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Brought to you by David Farland's Writer's Groups -- a writer's forum divided into small groups by genre and experience.

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How to Participate

Anyone can call in and ask questions: At the appointed time, dial 1-218-862-7200 (long distance charges may apply, depending on your phone plan). Enter the Conference Code: 245657. To raise your hand and ask a question, dial 5*. To Mute yourself, dial 4*.

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Friday, July 5, 2013

32: Planning A Series with J. Scott Savage

For this episode, we welcome back Middle Grade and YA author, J. Scott Savage to discuss his approach to the process of planning a novel series. We talk a little bit about Scott's approach to going from the initial idea that inspired you to write your book to the ins and outs, from Scott's perspective, on series planning. For a detailed discussion of how to go from your "Cool Idea" to finished series, press "Play" below.

Friday, March 15, 2013

31: The Finer Points of Cover Art and Artistry

Tonight for the second call of 2013, Farland's Authors Advisory was proud to welcome artists Ben McSweeney and Isaac Stewart. Ben and Isaac discussed at length how integral a well done layout and both exterior and interior artwork can be in enhancing the impact of an author's novels. They also answered questions such as:
 
  •  How is an artist selected by a publisher to work with a certain author or group of authors?    
  •  What artists or comics or cartoons inspired you to become professional artists?
  •  Are you allowed to read parts of books you're contracted to do artwork and layouts for, or just scenes from the books before you draw anything?

  For an hour-long interview that answers the above questions and more, press "Play" below!

  To view more of Isaac Stewart's work, visit his page here:  http://www.isaacstewart.com/

  To see Ben McSweeney's art and animation, visit his page here: http://inkthinker.net/


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

30: David Farland on Short Story Writing

        David Farland on Short Story Writing 

     Tonight for the first call of the 2013 edition of Farland's Authors' Advisory, our sponsor David Farland spoke with us at length about the art of short story writing.  David took us step-by-step from the "Eureka!" elation of  that  first idea, through discussions of  evocative language to propel your reader into the world you've created for them, to what makes a "good"  ending. He also talked about why the so called: "Twilight Zone" ending is best left there.

     If you love a well-constructed short story and have always wanted to know how to write one well, press "Play".

 * Information on David's upcoming Class


Download the MP3 by Clicking Here

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

29: Jessica Day George: Retelling Fairy Tales

Jessica Day George  has written many Middle Grade books, three of which are based on fairy tales: PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL is a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. The sequel, PRINCESS OF GLASS is very loosely based on Cinderella. SUN AND MOON, ICE AND SNOW is a faithful retelling of East of the Sun and West of the Moon. She's currently writing another book in her princess series that is based on Little Red Riding Hood.

We discussed the origins of fairy tales, how to use them well, whether people are getting sick of them, and all sorts of other things.

The way you retell the story depends on what you want to do with it. Do you want to just retell the story, filling in the parts that might not be as fleshed-out as they ought to be? You can do that. Or you can tell your own story and just incorporate elements of your favorite fairy tale.

Have a listen and see what else Jessica had to say. You can listen to it below, subscribe to the podcast here, or download the MP3 here.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

28: J. Scott Savage on Middle Grade Voice

Our guest tonight writes as J. Scott Savage, mainly because "Jeff Savage" was already taken (by another Middle Grade author who writes about sports--not fantasy). He goes by Jeff, but answers to just about anything now. He is friends with James Dashner and Nathan Bransford. They have a podcast together, called WordPlay Podcast.

Jeff is amazingly knowledgeable about the Middle Grade genre, and shared with us his tricks of the trade. Among these are:

  • Middle Grade spans from about 3rd grade to 7th grade, and the protagonist should be at the upper end of those ages
  • Short chapters equals happy kids who might get mom to read "just one more" (1500 words or less)
  • Each chapter should be a complete story
  • Kids are fanatical about the rules of the worlds they play in, so you better get it right ALL THE TIME or they'll call you on it
  • You have only a few paragraphs to catch a kid's interest... and you can lose it just as fast
  • Girls and boys are much more similar at that age... but girls still like a bit of romance
  • Kids like scary stuff, but make it safe scary
He has a new series coming out in 2013: CASE FILE 13, starting with ZOMBIE KID.
For about an hour and a half, Jeff shared his wisdom with us. You can download the MP3 here, listen to it below, or subscribe to the Authors' Advisory podcast here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

27: Steven Savile: Genre Hopping

Steven Savile writes religious political thrillers (SILVER), Germanic and Celtic fantasies,  projects for Sci-Fi TV series (including Stargate, Torchwood, Primeval and Dr. Who), Golden Age Sci-Fi (TAU CETI in collaboration with Kevin J Anderson), "Fabulist Victoriana," Arthurian Historical novels (BLACK CHALICE), YA Paranormal (THE MOONLAND DIARIES), Horror, and "Weird Western." He describes himself as: ".. the bestselling author you've never heard of". Part of that is because he lives in Europe, but part is because he's like a magpie when it comes to genres. He likes bright, shiny new things, and can't stay put in just one.

Steven told us about his drive to genre-hop, why he doesn't use a pseudonym, why he's an agent's worst nightmare, and why he's able to defy the odds as an author. He's planning to take a couple of  years building a brand in a single genre, but he'll inevitably return to... whatever strikes his fancy next.

If you've ever wanted to write in more than one genre, this is the call for you.

Listen below, subscribe to the podcast, or download the MP3.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

26: Tim Powers: Secret Histories. Blending The Historical and Fictional

Tonight for the first call of the official Second Season of Farland's Authors Advisory Conference Calls,  we had the distinct pleasure of welcoming two time World Fantasy Award and Philip K Dick Memorial Award winning author Tim Powers as our guest.  Tim is the author of such award winning novels as: The Anubis Gates, Last Call, The Stress of Her Regard and On Stranger Tides.  Tim shared with us a literary concept that has been in existance for a long time and has become connected with his works. The concept of  "Secret Histories", which is defined as a " revisionist interpretation of either Fictional or real (or known) historical events which  claim to  be deliberately supressed, forgotten or ignored by established scholars".

Tim answered such questions as:
  • What makes real world history a good starting point for writing a Fantasy novel?
  • How much of your historical research is used in your novel?
  • How would you accurately portray an historical figure and have them as a character in your novel?   
      For over an hour of answers to these and even more intriguing and insightful audience questions, press "Play".

Click here to download the MP3.