Monday, December 31, 2012

ThrillerCast 062- Humor and Heroes with Jim Bernheimer

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(Apologies again for the sound issues at the start. We really need technology to catch up to our country lifestyles!)

 We start the show talking about nudity and the current Australian heatwave. This leads us, in a terrible segue, to the Simon & Schuster self-publishing situation.

We talk about the difference between self-publishing, assisted self-publishing and vanity publishing.

More about the Simon & Schuster/Author Solutions situation

We go on to talk a bit about the changes to Amazon’s KDP Select program. (Hint – we don’t like it.)

Dave goes on to discuss some speculation going around about Amazon in a conspiracy with big publishers.

Then we talk to Jim Bernheimer.

Jim talks about his work and what he’s written so far.

Jim chats about his latest release and his ideas for future projects. He talks about his crazy ideas and what he tries to do with them.

We ask about Jim’s work with Lee Harvey Oswald as a character.

Jim’s work has been compared to Jim Butcher, but it turns out there’s not much love there from any of us.

Jim talks about his book, Confessions Of A D-List Supervillain. He discusses story structure and extending shorter works into longer works.

We talk about Spirals Of Destiny and Jim talks about his start writing Harry Potter fan fiction.

Jim talks about making characters sound different.

We ask Jim about his work in so many different genres and where he might go next.

Then we ask Jim for his best advice for writers.

The Y-Writer software Jim mentions can be found here:

Find Jim at

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Episode 61 – The Chuck Wendig Interview

This week, we discuss juggling projects, then Alan chats with author Chuck Wendig.

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Dave asks Alan about his new authorly tattoo. You can see it here:

Alan goes on to talk about the second draft of his current novel-in-progres.

We go on to talk a bit about our collaborative horror/dark thriller novella.

Dave talks about his other new collaboration with Ryan Span, a new David Debord fantasy novella.

This leads Dave to talk about the problems of having too many ideas boiling away and too many projects on the go. How do we choose what to work on?

This leads us to discuss how much we need to commit to series over standalone projects and what we owe readers for the investment of their time.

Dave talks about the contrast in his current reading between the Wheel Of Time series and Jack Reacher books. This leads to a discussion about the style variations in the writing of those books.

Alan can’t help mentioning how much he dislikes the Wheel Of Time series.

And we can’t help ranting about Tom Cruise as Reacher again.

Then we cut to Alan flying solo in an interview with incorrigible penmonkey, Chuck Wendig.

We start off with Chuck talking about his early career and how he started out as a writer.

We chat about Chuck’s prodigious blog output and how he manages to fit it all in.

We talk about why Chuck chose the number 25 for his famous Lists and about how writers enjoy sitting alone in a cave.

Chuck talks about how he broke out as a novel writer and the potency of social media.

Alan asks Chuck to define what it means to be a New Pulp writer, which leads us to talk about writing what we want to write without trying to fit any particular genre.

Chuck talks about the inspiration for the character of Miriam, and this leads us to talk about the nature of gender in fiction. Where do writers fit in the gender debate, what are the obligations for men writing female characters and so on?

Chuck talks about future Miriam books, the next being Cormorant in late 2013, and a new book called The Blue Blazes coming out soon. We get a bit of a sneak preview about both.

We go on to talk about the nature of the hybrid author, and Chuck discusses his reasons for self-publishing some works while seeking traditional deals for others.

Chuck offers some great advice on when people should or shouldn’t self-publish.

Chuck talks about what he’s working on now and how he manages his time and deadlines.

We finish with Chuck offering his single most important seed of advice for writers.
Finish your shit!

Chuck is on Twitter @ChuckWendig

Find his website at

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Episode 60 - Greig Beck Interview

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We start by lamenting the silly season and its idiocy.

We go on to talk about our current writing and Alan celebrates having written “The End” on the first draft of his latest novel.

Dave talks about his new release, “Buccaneer”, which is going great guns on Amazon, including taking the #1 spot on the Men’s Adventure chart.

We then have a chat with Greig Beck.

Greig talks a bit about his early life and influences.

We talk about the joys of dog ownership.

Greig goes on to talk about a mysterious discovery in the ice that led him to writing his first book.

We ask Greig what he thinks makes for good leading characters.

Greig talks about his latest book, Black Mountain.

Greig talks about some fascinating research subjects he’s explored.

We talk about what creatures might be out there that we simply never see…

Alan asks Greig about convention appearances.

We ask Greig what his favourite books are.

Greig gives his best advice for writers.

Find Greig online at:

Here’s the Lazarus Taxon Greig mentioned:

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Episode 59 – A Show About Nothing

Really, in this show we just crap on about pretty much nothing.
Dave talks about finishing the latest Dane Maddock adventure and starting the next.

Alan talks about finishing a big project and doing other things before the next big project.

Alan talks about drawing close to the finish of the novel he’s currently working on, and how some things turn out to be bigger than expected.

We go on to talk about the importance of editing in the second draft to chop out all the extraneous wordage.

This leads us to talk about how to avoid passive writing.

We then talk about where we’re headed next with future projects.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Episode 58- Neil Gaiman's Rules for Writing

Dave and Alan discuss Neil Gaiman's "8 Rules for Writing."

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 Dave's latest, Buccaneer, is out, and Alan is wrapping up his work in-progress.

The writer's high of the last few chapters of a manuscript.

The emotional ups-and-downs of writing.

 Alan was invited to contribute an article to the Hugo-winning site, SFSignal.

Why Alan has an issue with NaNoWriMo

Promo- SecondWorld by Jeremy Robinson

Neil Gaiman's "Rules for Writing"

Why the best rules for writing aren't hard-and-fast rules for writing.

Alan's post on the subject

New release- Ragnarok by Jeremy Robinson and Kane Gilmour.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Episode 57 - Navigating the Perilous Amazon

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We talk about what’s happening in our writing life, which leads us to talk at some length about that old planner vs pantser debate. David has discovered he really doesn’t like planning.

Alan is a pantser too, but both of us have various ways to organise and plan what is happening in the book we’re working on. Alan talks about his spreadsheet timeline method.

Alan talks about how his plans can change in the process of writing them and how he likes to allow that and not be restricted by a strong outline.

David talks about characters leading the story and staying in control of what’s happening.

David talks about some new releases he’s excited about, including his latest Dane Maddock book, Buccaneer.

There’s also a new Gryphonwood horror anthology out now for 99c -

Alan and Dave talk about Dave’s story in the new anthology, and how the process of Alan beta-reading the story changed it for the better.

This leads us to talk about the structure and writing process of a short story.

Alan talks about his story in the Dark Places 2 anthology, “The Seven Garages Of Kevin Simpson”.

We go on talk at length about Amazon and some of the things happening at the moment.

We start with the case of Amazon wiping a customer’s Kindle while she slept.

We talk about the nature of the rental agreement which is a Kindle purchase.

We go on to talk about the latest Amazon reviewing debacle where Amazon have been removing “competitive” reviews.

These things highlight Amazon’s model and how it’s flawed.

We move on, strangely, to talk briefly about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s announcement to make a new Conan film.

Alan talks about the horror of The Expendables 2. What a terrible movie.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Episode 056- Making the Old New with Thomas Greanias

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 Dave and Alan discuss Amazon's new "Author Ranking" system.

 Promo: Mail Order Zombie podcast

 Dave chats with thriller author Thomas Greanias.

 The Atlantis series

 Unknown/little known history about the founding of America, the Founding Fathers, and Washington D.C. 

The Promised War and its sequels.

Taking risks as an author- branching out beyond your most commercially successful work. How might it impact your author brand?

The Dominion Dei series.

The Alignment- Federal City series.

Including factual details that are almost "too crazy to be true."

Thomas's new media site.

Future trends in publishing.

The importance of not letting bells and whistles interfere with the reading experience.

Thomas's thoughts on how to make old tropes feel fresh.

The "fictive dream."

Advice for writers. Visit Tom at or

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Episode 055- Drafting and Redrafting with Rich Steeves

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Dave gives a good example about why he relies on pantsing his novels.

This leads us to talk about the natural flow and organic growth of a piece of writing, and how we deal with new ideas as a story progresses.

We talk a bit about Scrivener and how Dave is forcing Alan to try it out.

Then we have a chat with Rich Steeves.

Is Rich one of the most phallic writers out there?

Rich talks about his latest Misty Johnson book.

We ask Rich about his political commentary in his books.

Rich talks about his experiences as a small press author.

We talk about the current rash of historical urban fantasy titles.

We ask Rich about his influences.

Rich talks about Pulp Obscura -

We discuss the resurgence of pulp and New Pulp writers.

Is Rich a pantser or a planner?

What’s next for Rich Steeves?

Find Rich at

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Episode 54 – Writing The Dreaded Sequel with Steven Savile

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Dave is flying solo this week. He starts off talking about the new discoveries he’s made in Scrivener.

Two of his books, Into The Woods and Keeper Of The Mists, are now available on audio book at Audible.

Next up is a follow-up to the chat Alan and Dave had about the “restoration” of the fresco in Spain.

Dave talks about the possibility of a new Indiana Jones movie.

Espresso Book Machine – the rise of the modern method to get any book you want while you wait.

Promo- Quest by David Wood

Dave interviews thriller author Steven Savile.

Steven goes on to talk about his views on piracy of content.

Steven talks about all the different things he’s done in writing and publishing.

How did Steven get his start in writing.

Steven goes on to talk about his thriller books and the joy of research.

Why didn’t Steven return to thrillers for so long?

Steven talks about working with Sean Ellis and Rick Chesler, and the pleasures of collaboration.

Steven talks about his forthcoming publications.

As a writer, how do you really immerse yourself in a series and Steven’s writing advice.

Find Steven at or on Facebook and Goodreads.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Episode 53 - Kickstart Your Writing with Matt Forbeck

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Alan talks about his most recent short fiction sale to Dark Prints Press.

Dave talks about his work on Dane Maddock #5 and some forthcoming audiobooks, which leads him to discuss reviews and why we shouldn’t read them.

This leads us to talk about how different people read the same book or story so differently, and how that colours the type of review they might write.

We go on to talk about the LendInk situation.

Prior to chatting with Matt Forbeck, we talk briefly about the assumption that fast writing equals low-quality writing.

We digress into a conversation about Scrivener as a writing tool. Alan talks about resisting change.

Promo: Scrolls by Paul Elard Cooley

Then we have a chat with Matt Forbeck.

Matt talks a little bit about his work history. He’s currently up to 20 novels, comics for IDW, roleplaying games, non-fiction books, the Marvel Encyclodpedia... I’m getting tired just listing all this stuff.

Matt talks about the division of labour when you’re a stay-at-home creative and you have a family. Matt has five kids, including quadruplets.

Matt talks about Twelve For Twelve – a project to write twelve 50,000 word novels in twelve months, which he funded through Kickstarter.

Matt talks about what he thinks is involved in making a successful Kickstarter campaign.

We ask Matt to tell us about his Monster Academy books, where young monsters go to reform school to try to fit into society.

Then Matt tells us about his Dangerous Games books.

We ask Matt for his advice on becoming a game writer. Matt has some great advice and talks about his own journey.

Matt talks about his incredible levels of productivity and what drives him. This leads him to talk about his outlining process as a writer, where he strikes a great balance between planning and pantsing.

We finish by asking Matt for his advice for other writers.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Episode 52 – Massive Hubris

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Apologies again for the slightly annoying sound in this episode. Recording issues again. This happens when the two hosts have a planet between them. The sound does improve as the podcast progresses.

We start off by talking about the constant process of ruminating on ideas for our writing during everyday life and how we grab those ideas before they’re lost.

We go on to talk about the nature of lowest common denominator publishing.

Anything He Wants (Dominated by the Billionaire) series 

This leads us to talk about the healthy or unhealthy nature of the role models these books encourage.

We move on to the poor woman who tried to restore a painting in a church in Spain.

The terrible painting restoration

We talk about this self-delusion of skills as it relates to writing.

We talk about working at your craft to get good at it.

 We then discuss the strange goings-on recently with Weird Tales magazine in connection with the book, Save The Pearls.

This is how you destroy something beautiful – N K Jemisin’s post on Weird Tales -

Google cache of Marvin Kaye’s post, A Thoroughly Non-Racist Book -

And more from Jeff Vandemeer on the whole situation -

We talk about the effect things like this have on how writers submit their work.

Three, count 'em, three outtakes at the end!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Episode 51- The Traveling Writer with A.J. Hartley

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 We discuss the dangers of our relative countries of residence and chat briefly about our current writing projects.
We talk about the “sagging middle” of a novel – the difficulty of writing that tricky middle section.
We chat about interviewing characters as if they were really people and how some writers have Twitter accounts for their characters.
Alan’s dog is on Twitter: @ImAlsDog
Our listener gave us more details on the Harlan Ellison audiobook records and more. Here’s the comment in full:
Here is a link to what remains of the Harlan Ellison Record Collection (scroll to the bottom). I think they may have converted some/all to CDs ...
Here is a link to many of Harlan's "spoken word" recordings:
(Thanks Greg!)
We then go on to talk about the recent blow-up about paid positive reviews and the news about John Locke’s untold secret to success.
Here’s the blog post Alan mentions:
We discuss the moral minefield around the ideas of reviewing and the different methods of getting reviews.
We have a chat with A J Hartley.
There’s some discussion of various football codes.
Then AJ catches us up on what’s been happening for him.
AJ goes on to talk about his latest foray back into the thriller genre, his new book “Tears Of The Jaguar”:
AJ discusses his choice of location and the joys and methodology of his research. This leads to a discussion of ideas and what certain books are actually about.
AJ chats about one aspect of the novel, the Lancashire witch trials, which happened four hundred years ago this year.
What is it about this type of thriller that makes the genre so enduring?
We talk about the nature of traveling to inform your writing and understanding cultural variation.
AJ gives his traveling advice for writers.
Visit AJ at