Tag Archives: print

Episode #85: Ending a Series

Did you hear? We have a new book on the shelves! (The digital ones anyway.) With Operation: Endgame out and waiting for you to read, The Shared Desk is looking back on the ministry of Peculiar Occurrences and talks about everything a writer thinks, feels, and fears when wrapping up a series and dropping the curtain on familiar grounds.

And really, are they done with the Ministry? Well……

00:00 —  Introduction

  • Whew! It’s been a week…
  • If you want to relax, Dunkirk is NOT the movie to help you with that.
  • Okay, if you didn’t hear about it today…
    • Operation: Endgame is coming out today in all digital formats.
    • And did you know a new Christmas story is out for Tales from the Archives?
    • Audio and print books are coming in January/February 2018.
    • There’s also a special offer on 12/26 and 12/27 so download your copy now!

04:08 —  Episode #85: Ending a Series

  • You are having so much fun with this series, but now comes a time to wrap it up.
    • Nothing new for Pip with the Books of the Order.
    • For Tee, reaching the end has been proving elusive.
  • There’s a lot of time invested into a series, its characters, its world…and you wonder if you have one more book in you.
  • Is the drive and the desire there?
  • Pip was sad to see Sorcha and Raed go…but she got over it.
  • Tee’s issue with getting Operation: Endgame done — REAL LIFE.
  • Tee’s failed attempts at writing a series
    • MOREVI (which has fans on PSN and Twitch apparently)
    • The Billibub Baddings Mysteries
  • Tee may not have wanted to say goodbye to Books & Braun just yet…
  • The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences is not going anywhere. The podcast and this series, however, are done.
  • Ending on your own terms feels pretty damn good.
  • Kickstarter made it clear: A demand was there.
  • Tee finished Operation: Endgame…and fell apart.
  • Achievement Unlocked: We reached the end we had planned.
  • Verity Fitzroy is making the sting of ending a series less painful.
  • Change of all kinds take place in Operation: Endgame.
  • We do resolve things in the book…mostly.
  • BIG SHOUT-OUT to our editor, K.T. Bryski who will be here next week!
  • Humble beginnings to the series and the wild ride that ensued…
  • And we’re still married…but there was that one time during Curse of the Silver Pharaoh….
  • Taking a break from now until the summer because we got stuff to do on our own!
  • How can we forget Countless Hues of Crimson? Rivaled only by this amazing work of literature
  • Taking a bittersweet Victory Lap

26:40 — Writers Off the Clock

  • We just finished a book. LET’S GO TO THE MOVIES!!!
  • Let’s talk about some of the movies we saw over the weekend….
  • Dunkirk

    • Hans Zimmer decides to actually give us a really amazing score for this cinematic triumph.
    • Wait? you mean, things happened in World War II before Americans got involved?
    • Just brace yourself for those first ten minutes.
    • Hands down, Nolan’s best film.
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi 

    • Spoiler Alert — JUMP TO TIMECODE 42:09 TO AVOID SPOILERS
    • Tee liked it more than Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, but did not like it as much as Rogue One
    • Thoughts on the middle section
    • Thoughts on Rose
    • Thoughts on humor in Star Wars
    • Thoughts on Mary Poppins
    • Thoughts on Fan Rage
    • Thoughts from someone else about how we’ve been here before…
  • Bright

    • Bright is, according to Pip, Shadowrun.
    • It was more like Training Day: Shadowrun, but here’s the rundown of this (pretty damn clever) plot.
    • This is not high art, but it does not pretend to be anything else than what it is. AND IT WORKS!
    • Definitely rocking a Men in Black or Alien Nation vibe.
    • We talked about Suicide Squad, but this is a better film.
    • Critics are hating Bright…but Netflix is listening to the audience. 
    • Why Alien Nation was a better television show than it was a movie.
    • Is race an issue in this movie? Yes. Because LOOK AT OUR FREAKIN’ HEADLINES!

50:42 — The Wrap-Up

  • The Adventures of Centaur Cop, coming soon from Pip Ballantine.
  • We’re done for the year. So, go out, use that Amazon.com gift card, and buy our new book!
  • K.T. Bryski is coming!
  • 2017 was better than 2016, that’s for damn sure.
  • Foreshadowing for the next show — Your Author Word for 2018!
  • If you have an event 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
    • pip@pjballantine.com
    • tee@teemorris.com
    • …and social media, of course.
  • Pip’s Patreon will feature the first episode of her ALL-NEW PODCAST!
  • See you in 2018!

54:15 — The Last Word

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.


Filed under Episodes

Episode #26: On the Growing World of the Ministry and eBooks Deconstructed


We’re making eBooks. We’re making print books. We’re gaming. And we’re winning Parsecs! We’re talking about what we’ve learned in creating Ministry Protocol, and we’re going into the details of putting together a great looking eBook. Hang on for this crash course in InDesign, digital publishing, and what to expect when your eBook is ready…for testing.

Also, in light of this unexpected Parsec win, Tee and Pip give shout-outs and thank you’s to everyone keeping tabs on the bumpy year-so-far that has been 2013.

00:00 — Introduction

13:40 — eBooks Deconstructed 
  • The eBooks are done and we are now working on the final details for the print
  • Pip goes through her workflow in making the 99-Penny Dreadfuls (and other works we produce) into ePubs
    • Keep your fonts simple.
    • Formatting. Not a good idea.
    • Short stories are a piece of cake compared to a novel or anthology.
    • Rethinking the workflow
  • The challenges of eBooks and digital reading devices
    • Control is in the readers’ hands, not the publisher.
    • Each ereader handles the source file differently.
  • Tee’s workflow for eBooks and print books
    • First stop — Adobe InDesign, Tee’s weapon of choice.
    • Next stop — Calibre, as InDesign was squirrelly about exporting something to Kindle.
    • What Tee prefers: a file per chapter as opposed to one massive file. Insane? Well….
    • Creating a Book file in InDesign: why it works so well.
    • Tee’s fastest turnaround time: 24 hours (for Pip, actually…)
  • The difference between eBooks and print books — personality.
  • Workflow, Part Two
    • Create two copies of the InDesign files, label one “PRINT” and the other collection “DIGITAL”
    • In the DIGITAL folder, use “Find Font” and remove all instances of “unique” fonts.
    • Times New Roman — the “go to” font for eBooks.
  • Tee’s looking ahead with Weather Child, re-worked by Pip and edited by Tee Tate.
  • Before you release your eBook, test it on as many platforms as possible.
  • And after you do test it, test again! Otherwise, your eBooks can wind up like George R.R. Martin’s…and not in a good way.

35:03 — Writers Off the Clock

  • Hard to believe Pip is a two-time Parsec-winning podcaster…
  • Tee, Pip and the Boom head out to Comics and Gaming of Gainesville, VA.
    • Great place, and kid-friendly!
    • Enjoying some “geek parent” moments…
  • Purchasing some games. One is called Planet Steam. (Anyone know this?)
  • A COOL DISCOVERY — Pacific Rim: Shuffling the Deck
  • What looks like a gimicky card game actually works as a great game of strategy and concentration.
  • Wait — hold on — is Pip REQUESTING a drop-in?!
  • A great game for fans (or giant robots fighting monsters) of the film that doesn’t get too cutthroat.
  • This game has been Boom-Approved.
  • …and while you’re visiting your local bookstore…

44:35 — The Wrap-Up

  • Lamenting about Dragon*Con. There was some people and things we missed.
  • There was also a lot of things we didn’t miss.
  • Big shout out to Mike seals who made it on live Atlanta news shows!
  • What’s coming soon…
  • And Tee’s got some contract work. w00T!
  • Tee’s waiting to hear from Kindle Worlds on his Valiant Comics novellas.
  • Quick shout-out of condolences for the friends and family of Frederick Pohl.
  • Works in progress for both Tee and Pip
  • Another shout-out — this one, a warm fuzzy — to Steampunk India.
  • Thanks, everyone, for keeping us in your hearts this year.
  • And Tee gets cocky…
Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
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