Get Published Episode 146 – Alasdair Stuart: Podcasting is Publishing

I think when most people think of being published they automatically think of book publishers and having their books in book stores. I know, that used to be the first thing I thought of. But there are many other markets for stories including podcasts.

Did you know that not only are podcasts publishing stories in audio form but there are several that pay professional rates? I knew about the former, but I wasn’t aware of the later. Today’s guest changed all that for me and I hope he will for you too. That guest is Alasdair Stuart.

Alasdair is a writer, podcaster, host and publisher with Escape Artists. Escape Artists is not one but three genre fiction podcasts. Escape Pod, Podcastle and PseudoPod. One for Science Fiction, one for Fantasy and one for horror.

Alasdair is awesome and I really enjoyed the conversation.

And while I have your attention, Mik Murdoch, The Power Within is eligible to be nominated for a Prix Aurora this year. If you are Canadian and would like to help me get my newest book into the awards, I would ask you to go to www.prixaurorawards.ca. You need a membership but the cost will also gain you eBook copies of all the nominated books. A bargain for $10. That membership will allow you to both nominate and vote for the awards. There will be a link in the show notes.

I would really appreciate your support.

And before we begin the show, I would like to remind you that if you have any questions or comments, you can send them to podcast@michellplested.com. If I don’t know the answer to your question, I will find the person best suited to answer it and play it on the show.

Show Notes

00:00 — Opening – Get Published Episode 146 – Alasdair Stuart: Podcasting is Publishing

Everything has to start somewhere and this is the start of “Get Published”

00:14 — Introduction – Get Published Episode 146 – Alasdair Stuart: Podcasting is Publishing (continued)

Welcome to the show.

02:04 – Promo – Flash Pulp Podcast

02:40 Get Published Episode 146 – Alasdair Stuart: Podcasting is Publishing (continued)

Mike and Alasdair discuss:

  • Publishing, large audience, misconceptions, audio, podcast, diversity, science Fiction, Horror, Fantasy, Publisher, slush, rejection, submissions, @AlasdairStuart

32:01 – Promo – Mighty Marvel Geeks

32:34 — Closing

Thank you for listening.

Websites mentioned in this episode:

Alasdair Stuart – http://alasdairstuart.com/

Flash Pulp Podcast – http://flashpulp.com/

Mighty Marvel Geeks Podcast – http://webegeekspc.com/category/mighty-marvel-geeks/

Prix Aurora Awards – http://www.prixaurorawards.ca

 

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Torturing Your Characters

I have long heard authors talk about torturing characters to make stories stronger. I have done a little of that with different characters in my stories.

The thing is, I find it easier to torturer one-time characters. Going one step further, torturing those characters that only appear in a short story.

I guess it’s like people. The better you get to know someone, the more protective of that person (assuming you like them) you get. Such is the way of it with my characters.

In fact, I have had to mentally prepare myself to do the necessary torturing with some of my recurring characters just so I can write the scenes effectively. Even then I sometimes find myself easing off on the characters. When that happens I have to step back, remind myself why I’m doing what I’m doing and then get back to being the hard case.

Still, it is funny to me that I have to do this. After all, the characters are not real people. They are my creations and, no matter how difficult I make it for them, I can still chose to let them live/die/whatever. The torture doesn’t have to be a lasting thing.

Regardless of what I can decide to do, I still have to remain true to my readers. If a character needs to die, I would be remiss in letting him or her live. If the character needs to have a crippling injury, that character has to suffer through the rehabilitation and possible long-term/permanent effects. To do anything different would be cheating.

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Doors and Windows

I’m sure you have all heard the saying, “When one door closes, another one opens somewhere.” I have also heard that saying expanded to include windows (so make sure you have your burglar skills honed).

I will admit, when I first heard people using the phrase (usually in an attempt to cheer me up) I was skeptical. I mean, where is it written in the cosmic rule book that things need to be fair? Where is it written that for every minus there should be a plus (okay, Lavoisier’s Law of Conservation of Mass DOES say that, but I hope you catch my drift).

My skepticism decreased somewhat when I saw examples of door close/door open but I credited that to luck more than anything.

What I have since discovered is, door will open when others close (or open without the closing) but only if you are actively engaged in the activity. For example, if you lose your job, you aren’t likely to find another unless you actually apply for other work.

The same is definitely true of writing. If you submit your story to a publisher/agent/whatever and are rejected, you won’t be accepted unless you submit it again. You won’t improve as a writer unless you write and give yourself the opportunity to grow.

You won’t get the chance to meet and work with interesting people unless you first reach out and try to get to know them.

That last one is important to me. I talk about networking all the time to people because I know that all the success I have had to date (and expect to have in the future) comes from meeting and getting to know people. That has led to publishing deals AND it has brought me various collaborations too.

For example, several years ago I started following JR Murdock. I interacted with him on Twitter and I listened to his podcasts. I won’t say I knew JR, but I knew a few things about him.

A few months later it was suggested by a mutual friend that we should write together. Collaborate on a book. It seemed like a good idea so I reached out to JR and asked him what he thought of the idea.

It turns out, he was following me in much the same way I was following him. He agreed to a brain-storming meeting and next month that initial meeting will result in the publication of Jack Kane and the Statue of Liberty, the first book in our steampunk series.

The door that closed in that example was a writing project. I had finished what I was working on and was looking for something new and interesting. Collaboration had been on my mind and the door that opened was a pre-existing knowledge of JR (and him of me).

The thing that I keep reminding myself of is this: if I hadn’t looked for a door to open, I wouldn’t even have known the door existed and I wouldn’t have the wonderful relationship I have with JR today.

What doors have closed on you? What have you done to find that next door? I’d love to hear your stories about it.

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