Innovative Urban Fantasy with D.M. Fike on the Books and Authors Podcast

This is the Books and Authors Fantasy Podcast Episode 171 with D.M. Fike.

Good day and welcome to this episode of the Books and Authors Fantasy and Sci-Fi Podcast. I’m your host, podcaster and author of Fun Fantasy Reads, Jamie Davis. This podcast is exactly what the title says it is, a show focused on everything in fantasy books.

This show will cover everything to do with fantasy books. From Epic Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, and everything in between, expect to find the best and brightest authors from all the various corners of the fantasy book world. Plus we’ll add in a few other very special guests as well along the way.

To start off this week’s show, I’m working on finishing up the final bits of the Accidental Monk, book seven in the Accidental Traveler series. At the same time, I’m collaborating on a new project with Jen Frontera that is a humorous space/sci-fi serial for an upcoming Amazon service called Vella.

Let’s jump into this week’s guest. D.M. Fike joins the podcast this episode. She’s worked in the video game industry for over a decade, starting out as a project manager and eventually becoming a story writer for characters, plots, and missions.

Born in Idaho’s Magic Valley (you can’t make this stuff up), Deborah lived in Japan teaching English before calling Oregon home. She loves family, fantasy, and food (mostly in that order) and is on the constant look out for new co-op board games to play. She’s the author of the Magic of Nasci series.

She’s also one of the amazing authors (myself included) appearing in the upcoming Urban Fantasy short story anthology, Summer Solstice Shenanigans.

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Authors in Focus Episode 99: Writing Humorous Fiction with Patrick LeClarc

Patrick LeClarc

Hi! Welcome to this episode of Authors in Focus Podcast. I’m James Reid, a fantasy author publishing as JMD Reid. This podcast is all about getting to know writers, their books, and what makes them tick.

We all have a storyteller inside of us. Join me as we find out what the rising stars and established voices in publishing have to say about their craft and inspiration.

My new book, Mask of Guilt (Mask of Illumination Book 1), is out!

We all wear masks. Some of us to hide our guilt. Lady Foonauri, lost in the malaise of depression, finds purpose with a group of all-women thieves, the Cracked Gems. Intrigue, romance, betrayal, and adventure swirls around her in this epic fantasy tale!

Today, I’m joined by Patrick LeClerc! He is the author of the fantasy novel Broken Crossroads (Knights of the Shadows Book 1)! Follow him on Facebook and Twitter, and visit out his website. And check out his Amazon Author Page!

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Whimsical Fantasy Fun With Author J.E. Mueller on the Books and Authors Podcast

This is the Books and Authors Fantasy Podcast Episode 170 with J.E. Mueller.

Good day and welcome to this episode of the Books and Authors Fantasy and Sci-Fi Podcast. I’m your host, podcaster and author of Fun Fantasy Reads, Jamie Davis. This podcast is exactly what the title says it is, a show focused on everything in fantasy books.

This show will cover everything to do with fantasy books. From Epic Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, and everything in between, expect to find the best and brightest authors from all the various corners of the fantasy book world. Plus we’ll add in a few other very special guests as well along the way.

Kicking things off this week with my own author update, I’m still hard at work on the next book in my Accidental Traveler series about a gamer getting stuck inside the video game world. Accidental Monk is coming along nicely and I’m on schedule to wrap of the first draft by the end of June. I’ll have more updates on this book and more over at my reader group on Facebook and via my newsletter at my website.

You can check out more information on what I’m up to, including sneak peeks of upcoming covers, special giveaways, and more, by visiting my fan group on Facebook, Jamie’s Fun Fantasy Readers and over at my website and blog, JamieDavisBooks.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

Joining us this week on the show is author J.E. Mueller. Jessica is a fantasy author and a midwesterner who was born and raised in IL where she currently resides. While unicorns and magic sparked an interest in the genre, it was childhood friends that convinced her to write, and turn to a life of whimsy.

Mueller has been described as two penguins in a trench coat though nothing has been proven just yet. Currently, Mueller is focused on writing all things magical and adores having characters battle curses, tangle with spirits, and face off against wicked family members for a chance at a better ending

We chat about the upcoming release of the complete series boxed set of her A Tune of Demons books. Check it out.

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Authors in Focus Episode 98: Interview with Ron L. Lahr by JMD Reid

Ron L. Lahr

Hi! Welcome to this episode of Authors in Focus Podcast. I’m James Reid, a fantasy author publishing as JMD Reid. This podcast is all about getting to know writers, their books, and what makes them tick.

We all have a storyteller inside of us. Join me as we find out what the rising stars and established voices in publishing have to say about their craft and inspiration.

My new book, Mask of Guilt (Mask of Illumination Book 1), is out!

We all wear masks. Some of us to hide our guilt. Lady Foonauri, lost in the malaise of depression, finds purpose with a group of all-women thieves, the Cracked Gems. Intrigue, romance, betrayal, and adventure swirls around her in this epic fantasy tale!

Today, I’m joined by Ron L. Lahr! He is the author of the humorous fantasy novel Children Kathaldi (The Kathaldi Chronicles Book 1)! Check out his website, follow him on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads. Sign up for his newsletter and get yourself a free Audiobook! Also check out his books on Amazon!

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Authors in Focus Episode 97: Interview with Diana Rose by JMD Reid

Diana Rose

Hi! Welcome to this episode of Authors in Focus Podcast. I’m James Reid, a fantasy author publishing as JMD Reid. This podcast is all about getting to know writers, their books, and what makes them tick.

We all have a storyteller inside of us. Join me as we find out what the rising stars and established voices in publishing have to say about their craft and inspiration.

My new book, Mask of Guilt (Mask of Illumination Book 1), is out!

We all wear masks. Some of us to hide our guilt. Lady Foonauri, lost in the malaise of depression, finds purpose with a group of all-women thieves, the Cracked Gems. Intrigue, romance, betrayal, and adventure swirls around her in this epic fantasy tale!

Today, I’m joined by Diana Ross! She is the author of romance novel Arranged Love! Check out her website and her blog! Follow her on FacebookTwitterInstagramBookbubGoodreads, and join her Author Group! Also check out her books on Amazon!

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Authors in Focus Episode 96: Interview with JC Kang by JMD Reid

JC Kang

Hi! Welcome to this episode of Authors in Focus Podcast. I’m James Reid, a fantasy author publishing as JMD Reid. This podcast is all about getting to know writers, their books, and what makes them tick.

We all have a storyteller inside of us. Join me as we find out what the rising stars and established voices in publishing have to say about their craft and inspiration.

My new book, Mask of Guilt (Mask of Illumination Book 1), is out!

We all wear masks. Some of us to hide our guilt. Lady Foonauri, lost in the malaise of depression, finds purpose with a group of all-women thieves, the Cracked Gems. Intrigue, romance, betrayal, and adventure swirls around her in this epic fantasy tale!

Today, I’m joined by JC Kang! He is the author of the fantasy novel Songs of Insurrection: A Legends of Tivara Story (The Dragon Songs Saga Book 1)! You can follow him on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram! And check out his books on Amazon!

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COVER REVEAL: Forged in the Fallout by Ben Green

Clayson Spangler turned fourteen a couple of days ago—maybe. His father keeps the exact date under a mountain of secrets. But secrets have a way of getting out.

On a tranquil evening in the Appalachians, Clayson’s solitary life crashes into his family’s impossible past: a kingdom under the Rocky Mountains; his mother enchanted to forget her own son; strange metal objects filled with magic; and his father’s most dangerous secret—mithrium—a metal strong enough to level cities.

Now, Clayson’s father is on the run, his mother is on trial for treason, and Clayson is ordered to hide in the last remaining safehold—Tungsten City. To stay out of danger, he’ll need help from his new friend, Rugnus, a master of elemental magic, and Andalynn, the sister his father had kept hidden from him.

But after years of secrets, Clayson won’t stand by as a world of enemies—both known and unknown—threatens to eradicate his family and ignite a war between the last two cities deep under the Rockies in the Kingdom of Rimduum.

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Interview with JMD Reid

JMD Reid

Fantasy/Sci-Fi Focus (FSF): Hey man, how’s it going? It’s a big launch tomorrow. First never before released book in a long time. How’s that feel fo you?

JMD Reid (JR): It’s exciting in this nervous way. It has been a year, I believe, since Diamond Stained’s publication. So it’s a big thrill to get out its companion series, Mask of Illumination.

FSF: I’ve read this novel and I can say that it’s definitely something special, and anyone that loves reading about badass female characters will find their new favorite series. Can you talk just a little about Founauri and why you think she’s such a great character to read about?

JR: Foonauri is a broken character looking to fix her life. That’s always a character people like to read because we want to believe that we can make ourselves better. In addition, she’s going to have to work for her skill. Earn it.

FSF: The Illumination Saga in general has been a very different type of work than your massive epic The Storm Below. Was there a specific intent to do something completely different with this series, and what do you hope readers get out of it?

JR: I wanted to do something different than Storm because I wanted to try a different sort of fantasy. See how it would do in the market. See which one worked. But I also wanted to have a world full of interconnected stories and characters that were building to something greater across a large amount of books. Something that readers could sink their teeth into.

FSF: And it’s definitely achieving that. I love how this massive epic series comprising 13 novels (or more) has grown out of a short story. When you write Dual, featuring the first appearances of Obhin from Jewels of Illumination and Lady Founauri, did you already have this direction in mind for the characters or did that come later?

JR: When I finished Dual, I had an idea that Obhin and Foonauri would leave Qoth together and that their relationship would implode. There is nothing to hint at their future in the short story, but it was in my mind. I kept thinking about what would happen to them next. I had always planned on writing novels in this world. I had a few other starting places, such as Mutilated’s story, but when I was thinking about it, Obhin and Foonauri just had to be told, so they provided the basis for exploring the world and its metaphysics. Especially to set things up for the greater story being told while telling their own stories.  And there is more. Maybe not with Foonauri, but Obhin and Avena have more in store for them.

FSF: That’s awesome. I wanted to talk about another major re-release happening. Fallbrandt is going to be hard launching The Storm Below series as a massive 5 book omnibus box set. How does it feel to you to see your first major work getting the huge push that it deserves, and how do you feel about that landmark first series now that you’ve written so much since?

JR: It’s a big thrill to have The Storm Below released. It was my first ever book series. My first story that I ever finished writing. I’m so proud of it. I think it’s amazing, so I am glad that a wider audience will get to read it. As for how I feel about it now, I wish my prose was cleaner. There’s a lot of…not mistakes, per se, but just newer writer things. Things that I am better at now. But I still love it. Still love the characters of Ary, Chaylene, Zori, Guts, Estan, Esti, Captain Charele, and all the rest.

FSF: With The Storm Below hopefully giving a much broader audience a taste of your sprawling epic fantasy, it will be leading directly into what seems to be your most ambitious project yet. Tell people what they can look forward to with Shadow of The Dragon.

JR: Shadow of the Dragon is an epic quest fantasy in the vein of the Belgariad by David Eddings. It is about Euddan and Vounee. Euddan is a farm boy with a power he doesn’t know he has, and Vounee’s the daughter of a cruel wizard who is preparing her for a dark ritual. Childhood friends, when the spell begins, Euddan is unable to stand by. He interrupts it to save Vounee and disrupts the plans of a cult dedicated to bringing about the return of the Dragons and the destruction of the Gods. Forced to flee their village, Euddan and Vounee are thrust into a quest that will change the world. They’re joined by companions like Dhaua and Thaaph, a pair of living plants, Zai who can see the future, and more. Hunted by Tshar Ruan, a wizard-warrior with a pack of enchanted dogs, Euddan and Vounee will have to learn their new powers fast if they have a chance of survival.

FSF: Sounds amazing. How many books do you expect this series will end up being at the end?

JR: 10 or more. I’m writing book 5 as we speak. Wyrms of Regret which introduces a few new characters that may or may not be joining the party.

FSF: Very exciting and I’m stoked to have involvement in getting this one out there. I’ve read the first one and your world building and description is fantastic.

JR: Thanks!

FSF: You’ve also just submitted some of your most hilarious work to me for Wine and Where To Find it, a pseudo standalone/conclusion to our Cider & Ale books which will be released as a box set in a few weeks. How did you feel writing this one in particular and about wrapping up the series?

JR: It was a nice change of pace. Something fun and light-hearted. Though I wish all my knowledge of Australian slang didn’t just evaporate from my head while writing it.

Really enjoyed writing the climax between Paul and the villain. Just letting the ideas flow through me with very litlte planning, my mind making connections to different aspects of the story.

FSF: Well I have a vodka loving Russian sea otter, and something about a talking shrimp working their way through my crazy mind right now. Not sure which one will be victorious yet.

JR: Oh, no. That sounds interesting.

FSF: They always are! But shifting completely away from writing for a moment, you recently had the opportunity to interview one of your literary heroes for the Authors In Focus Podcast. Can you talk a bit about that experience.

JR: Yeah, I got to talk to Steven Erikson (author of Malazan Book of the Fallen). It was such a fun interview. We talked about his writing progress, inspiration, and more. He had some great takes and advice for newbies. He was a great guy to have a conversation with.

FSF: He’s a legend. One of my favorites as well. I’m going to leave you with one last question. What are your hopes for the next year? Both for yourself as a writer, and for the world in general?

JR: For me as a writer would be to finish Shadow of the Dragon and get the publishing on it started and to start work on the next Illumination Cycle series. Not sure which one I’ll work on. As for the world, well, I don’t like talking my politics, but we’re heading into a dark future and I don’t see much sign that it’s going in the right direction. So, hey, mabye something will change.

FSF: It’s important to hope for the best. Thanks for taking the time. It’s always great talking with you and wishing you all the best on the launch!

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Interview with Steven Dutch and Chris Masterton

Steven Dutch and Chris Masterton

Fantasy/Sci-Fi Focus (FSF): Hey Chris and Steve! How are you guys doing? How has this last year of insanity been treating you?

Chris Masterton (CM): Hey Michael, I’m doing well. The last twelve months have been crazy. Been quiet on work during lockdown, but it’s given us the opportunity to rewrite and release our first book in our History of Sol series, which has been really productive.

Steven Dutch (SD): Hi Michael! Thanks for your time today. The last 12 months have been rough! But overall has been a good time to get some writing done. So its been good and bad for me personally. But I’m still alive and kicking, so thats what counts!

FSF: It’s been different for everyone. I guess it’s really important to find silver linings. I’ve gotten to spend way more time with my family, and I’ve become a writer and co-written some books so that’s a good thing.

So Chris, why don’t you talk a bit about when you knew you wanted to be a writer, how you guys began collaborating, and a bit of the journey that lead to the publication of the first book in The History of Sol series.

CM: Steve and I met in high school, where we discovered we had a common interest in sci-fi and the same weird sense of humour. One day we started making a Futurama/Red Dwarf inspired film in my garage with a bunch of friends. We made a dodgy set and everything. After about a day of filming and two and a half minutes of footage, the filming ceased but the writing continued. Then it kind of evolved into this massive story and changed from a TV series into novellas. We took some story and writing courses and reworked our stories until we had something we wanted to share with the world.

FSF: Cool. So now we’re mere days away from launch day. Steve why don’t you tell our audience about the series, and specifically, Ouroboros, your first book and let them know why it needs to be their next must read click.

SD: The series is set in the distant future. The homeworld (earth) was destroyed and lost to history. Humans have colonised the rest of the solar system and live in an Authoritarian society called ‘The Colonies’, made up of five different factions which fight among themselves. The story begins when the crew of a cargo ship is sent on a high priority delivery and given some mysterious cargo; then everything starts to go wrong from there. Ultimately it’s about the crew trying to find out about the origins and purpose of the cargo, the nature of their reality and their place in existence. If you like thinking about what humanity might look like in the future and how society might be shaped then I think you will like this book. There are also some secrets and twists hidden inside for good measure. If you want to know the history of the future, buy this book now! 

FSF: It sounds like a ride! Now as a co-writer myself, I’m very interested in the different collaboration processes co-author teams have. I’d love to know how it worked for you guys. What was the divide etc and how did you set out to create a blended narrative.

CM: We start off with the high-level storyline and each of the episode story arcs. We both write the first draft together in a Google Doc during a video call and then spend a lot of time going over the story together.

SD: Usually, one of us will write a chapter while the other watches and provides feedback, then the other person will go over it with a fine-toothed comb and does rewrites or builds on/fleshes out certain points. But really the whole process is very driven by the both of us.

FSF: That’s cool, and quite different than my process.

Chris, When you guys started writing the series did you have an audience or market in mind, or did you basically write for yourselves and hope that people would come along for the ride?

CM: We definitely write for ourselves. We’ve been doing this for over ten years and I think the key to our longevity is that we both just have a lot of fun and try not to take ourselves too seriously. It’s a great ride. Everyone should come along!

FSF: many writers use their own personal archetype for their characterization along with those of people in their personal lives. Do you guys implement this tactic in your writing?

SD: Bits and pieces from people around us, but usually don’t base a character off someone totally, will be an amalgamation of personality pieces. Sometimes we use our own characteristics, but we try and take from the world around us sparingly.

CM: Our characters are real. They live in our heads.

FSF: Let’s talk about influences. Tell me some of the work that inspires your writing. You can draw from not only authors and books, but other media sources like film, television and music.

CM: For the most part, we are both inspired by science fiction in general. Movies and television series are what drew us into the genre and constantly push us to want to tell interesting and thought-provoking stories. But we also have a range of other sources, such as music and coffee. I’ve always been a massive Trekkie. One of my biggest influences is technology. I love reading tech blogs and learning about new developments and thinking about how they might shape our society in the next decade. In terms of writing influences, I’d have to say my favourite authors are James S.A. Corey because of their space opera novel series ‘The Expanse’; Isaac Asimov, because his vision of the future was both ground breaking and inspired. Way ahead of its time; Also, I can’t go past Robin Hobb, whose incredible works about Fitz-Chivalry Farseer in the Realm of the Elderlings is one of the main reasons I started reading books in the first place.

SD: I am a huge fan of TV and film such as The Matrix, Dollhouse, Futurama, Red Dwarf, Rick and Morty and many others. Ironically, most of my favourite book authors are outside of our genre. And oftentimes, outside of our medium. Although ideas are conveyed differently between the visual medium and books, there are a lot of similarities. One of my all time favourite authors is Robin Hobb because her fantasy is full of feeling and substance. I love her epic trilogies, but especially the Farseer Trilogy and the Tawny Man Trilogy. The character development is phenomenal, the story is sad, uplifting, exciting and satisfying. The use of ‘Skill’ and ‘Wit’ instead of conventional ‘Magic’ is inspired.

FSF: I’ve always loved Robin Hobb as well, for her stunning prose.

SD: That’s good to hear! She’s great!

CM: I actually met her once and gave her a copy of our book. I always wonder if she ever read it.

FSF: How important is reader interaction to you as Indie authors, and how do you most enjoy hearing from readers?

SD: Reader interaction is very important to us, although we write for ourselves, we want our audience to enjoy it as much as we would if we were reading it rather than writing. It is important to us to figure out what hits our readers in emotional spots, so that we are able to write better and know what story arcs to use and when.

CM: I really love it when people remember us at cons. When they come back and tell us they loved reading the first book and want to get more.

SD: Seconded!

FSF: You’ve chosen to self publish your novel, and obviously with the release still looming there’s a great deal of the self publishing process you’ve yet to experience, but so far what have you found you’ve liked about self publishing and what have been your biggest obstacles?

CM: I like the freedom of being able to do whatever we want (within reason). The biggest challenge for me has been promoting the book and trying to stand out in a vast sea of other authors.

SD: I agree, the biggest challenge has been promotion and marketing. But I love not having to answer to anyone for our writing (no one but ourselves, and our editor, haha).

FSF: What takes up both of your time when you’re not writing?

SD: I work as a Service Delivery Manager for a Cyber Security company and in my spare time I enjoy spending with my Fiancé, Arianne. I listen to music – love Dream Theater, Starset, Celldweller, Tool, Porcupine Tree, Breaking Benjamin and Architects – too many to name individually. A lot of my time I watch TV shows and Movies – again too many to name individually. I play computer games, including Cyberpunk 2077 and Command and Conquer. But really, you could say that all these things are just ‘research’ for writing 

CM: I work in the SAAS industry during the week, which is a lot of fun. I’m passionate about doing volunteer work at the local free meal service. I’ve also got a family with two young boys whom I love spending time with and playing Xbox – especially Minecraft 

FSF: Steve, you and I have connected on Dream Theater before. I’ve actually started listening to Steven Wilson’s work as well by recommendation, and Chris I have two young Minecraft, and Roblox obsessed kids myself so I can relate.

SD: Oh awesome! James Labrie is an awesome Canadian singer. Glad you are enjoying Steve Wilsons work.

FSF: So I know it’s early, but what’s next for you in terms of output? When can readers expect the next instalment?

CM: We’ve actually already written the second, third and finishing off the fourth. Books two and three should be ready to be re-released later in the year.

FSF: Awesome so we won’t have to wait long.

Can you guys recommend some indie Sci- Fi or fantasy that you’ve read recently to our community?

CM: A great indie book I read recently was by a guy named Kynan Waterford, who I met at Supanova a couple of years ago. The book was Jupiter: Illusions of Faith.

SD: We also highly recommend A.A.Warne’s Reluctant Wizard and Marie Gin’s The Last Regret.

FSF: Steve I’ve read both of those and I agree they are excellent. I like to end all my interviews with this question. What one piece of advice can you offer to new and aspiring authors ?

CM: Start Writing. Keep Writing. Get a really good editor! Never give up.

SD: Write for yourself; what you enjoy and want to read. If you aren’t having fun, your audience won’t either!

CM: I completely agree with Steve’s comment, too.

FSF: Thanks so much guys. It was great talking to you, and best of luck.

SD: Thanks for your time today Michael! All the best

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Authors in Focus Episode 95: Interview with Madilynn Dale by JMD Reid

Madilynn Dale

Hi! Welcome to this episode of Authors in Focus Podcast. I’m James Reid, a fantasy author publishing as JMD Reid. This podcast is all about getting to know writers, their books, and what makes them tick.

We all have a storyteller inside of us. Join me as we find out what the rising stars and established voices in publishing have to say about their craft and inspiration.

My new book, Mask of Guilt (Mask of Illumination Book 1), is out!

We all wear masks. Some of us to hide our guilt. Lady Foonauri, lost in the malaise of depression, finds purpose with a group of all-women thieves, the Cracked Gems. Intrigue, romance, betrayal, and adventure swirls around her in this epic fantasy tale!

Buy it today!

Today, I’m joined by Madilynn Dale! She is the author of the shifter novel Releasing Her Power: Fae Shifters Book One! You can follow her on  TwitterInstagramFacebookPinterestTikTokBookbubGoodreads, and YouTube! And check out her books on Amazon!

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