Category Archives: podcast

November update

A quick update on everything.

Book 6  – This now has a title for those with eagle eyes on Amazon, and a release date next summer. I sent back a second draft to my editor about two weeks ago and like a rubber ball it’s going to be coming back to me very soon from the copy editor. I’ve got two and a bit weeks to turn that around and then I should, in theory, be ok until the new year to focus on new stuff.

New book – I’m making steady headway on the first draft. Parts of it have morphed as I’ve gone along, surprising me at times, but the overall shape of the story has remained intact. It’s different to what I’ve done before. There’s also not even a sniff of a mage or a wizard anywhere. Although I can say it’s still fantasy. I had hoped to get the first draft done by Christmas but it seems unlikely now with book 6 edits come back again so soon. However I should be able to finish off a first draft early in the new year.

British Fantasy Society – I wrote a piece about finding an agent for the BFS. For those who are members it appeared in their Summer 2018 Focus magazine.

New Interview – To celebrate the publication of Magefall and because it had been a while, I recently did a podcast interview with Hank Garner on the Author Stories Podcast. Hank has interviewed hundreds of writers across a range of genres, including some really big names in fantasy and SF. You can find the podcast on iTunes as well as my episode here

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Crash Landing – New Podcast

As you may be aware, maybe not, as well as writing novels and comics, I am also a podcaster.

Grouchy Old Geeks
IGrouchy Old Geeks‘ve been podcasting 11 years this July with my co-host Scott Grandison. It started out as Comic Book Outsiders but then morphed into Grouchy Old Geeks (as we both drift closer to middle age), where once a month we talk about comics, movies, TV, games and whatever else takes our fancy.

Bags of Action
Bags of ActionI also podcast with Pete Rogers (with whom I co-write comics) where once a month on Bags of Action we talk about an action movie that we’ve both watched in the previous weeks. We love classic action movies but we also dig into some of the modern blockbusters that have really surprised us.

Crash Landing
Crash Landing LogoToday sees the launch of a new podcast, Crash Landing. This one is more focused on books and fiction. It’s just me, talking to a guest, about 5 books that they couldn’t live without if they were being crash landed onto an alien world. So these are not necessarily their favourite books (although for some guests they are one and the same), they are books that are powerful, special and important to them and each episode I find out why. I love talking to other writers about process, their approach and their work, but often at gatherings with crowds there isn’t the time, space or sometimes just the inclination to talk in depth on these topics. Also at conventions when you get a group of writers on a panel you have to be considerate for the other and not just talk non-stop for an hour.

So this podcast gives me a chance to have a more detailed conversation with writers, one on one, about the books that shaped them and still hold special meaning to them. It’s always fascinating to hear a person’s choice and then see how it has influenced their own work and the direction of their life.

As ever, if you would like to support any of these podcasts, or others on the Geek Syndicate network, I would really appreciate it if you became a Patron via Patreon.

All podcasts are available for free on iTunes or via the Geek Syndicate website

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New Podcast Interview – The Functional Nerds

I recently chatted to John and Patrick from the Fuctional Nerds podcast and had a great time. We talk a little about the books but mostly we just geek out about some TV and geek news from recent headlines.

The Functional Nerds Podcast – Episode 351

The Functional Nerds

 

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New Podcast Interview

I recently recorded an interview with Hank Garner, the host of the Author Stories podcast. We had a great time talking about my writing process, how I got started in writing, when I first realised I liked telling stories, as well as where Battlemage came from.

I had a great time chatting with Hank as he has a really relaxed and easy going manner and the time flew by. Check out this episode, but also the other episodes where he talks to dozens of fantasy and science fiction authors. The podcast is also available on iTunes.

Listen to the episode

Author stories podcast

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January – quick update

Happy New Year! Just a few quick things to mention.

Interview

My interview with Mur Lafferty on the I Should Be Writing podcast ep369 is now available on iTunes and also here on her website.

So if you’re an aspiring author and want to hear some good and varied advice from all kinds of authors, then check out the podcast.

Events

In about two weeks time I’m at Birmingham Waterstones for a publishing workshop on How to edit your novel alongside 2 other authors (Gemma Todd and Gillian McAllister) and an editor/agent (Amanda Rutter). The event is free and tickets are still available. Contact the bookshop to reserve a seat.

We’ll be talking about our experiences with editing our novels, the standard steps a novel goes through when you work with an agent and then an editor at a publisher. We’ll also be answering questions from the audience and there will be copies of my books and Gemma’s first awesome book, Defender, if you want signed copies.

Eastercon

This is an annual convention that moves around the country which is organised by a different group of people each year. For 2017 the event is called Innominate and is being held in Birmingham at the Hilton hotel from 14-17th April.

I’ll be attending the event, hopefully on a panel or two, and will be hanging around all weekend so will be signing books and probably chatting in the bar! If you’ve never been to an event like this before then I would recommend it. You could just come along for the day, sit in some talks and panels, meet some authors and just relax with a crowd of people with common interests.

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Thank Book For podcast with…Stephen Aryan

Thank Book For Podcast Normally I’m the one recording the podcasts and interviewing the guests. This time it was my turn to be a guest on the Thank Book For podcast with Tom Bissell and Gemma Todd.

Listen here to find all of the episodes.

We had a lot of fun recording this and there was a lot of chat off mic as well which could have gone on for hours.

In this episode we talk about some of my favourite books, writing in general, different styles of writing, comics, films and remakes, and guilty pleasures.

Listen to my episode here

 

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My Experience at Nine Worlds 2015

This was the second year I’ve attended the Nine Worlds Geekfest in London. The event is only in its third year so it is still a relatively new event compared to some. Even so I think it is leaps and bounds ahead of others in terms of it being the most inclusive and open event I’ve attended. The organisers work incredibly hard to make sure everyone feels safe and they have very clear policies around acceptable behaviour.

There were a few issues at the event, but I want to make it clear that it was not the fault of the organisers but the venue itself. Others have detailed it elsewhere but briefly, the staff and service at the hotel was a very mixed bag. I encountered excellent service and very helpful and friendly staff on reception and at breakfast, and yet terrible service in the restaurant (twice) and at the bar. As a result of many similar complaints by attendees next year’s event will not be held at the same hotel.

Once again this year I was involved in organising the podcasting track. Without blowing my own trumpet I think it all went very well. Big thanks to my fellow track organisers, Scott Grandison and Barry Nugent, of Geek Syndicate fame. All of the panels were very well attended and I think it is worth highlighting our keynote talk by Allen Stroud which was fascinating and insightful. It was on “The State of the Playground: the modern experience of fantasy and science fiction across media” and at the end of his talk he sat down, turned his chair around and it moved into discussion between everyone in the room. The 2nd Annual Podcaster Games was so much fun and Alasdair Stuart, Anne Louise and Marguerite Kenner went home with the coveted Golden Microphone trophies. If you ask them really nicely they might show you, but you can’t touch it!

The rest of my convention seemed to go by in a blur. I spent a lot of time hanging out with fellow members of TeamMushens, as well as attending panels on the book track and popping along to the SRFC brunch on Sunday morning which was sponsored by Orbit books who supplied all the goodies. This included some Battlemage cupcakes which tasted delicious! I also did a reading at the New Voices panel on Saturday night alongside all around good egg, Pete Newman. On Saturday we even managed to squeeze in a Warhammer 40K roleplay for a few hours which was so much fun.

There were a lot of late nights. Conversations about books, films and geek TV shows. There was also plenty of beer.  Sadly the event inevitably came to a close and I left feeling exhausted, bereft after being around so many cool and interesting people, but happier for having spent time with them. Roll on the next convention which for me will be Fantasycon in October and then SLEDGE LIT in November. But before then I’ll be doing a northern and southern book signing and launch for Battlemage. Details are coming very soon.

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Podcasting Legends

I’m giving that title to someone else, not me, namely Scott Grandison, my partner in crime on our podcast of eight years last week, Comic Book Outsiders.

When we started podcasting we had a sign at comic book conventions on our table that said – Ask us about podcasting! Several times an hour, people came up to the table and asked, so what’s a podcast? Eight years on, there are thousands of podcasts being produced all around the world, they’re on iTunes to download, celebrities even produce their own podcasts.

A year before we started, there were a few other podcasts I listened to, one being Geek Syndicate, from two more worthy of the  title Podcasting Legends, namely Barry Nugent and David Monteith. They’re one of the reasons we started in the first place and they’re also still going to this day, nine years on. So hats off to you both, gentleman.

To celebrate CBO’s 175th episode last week, we asked Barry to join us for a completely unplanned hour of geekery. We talked about anything and everything, we had a few mini rants, got some stuff off our chest and we celebrated some awesome stuff. It reminded me again why I like podcasting and how brilliant it is as a medium for connecting people with common interests. It’s also takes me a lot less time to explain why I like something than write the equivalent. Long-term discussion and analysis on the internet is not that common, and it would take a long time to read, but I can have the same discussion with six people in 30 minutes on a podcast. Good luck transcribing that!

Other stuff, I’m busy with all sorts of book stuff, so I’ve taken a step back from my other podcast, Bags of Action. So in July Pete Rogers, my other co-host, discussed Kury Fury and Predator: Dark Ages with Gavin Jones from the Sidekickcast. Next month Pete and Scott will crossover in some kind of weird summer blockbuster event with Arnie and Stallone in the same film, and discuss Aliens, so watch out for that.

Nine Worlds Geekfest

Next week, Scott, Barry and I are once again co-running the Podcasting track for Nine Worlds. We’ve got all sorts of interesting and thought provoking panels, educational ones, a guest speaker and the legendary, Annual Podcaster Games, which is the ultimate geek quiz. The winning team each gets to take home the coveted golden microphone trophy, so do not miss that if you’re going, it’s at 11.45am on Saturday.

I’m also appearing on a couple of panels at Nine Worlds on the Book Track, so keep an eye out and if you’re going I’ll see you there on a panel, at my reading, or most likely, in the bar.

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June Podcasts

It’s not quite July just yet, so I thought I’d do a quick post on this month’s podcasts.

Bags of Action Episode 23 is out. Pete and I talk about Salt, starring Angelina Jolie. This espionage, action thriller was originally going to have Tom Cruise in the lead, but it was later rewritten for a female lead. We talk about that, what happens in the film and there’s been news about where the film might be going next. In the current era of remakes (Point Break, Robocop, Total Recall, Big Trouble in Little China, the list goes on and on) there might be a sequel to this film, which only came out in 2010, so it’s not that old.

Click here for more information or search for Bags of Action on iTunes where we talk about a different action film every month.

In Comic Book Outsiders we have a comic book heavy month, after last month where we focused a lot more on TV. This episode I do one of our favourite sections, Challenge Scott. This is where I pitch three comics to my co-host and try to get him interested in at least one of them to pick it up. So far he’s always picked up and read one or more, so 100% success rate so far. For our main feature we discuss Gateway Comics. These are comic you can pick up and read if you’ve never read any comics before.

If you want to get into comics, but don’t know where to start, this episode is for you. We talk about a broad range of comics across many genres and throw out a lot of different titles. And we barely scratch the surface. We could easily have talked for hours on this subject. So if you want a few ideas of where to start beyond what we talk about in this episode, get in touch.

Click here for more information on CBO episode 174, or download the podcast from iTunes.

As the book stuff ramps up I’m taking a break for a few months on Bags of Action, so Pete will continue the monthly schedule with a number of guest co-hosts and I’ll be back in either September or October. I’m hoping to be able to continue doing CBO once a month though.

I suspect there will be more book news in the coming months but I’m sure I’ll be posting about other stuff as well.

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Nine Worlds 2015

So, we’re still months away from the Nine Worlds Geekfest convention for 2015, which is taking place on 7-9th August in London but I’m writing about it on here for a couple of reasons.

I attended the event last year, and it was a remarkable event which was eye-opening and the most inclusive event I’ve ever attended with a very relaxed atmosphere. It was also kind of terrifying because in addition to co-running the podcast track with Barry Nugent of Geek Syndicate fame, I also read a section from my book Battlemage for the first time in public. The panel was called New Voices and new authors stood up in front of a room full of strangers and read for about 5 minutes. I was nervous, sweaty, gassy and generally not comfortable. I’m very much someone who normally works behind the scenes, pulling strings as it were. I’m not someone who seeks the limelight and I don’t like to be the centre of attention but this time there was nowhere to hide. But I think it went fairly well, I stumbled a couple of times but people seemed to enjoy it so that was good.

All of those nerves will have to be brushed aside or buried soon as September marks the launch of Battlemage, the first book in my trilogy, so I suspect I will be doing more public readings in the near future. I might even be doing something for it at Nine Worlds but it is too early to say just yet.

Nine Worlds also marks the return of the podcasting track. This year I’m taking a bit of a step back as I’m busy writing book 3, editing book 2, and promoting and launching book 1, so my co-host on the Comic Book Outsiders podcast, Dr Scott, is helping Barry and I run the podcast track this year.

So, we have worked out what panels we are doing for the track, now we just need more people to sign up for it. So, if you are a podcaster and you want to get involved, if you want to talk about what you do, how to do it, why you do it, when and where, and all aspects in between, then sign up on the Nine Worlds website here. As I said, still months away but we need to get it sorted ahead of time.

Even if you’re not into podcasting I would recommend the event as it has more than one track for all walks of geekdom and you will find lots of things to keep you busy for a few days. In the meantime it’s back to the writing cave.

 

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