39 minutes | Aug 31, 2014
Episode 10: Interview with Alan Baxter
On today's show I chat with talented Dark Fantasy and Horror author Alan Baxter about his brand new Alex Caine trilogy. Here's the blurb from book one, Bound: Alex Caine is a martial artist fighting in illegal cage matches. His powerful secret weapon is an unnatural vision that allows him to see his opponents’ moves before they know their intentions themselves. An enigmatic Englishman, Patrick Welby, approaches Alex after a fight and reveals, ‘I know your secret.’ Welby shows Alex how to unleash a breathtaking realm of magic and power, drawing him into a mind-bending adventure beyond his control. And control is something Alex values above all else… Bound is a gritty and at times disturbing dark urban fantasy. It moves along at a cracking pace and draws on some classic, epic fantasy tropes to tell one of the best stories I've picked up this year. In today's reading, Alan introduces us to Alex Caine and his gives us a peek at his unique talent. Click the play button below to listen to today’s episode or go to iTunes or Stitcher. Reading Alan reads mostly within the Dark Urban Fantasy and Horror genres but also enjoys Science-Fiction, Crime and Western. At the moment he's reading Boom Studio's new Hellraiser comics, co-written by Clive Barker and Christopher Monfette (with art by Leonardo Manco), All the Birds Singing by Evie Wyld and Raymond Carver's last collection of short stories, Where I'm Calling From. Clive Barker is amongst Alan's biggest influences but he also counts Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Garth Ennis, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft and Ursula McGuinn as inspiring his writing. Writing Alan says that determination is by far the most important thing he's learned throughout his career. His advice to new writers is that if you want to succeed as a writer you have to keep writing, submitting and never give up. The harder you work, the better (and luckier) you'll get. Pick up a copy of the Alex Caine trilogy The outstanding Alex Caine trilogy Bound, Obsidian and Abduction are available online and in all good Australian and New Zealand book stores. Click on the links to pick up a copy via Amazon or here to pick up an e-book copy at the Kobo store. Lovers of dark fantasy and horror might also like to check Alan's excellent novels Realmshift and Magesign (the Balance duology). Connect with Alan Baxter You can learn more about Alan Baxter over at his Warrior Scribe website and connect with him
39 minutes | Jul 28, 2014
Epidode 9: Interview with Daniel O’Malley
On today’s show I chat with award-winning Science-Fiction author Daniel O'Malley about his brilliant debut novel The Rook. Book blurb: “The body you are wearing used to be mine.” So begins the letter Myfanwy Thomas is holding when she awakes in a London park surrounded by bodies all wearing latex gloves. With no recollection of who she is, Myfanwy must follow the instructions her former self left behind to discover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her. The Rook is a thoroughly compelling and imaginative story which picked up the Aurealis Award for Best Science-Fiction Novel in 2012. In today's reading, Dan introduces us to the intriguing Gestalt, one of the novel's main characters. Click the play button below to listen to today’s show or go to iTunes or Stitcher. Reading Dan reads a pretty wide range of fiction and non-fiction. At the moment he's reading Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, Up West by Pip Granger and BZRK: Apocalypse by Michael Grant. Dan says he worships at the shrine of Terry Prachett and is a huge fan of the Discworld books. He also counts George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman series, and comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis as amongst his biggest influences. Writing Today, Dan chats about his writing process and how he gives his characters their weird and wonderful super powers. Dan says the most important lessons he's learned as a writer are to keep writing, to finish what you start and to make sure your story is as good as you can possibly get it before sending it out to agents, publishers and the like. Pick up a copy of The Rook The Rook is available wherever good books are bought or borrowed. It is original, funny and an absolute must-read for lovers of Science Fiction and Urban Fantasy. You can pick up a print or ebook copy here (Amazon) or here (Kobo). The highly anticipated follow-up, Stiletto, will be available in 2016. Connect with Daniel O'Malley You can learn more about Daniel O'Malley and The Rook over at his Rookfiles website or connect with him on facebook or twitter. Also, Myfanwy Thomas also has a twitter handle you might want to have a look at.
40 minutes | Jun 30, 2014
Episode 8: Interview with Marianne de Pierres
On today's show I chat with award-winning Speculative Fiction author Marianne de Pierres about her new novel Peacemaker. It's a seamless mash of Sci-Fi, Urban Fantasy,Crime and Western (with a bit of Australiana thrown in for good measure) and it's a heap of fun. Peacemaker is also the first book in a new series and Marianne reads a few passages from it for us today. Click the play button below to listen to today’s show or go to iTunes or Stitcher. Reading Like most of us, Marianne goes through phases with her reading, jumping predominantly between Historical, Crime and Science Fiction. At the moment she's got a diverse range of books on the go including White Shotgun by Attilio Bolzoni, The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly, Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward and the graphic novel Cemetery Girl by Charmaine Harris. Marianne also mentions a book she's keen to read called Murder in the Telephone Exchange by little know Australian author June Wright. Written in the 1940s, this once best-selling crime novel and has recently been re-released in print and electronically. Writing With around 40 novels and short stories to her credit, Marianne has some amazing insights to share about writing. She talks about the value of genre for readers and writers and the risk of writing cross-genre stories. Marianne also talks a bit about her process and about the importance of finishing what you start. She says that writers shouldn't begin a novel unless they are completely passionate about it. Pick up a copy of Peacemaker Peacemaker is an absorbing supernatural mystery, a great fun read and is available where good books are bought or borrowed. You can pick up a print or electronic copy here (Amazon) or here (Kobo). Issue 1 of the Peacemaker graphic novel is also available at Marianne's website. Connect with Marianne de Pierres You can learn more about Marianne and her stories at her website or connect with her on social media including twitter, goodreads and google+. Also, Marianne is teaching the Year of the Novel course at the Queensland Writers Centre this year. While this course has already kicked off, the QWC offers a range of excellent in person and online workshops, masterclasses and short courses for those keen on learning more about story craft.
51 minutes | Jun 1, 2014
Episode 7: Interview with J F Penn
On today's show I chat with New York Times and USA Today best-selling author J F Penn about her sensational new novel, Desecration, a crime thriller that delves into the world of body modification, corpse art and teratology. Desecration is the first book in her new London mystery series and Joanna very kindly reads the opening passages for us today. Click the play button below to listen to today’s episode or go to iTunes and/or Stitcher. Joanna has also posted a transcript of the interview on her website which you can check out here. Reading Joanna is an absolute reading machine who devours 4 to 7 books a week! She talks about a broad range of books that she's enjoyed reading recently including Bird Box by Josh Malerman, Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn and The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes. Joanna counts Stephen King's The Stand and John Connolly's Charlie Parker series as amongst her greatest influences. Writing Joanna believes that writers have the responsibility to tackle difficult subjects and examine them from the character's perspective. She talks about theme and some of the challenges of writing in different genres. She also gives us some insight into her process, including the depth of research she does and how travel has inspired some of the plot elements and settings in her stories. Pick up a copy of Desecration Desecration is a thoroughly engrossing and thought-provoking read and is available wherever good books are bought or borrowed. You can pick up a print or ebook copy here (Amazon) or here (Kobo). The second book in this series, Delirium, will be available in June 2014. The action-packed Arcane thrillers are also worth a look if you'd like to check out more of J F Penn's work. These include the novels Pentecost, Prophecy and Exodus, and the novellas One Day in Budapest and Day of the Vikings. Connect with J F Penn The best place to connect with Joanna and learn more about her books is on twitter, google+ and at her J F Penn website. Her long running Creative Penn website and podcast have been a huge inspiration for me both as a writer and podcaster and are a must-visit for those interested in writing, publishing options, book marketing and the business of writing.
42 minutes | May 19, 2014
Episode 6: Interview with Taylor Eaton
On today's show I chat with flash fiction author Taylor Eaton about her new collection, The Suicide of the Moon. Taylor is crazy talented and gives us a taste of her wonderful ability when she very kindly reads the beautiful story Full Moon from her collection. Click the play button below to listen to today’s episode or go to iTunes and/or Stitcher. Reading Taylor reads across a lot of different genres including Sci-Fi, Literary, Experimental, Fantasy and Surreal. She tells us that the type of books she tends to read is quite often reflected in the type of writing she produces. She's currently reading the King Killer Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss and The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, a collection of short stories by Aimee Bender. Taylor says that pretty much everything she's read has shaped her writing in some way but counts The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry as amongst her greatest influences. Writing Taylor enjoys writing flash fiction over longer form stories because it allows her to jump between worlds, genres and characters without getting burnt out. She also says that resisting the temptation to go back and sensor her work before finishing it, and showing up at the keyboard every day - even when she doesn't feel like or thinks an idea may not work - has been really important in building her writing skills. Pick up a copy of The Suicide of the Moon Grab an ebook copy of The Suicide of the Moon over at Amazon or Kobo. A little support goes a long way for emerging authors and once you've read Taylor Eaton's stories, you'll be glad you did. Connect with Taylor Eaton You can get in touch with Taylor on twitter and goodreads. She also publishes a new piece of flash fiction on her littlewritelies website each week. Also, Taylor, along with her friends and fellow writers Skye Fairwin and Christina R. Guarino, is one of the founding members of The Sprint Shack blog and writing community. It is well worth a visit if you're interested in meeting other writers and getting some practice!
50 minutes | May 5, 2014
Episode 5: Interview with Chris F Holm
On today's show I chat with the exceedingly cool Chris F Holm about his brilliant Urban Fantasy/Noir novels Dead Harvest, The Wrong Goodbye and The Big Reap (The Collector Series). Chris also reads a few passages from the opening of Dead Harvest and introduces us to Sam Thornton, the protagonist of the Collector books. Click the play button below to listen to today’s episode or go to iTunes and/or Stitcher. Also, you can check out my review of Dead Harvest right here. Reading Chris grew up on a diet of Crime, Hard Sci-fi and Epic Fantasy, reading the likes of Isaac Asimov and Raymond Chandler. Now he prefers reading modern/low fantasy, cross-genre and crime novels like Tim Powers' Last Call, Charlie Huston's Joe Pitt Series and Stephen Blackmoore's City of the Lost. Donna Tartt's A Secret History is one of his all time favourite novels. He is currently reading Queenpin by Megan Abbott. Chris counts Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Tim Powers, Susana Clarke and P.G. Wodehouse as being amongst his greatest influences. Writing Chris is also an accomplished (and award-winning) writer of short fiction with 26 Crime, Fantasy and Psychological Horror short stories published in addition to his Collector novels. We chat a little about how writing short fiction has been a great way for him to play with different techniques and genres and how this has contributed to his novels. Chris encourages emerging writers to try and write the stories that only they can write rather than writing stories they think others want to read or chasing market trends. Pick up copies of the Collector Series and Chris' short fiction collections Chris' Collector books are available in all good book stores and libraries. You can pick up a print or ebook copy of Dead Harvest here (Amazon) and here (Kobo), The Wrong Goodbye here (Amazon) and here (Kobo) and The Big Reap here (Amazon) and here (Kobo). His short story collections 8 Pounds and Dead Letters are also available by clicking on the links. Also, Chris has just signed a new deal with Mulholland books and has a new Crime/Thriller novel, The Killing Kind, coming out late next year. The premise (a hitman who makes his living killing other hitmen) sounds well cool and it will be well worth keeping an eye out for. Connect with Chris F Holm You can get in touch with Chris on twitter, goodreads and facebook and find out more about him (and pick up a copy of his books) over at his
51 minutes | Apr 21, 2014
Episode 4: Interview with Victoria Grefer
On today's show I chat with high fantasy author Victoria Grefer about her excellent Herezoth trilogy The Crimson League, The Magic Council and The King's Sons. Victoria's reading from the first book, The Crimson League, really sets the scene for the story and gives us a wonderful insight into the world she's created. You can listen to today's episode by clicking the play button below or on iTunes and Stitcher. Reading Victoria recently read Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy, Michael J. Sullivan's Riyria Revelations series and is currently reading the classic Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. Interestingly, she has also read a lot of Spanish picaresque literature while undertaking a Masters in Spanish. Victoria's favourite books of all time are Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. She also counts J.R.R. Tolkein's Lord of the Rings trilogy and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books as amongst her greatest influences. Writing Victoria talks about community in writing and how being able to work through issues with, and bounce ideas off other writers has been vital to her writing. She also shares how her study of 16th and 17th Century Spanish politics and culture inspired the Herezoth story world. Amongst the most important lessons Victoria has learnt is that writers need first to write for themselves and that, when editing, you can always cut more after you think you've cut enough! Pick up copies of the Herezoth Trilogy Victoria's Herezoth trilogy is being re-released in the American Fall of 2014. If you're keen to check the books out in the meantime, The Crimson League, The Magic Council and The King's Sons are available in both print and e-book via Amazon. Victoria has also published a book on the craft of writing called Writing for You: A Novelist's Guide to the Craft of Fiction. If the advice Victoria gives on her blog is anything to go by, this book should be well worth a look. Connect with Victoria Grefer You can learn more about Victoria and the Herezoth story world at her official website and connect with her on twitter, facebook and Goodreads. Also, Victoria's Creative Writing with the Crimson League blog is an amazing source of advice and support for emerging authors.
47 minutes | Apr 5, 2014
Episode 3: Interview with Mur Lafferty
On today's show, I chat with the insightful, witty and passionate Mur Lafferty about her brilliant new urban fantasy novel, The Ghost Train to New Orleans (The Shambling Guides #2). You can listen to today's episode by clicking the play button below or on iTunes and Stitcher. Mur is also a pioneer in podcasting and it really shows when she reads a few passages from her new book. Check out my reviews of The Shambling Guide to New York City and Ghost Train to New Orleans. Reading Mur says she hasn't read much urban fantasy but mentions Carrie Vaughn's Kitty series, Jim Butcher's Dresden Files and Charlaine Harris's Sooki Stackhouse series as authors/books she's read in the genre. She is a fan of Epic Fantasy and Science Fiction and counts Connie Willis, Robin McKinley, Anne Mccaffrey and Madeleine L'engle as her greatest influences. She also talks about how Science Fiction author, James Patrick Kelly has been a great mentor throughout her career. At the moment, she's reading Wool by Hugh Howey. Writing Mur won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2013 and recently graduated from the Stonecoast MFA Program. She tells us about how her writing and podcasting careers have intertwined and how podcasting helped her build an audience and secure a traditional publishing deal. We also talk a little about her approach to writing humour and sex scenes in her stories. Pick up a copy of the Shambling Guides Mur's Shambling Guide novels are great fun and available in all good books stores and libraries. Do yourself a favour, go pick up a copy of The Shambling Guide to New York City here (Amazon) or here (Kobo) and then grab a copy of The Ghost Train to New Orleans here (Amazon) or here (Kobo) and read them immediately. Also, Mur will be podcasting The Ghost Train to New Orleans for free in the American Fall of 2014! Connect with Mur Lafferty You can connect with Mur on twitter, goodreads and at her Murverse website. Her long-running I Should Be Writing Podcast is a wonderful source of advice and inspiration for ‘wannabe fiction writers’ and a must-visit for those looking to learn more about the craft.
51 minutes | Apr 3, 2014
Episode 2: Interview with Richard Newsome
On today's show, I chat with middle grade author Richard Newsome about his latest novel, The Crystal Code, book 4 of his outstanding Billionaire series. You can check out my review of The Crystal Code here. Richard also does a reading from the yet-to-be-published fifth book of the Billionaire series, tentatively titled, The House of Puzzles. Just awesome! You can listen to today's episode by clicking the play button below or on iTunes and Stitcher. Reading By his own admission, Richard is very good at starting books but not so good at finishing them. He's currently reading a pretty diverse range of titles including: Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai (and Christina Lamb) The Great Escape by Australian writer Paul Brickhill Bird by Bird: Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott Richard counts Michael Bond's Paddington Bear books, and the William books by Richmal Crompton as amongst his biggest influences. He also talks about his admiration of Cormac McCarthy and Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. Writing Richard is a meticulous planner and tells us about how he plans and writes the first draft of his novels. He also talks about the research that underpins his stories and how real historical events, artefacts and locations play an important role in the Billionaire mysteries. Pick up a copy of the Billionaire books The Billionaire series is available in all good book stores and great fortune is said to fall on those who buy multiple copies. You can pick up a copy of The Crystal Code here or through Richard’s website. For those keen to find out where the series began, check out The Billionaire’s Curse, The Emerald Casket and The Mask of Destiny. Connect with Richard You can get in touch with Richard on facebook, twitter and goodreads. Richard's website also has some great resources available for teachers interested in setting the Billionaire books as a class text or discussing character and structure, and issues such as greed and loyalty with their students.
53 minutes | Mar 31, 2014
Episode 1: Interview with Peter Cruikshank
Welcome to the Scenes and Sequels Podcast! On today's show, I chat with epic fantasy author Peter Cruikshank about his debut novel, Fire of the Covenant (Dragon-called Legend, Book 1). Check out my review of Fire of the Covenant here. Peter is a really interesting guy and was just awesome to talk to. He released Fire of the Covenant in late 2013 - about 40 years after first dreaming of becoming a published writer! Peter's is an inspirational story, he is a wonderful example that it's never too late to pursue your writing dreams. You can listen to today's episode by clicking the play button below or on iTunes and Stitcher. Reading Peter counts J.R.R. Tolkein, Robert Heinlein and C.S. Lewis as his greatest influences but talks a little about how Brandon Sanderson, Michael G. Manning and George R.R. Martin have also inspired his writing. Writing Peter tells us how an online writing course with author, Holly Lisle helped him iron out some of the mistakes that prevented him from finishing other novels he'd started. He also talks about the importance of making time to write and finishing a first draft before editing. Pick up a copy of Fire of the Covenant Fire of the Covenant is widely available in both print and e-book formats. You can grab a copy here, and if you like what you read, don't be afraid to write a review and post it to your favourite platform. Connect with Peter You can check out Peter's blog here or connect with him on twitter and goodreads - he'd love to hear from you! Peter also does some guest blogging on a site called the Independent Bookworm. The Dragon Called website gives readers an opportunity to escape into the world of Saoghal (pronounced Soo-il). The site contains maps, character lists and Tiny Tales short stories that will give readers a deeper insight into Fire of the Covenant and the Dragon-called family of books. It's a great idea and well worth a visit.