Guest Post: Laura Anne Gilman

Welcome to the Talkative Writer’s guest post with American SF/Fantasy/Horror author Laura Anne Gilman.

Gilman_biophotoL.A Kornetsky is the author of the Gin & Tonic series (Collared, Fixed and Doghouse). Under the name Laura Anne Gilman, she writes SF/Fantasy and horror, including the Nebula-nominated Vineart War trilogy. She lives in NYC with two cats and a time-share dog, none of whom could catch a mouse, much less a criminal.

Learn more at or follow her on Twitter: @LAGilman.



And now here is Laura in her own words:

Mostly my advice to writers is “stop listening to other people and do what works consistently for you.” But when held to the wall and told to share something specific, I’ll choke out “show character!”

No, wait. It will make sense, I swear.

For example, me? I was always a mystery writer. But I didn’t write mysteries.

For years – for my entire writing career, really, I was a fantasy-genre girl, most noted for the Retrievers and PSI urban fantasy series, and the Nebula-nominated Vineart War epic fantasy trilogy. If you’d asked anyone, they would have said I was a fantasy writer, with occasional dabbles into horror and SF.

But a few years ago, the editor who had acquired the Vineart War trilogy came to me and said, (summing up) “most of your fantasy books are also mysteries, plot-wise.” Continue reading

Guest Post: Michael G Munz

Welcome to the Talkative Writer’s Guest post with American fantasy author Michael G. Munz

munz-author-photoAn award-winning writer of speculative fiction, Michael G. Munz was born in Pennsylvania but moved to Washington State in 1977 at the age of three. Unable to escape the state’s gravity, he has spent most of his life there and studied writing at the University of Washington, his goal being to tell entertaining stories that give to others the same pleasure as other writers have given to him. He enjoys writing tales that combine the modern world with the futuristic or fantastic.

Find out more about him at While there, it wouldn’t hurt to get a FREE copy of Mythed Connections, the spiritual prequel to Zeus is Dead.


Now here’s Michael in his own words:

So way back in 2002, after I’d finished the “final” draft of my very first book (a sci-fi novel titled A Shadow in the Flames), I began the process of trying to get the attention of literary agents in order to get it published. My plan: write some short stories, get those published in a magazine or two, and have something to tout in a query letter. Continue reading

Editor Barney

I’d like to introduce you all to Editor Barney … and his charming assistant, Mz Jezebel. I don’t know what it is about cats and writing, but they seem to go together like chocolate and peanut butter.

Barney (or Barnabas, to use his full name) and Jezebel came into my life at the same time. A couple of years ago I was getting ready to fly over to Los Angeles for the Romantic Times Booklovers’ Convention and had business at my vet’s practice before I went. Lo, there I found Mz Jezebel, an abandoned kitten in need of a home. I had a cat at that time, the spectacular Harley (rescued from Chatswood High School when I was teaching Creative Writing at the Adult Evening College there) – but Harley was extremely elderly by then and experience has taught me that the grief of losing a beloved pet is eased if their passing doesn’t leave an absolute absence in their wake. Continue reading

The Tarnished Crown Map

The Falcon Throne, book 1 of my new series The Tarnished Crown, releases in Australia at the end of August and in the US and UK on September 9th. To whet your appetite, here’s the map of the The Tarnished Crown world. If you want to see a bigger version, just click on it.

Final Tarnished Crown map

And here’s what I can tell you about where The Falcon Throne fits in. The drama of this first book in the series takes place in the old kingdom of Harcia, what is now known as the Duchy of Harcia, the Duchy of Clemen and the Marches. There are also some adventures in the Duchy of Ardenn, which you’ll find in the Principality of Cassinia.

Throughout the story of The Tarnished Crown, we’ll be travelling to many, many places shown on this map. And where we don’t phsyically go to some places, well, it could be we’ll meet some folk who call those places home.

This is the biggest canvas I’ve ever played on. It’s turning out to be hugely demanding, creatively, and a whole lot of fun!

Stay tuned for more tantalising teases about The Falcon Throne

Guest post: Marianne de Pierres

Welcome to The Talkative Writer’s guest post with Australian spec fic author Marianne de Pierres.


GR author pic_webMarianne de Pierres is the author of the popular PARRISH PLESSIS trilogy, the award-winning SENTIENTS OF ORION science fiction series, and the genre-bending PEACEMAKER Western/urban fantasy series. The PARRISH PLESSIS series has been translated into many languages and adapted into a role-playing game, while the PEACEMAKER series is being adapted into a novel adventure game. Marianne has also authored children’s and young adult stories, notably the Night Creatures trilogy, a dark fantasy series for teens. Marianne is an active supporter of genre fiction and has mentored many writers. She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband and three galahs (and once upon a time three sons–before they grew up). Marianne also writes award-winning crime under the pseudonym Marianne Delacourt. Visit her website at

And now here’s Marianne, in her own words …

I often get asked how I choose which project to work on next. Occasionally, the answer is terribly prosaic i.e. whichever book I’m contracted to produce. But whenever I’m out of Continue reading

What I’ve been reading

Blockbuster by Tom Shone

BlockbusterHave you ever watched a movie, either at home or at the cinema, and as the credits roll start  shaking your head, totally bemused by how it ever got made?  Thrown up your hands and beseeched of the heavens: What were they thinking? I know I have. I know that quite often the head-shaking and beseeching have started long before the closing credits start to roll.

Blockbuster, by British film critic Tom Shone, gives us one movie-loving man’s answer to that perplexing question. It covers a period of Hollywood history from 1975-2003, and examines the birth and consequence of the blockbuster film phenomenon. Continue reading

Influences on writing

Actors, writers, singers, dancers, choreographers, songwriters and directors of all dramatic performance have one thing in common: every one of them is a storyteller. The mediums might be different, but the end goal is the same. Tell a great story, excite and entertain the audience. Make them laugh, make them cry. Take them on an unforgettable emotional journey.

As a writer, I’ve been immeasurably enriched by my work in local theatre. Starting out on the stage, acting, then moving backstage to rehearsal prompt, stage manager and finally director, the process of bringing a playscript to life and experiencing the immediacy of an audience’s response has taught me many, many things about how people react and Continue reading

Guest Post: D.B. Jackson

Welcome to The Talkative Writer’s guest post with American fantasy author D.B. Jackson.
DBJacksonPubPhoto800D.B. Jackson is also David B. Coe, the award-winning author of more than a dozen fantasy novels. His first two books as D.B. Jackson, the Revolutionary War era urban fantasies, Thieftaker and Thieves’ Quarry, volumes I and II of the Thieftaker Chronicles, are both available from Tor Books in hardcover and paperback. The third volume, A Plunder of Souls, has recently been released in hardcover. The fourth Thieftaker novel, Dead Man’s Reach, is in production and will be out in the summer of 2015. D.B. lives on the Cumberland Plateau with his wife and two teenaged daughters. They’re all smarter and prettier than he is, but they keep him around because he makes a mean vegetarian fajita. When he’s not writing he likes to hike, play guitar, and stalk the perfect image with his camera. You can find him at

And now here’s D.B., in his own words:

Riots in the streets of Colonial Boston, Samuel Adams (the historical figure, not the beer), British soldiers (also known as Redcoats, also known as Lobsterbacks), smallpox Continue reading


It wasn’t until I did some research travelling around Europe that I noticed how absolutely fabulous doors can be. So much history. So much character. Every one of these doors tells a story. I expect some of them will find their way into my books …

What I’ve been watching

When it comes to tv dramas, sometimes I come a bit late to the party. Take Person of Interest, for example. I watched the pilot, I couldn’t connect with it, so I never watched another episode. Then, through the enthusiastic urgings of my good friends Pete and Elaine, I gave it another go. And boing! I loved it. I was hooked. That can happen. You’re in the wrong frame of mind, or whatever, the first time you encounter a story. But then you go back to it later and something’s changed and the fit is right, when it wasn’t before.

The same thing’s happened with me and Elementary, except I never even watched the pilot before rejecting it. Confession time: I’m not an actual Sherlock Holmes fan, as such. I love the Ritchie films because it’s Robert Downey Jnr and Jude Law and they have such wit and style. I love the current BBC imagining because Cumberbatch and Ferguson are Continue reading

Guest post: Joshua Palmatier

Welcome to The Talkative Writer’s guest post with American fantasy author Joshua Palmatier.

PalmatierJoshua Palmatier is an epic fantasy writer with a PhD in mathematics.  He currently has six books out from DAW, including the “Throne of Amenkor” trilogy and book one of a new series, “Shattering the Ley”.  His short stories appear in numerous anthologies and he has edited three anthologies with co-editor and co-conspirator Patricia Bray, including “Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs Aliens” (coming August 2014).  He is also the founder of the small press Zombies Need Brains LLC, which will produce SF&F themed anthologies.  You can find him at

And now here’s Joshua, in his own words:

One of the main questions I get asked about any of my books is where the idea came from, and for Shattering the Ley, I think the story is quite interesting, so I thought I’d focus on that.  You see, back in the 80s I was reading a ton of fantasy, and nearly every single book (it seemed) mentioned magical ley lines, the mystical force that supposedly Continue reading


Like pretty much everyone who goes there, I fell instantly and forever in love with Venice. My visit was too short and one day I will go back. Venice’s carnivale masks are famous worldwide, and for good reason. Here is the merest hint of their glorious diversity and creativity.



Guest Post: Carol Berg

Welcome to The Talkative Writer’s guest post with American fantasy author Carol Berg.

CarolBergCarol majored in mathematics at Rice University and computer science at the University of Colorado, so she wouldn’t have to write papers. But somewhere in the middle of a software engineering career, she started writing for fun. The habit ate her life. Carol’s epic fantasy novels have won national and international awards, including multiple Colorado Book Awards and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature. They’ve been read, so readers tell her, on five continents, on a submarine under the Mediterranean, in the war zone of Iraq, and on the slopes of Denali.

Her newest novel, Dust and Light, is the first of a new fantasy/mystery duology about a sorcerer who draws portraits of the dead. Publishers Weekly calls it “a captivating and satisfying fantasy epic” and RT Book Reviews names it “outstanding.” Carol lives in Colorado and on the internet at www.


And now here’s Carol, in her own words:

Thanks for having me in, Karen. Since we’re celebrating the launch of your new series, I thought I might talk about some of the series-related questions I hear a lot. Questions, such as:

How do you know whether a story is going to be a series or a standalone novel?
Do you outline your entire series all at once? Continue reading

Introducing Wilson

Just so puppy noses aren’t put out of joint, I thought I’d introduce you to Wilson.

A few years ago, after a long long time with 3 dogs, I lost Baxter (19) and Clancy (17) which left me with my super special McDuff. Yet another rescue job (we met at Mt Druitt TAFE, when I was teaching there), Duff, the Duffer, Dufflepod, Duffarooni, brightened my life and the life of everyone who met him. A black and hairy mutt, he was the most loving and gentle soul. By a miracle, and largely thanks to my wonderful vet Bruce, Duff survived a spinal stroke and, like Baxter, lived to the ripe old age of 19.

Three months after we said goodbye I was coming home from  the National SF Convention in Perth, desperately sick with what would prove to be swine flu (courtesy of some international attendees) – and all I could think of on the way home was I need a dog. Continue reading


There’s something ironic about these photos. I don’t do flowers. I don’t do gardening. I couldn’t tell you the names of most of these blooms. But even so, I find their vibrancy irresistible. I had to capture them in a picture.  All these photos were taken in Europe.


The Falcon Throne in paperback … Book 1 of The Tarnished Crown


To celebrate the paperback release of my latest book, The Falcon Throne, book 1 of The Tarnished Crown, I’m teaming up with my wonderful publisher Orbit for an online writing workshop. This will include an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit, and the chance to have a sample of your work read and assessed by myself and my wonderful editor. Here’s a link to the full press release, with more information. Also, you can email the organisers at Orbit: or

And in the meantime, here’s what some of the critics are saying about The Falcon Throne:

‘Blood, dirt and backstabbing . . . impressively elaborate and detailed . . . this dark world will draw you in’ (SCIFINOW)

 ‘A truly epic read full of intrigue and betrayal anchored in wonderful characters’ (John Gwynne, author of MALICE)

 ‘Complex and engrossing; fans of George R.R. Martin and Joe Abercrombie should particularly take note’ (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY)

 ‘It will entrap you and hold you captive, you will look up from its pages to discover you have lost hours’ (APN NETWORK)

 ‘The sheer scope and genius of this series dazzles… stylistically brilliant’ (SPECULATING ON SPECFIC)

 ‘Excellent writing, amazing characters, intricate woven plotlines, and lots and lots of blood, most of that unfortunately spurting from the wrong people. No elves or dragons, but some of the most in-depth world-building I’ve ever read, and the heroes (and anti-heroes) could shake themselves off the page. This book drew me in with the opening sentence and held me until the end . . . I remain breathless from the read’ (LIBRARY THING)

‘Fans of George R.R. Martin, Robert Jordan and other such writers of epic fantasy will find much to like here . . . a compelling read’ (READING LARK)

‘Miller’s numerous fans will definitely stay for the long haul’ (Sunday Canberra Times)

‘A major new epic fantasy begins’ (Queensland Times)