Building the Oracle - with Jay Swanson-logo

Building the Oracle - with Jay Swanson

Fantasy & Science Fiction Podc

An author and an editor interview entrepreneurs and world-class artists as they chronicle their journey to create their own publishing house and film studio around the fictional fantasy universe "The Oracle of the Dread Gods" by host, Jay Swanson.

An author and an editor interview entrepreneurs and world-class artists as they chronicle their journey to create their own publishing house and film studio around the fictional fantasy universe "The Oracle of the Dread Gods" by host, Jay Swanson.


United States


An author and an editor interview entrepreneurs and world-class artists as they chronicle their journey to create their own publishing house and film studio around the fictional fantasy universe "The Oracle of the Dread Gods" by host, Jay Swanson.






01.12: Season 1 Finale - What have we learned and where to next?

We made it to the end of Season 1 of Building the Oracle! And everything went exactly according to plan ... well, not quite. In our final episode of Season 1, we look back on our initial hopes and dreams for the podcast and discuss what we learned, which goals we achieved, and those that we failed to reach. We reflect on world events over the last six months, how they have impacted our plans, and influenced our vision for the publishing project. And finally, we talk about what's coming...


01.11: The business of being a writer in 2020 with Jane Friedman

Jane Friedman is the author of The Business of Being a Writer, and one of the most trusted consultants and reporters in the publishing industry. We asked her for some advice on our own publishing plans, and she gave us the reality check we definitely needed. Jane also shared some of the wisdom she's learned through building her own business, pointed us in the direction of some essential indie-author resources, and even managed to craft a media strategy to launch Gustave the dog to...


01.10: Cataloguing a universe with Archivos founder David Robison

What's the best way for an author to keep track of a sprawling and evolving fictional universe? And how can we take of all these wonderful little worldbuilding details to help readers explore and discover our universe beyond the pages of a book? We discussed these questions, and much more, with Dave Robison, the founder of Archivos, a visual story-mapping tool that weaves characters, events, and places into relationship webs, live maps, and interwoven timelines. Dave is also a podcaster,...


01.09: Worldbuilding with Mike Underwood, Adam Rakunas & Patrick Tomlinson

Worldbuilding! It's one of the defining elements of the science fiction and fantasy genres, in which the world itself, and how it differs from our own, is a central feature of the story. Readers should feel like they can escape into, and explore, and tell their own stories in the worlds we create for them, and so these worlds must be imbued with enough depth and detail to spark their own life in the reader's imagination. But how much detail is too much? And how do you know when your research...


01.08: Kameron Hurley on perseverance and building a resilient creative career

Kameron Hurley is a Hugo Award-winning author and a trained historian. She was the guest of honor at this year's ConFusion, and she joined us on the pod to talk about the challenges of living a creative life, along with what it takes to support yourself as an author. We discuss the importance of perseverance and why it is crucial to develop multiple revenue streams for the content you create. Kameron and Jay both shared their experiences trying (and failing) to balance their health and...


01.07: Michelle Kuo and the power of reading and telling stories

Michelle Kuo is an immigration lawyer, and currently teaches on issues of race, punishment, immigration and the law, at the American University of Paris. She is also the author of Reading With Patrick, a deeply moving memoir about the power of storytelling to connect with, and learn from, each other. We talked to Michelle about the importance for authors and teachers of all types to listen to, and lift up, diverse voices and viewpoints, and why we should approach our role as storytellers...


01.06: Michael R. Underwood and the modern art of selling books

Mike Underwood is a rare jewel in the publishing world - a successful author of several (very excellent) SFF novels who also happens to have invaluable sales and marketing expertise with some of the leading publishers in the world. He was also one of Jay's first and best friends within the professional SFF community, so when Jay attended ConFusion, they took the chance to catch up and talk shop - and bookshops in particular. We discussed the state of the current market for science fiction...


BONUS POD: How Rick Morton lost it all before hitting #1

Rick Morton is the host of San Diego's highest rated breakfast morning show, Hey Morton!, on radio Z90. But Rick's career path has been anything but smooth. He started at the very bottom of the radio food chain, doing everything he could to get his chance on air. From 3am radio slots to driving around in a giant boombox, rising through the ranks took grit. And just as he made it to the top, his ego pushed him right over the edge. His path back to #1 would cost him everything, including...


01.05: Community building with r/fantasy creator Steve Drew

r/fantasy is the internet's largest discussion forum for speculative fiction, and one of Reddit's most popular and inclusive communities. It has almost 800,000 members and has become the go-to location for SFF fans of all stripes, including the authors and publishers themselves. Its success is in no small part due to the efforts of its creator, Steve Drew. Steve shared his experience creating the Fantasy subreddit, as well as his business development expertise, to give us some great advice...


01.04: Kate Weber & Zach Egan on building the Swanson Team in Paris

Asking for help and building a support team can be one of the most difficult but important things for a creative entrepreneur to do as their business grows. Jay was as surprised as anyone to discover that his youtube channel had grown too big for him to handle on his own. Over the last two years he brought in Kate, Richard and Zach to help him manage his ever-expanding list of projects. This episode we brought the whole team together to talk about what we do everyday, and where we all want...


01.03: Lindsey Tramuta on Writing About a Changing Paris and Business When Living Abroad

Lindsey is a Paris-based journalist writing for the New York Times and Fortune amongst many others. But she’s best known in our circles as @LostnCheeseland, the name of her fantastic Instagram account chronicling life in Paris. She wrote a fantastic book on the cultural shifts in our hometown, The New Paris, and hosts The New Paris Podcast, which is into its third season. Her forthcoming book, The New Parisienne, focuses on the amazing women that are redefining the term, and is set for...


BONUS POD: Should authors bother attending conventions? Live from ConFusion

Jay attended ConFusion, a Science Fiction & Fantasy convention in Detroit, Michigan. While he was there he talked to some of our favorite SFF authors about why they attend conventions like ConFusion, and how professional conventions have helped them through their careers. Should authors go to conventions and what should they expect from them when they do? How should they plan for a convention? How have SFF conventions changed over time, and how does an author's experience of conventions...


01.02: Natasha Ngan on what it takes to write a bestseller & what it takes out of you

Natasha Ngan hit the New York Times bestseller list with her breakout YA novel, Girls of Paper and Fire. She joins us to talk about writing marginalized characters, connecting with readers, working with publishers, going on tour, and doing it all with a chronic illness. Book 2 in the Girls series, Girls of Storm and Shadow is out now. You can find Natasha on Instagram and Twitter at @girlinthelens, or check out her website, HOW YOU CAN HELP Rate and Review Us, or Support...


01.01: Building a Podcast with Oliver Gee and John Clarke

Oliver Gee and John Clarke join us to share their own experience with podcasting, and to give us some friendly advice to help launch "Building the Oracle". You can find out more about both of our guests and give them a follow on their websites: Oliver Gee - The Earful Tower John Clarke - Private Practice Workshop HOW YOU CAN HELP Rate and Review Us, or Support us on Patreon. Production of Building the Oracle is only made possible with the support of our listeners. Help us out here...


Introducing Building the Oracle with Jay Swanson - TRAILER

Dropping on the 1st and 15th of every month in 2020 - Building the Oracle follows the process of building a publishing house and film studio from the ground up, all based around the universe of Jay Swanson's Sci-Fantasy "Oracle of the Dread Gods." Subscribe today at Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS ★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★