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.
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.
Matt and I look at our careers, what happened this year, and what will happen next year.
Morgan Freeman’s private plane was crippled after landing on an armadillo and Mur and Matt discuss the potential of armadillos both as next-gen super soldiers and the basis for a SyFy movie about next-gen super soldier armadillos.
Podcasters recording and releasing episodes out of order (Matt is *very* insistent Mur think fourth-dimensionally like in Back to the Future III).
On the end of the year (but NOT the end of the world).
Mur and Matt review the year they’ve had as pro writers.
Matt on a “building/set-up” year for his career (Mur disagrees with this assessment), making book deals, signing with a new agent and manager, and returning to fiction publishing as a way to reignite his film and television writing.
Mur on her own “building” year for her career (Matt also disagrees with this assessment), submitting/pitching proposals, losing some confidence, her new deal with Orbit, and Bookburners, and building her backbone up.
Matt makes a case for Mur’s year as a “RE-building” year, dragon-ing up, and rebounding.
Mur recaps the exciting Bookburners project for which she’s writing.
Mur on working with the right agent.
Matt and Mur talk about their concrete business plans for their pro writing careers over the next year, including their plans for Ditch Diggers.
Awards Eligibility: Ditch Diggers is eligible for potentially two Hugos! Figure out which one and vote for it if you’re able! [EDIT- Twitter talk is leaning toward Fancast] Also, Nebulas and any other award you think Ditch Diggers should win!
We had a number of tech problems, but hopefully you can’t tell… much. And parents, Ursula is, among other things, a kids’ book author, but this podcast still has an explicit tag.
Mur and Matt welcome special 20th episode guest co-host, Hugo and Nebula Award winner Ursula Vernon!
We establish Ursula does everything except sing and dance.
There are many technical difficulties, which we overcome with editorial aplomb.
When authors have to get electrodes taped to their ass (Ursula demonstrates her blogging candor as a writer).
We talk to Ursula about writers and mental health, including her recent bouts with anxiety and depression and balancing that with deadlines, how it’s okay and absolutely necessary to seek treatment, and how depression in writers is perceived by non-writers.
How it’s really hard to find a good pill case.
We take questions from the email bag and Twitter.
Ursula talks about the benefits of creating a popular internet meme.
We discuss the value or lack thereof of author tours. Ursula talks about touring as a children’s author vs. an author of non-kid lit.