I was going through some boxes the other day and came across some floppy disks that had been cryptically labeled. My first thought was to pop it into a computer and see what was on there that might be good for a laugh. It didn’t take long to realize that whatever was on there is probably lost. I do have an old PC out in my office that still has a 3.5 inch floppy drive, and I’m fairly confident that it works, but what if the files were made in an old program that I no longer have access to? It doesn’t matter what theRead More →

There have been theories that we on Earth have already been visited by inhabitants of other worlds. Part of the argument is that it is hard to imagine that, without outside intervention, the human race has advanced from simple cave dwellers to a species wielding the power to destroy ourselves. But do we really understand the degree to which these visitors may have shaped us? Thanks to Samuel Peralta for believing in this story. The Visitation originally appeared in the collection Alt.History 102. If you’d prefer the Kindle version, get it here. 1 “Let me start by saying this. It’s not easy to look backRead More →

I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Jerry Pournelle earlier this year. I remember being a kid and getting the newest issue of BYTE magazine in the mail each month and his column was one of the first things I would read. Later, I realized that he was also a prolific fiction writer and I admired him even more. When I interviewed him this past February, I had the feeling that this might be one of his last interviews, and I was humbled by that. Sometimes as an interviewer, I have to give gentle prompts to my guest to keep the flow of conversation going, andRead More →

Why do we get so wrapped up and passionate about books? It’s really a weird thing, when you think about it. These made up worlds and characters, the products of someone else’s imagination, become part of our DNA in a strange and magical way.Have you ever known someone, or maybe you are this person, that wears a shirt or hat that tells you which Hogwarts house they belong to? As far as I can tell, Hogwarts is not a real place, and its respective houses don’t exist in this plane of existence, at least not in a tangible way. Where it does exist though isRead More →

Over the past three years, Author Stories has experienced the kind of phenomenal growth I never imagined. With over 200 episodes and some of the very best guests in publishing, this podcast has become a favorite of many listeners. Thanks to you, the loyal listeners, I have been able to continue to grow the show in new ways and to keep ratcheting up the level of the show. Yesterday I received an email from DragonCon, the enormous genre fiction convention in Atlanta, inviting me to cover the event as a top tier media organization. With this, they will provide me an interview space equipped withRead More →

Join me and my friends Steve Beauleau, Ed Gosney, Christopher Valin, and Ian Garner as we talk about superhero fiction, writing iconic characters, collaborations, and more. The live stream begins 7-8-17 at 2 PM Central time. You can watch it below. It will also be archived for later viewing when the hangout is completed.Read More →

We in the States celebrate our Independence from Mother England this weekend, and as many of you are, I’m celebrating with my family. But as writers and lovers of books, let’s not forget that now is the greatest time to be making art and the greatest time to find new stuff to love.  So celebrate with some R and R and let’s get back to making awesome stuff. Keep the indie spirit alive no matter if you opt to publish the traditional route or bootstrap it all yourself. No matter the framework, your indie side will serve you well.Read More →

As of today, these are the most downloaded episodes. Have you listened to all of them? Episode 133 – Brandon Sanderson Episode 147 – Brent Weeks Episode 81 – Diana Gabaldon Episode 117 – Robin Hobb Episode 143 – Anne Rice Episode 71 – Patrick Rothfuss Episode 113 – Christopher Paolini Episode 61 – Jim Butcher Episode 99 – R. A. Salvatore Episode 69 – Bernard CornwellRead More →

I read a lot, for a couple of reasons. The main reason is that I love to read. I love to escape to other worlds, meet new characters, and experience new things. The other reason is that I am constantly having to familiarize myself with books by authors that are going to be guests on my podcast, as well as discovering new guests for the show.  It’s not uncommon for me to have 5-10 books at various stages of completion at any given time. Some books I rush through and take notes, and some I take my time with and absorb what’s going on. Also,Read More →

We all know that if you want to be a good writer, you need to be a voracious reader. Stephen King famously said “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” I don’t think I could put it any better than that. But does it matter what you read? I think so. If you want to write epic fantasy, should you only read epic fantasy? SF? Mystery? We all have read genre books that read like little kid brothers of something that we really love. They look like the original, sound like it,Read More →

Some of my best friends have lived within the pages of books. As a kid I was a little socially awkward, and I didn’t fit into any of the groups. I wasn’t a jock, I wasn’t a star student, I wasn’t a preppy kid with a crowd of hanger-on. What I did have was a love of books.   I discovered Tolkien sometime around Junior High and I remember walking around with one of the Lord of the Rings trilogy tucked on top of my stack of textbooks and I spent more time in Middle Earth than I ever did in Civics. Later I discoveredRead More →

I know this title is a bit clickbaity. But that’s ok, you’ll understand where I’m going with this soon enough. I’m releasing my 200th episode of Author Stories (subscribe already!) this week, and I’ve been in a reflective mood lately. I don’t share many personal thoughts about writing, mostly because I haven’t felt like I could speak from a position of authority. I’ve said many times that the reason I started the podcast was so that I could become a better writer. “Surround yourself with the best people you know” the adage goes. And so it is true. Here’s a little something I’ve learned aboutRead More →

I originally published this in Deep Magic Magazine. I release The Author Stories Podcast twice each week, and I’m grateful for the chance to sit down with the best of the best and glean some wisdom from them. I’m going to try to blog about some of those things I’ve learned, and here’s the first in a recurring series. I hope you enjoy it. I have a theory. Storytellers are born, but writers are made. What does that mean? I think that we are all born storytellers. I think it’s something that’s ingrained in our humanity. From the times when our very survival from generation to generationRead More →

Deep Magic Magazine

A few months ago Jeff Wheeler asked me to contribute an article for Deep Magic magazine about things I’ve learned while hosting the Author Stories Podcast. You can listen to the show I did with Jeff here, and hear all about Deep Magic.  Pick up your copy on the Kindle store here.Read More →

Over the last couple of years, I’ve gotten to do some pretty cool things. I’ve published three novels, three episodes of a new serial series called Writer’s Block, written short stories for a few anthologies, and hosted a podcast that consistently blows my mind. I hope it gives you the same kind of feeling. The podcast has been an especially gratifying experience. Through it I’ve made some really great friends, gleaned priceless advice from other writers that are a lot farther in their careers than I am, and opened my mind to new possibilities.  Hugh Howey even mentioned it on his blog yesterday. And to topRead More →

Want to be successful? Looking for a shortcut that will make you more happy and achieve all of your dreams this year? Well, here you go. My shortcut to instant success. We all know that there are no shortcuts to instant success. Sure there are shortcuts that can help you achieve short-term results, but they won’t last, not in any meaningful way. But here are some things that I’ve learned. Practice. Nobody gets good at what they love just overnight. Even prodigies have to hone their craft. Sure, some of us are born with a “gift”. But we all know someone who has natural God-givenRead More →