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Discovered Wordsmiths

Arts & Culture Podcasts

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


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




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 YouTube 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

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 Favorites YouTube 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

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 Favorites YouTube 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

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 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

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 YouTube 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

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 Home page Favorites YouTube 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

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 YouTube 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

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 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

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 YouTube 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

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 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

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 Favorites YouTube 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.


Episode 161 – Dale Kesterson – Lauren Kaye

Overview Dale lives in Kansas and writes mystery novels. She's liked mystery since she was young. Unlike most authors, she uses Linux for her writing and we discuss this. Dale Kesterson was born in Manhattan, NY and grew up on Long Island. Since then, she has lived in six widely diverse locations, from New Orleans to deliberately moving to a town so small it does not have a red-yellow-green traffic light. She has been creating stories and putting them on paper since the age of seven, even writing and producing a neighborhood play at twelve. Life, however, kept her busy doing things such as majoring in science in college, teaching math and science, studying nursing, and managing a small home business with her husband. Odd creative opportunities presented themselves throughout the years, however, with two highlights. Dale did a two-year stint with an opera company where she performed pantomime characters while singing with the chorus and she worked on a radio show as an anchor and character voice artist. She co-authored the first two Time Guards novels, and now pens the Lauren Kaye Mysteries. Resort to Murder was the premiere in 2021 and Staged for Death followed in 2022. Dale is a seasoned traveler who is also a professional photographer. In 2018 she auditioned for a part for a community theater and has been active as an actress, singer, and assistant director with two local community theaters in her area. Her roles have included Cinderella’s Stepmother in Into the Woods, the store psychologist in Miracle on 34th Street, and most recently, the dual parts of Mrs. Dilber and the Ghost of Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story of Christmas. Dale lives in southwest Kansas with her husband (of over 30 years) and their hairless cats. When she’s not writing, performing, or appearing at conventions as an author or panelist or songstress, she does handcrafts. This lady hates being bored! Book Website Dale Kesterson – Author & Performer Favorites YouTube Transcript Stephen: . So today on Discovered Wordsmith, I want to welcome Dale Kesteren. Dale, how are you doing today? DAle: I'm fine. Had an interesting weekend, but it's, it worked out Stephen: okay. Oh, good. Good. Yeah. So I wanna talk about your book but before we do, let's find out a little bit about you. So tell us where you live and some of the things you like to do besides writing. DAle: We live in a tiny little town in the middle of nowhere in southwest Kansas that is so small. It doesn't even have a red, yellow, green traffic Stephen: light. We've got one and we don't have a post office. So I understand. We have a post DAle: office. We don't, we have a grocery store. We have a drug store. We have a we're the com county seat. So we also have the county community critical access hospital. Stephen: Oh, here we are. DAle: But if you eliminate the cats and the dogs and the cat and the various other animals, it's the population's about 900. Oh, Stephen: okay. Ours, if you count the cows, it doubles our population. DAle: Yeah, I can understand that. If you double, if you count the cows, the population of the county triples. We're in the middle of wheat and cattle country, but we moved here and everybody gets startled by this. We moved here by from New Orleans. Stephen: Ooh, nice. Ooh. That was a DAle: change. And our daughter was asked if she could do voodoo dolls and love charms and such. When she, we got up here and she's going you moved here from New Orleans. It was the pit of hell. But it was deliberate and it was before Katrina. Stephen: Oh, wow. Okay. Yeah, I was down in New Orleans a couple years ago and some of the trolleys were still offline from Katrina. DAle: Katrina completely decimated the city. Brennan's is gone. I didn't know what Brennan's was. The world famous restaurant, Brennan's is no longer, and it's you don't go to nowhere.


Episode 160 – C.S. Devereaux – Fall from Snowbird Mountain

Overview CS Devereaux declares she's a southern writer and has a story - Fall from Snowbird Mountain - that uses her southern-ness. She started writing memoirs and morphed into historical fiction. For the writers, we discuss the use of tools like Pro Writing Aid. There are advantages and disadvantages which we discuss. NOTE: CS Devereaux chose the topic, but I personally use Pro Writing Aid and recommend it as an affiliate. Book Website Favorites YouTube Transcript Good morning. Welcome to Wor Discovered Wordsmith. See, I'm already fumbling. I wanna welcome CS Devereux to the podcast. How are you doing today? Devereaux: I'm doing great, Stephen. It's good to see you. Good. Thank you for having me on your podcast. Stephen: Yeah, this is great. I think it'll be fun. Tell us a little bit about you, who you are and some of the things you like to do, where you live, and that stuff other than writing. Devereaux: Okay. I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but I did a vast amount of things in between there and here. I've lived in major cities all over the us. I've traveled a lot. And had varied career paths, but I've always been a creative person whether I was painting or designing or writing. I began my working life in New York City as a flight attendant for a major airline. And did that for about four years, and then went to work for a marketing company in LA and that took me all over the world. I lived for a few years in Tokyo and Hong Kong while I was with them. And Then moved back across the country to Atlanta cuz I wanted to be closer to home. And I had basically learned how to be a designer while I was with them rather than, I didn't learn a whole lot about marketing, but I learned a lot about designing. And I was went to college and got a BFA degree. In painting. I had the instincts there, and so I used that in Atlanta and eventually that led me into carpet and rug design, which if you know anything about the area Atlanta, Dalton, that's, that. It's not an unusual place to, to go because in, in my designing, one of my most favorite things to do was to design a custom rug for a client. I liked, oh, I loved it. I loved the textures and the colors, and just getting my hands in it. And so it was a natural. Transition for me there. And so I stayed in the southeast at that point for the most part, but I still traveled a lot and all along the way I kept journals and so I was always writing. I actually began writing when I was about a. 11 or 12 years old when my mother gave me a diary and that got me into a lot of trouble. But we can talk about that later. Cuz I started making up stories and So I kept journals and wrote and, but I didn't begin writing seriously until after I retired about 10 Stephen: years ago. Okay, great. So you said you were in marketing for a little bit. I'm gonna jump a little bit here. Has, have you found that's helped you market your own books now? Devereaux: You would think so, but I don't know that it has I'm pretty much a loner. I like, I'm like the introverts, introvert. I don't like being in front of people. It's a lot for me just to do this and talk to you. But in, in marketing a book, you do have to get out in front of people and when the marketing. My experience was before was pre-computer, and so I am not particularly technol, technologically savvy. Much of the marketing, successful marketing, I think is done online and I just don't know how to do it. I try and, I haven't even gotten my off my Facebook. Author page set up yet, because I looked at it and I got confused and I said, somebody's gonna have to help me with this. I asked my husband, he said, I don't know. And my son's too busy. There's just nobody to help. I go to author fairs and that sort of thing.


Episode 159 – John Bruening – Midnight Guardian

Overview John Bruening is from Cleveland and writes a series of pulp fiction for his Flinch press publisher. These are modern books that have that pulp flair. This episode is also a cross-over episode with my Relentless Geekery podcast. The 3rd voice you hear is Alan Baltis, co-host on that podcast. Book YouTube Transcript Hey John. Hey, John. Okay, you got your Stephen: mic off? Let's see. Alan: How's that? There we go. John: There we go. Okay. How's the look, how's. Looks fine. I got that sort of shiny thing going on here. That's Alan: true. You got the, a little bit of glare from the window, but it casts your face in John: a heroic, it's a noir kinda thing there. Exactly. Yeah, I had a second. Stephen: All the radiation from his monitor and that's what makes him, John: yeah it's gonna turn me into some kind of a superhero or something. That's what we would hope. Try these, this boy. Okay, there we go. Exactly. These are for like, far away. And this screen is it's like my eyes have reached a point where there's no sweet spot. You just have to like, Stephen: to nerd it up there, my glasses so I had Lasix a couple years ago when I had cataract surgery, and so I can see far away. I can see things just fine, but up close I. Can't see. So I asked them specifically my glasses to tune them for how far away I normally sit to the computer. So these glasses, I can't really read with them, but at the computer it makes everything look perfect. So there's nerding it up. I think John: I followed that. Yes. I just had an high appointment in December. I had a, I had an appointment in December and I'm in the earl They told me early stage cataracts, which really sucks. I'll be 60 at the end of this year and I'm just I'm gonna need eight months. I'm gonna need the eight months between now and December to just get my head around that concept. But yes, yeah, we've Alan: actually talked about that before. I don't have any diagnosis of cataracts yet, but I'm really not looking forward to it because I'm really flinchy Ah-huh. We're gonna bring that in about things going near my eyes. I hate putting in eyedrops. I hate, like, when I get puffed at, when they're doing the they don't do that anymore. Test and stuff like that. It's just Stephen: they're modern now, Alan, they don't do the puff. They have a device. They actually stick on your eye and make everything go watery. Wavy Alan: I do have the new one, but even like that the little thing moving into my field of vision and getting uncomfortably close, I'm, there's. I know we always jump around in our discussions. There was a great book, great Books by Gene Wolf, the Shadow of the torturer books. Remember those? And one of the things they talked about how one of the most base human instincts is to protect your head. Like you, you react to stop an arrow sword, whatever might be coming at you before your thinking. Mine could do it, right? And one of the ways in which somebody gets dispatched is he's got two heads and they, he protects the one but the other one gets killed and that still kills him. So there's a science fiction fantasy reference that even that incredible base human thing of avoiding falling and keeping your temperature and. Protecting your head doesn't work if you're zab bile bro type where you've got two heads anyway, John: guys, I'm gonna go shut my door and hopefully my dog won't gimme one second, I'll be right. Sure. Stephen: Yeah, we're gonna talk Pulp Fiction. Hey, we got five minutes left, so let's mention Pulp Fiction a bit. That's how Alan: it goes. I really, I actually did, make some notes to try to get, I made notes as to good questions to ask and stuff. Here we go. Stephen: Here we go. Don't ruin things now. Good questions. Oh man, John, so John: we started yet, what are we doing here? Yeah, Stephen: we kinda roll and we,


Episode 158 – Kyle Hannah – No Harbor

Overview Kyle is the author of sci-fi book - Space Pirate. He lives in Alabama, where he not only writes but runs a small publisher called Jumpmaster Press. Book Website Favorites YouTube Transcript Stephen: Today I'm discovering wordsmith. I wanna welcome Kyle. Kyle. Hello. How are you doing this? Great afternoon. Kyle: I am great. It's a beautiful day. So same Stephen: here. Same here. First thing I've really gotta say to you is, oh no, Mr. Bill. Kyle: Isn't that? Yeah. I, excellent. And you're wearing a Stephen: grumpy old men's shirt, right? Kyle: Yep. Grumpy. Do what I want. Yeah. I do what I want. But Stephen: we're some of the people that would recognize that? I think Kyle: Oh, the bill? Yeah. Yeah. It was, it's actually a dog toy. But when I saw it, I said, oh no, it's mine now. Nice. And I actually play it a lot during Zoom meetings. Somebody will say something and I'll just, And it's a perfect attention getter. Nice. Nice. All right we're Stephen: gonna talk about some of your books and about the business you are a part of jump, master Press. But before we do all of that, let's find out a little bit about you. Where do you live and what are some of the things you like to do besides writing? Kyle: Okay. My name is Kyle Hannah. I live in the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama. I retired from the Army about eight years ago. I spent 30 years as a paratrooper in finance and logistics guy. If you see me walking around, it's usually with a sm slight limp. But you know what, it was worth it. I got to travel a lot. I saw the world. And that's not too bad for a country boy from Alabama. Nice. But these days I write, I edit I, I go play in the backyard and just enjoy the sunshine and just enjoy retirement. Stephen: Nice. I see a guitar in the background. You play. I. Kyle: I, I play at it more than I play yet there's also a keyboard back there. There's a bass. Yeah. If anyone just walked in and looked, they'd say, wow, you're a musician too. And I'm like, Yeah, sure. Yeah. Stephen: I've been struggling to try and learn some chording on guitar. It's just so small for me. I'm a bassist and a drummer. Oh Kyle: yeah. Stephen: All right. So let's talk about some of your books. I know we picked out a Kyle: couple that we were gonna talk about. Stephen: So why did you, after being in the Army and a vet, why did you wanna Kyle: start writing books? Actually I started writing in high school. I had a very overactive imagination, and this was years and years before anyone said the initials, a, D, H, D, but that was me to a t. So instead of acting out in class and getting sent to the principal's office and then getting home, And getting in even more trouble, I decided to apply my gift toward just sitting quietly and letting my mind wander. And I spent most of my high school years getting, good grades, but most of my time my head was down and I was writing something and somewhere in the house, I still have those. 35, 40 year old stories. They're absolutely horrible. They will, no one will ever see them, but they're still here somewhere. And believe it or not, for one of my series I wrote about five or six years ago, I actually pulled out some of the ideas. I wrote in those stories and incorporated them into this universe I created, and it actually worked out very well. And I keep wanting to go back and go, I've got this, that I could possibly, and then I start looking at it again and go no, it's just too silly. No, not gonna do it. Nice. Okay. Yeah I've been writing for years. I never really took it seriously until I was deployed to Afghanistan in 2002. That's when I wrote my true first novel, came home, put it on a shelf until 2010. And then since 2010 it's, I guess it's been an average of a book a year. I'm, I've got 12 novels out.


Episode 157 – Jim Hepburn – Hunted by Fire

Overview Like many young men in high school cursed with a dash of creativity, Jim found a love for writing, which everybody else thought was practically useless. Those folks urged him to get good at math and science instead, and so he worked at those, but he was never sure if he could hack them out at a university level. After he graduated said university with an arts degree (where he had to read an awful lot), he wondered what other young people had gone through the same thing. It's always been his dream to inspire young men and women to pursue STEM projects, as he thinks the world could use as many helping hands it can get and he thinks they are up to the challenge. In other news, he grew up near Toronto, Canada and devoured any written adventure he could find, including many of the works written by Kenneth Oppel, D. J. MacHale, Christopher Paolini, and Rick Riordan. Later on, it was Jim Butcher, R.A. Salvator, Hajime Isayama, and Tsugumi Ohba who fueled him through his early adult years and to whom he associates much of his personal growth to. HUNTED BY FIRE What is fifteen-year-old Felix Deltorei supposed to do when he longs for rebellion? In his world, where the dragon Gods reign with barbaric force, such thoughts could cost him his life. The risks have been drilled into Felix and his friends since they were children. The war between humans and the winged Gods ended with a treaty; humanity would serve them or be driven extinct. Hundreds of years later, under the watchful eyes of the Gods and their devoted followers, those same laws remain. Felix knows he has to find his place in the world before he's found out. Surrounded by teachers who only ever value faith, obedience, but also technological advancement, Felix strives to achieve security and a better life in the only way he knows how; with his inventive mind. However, just as he gets his chance, one of the province's famed inquisitors arrives in town. Little does Felix know, the devastating events about to take place will risk exposing him, but they will also push him out into a journey that might mean the deaths of the ones he loves if he can't escape in time. Book Favorites Website Jim Hepburn Website YouTube Transcript Stephen: today on Discover Wordsmith, I wanna welcome Jim Hepburn. Jim good afternoon. How are you doing? It's a bright, sunny spring day here. How about you? Jim: Yeah, no, it's good, Stephen. Thanks for having me. It's it's kinda cloudy, overcast, but it's warm, so that's what Stephen: matters sometimes. To let our audience know a little bit about who you are, tell us some of the things you like to do, where you live, and things you do besides writing. Jim: Yeah, sure. So I live up in Canada. I'm right around the Toronto area there. And I I spend a lot of my time when I'm out riding, I usually either cook or do I do lots of jiujitsu also. I love doing that. Getting beat up for fun is great. And and yeah, between that, hanging out with my dog and my fiance and then writing that that captures about 95% of the time that's there. Stephen: So what's your favorite thing to cook? Jim: Oh, pizza, hands down. I yeah, no, I you know what was funny? It was my family has always loved pizza forever, and I could eat pizza every day of the week if I had the opportunity. But for Christmas,


Episode 156 – Matthew Bennett Young – Spaceball

Overview Matthew Bennett Young is a British author and has published in many forms (picturebooks, flash fiction, short stories and poetry) although his big passion is for picturebooks. Not only does he write but sometimes he illustrates as well. He is also anartist-educator and has been teaching his inspiring workshops all over the world. Hecurrently resides in Montreal and is a member of Artist Inspire and Culture a L’Ecole.He believes all creativity is a form of expression and is essential for wellbeing,especially now, and it takes practice! The soccer ball in this story leaves Earth with a mightystrike of the boot and rockets past every planet. Each planethas a landmark of a famous soccer city in the UK. See ifyou can work out which city and soccer club it is! Book Favorites


Episode 155 – Jeff Strand – Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

Overview This is a super special episode. Jeff Strand is back to talk about his novelization for the movie Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. This cult comedy horror movie is over 40 years old, and Jeff does an absolutely fantastic job with the writing. You may notice something else of interest - there are 3 people on this episode. That's because this is a big crossover with the Horror Lasagna podcast and that other person is my co-host, Rhys. Book YouTube Transcript Stephen: So this is a special episode. It's not even one of our bonus episodes, Reese. This is just a special episode. It'll take the place, the highest place of honor amongst all our episodes. So it's a crossover event. It is. We're going to do this with Discovered Wordsmith also. So Jeff you get to be on my other podcast twice. You're one of the lucky handful. Before we get rolling, everybody knows. Me and Reese, all four people in Ram Motion that listen to us. Hello. So first of all, we've got a guest Jeff Strand. So Jeff tell everybody a little bit about who you are and then we can start making fun of you. Jeff: I'm a writer. I have written a little over 50 books. My most recent one was demonic. Tomatoes, the novelization, which I assume will come up at some point during this discussion. Stephen: Oh, we probably should have Jeff: some young adult comedy pretty much all over the place, but mostly horror comedies where I'm at. Stephen: And I know I've mentioned you to Reese and others a couple times that I just fell in love with your books. And I texted you the other day, I said, oh my God, I'm reading the attack of the Killer Tomatoes and it's your best one. I am l out loud laughing and I'm reading it to my son, just bits and pieces and he's laughing, just listening to the little bits I put. We wanna talk a little bit about the movie and the novelization a bit My first question, Reese. Oh, you had a couple questions. Background. I did Rhys: actually Jeff, this is the first time I've met you. And aside from a friend of ours who we know who left a long time ago to go live in Alaska, Alaska is one of the three places that I've told my children I should never go because I probably never come home from. So I'm gonna ask you to disuse me of my romantic notions of what Alaska's so what was it like growing up in the great white North? Jeff: I didn't know any different, so I, I was born in Baltimore, but I grew up in Alaska from six months old till 15. So I, didn't know any different. So the fact that it is light, 24 7 during the summer. It was not weird to me. That's just the way it is. The fact that it gets, I would get on the bus to go to school and be pitch black and then by the time I got on the bus to come home for school, pitch black. There are a little bit of daylight in the middle, so the long nights during the winter, the long. Days during the summer, that was just the way things were. So people would visit in the summer and like, how can you sleep? It's, four in the morning and it is bright out and, but that, none of that stuff was weird to me. What was, what I realized was the most weird and didn't impact me at all growing up was in Fairbanks. You were in Fairbanks. Like right now I'm in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I, think nothing of, I'll drive to Nashville tomorrow, I'm gonna go to Atlanta. Knoxville, the whole, continental United States is at my disposal without it being that big of a trip. Whereas in Fairbanks, Fairbanks was the only place I was unless we took a vacationed anchorage, which was like six or eight hours. So there were tiny little towns that were basically a, gas station and maybe a restaurant. But for the most part, I,


Episode 154 – Catherine Devore Johnson – Panacea Project

Overview Catherine joins me from Houston Texas where she lives with her husband and kids. She is a recovering lawyer, though she still does writing for a hospital. Her book is a medical thriller about a person who's immune system can cure cancer. The book is timely in that it talks about bodily autonomy. Book Favorites YouTube Transcript Today on Discover Wordsmith, I have Catherine Devore. Catherine, how are you doing today? I'm great. Catherine: How are you? Thanks Stephen: for having me. Yes. It's great to have y on. I'm doing well. Thank you. Before we get rolling, talking about your book, the Panacea Project, tell us a little bit about you, yourself, what you like to do where you live, things like that. Some of your hobbies. Catherine: Yeah. So I I live in Houston, Texas. Grew up here mostly. Although I was born in Chicago and then made my way down the middle of the country down to here I am a former lawyer. I like to joke that I'm a recovering attorney. And now I work part-time at a large children's hospital as a writer and editor. Nice. I have two kids. I have a 14 year old and a 16 year old. They keep me really busy. I what do I like to do for fun? I I love to do stuff with my kids. I've got one who's a theater kid and one who's an athlete. So between rehearsals and track meets, I'm pretty busy. Yeah. Of course I love to read all the time. Houston has a really great restaurant scene, so I love to go out and eat with my husband. And I also, I'm obsessed with coffee, so I'm almost every day you'll find me in some Houston Coffee house probably trying to write or. Or reading something Stephen: Great. Nice. Love that. You're actually the third or fourth recovering lawyer that I've had, so there must be something with that needs to push people in the, it also seems to be big. Seems like a lot of it people go into writing books. Yeah. Yeah. And being busy with your family and that we're gonna talk a little bit about that later in some of our author talk in finding time. And that I love hearing that because that was the goal of the podcast is to show other authors that you are not the only one with a full-time job, with a family, with other commitments, that there are others like that. Out there that not everybody is sitting in a cabin typing out words and getting three books out a month and making a million dollars a month and stuff. Not everybody's like that. I think that's great. You're right in there to show people, hey, yeah, this can't be done. So yeah. Let's talk a little bit about your book. Why did you, oh, wait. Before we even do that what do you do for the Children's Hospital to write? Catherine: So I'm in a small team of, there's three of us actually, and ironically enough, we're all former lawyers and writers. And so we do a variety of things, but when we help edit grants and manuscripts, we don't have a science background. But I think coming from a legal background, we're really good at. Kind of synthesizing complex ideas and helping people to just write as pers persuasively and succinctly as possible. And then we also just do other various writing projects for the hospital. Like a, on from a marketing Stephen: perspective. Okay. That's an interesting gig. It really is. That does, do you find that doing that helps your fiction writing? You Catherine: know, I haven't, I've only been doing this job for about a year and a half now and I haven't a...


Episode 153 – Molly Perry – The Game

Overview Molly was a school teacher and now write middle grade books. She has read her books to her class and engaged them in storytelling. This also leads to a nice discussion about teaching kids storytelling and how grammar and spelling fit into that. Book Favorites Website Tom Holbrook Fire Keeper's Daughter - Angeline Boullie Sea of Tranquility - EMily St. John Mandel The Ferryman - Justin Cronin In the Lives of Puppets - TJ Klune The Climate Book - Greta Thunberg Poverty, by America - Michael Desmond Knowing What We Know - Simon Winchester Chain Gang All Stars - Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah Happy Place - Emily Henry YouTube Transcript Stephen: today on Discover Wordsmith, I wanna welcome Molly. Molly, good morning. How are you doing? I'm doing Molly: great. Stephen: So I know we live fairly close by, so since you're in Ohio, and I have a question for you, how do you know it's springtime in Ohio? Molly: Oh, Stephen: no more snow. No, the opposite. You get more snow than you did during the winter. Molly: Oh my gosh. I have snow right outside. My, yes. That's Ohio. Welcome to Ohio. But when spring comes, Ohio is beautiful. Stephen: Yeah. Yeah. All right. Molly, we're gonna talk about your books today, but before we do that, why don't you tell everybody a little bit about yourself, where you live, what you like to do outside of writing Molly: books. Okay. So I live in in the suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, near Lake Erie. And I have been I guess teaching. And the other thing that I love to do is dancing. I'm, I love to do swing dancing and all kinds of contra dancing and all kinds of dancing, and it brings me a lot of joy. Where do you go for dancing? It's all over the place. There's little venues and different, like church basement, church basements and one that's nearby is a community of saints in Cleveland Heights. And we just it's wonderful because the people are very down to earth and it's all group dancing and just, and then, we have a little break in the middle where we socialize and of course we have to eat nibble. Nice. It's a, and it's just so good for your body, but it's also good, releases any stress. You just, you laugh and you enjoy each other. Nice. And the swing dancing is a lot of, it's mostly on the west side of Cleveland. I live on the east side, but we carpool over and it's, you don't have to be perfect. You just move to the music and Nice. Good. Yeah. And so I, one of my earliest memories. Of me as a child, I would I was like, I would be dancing around the house, holding my ma, holding my notebook with my stories. So I combined both things and teaching I guess I was just a natural born teacher, I loved children so much. And it's, it just I think if I had to say something about teaching that is that when you have two choices, when something goes, awry in the classroom, you could be very tough and say, this is the rules and this is, but I found that kindness and is a huge part of my approach to teaching. I'll tell a quick story that I was teach, I taught third grade most of the time. Now I'm teaching just groups, little small groups, which I love too. But I was teaching third grade and we were studying the different states and.