Discovered Wordsmiths

S.A. Schneider

Podcast dedicated to chatting with new and aspiring authors about their exciting new books and the path they chose to publish. read less
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Episodes

Episode 182 – J Thorn – A.I.
Dec 22 2023
Episode 182 – J Thorn – A.I.
Overview J is back, and this time he's talking about his latest book series which deals with using A.I. for your writing. Our conversation entails the happenings from 20 books to 50k Vegas. J has a lot of thoughts about the future of publishing and the use of A.I. Book YouTube https://youtu.be/ICNtVSdkJVw Transcript Stephen: Cool. Great. Alright. I'm just gonna start us off. New episode, Discovered Wordsmith. I've got Jay Thorne which he has been on here. It's been about a hundred and twenty episodes ago Wow. Since he was on. Yeah. It's been a while. He just made the mistake of saying, whatever you wanna ask, go ahead. That love child that you fostered in Hindus are Hindi Himalayas. Tell us about that, Jay. This is breaking news. J: I can only talk about things that have really happened, Steven. So I Stephen: You're a writer. What the heck? Oh, come on. So alright. Hopefully, everybody knows Jay because I'm not gonna go into his background. He's been on here before. I'll put links in that. I really wanna get on these new books he's been writing. Let's just hit that right from the start. You are writing Or have written a series of books about AI, writers using AI, and more about that. So There's probably gonna be a million questions on that. I've got several written down I definitely wanna cover. So First of all, let's just start. Tell us about not only what the books are about, but why you wanted to write these books, Especially right now because, that could get death threats from some people writing a book like this. J: Yeah. I say this Sort of tongue in cheek, but it's certainly true. I don't get nearly the amount of hate because I'm a middle aged white guy, and I have that privilege, and it's terrible, but it's the truth. And I see other folks, Women and other people who get hate for it, and it's just it's so unfair. But that's, that's how the Internet is in general. But Stephen: Joanna seems to get a lot of people. And it's really, folks, she's been doing this forever. She's one of the most best voices for all of us. So yeah. Yeah. J: I think it's I think it's lessened more recently, but certainly early on, she took a lot of heat especially in her comments on her website. But, Stephen: because I think most are starting to realize. Hey. It's everywhere. Everybody's using it. Maybe it's not so bad. But, anyway, we're already off topic. So tell us about your bugs and why you're writing these. Okay. J: So I'm trying to think about how far back I have to go to put to give you context for this. I would say probably two or three years ago maybe, Pseudowrite was just being rolled out in a beta form. And Joanna was telling me she's you got you have to check this out. That's this new AI writing tool. And every couple months or every so often, she would say, hey. Listen. You gotta try this out. And every time I did, I just wasn't impressed. I was like, I don't know. It's not very good. It's weird. It, it doesn't do what I want it to do. And what comes out of it, I have to spend so much time cleaning it up. It's just not worth it. And so For years, I was very resistant, and I was like, I don't like it. It's not very good. And I said I enjoy the process of creating the words. So whether I think it's ethical or moral or makes any sense is kinda beside the point. I don't wanna farm out the most fun part of the experience. It'd be like being a musician, and you love playing live shows. And someone's hey. There's this Technology where you don't have to go on stage. You would be like I don't want that. Thanks. Other people can do that. It's fine. I'm just saying that's not, that's not what I want. And I'm saying this because I'm very transparent about it, and she and I'm proud of the fact that I changed my mind because she teases me all the time. And she was like, You hated this, and we almost had a falling out over it. And I'm like, I did.
Episode 181 – Gretchen McCullough – Confessions of a Knight Errant
Dec 12 2023
Episode 181 – Gretchen McCullough – Confessions of a Knight Errant
Overview Confessions of a Knight Errant is a comedic, picaresque novel in the tradition of Don Quixote with a flamboyant cast of characters. Dr. Gary Watson is the picaro, a radical environmentalist and wannabe novelist who has been accused of masterminding a computer hack that wiped out the files of a major publishing company. His Sancho Panza is Kharalombos, a fat, gluttonous Greek dancing teacher, who is wanted by the secret police for cavorting with the daughter of the Big Man of Egypt. Self-preservation necessitates a hurried journey to the refuge of a girls’ camp in rural Texas. Then a body turns up nearby that is connected to Middle East antiquities, and they are on the run once more. Gretchen McCullough was raised in Harlingen Texas. After graduating from Brown University in 1984, she taught in Egypt, Turkey and Japan. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama and was awarded a teaching Fulbright to Syria from 1997-1999. Her stories, essays and reviews have appeared in The Barcelona Review, Archipelago, National Public Radio, Story South, Guernica, The Common, The Millions, and the LA Review of Books. Translations in English and Arabic have been published in: Nizwa, Banipal, Brooklyn Rail in Translation, World Literature Today and Washington Square Review with Mohamed Metwalli. Her bi-lingual book of short stories in English and Arabic, Three Stories from Cairo, translated with Mohamed Metwalli was published in July 2011 by AFAQ Publishing House, Cairo. A collection of short stories about expatriate life in Cairo, Shahrazad’s Tooth, was also published by AFAQ in 2013. Currently, she is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Rhetoric and Composition at the American University in Cairo. Book Website http://www.gretchenmccullough.wix.com/gretchenmccullough Favorites YouTube https://youtu.be/3ff8O98jt3E Transcript Stephen: So today on Discovered Word Smith I have Gretchen McCullough and you may notice if you're on YouTube watching the episode that there's no video because Gretchen is not. Anywhere in this hemisphere of where I'm at or at least I should say this continent. So we had a bit of a spotty connection and we turned off video to make sure we could hear everything. So Gretchen, welcome. How are you doing today? I'm Gretchen: doing great. Thanks for having me on your show. Stephen: Yeah. And I'm excited. So let's jump right into that before we start talking about your book. Tell us a little bit about you. And where you are at the moment. Gretchen: I'm sitting in my bedroom and it's dark outside. It's quite noisy. I live in a really busy part of Cairo. And yeah. That's where I am. It's across the Nile from Tahrir Square where a lot of Americans probably are familiar with Tahrir Square because of the uprising. It's not that far from the square. It's a huge island called Zamalek. And you can walk everywhere in this area. You don't really need a car. It's a neat burrow. There are lots of coffee shops. Yeah. Stephen: Nice. What, why what brought you to Cairo? Gretchen: It's a long odyssey. I taught in Egypt in the 1980s and then I taught in Turkey and then I taught in Japan. And then I went and got an MFA from the university of Alabama. And I had a Fulbright in Syria in 1997 to 99. And. I went back to Tuscaloosa, Alabama for a year and a friend of mine said, there's a job in Cairo. You're perfect. Why don't you apply? And I did. And I got the job at the American university in Cairo in 2000. And I've been here ever since. Stephen: Gretchen, where are you originally from? Gretchen: I'm originally from Harlingen, Texas. It's called the Rio Grande Valley. It's near the Mexican border, near Brownsville. It's the very tip of Texas. That's where I grew up. I'm from a very small town. Stephen: Big change. Gretchen: Yes. I wanted to get out of that town in 1980 and I didn't realize how far I would go.
Episode 180 – Kalee Boisvert – Make Money Your Thing
Dec 3 2023
Episode 180 – Kalee Boisvert – Make Money Your Thing
Overview With inspiration from her own life, Kalee Boisvert has developed an easy-to-use system for women, young and old, to take control of their finances. Make Money Your Thing is an approachable guide to take women on a journey from avoidance and overwhelm to feeling comfortable and in control of their finances. This book provides simple action steps to learn the basics of money management, understand the importance of balancing the books, and embrace the uniqueness of your own personal situation. The end result is women feeling good about where their finances are right now, and building a solid foundation for where you want to go in the future. When money is your “thing” you can feel completely at ease about making it work for you– Book YouTube https://youtu.be/vWXdJt5G6PM Transcript Stephen: So today on Discover Wordsmiths, I want to welcome Kaylee. Kaylee, how are you doing Kalee: today? I'm doing well. Thank you so much for having me. Stephen: Yeah, this is great. And we, right before we started, I mentioned I don't get a lot of nonfiction, so I'm excited about this. Yay. All right. So before we get started talking about your book tell us a little bit about you, where you're from, and some of the things you like to do besides writing. Kalee: I am from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. And a little bit about me. What else? Sorry. Stephen: jUst some of the things you like to do besides writing. Okay. Kalee: Other than writing, I love reading. I am a big bookworm. So I think. By nature, it was destined to write a book, but I love reading and I've discovered how easy it is to read off my phone. Now I have a one year old and so I can't really have books out because he has a tendency of ripping pages. So he's at that. That very destructive stage. So I read on my phone, but I find it so easy that I can read on the go all the time. So I'm reading way more books and book talk has actually gotten me a lot more interested in some of the books that are on there and are popular. So for a book talk and all that, but I do love reading. I love like my guilty pleasures, like real housewives watching the real housewives of everywhere, those shows. And then I'm also always really busy with my kids. I'm a single mom. I have a nine year old and a one year old. Like hobbies include going to the park and things like that. Stephen: Nice. Okay. And so with all that going on young kids and busy why did you want to write a book? Kalee: Silly me. Yeah. I think it's because of how much I love books in general. So I'd always wanted to write a book. I've read books like, and just like love, like I see authors and people who write books is just, to me, they're like celebrities. I think it's so amazing because it's a long, challenging endeavor to write a book. Stephen: You probably realized that way more when you actually wrote one. Kalee: Exactly. Exactly. And I. kept receiving the message like I started writing stories when I was young when your teacher would ask you to write a, couple page story and mine would go on for 20, 30 pages and that was like grade four. And because I was like, how do you develop A story in two pages. So for me, it was like this very elaborate the character development and everything But the teachers you could tell didn't even read it and i'm assuming it's because they had a lot of grading to do and I It went beyond the assigned work. So in their defense, I'm sure that was what was behind it. But in my mind, I was seeing it as, Oh, maybe I'm not a good writer. That's the messaging I took to believe. So then I decided maybe I wasn't meant to write. But it was like a few years back. I was just sitting in my office and I said out loud. I really want to write something because it just had all come back and it just, I don't know. It was just like, I was pondering this has always been a goal of mine. And a colleague happened to be walking by and he's Oh,
Episode 178 – G.S. Gerry – Meth Murder & Amazon
Nov 22 2023
Episode 178 – G.S. Gerry – Meth Murder & Amazon
Overview G. S. Gerry doesn’t just write books, he creates humorous experiences with the written word.  When life kicks you in the nether regions find a way to see the humor in it all.   I am all about Mastering life Experiences Through Humor.  My purpose is to share my own experiences to help you laugh at my pain, and laugh through yours.  G. S. Gerry engineers uniquely hilarious concepts that are quirky and utterly unique, geared towards entertaining those on the lookout for that one truly unique experience.  Using a visionary approach towards life, laughter & entertainment. Derald Grake destroys his life the moment he decides to sell the family home. After capturing the American dream, this father of 4 hopes to solve the complex formula of buying low and selling high. Witness one ‘normal’ family embark on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey involving, among other surprises, assassins, meth, murder, and the end of Amazon. Wrapped inside this intriguing mystery are eye witness accounts and compelling evidence to separate truth from fantasy. Follow the clues, sort through the lies, and put the pieces together of this twisted reality. From award winning author and visionary creator G. S. Gerry comes the critically acclaimed debut Meth Murder & Amazon. Book Website https://gsgerry.com/meth-murder-amazon/ Favorites YouTube https://youtu.be/uY5vbwr8Ex4 Transcript Stephen: Today on Discover Wordsmiths, I have Jerry. Jerry, how are you doing today? GS: I'm great. How are you? Thanks for having me. It's a Stephen: pleasure. It's a good to have you on and you mentioned it was raining where you're at. I live in Ohio. It's raining here. Also. Where are you located? GS: Started in Land O'Lakes, Florida. So 30 minutes from Tampa and I feel like it's been raining every day nonstop since the summer started every day at some point it rains like it was torrential Stephen: downpour today. Wow. Okay. We had a like monsoon. The other day I lost electricity for three hours. It was coming down so hard. I couldn't see my neighbor's house. It was crazy. Yeah. GS: It did knock out the internet here earlier, but not too Stephen: crazy. Yeah, I felt like we were in Florida. Yeah. All right. We are what, before we talk about your book I love your background, by the way, that's a great background. Tell us a little bit about you and some of the things you like to do besides writing. GS: Yeah I've actually been only writing for about a year and a half. I never thought I was going to be a writer. I had a crazy situation at work that kind of led me to hey, I want to be a writer. And so I can tell you about that real quick. I was working on a project. I do a lot of technical report writing at work on my new cyber security and credit card compliance. So you select your card at Walmart, Target any kind of store, right? Those customer, those companies have to have a compliance report. And so that's where a company like the one that I work for come into play. So we write a lot of long reports look at a lot of controls. And so I had a situation at work. I gave a customer a report and the next day she calls me and she's Jerry, this report. It's completely the same as last year. I'm like, Oh, gosh, please don't tell me that's the case. This is like a 500 page report, start reviewing the report saying we went on site. We didn't, there was no on site. We were in like the pandemic, like early pandemic at this time. So I was like, Oh, she's right. We have to rewrite this report. So the guy who was on my team, he was the guy who was leading the assessment. And he's the one who wrote the report. He copied my work. Yeah. Word for word and turn it into the customer, like it was his work. So we had to rewrite the report. It went from 500 pages to 750 pages. And it takes me like two months to fix the report. And afterwards, I'm like, man, I just wrote a novel. That's it.
Episode 177 – Audrey Birnbaum – American Wolf
Nov 1 2023
Episode 177 – Audrey Birnbaum – American Wolf
Overview Growing up in New York in the late 1960's, Audrey Birnbaum assumed that watching Holocaust documentaries was a perfectly normal family activity. On her first day of elementary school, Audrey sat in the cafeteria, unwrapped her liverwurst sandwich, and excitedly told her new classmates about her public television proclivities. Her Brady Bunch-watching peers had never heard of PBS, but they had heard of PB&J (and they weren't too keen on liverwurst either). They made it abundantly clear: Audrey's childhood was, in fact, not normal at all. We will never know whether it was schoolyard bullying or watching tragic Shoah documentaries that was responsible for Audrey's acute sensitivity to others; but that empathy may have helped pave the way for her choice of medicine as a career. Audrey chose to specialize in Pediatric Gastroenterology - for who needed more help than children; and where could anyone feel more suffering than in one's gut? Day in and day out, she watched intricate family dynamics play out in the context of fragile health. Audrey listened to each patient's story until she could retell it with clarity and give it meaning. Through witnessing and recording these tender dramas, the seeds of writing had been planted. Book In the summer of 1941, eleven-year-old Wolf is coming of age amidst the rubble and antisemitism of war-torn Nazi Berlin. Destitute and facing imminent deportation, he must leave behind his ill sister and travel with his family across a continent entrenched in war. With nothing in hand but expired visas to the US, Wolf and his family must figure out how to sneak aboard the Spanish freighter the Navemar, a ship that will gain its reputation as the "Hell Ship of Death." But this is only the beginning of Wolf's saga. "American Wolf: From Nazi Refugee to American Spy is a heart stopping true story full of last-minute rescues, near-death encounters, and survival against untold odds. It is also a story about coming of age, family dysfunction and national identity, and is a resounding testament to the triumph of the human spirit. Using the extensive, detailed notes compiled by her father, author Audrey Birnbaum retells in memoir style a poignant and vivid account of Wolf's childhood in Berlin, his riveting escape from Nazi Germany, and the continued challenges he faced even as he reached freedom. Favorites https://thevillagebookstore.net/ YouTube https://youtu.be/if0lOOeo1O0 Transcript [00:00:00] Stephen: today on Discovered Wordsmith, I have Audrey. Audrey, how are you doing this morning? I'm great, [00:00:06] Audrey: Steven. Thank you so much for having me. [00:00:08] Stephen: It is great to have you on and I'm excited to hear about this book but before we talk about your writing and your book, let's find out a little bit about you. [00:00:15] So tell us some of the things you like to do and where you live outside of writing. [00:00:20] Audrey: Stephen, I live in Westchester, New York, and I have not always been a writer. This is pretty new to me. I actually. I want to say I was a doctor, but I think I'm allowed to say I still am a doctor, but I don't [00:00:34] Stephen: think you ever stopped being a doctor. [00:00:37] It's one of those [00:00:37] Audrey: professionals that I want to hold on to that title a little bit, though. I don't walk around like I didn't put MD on my book because I thought that was, I don't know. Ex I do. I'm a pediatric gastroenterologist. [00:00:52] Stephen: Wow. That's a mouthful. That's a lot. [00:00:53] Audrey: It's a mouthful. It's people will have trouble saying it. [00:00:57] I usually say kids from here to here . But [00:01:00] people are, they're good with that. Yeah. I [00:01:02] Stephen: study kid farts, [00:01:04] Audrey: yeah, [00:01:05] Stephen: probably what the answer the kids would like, . . I'm sorry. Go on. Tell us more about you.
Episode 176 – Ashley Earley – Heart of Skulls
Oct 26 2023
Episode 176 – Ashley Earley – Heart of Skulls
Overview Ashley Earley grew up in Georgia, where she spent most of her time running wild in the woods of her backyard, building forts to create her own fantasy worlds, obsessing over books, and experimenting with her writing. Today, she lives in Colorado with her dog and still spends her time devouring any book she can get her hands on, writing, and editing for her clients at Earley Editing, LLC. In May of 2021, she graduated with distinction from University of Colorado Boulder, receiving a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. She also enjoys snowboarding, exploring, annoying her dog, constantly eating chocolate, and sharing her writing adventures on Instagram. Her Thriller/Suspense short story, Chasing Hair of Gold, won first place in the 2016 Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards. As a writer, she leans into fantasy or horror due to her love of all things creepy. As an editor, she loves a little bit of everything when it comes to fiction. Give her that steamy, forbidden romance, give her vampires, or even that young lovey-dovey stuff with all the twists and turns! Book Website https://www.ashleyearley.com/ Favorites https://www.tatteredcover.com/ YouTube Transcript Stephen: Today on Discovered Wordsmiths, I have Ashley to welcome. Ashley, how are you doing? I'm good, how are you? I'm doing good. Before we get started, we're going to talk about your book, Heart of Skulls. Before we do that tell us a little bit about yourself, where you live, what you like to do and some things, hobbies and stuff outside of writing. Ashley: Okay. So I originally grew up in Georgia, but I live in Colorado now. I ended up moving out here for college and never went back or leave the mountains. So Stephen: do you ski now? Ashley: I snowboard, so I'm like, Stephen: the cooler person. Okay, cool. Got it. Ashley: Yeah, so I do snowboard when I'm not writing. I love reading. I have little coffee reading dates with my friends. I have a dog that I go hiking with quite often. Yeah, and then I run my own business, so I do that a lot of the time as well. So Stephen: pretty busy. Your own business related to writing or something separate? Kind Ashley: of related to writing. I write, I book edit. So I run my own book editing business with a couple other editors on Stephen: my team. You ever argue and yell at yourself about what should or shouldn't be in a book? Ashley: I do when it comes to my own books where I'm like, yeah, this works. This doesn't work. Oh my gosh, I'm a terrible writer. Like the typical stuff. Stephen: All right. What'd you go to school for when you went to Colorado, if I may ask? Oh, Ashley: I majored in English with an emphasis in creative writing. Stephen: So do you feel that has helped you with your writing career now? Or is it like it was nice, but not so much. Ashley: It was nice, but not so much. It did help with my editing career because I got to critique people in person and kind of fall in love with critiquing content. So that's. That's what I do now. So I'm a developmental editor who focuses on the content of someone's book and how it flows and all that good stuff. So it helped me with that and got me passionate about critiquing people. But otherwise for writing definitely not. I would say that they don't really teach you like the writing techniques people should be aware of. Stephen: Interesting. See, okay. And I ask that my own personal passions I feel we focus with younger kids in school way too much on spelling and grammar when they have no reference to what that is used for and where I feel we should work on just having kids tell stories and learn about how to tell a story and what makes a good story because once you write a bunch more, the spelling and grammar makes sense and falls into place. And I'm sorry, but The kids that are going to struggle and not get the w...
Episode 175 – Colin Leonard – Country Roads
Oct 17 2023
Episode 175 – Colin Leonard – Country Roads
Overview Colin is Irish and used tales of his homeland to create his horror novel, Country Roads. When Luke Sheridan moves out of Dublin city to rural Kilcross with his wife and baby, he imagines the worst part will be his extended commute to work. They can look forward to enjoying the countryside and being part of a small community. After all, his old friend Declan Maguire lives in the house next door and is a Garda in the nearest town.But Declan’s devilish attitude towards drink, drugs and women means trouble is never far from his door. And worse, gruesome murders and the appearance of sinister figures at night mean the countryside is becoming a very dangerous place to live.Country Roads —don’t go outside alone. Book Favorites Website https://colinleonard.com YouTube https://youtu.be/0cmZn4vZ8bI Transcript Stephen: today on discover wordsmiths, I have Colin Leonard, how are you doing today, sir? Colin: I'm great. Thanks very much. Stephen: Oh, Colin: please. No. I'm my book was just released yesterday and we had a launch party the day before. So I'm this is a timely interview as well. I'm all about the book at the Stephen: moment. Nice. Awesome. All right. So launch party, congrats. Was it fun? Colin: Yeah, no, it was great. It was Bridgescape Press, my publisher organized this and we had a good few people online and yeah, just had a great time and nice chat about folk horror. Stephen: Nice. And that's the book Country Roads, which we're going to talk about in a few minutes. But before we get to the book, tell us a little bit about yourself where you live and some of the things you like to do besides writing. Colin: So I live in County Mead in Ireland in a little rural, it's not even a village, it's a little tiny cottage with a scrap of land that keeps me busy when I'm not writing, repairing the house and trying to keep the field from growing too wild apart from that, I have a young family. So the rest of my time is taken up with. Their activities, which they are big into sports and music. So we get to bring them here and there, watch their matches and watch their performances. So that's Yeah, it's a lovely age that they are at the moment. What do they play? Two of them play piano, one plays violin and they play soccer and cricket as Stephen: well. Wow, nice. Yeah I had piano lessons when I was young and still play music. So it's a great thing for kids. Yeah, definitely approve. Colin: Yeah, no, it is. It is fantastic to do it. Stephen: So let me ask with a family and everything, why did you want to start writing and why'd you want to write horror? Colin: I've always been writing on and off. From when I was a kid, I was always encouraged by my parents and my school teachers my, we were made aware. All the time that my grandfather was a poet, he had stuff published in the national newspapers. So he was a farmer in the truck driver as well, but he took the time to write poetry. Then leading into secondary school, I continued writing genre type stuff and entering it into competitions, some of which I won and got into the school magazine and that kind of thing. But life takes you in different places. Even though i did english literature in college i didn't end up working in that i did different things travel different places but once my life became more settled and i got a bit older i became more focused on trying to get published and concentrating on. Learning my craft a bit more and given a bit more time to writing. Stephen: Nice. Nice. Okay. So your book is called country roads. And it's full core. Tell us a little bit about the book. So Colin: it's as you say, it's called country roads and it's set in Rural ireland in somewhere similar to where I live and where I grew up. It's about a guy called luke sheridan who moves to Displaced from the city with his wife and his baby, and he does that kind of at the behest of his old...
Episode 174 – Saph Dodd – Sovereign Fourth
Oct 10 2023
Episode 174 – Saph Dodd – Sovereign Fourth
Overview Saph Dodd has been writing for as long as she’s known how. Since she first picked up a pencil and learned to string sentences together, she’s been creating fantastic and intriguing stories. This twenty-six-year-old writer adores reading, especially action-adventure, fantasy, and horror stories, as well as lore and mythology.  Her first novel, published when she was sixteen, spurred her to continue to do what she loves. Writing is her passion. She lives in a small Tennessee town with her family: a younger sister, Jennifer, a constant source of inspiration, and supportive parents. Book https://www.jumpmasterpress.com/product-page/sovereign-fourth Favorites YouTube https://youtu.be/CYSX-gHrdJA Transcript Stephen: Today on Discovered Wordsmith, I have Saf Dodd. Saf, how are you doing today? I'm doing really well. How about you? I'm, I'm doing good. I'm not as pink as you are today. Saph: Yeah. Pink is, it's a takeover in here. Stephen: Got it. Okay. So we know you like pink. Before we talk about your book, tell us about some other things about you, what you like to do outside of writing. Saph: Well, shocker. I like to read. Okay. Mostly action, adventure, fantasy or horror, but I also I also do makeup. I'm a full time beauty specialist. So like I, I do makeup looks a lot and I Stephen: cause, Oh, nice. What's your cosplay characters, Saph: Ladybug from miraculous ladybug, Marinette from miraculous ladybug sailor moon, Alice from Alice in Wonderland, both versions and Cinderella. And a couple of characters from Bluey. That's what I've got in my roster right now. Stephen: Oh, nice! My daughter loves Miraculous Ladybug. Oh, yes, I love it. I actually know that one a little bit. Saph: I actually got to meet the voice actress of Ladybug at Huntsville Pop Culture Expo when I was there to sign books. Stephen: Oh, nice! Yeah, that's always fun to do. There's been a lot more of those in recent years. I think it's a good change in the culture that there's so much of this available. So tell us where do you live? And if there's anything really cool about where you live. Well, Saph: I live in Nashville, so it's Nashville, Tennessee. To music city, I guess, like, I've lived here all my life and it doesn't seem like it's that cool. But, like, I guess, like, everybody moves here to get big and country Stephen: music. I can relate. I live near Cleveland, the rock and roll capital. I've only been to the 1 time. So, yeah. Nice. All right. So why did you wanna start writing, and then what made you wanna write this book? Okay, so Saph: I have literally been writing for as long as I know how, I knew how I started at a very early age, just writing stories down in notebooks and stuff because I, I, and I, I would excuse me. I would try to, I would tell stories to my mom before I knew how to write. And then, like, when I learned to write, I was like, this is so cool. Now I can put my ideas down. And, you know, there wasn't much structure to it because I was a really young, but it's built, it's built into something more of a, more of like a craft that I do. And I, I started writing because, like, I felt it in me. I knew that I needed to, like, I was always destined to write. And this particular novel was really hard for me because I wrote it to eat, like, because I wrote it to get through my grief over losing someone very close to me. That's why the main core themes in Sovereign Fourth are lost in grief. So I wrote that to help me kind of move on and cope. It's dedicated to my uncle. Stephen: That's a that's a coping mechanism. That's a way recommended is writing your feelings, writing things down and channeling that into a story is, I guess you could look at it as taking the bad thing and putting it into something good. Yeah. Saph: And then it became my debut album. I Stephen: know a lot of people do. Nice, nice.
Episode 173 – Edward Willett – Soulworm
Oct 3 2023
Episode 173 – Edward Willett – Soulworm
Overview Soulworm, the debut novel of Edward Willett, now the award-winning author of more than twenty novels and twice that many nonfiction books, has just been made available once more in a new edition from Shadowpaw Press Reprise.A young adult fantasy novel, Soulworm was originally published by Royal Fireworks Press in 1997, and was shortlisted for the Best First Book award at that year’s Saskatchewan Book Awards. It was written in the 1980s while Willett was news editor of the Weyburn Review newspaper, and is set in Weyburn in 1984—which nowadays gives it a Stranger Things vibe, although at the time it was a present-day tale. Edward Willett is the award-winning author of more than sixty books of science fiction, fantasy, and non-fiction for readers of all ages, including the Worldshapers series and the Masks of Agyrima trilogy (as E.C. Blake) for DAW Books and the YA fantasy series The Shards of Excalibur, originally published by Coteau Books. His most recent novel is the humorous space opera The Tangled Stars (DAW Books).Willett won Canada’s top science fiction/fantasy award, the Aurora Award, for Best Long-Form Work in English in 2009 for Marseguro (DAW) and for Best Fan Related Work in 2019 for The Worldshapers podcast, and a Saskatchewan Book Award for Spirit Singer in 2002. He has been short-listed for Aurora and Saskatchewan Book Awards multiple times (most recently for his YA science fiction novel Star Song), and long-listed multiple times for the Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. Website edwardwillett.com Book YouTube https://youtu.be/soin5a_PcvE Transcript Stephen: Today I want to welcome Edward back to the podcast. How are you doing, Edward? Edward: It's good to see you again. Stephen: Now that we're in winter, last time I talked to you, it was like negative 20 or something, and you were talking about walking around outside in the snow. Do you have a nice weather now? Edward: Is it actually over the weekend? It was more like 30, 31 Celsius. Put up around 90 Fahrenheit. So we've had some really helpful. Unfortunately, our air conditioning is broken. And so getting back fixed, but today it's quite cool. It's 18, I think for a high today. So Stephen: yeah. It's been awful humid here. We've had rain off and on for a couple of days, so it gets really humid and that's worse. I'd Edward: rather have heat. I went to university in Arkansas, so I know heat and humidity. And I was in marching band. Stephen: Oh, nice wool uniforms and stuff. Black ones at that. Oh, man, we had dark maroon and gold. You put that on and I played drums when you carry that big heavy equipment. Edward: Our drummers were lucky. They got to wear a kind of a peasant shirt with an open collar and something lighter. But all the rest of us were stuck in these winter weight woolen uniforms. Stephen: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Cool. All right. It's good to have you back again. We've talked with you before about some of the books you've had, the anthologies, short stories, some of your other books. So today we're going to talk about a new book for you Edward: called soul. Yes. Although it's not really a new book. It's a, it's an old book and a new edition. It's my debut novel now out in a new edition. Stephen: Oh, that's awesome. In that, and that's probably why you suggested we talk a little bit later for the author stuff about revisiting and revising. Perfect. All right. So give us a little bit of the background history here of Soul Worm, how it fits into your overall list of books Edward: And when I came out of university, I had decided in high school that I wanted to be a writer, but I also knew you couldn't make a living as one. So I was actually working as a newspaper. I went into journalism. I was working as a newspaper reporter and then editor of my hometown newspaper. I was editor at the age of 24 of my newspaper back at Weyburn,
Episode 172 – BioMed – eSports
Sep 20 2023
Episode 172 – BioMed – eSports
Overview Today is a different episode. I'm not talking to an author, this has to do with video games. Though it's not focused on video game storytelling as I've had in the past. It is related. I am talking with the coaches for the BioMed Science Academy eSports team. BioMed is a local alternative STEM school and they are one of over 200 schools in Ohio with eSports teams. This is important, because it shows the rise of videogames and how our culture is changing with that. Video games are still growing and there will be more future for today's kids to be in the video game industry - as storytellers or other. If you are a teacher or school administrator - this is a good episode to help introduce you to eSports. If you are a parent, there's a lot in here that you may not realize. I hope to do more episodes that deal with video games and video game storytelling. Website https://www.biomedscienceacademy.org/ YouTube https://youtu.be/_LRowafEIpU Transcription Stephen: Great. Okay. So today on Discover Wordsmiths, a very exciting conversation for me. If anyone's been following along on this podcast, I've had several interviews with some people in the video game industry where we talked about storytelling in video games. And today I'm continuing that with a couple of teachers at a local school, Biomed STEM Academy, which I'm very excited to talk to because they have an e sports team, one of the few in the area. So welcome Eric and Alexis. How are you guys doing? Eric: I'm doing wonderful. How Stephen: are you doing today? I'm I'm really doing great. I've been excited. I went to Blossom last night. So I went to bed late, but then all I could think about was talking to you guys. So if I yawn, I apologize. You're not boring. It's you know, body picking up. Before we start delving into this to inform parents and students or whatever tell us a little bit about biomed and what biomed is. Eric: So we're at biomed science Academy and biomed is a STEM plus M school. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. But we also have a medical pathway as well at our school. And what we do is instead of just teaching math, I will teach math in terms of different science and technology and engineering and even some of the health pathway. So the math that you see not only goes with the state's standards, but I'll also give those applications in the STEM field. And that's not just me, but the entire school that that's part of our mission and vision. Stephen: And my kids, after they went there, what I described that people is instead of just sitting down for a history class, where they tell you the Panama Canal was built at this time, they say, Go do a research on it and build us a working canal that you can move levers and adjust it and then tell us how it affected the economy in the area. And I'm like, Oh, my God, that tells you so much more than just it was built in this time. You know, about biomed. I remember the table of elements. You know, when I was in school, it's like, okay, memorize the table of elements. As much as you could. Who cares? Nobody, you can look it up. So who cares if you memorized it? But you guys put them in groups. Because that's important working in groups in the world and companies. And you said, okay, this is your one or two research. These tell us everything you, you can find out about it and give a report. And I guarantee those kids remembered those two better than everything else. And I always thought that was such a great approach to learning and more, much more exciting. I don't know if the students get it so much, but I would. So, all right. So what we're going to talk about a little bit more in depth today is your e sports team. And I was really excited about this because I've been trying to find out more about video game storytelling and it connected to e sports because Ohio just approved e sports teams in high scho...
Episode 171 – Sasscer Hill – Murder at the Willcotts Hotel
Sep 13 2023
Episode 171 – Sasscer Hill – Murder at the Willcotts Hotel
Overview South Carolina author Sasscer Hill, an amateur jockey and horse breeder, writes mysteries in series - The Nikki Latrelle Horse Racing Mysteries (five volumes), The Fia McFee Mysteries (two volumes to date), TRAVELS OF QUINN, GRIPPING TALES OF FACT AND FICTION, and now a new series The Janet Simpson Cozy Mysteries, of which MURDER AT THE WILLCOTTS HOTEL is the third volume. This novella is short, but Hill’s ability to create memorable characters involved in a tight cozy mystery heightened with humor makes this book asset sail! The main character Janet’s observations are present in the opening lines: “I remember the afternoon Kate arrived at the Willcotts Hotel. It wasn’t that she blew in like a pink breeze, her hat piled with coral flowers and feathers. It wasn’t her small, prancing poodle, its collar encrusted with coral-colored rhinestones, and it wasn’t the bellboy staggering beneath her three pink suitcases. No, the memory is sharp because it was the day I met Paul Delaveev…’ The theatrical flair established, the cleverly designed mystery unfolds. Book Website https://www.sasscerhill.com/ Favorites https://booktavern.com/ YouTube https://youtu.be/UqQkZNp8h5U Transcript Stephen: today on Discovered Wordsmith, I have Sasser Hill. Sasser, how are you doing today? I'm Sasscer: doing well. Thank you. Stephen: Good. Yeah, I'm excited to hear about your book. But before we delve into that, tell us a little bit about who you are, where you live, and what you like to do besides writing. I Sasscer: am living in Aiken, South Carolina. I moved down from Maryland 12 years ago, which is where I did most of the horse business I was involved in for 32 years. And then I came here because it is a horse area and I knew it'd be a very favorable area for me to stick around with horsey people and see horses. And it's also a dog town and I love dogs and it's every other car that goes by has a dog with its head sticking out the window. So it's really a nice town. Stephen: Nice. And when you say horse business, what exactly were you doing? I was Sasscer: breeding foaling, raising, breaking thoroughbred racehorses. And I was also an owner who raced them and I did that for 32 years. Stephen: Okay I would expect there's some horses in your books. Sometimes. Sasscer: Oh, yeah. Are our horse racing murder mysteries. The ones that have been out and actually, they're rather traditional mysteries. They have a little bit of. Blood and guts in them, nothing too strong, but now I'm writing I'm trying my hand at a few cozy novellas, because they're quick and easy to write, and cozy mysteries are so popular right now, so I thought why not see if we can get a little bit of that income as well as what I usually write, so it's Stephen: been fun. Okay let's delve into that. Talk about your books a little bit. So today we're going to be talking about Murder at the Wilcots Hotel and this is not your first book. Is that correct? Sasscer: No, it's like maybe number 9. Stephen: Okay. So are these in a series or are they just separate individual books? Sasscer: Most of them have been my first series is a five book series about a gal named Nikki Littrell, female jockey, very young. The next series I wrote, if you want to call it that, was a two book deal for St. Martin's featuring a really strong character, female character named Fia McKee. But years ago, when I was in a Sisters in Crime group that I met, and I was taking we were doing critiques, this is when I was still up in Maryland the Sisters in Crime Chessie chapter, that was my chapter wanted to do a bunch of collections of mysteries. So anthology. So I wrote two anthologies for two different two different stories for two, two different anthologies, and they did quite well. And they were both about a gal named Janet Sim Simpson, and she was a middle aged, if not beyond middle aged female.
Episode 170 – Luna Rey Hall – Patient Routine
Sep 5 2023
Episode 170 – Luna Rey Hall – Patient Routine
Overview Luna rey hall is a queer trans non-binary writer. they are the author of space neon neon space (Variant Lit, 2022), no matter the diagnosis (Game Over Books, 2023), the patient routine (Brigids Gate Press, 2023), and loudest when startled (YesYes Books, 2020), longlisted for the 2020 Julie Suk Award. they are the winner of the 2013 Patsy Lea Core in Memorial Award for Poetry. their poems have appeared in The Florida Review, The Rumpus, & Raleigh Review, among others. Book Website lunareyhall.com Favorites https://moonpalacebooks.com/ YouTube https://youtu.be/WKcxk9tDI6g Transcript So today on Discovered Luna. Discovered Wordsmith. I have with me Luna. Luna, how you doing today? Good, how are you? How are you? Good, good. And I see you've got a twins jersey on, so I'm gonna take a guess where you're from, but uh, could you tell us a little bit about yourself, where you're from, and some of the things you like to do besides writing? Yeah, Luna: definitely. Um, I, yeah, I'm an author. I've this, I have three books out, including the patient routine, which I believe we'll talk about today. Um, I'm from the Twin Cities, been in Minnesota my whole life. Uh, and outside of writing, obviously I love reading. Um, I love doing art projects. Um, I've been collaging recently. Um, I like to do graphic design. I do a lot of graphic design for my. Social media and stuff. So I've been getting into that too. Um, I have two dogs. I play with them all the time. Uh, they take up a lot of time. Yes. Um, otherwise that, that's kind of the main thing. Uh, that's, that's kind of what I do in my day to day. Stephen: Nice. What are you the dog breeds? My Luna: older dog is a Beagle mix. Um, and his name is, uh, Yoshi. Great, Stephen: great name. Oh, that's interesting. I had an author here named Yoshi. Luna: Oh yeah. You know, great name. So, um, and then my younger dog is, um, a pit terrier mix and Oh, nice. Yeah, she's, she's, uh, just a pup, just a little over a year old. So, Stephen: yeah. I. We had, uh, two dogs when my kids were younger, both rescues best dogs I've ever owned in my life. Uh, one has since passed away and I miss her greatly. But the other one sitting over there being a scaredy cat is a boxer and maybe English bulldog mix. We're not really sure. Oh, sure. But, uh, yeah, she's a great dog. Anxiety though, when I leave, so that's a problem. Luna: Yeah, my dogs. Yeah, they're very anxious too. And I work from home in my day job, so I'm here all the time. So whenever I leave, they are a mess. Stephen: No. Yeah. Their time. Yeah. Same here. What, what, what do you do for a day job? I Luna: work in education publishing. Um, right now it's in like assessment, so like standardized testing as an editor. Hmm. It's not, no, it's not super fun. My writing is significantly more fun. Right, but it pays the bills. Stephen: Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. I've, I am into helping kids with writing and showing parents and teachers how teaching kids to write can lead to things they can do in their future, including storytelling and video games. Yeah. As an outsider, I'll give it that. I'm not in the system. I see some things that could definitely work better and need improvement with our education system and the common core is not one of the good things. Luna: Yeah, no, I fully agree. Yeah. Um, luckily I work in a lot of like accessibility and accommodation areas, so I get to work a lot of like braille. Large print type of stuff, um, that kind of stuff. So that's, that's great that I can do something that's very useful because yes, some of it's, um, quite painful to get through, Stephen: but yeah. Yeah, I was just, I was just talking to the Pittsburgh Library. They had a, a fair, and they were showing. About getting braille books into braille, which I would love to do because I'd love to have my book available to everyone.
Episode 169 – Robert Wolf – Not a Real Enemy
Aug 29 2023
Episode 169 – Robert Wolf – Not a Real Enemy
Overview Robert Wolf, M.D., grew up as the only child of Ervin and Judit Wolf. Their stories of their escape from communist Hungary, and his father's tragic history of escaping the Nazis twice but having his own parents taken to Auschwitz, inspired Robert to document his parents' tales and share those stories with Jewish groups and others throughout the United States. In "Not a Real Enemy" Robert shares his family saga-and the forgotten history of the nearly half million Hungarian Jews who were deported and killed during the Holocaust-through an epic and inspiring tale of daring escapes, terrifying oppression, tragedy, and triumph.  Robert Wolf is a national speaker and is featured in national media and TV including ABC TV, NBC TV, CW TV, FOX TV, CBS TV and more.   Book Favorites YouTube https://youtu.be/-gtYk_nnK1M Transcript Stephen: today on Discovered Wordsmith, I want to welcome Rob Wolf. Rob, how are you doing Robert: today? I'm doing well. Hi, how are you? Thank you for having me. Thanks for inviting me. Stephen: Yeah. It's great to have you on. We're gonna talk about your book not a Real Enemy, but before we do let's find out a little bit about you. What are, where do you live and what are some of the things you like to do besides writing? I. Robert: Hi, I'm Rob Wolf, and I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan the Detroit area. I was raised kindergarten through 12th grade in a small town called Mount Clemens. Suburban Detroit. Famous for Thomas Alva Edison and Sulfur Baths back in the day. They those don't, I don't know even know if those exist anymore, but back in the day it was very popular resort for that. Stephen: Yeah, I don't think Edison still exists. No. Robert: He was the Elon Musk of his day, I would say. Yeah. So yeah. And then I went to Tufts University for undergraduate. I was fortunate enough to get into Tufts University near Boston for undergraduate. And then I went to University of Michigan Medical School and I graduated in 1988. Loved Ann Arbor. What a great place to go to school. Again, very privileged, very competitive. Always a, it was a great school to go attend and it was a great school to to be an alumnus as well. And then then I did residency. I, my residency, I'm a radiologist, so I did a year internship at Framing Framingham Union Hospital near Boston Boston University affiliate. I did my radiology residency at Brown Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. And then I did a neuroradiology neuroradiology fellowship at Yale. University in New Haven, Connecticut. Now, by now I'm 30 years old. I've done half my life. I'm 60 now, so now I'm about 30, finally ready to make a living after all those years of indentured Ry. And so I've lived half my life in New England and half my life in Michigan. So I've bounced back to forth. There were no jobs when I finished my fellowship back in the nineties. So I took what I could a place in Massachusetts that I was moonlighting as a senior resident and as a fellow. I needed a radiologist, so I took a job there and I was there four years, and then back to Michigan for seven years, and then back to Massachusetts with my wife at the time. And worked a few jobs inpatient, outpatient hospital work tele radio, tele radiography work. I still do some teleradiology now. I'm, I do two days a week, part-time, Wednesdays and Thursdays just to stay, stay in the loop. I can tell, we'll talk a little bit more about that when we talk about the history of my book, but Besides medicine, which I've been doing. So now I've been doing that, let's say 33 years in radiology, 34 years. And it's been a great it's been a great run. I've been part-time since I was 43, so about half of my career I've been part-time and the other half pretty much full-time. And, night call and weekends and all that other stuff. Besides radiology, I love sports. I love all sports.
Episode 168 – Ben Levin – Nellie’s Friends
Aug 23 2023
Episode 168 – Ben Levin – Nellie’s Friends
Overview Ben joins us from New Jersey where he goes to college. Ben may be young and isn't known, but he is an experienced author with several books under his belt already with many planned in the future. Ben has also talked with an author, Sue Bentley, that he admires and got her permission to use some of the animals names from her book in his book. Listen to what Ben shares about his books and his advice for writing. Book Favorites Website http://benlevinauthor.com/ YouTube https://youtu.be/OGYibEJBE8Q Transcript Stephen: today on Discovered Wordsmiths, I want to welcome Ben Levine. Ben, good morning. How are you doing Levin? Let me rewind and back that up. I'm messing this all up today. Alright, so today on Discover Wordsmith, let me welcome Ben Levin. Ben, how are you doing today? Good morning. I'm doing all right. Ben: Thank you, Stefan. And you, Stephen: You're doing all right. As long as I keep getting things correct instead of messing things up on what we're talking about. Sorry. That's okay. All right. So Ben tell us a little bit about who you are, where you live, what you like to do, some things you outside of writing. I'm currently going Ben: to college at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and I am, I live in Mottville, New Jersey. In addition to writing, I like to read, relax, sometimes go on walks and do active stuff, even though I don't do it as often as I'd like. Stephen: Gotcha. And being in school that keeps you pretty busy. Anyway. Yeah, I remember. Yeah, it's a fun time. Good time. You like to read, we're gonna talk a little bit about some of your favorite books and stuff later, but what are you studying in college? Creative writing. Okay. It fits right in. How's that going? You enjoying it? Yes. Yeah. We'll assume you're doing well 'cause I don't want you to embarrass yourself if you're not. So we'll just say, Ben, I'm glad you're doing so well in college. That's good. But let, we're gonna talk about that too, also a little bit about what it's like to write while still in school. And you started writing before college, so we'll talk a little bit about that too. Let's talk about your latest books. You've got several books out in a series. Tell us a little bit about that. You mean about Nellie's friends? Nellie's friends? Yes. Ben: What exactly do you want to know Stephen: about it? Sorry. Tell us what the series is about. What it is it's about healthy. Is it mystery? Little bit of it's a. Ben: Okay. It's a kid series, a little girl series about a girl named Nelly who moves to Illinois from New York. And after she leaves all her friends behind her favorite hobby becomes making new ones. Each book is about a new friend she makes and the adventure they have together. Stephen: Okay, nice. So why did you wanna write a series of books about a girl who's trying to make friends? Ben: The idea initially came to me in fourth grade, a time when I was obsessed with things stereotypically meant for girls, like dolls and girl books, and part of me wanted to explore this interest more. Okay. And Nelly's friend seemed like the right way to do it. Stephen: Nice. Okay. You know what are you using any of these books for part of your schoolwork, creative writing, or is this all on the side? All on the side. Okay. So are you picking up some things in college that are helping with the writing? Or are you Yes. Okay. Like what have you learned in school that's helped with your latest writing? I have to think. Okay. Yeah. Sorry. Throwing 'em at you, you're not ready for, got it. Ben: I've never really thought of it that way but I'm almost certain I've learned Stephen: something. Yeah. I hope, yeah. You're spending a lot of time and money there, so I hope they're giving you something right. That's true. How many books do you have in the series right now? Ben: Published or in general
Episode 167 – JL Lawrence – Mystic Series
Aug 16 2023
Episode 167 – JL Lawrence – Mystic Series
Overview I want to welcome Jennifer Lawrence and apologize to her once again. We did a whole episode and talked about a lot of great things - that I forgot to record. So she graciously agreed to get back on and redo it, even though she was super busy with school and family. Thank you. Jen lives in Nashville, TN with her family. She is also a teacher and has written a series of books for kids - The Mystic series. We discuss her book and having her daughters read and help with the series. We also discuss the difficulty in marketing middle grade books and some things you can do. Book Website https://www.authorjllawrence.com/books/the-mystic-series/ Home page Favorites YouTube https://youtu.be/eu4EY_81XzE Transcript Stephen: big surprise today, I'm welcoming JL Lawrence to the podcast for the second time, but most of you don't even know what the first time was. So she was gracious enough to get back on because we switched recording mediums last time and I forgot to hit record. So we had a great conversation and then didn't even record it. So hopefully we can recreate all that great conversation that we had. Jen, tell us a little bit about you and what you like to do besides writing. Jennifer: I do, I guess in my off time or my real job, whichever way you wanna look at it, is I'm a high school teacher so I teach marketing and I spend a lot of time with the students. 'cause we do a lot of competitions like the one we just went to in Orlando to compete internationally. Had some good results there. So really enjoyed that. And keeps me a little bit young when you're constantly surrounded by teenagers. Yeah. So sometimes I feel really old. Sometimes it helps you feel young. It's a double edged, but but I do enjoy it. I've been teaching for 20 years, so it's, it's been a good run and I've enjoyed it. And then when I'm not teaching and not writing I mostly spend a lot of time doing stuff with my kids, like with soccer or whatever it may be. Stephen: Yep. The life of a busy working parent. Yes. It. Your kids are a little older. My kids are just a few years older than yours, and it starts settling down a little bit, but then you start going I don't know if I wanna do that other stuff. 'cause boy, the stuff with the kids was a load of fun, Jennifer: yep. Yeah. I've got three, my oldest one graduates in two weeks. Stephen: Oh, wow. So it's really busy time right now. Jennifer: Yep. She just had prom yesterday, so got to enjoy that and now ready for getting ready for Stephen: graduation. Nice. I remember those just a few years ago. All right. So tell us about your books. You write middle grade. Tell us about your latest books and why did you choose to write middle grade your high school teacher? Jennifer: It's my journey. It was actually a little crazy. I started with an adult fantasy series that I had in my mind for years and just finally came into fruition. And then when I finished it, My daughter, who was 14 at the time, was like why didn't you write something that I could read? So I was like okay. So I thought about it, and so I took the same character and brought her back to high school to create my first young adult series. I. And so that she, and that was a four book series so that she could have something to talk with me and work with me and read. And then in the last couple of years, I just really got to thinking about, other, my youngest one now is just 14, but was 12 when I started thinking about it. And so I started thinking about what else I could do to reach her. And, a lot of fun ideas that I had over the years. I love dragons and a lot of mythical creatures that's always interested me and so I just figured out how to put a spin on it and came up with the Dragon Master Stephen: Chronicles. Nice. And have your kids read the books now? I. Jennifer: Yes, my my youngest one has actually worked with me through it.
Episode 166 – Catherine Wells – Aztec Eagle
Aug 9 2023
Episode 166 – Catherine Wells – Aztec Eagle
Overview Catherine lives in Tucson Arizona and is a bass player. Good combo - author and bass player. She has written a sci-fi novel called Aztec Eagle that is the first of a series. She is also with Jumpmaster Press. Book Favorites https://www.bookstoptucson.com/ YouTube https://youtu.be/hoYZadD_Oec Transcript Stephen: today on Discovered Wordsmiths, I wanna welcome Catherine. Catherine. Hello. How are you doing today? Catherine: Doing fine, thank you Steven. Stephen: Alright, so we're gonna talk about your book Aztec Eagle, but before we do that, let's find out a little bit about you. So tell us a little bit about where you live and some of the things you like to do besides writing. I Catherine: live in Tucson, Arizona, and of course with the fabulous weather we have here for most of the year, I enjoy outdoor things like bicycling and hiking and indoor things like making music. Stephen: Oh, nice. What do you play? I Catherine: play bass guitar. So do Stephen: I. Good, good choice. Catherine: Yeah, my my husband and my daughter and a friend of ours had decided they were gonna put a little trio together. They had a keyboard and drum kit and a singer, and when I heard them perform the first time, I said, you really need a bass player? Yeah. Yes. I'll have to learn to play bass. Stephen: And so I did. Yeah, that, that was the same with me. I had some friends that had a band, they needed a bass player. So my buddy showed up and said, hi, this is a base, this is the e a d and G strings. Each fret is a half step go. Literally, that was my introduction. Let's go. Yeah. Alright, so Katherine why did you wanna start writing? Catherine: I have to think back and I was in elementary school and I think what happened was my older brother had an assignment in his class to write a short story. And I read the short story that he wrote. I thought that was just the coolest thing and I'd like to do that too. So I started writing when I was about 10 years old. Stephen: Nice. Nice. That, that was about the time I was reading Stephen King. All right. We're gonna talk about your book, Aztec Eagle and it, you said it's your seventh book, correct? That's correct. Yes. Okay. So tell us about Aztec Eagle and is it part of a series or is it a standalone? Catherine: Aztec Eagle is book one in a series called the Aztec Eagle Series. Book two, we hope we'll be out later this year. And I'm editing book three we're on our way. A little bit about it. It's set maybe 200 years in the future where earth has one colonial planet called Alpha. But the story starts in a small town in Mexico on the shore where a young urchin named Enrique is selling trinkets to the tourists, and he meets a captain in the peacekeeper Pilot Corps. And the interesting thing about this pilot core is that many of the pilots have a neural implant. That allows them to connect with their aircraft so that they're getting data instantaneously from their aircraft. And the way they select for pilots who get this implant is if they have a high cyonic ability. And as it turns out, young Enrique, who was maybe five years old at that time has a pretty good cyonic talent. And El Capitan takes him under his wing to develop and train the cyonic talent. And Enrique then just becomes fascinated with becoming a pilot. He's obsessed with it. And of course, as with all obsessions, he runs into some major difficulties. He's poor, he can't afford secondary education. He can't, he can hardly afford the books for his schoolwork. So there are obstacles to conquer. And then his world turns upside down when he finds out that El cap. His hero, who, he was planning to become a pilot and be just like El Capitan and fight side by side with El Capitan. His hero defects to the other side goes over to the rebel cause, and now Enrique has a dilemma. What does he do? So that's, that gives you an introduction without giving ...
Episode 165 – Jim Beard – Six Gun Legends
Aug 2 2023
Episode 165 – Jim Beard – Six Gun Legends
Overview Jim is one half of the Flinch publishing duo and joins us today to talk about their newest anthology - a western title Six Gun Legends. We also discuss his Sgt Janus books and connection to Carnacki, Kolchak and X-files. With the upcoming Pulpfest, JIm tells us more about that show and what he and partner, John Bruening, have planned. Book Favorites YouTube https://youtu.be/p5j-5WSaflc Transcript Stephen: so today on Discover Wordsmith, I wanna welcome the great Jim Beard, who is the better duo, better half of the duo of Flinch Publishing. That's what I hear at least Jim? Oh, Jim: wow. Okay. This is starting off on the wrong foot already. Now. I can never talk to John again. My partner, my publishing partner. Wow. Okay. Stephen: We'll just not tell John you're on here, and then we'll, okay. Yeah. This Jim: is just between you and me. Nobody else is gonna hear Stephen: this. Nobody at all. Jim: Wow. Wow. Yeah, he's, he's already, supremely jealous of me, so now it's just gonna be worse. Nice. Stephen: Jim tell everybody a little bit about yourself to give an intro here. Okay. I Jim: am a a writer, editor, and publisher of adventure Fiction. And pop culture nonfiction. And then I also whenever I can, I will write licensed fiction too. I don't do as much of that as I would I would like to. But so I wear several hats and do a lot of different things. And I actually have two small press self-publishing firms, and we already mentioned the one. So that's flinch books with John Bruning of Cleveland, Ohio who will never speak to me again. Thank you. Oh, Stephen: I'm sorry. I just broke the band up. Jim: And and then Becky books which is just me. Stephen: And actually you mentioned the license stuff. That was the first time I met you. It was actually years ago at pioneer Village down mid Ohio. Yeah you had a little table like set up behind the mill. Yeah. In the middle of nowhere. It was like nobody was around you. Yeah. It Jim: was a card Stephen: table. Yes. And I had found out that you wrote a story for one of the Star Wars comic books I had, and I had that brought it down to have you sign. Yeah. Jim: You're reminding me that we only see each other at bigfoot shows. Yes. Stephen: Yeah. Which is funny because about it, it's this for sure. And that's kind funny because that's not your main thing up until now you. Jim: That's, that's interesting because I have been utterly fascinated and in love with Cryptids, all my life from when I was, a little kid and and just want to be around that kind stuff. But I chose to do that because I do have a lot of like monster or supernatural related things and I've that kicked it off for me. I've actually started doing some crypted shows now and finding out that I do very well at them. That the people really seem to spark. When, when I bring Cold Check the Night Stalker or Love it, I don't have, I can't get it anymore. I used to have an in the X-Files book, but unfortunately I can't get copies of that. I, Stephen: I've got that. Yeah I got a Jim: copy from you. And I was just, before we started recording here, I was just telling you that this lasted show that I was at, which I. Surprise, surprise that I got the idea that I'm finally going to do an actual Bigfoot book. Yeah, that'd be great. I actually can, hold that up when I'm at these shows and say, look, I have a Bigfoot book. It's not just it's Bigfoot. Stephen: Yeah, I saw you asking for stories in that and I got excited 'cause I love reading that stuff. I actually thought of replying one, but I'm like, nah, I don't wanna mix it with asking you to be on the podcast and applying to the book. I don't wanna feel, I'm mad. That's okay. Yeah. But I don't think I was ready for it, listen, I Jim: mean, honestly, if this first one does well, I will certainly, want to do other another in fact, I had to,
Episode 164 – Don Ake – Turkey Terror
Jul 26 2023
Episode 164 – Don Ake – Turkey Terror
Overview Don lives in Ohio with his wife and recently retired. As a retirement goal, he wanted to write a book and he's written a series of humor books. Along with writing, he has been practicing standup comedy. Book Website https://donake.allauthor.com/ YouTube https://youtu.be/bJp71xDruDc Transcript Stephen: today on Discovered Wordsmiths, I have Don Ake. Don, good morning. How are you doing? Good morning. It's a Don: great morning here. Stephen: Yes. It's finally getting warmer around here though. We've got some cold temperatures at night still. Don: Been a weird spring but yeah. We'll take Stephen: the sunshine. Yeah, definitely. So Dawn before we talk about your book let's find out a little bit about you where you live and some of the things you like to do besides writing. Don: I live in Jackson Township and right now, this is a transition period for me 'cause I retired from my day job in Stephen: September. Okay. Don: And so I writing. I'm spending most of my time right now, even in retirement writing my fifth book which will be a business related book. Oh, nice. But besides that I like to play tennis. Since I retired I've been doing some standup comedy. Really? Yes. So I'm a humor doesn't translate. 100% over to standup, but I've never had time to do standup and my friends have always wanted me to get back on stage. I used to do standup years ago, and so since yeah, since September. I've been on stage several times and that's a fun thing to Stephen: do. Yeah. Cool. You, you write humor books and we were gonna talk about writing humor later, so that'd be great to talk about how it's different than standup comedy and compare and contrast that a bit. We'll get into that a little bit. That'd be great. Why did you wanna start writing these humor books? Don: It was an interesting thing in that I wrote a humor column in college at the University of Akron a long time ago. And I, at some point a few years ago, several years ago now I started, I wanted to start a humor blog. So I call the column that I wrote for the University of Akron book, delight was called Aches Pains. Alright, play on my name. And so when I started the humor blog, I called it Aches, pains, humor Blog, and I, at the beginning of the blog, I said, yeah, I'm just back after a brief 32 year respite. But the thing with humor writing with me is even though I had taken all that time off and I had written stuff, I'd written some sketch humor I'd done standup comedy in between. So it, it wasn't like I hadn't written anything but humor writing comes naturally to me. So it wasn't, it wasn't too long after I started blogging that. I was back doing what I do very well and do naturally. So then I started this humor blog in 2011, and by 2015 I had enough of enough following and enough material that I put it into a book that's called Just Make Me a Sandwich, which is my first humor book. So I never set out to write a book. I was just having fun. I was just writing blog posts and all of a sudden I have a book. My my goal, one of my life goals was to write a book after I retired. And so I figured after I retired, I'd have time, I'd write a book, and so I, I forget the math. Now it's I fulfilled one of my major life goals like seven years early. Okay. Which, is very rare. Followed up, just make me a sandwich a few years later with will there be free appetizers, and then kept writing. And then a couple years later introduced in 2020, right? In the middle of this pandemic. The current one, Turkey terror at my door. So that's the history from college to now. Stephen: And that's cool. I remember the book Delight 'cause I went to Akron also. I, I don't know if I remember your column, but that was 30 years ago tell us a little bit about Turkey terror and the other books. It's humor writing. So tell everybody a little bit about what that means and what they can expect to see in the books.
Episode 163 – Avyan Shah – True of False
Jul 19 2023
Episode 163 – Avyan Shah – True of False
Overview Avyan is a young writer, 10 years old in fact. Yet, he's an experienced author that has written a non-fiction book for that his fellow classmates enjoy. As a bonus, Avyan donates his profit to his school. Book YouTube https://youtu.be/NtqOmjWZnyY Transcript Stephen: today on Discover Wordsmith, I have a very special guest. This is Avian and he is 10 years old right now, but wrote his first book when he was six. Avian. How are you doing today? I think I was like Avyan: eight Stephen: or something. Yeah. Oh, you were eight. Okay. So you were eight still. There's a lot of people my age that are trying to get one book published and with them, this is Mom Monica. So welcome you guys to Discover Wordsmith. How's everything going today? Monica: Going good. And thanks for inviting us for Stephen: podcast. Yeah, absolutely. I think this is great. I, one of the things I like to do is, Highlight young people and kids doing these types of things, because I know there are parents out there who don't understand that kids can do this stuff in today's world. And I think we limit our kids sometimes because the parents don't understand what all can be done. So I think this is great. So Ian you're 10 years old now, correct. So I assume writing books is not your full-time job. What are some things you like to do besides write? I. Avyan: The first thing that I don't have a full-time Stephen: job. You don't, not next year. You're getting one next year I think. I don't know. Okay. Alright. So what do you, Avyan: What do you I like reading and I like space and like mysteries. Space mysteries, that kind of thing. Stephen: Nice. And Avyan: I do also, I play piano and ty, I do TaeKwonDo since five years. Stephen: Both. Wow. So you're busy. Yeah. I, TaeKwonDo, I have a cousin who did TaeKwonDo. I did a style of martial arts called Kwan. It's Korean. So I, I love martial arts. I think that's great. My kids both did it for many years. Oh, okay. When they were your age. So we'll talk about some of the things you like to read but you play music and martial arts and you so I think that's great. Active kid. That's wonderful. Yeah. Avyan: I also like basketball. Stephen: Oh nice. Are you tall enough to play basketball? Cuz I wasn't. Yes. Monica: Nice. He's quite tall for his age. Stephen: Good. Yeah. Hopefully you'll stay that way cuz I played a little basketball in sixth grade and by the time I was in eighth grade, everybody else had grown and I hadn't, so I stopped playing basketball. Abian, you wrote a book called True or False a couple years ago, and you wanted to donate the money to charity. First of all, tell us why did, what's, what is the book about and why did you wanna write it? So the book was Avyan: actually a school project. My teacher, like my gifted teacher she had this project like for me and my friend who was also in gifted to write this book. And she gave a couple of genres to just get us started let's say like nonfiction or fiction or realistic fiction, like the true or false type nonfiction, which I selected. And then there's app called Book Creator. She gave me a this account for it and book creator like help me like. Make the book itself. And then for the publishing part, my parents like just got this idea for the publishing and then they Stephen: published it Avyan: and then we just decided that we would donate the money to charity. Stephen: And what charity are you donating the money to? So Avyan: Most of it went to my school. Nice. And the other part of it went to the American Heart Association. Stephen: Nice. Good choices. It's always good to help out the schools. I love, doing what I can to help schools and education myself. So Monica: that's what like the Stephen, we thought because this whole book thing started with the book project. And so it came from the school.
Episode 162 – Gustavo Bondoni – Colony
Jul 12 2023
Episode 162 – Gustavo Bondoni – Colony
Overview Gustav is from South America where he lives with his large family. He writes for a very thriving science fiction fan base there. We discuss his sci-fi military book, Colony, but also about being a South American writer and trying to sell in the United States. Gustav is a Jumpmaster Press author and loves what they have done to help his career. Book Website https://gustavobondoni.com/ Favorites https://www.kelediciones.com/ YouTube https://youtu.be/7rYVL-7Pwns Transcript Stephen: today on Discovered Wordsmiths, I have Gustavo Bond. Bond. Is that correct? See, I didn't ask the last name. Alright, so Gustavo, welcome to the podcast. How are you doing today? Gustavo: I'm doing great. Thank you for having me. It's great to be here. Yeah. Stephen: Yeah, this is great. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Some things you like to do, where you live, that type of stuff outside of writing, things you don't besides writing. Cool. Gustavo: I'm from Buenos Aires. I'm currently in Buenos Aires. I live in Enos Aires. Nice. I have two young daughters. I live with my wife and two daughters, plus two children from my wife's previous marriage. So there's a lot of us in the house. Nice. Outside of writing, I I have a day job. I work for an internet company and I also enjoy I enjoy reading. Of course. That's I think you probably Stephen: get that lot books behind you there. Gustavo: Yeah. And if you look to the, like to that side, there's also a little display case with a bunch of models in it, airplanes and cars, which I actually built. I also like to do some art. So the, if you look above the models, lemme see if I can make like right above the models, there's one draw. One of my drawings is up there, which actually they were, there was two of them hanging on that wall before I put up the display case. So Stephen: yeah. Nice. So I think you're the first South American author I've interviewed. Cool. Gustavo: Great. Great to be the first. Yeah, it's, a lot of South Americans write science fiction and fantasy. But not a lot of them speak English or work in the US and the European markets. So it's not unusual that you might not have run into too many of us. Stephen: Oh, that's interesting. I think it's great cuz I've been getting authors, all continents. I think it's great talking to such a big variety. Gustavo: Yeah. It's cool. Stephen: So you've got multiple kids. I know what that's I've had the same how do you find time to write? Gustavo: So generally I try to find a little bit of time to write when they're at school. And after that, when they're watching cartoons in the afternoon, the rest of the time becomes a little bit harder. But if I have to write during during A fight in the middle of my house, I can actually do that. I've done it. So Stephen: arriving under fire? Gustavo: Yeah, during the pandemic. The pandemic was actually very good training for that because like they were here all the time and they were small. They were like, one of them was two and the other one was four. During the pandemic. Oh, wow. They were really needy, really small. And so that was good training, like writing when Yeah, when the world is like coming down around your Stephen: ears. So I wanna talk about your book Colony but I find it interesting I wanna ask you, there it is. Ask you, you mentioned that a lot of South American authors like to write sci-fi and fantasy which is interesting to me. Why do you think that is? There's a tradition Gustavo: not only of straight science fiction and fantasy in the Asimov vein, but actually science fiction and fantasy in Latin America has been spilling out into every genre. So if you look at the last few greats from Latin America, if you look at Mario Osa, who is Peruvian, or if you look at Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who is. Who is Colombian or even our own Argentinian superstar who is Borges.