Tag Archives: diversity

22Jul/22

J. Marshall Freeman

July 22, 2022

It gives us great pleasure to present Season 7, Episode 29 – J. Marshall Freeman + Our Review of The Umbrella Academy!

J. Marshall Freeman returns to share his latest novel: Barnabas Bopwright Saves the City with us, and we then discuss how to make inactive adults believable in YA, as well as diversity and father/son themes. Then Baz and Vance review The Umbrella Academy and share who won the week for them!

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J. Marshall Freeman is the author of the young adult fantasy novels, The Dubious Gift of Dragon Blood (2020) and Barnabas Bopwright Saves the City, which came out in May. He is one of three authors in the YA novella collection, Three Left Turns to Nowhere (2022), along with Jeffrey Ricker and ’Nathan Burgoine. Freeman is a two-time winner of the Saints+Sinners Fiction Contest. He is currently researching and writing The Yonge Line, a novel set in Toronto’s queer community in the early ’80s. Freeman lives in Toronto, Canada with his husband.

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April 22, 2022

It gives us great pleasure to welcome Jeffrey Ricker, J. Marshall Freeman, and ‘Nathan Burgoine as the guests on Season 7, Episode 16 – Oooh, Nerd Hot!

Jeffrey Ricker, J. Marshall Freeman, ‘Nathan Burgoine tag-team the show to introduce their latest work, Three Left Turns to Nowhere. Each has written a novella about a young man on his way to a sci-fi convention when Fate intervenes and strands them in Hopewell where they find that thing they didn’t know they needed. These three authors are so much fun, and it’s easy to see how well they worked together!

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Jeffrey Ricker is the author of Detours (2011) and the YA fantasy The Unwanted (2014). His stories and essays have appeared in Foglifter, Phoebe, Little Fiction, The Citron Review, The Saturday Evening Post, and others. A 2014 Lambda Literary Fellow and recipient of a 2015 Vermont Studio Center residency, he has an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia and teaches creative writing at Webster University.

J. Marshall Freeman is a writer of novels, short stories, and poetry. He is the author of the young adult fantasy novel The Dubious Gift of Dragon Blood (2020) and the upcoming YA adventure Barnabas Bopwright Saves the City (May 2022). He is a two-time winner of the Saints+Sinners Fiction Contest (2017 and 2019), and lives in Toronto, Canada, with his husband and dog.

’Nathan Burgoine grew up a reader and studied literature in university while making a living as a bookseller. His first novel, Light, was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. Triad Blood and Triad Soul are also available from Bold Strokes Books, as is his YA novel Exit Plans for Teenage Freaks and his first collection, Of Echoes Born. For novella lovers, In Memoriam, Handmade Holidays, Faux Ho Ho, Village Fool, and A Little Village Blend are shorter queer romances (often with a dash of speculative fiction). A cat lover, ’Nathan managed to fall in love and marry Daniel, who is a confirmed dog person. They live in Ottawa, Canada—with their rescued husky, in case you were wondering how the cat-dog thing turned out.

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November 20, 2020

It gives us great pleasure to welcome J. Marshall Freeman as the guest on Episode 295 – Coming Out As a Novelist!)

J Marshall Freeman shares his latest release, The Dubious Gift of Dragon Blood. We talk about the evolution of the book and real, self-discovering queer characters in a world with dragons!

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J. Marshall Freeman is a writer of fiction and poetry, a musician, and graphic designer. He is a two-time winner of the Saints+Sinners fiction contest (2017 and 2019). In 2019, he published “Arthropoda,” a chapbook of poetry.

In December 2020, his young adult fantasy novel, The Dubious Gift of Dragon Blood, will be published by Bold Strokes Books. Upcoming work includes the young adult adventure novel, Barnabas Bopwright Saves the City, and the climate change science fiction novel, Cicada Rises from the Earth.

He lives in Toronto, Canada with his husband and dog.

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24Jul/20

Steff Green

July 24, 2020

It gives us great pleasure to welcome Steff Green back as the guest on Episode 278 – I’m Kind of a Cheerleader!

Steff Green returns to talk about How to Rock Self-Publishing and Unleash the Beast, and her author-coaching endeavors, including the Diversity Scholarship she’s offering!

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As Steff has been legally blind since birth, she’s dealt with rejection her whole life. Kids bullying her because she was different. Lecturers and employers locking her out of opportunities because they didn’t want to “deal” with her disability.

She could have given up. That would have been much easier. Instead, she kept writing. And when Amazon introduced their self-publishing platform, she started putting her work out in the world.

Surprise! People liked it.

So she kept writing and publishing and dreaming and doing. Now, she’s a USA Today bestselling author with a multi six-figure income. She writes tales of the paranormal, dark, gothic, and fantastical for thousands of readers across the world who never tell her she can’t write because of her eyes.

She’s also obsessed with helping other writers to find their voice, smash through the gatekeepers, and discover the badassitry of putting their work directly into the hands of readers.

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June 14, 2019


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Steff Green as the guest on Episode 220 – My Whipping Skills Are Not Up To Snuff!

Steff Green, a prolific Kiwi Author, joins us to discuss many topics including her two recent releases – one of which is a children’s book that sounds fab!

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Steff writes paranormal, gothic, and reverse harem romance under the name Steffanie Holmes. She’s known for her popular Briarwood Reverse Harem series. As S. C. Green she has published six weird fiction/dystopian fantasy novels, including the Engine Ward series, which was longlisted for a Sir Julius Vogel award.

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04Jun/19

Ithani (The Oberon Cycle Book 3) by J. Scott Coatsworth

The third and final part of the Oberon Cycle trilogy, the first books being Skythane (Book 1) and Lander (Book 2) The books must be read in order, the first concentrating on building the world the author has created, and the second adding more characters to those already introduced.

The worlds of Oberon and Error have been lovingly crafted right from the get-go, so I felt I knew the characters and their surroundings, the curious alien foods they eat and the commodities they treasure. There is an excellent glossary in each book too, reminding the reader of what unusual words mean if they get stuck as I did on occasions. And the size of the glossary alone is testament to how meticulous the author has been in creating these worlds.

The writing was flawless in all three books, with colourful, almost cinematic set-pieces and rounded-out, diverse characters. As with a lot of fantasy/sci-fi novels, there were a LOT of characters, which is always risky as sometimes it can be hard to connect to them all. And yes, I did have a job remembering all of them, and what their dynamics were. There were places where I had to re-read to ensure I was following the plot correctly.

But in this world, the world of Oberon, everyone had their role, and there wasn’t one character that I felt didn’t really need to be there. They were an engaging lot as well, even the bad guys. I don’t want to give too much away, to be honest, fearful of letting a spoiler loose by accident.

What I can say is by the end of the trilogy, a lot of the characters, Jameson and Xander, Quince and Robin, almost felt like friends. Their dialogue was approachable and very natural. I love the mix of pronouns, the diverse genders and sexualities; it really was a rainbow cast, and with cool tech to boot.

Also I saw echoes of our own world and warnings for the future of what we stand to lose if we aren’t responsible for our planet (but not in a heavy-duty, worthy way) but in the end it was just a really good story from start to finish. I think I said in my review of Skythane that Scott’s writing made me fall in love with sci-fi again.

And at the end of this trilogy, I’m glad to say I’m more in love with it than ever.

BLURB

Time is running out.

After saving the world twice, Xander, Jameson, and friends plunge headlong into a new crisis. The ithani—the aliens who broke the world—have reawakened from their hundred millennia-long slumber. When Xander and Jameson disappear in a flash, an already fractured world is thrown into chaos.

The ithani plans, laid a hundred thousand years before, are finally coming to pass, and they threaten all life on Erro. Venin and Alix go on a desperate search for their missing friend and find more than they bargained for. And Quince, Robin, and Jessa discover a secret as old as the skythane themselves.

Will alien technology, unexpected help from the distant past, destiny, and some good old-fashioned firepower be enough to defeat an enemy with the ability to split a world? The final battle of the epic science fiction adventure that began in Skythane will decide the fate of lander and skythane alike. And in the north, the ithani rise….