Rocky Mountain Writer #72

Marc Graham & Of Ashes and Dust

This episode features a chat with historical novelist Marc Graham and the latest installment of Writer's Rehab from Natasha Watts.

Marc is back on the podcast (listen to episode #35 for his first visit) a few weeks before the launch of his debut novel, Of Ashes and Dust.

We caught Marc just a few minutes after he returned home from attending an out-of-state workshop for writers about growing and building your online audience.

Marc offers a few tips he picked up, including some ideas about being “relentlessly helpful” when you get the opportunity.

Marc also talks about the power of knowing the core idea of your novel and how that key concept can help you both with the writing itself and with getting the attention of agents and editors.

Marc Graham is an actor, singer, bard, engineer, Freemason, and whisky aficionado When not on stage, in a pub, or bound to his computer, he can be found traipsing about Colorado’s Front Range with his wife and their Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.

This episode starts with a quick burst of inspiration in the latest Writer’s Rehab entry from Natasha Watts. Natasha offers ideas to help make sure your dialogue-heavy scenes come alive for your readers.

Marc Graham

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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 #71

David S. Atkinson & Apocalypse All The Time

One reviewer said David Atkinson’s novel Apocalypse All The Time combines absurdism, science fiction and sly commentary in a story reminiscent of Orwell, Kafka and Swift.

This time on the podcast, David Atkinson discusses his latest work and talks about his writing process, including his eclectic approach to reading – some 200 to 300 books a year.

He also talks about how he blends work as a patent attorney with his writing life.

In addition to Apocalypse All The Time, David Atkinson is also the author of Not Quite so Stories, The Garden of Good and Evil Pancakes, and Bones Buried in the Dirt.

He is a Staff Reader for Digging Through The Fat and his writing appears in "Bartleby Snopes," "Literary Orphans," "Atticus Review," and others.

David Atkinson's website.

Intro music by Moby Gratis

Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

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 #70

Jamie Raintree & Your Most Productive Writing Year

The guest is Jamie Raintree, who is presenting this month’s free workshop (Saturday, Jan. 21) for RMFW in downtown Denver.

The presentation is called "Your Most Productive Writing Year" and on the podcast Jamie offers highlights from her approach to planning your writing and your writing career.

Jamie also talks about her debut novel Perfectly Undone, due to be published later this year from Graydon House.

Jamie Raintree is a writing and productivity teacher and also the creator of many writing productivity tools, including the Writing & Revision Tracker. She is also a mom, a wife, a businesswoman, a nature-lover, and a wannabe yogi.

Jaimie Raintree

Intro music by Moby Gratis

Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

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 #69


Suzie Brooks  & Literary Wanderlust

The first episode of 2017 begins with the second installment of Writer's Rehab. This quick session with Natasha Watts deals with sprucing up your vocabulary.

Following Natasha, the guest is Suzie Brooks, who launched the independent publishing house Literary Wanderlust three short years ago.

Suzie talks the submission and scouting process, how she works with writers on everything from editing to marketing, and what it’s like to head up a small team of talented staffers working to produce quality books.

Since 2009, Suzie has served on the board of directors for RMFW. She holds a master’s degree in publishing from George Washington University and has many years of editorial experience.

Suzie Brooks

Intro music by Moby Gratis

Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

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 #68

Frederick Bloetscher  & "The Old Coyote"

The guest is Frederick Bloetscher, who has an entry in the latest RMFW short story anthology, FOUND.

Fred’s story is “The Old Coyote” and it’s his first work of fiction.

On the podcast, talks about the inspiration for the story and, since Fred is someone who works in water issues on a national basis, the conversation veers for a while into the inevitable topic of climate change.

Fred Boetschler has 30 years of experience as a civil engineer focusing on water and infrastructure issues.

His hobbies include hiking and photography, both of which played a role in leading to the moment that prompted him to write “The Old Coyote.”

Quick note: the podcast will return in early 2017 after a brief holiday break.

Intro music by Moby Gratis

Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

 

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 #67


Josh Viola & Cyber World

The Rocky Mountain Writer debuts a brand new feature – Writer’s Rehab with Natasha Watts.

In this occasional segment about the craft of writing fiction, Natasha offers brief tips and strategies for braking bad habits. First up are some ideas for writers who aren’t hitting the necessary word counts on their first drafts.

Following Natasha, an interview with Josh Viola, the force behind Hex Publishers.

Last month, Hex Publishers debuted its latest short story anthology, Cyber World.

Josh talks about the overall Hex Publishers approach to books—both the care and editing that goes into putting the stories together but also the planning and detail that goes into the artwork, packaging and extensive marketing campaigns.

He also reveals what’s ahead on the Hex calendar for 2017 and beyond, including some stand-alone novels, a comic book, another short story compilation and a new line of books for children.

Hex Publishers

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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 #66

owens-2Robin Owens & Ghost Maker

A chat with fantasy paranormal romance writer Robin Owens.

Robin discusses a recent column she wrote about her love of an audio books and about the two series is currently writing including her latest, Ghost Maker.

She also talks about the good old days of RMFW. Robin was one of three individuals, along with Sharon Mignery and Christine Jorgensen, who were named this year as “honored guiding members of RMFW.

Robin D. Owens has published twenty seven books, five novellas, and two short stories.

She was the recipient of the 2002 Romance Writers of America RITA® Award (like the Oscar in her field) for "Heart Mate."

Twice she has been named Writer of the Year by Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and she has also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Colorado Romance Writers.

Robin Owens

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Intro music by Moby Gratis
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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 #65

rachel-delaneyRachel Craft & Wild Magic

This time on the Rocky Mountain Writer we have another writer who contributed to the RMFW short story anthology Found, published last September.

Rachel Craft, who writes as Rachel Delaney, had a story called “Every Drop of Light” included in that new anthology.

Rachel Craft is a full-time engineer and part-time writer. After deciding to pursue writing as a second career, she discovered RMFW and never looked back. Her short fiction has appeared in Cricket magazine, and her first middle grade novel, Wild Magic, was a finalist in the RMFW Colorado Gold contest.

On the podcast, Rachel talks about the distinctions between young adult and middle grade fiction and what sparked her interest in speculative fiction, beginning with a story she wrote about her fourth-grade math teacher’s evil twin brother. She also talks about how moving from state to state as a child may have helped her develop her storytelling talents.

Rachel lives in Boulder with her fiancé and Jack Russell terrier.

Found Anthology

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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 #64


barb-2Barbara Nickless & Blood on the Tracks

In June of 2012, Barb Nickless and her family were told to evacuate their house in Waldo Canyon, northwest of Colorado Springs, because a wildfire was bearing down. Authorities told Barb to plan on being gone for a few days.

Instead, Barb’s house burned to the ground, one of hundreds of houses lost in that devastating fire.

Earlier this year, Barb published her first novel, a mystery thriller called Blood on the Tracks, and that fire played a role in how Barb approached the work of writing fiction. No details here – you’ll have to listen to the podcast.

And now Barb is dealing with another wildfire—the good kind—with the sales of her book. For a few weeks this fall, Blood on the Tracks was ranked #1 in nationwide sales, ahead of writers such as J.K. Rowling. And the reviews have poured in, too – thousands of reviews on Amazon and the novel is still carrying a nearly solid five-star rating.

On the podcast, Barb tells the story of the Waldo Canyon Fire and talks about the research that went into Blood on the Tracks, which features railroad cop and Iraq war veteran Sidney Rose Parnell and her k-9 companion Clyde. Barb talks about her immersion approach to writing and the amazing story of how she found her agent during Thriller Fest in New York City. She also recounts the decision-making process that went into going with Thomas & Mercer, the publishing house that is part of the Amazon empire.

Barbara Nickless was made in Japan, born in Guam, and traveled through numerous ports of call to land in Colorado.

When she's not writing, traveling, or wandering through libraries, she is usually in the Colorado Rockies where she loves to hike, cave, snowshoe and drink single malt Scotch—rarely, please note, at the same time.

Barbara Nickless

Intro music by Moby Gratis

Outro music by Dan-o-Songs

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 #63

cover-conanSusan Mackay Smith & Conan The Grammarian

On this episode, it's Conan the Grammarian, in person.

For a couple of decades now you have read Conan’s column in the monthly newsletter from Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and now Conan is out with a book titled Conan the Grammarian – Practical Guidelines on Grammar and Craft for Fiction Writers.

The writer behind Conan is Susan Mackay Smith, former RMFW president. Yes, in case you did not know, Conan is a she.

On the podcast, Susan talks about the nuns and their rulers who helped her develop her interest in grammar and she talks about the importance of knowing the basics, especially when it comes time to submit writing to contests, agents and editors.

This episode also includes a brief reading from Conan the Grammarian as Susan reads the entire chapter “In Defense of Fiction.”

Susan Mackay Smith is a past president of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and a frequent judge of the Colorado Book Awards. Traditionally published in fantasy under the nom de plume, Mackay Wood, she is a second-generation Colorado native with a degree in history and (more important to her) a BHSAI (British Horse Society Associate Instructor) from the Porlock Vale Riding School in Somerset, England. She lives in Boulder with the most wonderful man in the world.

Conan The Grammarian

Mackay Wood

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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