September 14, 2021

#013: Sean Lusk talks about the clockwork behind idea generation, writing, agents and publishing.

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In this episode I interview Sean Lusk; a fiction author from the UK with some wonderful insights about writing and generating ideas. You can check out his debut novel The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley here. Described in his school report as a dilettante, Sean took the description seriously, failing his exams and traveling to Pakistan, India, Egypt, and on through Africa. Along the way, he has had jobs as a gardener, immigration officer, speechwriter, teacher, strategist, diplomatic official and conference organizer. He began writing seriously in 2000, winning prizes with his unsettling, darkly humorous, and intriguing short stories. After writing and later burning a novel set in the mountains of Pakistan and another set entirely in the small ads column of a local newspaper, he returned to work for the British Government, focusing on teaching officials to think strategically and plan for the future. He wrote an academic book on the subject in 2014, having observed that running exercises on pandemic planning or climate change seemed to have the effect of absolving everyone from the need to take any action, much as confessing one’s sins to a priest does little to stop sinning. The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley is his debut novel, a celebration of fluttering birds, clockwork, travel, eighteenth-century spymasters, and love in all its forms. Sean has recently moved from rural Greece to the Scottish Highlands where he lives with his wife Sally and is in the process of acquiring chickens, dogs, cats, tartan carpets and, he prays, some llamas.

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July 26, 2021

#011: SmokeLong Quarterly Owner and Successful Writer, Christopher Allen, talks about what it takes to be a successful author, flash fiction, SmokeLong and lots more.

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Christopher Allen is Managing Editor of SmokeLong Quarterly, a very successful short fiction journal. He has also been teaching for almost 30 years. These days he mainly leads workshops on writing compelling flash narratives (stories under 1000 words). His own work has been published, most recently, in The Best Small Fictions 2019, Booth, Split Lip Magazine, and Gone Lawn as well as in over a hundred other journals and anthologies. His debut collection of flash fiction–Other Household Toxins (Matter Press)–came out in 2018.

He’s been nominated several times for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, The Best Small Fictions, Million Writers Award and others. His flash fictions and short stories have won or placed in numerous competitions.

As well as all that he’s judged the Cambridge Prize for Flash Fiction, the Bath Flash Fiction Award, and Micro Madness and has guest edited for journals such as Lighthouse Literary Journal, Ellipsis Journal, Flash Frontier and others.

In this episode we discuss Christopher’s writing approach, his insights about what it takes to write winning flash fiction pieces, SmokeLong Quarterly and much much more.

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July 15, 2021

BONUS EPISODE: 5 Indie Publishers give their top tips for writing killer stories and novels they would publish.

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This is NOT a normal episode of The Chris Roberts Show. I thought I’d do something a little different and field an open question to independent publishers and let them submit responses to me. 

The question I asked them was simply: What is your top tip for writing killer stories and novels that they would want to publish?

Listen to this short episode to see what nuggets of wisdom they gave.

Below are some details about the independent publishing houses that submitted responses for this episode.

A huge thanks to all who participated.

Blue Ink Press

Founded in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2015, Blue Ink Press was formed to help authors navigate the daunting and confusing world of publishing. While our focus was initially on middle-grade and young adult books, we now represent authors of all genres and are actively seeking new works to expand our catalogue.

You can find out more about Blue Ink Press on their website, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter profiles.

Collective Tales Publishing

We started CTP as an independent publication featuring new and upcoming authors in the speculative fiction genres. Our first book, Collective Darkness: A Horror Anthology, was the Amazon #1 bestseller for new horror anthologies. We have a follow-up called Little Darkness and more books on the way.

You can find out more about Collective Tales Publishing on their website, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Channel.

Fly On The Wall Press

Fly on the Wall is a social enterprise company and a not-for-profit publisher, based in Manchester. We publish innovative short stories, poetry, and photography books on pressing issues, from exceptional authors around the globe, all with a socially conscious theme.

You can find out more about Fly On The Wall Press on their website, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube Channel.

D&T Publishing 

D&T was started in 2020 in Corinth, MS. Dawn Shea and her husband Timothy, are the team behind D&T. Dawn, an avid lover of horror for most of her life, went from a small dream of one ABC based anthology, to now publishing other authors work. Our main goal here at D&T, is to spread more authors words out into the world.

You can find out more about D&T here on their website and  Instagram profiles.

Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency

Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency (SBPRA) is a complete book publishing and book marketing solution. We offer both traditional and self-publishing contracts. Our contracts are among the most generous in the industry and enjoyed by the 10,000 authors we have published.

You can find out more about SBPRA on their website and Instagram profile.

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July 9, 2021

#010: Robert Ottone, dark fiction author and owner of Spooky House Press, talks about writing and the Smokey Muse.

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Robert Ottone is an author, teacher, and cigar enthusiast from East Islip, New York. He owns Spooky House Press, a small independent publisher of fiction. He has roots in journalism and true crime writing and he is the host of the Voices of Gilgo Project. He can be found online, or on Instagram and Twitter. His collections Her Infernal Name & Other Nightmares and People: A Horror Anthology about Love, Loss, Life & Things That Go Bump in the Night are available now wherever books are sold.

This is a great episode. We had a lot of fun recording it and Robert brings some excellent advice and ideas to the table. If you are an aspiring writer then I fully recommend listening to this episode.


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June 13, 2021

#008: J.D. Horn, Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author, talks about writing, the publishing process and beta readers.

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J.D. Horn is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Witching Savannah series (The Line, The Source, The Void, and Jilo), the Witches of New Orleans Trilogy (The King of Bones and Ashes, The Book of the Unwinding, The Final Days of Magic), and the standalone Southern Gothic horror tale Shivaree. J.D. is also founder and owner of Curious Blue Press, a small publishing concern originally founded during the Coronavirus pandemic. Curious Blue Press has just published Good Southern Witches, a collection of short spooky fiction. A world traveler and student of French and Russian literature, Horn also has an MBA in international business and formerly held a career as a financial analyst before turning his talent to crafting chilling stories and unforgettable characters. His novels have received global attention and have been translated into Turkish, Russian, Romanian, Polish, Italian, German, and French. Originally from Tennessee, he currently lives in California with his spouse, Rich, and their rescue Chihuahua, Kirby Seamus.

This is another brilliant episode! In this conversation, we discuss J.D.’s writing, his method, his experience with traditional publishing. We also discuss his independent publishing company, Curious Blue Press, and how this has given him a new perspective. 

Selected Links From Episode

J.D. Horn’s website.

Curious Blue Press’ website.

J.D. Horn’s Instagram Profile.

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