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 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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May 25, 2021

#006: Laura Besley, one of the top fifty British and Irish flash fiction writers, talks about writing and how to craft powerful pieces of flash fiction.

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Laura Besley (@laurabesley) is an established short fiction writer, particularly in flash fiction and micro-fiction. She has two collections of flash fiction published already (The Almost Mothers and 100neHundred) and more on the way. She has been listed as one of the top fifty British and Irish flash fiction writers by TSS Publishing and has been nominated for Best Micro-Fiction. Laura has been published in multiple literary journals including Fictive Dream, Spelk, EllipsisZine, and a number of anthologies and print magazines. She also reads for Fractured Lit and a number of writing competitions.

In this conversation, we discuss flash fiction in general, her work to date, using writing as a form of personal therapy, connecting with readers on a deeper level, what it takes to write a powerful piece of flash fiction, and her writing processes. I highly recommend you listen to it if you are interested in flash fiction.

Laura Besley

Selected Links From Episode

You can find Laura on Twitter and Instagram.

Access Laura’s Amazon Author Page here.

Check out Laura’s flash fiction collections ‘The Almost Mothers‘ and ‘100neHundred‘.

Show Notes

Laura’s work (0m 10s)

Writing as a means of working out how we feel about things and making sense of the world (2m 20s)

The realities of parenting and the struggle (the theme for Laura’s flash fiction collection ‘The Almost Mothers’) (5m 50s)

Getting accepted in literary journals, difficulties, approach and advice (9m 45s)

Some positive ideas about how to deal with rejections (11m 21s)

Laura is a reader at Fractured Lit and a number of writing competitions, we discuss how reading and critiquing other people’s work is a great way to learn and refine your own writing (26m 20s)

Key elements she looks for when reading submitted flash fiction pieces and common errors and mistakes (31m 0s)

Carving out time to write and how she captures ideas and writes on the go (37m 0s)

Where she writes (39m 30s)

Seeking early stage critique and feedback and how to go about it (41m 20s)

The importance of capturing and stockpiling ideas for stories (44m 0s)

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