Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Episode 036 - Writing Short Stories with Angela Slatter

Alan and David talk short stories and editing with award-winning author Angela Slatter.

Click here to download the episode.

We talk about stupid author tricks – Dumb tagging on Amazon.

We talk about writing short stories, the value of short stories to enhance craft and publication credits and to raise an author’s profile.

Then we have a great chat with Angela Slatter.

Angela Slatter is a Brisbane-based writer of speculative fiction (that’s in Australia, by the way). In 2010, she had two short story collections published, Sourdough & Other Stories with Tartarus Press (UK) (which was shortlisted for a World Fantasy Award) and The Girl with No Hands & Other Tales (Ticonderoga Publications) (which won an Aurealis Award). This makes her happy.

In 2012, she will have another collection of short stories, a collaboration with friend and writing-partner-in-crime, Lisa L Hannett. Midnight and Moonshine will be published by Ticonderoga Publications. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies such as Jack Dann’s Dreaming Again, Tartarus Press’ Strange Tales II, Twelfth Planet Press’ 2012, Dirk Flinthart’s Canterbury 2100, and in journals such as Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Shimmer, ONSPEC and Doorways Magazine. Her work has had several Honourable Mentions in the Datlow, Link, Grant Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror anthologies #20 and #21 and the Datlow Year’s Best Horror anthologies, and her stories have been shortlisted for the Aurealis Awards four years in a row.

She is working on various short stories and three novels at the moment.

Angela talks about her what she thinks makes for success in short fiction, and where the short story differs from the novella and the novel.

Angela goes on to suggest ways to trim your longer fiction down into a shorter story and how to get to the essence of what you’re trying to achieve.

We talk about the nature and benefits of the Clarion writers’ program.

Angela talks about her novel in progress.

We go on to talk about the process of collaborating with another writer on short fiction.

We talk briefly about Angela’s short-term stint as editor of the Weird Fiction Review.

We talk about how writers can benefit from editing.

Should we use smaller ideas for shorter stories?

We talk about the renaissance of short fiction and novellas and our hope that those things continue to see a rise in popularity. We also mention how mystifying it is to us that those things aren’t already more popular.

And here’s the list of "classics" everyone should read, that Angela has put together for us:

Shirley Jackson - We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Shirley Jackson - The Haunting of Hill House
Clive Barker’s - Cabal (or Nightbreed)
Henry James - The Turn of the Screw
H P Lovecraft - The Shadow Over Innsmouth and Other Stories
Bran Stoker’s - The Judge’s House
Marghanita Laski’s - The Tower
Edgar Allan Poe - The Fall of the House of Usher
Anything by M R James (*Stephen Jones is editing a HUGE collection of M R James’ work – out in 2012 via the lovely Jo Fletcher Books (there’s a series of readings of M R James stories on youtube by Robert Powell and a little teleplay with Christopher Lee (hallowed be his name!) here , which are made of awesome).

Find Angela online:

Angela’s site:

Ticonderoga Publications:

Tartarus Press:


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Episode 035 - Special Ops and Spirits - Myke Cole Interview

Click here to download this episode directly.

Dave and Alan talk about their Xmas break.

Here are the bookshelves Alan was talking about:

We discuss briefly the nature of hardcovers becoming the true artefact book that people want to collect, while the majority of reading is done on ereaders.

Then we talk a bit about our plans for the year.

We talk about the free books we still have to give away from the Xmas promotion. Get on it, folks!

Then we go on to talk about the KDP Select program through Amazon, and our concerns about it.

Then we have a great chat with Myke Cole about his Shadow Ops books – the first one, Control Point, is out any time now.

We talk about the inspiration for Myke’s books – military and magic, inspired by Dungeons & Dragons combined with Myke’s military and Pentagon experiences.

We go on to discuss Myke’s road to publication and gives his opinion about indie versus traditional publishing.

We talk about establishing a profile and using Kickstarter on the back of existing success.

Myke talks about his extensive planning method of writing a book.