Tales from the Trunk


Episode 6: Tyler Hayes - “Ferryland”

This month, I've got another friend of mine, Tyler Hayes (@the_real_tyler). Tyler and I share a table of contents in Skies of Wonder, but that's not the (only) reason that I wanted to have him on the show. Tyler reads an excerpt of his story, "Ferryland," which leads into a great conversation about how we grow as writers.

Tyler's debut, The Imaginary Corpse, comes out September 10th, 2019, in ebook and physical formats.

Things we mention in this episode:

Skies of Wonder, Skies of Danger

No Shit, There I Was

R. K. Duncan's episode of this show

Writing the Other

Angry Robot Books submissions (there is not currently an open submissions call)


Writing Excuses podcast

Writer Beware

Jasper Fforde, specifically his Nursery Crimes books

Narrative Dare, Fforde's interview in Locus Magazine

George H. Scithers (Wikipedia)

Alexandra Rowland's "hopepunk" post

Be the Serpent (a Hugo finalist podcast of extremely, extremely deep literary merit)

Not Our Kind: Tales of (Not) Belonging


Join us next month, on September 20th, when A. J. Hackwith will be joining us!


Episode 5: Valerie Valdes - “Handyman”

This month, I'm talking with a debut novelist and friend, Valerie Valdes (@valerievaldes). Valerie reads the first chapter of a NaNoWriMo novel with a fun urban fantasy premise, "Handyman," and we talk about empathy, non-harming in writing, Twitter Discourse™️, and Cuban slang. Which means some bilingual strong language.

Valerie's debut, Chilling Effect, comes out September 17, 2019, in paperback, audio, and ebook formats, and is worth your preorder dollars.


Things we mention in this episode:

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)

"Red Light Properties," by Dan Goldman 

The Dresden Files (series), by Jim Butcher

Carl Hiaasen

Dave Barry

Alex Segura

Kat Howard's editing services

CSI: Miami (TV series)

Burn Notice (TV series)

Clockwork Boys, by T. Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon)

Tobias S. Buckell

Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Robin McKinley

Patricia McKillip

Anne McCaffrey

Mercedes Lackey

Lois McMaster Bujold

Ursula K. Le Guin

Diana Wynne Jones

Chilling Effect, by Valerie Valdes

Katamari Damacy (video game)

Julie Dillon's art

NATO Phonetic Alphabet


Join us next month, on August 16th, when we'll have Tyler Hayes on the show!


Episode 4: Kate Lechler - “4PM at the Three-Eyed Dog”

On this month's episode, I'm excited to finally be talking voice-to-voice with longtime inter-friend and fantastic writer, Kate Lechler (@KateLechler). Kate reads her story, "4PM at the Three-Eyed Dog," a super-fun noir mood-piece, and we talk about how we take care of our mental health when one of our greatest sources of online community, Twitter, is also a terrible cesspit of human misery.

Things mentioned in this episode:

Mary Robinette Kowal and Cat Rambo's online writing classes

"Throw Yourself Like Seed" – Miguel de Unamuno

Kate's editing service, Cephalopod Editing


Join us here next month, when we'll have Valerie Valdez!



Episode 3: R. K. Duncan - “The Night School”

For this episode, our shortest episode to date, I have the great pleasure of having on one of my oldest friends, Robin (R. K.) Duncan (@rkduncanauthor). He reads an excerpt of his story, "The Night School," which is a very atmospheric piece out of his back catalog, and we talk about discovering our personal processes and doing real, honest-to-god postal subs as baby-writers.

The Fisher of Bones, by Sarah Gailey

Fireside Quarterly

"STET", by Sarah Gailey

A Punk Rock Future (Amazon preorder)

"Farewell Concert at the World's End" (audio), by R. K. Duncan

"The Best Busker in the World" (audio/text), by R. K. Duncan

"How I Became Coruscating Queen of All the Realms, Pierced the Obsidian Night, Destroyed a Legendary Sword, and Saved My Heart’s True Love" (audio/text), by Baker & Dovey (reprinted from No Shit, There I Was)


Join us again on June 21st, with guest Kate Lechler!


Episode 2: Sarah Hollowell - “Several Emails Regarding a Ceiling Fan and a New Kitten”

This episode completes our Sarah-fiction double-feature with guest Sarah Hollowell (@sarahhollowell). Sarah reads her story, "Several Emails Regarding a Ceiling Fan and a New Kitten," and we talk about some of the differences between genre-focused writing workshops and creative writing programs at colleges. Also: rejection. It's a thing that's going to happen to you as a writer.

On this episode, we make a passing reference to pay rates without actually explaining what they are. Accoring to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, SFWA (SIFF-wa), pro rates for short fiction, as of this episode's airing, are $0.06/word or above (although these rates are being raised later in 2019). Anything below that rate but above $0.01/word is considered semi-pro, and anything below that is considered token pay.


Things mentioned in this episode:

Duotrope (paid) and The Submissions Grinder (free)

RIP to Shimmer Magazine

"Crow's Eye," by Sarah Hollowell

Alpha, the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Workshop for Young Writers

Annihilation, by Jeff VanderMeer

The art of Galen Dara

"Every Fat Person, Healthy or Not, Deserves Respect," by Sarah Hollowell for The Huffington Post

Texts from A on Frolic (as of this airing, this series is now appearing weekly)

"Hello, Wild Things, and Good Luck," by Sarah Hollowell

Michael with a B


Join us again on May 17th, with guest R. K. Duncan!


Episode 1: Sarah Gailey - “Meet Cute”

In this, the very first full episode, my guest is the one and only Sarah Gailey (@gaileyfrey), Hugo, Campbell, and Nebula-nominated author and winner of the 2018 Hugo award for Best Fan Writer. They read one of the very first stories they wrote, “Meet Cute,” and we talk about treating people well and reading widely.


A transcript of the episode, provided by D. H. Dunn, is available here.


Works mentioned in this episode:

Monday,” by Hilary B. Bisenieks (my first published story)

STET,” by Sarah Gailey

River of Teeth, by Sarah Gailey

The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick, by Mallory O’Meara

Magic for Liars, by Sarah Gailey

Cover of MAGIC FOR LIARS, by Sarah Gailey. A disembodied hand stands on crossed fingers. There is an open eye on its wrist. 

Tune in for the next episode on April 19th, when it’ll be a Sarah-fiction double-feature, with Sarah Hollowell!

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