The Long and Short of Writing Short Form Fiction: A Conversation with Indie Author Stella Coulson.

Indie Beginning Episode 24
Ben and Marie discuss Whitby After Dark and the process of writing short fiction

Ben and Marie discuss reviews left for Whitby After Dark by Stella Coulson as well as the topic of Short Form Fiction with the author. Novellas and novelettes are gaining in popularity with the rise of kindle and other e-readers (especially since Hugh Howey’s breakthrough tale WOOL) and people are so busy that they just do not have the time for a novel. We also live in a “quick fix” society and may be witnessing the shorter attention spans, at least that is Ben’s belief.

What influenced indie author Stella Coulson to begin writing short form fiction? What are her thoughts of the rise in its popularity? Does she see a downside to writing a short story? Listen to this week’s episode to find out!

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment wherever you found this podcast, I’ll find it! We’d would also be truly grateful if you would rate and review this show while you are there. Your reviews are a wonderful way to support this show and also a way for us to keep bringing you the content you want to listen to. Don’t forget that each review makes you eligible to win some Indie Beginning merchandise: every time we hit a 25 review milestone up to 500! Screenshot that baby and tag Indiebeginning in it, or not, I’ll find it somehow, I like a good treasure hunt. Whitby After Dark is available for purchase on Amazon. Music found in this episode was written and performed by Tinmouth and is titled Generation to Generation. I would like to thank Shirts by Sarah for supporting this show and our featured indie author. A special thank you to Stella Coulson for taking the time to be part of the Indie Beginning Podcast. Thanks for listening!
Read the Writer’s Digest blog post discussed in this episode.

Music Attribute: generation to generation by Tinmouth is licensed under a Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Whitby After Dark by Stella Coulson an Audiobook Introduction


Whitby After Dark by Stella Coulson as read by Marie Kammerer Franke

For our 23rd episode we are bringing you the beginning of Stella Coulson’s Young Adult indie read Whitby After Dark about a young woman who moves to the Gothic small town of Whitby, Yorkshire and discovers a hidden world of vampires, shifters and demons. Her precognitive visions of death lead her to become the target of a serial killing demon. This Indie Beginning is brought to you by Shirts by Sarah, your one stop shop for all your specialized shirt needs. After the episode please take a moment to leave a comment about what you just heard or leave a question for the author to discuss during the interview segment next week. The topic will be the long and short of short form fiction.

Trigger Warning / Content Advisory! The story contained in this episode deals with topics that many young adults face including suicide, self harm, and abuse. If you feel that any of these topics are too hard to listen to please skip this episodee. If you are having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self harm please contact the national suicide hotline here in the states at 1-800-273-8255. For our friends overseas please go to Samaritans.org.

Are you enjoying Indie Beginning? Remember to subscribe to Indie Beginning on your favorite Podcast platform. Please let us know what you think of the show by leaving a review while you’re there. Reviews are the best way to support your favorite podcasts. In fact Indie Beginning will be sending one random reviewer a special gift for every 25 reviews until we hit 500. All you have to do is leave a review and tune in to hear if your name is called after each 25 milestone. Or you can screenshot your review and tag @indiebeginning on Instagram with the #indiebeginningreview. Join us next week when we discuss short fiction with Stella Coulson.
Music found in this episode was written and performed by Tinmouth and is titled Generation to Generation. This episode was read by Marie Kammerer Franke and edited by me. I am your host Benjamin Franke asking everyone to read more books, be the best possible you and to simply enjoy this wonderful life. Thanks for listening.

 

Music Attribute: generation to generation by Tinmouth is licensed under a Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda, a Conversation on Alternative History – L S Bassen Interview

A Conversation with L.S. Bassen on Alternative History

If you could go back in time and re-write a historical moment, what moment would you choose? LS Bassen wanted to revisit WWII and more specifically the death of Adolf Hitler in her tale Summer of the Long Knives. (Learn more about LS Bassen here.) In this episode Marie and Benjamin discuss reviews left for the story as well as their thoughts on the topic of Alternative History. Below are a list of topic Questions posed to the author.

1. Alternative fiction is a popular genre for story lovers, yet many authors find it a difficult genre to write. Did you have any concerns when you began writing Summer of the Long Knives?
2. With Nazi Germany being such a major historical period in time what tips or tricks did you utilize to keep fact and fiction from flowing too far away from one another?
3. What are your thoughts on reader knowledge? Do you feel that the average reader is willing to suspend disbelief to be entertained?

I posed this question to the Writers Group on facebook and I would like to take a moment to thank Sarah, Eanna, Mark, Kenneth, and Sasha for joining in the conversation. All of them agreed that a reader will suspend disbelief and that it is the Authors job through character development and world-building (a topic we discussed with Paul Grover in episode 17) but the examples given stemmed from Harry Potter (Still refuse to read that little gem) to Marvel. I wonder more about factual events straight out of High-School history books where there really is a universal agreement of facts.

4. Does writing alternative history allow you as the author to change history if even for a brief moment in time? Are there any other historical moments you wish (or plan) to re-write?
5. If you could rewrite anything in your own career as an author what would it be?

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment after you listen to the show. We would also be truly grateful if you would rate and review this show while you are there. Your reviews are a wonderful way to support this show and also a way for us to keep bringing you the content you want to listen to. Summer of the Long Knives is available for purchase on Amazon. Music found in this episode was performed by Dee Yan Key and is titled Holy Holy Holy. I would like to that Shirts by Sarah for supporting this show and Thank LS Bassen for taking the time to be part of the Indie Beginning Podcast. And most of all, thank you for listening!

Find the New Marwa Coda Chapter mentioned in this episode here!

Summer of the Long Knives by LS Bassen an Audiobook Introduction

Benjamin Franke introduces readers to Summer of the Long Knives

This week we are featuring the indie novel Summer of the Long Knives by LS Bassen as read by Benjamin Franke. After an attack by a band of roving Nazi Brownshirts, Lisel Ganz, an artist’s model in Berlin, suffers an injury that gives her the ability to catch glimpses of the future. It is already too late for many, but Lisel now can see that an even greater evil lies ahead. Taking refuge in the home of artist Albert Entrater, Lisel meets Konrad, a Catholic priest involved in a plot to assassinate Hitler. Amid great betrayal, loss, and danger, Lisel must act while there is still time. A novel of what literary critic George Steiner has called alternity, Summer of the Long Knives explores the hopes and horrors that emerge from history’s darkest moments.

*Note!!! This story contains adult content that may not be suitable for all listeners. There is sexual violence as well as adult language.

Next week on episode 22 we will speak to LS Bassen about writing an Alternative History and what concerns she may have had as well as some tricks up her sleeve. Learn more about the author here. Remember to leave a comment below about what you have heard or post a question for the author and/or hosts.

Music found in this episode was written and preformed Dee Yan Kee and is titled Holy Holy Holy. Please take a moment to rate and review this podcast. It is the number one way to support this show. Thanks for listening!

Marie Kammerer Franke’s 7 Rules When Writing

I am part of numerous Social media writer’s groups. One of my favorite topics to read are other author’s writing habits. I thought it would be something to share my 7 rules when writing, what I need or don’t want in order to successfully complete a story.

Keyboard, coffee, headphones, notepad

1. I DO NOT READ (While I am Writing)
I am a daydreamer, meaning that when I read I find myself daydreaming about after the happily ever after of the story I just finished. I fantasize about what comes next for the characters when I set a book down for the night. I am always worried that I will be influenced by another author when I am in the middle of a project. So no, I do not read anything (not even a chocolate chip cookie recipe) while writing. Same theory for television; I will not turn on West World or GoT. Sorry HBO – you’re going to sit idle until I get this out of my head.
That may not make sense seeing as how Indie Beginning is dedicated to reading the works of indie authors – but this is ok for me. We only receive the first 30-50 pages of a book, and when I’m reading it on air I focus solely on pronunciation and tone of voice. Most times; it’s a blind read – I have no comprehension of the piece, and barely retain any part of a page read. But I always do go back when I’m between projects and give each author’s submitted piece my undivided imagination.

2.- EVERYBODY SHUT UP
I have to write in a completely still house. If there is a noise, a child “trying to be quiet”, a cat shuffling across hardwoods, or the fridge humming in the background I can’t do it. No way, no how. Which you will find makes #5 on my list an oxymoron to what I just said, but I’ll explain…

3.- SAME SONG DIFFERENT DAY
I have a dedicated play list; it has been the same for about 6 years now. And I am so used to the notes that no matter how loud they flow through the head phones, I can easily put them into the background. It’s a modge podge collection of sounds from musicians such as Muse to Carl Orff. And it is insurance. A policy that no life noise makes it into my ears making me wonder what is going on in the outside world.

4.-A DARK AND DISMAL PLACE
My office is almost pitch black and until recently I worked off a desk top computer – I miss this computer; really REALLY miss this computer – with its outdated Microsoft and keys where the letters were worn off – not feeling the laptop that replaced it at all. The later the hour the better the juices flow, the darker the room the easier it is for me to write “pant less”- meaning without an outline or a distinct direction. Just words flowing from my fingertips to the screen as sentences.
When writing ACN I wouldn’t even ‘go to work’ until the kids were snoring away in the rooms above my office. I wouldn’t have a stopping point – I would write until my husband got up in the morning and reminded me I did have a day job to go to – I should probably go to bed for an hour or two before tackling the 9 to 5.
I did this very routine for just under a year and the outcome was a first draft of all 1,400 pages of the series.

5.-IF IT’S NOT CAFFINATED DARK ROAST I DON’T WANT IT
Coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee – 9 a.m. or 9 p.m. COFFEE!! With cream, a little sugar, and cinnamon. Please and thank you. Luckily for me I have someone in my life who is a coffee enabler, so my pot is never deprived.

6.-EXCUSE ME CAN I BORROW A PEN?
While in the middle of a project, my brain never shuts off. Constantly I am writing things down, a sentence, a reference, an idea for the next project. My office is COVERED in post-its, or receipts that hold a single word scribbled across it, napkins with a blurred thought jotted on them. It has become a habit of mine to force myself to get out of bed and write down last minute thoughts – because we all have revelations in the seconds before sleep. Can I tell you where I’ll use it? Nope, no clue, most of them probably won’t even get used. But if I ever get stuck they’re there.

7. -GIMME A BREAK
The first draft is out there, on the screen, filled with little red lines and incomplete thoughts. This is when I stop. I step away from the computer and go back to life; reading, playing, catching up with family and friends. I won’t talk about my writing – I am not an author for a couple months. That way I reset with a fresh pair of eyes two or three months later, ready to start round two!

Every author has their style, their must haves, do and do nots. Those happen to be mine. What are the things you need? What is the perfect scenario for you to create in?

 

 

Angels, Demons, Faith and Fiction: an interview with Transgression author Brandy Ange

Angels, Demons, Faith and Fiction. Last week we introduced you Brandy Ange’s young adult fantasy novel Transgression about a daughter who must decide whether to side with angels who want little to do with her or demons who want too much in order to save her father. This episode is brought to you by the wonderful people at the Rapha House Organization. Proceeds from the purchase of Transgression are donated to this important cause. More information can be found at the end of the episode. Transgression is available for purchase on Brandy Ange’s Website and Amazon.

In this episode Marie and Ben discuss all of the positive reviews that have been left for this story as well as all of the calls for a movie based on the characters. The hosts will settle for the second book! Marie spoke to Brandy Ange about using religious material in her writing. Below you will find a list of the topic questions asked to the author:
1. As someone who has a degree in bible study, what are your thoughts on using religion and religious content in fiction?
2. Did you try to publish this story in a traditional sense? How did agents and/or publishing houses respond to the religious content?
3. Do you feel that fictionalizing religious content could go against people’s faith? Could it bring people to religion? Or do you feel that people can comfortably separate the two?
4. What sources did you seek out for inspiration and research? We noticed that Hell in Transgression agrees with Dante’s icy 9th circle of Hell.
Please take a moment to rate this episode on your favorite podcast platform. Reviews are so important for the growth of any project. All reviews read in this episode can be found on Amazon, Goodreads, or right here on ACNBooks.

Rapha House Safe House Program – from the episode