Rocky Mountain Writer #88

Denise Vega - Writing for Teens and Toddlers

An interview with award-winning Denise Vega, who writes for teens and toddlers.

Denise talks about what inspired to write for young adults, how she keeps current with the world of teenagers, and how she draws from her own high school experience for the right emotional connections.

Denise is the award-winning author of seven books including Click Here, Access Denied, Fact of Life #31, and Rock On. Her picture books include her latest: If Your Monster Won't Go to Bed.

Both Click Here and Fact of Life #31 won the Colorado Book Award; Rock On was a finalist.

Denise is a former Co-Regional Advisor of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of SCBWI and she’s on the faculty at Lighthouse Writers Workshop. She is also a Young Adult Faculty Mentor for the Regis University MFA Creative Writing program.

Denise Vega's website.

Intro music by Moby Gratis

Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

For suggestions about content or to comment on the show, email Mark Stevens. Also feel free to leave a comment about the podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast provider.

Host Mark Stevens: http://www.writermarkstevens.com

Rocky Mountain Writer #87

Laurence MacNaughton & A Kiss Before Doomsday

We check back in with Laurence MacNaughton, whose new urban fantasy A Kiss Before Doomsday is set to launch in a few short weeks, just about a year after he debuted his new series with It Happened One Doomsday.

We are back with Dru Jasper and her crystal shop and her magical powers and sorcerers and major problems trying to stop, yes, another impending apocalypse.

Laurence Macnaughton grew up in Connecticut and sold his first magazine story at age 19. Over the years, he’s been a bookseller, typesetter, printer, copywriter and a prototype vehicle test driver.

Following the Q & A, Laurence reads the opening scene from A Kiss Before Doomsday.

Laurence MacNaughton's website

Intro music by Moby Gratis

Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

For suggestions about content or to comment on the show, email Mark Stevens. Also feel free to leave a comment about the podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast provider.

Host Mark Stevens: http://www.writermarkstevens.com

Rocky Mountain Writer #86

Shannon Lawrence & Deconstructing Horror

What makes a story qualify as horror?

If you ask Shannon Lawrence that basic question, be prepared for some thoughtful analysis.

The genre, she will tell you, extends beyond jump scares and slashers.

Shannon recaps the recent free workshop she gave for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers in Denver and explores one her favorite topics, the world and definition of writing horror. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t always involve gore or extreme violence.

On the podcast, Shannon also offers some tips about finding short story markets and how to keep track of where your stories you have submitted.

A fan of all things fantastical and frightening, Shannon Lawrence writes primarily horror and fantasy.

Her stories can be found in anthologies and magazines, including Once Upon a Scream, Dark Moon Digest, and The Deep Dark Woods.

When she's not writing, she's hiking through the wilds of Colorado and photographing her magnificent surroundings, where, coincidentally, there's always a place to hide a body or birth a monster.

Find Shannon Lawrence at her website, The Warrior Muse.

Intro music by Moby Gratis

Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

For suggestions about content or to comment on the show, email Mark Stevens. Also feel free to leave a comment about the podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast provider.

Host Mark Stevens: http://www.writermarkstevens.com

Rocky Mountain Writer #85

Charles Kowalski & Mind Virus

We’ve got sage advice this time ... all the way from Japan.

Charles Kowalski a few weeks away from the release of his first novel, Mind Virus, but it’s been a long road to reach this point.

And Charles knows it was all meant to be. He had just the right amount of encouragement, he says, at just the right time to keep going, to not give up.

Charles Kowalski is a two-time winner of the Action/Thriller category for Colorado Gold Award, for Mind Virus in 2013 and also in 2016 for the forthcoming Day of the Watchers.

Charles divides his time between Japan, where he teaches at a university, and his family home of Maine.

This is a special podcast because it marks the first international interview for the Rocky Mountain Writer. And, yes, members of RMFW live all around the world.

Charles Kowalski's website

Intro music by Moby Gratis

Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

For suggestions about content or to comment on the show, email Mark Stevens. Also feel free to leave a comment about the podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast provider.

Host Mark Stevens: http://www.writermarkstevens.com

Rocky Mountain Writer #84

Teresa Funke & The Self-Publishing Blueprint

Teresa Funke is a high-in-demand coach who assists writers with all sorts of advice for every step of the process.

As a writer and self-publisher, she has has done some creative and innovative things that have worked.

And a few that have not.

So she wanted to share what she’s learned, to help others avoid making the same mistakes.

Today, with decades of experience under her belt, Teresa talks about a new online tool called the Self-Publishing Blueprint that she produced to help writers sort through the many options and choices that are out there.

As Teresa puts it, the Self-Publishing Blueprint is the only tool you will ever need to cut through the confusion of self-publishing and save yourself from costly mistakes.

Teresa Funke is the author of six award-winning works of fiction set in World War II. She is the owner of Victory House Press, and successfully
produces and markets her own books.

Visit her website to learn more about Teresa and access additional resources for writers or read her motivational blog "Bursts of Brilliance for a Creative Life."

Follow this link to the blueprint, including a $50 discount.

Intro music by Moby Gratis

Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

For suggestions about content or to comment on the show, email Mark Stevens. Also feel free to leave a comment about the podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast provider.

Host Mark Stevens: http://www.writermarkstevens.com

Rocky Mountain Writer #83

Michael F. Haspil & Graveyard Shift

Michael F. Haspil has a soft spot for villains.

He also has a mountain of patience.

His journey to publication was so long he still doesn’t believe Graveyard Shift will actually be in the hands of readers in mid-July.

On the podcast, Mike talks about that bumpy road to publication for his first urban fantasy and he sheds light on the many benefits of working with a good critique group. He also talks about the unusual jobs he has held, including work as an ICBM crew commander and as a launch director for the U.S. Air Force at Cape Canaveral.

Mike is a self-described geeky engineer and nerdy artist with an role-playing, cosplaying, computer gaming, and collecting and creating replica movie props. Mike devotes the largest share of his gaming time to Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 tabletop game and he is a regular contribut to “The Long War,” a podcast and webcast dedicated to tabletop gaming.

Stay tuned after the interview as Mike reads a selection from Graveyard Shift.

This episode also includes another installment of Writer’s Rehab with Natasha Watts. This time, Natasha has some great tips to help you avoid the dreaded issue of repeating gestures as you describe your characters and their actions.

Mike Haspil's website

Intro music by Moby Gratis

Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

For suggestions about content or to comment on the show, email Mark Stevens. Also feel free to leave a comment about the podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast provider.

Host Mark Stevens: http://www.writermarkstevens.com

Rocky Mountain Writer #82

Margaret Mizushima & The Timber Creek K-9 Mystery Series

It’s been about 17 months since we had Margaret Mizushima on the Rocky Mountain Writer podcast, way back on episode number 23. At the time, her debut novel Killing Trail was a few weeks from publication and the buzz was just building for the Timber Creek K-9 mystery series.

Now, her second book Stalking Ground is a finalist for the Colorado Book Award, the release of her third, Hunting Hour, is only a few months away, and she is writing her fourth. And the series is set for its United Kingdom debut in early May with plans for publication in France coming, too.

So it's hard to imagine a better time to chat with Margaret Mizushima, who catches up with her cast of characters, including K-9 cop Mattie Cobb, her dog Robo, and local veterinarian Cole Walker.

Margaret also talks about how being under contract and facing deadlines has changed her writing process.

After earning a master’s degree in speech pathology, Margaret Mizushima practiced in a hospital and her own rehabilitation agency, and now she assists her husband with their veterinary clinic and her of Angus cattle. She enjoys reading and hiking and lives in Colorado on a small farm where she and her husband raised two daughters and a multitude of animals.

Margaret Mizushima's website

Intro music by Moby Gratis

Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

For suggestions about content or to comment on the show, email Mark Stevens. Also feel free to leave a comment about the podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast provider.

Host Mark Stevens: http://www.writermarkstevens.com

Rocky Mountain Writer #81

Terri Benson & PubCon 2017

RMFW Education Chair Terri Benson offers an overview of PubCon 2017, coming up on Saturday, April 29 in Golden.

A few spots remain for this day-long event that will explore both traditional and independent publishing.

More about PubCon 2017 is here.

 

 

 

 

Intro music by Moby Gratis

Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

For suggestions about content or to comment on the show, email Mark Stevens. Also feel free to leave a comment about the podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast provider.

Host Mark Stevens: http://www.writermarkstevens.com

Rocky Mountain Writer #80

Kevin Ikenberry & Sleeper Protocol

Sleeper Protocol started with one sentence on a blank page. The sentence became a short story.

Then the short story became a novella and soon Kevin Ikenberry realized he needed to write the story as a full-length novel.

Now, Sleeper Protocol is a finalist this year in the genre fiction category for the Colorado Book Award.

Kevin is a life-long space geek and retired Army officer. He’s a former manager of the world-renowned U.S. Space Camp program and a former executive with two Challenger Learning Centers—learning environments that engage students in dynamic, hands-on opportunities to study space.

All the way along, through college and beyond, others noted Kevin’s talents as a writer but it took years for Kevin to take his writing more seriously. A serious disease prompted Kevin to bear down on getting Sleeper Protocol in final shape and ready to search for a publisher.

In short, Kevin Ikenberry’s story about writing and getting published is one you won’t soon forget.

Kevin Ikenberry

Intro music by Moby Gratis

Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

For suggestions about content or to comment on the show, email Mark Stevens. Also feel free to leave a comment about the podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast provider.

Host Mark Stevens: http://www.writermarkstevens.com

Rocky Mountain Writer #79

Kevin Michaels & Still Black Remains

Kevin Michaels is the author of the just-released Still Black Remains, a novel that takes readers down into the gritty streets of New Jersey with gangs and the Mafia.

Michaels is the author of the critically acclaimed debut novel Lost Exit, as well as two entries in the Fight Card Books series: Hard Road and Can't Miss Contender.

Michaels' short stories and flash fiction have also appeared in a number of magazines and indie zines, and in 2011 he was nominated for two separate Pushcart Prize awards.

On the podcast, Michaels talks about the appeal of writing gritty crime fiction and he talks about an organization he founded called Story Tellers that works with under-served teenagers and young adults in a community-based effort to develop and promote literacy through writing.

Michaels left the corporate world to focus on writing but he's realistic about the work ahead. “Writing is a craft,” he says. “Study it, play with it, keep improving.”

Kevin Michaels on Facebook

Literary Wanderlust

Intro music by Moby Gratis

Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

For suggestions about content or to comment on the show, email Mark Stevens. Also feel free to leave a comment about the podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast provider.

Host Mark Stevens: http://www.writermarkstevens.com