Ditch Diggers #30: Networking, With Natalie Metzger

  • Matt and Mur come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s slightly better lawn furniture, which they’re actually sharing live and in-person in front of a small audience, slightly inebriated (Matt, Mur, the audience, or all three? Who knows!)
  • Even during Ditch Diggers, a podcast about rolling up your sleeves and doing the job of writing, people are catching Pokemon while we record.
  • Matt and Mur are joined by their special guest co-host, illustrator Natalie Metzger.
  • The Ditch Diggers discuss the moistness of the environment.
  • Networking! Matt and Mur talk to Natalie about how networking led to her landing a gig illustrating SFF titan John Scalzi’s short story collection, Miniatures.
  • Subterranean Press, specialty books, and goats.
  • Natalie talks about the networking “long game,” participating in fandom, and just plain getting to know people over a long period of time.
  • Networking while dealing with shyness, introversion, anxiety, and other socially limiting conditions, and how to work with them rather than “overcome” them.
  • Natalie sums up her philosophy on networking: “Give, don’t take.”
  • Matt explains the Glengarry Leads.
  • The Ditch Diggers take questions from the audience, including dealing with anxiety and shyness at cons, and how George RR Martin does NOT in any way frequent prostitutes.

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ISBW #365: Editing is hard, JD Horn Interview

I return to complain about editing and continuity, and then announce that I am writing an ISBW book to be released in August. YAY.

Interview with JD Horn, author of the Witching Savannah series.


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Ditch Diggers #29: Birthday Extravaganza

Travel and excitement has us posting this late – both Matt and Mur have their birthdays on July 25, and, both of us being attention whores, we celebrate as much as possible.

  • Mur and Matt (mostly Matt) explain how and why Morgan Freeman has balls for us all (okay, it’s all Matt).
  • Mur and Matt share a birthday! They are both Children of the 25th, and this is Ditch Diggers’ 2016 Birthday Spectacular!
  • Mur talks about Netflix optioning her novel, the announcement coming two years after the deal, and excitement fatigue.
  • Why the Honda Fit is sexier than the Ford Fiesta, but NOT as sexy as the Mini Cooper.
  • The optioning process, and how much control authors have over their optioned properties.
  • Expecting the worst as a publishing author.
  • Mur talks about her big career developments over the past year, including Bookburners and writing Star Wars.
  • Mur closes her yearly recap by talking about survivor’s guilt in 2016, and she admits Matt is wise.
  • Matt begins his recap by talking about not getting optioned for film/TV, and the lessons he learned from getting caught up in the process of trying to turn his books into TV series.
  • Matt and Mur discuss varying levels of involvement in the film/TV side of your books and the perils and pitfalls involved.
  • Matt talks about refocusing on writing and selling books, and the leverage it ultimately gives you.
  • Matt talks about how his reasons for wanting to do well in his career have changed for the better.
  • Ditch Diggers Birthday Spectacular Q&A via email and Twitter!

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ISBW #364 – Feedback // Jon Skovron Interview // John Claude Bemis Interview

It’s another long show as I catch up with my late interviews! Jon Skovron and John Claude Bemis are both here to talk about their books.

With two interviews, this one is a long one!

Worldcon is this week! Are you going? Come say hi!

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Ditch Diggers #28: Fran Wilde rolls with it

  • Coming to you live from Morgan Freeman’s server farm with special guest co-host Fran Wilde, who wants to know if servers can be milked.
  • Fran talks about her experience winning the Compton Crook and Andre Norton Awards (and not winning a Nebula) and Matt theorizes on what happens if and when all Andre Norton Awards are brought together.
  • Matt and Mur discuss the children’s and YA genres with Fran, and how adult authors staying in-touch with younger readers is essential both creatively and professionally.
  • Personal space is discussed. It’s a digression from the main topic, but always one worth taking.
  • Matt, Mur, and Fran take email and Twitter questions. Topics include awards voting, coding, and Matt ranting against writing that relies too heavily on pop reference.

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ISBW #363: Movie Option, plus TWO interviews! Mike Carey and Brenda Cooper!

I announced it a few days ago that Netflix purchased the option for The Shambling Guides, and I talk more about it here. Then I put two interviews in one show since I’m behind, so you get to hear from Mike Carey and Brenda Cooper!


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Ditch Diggers #27: Madeline Ashby talks futurism

  • Mur and Matt come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s nature walk with special guest co-host, Madeline Ashby!
  • Matt on how, technically, anywhere you walk outside is Morgan Freeman’s nature walk.
  • Madeline talks about her new futuristic novel COMPANY TOWN, its themes and inspiration.
  • Cannibalism, and the appropriate amount thereof in all things, is discussed.
  • Matt and Mur talk with Madeline about her work as a foresight consultant, and how she utilizes her skills as an SFF author in that field, and vice versa.
  • What it takes to become a professional foresight consultant.
  • Madeline talks about working on transmedia projects and comics.
  • The illiteracy of the film industry.
  • Ditch Diggers Q&A, which covers, among many things, the joys of marrying a union plumber (NOT to be confused with a freelance plumber).

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Ditch Diggers #26: Agent/Author Relations, with Kameron Hurley and Hannah Bowman

Matt and Mur come to you live, connected via Skype, between Morgan Freeman’s haberdashery and Morgan Freeman’s Tomb of the Youngsters, with special guest go-hosts, multi-Hugo Award-winning author Kameron Hurley and her agent, Hannah Bowman!

  • Matt and Mur argue the nature of ad-libs.
  • Matt pronounces Hannah’s name incorrectly (it’s Han-ah, like Han Solo).
  • This fearsome foursome discuss authors, agents, and booze.
  • Hurley discusses how she came to sign with her agent, and Hannah discusses why she chose to sign her client, Hurley.
  • Tips for authors vetting potential agents.
  • Hurley and Hannah talk about their author/agent process when it comes to planning, executing, and editing books (which basically consists of having no set process).
  • Hurley talks about how her new essay collection, THE GEEK FEMINIST REVOLUTION came about, and Hannah’s role in it.
  • Hurley and Hannah field questions from the Ditch Diggers audience, including agenting debut novels, agents editing vs. editors editing, and absolutely nothing about woodchucks chucking wood (you’ll see/hear).

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ISBW #362: Glossary of writing terms and Helen Lowe Interview

What do all those words I’m always saying mean? I go over several terms we discuss in publishing. I loved this idea, so if you have other ideas for terms you’d like discussed in more detail, let me know!

Then I talk to Helen Lowe, author of Daughter of Blood.


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ISBW #361: Feedback | Elizabeth Bonesteel Interview

Covering feedback this time, including the importance of race in a story, ideas during depression, and more! Then we talk to Elizabeth Bonesteel, author of the excellent SF novel The Cold Between.


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