Hour of the Wolf Radio Interview--June 20, 2009
My first interview with Jim Freund, who has interviewed literally every fantasy and science fiction author you've ever heard of (that's almost not an exaggeration). Hour of the Wolf has been running since before I was born, and I was honored to be added to the list of authors with this appearance. (Be warned--this is two hours of interview goodness!)
Authors Show Interview--October 27, 2009
An interview I did with Don McCauley and the Authors Show. Don prepares well for these things, and although my audio quality could have been better this was a pretty good, straightforward interview covering the basics of how The Third Sign came to be.
Hour of the Wolf Radio Interview, Take Two--January 23, 2010
My second go-round with Jim Freund and Hour of the Wolf; here I read a previously unheard short story featuring a character from my third novel, Grayshade. With luck you'll see more of this story in the months to come, though I can't say anything more about that yet! (Again, this is a two hour interview.)
Destinies Radio Interview--March 5, 2010
This was my first interview with Dr. Howard Margolin at WUSB, who has been running Destinies, the science fiction and fantasy show,for over twenty-five years--and though he may not have Jim Freund's author list, he makes up for it with an incredible group of luminaries from all portions of the fantasy and science fiction spectrum (artists, actors, directors, musicians, authors and others). He's also exceedingly well prepared, and asked a series of thoughtful and unusual questions I hadn't fielded before. And since the DJ after him never showed up for his show, we ended up turning a planned half hour interview into a ninety minute long epic, which means I was able to talk about/promote just about every aspect of my professional life--an unexpected and very cool thing. (Plus he did it with the soundtrack of LADYHAWKE in the background--how cool is that?)
Readercon, July 16, 2011--Podcasts, Professions and Shameless Promotion--Combining Different Worlds
This was my second event at Readercon for this year, a solo talk on combining various aspects of one's professional and personal background to further one's career in writing. I wasn't certain how this was going to go over--Readercon tends not to be big on practical aspects of the writing business to begin with, and I was moved shortly before the convention to Saturday at 9 p.m., up against a reading, a panel, and the massive draw of the Kirk Poland Memorial Bad Prose Competition--but I ended up with very solid turnout and had a great time. A lot of the participants, all of whom were (of course!) great, told me they had enjoyed the talk more than anything else at Readercon in part because there is so little attention to the writing life as such, so I hope the powers that be will consider doing more of this sort of thing in the future.
The Night Before Christmas--A Skyrim Tribute
A very brief tribute to a fun cast I've been watching of Skyrim (it's great background for grading and watching)--in part because the caster, Katabasis, has been playing a version of my character Sarrtax from The Third Sign. This will only be up for a day or so, so enjoy it (I hope you do) while it lasts!
Gen Con, August 13, 2009--Writers' Symposium--Great Opening Lines
One of the Writers' Symposium panels I was on at Gen Con with fellow writers Paul Genesse, Brad Beaulieu and (Guest of Honor) Pat Rothfuss--an interesting and fun panel, and it even features an obscure opera overture reference!
Gen Con, August 15, 2009--Writers' Symposium--Hunting Dragons
A second Writers' Symposium panel at Gen Con, all about the scaled things which cast long shadows over the genre of fantasy. I joined Paul Genesse, Richard Lee Byers and Daniel Myers, all of whom have a lot more dragons as such in their work than I do in mine, for this one...lots of fun. (Apologies in advance for the subpar sound quality here.)
Gen Con, August 15, 2009--Writers' Symposium--The Writer's Spirit
Another of the Writers' Symposium panels at Gen Con, this one on what motivates writers to do what they do, roughly speaking. But the panel ended up ranging widely through a number of topics, which was an interesting (and good) experience. I joined the inimitable Elizabeth Vaughan and Richard Lee Byers for this one.
A Brief Excerpt From Writers' Symposium, Gen Con, August 13, 2009--Great Opening Lines
This is a brief video excerpt of a panel I did at Gen Con for the Writers' Symposium--you can find the full audio for the panel above. (Apologies for the audio and video quality, which was not the best.)
Ad Astra, April 9, 2010--Same Old Settings
My first of four panels (three posted here, one over on the Academic side of my site) at the 2010 Ad Astra convention in Toronto, and I thought this was the best--it was ostensibly a panel on "overdone" settings in fantasy and science fiction, but as it happened the discussion ranged more widely than that...but without going off the rails, which can sometimes happen. Thoughtful discussion and a good mix of writers in the group made for a good panel (and actually well-attended, despite starting at 9 p.m. on Friday night)! I joined Rick Wilber, Karina Sumner-Smith, and Derek Kunsken for this one. (Be warned that the audio for all the 2010 Ad Astra material, while good quality most of the time, has some occasional volume spikes despite my best attempts to smooth them out.)
Ad Astra, April 10, 2010--Each Character's Voice
My third panel at Ad Astra 2010, this one on keeping characters' voices distinct. This was the largest panel I was on (always kind of a problem when you've only got a little under an hour to cover the topic)--I joined Hayden Trenholm, Grant Carrington, Karin Lowachee and Kate Story. Again, watch out for the couple of spikes in the audio volume.
Ad Astra, April 11, 2010--How to Get an Agent
This was my last panel appearance at Ad Astra 2010, and since it was about an important topic (getting the agent who can get your work sold), we had good turnout in a sizable room. Most interesting was that everyone on the panel (which included Megan Crewe, Adrienne Kress and Ian Keeling) had different paths to getting their agent, which is, I think, instructive...and I was told by a few of the attendees they were glad that we had a story or two of the "work at it and build up to an agent" variety, rather than everything being the "here's what happened that time that lightning struck" kind. Watch out for the few audio spikes here!
Readercon, July 9, 2010--MD PhD SWFA
This was my only panel at Readercon this year, and it was an interesting one--about how advanced degrees had impacted the writing careers of the panelists. More than one person noted the irony of having this panel right after the "Drop Out, Write On" session, with panelists who never graduated college, but the key point is that different paths work for different people. For me, academia was a valuable entry into the world of writing generally and speculative fiction more specifically, and the other panelists had (not surprisingly) similar takes. The panel had Brett Cox (who was the only other "Humanities" person), Lauren Burka, Anil Menon, Tom Easton and Joan Slonczewski. (I apologize for the audio--I had forgotten my digital recorder and thus recorded this with my netbook, an experiment I won't repeat.)
Gen Con, August 6, 2010--Writers' Symposium--The Protagonist
My first of a number of panels at the 2010 edition of Gen Con, this one on how to create a well-rounded and interesting protagonist, with fellow Writers' Symposium members Linda Baker, Richard Lee Byers, Dave Gross and Brad Beaulieu. Some interesting insights came out of this one, and I even managed to sneak in a Paradise Lost reference without being thrown out of the room for being too highbrow. :)
Gen Con, August 6, 2010--Writers' Symposium--The Antagonist
Another of my Writers' Symposium panels at Gen Con 2010, this one on (shockingly) how to create a well-rounded and non-cliched antagonist, with Richard Lee Byers, Marc Tassin and Brad Beaulieu. Again, some good insights here, though heaven only knows how Sex and the City ended up in the discussion... :)
Gen Con, August 6, 2010--Writers' Symposium--Setting is King
A third Symposium panel at Gen Con 2010, this one on how to establish an effective and memorable setting, with Maurice Broaddus, Chris Pierson, Robert Farnsworth, and Paul Genesse. This was one of my favorite panels at Gen Con, mostly because of the various approaches the panelists took to the topic...even if we couldn't agree on how to pronounce "gazetteer."
Gen Con, August 7, 2010--Writers' Symposium--Beat the Clock
This Symposium panel at Gen Con 2010 concerns deadlines, external pressures, and other things which bedevil authors just trying to get their next book finished. I joined Anton Strout, Don Bingle, and Tobias Buckell for this one, which had some good information mixed with some frightening revelations about Anton and Toby's love for Excel spreadsheets. Be afraid...be very, very afraid.
Gen Con, August 8, 2010--Writers' Symposium--The Next Step
My final Symposium panel at Gen Con 2010, this one on the next step in building your career after you've made your first pro sale. I was joined by Don Bingle, Lawrence Connolly, Steven Saus, and John Helfers (who was also the editor for THE THIRD SIGN)...some good advice and good fun here, particularly about Don's "evil canvas." (You never knew to be afraid of the big tent ITSELF, did you?)
World Fantasy Convention, October 31, 2010--What is Left to the Imagination
My only panel at WFC 2010, this was a really interesting panel on what is unsaid in the best speculative fiction. Lawrence Connolly, Madeleine Robins, Delia Sherman, Martha Wells and I held forth (so to speak) to a room with really great turnout...even for a Sunday morning!
Ad Astra, April 8, 2011--Travel, Research and Writing
My first panel at the 2011 version of Ad Astra, and an interesting one about how travel informs writing, even if you're traveling virtually rather than actually. I was joined by Tony Pi, Jana Paniccia, and (crashing the panel, according to him) Claude Lalumiere, all of whom seem to have traveled a lot more than me!
Ad Astra, April 9, 2011--Exposition
Okay, this might not sound like the most fascinating topic, but if you think about how much attention writers and readers pay to things like backstory, character description and worldbuilding, you'll realize the relevance of what we talked about on this panel. Matthew Johnson, Claude Lalumiere, Marc Mackay, Sandra Kasturi and I wrestled for nearly an hour with what works (and doesn't) in presenting exposition in written work, and I think the result was an interesting and sometimes amusing panel.
Ad Astra, April 10, 2011--Why Professionalism Matters
I think the panel title says it all, and it's something which isn't said enough. Matt Moore, Scott Edelman, Adrienne Kress, Mandy Slater, the inimitable Howard Tayler and I worked through various definitions and concepts of professionalism in the speculative fiction industry, trading war stories about those who exhibited (and didn't) said quality. It was a fun panel, and we lived up to the title by not straying too far away from the topic at hand!
Ad Astra, April 10, 2011--What Makes a Hero?
Throw a bunch of speculative fiction authors and editors on a panel and ask them to define a hero and you're likely to get a lot of different answers. Add Ed Greenwood into the mix and you're almost guaranteed to have something different! But with a few vocal exceptions, on this panel we actually had a lot of similar thoughts about the construction, development and appeal of the hero, and the result was an interesting journey through heroism in the world of speculative fiction. I served on my final panel for Ad Astra 2011 with David Clink, Gabrielle Harbowy, Tamora Pierce and, of course, the irrepressible Mr. Greenwood. (Sorry about the audio in this one--there was a lot of ambient noise outside and inside the room which wasn't easy to filter out in post production.)
Readercon, July 16, 2011--Science Fiction for Today's Undergraduates
My first of two appearances at Readercon this year, this panel dealt with teaching science fiction to the typical college student--how has it changed, how has it stayed the same, and how has our teaching impacted our writing and vice versa? There were some interesting insights that came out of the discussion here, partly because of the panelists' varied teaching environments (from large state school to large private university to small liberal arts college to community college, from rural to suburban to urban areas) and specific backgrounds and partly because of the different approaches each of us took in our own courses. Besides me, the panel also included Joan Slonczewski (with whom I was also on an "academic" panel at Readercon last year, in the same room...seems to be a popular spot for these sorts of topics!), Michael Cisco and Leigh Grossman (who teaches at UCONN, my old stomping grounds).
Gen Con, August 6, 2011--Writers' Symposium--Make It Steamy-A Look At The Steampunk Genre
One of my favorite panels at Gen Con 2011, this one about the steampunk genre, with fellow "experts" Anton Strout, Paul Genesse, Lawrence Connolly, and Maurice Broaddus. This panel was a lot of fun, and I did what I could not to deserve the quotation marks around the steampunk "expert" part.
Gen Con, August 6, 2011--Writers' Symposium--Worldbuilding-Geography
Another good panel at Gen Con, this one about geography in worldbuilding, with Paul Genesse, Ramsey Lundock, and Sabrina Klein. Particularly interesting here are Ramsey's (who lives in Japan) comments on how Japan's geography influences its culture, especially in light of the recent tsunami.
Gen Con, August 6, 2011--Writers' Symposium--Writing Right-Dialogue and Dialects
Another one of my favorites, this one on methods of writing dialogue and dialects, with Jean Rabe and Don Bingle. This was a serious discussion, but we had some fun as well...particularly considering the best way to interpret police scanners!
Gen Con, August 7, 2011--Writers' Symposium--Business of Writing-Agents, Query Letters and Pitches
This is some of the nuts and bolts kind of stuff which I think Gen Con does best--here on the subject of pitching agents and editors, with Don Bingle, John Helfers and Brad Beaulieu. Interesting information, even if John was so horrifically exhausted at this point in the convention I wasn't sure he was going to make it through the panel...
Worldcon, August 18, 2011--The Lord of the Rings: Assessing the Movie Trilogy
One of a number of interesting panels I was lucky enough to be on at Worldcon in 2011, this one asked the panelists to assess the impact of the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy ten years later (without being overly staggered by how much time has already passed since then) on the genre of fantasy specifically and film more generally. Since I'm on record as being both deeply influenced by the books, which first fired my imagination as a child and has continued to do so ever since, and a huge fan of the films, which did such a good job of bringing the spirit of the books to the screen, I was really excited to be moderating the panel. It didn't disappoint; Arthur Chenin, Stephen Potts and Norman Cates all had interesting things to say during the discussion, and having someone in Norman who actually worked on the films (and the upcoming Hobbit movies) talk about how moving he still finds them was, for me, worth the price of admission by itself.
Worldcon, August 19, 2011--Consistent Magic Systems in Fantasy
A second great panel at Worldcon 2011, this one with some serious star power. I'm not usually intimidated by these things, but I'll admit to having been a little awed at the prospect of sitting on a panel with Jo Walton, L.E. Modesitt Jr., Pat Rothfuss and Tim Powers. As you might expect with that kind of group, the discussion on magic in fantasy was both illuminating and entertaining, and having a phenomenal turnout (probably close to two hundred people in the room) helped too.
Worldcon, August 19, 2011--Reboots of TV and Movie Series
My third panel at Worldcon 2011 and second one as moderator, this one about the increasing trend of reboots in TV shows and movies. Lawrence Person, A.C. Crispin and I took around an hour to talk about franchises from Superman to Star Trek and everything in between, alternating between admiration and despair at various attempts to take another bite of the apple. This was both good fun and instructive, with some surprising information I didn't know about reboots currently in the pipeline.
Ad Astra, April 14, 2012--Villains 101
Kind of a follow-up to last year's panel on heroes (and with most of the same participants), this panel focused on the construction of a compelling villain, including examples of the characters we love to hate in speculative fiction--like Satan, Grendel, and Darth Vader, to name just a few. David Clink, Ed Greenwood, Gabrielle Harbowy, Rob St. Martin and I tackled the subject for nearly an hour, with some interesting contributions from the audience as well. Not recorded: the "villain" who demanded we start the panel or risk him destroying the world. I think he was kidding.
Origins, June 1, 2012--The Art of the Short Story
This was one of my favorite panels from my first time at Origins, focusing on the short story--which, since my first real one is due out in two months, is very much on my mind of late. Daniel Myers, Jean Rabe and I took a look at the construction and commercial value of the short story, and we got some interesting discussion among panelists and audience members (how does one get that final punchline to have punch?) in the bargain.
Readercon--July 13, 2012--Podcasting for the Speculative Fiction Author
My first of two panels at Readercon 2012, this one on podcasting (and which I proposed based on the article I wrote for the SFWA Bulletin on the same subject) was a lot of fun. C.S.E. Cooney, Mike Allen, Alexander Jablokov, the inimitable Jim Freund and I got a chance to talk about some of the nuts, bolts and benefits of podcasting in the speculative fiction field. A fun panel with a fun audience.
Readercon--July 14, 2012--Teaching and Doing
My second panel at Readercon 2012 (and the second one I was lucky enough to have proposed and have accepted), this was a really interesting panel on those who both write and teach, with Veronica Schanoes, Jack Haringa, Michael Cisco, John Kessel, and me. We had a great turnout, and the conversation about the connection between academic and creative worlds in speculative fiction (a topic about which I've been interested in a while) was lively and thought-provoking...I left with a lot of new ideas about the subject, and some possible new ways to approach both writing and teaching going forward.
Gen Con--August 16, 2012--Writers' Symposium--Characters with Character
One of a number of panels I participated in at Gen Con 2012, this one on creating and developing characters in speculative fiction, with fellow authors Elizabeth Vaughan, Dylan Birtolo, and Erin Evans. This was well-attended and a lot of fun, and set the stage for a lot of great panels to follow.
Gen Con--August 16, 2012--Writers' Symposium--Painting with Words
Another great panel from Gen Con, this one on how to write lyrical and not purple prose, with fellow panelists Pat Rothfuss, Richard Lee Byers, and Brad Beaulieu. This was an interesting panel with some really good discussion, and it was one of the ones which I thought about most after the convention was over.
Gen Con--August 17, 2012--Writers' Symposium--Inside The Writer's Studio
Again from Gen Con, this was one of the panels that I had been most interested in even before the convention. I joined Jerry Gordon, John Helfers, Kerrie Hughes and Steven Saus in talking about what drew me to language, writing, and communication in all its forms, and despite the ungodly hour (8 a.m. for a convention panel is...rough) really enjoyed both the conversation and feedback from the audience.
Gen Con--August 19, 2012--Writers' Symposium--Writing When Inspiration Fails You
My last panel at Gen Con 2012 was also one of my favorites, involving two of my favorite people. Kelly Swails, Brad Beaulieu and I worked through a number of topics related to the subject of the unglamorous grind of writing, and since this subject has been on my mind a bit over the past few months this was a great way to wrap up Gen Con for the year.
World Fantasy Convention, November 4, 2012--Reality Made Fantastic, Or Fantasy Made Real
My one panel at World Fantasy Convention 2012 (the Toronto edition) was one of my favorite ones of the year--mostly because of the audience, which was large (the room was packed with well over a hundred people) and highly engaged, and the other participants, who brought a real diversity of perspectives to the question of how fantasy can become more "realistic" and vice versa. Ably moderated by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. and including agent Sally Harding and authors Isobelle Carmody, Karl Schroeder and me, this panel covered topics like genre definitions, magical realism, consistent magic systems and worldbuilding among other subjects...which was a good deal to discuss in an hour. I really enjoyed this panel, which capped off a great WFC for me.
Reading at University Bookstore, Seattle--June 26, 2009
This was my first "official" live reading after the release of The Third Sign, and I was lucky enough to have not only good turnout but a good venue--the University Bookstore is perhaps the best place for a fantasy/science fiction reading in the Pacific Northwest, and longtime SFF buyer Duane Wilkins has been bringing in big names as part of the author series here for years now. I'm looking forward to more readings here in the future. (My young cousin-in-law, less than a year old here, decided to make her presence felt in the early part of the reading--sorry, but you can take it up with her when she gets old enough to understand what you're saying!)
Reading at Riverdale Library, Riverdale, NY--July 18, 2009
My second live reading took place at our local library--appropriate, since the publisher for my first novel has a long standing relationship with libraries (as do I). Turnout was small but enthusiastic, and everyone (including my daughter Senavene, who you'll hear a couple of times in this reading) seemed to have a good time.
Reading at Ad Astra--April 11, 2010
Convention readings tend to be a hit or miss proposition, because there's so much cool stuff going on at one time that there's no way of knowing how many people you're going to get interested in your particular session. In this case, though, we had the benefit of three readers, matching me with Chris Jackson and (wait for it) Ed Greenwood! (Other conventions, take note: this method of pairing newer authors with more experienced/established ones is a great one, and I'm glad Ad Astra decided to go with the feedback they got from myself and some others from last year.) We had a reasonable turnout, particularly concerning it was the next to last session on Sunday after a number of people had already headed for home, and it was great hearing the other readings--particularly Ed's stuff, which as usual was fun and flawlessly presented. (A D and D session with Ed would be, I think, the most hilarious thing ever. How could it not be?) Audio quality is okay here but a bit quiet; my part of the reading, if you're only interested in that (but listen to the others if you have the time), starts about fourteen minutes in.
Reading at Tuesday Funk--June 21, 2011
This is a reading I did (from my second novel Icarus) with my Wellspring 2011 compatriots as part of a special edition Tuesday Funk, a reading series coordinated by Bill Shunn (also from Wellspring) and Sara Ross which has been running at the Hopleaf Bar in Chicago for a number of years. I loved getting the chance to be a part of an all speculative fiction crew--and the large, enthusiastic turnout didn't hurt either.
Reading at Tuesday Funk--September 4, 2012
This is a reading I did during my second appearance as part of the Tuesday Funk reading series at the Hopleaf Bar, coordinated by Bill Shunn and Sara Ross Witt. This time I chose to read from some character treatment work I originally did for the game Ascension. Like last year, I had a blast doing this--a great room and great audience.