas, all set within the confines of a strange, maze-like building without any obvious means of escape. The students are a lively bunch, honey-toned Isaiah and his lascivious, blue-eyed demon, enraged Chris, unable to fully control his inner fire wolf, the anime-like Ning and ethereal Camila and Annabelle. All have spectacular skills which, if not harnessed, are a threat to civilisation. The atmosphere is eery, with beautiful descriptions as each display their power. The sexual tension between James and Isaiah is subtle rather than full-on. It was a fun, spooky, tense mix, with a good building of atmosphere and an exciting finale. A solid start to a promising series.

BLURB

James Martin is a teacher, a powerful Psychic, and an alcoholic. He used to work for the Center for Magical Research and Development, a facility that houses people who can’t control their supernatural abilities, but left after one of his students was killed, turning to vodka to soothe his emotional pain. The problem is he still has one year left on his contract.

When James is forced to return to the CMRD, he finds himself confronting the demons of his past and attempting to protect his new class from a possible death sentence, because if they don’t pass their final exams, they’ll be euthanized.

James also discovers that his class isn’t bringing in enough sponsors, the agencies and world governments who supply grants and ultimately purchase graduates of the CMRD, and that means no profit for the facility. James and his students face impossible odds—measure up to the facility’s unreachable standards or escape.

 

13Jul/18

Asta Idonea

July 13, 2018


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Asta Idonea (Nicki J. Markus) as the guest on Episode 172 – It All Started Because of Shakespeare!!

Asta Idonea (who also writes as Nicki J. Markus) joins us to discuss how she became an author, her two upcoming releases: Beastly Businessmen and Guitar Gods, and Super for You, Bad for Me. We also discuss fairy tales, myth, and their archetypes plus writing superhero novels with a twist. Asta then contributes to our growing list of RFQs and what’s next for her!

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Bio:

Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.

Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!

As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theatre, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel, all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
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04Jul/18

We The People

July 4, 2018


Vance put out the call because we wanted YOUR voices for Episode 171 – We The People!!

Vance took the streets of the world, both digital and real, to ask “What does American mean to you?”

The answers are powerful.

We at the WROTE Podcast wish you a happy and safe Independence Day.

Follow Vance Bastian and support his work:

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
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03Jul/18

Mouschwitz by Kevin Snow

Kevin Snow talked to our hosts back in March 2018. To check out his story and get links to his work, listen to Episode 153: The Price of Admission. http://www.wrotepodcast.com/kevin-snow/

To start, I had to look up “gonzo journalism.” For those who, like me, have no idea, it was a genre first associated with Hunter S Thompson and later, Norman Mailer. The author himself describes it as a “highly fictionalised reconstruction of reality.” Basically, it deals with true stories, presented as fiction. I hope that clears things up.

Despite the seemingly light and snarky tone, this book hasn’t been written for shits and giggles. In fact, at times it is hard to stomach, to be honest. There is a dark side to the entertainment industry that people are only recently beginning to face up to, even though everyone knows it’s been that way since the days of silent movies. Women are speaking out, but members of the LGBT community, especially men, still find it almost impossible to get their voices heard. At the time of this review, the court case is still pending, so the veracity of the statements in the book are still being reviewed by the judicial system. This means I cannot say too much more, but for anyone in the LGBTQ community who feels marginalised by their chosen profession, it is a witty, savage and important read.

BLURB

A lonely queer staff member in Michael Eisner’s Disney empire can’t seem to get the break his career needs. Instead, the executive officers he works under seem more focused on selling him into prostitution and pornography, buying his used underpants, showing up to work without clothes on, and keeping him on staff to exploit his medical marijuana license.

A psychedelic Bush-era flashback, laced with cynical humor and pop culture pastiche, “Mouschwitz” takes the reader on a dizzying journey through every nook and cranny of the entertainment industry, through multiple characters’ perspectives, as the author Snow blends pointed social commentary on sexual harassment, gender politics, and anti-LGBT discrimination in the industry with the dark and terrifyingly surreal.

“Mouschwitz” is “The Devil Wears Prada” meets “Moulin Rouge”, while they both get sucker punched by “Mulholland Drive”, as Slavoj Žižek watches in hysterical fits of laughter.

Based on Snow’s real life experiences working for the Walt Disney Company, Snow’s “Mouschwitz” uses his signature black humor, gonzo parody, and dark satire to expose the real-life systemic sexual harassment of LGBT employees stemming from top executives at Disney.

“Mouschwitz” is the third novel in Snow’s 16-part gonzo journalism series. A paperback version is planned for released in February 2018 with illustrations by John-Ross Boyce and design by Alex Alchwikani.
#MeToo

29Jun/18

Blood-Bound (Ace Assassin Book 1) by Kaelan Rhywiol

Kaelan Rhywiol was on our show back in April To find out more about xyr and get links to xyr work, check out Episode 161: The Vale Between Worlds!

Blood-Bound is a haunting and Gothic vampire novel, the first part of the Ace Assassin series, yet can be read as a standalone novel. The story features a strong female lead who is described as grey-aromantic. I wouldn’t normally bang on about a character’s chosen gender or sexuality but it does form a major aspect of the book, and to understand the characters, you kind of have to get a handle on what their preferences are. In this book, the author is very clear from the start, so the main character’s relationships with their closest friends are not in any doubt. Xie has also included a comprehensive glossary at the back of the book, which proved invaluable when I was losing my way with some of the unfamiliar words and meanings, especially pertaining to Welsh folklore. (Welsh does seem a language where consonants are thrown up in the air and where they land, there forms a word….)

So the story revolves around Rhian, who resents being sent to Ontario as an ambassador as it brings her too close to her husband, who she believes betrayed her. Inevitably their paths cross, with messy and sticky circumstances. There are trigger warnings at the beginning of the book, referring to self-harm, violence and sexual violence, but actually, it all worked and didn’t feel gratuitous at all. At times it was a fetid, sometimes sexy, always lusciously described brew of the good, the bad and the ugly. I felt I was in safe hands with the author, despite an initial mis-step. There was an element of confusion to start with, as xie mentioned London, so I started out thinking the action was based in the UK. Rhian definitely speaks with a British accent, so this caused a mental switcheroo when I realised the book was based in Canada. It’s a small thing, but I didn’t need that element of doubt right at the start of the book. It threw me off for a while.

When I did find my stride again, there were two things I really liked about this novel. Despite the brooding atmosphere, there is a slash of humour which tells me it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s very subtle, a hint of a wry smile, but it’s there.

The other thing is the author’s mix of Welsh folklore and unabashed attempts to challenge the reader’s expectations of a character’s sexuality and gender. It was cleverly done and didn’t feel arch or “topic of the moment.” In a world of shape-shifters and vampires, it was a good introduction to the challenges of being a world-class human being.

And, of course, there are the lashings of sex and violence, which is always welcome (by me, anyway) set against a glamorous backdrop that I could picture perfectly. The cover, though, beautiful, almost suggests a book of sparkling vampires and teenage angst, but this is far from it. This is a very adult book, and a challenging, exciting read.

BLURB

Rhian is content in her life. As a pwca, a Welsh shapeshifter, she is bound to the Dark God Arawn as an assassin. So when he assigns her as ambassador to oversee Ontario for him, it’s a shock.

Her new job? To find out who murdered her predecessor and bring them to justice, as well as to oversee the otherkin and clean up their messes before the humans find them—all to preserve the illusion that magic and supernatural creatures do not exist.

The problem? One of the otherkin she’s supposed to oversee is her estranged husband, Kai, the only person Rhian never regretted having sex with, and the only one she can’t forgive.