Friday, December 23, 2011

Episode 34- Holiday Extravaganza with Boyd Morrison

This week we talk with thriller author Boyd Morrison and give away tons of free books!

Click here for direct download.

We briefly discuss the beauty of the novella length work.

Alan’s novella will be serialised at Red Penny Papers from February next year -

We have a cool chat with Boyd Morrison -

Boyd talks about his books, about his growth from indie author to multi-language deals and more.

Boyd finishes with a quick explanation of what’s next in store for him.


Tis the season for giving, so we at ThrillerCast, because we are awesome, bring you free books. Lots of them!

Free ebooks:
All of these books are being given away in multiple formats at Enter the respective coupon codes at checkout for your free downloads. (Please note- each of these codes does have an expiration date and not all are the same. Don't miss out!)

The Adventures of Dodge Dalton in the Shadow of Falcon's Wings by Sean Ellis:
Coupon Code: JB35K
Expires: January 14, 2012

The Curse of One-Eyed Jack (A Dark Hollows Mystery) by Kent Holloway:
Coupon Code: YN82B
Expires: January 14, 2012

Double Heart (A Will Lansa Mystery) by Rob Macgregor:
Coupon Code: TL25Q
Expires: January 14, 2012

Survivor's Affair (A John Logan Thriller) by Rick Nichols :
Coupon Code: HA24L
Expires: January 14, 2012

The Arbiter Project by Marek Storm :
Coupon Code BK35B
Expires: January 2

Ion by Marek Storm:
Coupon Code ZA79E
Expires: January 2

RealmShift by Alan Baxter
Coupon Code MQ65Z
Expires: January 2

The Zombie-Driven Life by David Wood
Coupon Code BQ64G
Expires: January 2

New World Orders by Edward G. Talbot
Coupon Code NT92Z
Expires January 20

2012: The Fifth World by Edward G. Talbot
Coupon Code: RR22M
Expires January 20

Double Agent by Sean Sweeney
Coupon Code: FG76E
Expires January 5

Ebook Giveaway- Single Copies 
For this giveaway, email us at thrillerpodcast[at] and put Ebook Giveaway in the header. In the body of your email, let us know what format you prefer (Kindle/Mobi, Nook/Epub, etc...)

The Sentinel by Jeremy Bishop
Callsign: Queen by Jeremy Robinson and David Wood
Magic Mirror by Sean Ellis

Print books-
In order to win one of these, please email us at thrillerpodcast[at] Put something profound in the header like "Giveaway," "Give Me Some Freakin' Books," or "Moo! I'm a goat."

If you are chosen as as winner, we'll e-mail you back to get your mailing address.

The Supernaturals by David Golemon
The Pharos Objective by David Sakmyster
The Game anthology (including stories by Alan and David)
Wired Kingdom by Rick Chesler
RealmShift by Alan Baxter
Quest by David Wood
Dead Eye: The Skinwalker Conspiracies by Jim Bernheimer
The Devil Colony by James Rollins

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Episode 33- Publishing Pitfalls

In this episode, we discuss the importance of making wise, informed decisions when submitting to markets, selling your rights, and deciding how and where to publish your work.

Click here for the direct download link!

Dave is reading and enjoying 11 22 63 by Stephen King.

Alan is reading Bluegrass Symphony by Lisa L. Hannett. He recently read and reviewed The Courier's New Bicycle by Kim Westwood.

Dave recently read The Mozart Conspiracy by Scott Mariani.

Promo: Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing

Concerns and considerations when considering markets for your work.

"For the love" markets.

What's the value of "exposure?"

It's important to value your work and you should always be compensated in some way, even if it's only a contributor copy of the publication.

Know what rights you are selling when you sign a contract.

Watch out for publishers who buy rights they cannot use.

Some publishers will purchase rights they don't intend to use because they consider other formats to be "competing versions."

The Passive Voice blog- a great resource for publishing industry information, including advice on how to read a book contract.

Book Country- not a scam but, in our opinion, not a wise path to publication.

A fine line between self/indie publishing and vanity publishing?

Putting together and publishing a book is not the hard part; getting the word out and bringing in readers is the hard part, and assisted self-publishing services aren't going to help you with that.

Know the value of what a publisher or service will do for you before you enter into an agreement.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Episode 32 – Sorting Out The Civil War in Publishing

Click here to directly download this episode.

Alan talks about his Movember fund-raising effort -

Alan talks about the “sagging middle” and the always difficult midway point of writing a novel.

Dave talks about his new Dane Maddock “short” story.

Promo- Dead Robots' Society Podcast

We then go on to refer back to past week’s podcast about pissing people off and this week we talk about the subject itself that was raised – the evangelists for self-publishing versus the evangelists for the traditional route.

Dave and Alan agree that we’ve got sick and tired of hearing from all the evangelists who try to convince everyone that there’s only one way to succeed.

We discuss the differences in traditional contracts and what to look out for. “Gotcha clauses”.

We discuss the pros and cons of agents and agent motivation.

We cover the question of whether publishers and bookstores are dying out.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thrillercast Episode 31 – Ticking People Off

Direct Download Link.

We talk about our current writing projects.

Dave talks about all the Gryphonwood books that have had audio rights sold. Dave’s latest one, Quest, is available as an audiobook here:

Dave then talks about stupid author tricks, such as joining an online forum and pretending to be a member purely to promote the author’s own books.

We talk about manners and politeness when it comes to being an author. Alan compares newbie authors to newbie martial artists.

We then talk about the recent controversy surrounding Michael Stackpole and his articles comparing in-house authors to slaves:

Stackpole's articles:

We discuss what Stackpole was trying to say with regards to paying attention to publishing contracts, and the danger of using such emotional language when it can obscure your point.

However, in talking about one part of the language, we don’t really address in great detail what Stackpole was saying. Dave and Alan don't necessarily agree with everything Mr. Stackpole says. The topic continues to garner attention, including this recent rebuttal by Tobias Buckell:

We then go on to talk about the furore Alan generated with his post denigrating NaNoWriMo.

Alan’s post is here:

Dave’s less controversial blog post on NaNoWriMo is here:

We chat about all the pros and cons of NaNo, as we see them.

What to do when you find yourself in the midst of a controversy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thrillercast Episode 30 – Writing and Rewriting History

Direct Download Link

Alan talks about the new multi-media webinar of his How To Write Realistic Fight Scenes Masterclass. All the details here:

Alan talks about his current job of writing a video game narrative.

Alan talks about the new anthology, Hope, featuring his fantasy short story, Duty & Sacrifice. All profits from Hope will go to charities which help to raise suicide awareness. Get it here:

We talk about the new methods publishers are trying to avoid complaints about poorly reported sales figures for their creators.

Dave talks about the audiobook version Quest – it’s recorded and ready for a pre-Christmas release.

Promo- Mail Order Zombie podcast

We go on to talk about the nature of using history in our novels and how we approach cultural and historical events and use them.

We discuss the challenge of internal consistency in our novels and the amount of research involved, to ensure we approach our rewritten histories and mythologies from an informed point of view.

We touch briefly on cultural appropriation – is everything fair game?

We discuss the human psychology of religion and mythology, and culture, and how that needs to apply even in a completely fantasy world.

David discusses the cultural failings of some fantasy epics where history/culture is over-simplified.

Alan takes the same point to the failings of many sci-fi stories to correctly address cultural variation.

There are several versions of the US map David mentions. Here are just a few:

This is the one Dave mentioned:

Here are a few others:

And Alan's favourite:

We go on to discuss the importance of taking time out from writing to have a think. Thinking is an integral part of writing and we discuss the various methods we use to step away from the writing and let our brains chew on the details.

We talk about how we organise our research in order to draw from it for the novel in progress.

The importance of doing lots of research even if you don’t actually use it all in the finished story, as it will inform what you do include.

We talk about how the research for one project can be an investment in your writing career, as it can only help broaden the writer’s knowledge in general.

We then discuss the nature of readers recognising lazy research in our work. The more successful we get, the more we’re likely to sell from our backlist and the more critically we’ll be reviewed. Our early work may not be as good as later work from a craft point of view, but our research and integrity needs to be clear from the beginning.

Here’s Sean Ellis’s new book, Magic Mirror, out now from Gryphonwood Press -


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Episode 29 - Catfights, Causes and Controversies

Direct Download Link

ThrillerCast is one year old!

Alan was recently a guest at ConFlux.

David is looking forward to the release of the Quest audiobook.

The strange and cool experience of hearing your characters interpreted by a voice actor.

Writing Fight Scenes Online Master Class- Alan will be leading this class along with Joanna Penn, author of Pentecost and host of The Creative Penn. A few spaces remain. Thursday Oct 20, 2011 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM EDT (9pm GMT). A recording with slides will be available if you can't make the live session.

Registration link:

This is the one year anniversary of ThrillerCast! What has changed in publishing in the last year?

Industry growing pains.

Negative reactions to Amazon's publishing imprint. Conflicts over excluse digital rights. Are booksellers making the right decision by refusing to carry print versions of books on which Kindle holds exclusive rights?

Disparate viewpoints on how authors should approach this tumultuous world. Then and now- watchdog organizations and where to get advice.

The Write Agenda
-What exactly is their agenda? We don't quite get it.
-Who are they angry with and why? What did Writer Beware and random SFWA officers ever do to them? We find them confusing.
-Why don't the individuals in the group identify themselves? (Or are we just missing it on their website?)
-Why does their highlighted bestseller list seem to be almost exclusively authors from pay-to-publish businesses? Perhaps there's nothing to it, but it gives a negative impression.
-Perhaps their cause is a good one, but we're having a hard time 'getting it.'

Our advice
- If you don't want to go the traditional publishing route, you are better off avoiding pay-to-publish companies. You can hire people to do the things you can't, and you'll be better off in the long run.
-Connect with the indie community for mutual support and guidance.
-Whether it's a cause like The Write Agenda or an advice site like Writer Beware, always weigh the value of what their saying, then make your own educated decision.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Episode 28 - Setting the Hook with David Sakmyster and R.P. Steeves

Direct Download Link

This week, Alan and David discuss how to keep a reader interested from the start.

Alan is headed to Conflux and is working on writing for a gaming project.

David was interviewed on AllPulp.

Why do some books grab you from the start and others don't?

Start the story "as close to end as possible."

The importance of a strong "hook" in the age of the e-reader.

Purchasing based on samples.

Promo- Adventures in Sci Fi Publishing

Guests- David Sakymster and R.P. Steeves

The importance of setting in an engaging thriller.

How do our guests approach "hooking" the reader?

Prologues in thrillers.

Character development and secondary characters.

David's forthcoming screenplay project with David Golemon.

Visit our guests on the web:

David Sakmyster

R.P. Steeves

And don't forget our weekly

awesome and sometimes inappropriate outtakes after the closing credits!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Episode 27 – Branching out as a writer with David L Golemon

Click here to download this episode!

Show notes

David and Alan talk about their writing life and where they’re at right now.

David mentions the release of Callsign Queen.

David talks about his lack of focus in writing direction – the problem of having too many genres and idea directions in his head. David wonders if he has writer's ADD, and is it a problem to work on several projects at once.

Alan talks about how he works on many projects, but usually one at a time.

The importance of re-reading work when you’ve had a break from it.

Mur Lafferty’s “I Should Be Writing” podcast promo.

Then we chat with thriller and multi-genre author, N Y Times bestseller, David Lynn Golemon.

David Golemon talks about the Event Group books and their inspiration.

We talk about multiple characters in stories.

We talk about the importance of realism in characters and the need to kill main characters sometimes to ensure readers are always engaged and under suspense. Otherwise it’s just Red Shirt syndrome. “Real life is death sometimes.”

We talk about the personal impact on the writer of these character deaths.

David talks about how his and his family’s military background has influenced his writing.

We go on to discuss David’s new book, The Supernaturals - . David talks about why he wrote a ghost story.

David talks about his move to Seven Realms to publish The Supernaturals and his position on small press.

This leads David to talk about how publishing is changing and the nature of mainstream press compared to small press, and the state of the book.

David also mentions the possibility of starting a new pulp magazine for horror and adventure stories, including graphic stories with great artwork. You heard it here first!

What scares David Golemon?

David Golemon – pantser or planner?

David talks about the great American historical novel he really wants to write.

And yes, throughout the interview there’s the repeated sound of a dog. We have no idea why...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Episode 26 – From Stage to Novel – the A J Hartley interview

An unusually long ThrillerCast this week, but well worth the extra time.


Dave and Alan share some great news with regard to both their novel series’.

We get a nice bit of listener feedback that Dave shares.

Then Dave talks about some Stupid Author Antics.

Dave plugs a few new releases that are due soon which are well worth all thriller and genre fans paying attention to.

Promo- The Dead Robots' Society Podcast -

The A.J. Hartley interview:

Thriller adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth -

How the novel came to be, and the differences from the original.

Play vs Novel

Writing battle scenes

The challenges of adapting Shakespeare to the modern thriller and reader response.

Perceptions and misconceptions about Shakespeare.

AJ's thriller novels.

The "Shakespeare Conspiracy"

AJ's fantasy novels and forthcoming middle grades book.

Common threads that cut across genres.

Genre restraints in adult literature that are absent from children's and young adult literature.

An Englishman's obsession with the American pastime

Magical Words

AJ Hartley's website 


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Episode 25 - The Game with Sean Ellis

In this week's episode, we discuss the new thriller anthology, The Game, to which Alan and David each contributed a story. Our guest is Sean Ellis, who conceived of, contributed to, and edited the anthology.

Click Here to Download the Episode

Show Notes

Updates on writing and the proverbial "real world."

David's new book, Quest, was the #1 Hot New Release on Amazon's Men's Adventure chart.

Promo: I Should Be Writing

The Game anthology from Seven Realms Publishing

How/why Sean conceived of the anthology.

How Alan adapted his very powerful character to a "being hunted" scenario.

How David chose the particular setup of his story.

Sean's thoughts on the variety of stories in the anthology.

The lasting impact of "The Most Dangerous Game."

The power of the "man hunting man" theme.

Parallels with the popular YA series The Hunger Games.

Catching up on all of Sean's current and forthcoming books including Dark Trinity and Callsign: King.

How Sean manages to juggle multiple projects.

Visit Sean Ellis on the web at

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Episode 24 – To Pen Name or Not To Pen Name

Click here to download this episode!

We talk geography and that Dave will soon be moving to a much better place in the US.

Alan talks about research and the beauty of not needing any with pure speculative fiction.

Here’s the link to the Joanna Penn interview Dave mentioned that he did.

We talk about The Game anthology, which is out now.

And here’s the cool cover:

We go on to discuss the use (or not) of a pen name. Dave writes in multiple genres and is wondering whether he should keep his fantasy name, David Debord, along with his thrillers under his real name, David Wood.

We also discuss the nature of author branding and how much it can help or hinder an author’s career.

We discuss the nature of book stores and libraries and their need to have books in the right place, which is not an issue now with online stores.

This leads to a discussion of book covers making genre and style clear.

We discuss how sometimes publishers insist on an author changing their name to avoid sales downturns with new books from midlisters.

This leads us to talk about new publishing options which might allow unclassifiable books to be published where they might never have been published before.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Episode 23 – Keeping It Real

Click here to download this episode!

We talk about the nature of research in fiction.

The blog post Alan refers to regarding research:

We talk about making sure the real things in our novels are correctly represented in order to not upset the readers who would know. And to add realism for the people who wouldn’t know.

We talk about the duty of editors to fact check the work of their authors.

We discuss the importance of beta readers to proof and fact check.

The importance of research, especially travelling to places you’re writing about in order describe them well.

The beauty of modern technology, like Google Earth, to help us with our research.

And, in a shameless plug, if you want to get your fight scenes right, read Alan’s short guide to writing convincing fight scenes, Write The Fight Right, available for only $1.99 -

And Dave’s new Dane Maddock book is out – Quest.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Episode 22- Jay Hartlove Interview

In this episode, we chat with Jay Hartlove, author of The Chosen, a modern thriller with a dark fantasy edge.

Click here to download this week's episode!

Show notes:

Alan is at work on his new novel.

David has recently released Quest, the third Dane Maddock adventure, and The Zombie-Driven Life.

Promo- The Dead Robots Society podcast

Interview with Jay Hartlove:

Jay's seriously cool website:

Jay's blending of Biblical mythology into his back-story.

Incorporation of voodo and tarot into the mythology behind the story.

Mixing the tropes of the modern realistic thriller with mythology and the occult.

Jay's writing background and future novels.

Jay and Alan- separated at birth, or simply suffering from the same mental illness?

Alan sees the future, and there are mermaids in it.

Violence and sexual content in literature and other media. American attitudes versus those of the world.

Inspirations and influences.

Jay's Links:
The Chosen in paperback
The Chosen on Kindle
Jay's website
Facebook page for The Chosen

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Episode 21 – Other Authors Are Not Your enemy and Sean Sweeney interview.

Click here to download this episode!

Alan talks about his blog post, Other authors are not your enemy -

Also Alan’s post, Aussie authors on Twitter -

This leads to a discussion of how to help yourself by helping others, rather than trying to make yourself better than others.

From there we go on to interview thriller author, Sean Sweeney, aka John Fitch V.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Episode 20- Books You Want to Be Buried With

In this episode, we talk about which books are so important that you can’t even die without them, let alone live without them.

Many people gave us their answer and we have a chat about several of the selections, so have a listen and see who says what. Some pretty interesting answers crop up. Plus, we have one special guest who rings in on the subject- Justin Macumber, one of the hosts of the Dead Robots Society Podcast!

We won’t list the guests or books here, so not much in the way of show notes for this one, but we do end up discussing a broad range of awesome books, some in detail. Enjoy!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Episode 19 – Reading & Writing


 We talk about ThrillerCast being nominated for a Parsec Award for Best New Podcasting Team, and Alan’s short story “Declan’s Plan”, published by Wily Writers, is up for a Parsec for Best Short Story.

"Declan’s Plan" by Alan, short story podcast (read by Philip Pickard) -

Which leads us to talk about podcasting short fiction and what are other good fiction podcasts.

Alan's favourites:

Escape Pod sci-fi fiction podcasts –

Podcastle fantasy fiction podcasts –

Pseudopod horror fiction podcasts -

Wil y Writers spec fic podcasts -

Alan then talks about writing for the Machine Of Death anthology and the concept behind the book.

David talks about his new book, Quest, and his novella, The Zombie-Driven Life, which is available now on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords:

Then Alan reviews The Intruders by Michael Marshall:

Then David reviews C J West’s The End Of Marking Time:

We go on to talk about the necessity of small press in publishing books that are hard to categorise or cross genres in unusual ways.

This leads us to talk about what we read when we write. Can we read fiction when we write fiction? What type of fiction do we read when we write?

Alan mentions Dead Red Heart, that features his story, "Punishment Of The Sun" -

We talk about the importance of reading when it comes to being a writer, and the influence of the things we read on the things we write.

Dave mentions the new James Bond novel by Jeffery Deaver, Carte Blanche -


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Special Episodes

David was a guest this weekend at ConCarolinas in Charlotte, NC. We'll be sharing some of the panel discussions in which he took part.

The Art of War (Writing Battle/Combat Scenes) Panelists: A.J. Hartley, Stuart Jaffe, Chris Berman, Rachel Aaron, David Wood,Toni Weisskopf.

Avoiding the Plotholes Panelists: David Wood, Jana Oliver, Emilie P. Bush, Glenda Finklestein, Rachel Aaron, Edmund Schubert.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Episode 18 – Getting Noticed as a Writer

Click here to download this episode!

In this episode we talk about the nature of getting noticed as a writer and what are the best methods of developing a career and income as a writer.

Alan and Dave talk about short fiction sales.

Then we go on to discuss the process of short story writing. What’s involved in making a short story good and how it differs from writing longer fiction.

Alan talks about Cat Sparks, her short fiction success and her transition to novel length work.

We talk about self-publishing short stories on Kindle as a way of building a broader base of available work.

Alan talks about the Dead Red Heart anthology from Ticonderoga Publications and the joy of being part of something bigger, in the form of an edited anthology.

Alan talks about making his short fiction available on his Dark Shorts page after its initial publication.

Is it better for authors to put as much work out there as possible to get noticed, or work on their profile directly? Lots of work or a lot of online noise? Or both?

Readers expect to know a bit about authors, so an online presence is essential. But an author needs a decent body of work as well.

The sudden, massive success story is not the norm! We mention Amanda Hocking and J A Konrath as examples.

The long tail and how good writing will endure. The legacy income.

Do we devalue our work if we give it away for nothing?

Feel free to comment or email with your thoughts!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Episode 17 – Lost Worlds

Click here to download this episode!

In this episide we talk about Amazon rankings and April Hamilton’s guest blog on Alan’s site -

We talk about the relationship between Amazon, publishers and indie authors.

Here's Alan’s blog post about Apple’s 30% cut controversy that we mention -

Dave talks about small press Seven Realms Publishing signing David Golemon, NYT Bestselling thriller author, for his new horror novel, The Supernaturals.

Dave winds Alan up about the possibility of Tom Cruise starring in the Guillermo Del Toro movie version of H P Lovecraft’s At The Mountains Of Madness.

Which leads us to lament all the great films Tom Cruise has spoiled with his presence.

We go on to talking about Lovecraft’s writing and Alan describes the basic premise of At The Mountains Of Madness.

Which leads us to talk about Lost Worlds and their popularity in thrillers and genre fiction.

We give examples of our favourite lost cities from various books and movies and discuss what drives people to write about them and why they are so compelling for readers.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Episode 16 – The Jeremy Robinson Interview

Click Here to Download the Current Episode

Jeremy talks about the nature of marketing and why he had to change the Chess Team Adventures to the Jack Sigler Adventures.

We discuss The Last Hunter, Jeremy’s previous book -

The difference between 1st and 3rd person in thriller writing.

We discuss how thrillers blur the lines through straight up action into speculative fiction, and how Jeremy’s books often explore the speculative.

This leads to a discussion of Jeremy’s sci-fi novel, Beaneath, an action-adventure novel on a moon:

Jeremy talks about his journey from self-publishing through his own small press to traditional publishing with St Martin’s Press, and how his various sales are now.

We talk about Jeremy’s efforts marketing and promoting his first self-published book, The Didymus Contingency, and the success it generated.

Jeremy talks about his future projects.

Jeremy wraps it up with his advice for new writers and what’s happening with thrillers.

and Twitter - @JRobinsonAuthor

Stick around past the credits for a great out-take showing what consummate professionals Alan and David are.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Episode 015 - Writing Fighting and How Not to Fight with Reviewers

Click Here to Download the Episode!

An eclectic ThrillerCast today. We start with talk about fighting.

Alan talks about his new ebook, Write The Fight Right, about writing more realistic and convincing fight scenes.

Alan talks about his background as a martial instructor and fighter.

What’s the thing most often wrong with written fight scenes? Alan talks about the problem with writing a fight scene like a visually choreographed movie fight.

David talks about the problem of misunderstanding martial arts as some kind of magical skill. What’s really real in fighting?

How much is heart and hunger a factor in fighting?

How can we use these things in characterisation with our stories? Motivation and ability.

Streetfighting versus tournament fighting.

When Alan is talking about a great fight scene and he can’t remember which movie it’s from, it’s Bridget Jones’s Diary. The fight is between the Hugh Grant and Colin Firth characters.

You can get Alan’s ebook, Write The Fight Right, now for just $1.99 – all the details here:

Alan talked about a competition to host a fight writing competition on his blog. That contest is now on and you can enter here to win free books:

From here we segue rather clumsily into a discussion about the Jacqueline Howett debacle that occurred recently, where a self-published author responded very poorly to a bad review.

Dave and Alan discuss what the problem is with responding like this to a review and how an author should respond to any review, good or bad.

Gaiman’s smackdown – the Dunning Kruger effect:

Friday, April 8, 2011

New Release: Write the Fight Right by Alan Baxter

ThrillerCast co-host Alan Baxter has releases his Write the Fight Right book. A career martial arts instructor, Alan has used his knowledge of combat to conduct a popular workshop for writers on how to write fight scenes. He shares this knowledge in his new ebook, which you can purchase on Kindle, or in multiple formats on Smashwords.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Episode 14 – Villains

Another long one this week – obviously a subject we enjoyed talking about.
In further evidence of how far behind we are podcasting some of our previously recorded stuff, we start with Alan talking about Freecon in Sydney.

Then we talk about villains and what makes a good, believable villain.

Do bad guys perceive that they’re bad guys? The Star Wars example.

Be sure to explore your characters’ perceptions of their position and their motivations.

Can your villain justify and/or delude themselves into rationalising their actions?

The Sopranos as an example of villains excellently constructed as characters.

Your villains need to be flawed to be three dimensional, just like protagonists.

It’s easy for villains to operate if they perceive a third party endorsement from government, religion, etc.

The needs of the many and the needs of the few. The Kirk/Spock conundrum.

Can a villain have ethical dilemmas?

Harry Potter examples of villains – Voldemort vs Wormtail.

The problem with stupid bad guys. The convenient distraction or the final monologue.

The bad guys need to be as smart as the good guys to be a real threat.

Alan waxes on about Batman and The Joker.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Episode 13 – The Sean Ellis interview

Click Here to download the episode.

We talk to Sean Ellis - -  author of the Dodge Dalton series and the Nick Kismet Adventures.

We talk about pulp fiction and golden age adventure stories, what makes a hero in the modern age and that people have moved on from the unstoppable heroes to be more interested in flawed heroes.

We talk about the way political thrillers and the like can age very quickly.

Sean discusses his new novella, The Devil You Know -

What next for Sean Ellis, including The Adventures of Dodge Dalton, At The Outpost Of Fate and a new series starting with Dark Trinity, contracted by Variance.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Episide 12 - The Joanna Penn interview

Click here to download this week's episode.

Alan talks about his Write The Fight Right short ebook he’s working on.

Dave talks about his work on the next Dane Maddock book.

Then we have a guest: Joanna Penn.

Jo talks about her new book, Pentecost, which she describes as like a cross between Dan Brown and Lara Croft.

Jo talks about moving from her non-fiction success to writing fiction.

We go on to discuss Jo’s influences, her fascination with theology (she has a Masters degree in it!) and what drives her to write the things she does.

We discuss Jo’s female protagonist and what’s masculine or just cool.

Which leads to a discussion of female writers putting out thrillers, a traditionally male dominated genre.

Jo talks about future projects and the next Morgan Sierra books.

We discuss Jo’s previous name as a non-fiction writer and how her online presence has helped with the launch of her first novel.

You can find Jo’s novel here:

Jo’s website is:

Or follow her on Twitter:!/thecreativepenn


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Episode 11 - The Description episode

Click here to download the episode!

We are aware there was a problem with the episode cutting off early. We've re-uploaded the file, and the direct link is now working. Not sure how ling it will take for iTunes to pick up the corrected episode. Sorry for the error. 

We talk briefly about the Gryphonwood Press ebook for Halloween, with short stories from both David and Alan (a bit late to promote this one, but the book is still available for a dollar from Smashwords and Kindle).

We talk about getting back to our favourite novel characters in short stories for The Game anthology from Seven Realms Publishing.

David asked Alan to post the location of his Isiah short story, Stand Off, in the show notes (published by Wily Writers). You can find that story here:

Alan talks about hearing his first short story podcast by a voice actor.

We talk about novels to movies as a process and how a movie can spoil an author’s vision.

We cite examples like:

Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy
Richard Matheson’s I am Legend
Clive Cussler’s Sahara.
Alan Moore’s Watchmen, V For Vendetta, From Hell

From there we talk about movie actors potentially spoiling a reader’s vision of a character from a book.

We talk about too much description in a book which can also spoil the reader’s immersive experience, and subsequently what kind of descriptive writing does work well.

We discuss the difference in character development between a book and a movie.

We discuss the need for worldbuilding in speculative fiction and how that can potentially slow down the pace of a spec fic thriller.

Alan cites Peter Watt’s Starfish as an example of excellent worldbuilding in a spec fic thriller.

David cites William Dietrich’s historical adventure thrillers.

We talk about the authenticity of worldbuilding in fiction and making sure the writer knows what he’s talking about.

We finish up talking about what we think is essential description and what’s unnecessary.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

ThrillerCast Episode 10 - Copyrights and Piracy

This episode is actually a portion of a larger episode we recorded several weeks back. It's comparatively brief after the last two super-sized episodes. Enjoy!

Click here to download the episode!

In this episode, we discuss the Cooks Source copyright violation incident.

The fallacy of the internet as 'public domain.'

Does the availability of so much free material impact piracy?

David Reviews Temple by Matthew Reilly.