Ditch Diggers #36: Cassandra Khaw and Lack of Self Preservation

Matt and Mur come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s Harry Potter-themed Escape Room with special guest co-host Cassandra Khaw!

  • Morgan and JK Rowling have dueling Escape Rooms based on each other’s work and Cassandra is very perplexed.
  • Matt and Mur talk to Cassandra about developing her first video game, She Remembered Caterpillars, which encourages parents to talk with their kids about mortality and has been nominated for Best Children’s Game of the Year.
  • Matt makes it clear Mur is NOT encouraging parents to leave their kids in funeral home escape rooms to teach them about death.
  • Cassandra talks about her sophomore year writing and publishing fiction ranging from cthulhu noir to paranormal romance involving were-bears.
  • Breaking into video game reviews and tech writing, the Ditch Digger way.
  • Mur, Matt, and Cassandra discuss the mentality it takes to drop everything and physically relocate to pursue your writing career.
  • Long term vs. short term goals and motivation.
  • The Ditch Diggers discuss how technology has and will alter both of those things.
  • Mur reaffirms the DD commitment to discuss politics when it’s relevant to the show, whether you like it or not.
  • Twitter/email Q&A! Topics include finding freelance work, taxes for writers, pandas, non-fiction books vs. online markets, organizing multiple projects, and much more.
  • Cassandra Khaw on Twitter: https://twitter.com/casskhaw
  • Cassandra’s website: http://www.cassandrakhaw.com/

BOOKS AND GAMES BY CASSANDRA

MENTIONED BY CASSANDRA IN THE EPISODE


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Ditch Diggers #35: MASSIVE Feedback Episode

  • Mur and Matt come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s sauna to handle “Old Business” from 2016 (it’s our long-awaited, oft hyped listener feedback episode!)
  • A brief tangent on eucalyptus saunas.
  • The Ditch Diggers both have new books out! And have turned in others!
  • Marta from Poland asks about short story English language rights and reprints.
  • Stefana from Johannesburg asks in what other jobs genre fiction writers might have an advantage.
  • DevoSpice suggests recording special time capsule episodes.
  • On contractual agreements between writing partners and writer wills.
  • Thomas asks about finding an agent when you’re with a publisher who has right of first refusal on your next book.
  • Michael asks about finding a publisher for a novel set in the same world as your published short stories.
  • Doing a show about older mid-list authors struggling to find new ways to get their fiction out there.
  • A Swedish author asks if you should submit a novel to agents/publishers when you know something like physical illness will prevent you from working on rewrites immediately.
  • Cassandra asks at what age should you start submitting fiction for publication?
  • Nicole asks if you should or should not resubmit stories you’ve completely rewritten to markets that rejected the first version.
  • What helped the Ditch Diggers most when they were learning to write, a book or a lesson?
  • Should studios make two versions of movies like Star Trek, an intellectually driven version and an action driven version?
  • Sean asks about building an audience of readers who make you uncomfortable.
  • Authors who don’t want readers to point out typos in their published works to them vs. authors who encourage readers to do so.
  • Todd responds to our Godparents episode on the difficulty of building an audience through crowdfunding.
  • How do you find cons that are fan-focused and allow you to speak to authors vs. cons that are pro focused.
  • Not wanting to promote an anthology you’re contractually obligated to promote (Matt goes off on abusive small press contracts).
  • Beth asks how you keep writing when your government is killing your soul and your healthcare?
  • Having caught up on Old Business, Matt and Mur plug their books and ask you to support their Patreon and for your vote for the Hugo Awards.
  • William Noble’s Conflict, Action, and Suspense: http://a.co/hTxkBbN
  • ¬†Stephen King’s On Writing: http://a.co/7Su5QHm

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Ditch Diggers #34: End of Year Special with Kameron Hurley

We are joined by ugly Christmas sweaters, booze, and Kameron Hurley. Happy New Year! Fuck you, 2016!

Until Matt gets the show notes done, I think the only thing we have to say about the end of the year was said best by Lalo Alcaraz:

Cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz

 


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Ditch Diggers #33 – Etiquette and Protocol

  • Mur and Matt come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s holiday decorations vault, after Mur cracked said vault (we didn’t know Mur was a safecracker).
  • Mur talks about her brief absence from podcasting during the holidays, during which she recorded the audiobook for her new novel, SIX WAKES (Orbit, Jan. 31st), which also received a starred review from Publishers Weekly in that time.
  • All the books Matt and Mur have coming out in the beginning of 2017, including SIX WAKES, IDLE INGREDIENTS, and Bookburners.
  • Matt still sucks at segues.
  • Matt and Mur discuss professional ethics for freelancers, more specifically the choices you’ll make for your career and your brand as a creator. Matt names names.
  • A brief interlude to catch up with Mur’s dog and also her Orson Welles-voiced husband, Jim.
  • Matt talks about his experiences with advertisers paying for space on his platform, both refusing money and regretting having taken it, and what he’s learned from both.
  • Mur talks about being paid to personally endorse ad content vs. selling advertising time on her podcasts, and the difference between doing both, as well as click-bait ads on personal blogs.
  • Matt offers a positive example of using your platform for advertising and monetary gain.
  • Mur talks about ethical blurbing for authors.
  • Matt and Mur switch gears and talk about professional ethics from the side of those who hire freelance writers and creators, focusing on the internet.
  • Matt offers an example of markets with no morals or ethics via his recent, very public brawl with movie news and low-grade paparazzi stalker porn website JoBlo.com
  • Mur talks about her experiences with unscrupulous games publishers.
  • Twitter Q&A! Matt and Mur answer questions about Brexit’s effect on the publishing industry, foreign editions of author’s books, and more.
  • Finally, it’s awards season and Ditch Diggers is again eligible for the Best Fancast Hugo! Hugo voters, take note.

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Ditch Diggers #32: Michael J. Martinez Says “F YOU, Dust!”

  • Matt and Mur come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s jazz house with special guest co-host Michael J. Martinez
  • On the subject of “free hugs” and hugging strangers in general at conventions
  • Mike talks about his first hardcover book release, his fantasy Cold War mash-up MJ-12: INCEPTION, which has a dust jacket and everything (“Michael J. Martinez, saying ‘fuck you’ to dust since 2016!”
  • Mike talks openly and honestly about the disintegration of his first publisher, Night Shade Books, and how it affected his and others’ career, and what the status is now.
  • How Mike started his writing career, and how you go from one book to thinking about and planning for a career in fiction publishing.
  • The Ditch Diggers delve into Mike’s former career in journalism, and how he balances writing with his new career in finance.
  • Retirement planning for authors. Mike talks about how he views writing full-time as a realistic goal, and what it takes to reach that goal.
  • Q&A from Twitter, including unread questions from Matt’s mom, and having your work optioned for film/TV.

Mike’s website: michaeljmartinez.net
Mike on Twitter: @mikemartinez72
Borderlands: https://borderlands-books.com/
MJ-12: Inception: https://amzn.com/1597808776


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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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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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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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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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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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