Ditch Diggers #31: The Godparents Episode with Gail Carriger and Howard Tayler

For the first time we have Matt and Mur, and the godparents of Ditch Diggers Gail Carriger and Howard Tayler, in the same room together!

  • Mur and Matt come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s hotel room, into which they’ve totally been invited and did NOT in any way break and enter, and welcome special guest co-hosts, best-selling author Gail Carriger and creator of the Schlock Mercenary comic series, Howard Tayler!
  • Also, it’s the Wednesday of WorldCon 74 in Kansas City, MO.
  • Mur is the words, Gail is the style. Howard has won awards for talking out of his meat hole.
  • Mur explains how Gail and Howard are the godmother and godfather of the Ditch Diggers podcast.
  • There will be many references, without context, to fisting throughout the episode.
    The foursome discuss novellas in today’s market, and the different approaches to using shorter/serialized content to build and maintain an audience and maximize your revenue stream.
  • Authors and Patreon, pros, cons, misunderstandings, misuses, and maximizing value.
  • Gail and Howard share war stories, victories and losses, of working the publishers booth at conventions, and the value (or lack thereof) of having a table.
  • Ditch Diggers achieve a four F-bomb minute while Matt, Mur, Gail, and Howard discuss keeping it clean for marketing purposes.
  • There is no Q&A because Matt forgot his phone.
  • Gail and Howard shill shamelessly for each other.
  • One last reference, again without context, to fisting meatholes, plus a ten F-bomb minute to close.

Gail on Twitter: https://twitter.com/gailcarriger
Howard on Twitter: https://twitter.com/howardtayler
Gail’s website: http://gailcarriger.com/
Howard’s Schlock Mercenary: http://www.schlockmercenary.com/

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ISBW #366: Control, and Interview with Laurence MacNaughton

It’s a good idea to realize what you’re in control of, and what you’re not in control of. The Serenity Prayer is common sense.

Then I talk to Laurence MacNaughton, author of It Happened One Doomsday.

And yeah, I totally butcher trying to recite the prayer from memory. Here is the actual prayer:


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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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New book news!

I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that I signed a contract to produce an I Should Be Writing nonfiction book. I’ll be taking the things that I’ve learned in the eleven years of doing the show and putting it into an attractive book that will hit the stores next August!

Well, its attractiveness isn’t my job, but the writing is, and I’ll be doing my best.

Thanks to all the listeners who made it worth it to get this far into the show and not stop. I love y’all.

More info when I have it! Published by the fine folks at Quarto Publishing Group!

(pst- if you subscribed to my mailing list over there on the right, you’d have gotten this information already.) —->

New Patreon Tiers, Newsletter, and more!


First the SUPER EXCITING OMG NEWS – ARCs of SIX WAKES have arrived, and they are sooooooooo shiny.

Loooook at it. ———————>>>

Anyway. Other things, I’ve revamped my Patreon tiers to include some fiction, early access to podcasts, and some other treats, including a level where I will send you a drunken annotated copy of my books.

And the last in the marketing scheme, I am building a newsletter, so if you wanna sign up, check it over there in the sidebar. Note that I abhor popup newsletter solicitations, and will never do that to you. That said, I hope you sign up anyway.

What will you get? News. Man, it’s a newsletter, what do you want? Secrets as to what was deleted in a book? Giveaways? GOLD? Well, I can do some of those, actually, but not the gold. Sorry. Maybe if I manage to sell another book soon.

That’s it, really. Check out the Patreon for new tiers. Sign up for the newsletter. LOOKIT THE NEW ARC OF MY BOOK.

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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WorldCon Schedule

UPDATED to include the reading and literary beer.

I’ll be attending MidAmericon II August 18-21, and here’s my schedule:

Reading: Mur Lafferty
Wednesday 4:00pm-4:30pm, 2202 (Readings) (Kansas City Convention Center) Am I slightly worried about having a reading at 4pm on Wednesday? Yes. Yes I am.
Mur Lafferty

Literary Beer : Mur Lafferty, Helen Pennington
Wednesday 7:00pm, Literary Beer Space (Kansas City Convention Center)
Mur Lafferty, Dr Helen Pennington

The Care and Feeding of Minions
Thursday 2:00pm 2503B (Kansas City Convention Center)
A panel of aspiring Evil Overlords need Minions to carry out their evil biddings.  But now that minions have heard of collective bargaining and have seen what non evil overlords offer their workers, it isn’t as easy as it once was.
Ms. Lynn Gold, Mur Lafferty, David D. Levine, Julia Mandala

Ditch Diggers Podcast LIVE
Thursday 7:00pm
(Not sure what the program will say about it, or where it is yet, but dang, y’all, another DD live. I can’t wait.)
Mur Lafferty, Matt Wallace

Wrun With Writers
Friday 09:00 Marriott Lobby (Kansas City Marriott Downtown)
Strolling with the Stars has been a Worldcon fixture, but what about those who want something a little more pulse-pounding? Something a little more sweaty? Something that will help shake off those morning doldrums and jump-start the day with a three-mile run? Mur Lafferty and Adam Rakunas would like you to bring your running shoes on Friday morning at 9am for a casual, no-drop fun run around the area. All participants get bragging rights and exclusive ribbons!
Adam Rakunas, Mur Lafferty

The Fine Art of Satire
Friday 1:00pm 2502A (Kansas City Convention Center)
How do you avoid stepping over the line into farce or polemics?
Eileen Gunn, John Kessel, Mur Lafferty, Milt Stevens, Esther Friesner (M)

Social Media, or, Why I Haven’t Finished My Novel
Saturday 1:00pm 2502B – A/V (Kansas City Convention Center)
Social media is addictive. So much so it can impact upon the work of authors. Our panelists discuss the importance of limiting themselves, differentiating between Social Media interactions for personal and professional reasons, and maybe even inspiration gleaned from Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Snapchat and the myriad sites available.
Melissa F. Olson (M), Jack Campbell Jr., J.R. Johansson, John Scalzi, Mur Lafferty

Literary Agents: Friend to Authors
Saturday 4:00pm  3501B (Kansas City Convention Center)
Literary agents do a lot more than “simply” negotiate deals for authors.  They can act as mediators, guide careers, and offer support when it is most needed.  Agents explain what they do and how they add value to a writer’s career.
Joshua Bilmes (M), Mur Lafferty, Eleanor Wood, Lauren Roy, Stephen Saffel

Mothership Zeta Issue 4 released

Cover4One of the problems of doing a lot of projects is forgetting to promote all of them!

Issue 4 of our quarterly ezine, Mothership Zeta, is out now! Check it out!

MZ tries to bring fun fiction, which doesn’t always mean funny, and doesn’t always mean slapstick, and definitely doesn’t always mean appropriate for kids. We offer SF, fantasy, and horror, every quarter. We also have a nonfiction section, including work by Astronomer/Podcaster Dr. Pamela Gay, and a Story Doctor column by James Patrick Kelly where he talks about one story in the magazine and why it works as a fun piece. (Hint- writers can seriously learn from this man.)

It’s only $2.99 USD! Check it out!