Tag Archives: Motor City Steam Con

Episode #78: Authors Behaving Badly

We’re back. Miss us?

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Sorry for the break, everybody.
  • Anyone else stoked for The Defenders?
  • What are we up to?
    • How about that Motor City Steam Con?

    • So nice to get some time in with Chris Lester.
    • Talking a lot about the shenanigans in Detroit! What a great event!
    • Finishing up Podcasting for Dummies…finally.
    • Tucking in with Operation: Endgame…finally.
  • Pip’s been having a long week along with Jessica Jones.
    • Also working on Operation: Endgame
    • Also working on Immortal Sisters
    • AND ALSO…working on a BRAND NEW novel!

06:57 —  Episode #78: Authors Behaving Badly

  • If you have seen authors really hopping off the rails, share your stories with us at…
    • 703-791-1701
    • tee@teemorris.com or pip@pjballantine.com
  • First up: When Storytelling Goes Awry
    • We’re not naming names.
    • The problem isn’t the writing. It was the storytelling.
    • When the books ends abruptly — is that good storytelling?
    • How we stuck with a good story while keeping another story ongoing — yes, it can be done.
    • When you sudden;y discover YOUR CHARACTER IS ACTUALLY BOSS-POWERED!!! Wait, what? 
    • When a twist goes bad for Tee…and never gets better even with three books.
    • Is this a legitimate style, or is this just bad storytelling?
    • Oh…look….the gifted orphans.
  • Next on Our List: Authors Investing into Click-Farms
    • Yeah, you want to make an impact in the publishing industry, but come on…
    • Authors are no longer playing the game so much as authors are playing the system in the worst way possible.
    • Welcome to the wonderful world of Click Farms for Amazon KU. Ugh!
    • This was Tee’s biggest hangup with the KU Program from Day One.
    • These services are cheap. Are they ethical? OH HELL NO.
    • Where are these smart devices coming from, you think?
    • No, KU is a crappy system. Period.
  • Last Item: The Importance of a Workflow
    • Less about writers, more about the support staff you are working with.
    • New technology is cool, but you really should know about a new gadget before incorporating it into a project’s workflow.
    • Even Tee has new tech toys he wants t learn, but he understands limitations and learning curves.
    • Paper trails matter!
    • File Management matters, too! 
  • Pip is Tee’s Landshark of Love.

30:00 —  The Loot Crate Lookie-Loo!

  • This Loot Crate has been gathering dust…
  • July’s Theme: ANIMATION
    • Rick & Morty: A “Rick” statue that carries explicit content
    • Bob’s Burgers Recipe Collection (Very cool, LootCrate!)
    • Tee-shirt: Classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    • A “SLURM” koozie from the world of Futurama
    • Nice Loot Crate pin, also from Bob’s Burgers
  • Tee grabs for the booklet as there really isn’t anything from our fandoms. We need help trying to figure out what this Bob’s Burgers item is all about…
  • This Loot Crate is a first for us, and that will make attendees of our panels VERY happy!

35:08 — The Wrap-Up

  • The things they say in New Zealand…
  • Oooooh, Coconut!
  • Where are we going to be?
    • Starting 1 August, The Dog Days of Podcasting is happening here! HAPPENING NOW!  (And here’s why Tee’s doing this here!)
    • 19 August, Murder As You Like It in Mechanicsburg, PA
    • 1-4 September, Escape Velocity in Washington, D.C.
    • October, The Maryland Renaissance Festival is
    • 28 October, Tee will be alongside Chuck Tomasi, hosting the P.I.Y. Workshop, a launch event for Podcasting for Dummies, 3rd Edition
    • 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.
  • And with all this, we want Operation: Endgame to happen by Halloween
  • And did you know that Pip has a Patreon? SHE DOES, YOU KNOW!!!
  • We got lots to do, so see you in two weeks!

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 #77: Pip Is Learning New Things

We’ve been busy lately with wrapping up one project and starting a brand new one. However, we are never too busy to learn new things, and Pip is doing that presently with Nick Stephenson and his course, How to Find Your First 10,000 Readers. This may sound like we’re drinking the marketing guru’s Kool-Aid (mmmmm…fruity) but we are asking hard questions. Nick’s got answers.

00:00 —  Introduction

  • All the SEVENS!
  • Shameless plug for Happy Hour from the Tower
  • Sonic Boom is encouraging bad behavior at home.
  • What are we up to?
    • Podcasting for Dummies, the Third Edition
    • Operation: Endgame
  • Listening to Geo again, and still loving that skeptical goofball!
  • Where is Tee going to be ON HIS BIRTHDAY? Well, he’s launching Podcasting for Dummies in Phoenix, Arizona!
  • Jack Mangan needs to get back into podcasting.

04:50 —  Episode #77: Pip Is Learning New Things

  • You can be marketing books for years (like us) and still miss steps.
  • When marketing goes bad…
  • Pip decided to take a deep dive course in marketing with Nick Stephenson of Your First 10,000 Readers
  • Who is Nick Stephenson?
  • Who is endorsing nick? Well, Joanna is, for one…
  • You can see some of these changes happening here.
  • Pip begins to share her newfound knowledge…and channels a Beatnik instead.
  • Your website should be doing this. (I didn’t know that!)
  • Free really isn’t “free” when you look at it.
  • Tee wants to buy Nick a pint based on his sense of humor.
  • Nick practices what he preaches.
  • A look at how to value your work.
  • Pip is learning a HECK of a lot!
  • When covers go bad, it’s EPIC.
  • Authors can really be cheap.
  • With lessons learned and learning from the lessons of others, it’s time to a To-Do List.
  • Launching a book? Tee’s got that covered.

23:45 —  The Loot Crate Lookie-Loo!

  • Who’s opening THE BOOOOOOXXX?!?!?
  • June’s Theme: Alter-Ego (Something Pip and Tee are familiar with.)
    • Tee-shirt: A Classic Transformers shout-out.
    • A Spider-Man Q-fig
    • An Incredible Hulk bowl, perfect for a raging teenage barbarian!
    • A poster book of DC Comics’ New 52 comic book covers
    • Nice Loot Crate pin nod to Spider-Man’s nemesis, the Green Goblin
  • We made a dent in our Geeky Prize Giveaway Stash at AwesomeCon, but we’re filling it up again…

28:52 — Writers Off the Clock

  • It was a VERY special weekend at the Morris household….
    • Introducing our daughter to ALIENS
    • She handled The Matrix really well, but it wasn’t the R rating that bothered us.
    • Do you have to show someone Alien before you introduce them to Aliens?
    • Pip will not be writing freehand anytime soon.
    • There is only ONE — DEFINITIVE — VERSION — of Aliens
    • What the Director’s Cut adds to the Aliens experience.
  • Aliens have inspired successful games. One of them scared Phil Rossi!
  • After 30 years, the movie is still solid. Masterful storytelling in film.
  • Character development in Aliens
  • Even the music plays a part.
  • The writing question: Why do the sequels and prequels fall so short? Where do you go after Aliens?
  • Tee’s one question for Alien: Covenant

43:51 — The Wrap-Up

  • Well, AwesomeCon lived up to the hype!
  • Where are we going to be?
    • 30 June-July 2, BlerDCon in Washington D.C. (Sunday only! BRIGHT AND EARLY!!!)
    • 14-16 July, Motor City Steam Con in Detroit, MI (Break out your PJ’s!)
    • 19-20 August, Mechanicsburg Mystery Weekend in Mechanicsburg, PA (Lots to do during this Mystery conference…)
    • 1-4 September, Escape Velocity in Washington, D.C. (A weekend of hardcore geekery with Nick Kelly!)
    • 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.
  • Ah, the glamorous life of writers…

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 #75: Recorded LIVE from the 2017 SFWA Nebula Awards Conference

photo from Heidi Ruby-Miller

Tee and Pip make to Steel City for the 2017 Nebula Awards, and at the en masse signing, the pace for them slowed down. That tends to happen when the SFWA bookstore doesn’t stock your books. Fortunately, Tee stocked his satchel with the iPad and a Shure MV51. Five minutes later, Tee and Pip are bringing the 2017 Nebula Awards Book Signing and passer’s-by to you! Welcome to a moment at The Nebula Awards Conference where Katie, Tee, Pip, Lauren, Piper, and Matt — the Smoky Writers Mafia — gathered amongst the best in science fiction. Give them a call at 703-791-1701, and ask about anything concerning this conference. It was quite the education!

00:00 —  Episode #75: The 2017 SFWA Nebula Awards Conference 

  • Promo: The Nerd Out App
  • LIVE from Pittsburgh!!!
  • Pip thinks she has a “radio voice” but it’s not really
  • Looks who dropped by! It’s Mel!!! And Heather is here as well!
  • What brings Mel and Heather to The Nebula Awards? Well, this is Mel’s hometown!
  • Notes from The Nebula Conference, Confluence, and Pittsburgh on a whole
    • Beer tastings happen, especially when K.T. Bryski is around!
    • Avoid food served in a bucket.
    • Pip might get in some sight-seeing…
  • Tee’s asked to sign a program. As he looks for a place to sign, have a listen to the Programming of the conference.
  • Pip recalls her panel of awesome with Mary Robinette Kowall.
  • Escape Artists, Inc. shows up in force at the Nebulas.
  • A few words on audio rights, and how important they are…
  • Tee reflects on his first panel: Other Day Jobs for Writers…
  • …then came Podcasting 101 with Piper J Drake and Pip in the Moderator’s Seat.
  • What happens when you sit down with Apple iBooks…
    • Want to visit the Mother Ship in Cuppertino? (YES!!!)
    • Changing travel plans for December.
    • Apple wants to talk to authors, and be more author friendly.
  • We get a visit from Heidi Ruby Miller (right) who is rocking this cool retro sci-fi pattern…
  • And just like that Heidi’s on the podcast.
  • Yes, there is a ball app and Tee travels with one.
  • Heidi has snuck away from the Penn Writers Conference to hang with science fiction authors.
  • What was Heidi up to at the Penn Writers Conference?
  • What Heidi and her husband, Jack, are up to on social media?
    • Check out Small Space, Big Life on YouTube
    • And Jack is shaking his backsides at the Nebulas.
    • And as Larry Connelly passes by, Tee recognizes him from Podcasting 101!
    • Larry, it turns out, is a podcasting veteran.
  • No books to sign, but we do have autograph cards!
  • Grabbing Jennifer Dawson, a Stonecoaster alongside K.T. Bryski, to clock in some time on the mic…
    • A quick opinion on Stonecoast
    • And what does Jenn write? Well now…
    • The support of a community matters.
    • Tee tells Jenn about the James River Writers, and how he found out about them.
    • Turns out Omaha has a LOT going on for writers!
    • Jenn’s favorite panels from the conference.
  • The power of podcasting: Keeping ourselves entertained when books are not around.
  • Signing off…

34:59 — The Loot Crate Lookie-Loo (with The Kelly Family!)

  • Nick, Stacia, and Brandon wanted to be around when we opened up this Loot Crate…
  • May’s Theme: Guardians
    • Q-Fig of Rocket and Groot! How about those Q-Fig creations?
    • The tee shirt is Goonies-riffic!
    • A Star Wars Coloring Book?! Tee is 7 again!
    • The Loot Crate pin is Avatar: The Last Airbender. Not his fandom, but it’s pretty sweet.
    • A Character Class Patch Set from Destiny
    • …and the box becomes your Ghost, as we talk about in Happy Hour from the Tower.
    • Here’s what it looks like when it’s done…
  • NICE HAUL!!!

45:45 — The Wrap-Up

  • Pip needs some Stark-splaining!
  • WE GOT TICKETS FOR WONDER WOMAN!!!
  • The Nebula Conference was fun! So was our visit to Balticon 51!
  • Where are we going to be?
    • 16-18 June, AwesomeCon in Washington D.C. (No, we’re not going to get that photo with Stan Lee…)
    • 30 June-July 2, BlerDCon in Washington D.C. (Wait, hold on, what’s BlerDCon? And what are Nick and Tee up to?)
    • A quick tangent on Star Trek: Discovery...
    • 14-16 July, Motor City Steam Con in Detroit, MI
  • This ain’t Tee’s first rodeo. Obviously.

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 #57: The Value of Social Media (and Your Ability to Block Users)

TSD-back2back

Can you believe it? During CRUNCH WEEK, and we’re still on a bi-weekly target with shows…and from the looks of blog comments, questions from social media, and voicemail, it’s paying off! So welcome-welcome-welcome to another Shared Desk! Pull up a podcatcher and stay for a spell.

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Tee finds his true feelings about his better half via The Punisher.
  • Pip is stumped. Where did this drop-in come from? (It’s iZombie, one of Tee’s new favorites.)
  • You know it’s a traumatic Game of Thrones when you watch Penny Dreadful to cheer yourself up!
  • And the work within The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences continues!
  • Backers and their eReaders are very happy this week!
  • Pip is ready for the arrival and shipping of books!
  • JAM PACKED SHOW ahead…especially the Loot Crate haul! (Still unopened, so she really does love me!)

04:33 — The Value of Social Media (and Your Ability to Block Users)

  • Chuck Wendig makes a post on Facebook that resonates with Tee & Pip.
  • Chuck’s post…really does make a lot of sense.
  • Do you UNFOLLOW someone, or do you BLOCK? That is the question.
  • Did you know we have a few opinions on social media?
  • “Team Follow Back” = InstaBlock.
  • Grandma, lay off the booze!
  • Pip—and apparently, the entire nation of New Zealand—love the Unfollow and Block.
  • TD-0013 and I do not always agree…but we respect each other.
  • Why do you want jerks in your life? To build character?
  • “But you might block a fan!” Well, we just talked about that…
  • So far, we haven’t encountered any problems…on our pro Pages. Our personal feeds, however…
  • Some terrific advice: “You don’t owe them a damn thing.”
  • Both professional and personal feeds have value. Treat them as such.
  • There is nothing wrong with comment moderation, with blocking feeds, and with overall social media management.
  • The Hodor clip now serves as a way to keep Pip in line.

17:51 — The Loot Crate Lookie-Loo

  • It’s a Lookie-Loo Times Two!!!
  • From Loot Crate, we got our Subscription…and a Special Edition!
    • May Theme: Power
    • Special Commemorative Crate: Aliens 30th Anniversary
  • May Crate
    • Avengers Infinity Gauntlet Grilling/Oven Mitt
    • An Incredible Hulk Figurine from Q-Fig
    • Plush keychain from Dragonball Z
    • World of Warcraft tee shirt (very high quality)
    • And a very cool Power guide!
  • Aliens Crate
    • The box is the crew carrier!
    • “Bug Stomper” tee-shirt
    • Alien Titan vinyl filter
    • 30th Anniversary hardbound Dark Horse graphic novel, Aliens
    • Cage Free Alien Eggs
    • Aliens metal print
    • Booklet also looks
  • Name that tune from James Horner
  • NONE OF THE ALIENS STUFF IS GOING INTO THE GIVEAWAY BOX!

29:20 — Listener Mail!

  • Still feeling the Loot Crate afterglow.
  • We’ve got feedback from a LOT of people this go-round!
  • Voicemail
    • Nobilis Reed presents a possible scenario for when you turn to family and friends for support.
    • Nick Kelly wants to know how sold are we on our upcoming series finale.
      • Tee and Pip chat about best and worst finales from television.
      • How do we feel about the approaching end of the Ministry?
  • Maria Myrbeck asks for a cost-effective solution for organizing notes. We offer Evernote.
  • Michael Spence wants to sell books. Is that hard? With the Square, nope.
  • Wait—we have a Square upgrade?!
  • And comments from the blog!!!
  • We’d better wrap this show up as the moonshine is kicking in with Tee!

46:32 — Wrapping up

  • We managed to get A LOT in this show!
  • What’s coming up for us?
  • 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
    • You can find us on social media…
    • …and yeah, Tee is on Snapchat as TheTeeMonster
  • Pip’s going to stick her face into an egg now…

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.

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Episode 52: Kill Your Darlings — On Developmental Editing

 

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

03:45 — Killing Your Darlings

  • Developmental editing — a lot like spending a weekend in either Midsomer County or Cabot Cove
  • We took a hatchet to our latest book, The Ghost Rebellion…but no worries, Verena & Christina, Eliza still gets to do the thing.
  • Starting at 120K, down-up-down-down-up….
  • Blah-blah-blah? Seriously?
  • The difference between developmental edits and line edits 
  • During these edits, our Kickstarter popped its head up to offer unexpected challenges.
  • I think Pip needs a nap…
  • The evolution of a character, thanks to SCIENCE! 
  • Oh, did you see what Pip did there with pushing our Ministry newsletter?
  • Cutting chapters is not the same as deleting characters!
  • Matt Drake is a bad influence on Tee.
  • Suna Dasi and Sarah Daniels are stepping in to help us out when we are culturally challenged. Maybe J.K. Rowling should have made a few calls…
  • What happens after the first round of developmental edits?
  • How Destiny comes into play with this show…
  • Want to make an author cry? Change a project’s parameters.
  • Walking the line between the integrity of your work and being a professional.
  • Tee’s Editing Patronus, Miss Sarah Hunter
    editing
  • Courtesy. It’s not all bad, you know?
  • Knowing the word count for your project is always a good thing.
  • Another problem with the developmental edits—making really hard calls when it comes to character’s individual fates.
  • Don’t be afraid to cut.

25:4o — Writers Off the Clock

  • What choo wanna do? I wanna shoop, baby…..
  • Talkin’ ’bout Deadpool.
  • Amazing what you can do with a limited budget.
  • What Deadpool and Howard Stern have in common…and then, going just that step further.
  • What Deadpool and The Passion of the Christ have in common…
  • This isn’t Verena’s first time modeling, but she is a little overwhelmed by being on a book cover. (Still, she loves it…a lot!)
  • Favorite one liners.
  • Ah, the joys of improvisation.
  • IKEA was paying attention when this movie was being made.
  • Remember, it’s not Wham……
  • What Deadpool got right, and kept getting right throughout the film…

39:25 — Wrapping up

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.

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