Saturday, March 20, 2010
From publisher Gwen Gades:
A Dragon Moon Press Podthology: The Pod Complex – is an anthology of some of the best stories ever podcast. Since podcasters are some of our most beloved authors, we thought we should celebrate their achievements in book form. So we’ve collected together some of the best of the medium, and included a few about podcasting to jazz it up a bit, and put on one of my favorite all time covers (that we’ve done) and here you have it! Coming to you in April.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Tim Reynolds is – are you ready for this? - a Calgary Transit bus driver, an Independent (self) publisher (Cometcatcher Press), under which imprint he has released (or will release) unto the world Stand Up and Succeed (2nd edition 2008), The Cynglish Beat (April 2010), How the Beluga Lost Its Colour (Illustrated children's book coming 2011, Winner of The First Annual Great Canadian Fable Contest,), When Anastasia Laughs (currently being novelized from original screenplay), Made in Heaven: semi-autobiographical fiction (TBA. Tim’s note: Needing a serious edit before submission), and A Stable Full of Loons (written on a manual typewriter over a Labour Day long weekend as part of International 3-Day Novel Contest). He has also recently completed edits on the novel The Psilent One, which he has submitted to a publisher for consideration. When not writing and editing his own manuscripts, Tim is a freelance editor and/or slush pile reader for Dragon Moon Press, for whom he has selected and edited Nina Munteanu’s Darwin's Paradox, and has just finished coordinating the assembly of Podthology - Dark, Light & Twisted Tales from the Podosphere, an anthology in which all stories have been podcast previously or are about podcasting, and to which he has contributed the short stories Uncle Julius and From Anna to Yousef.
His current projects include finishing layout and submission of The Cynglish Beat, planning a comedy-based fundraiser called "Beat Cancer With a Shtick", novelizing one of his original screenplays (a ghost story), planning a unique space-travel anthology, and plotting the sequel to The Psilent One.
In addition to all that, Tim is also an active stand up comic, having performed at Yuk Yuk’s in Calgary & Toronto, as well as The Laugh Shop and The Comedy Cave in Calgary, an international travel photographer with contributions to the Conde Nast Traveler (calendar), the National Geographic Traveler (Room With a View page), and has published 20 postcards, 2 posters, 2 covers on Alive Magazine, as well as photos in 7 books. He also paints and received an honourable mention in L. Ron Hubbard's Illustrators of the Future Contest. Tim can also claim ascendancy to the monikers of Editorial Cartoonist - St. Marys Journal Argus, 1985-1987, Graphic Designer, Canoe Wrangler, and Grandfather.
Barbara Budd, on CBC Radio's As It Happens has called Tim “
I call Tim the man who changed my life. He also picked my baby out of the slush pile, The Longevity Thesis.
Is there anything left to know about
JR: Why do you write?
TR: For me, to not write, would be to die. That may sound a bit melodramatic, but I`m brimming with stories to tell and if I don`t tell them I might just bust wide open.
JR: What would be the best thing that could happen to you?
TR: To win the lottery. For the obvious reasons, but also:
i. So I can concentrate on writing and editing where I want (around the world)
ii. To further my education and foster links in the publishing and
iii. So I can set up a science education/experience foundation where sci-fi writers
of all ages and levels can be exposed to CERN, NASA, JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), radio telescopes, observatories.
JR: Your opinion: agent or no agent?
TR: I would love one. I lucked into my meagre publishing contacts. I'm lousy at sales, so an agent would really help, though. A writer's job is to write. Let the agent do the dealing. Once the book is published, then the writer becomes a sales person. Having an agent would simplify this process, I would think, especially with the various electronic rights to be negotiated these days. I think every writer should familiarize themselves with the standard contract and clauses, but if I could get a good agent/manager (and needed one) I'd do it.
JR: Which do you prefer: publishing under your own imprint, or that of a separate publishing house?
TR: Any idiot with cash or credit can publish under their own imprint, but to write something that a reputable publisher likes and is willing to publish is an achievement to be proud of. Now, if you self-publish and get a distributor AND make sales, then that's terrific, but it takes a lot of energy that could be used for writing.
JR: How do you go about setting up your own in-store signings?
TR: i. Scope out the store. Does it seem like the kind of store your readers would frequent?
Would your steam-punk-biker mystery readers shop for books at Everyone-is-Beautiful Book Shop?
ii. Introduce yourself to the person in charge of consignments. Make sure you have a
fresh copy of your book you can let him or her have for consideration. Don't worry, it'll probably end up part of the shelf on the stock, not being a free hand-out.
iii.Once my book is on the shelves in the store I will either email or drop by to set up a
signing. Carry your date-book, calendar, PDA with you so you can book your signing right there on the spot. Being prepared makes you look more professional. Also make sure to give yourself enough time before the signing to have any materials you'll need done. Materials? Banners, signs, bookmarks, postcards, giveaways...
JR: How is Stand Up and Succeed doing? How do you keep up interest in the book and promote sales?
TR: It's not doing well, but sales reflect my efforts. Realizing that it has a very specific (small) readership, I'm now using it more as a calling-card and appreciation gift. Because it espouses my philosophy on just about everything, I once used it as a resume and it actually got me the job. I will still do a signing every few months, just to keep my face in front of the public and the booksellers.
JR: What advice would you give to someone wanting to sell their books through their own website?
TR: Don't print a lot of stock, unless you're going to go all out with marketing/advertising. And don't spend more on advertising etc. than the book will bring in sales. Have another outlet for your books, like Amazon. Now, if your book is tied directly to your business (Investment Broker/"The Ten Best Investments of the 21st Century"), then have excerpts from the book on your website, any testimonials you've received and, of course, a secure way for readers to either purchase the book directly on the website or to at least order them by email. For a start, study the websites of publishers who are selling on the web and model your site after the best parts of theirs.
JR: What inspires you to write?
TR: The world around me. Really. Dreams, books/articles I've read, shows watched, life experienced. It all comes into play along the way.
JR: How do you get around writers' block?
TR: I have many (many many) projects on the go and all in different stages of development, so if I'm not in a writing place, maybe I'm able to work on a cover design, or a book layout, or the interior artwork for a children's book. And if that doesn't work, get out, take a walk, go to a movie, have dinner away from your in-home office. But remember to take a notebook or voice recorder just in case inspiration hits suddenly. Writer's block for me really only comes when I try to remember something I thought of earlier but can't, and get hung up on it because I didn't write it down.
JR: What are five things on your bucket list?
TR: (in no particular order)
i. Ride in a hot air balloon.
ii. Have a publisher like one of my stories enough to buy it and first look at the sequel.
iii. To spend a few weeks/months writing and sketching in and around
iv. Swim with dolphins & pet a tiger (and live to tell about it!)
v. Take flying lessons.
vi. A book signing in
JR: In one sentence, what impact has your life had on the world?
TR: I like to think I've made a few more people smile, laugh and think.
Thanks, Tim, for a wonderful interview and for being THE BEST SLUSH PILE READER EVAR!!
Saturday, March 6, 2010
I met Emerian through Podiobooks.com, and was delighted to find someone so talented and encouraging of her fellow podcasters. She recently agreed to be featured on this here blog, and answered a few questions for those of us curious about the Dark Mistress of the Podosphere.
JR: How long have you been podcasting?
ER: Since June 2007.
ER: I had been recording my books for some time for my husband and me. I didn’t know other people might like to listen as well. When my husband told me other people were doing it online, I jumped at the chance to get my work out there.
JR: What attracts you to the gothic and vampiric?
ER: Darkness and the creatures of darkness have always intrigued me. The beauty of the full moon casting light onto a savage sea... The power of black wings against the moonlit sky… The serenity of a graveyard just before dark… These things make me happy! There’s also a sort of freedom that these powerful beings have that I envy. To be able to go anywhere on the globe, to meet whomever you choose, to sleep in!
JR: What were you like as a kid?
ER: I was a total tomboy. I beat all the boys at arm wrestling and sports. I grew up poor, in mostly rich neighborhoods, so I had to do something that would make me valuable to them. Don’t ask me about sports today, I don’t follow them at all.
JR: The cover art for Night's Knights is kickass. How was the image generated?
ER: Yes, that cover is awesome! I was very lucky to run into the artist, Christen Kojnok, right before I went to print. She is the photographer and the model. You can find out all about her at: http://christenkojnok.com/ I’d like to say it was created by magic, but I’m sure it had something to do with photoshop. Christen has a lot of beautiful art. I just wish I had projects enough to use them all!
JR: Tell us about the print version of NK. Are you satisfied with your publishing experience? What has been wonderful about it? What would you change?
ER: I love my book Night’s Knights. It was really hard work and a learning experience, but I wouldn’t change any of the hurdles I went through because they taught me to persevere. Next time I will know how to format correctly the first time and will understand the steps I must go through. The most awesome part is seeing my name on a beautiful book like that. Sometimes I just stare at it. Is that really my book?
JR: How long does it take you to generate one show? What software program(s) would you recommend to someone who was just starting? What kind of podcasting rig would you suggest?
ER: I led a whole panel on this in Second Life and it can been seen on line here: http://emzbox.ning.com/video/video/listFeatured I would recommend anyone serious about podcasting to watch these videos because we take the beginner through 5 steps that will let them understand and determine if it’s right for them to pursue. My show HorrorAddicts.net takes about 4 hours prep, 2 hours taping, 4 hours editing, and 2 hours posting/promoting. So that’s about 12 hours for every episode, and that is only because I have been doing it so long. This is not something one would take on unless they love it! Novel chapters can take more or less time depending on which way I will be podcasting it and if I am having anyone else do voices.
JR: Do you do public appearances? Are any coming up?
ER: Yes, I do. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, so if you have an event you’d like me to come to, please let me know. I’ve done cons, readings, I’ve even sold my books at concerts! The next con I will attend is Baycon. You can find out more about that at http://www.baycon.org. For those who can not see me in person, I am on Second Life regularly. I just finished reading my book chapter by chapter there and I record Horror Addicts there every other Sunday at 9:30am PST. Come to my shop Quills to see the schedule of dates and featured authors! My shop is located in beautiful downtown
JR: What are your fans like?
ER: It’s strange because you would think that my fans are just all a bunch of goth kids like me. But, I actually have a wide range of listeners/readers that include every age, every walk of life, and every religion. Most people are confused when I tell them I have Christians listening to my book. Yes, it is a horror book about vampires, but I think the heavenly theme draws them to it. I was raised by ministers, so it’s not a stretch that the ritual of religious life bleeds into my writing. I’ve been told, that’s what they find appealing. For the horror fans, they love the vampire battles and the bloody gorey stuff. You could say there’s something for everyone.
JR: How do you find time to do it all?
ER: I have no clue. I have a full time job, a four year old, and this big writing career that comes at me 24-7, 100 miles an hour. I use my time wisely, try to budget time for every project I have going and hope that my emails don’t get too piled up. Thank goodness for holidays and weekends or I would never catch up!
JR: What projects are you working on now?
ER: HorrorAddicts.net Season 4 is in full swing. I’m finishing up my sequel to Night’s Knights, Dusk’s Warriors, and hope to have that podcasted later this year. I also have a third book to my Sweet Dreams Series which is a musical romance based on seniors in high school and their dreams for the future. That will be coming very soon. I’ve got a short coming out in April in an anthology from Dragon Moon Press, and another short will be airing soon in an Asia-inspired anthology. I just started a short I could not get out of my head based on the
JR: What is the origin of your name (which is also kickass)?
ER: Thank you. Emerian is a derivative of my grandfather’s name Emerson, who I loved dearly. He was the one who inspired my imagination and he taught me how to tell stories.
JR: If you could learn anything, what would it be?
ER: Everything! I am a knowledge addict! I love researching and finding out little tidbits I can add to my writing. As far as things I’ll never be… I’d love to be able to play piano (my short fingers aren’t the best start!) or a linguist (my memory is really bad when it comes to remembering languages!).
JR: If you could be anything, what would it be?
ER: A writer. Just a writer. Not an employee of anyone else, not a two or three jobs at a time person… Just a writer, with time to write everything that’s in my head before I forget it!
Writer, Artist, Podcaster
dashPunk.com Staff Author
Sweet Dreams Series / Office Angst
Night's Knights print novel - October 2009