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Episode #103: Savan Gupta on Collaboration

We welcome Savan Gupta to the show, but Tee is audio only… and it had nothing to do with Pip!

  • Savan kicks it off, and the party begins.
  • Having a company is apparently just as stressful as kids
We welcome Savan and all his universes

3:07 Savan begins to unravel all his creative endeavors

  • Steam-funk Studios– a multi-media and marketing firm
  • From that came the Living Multiverse, a cross-media fiction project… and World Domination
  • The Unconventional champions journalist and academic excellence in fandom—The Rolling Stone of Fandom. Fanthropolgy
  • Sepia Riot, a project in development, championing Indian, Arab and Asian representation in fandom
  • The Unconventional will be coming this year!

8:03 Tee asks Savan how he manages all these amazing projects

  • Savan keeps a regular schedule, military like
  • Manage expectations with those that are working with you
  • Savan vets everyone and gives them an orientation so that people are ramped up
  • Communicate any problems that crop up in life
  • Tee throws himself under the bus, but also owns his problems
  • Savan points out that when you act like a professional everything is simpler
We call it that too!

12:29 Pip asks Savan just how many people he’s collaborated with over the years

  • Savan remembers another collaboration, Geeks Gone Wild
  • Collaborating means having standards and processes to encourage others who want to work with you
  • Savan comes to this from a financial market
  • Pip gets jealous of Savan’s organization
  • Tee points out the collaboration with Galileo Games was very well organized
  • Savan mentions that he’s spent years all over the country, finding talent
  • Savan says past and present he’s worked with hundreds of people

17:41 Tee asks, so what do they all do?

  • Everything began as a performance troupe
  • In 2014 critical mass happened. Slick-brass and the Crew of the A.S.S. Titilus was joined by Rohan and the Dogs of War. Then more… and more… and consulting for others
  • It got so big, that they needed residuals to support the performance, so Savan changed tack.
  • Rebooting the brand, they turned inward to evaluate what goods and services work best, to make money
  • The Unconventional is free, because its aim is to make a community- but it gives plenty of attribution, and a bio
  • Attribution is something we need more of
  • Savan answers the question about how many people who work in the company
  • Shout out to Savan’s teams!
  • Pip’s mind is blown

27:01 Tee asks Savan how he handles when collaboration goes bad

  • Savan makes clear what expectations are, and how much time it will take to his collaborators
  • His exceptions clauses are; your health (you don’t have to disclose what those are, legally as well), day job/school (hell weeks do happen in both), and finally your family.
  • Everyone needs paperwork!
  • Tee, Savan and Pip discuss about deadlines
  • Savan describes his ‘break glass’ situation
No one wants to do this, but sometimes it is necessary…
  • Now the Hobbit comes up… we have all been forged by fire
  • Savan calls back to his father, for his fortitude and persistence

51:14 Tee makes sure when the pandemic is over, Savan will break bread with he and Pip once again

  • Tee reveals his love for Trejos Tacos cook book
  • Culinary arts series coming from the Unconventional!
Savan, often compared to Tony Stark

53:17 Where can we find Savan Gupta?

If you have an event in 2021 and want The Shared Desk to appear there, or if you just want to share an opinion about the show, here’s where to find us… 703.791.1701
…and social media, of course.

Show art by Candy Cane Studios
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or questions for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
We’ll talk about it!
And remember, you can find the show on Spotify,  iTunes or Stitcher!
Subscribe, listen, and review.
Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode #80: Promotion Across Audiences

Guess who’s spending some time with us here at Casa de Morris? Piper J Drake is in studio, and we are bringing her on the mic for a brand new episode of The Shared Desk. Our eightieth show gets its topic of discussion from Twitter, and with Piper in studio you can be guaranteed of shenanigans happening!


00:00 —  Introduction

  • A little bit of pre-show silliness
  • Stand back, everyone! We know what we’re doing!
  • Piper J Drake is in the house. And has she been busy…
  • Pip sneaks in an Operation: Endgame burn while also kicking off a new series called the Broken Dead, set in Southern Virginia.
  • Quick plug for the Proper Pie Company.
  • Do you name drop in your works-in-progress? Topic for another time.
  • How about Tee? What’s he been up to?
    • The third Edition of Podcasting for Dummies is done…and it is for sale! (Pre-order, of course.)
    • Chuck Tomasi and I are celebrating the Podcasting for Dummies release with a special workshop!
    • Quick aside: Matt’s running again, but he still has to keep up with Tee as he’s got the Dogfish Dash and The Woodrow Wilson Half-Marathon coming up!
    • Spent Labor Day weekend at Escape Velocity 2017
    • Tee completes The Dog Days of Podcasting 2017 Challenge! (Enjoy the extra shows, everyone?)

10:11 —  Episode #80: Promotion Across Audiences

  • Today’s show topic comes from Twitter, where…
    • Tee can be found.
    • Pip can be found.
    • Piper can be found.
  • Colin Coyle asks us on Twitter about the challenges we face in promoting our works across audiences.
  • Piper’s cross-genre journey as a writer, and how she found herself in the Romantic Suspense genre.
    • The Safeguard series (which was reflective of Piper’s science fiction Triton Experiment series)
    • The True Heroes series (which features in Ultimate Courage a very familiar someone…)
  • Does an audience follow you or do they follow the genre? How do you bring readers into new territory?
  • What about when you straddle both non-fiction and fiction? Can you successfully market across that divide?
  • Speaking of podcasting, Piper is spreading her wings into the podosphere with Writing Excuses!
  • Non-fiction works can be regarded in writing as audition pieces for fiction.
  • How does your voice change from work to work, genre to genre? And will audiences follow you?
  • Tee’s heard both of Peej’s voices, and he likes them both!
  • There are different genres we all write in, but there are common traits in what stories we tell and what characters we create.
  • How do you look at your works-in-progress and upcoming releases from a promotional perspective?
  • Pip tends to hear whispers from Nick as she’s working on her works!
  • Thanks again, Colin, for the show topic!

33:41 — What’s Cookin’, Writers? 

  • Things Piper would never here in her kitchen…
  • Pip indulges ina Jeff Goldblum moment.
  • We dared the impossible: The Ramen Burrito

  • What Pip, Piper, and Tee put into their Ramen Burrito
    • Ramen noodles (quality be damned!)
    • Fried egg (runny)
    • Grilled Chicken Strips (including tips on how to make the most of frozen chicken strips)
    • Seasoning includes butter, Sesame Oil, chicken spice packets, and Chinese five-spice
    • Cucumber for crunch and for greenage in your Ramen Burrito (but we offer options)
  • The Ramen Burrito may be coming to Smoky Writers…
  • Our experience inspired others to create variations on this disturbing theme!
  • Would we do the Ramen Burrito aga—YES!!!

45:29 — The Wrap-Up

  • This “In the Kitchen” segment will probably happen again when Peej is in town!
  • 2017 is coming to a close…
    • October 21, The Maryland Renaissance Festival’s “Day of Wrong” is coming. Stay tuned for details.
    • 28 October, Tee will be alongside Chuck Tomasi, hosting the P.I.Y. Workshop, a launch event for Podcasting for Dummies, 3rd Edition
    • And we have two events already booked for 2018…
  • Piper was taking a break from appearances, but we did have some fun with her at the 2017 Nebula Awards in Pittsburgh. She’s kicking off her 2018 Appearances with Coastal City Magic in Florida!
  • Tee and Nick are planning to take Happy Hour from the Tower on the road.
  • The Steampunk World’s Fair will be a full-circle moment for Tee, Pip, Peej, and the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.
  • And did you know that Pip has a Patreon? SHE DOES, YOU KNOW!!! 
  • If you have an event and want The Shared Desk to appear there, here’s where to find us…
    • 703.791.1701
    • pip@pjballantine.com
    • tee@teemorris.com
    • …and social media, of course.

52:20 The 2017 Podcast It Yourself Workshop and Book Launch


Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or questions for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
We’ll talk about it!
And remember, you can find the show on iTunes or Stitcher!
Subscribe, listen, and review.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Episode 56: Your Friends & Family Are Not Your Fans (Nor Should You Plan for That)

Nope, no special guests. This time, you’re stuck with us. Fair warning about that — we may be a touch slaphappy, too….

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Pip doesn’t want to wait for the dip in the music to start talking.
  • We got to crank out this show as Pip wants to get to Game of Thrones and Penny Dreadful
  • So what have been up to? Simply put—The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.
  • Killing two birds with one stone…
  • The importance of a proof. Always get a proof before going to press!

04:55 — Killing Your Darlings

  • The inspiration behind this episode: A quaint (interpret that as a HEALTHY SIZED but WORTHWHILE) read from Virtual Wayfarer
  • Special note to Nobilis — The levels were off on account of me.
  • This platform has a lot of tie backs to the Podcasting Community and the platform of Giving It Away for Free
  • Even Wil Wheaton deals with the Free Model of the Interwebz.
  • Asking Piper J “Do you get the impression that authors cross promote other authors as they once did?”
  • Looking at that line between Fans and Friends
  • Keep your expectations low for your friends and family
  • Tee pulls up a memory of a bad book signing.
  • The Pity Buy — like the Pity Shag, just avoid it!
  • Your audience shouldn’t be your friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter. They should be outside those circles.
  • When Tee came to grips with looking at his social media platform more realistically.
  • You want to read books from authors you respect? Yeah, good luck with that…
  • As we mentioned on Geektitude, we have to be selective about when we consume content.
  • Giving negative feedback? No, we disagree.
  • Reach outside those bubbles.
  • Statistics? There are pluses and minuses there, too.
  • And social media is not what it once was.

24:28 — Seriously? Seriously.

  • Hey, a con invited us to attend…sorta….
  • This event is a BIG event. HUGE. MEGA-SIZED even…
  • Wait…when’s the event?
  • Hold on…you waited a month before your event, I can’t make it, and now you want me to what?
  • Aaaaaaand here — we — go……..
  • Hey there, Idiot P.R. Firm, meet our friend Chuck Wendig

33:30 — Listener Mail!

  • No voicemail, but email! Cool!
  • Michael Spence asks us about formatting of Cover Letters, as mentioned in our previous show.
    • Now, agents and editors are working digitally.
    • Tee looks back on the Morevi presentation.
    • Keep it professional. Short and sweet.
    • What matters above all else — following the agent’s or editor’s submission guidelines.
  • Brian Webber wonders about the value and the publication of fanfic.
    • What is your goal — friends online or publication?
    • The value of Fan Fiction
    • Filing off the serial numbers of your fan fic and getting it published—pros, cons, and challenges.
    • Fandoms are hungry for new stories.
    • Kindle Worlds — a viable option for semi-pro fiction. Tee’s done it. Twice.

43:42 — Wrapping up

  • Did what we say make sense?
  • Got thoughts or comments on this show?
    • We have voicemail — 703.791.1701
    • I have email — tee@teemorris.com
    • Pip’s got email — pip@pjballantine.com
  • What’s coming up for us?
    • 13-15 May — The 2016 Steampunk World’s Fair
      • Pip believes that Tee’s met K.W. Jeter. He hasn’t.
      • And Tee gets a little surprise on what’s coming up for the weekend…
      • A special preview of The Ghost Rebellion will be ready as well!
    • 22-24 July, Motor City Steam Con in Detroit
    • Throughout the Summer, Steampunk U in Hershey, PA
    • Sadly….no Balticon. :^(
  • And now, off to the Tower of Joy….


Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
on Tee, or the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences on Periscope
leave us a voicemail or question for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.


Filed under Episodes