Creative-Mines-Podcast

Killing Canaries with Steve Drew – Founder of r/Fantasy

Building a Healthy Online Community

Reddit has a reputation, and it’s not always a good one. Steve Drew (u/elquesogrande) has created a space on Reddit that defies some of its greater detractors – r/Fantasy is a fun, safe, and engaging place for fans of speculative fiction to meet each other and (quiet often) their favorite authors.

A healthy community like this is something of a rarity on the internet, and one that requires a lot of thoughtful planning and devoted attention over time. I wanted to sit down with Steve and ask him how he does it. Knowing some of the r/Fantasy mods as well as a number of its regulars, I’ve been fascinated by this oasis of community in a broad desert we all know as the internet.

 

Our Guests

They tried to run, but weren’t fast enough
Steve Drew

Steve Drew

Founder: Reddit Fantasy

Business executive, speculative fiction fan, and founder/mod of the Reddit Fantasy community, Steve is a natural connector and community-builder. He moderates panels at conventions with subtle grace, has a superhero chin, and moderates for r/Books as well. He’s a mean shot with a bow and is embracing his inner geek.

Jay Swanson

Jay Swanson

Host - Creator: Into the Nanten

Jay is the creator of Into the Nanten, the world’s first real-time fantasy blog, and is the host of Creative Mines. He has written and published five books within the same world and body of work entitled “Oracle of the Dread Gods.”

Find out more about him at jayswanson.me

Jay’s new book: Shadows of the Highridge

What do you think?

 

What are some other communities you’ve found on the internet that you find to be healthy and welcoming?

I remember a great server for Counter Strike in college called Terra Firma run by Team Pfeffer (disclosure: I was later asked to join up). Counter Strike has a similar reputation for attracting the worst sorts of people, or at least bringing the worst out in them. But Terra Firma was full of fun, polite, and hilarious people who made it more than just a game, but a community of friends.

So much of it came down to the admins being active and strict with the rules while being, as Steve put it, decent human beings. It seems to me that involvement and dedication are key ingredients. What are the things that make your favorite online communities great?

Killing Canaries with Steve Drew – Show notes

You can find Reddit Fantasy at www.reddit.com/r/fantasy – and I suggest you do if you have any interest in speculative fiction, or just want to see a good group of Redditors in action.

You can also follow Steve on Twitter @elquesogrande1

And keep your eyes out for more Worldbuilders excitement to come on r/fantasy. He’s got an amazing project under way and I know you’ll want a piece of it if and when the opportunity arises. You may have to buy it though.

If you’re looking for something to read, take a moment to check out my most recent project over at intothenanten.com – full of beautiful illustrations, sultry narration, and an action-packed adventure of a story.

 

Coming Soon

Due to the madness of life and constraints on time, Creative Mines is currently happening on an opportunistic basis. I’ll be doing them as I cross paths with interesting folks or have the time and energy to spare. So this section, once full of promises, must now be filled with excuses. I hope you enjoy what we’ve got so far!

Speed Panel – Building an Audience and Staying Sane

Building an Audience and Staying Sane

 

To many of us, the phrase “building an audience and staying sane” can seem like an oxymoron. It’s hard to know how to make yourself more discoverable. How do you help people who will love your work find it? And how do you keep from losing your health in the process?

I sat down with authors Mike Underwood, Carrie Patel, and Gregory Wilson to discuss exactly this. What platforms they use, which ones don’t work for them, and how they keep from pulling their hair out in the process.

Our Guests

They tried to run, but weren’t fast enough
Carrie Patel

Carrie Patel

Author: The Buried Life

Carrie Patel is a writer and game designer originally from Houston, Texas. She studied International Studies, English, and Spanish at Texas A&M University and received a master’s degree in International Affairs (with a concentration in National Security).

Her first novel, a gaslight-and-shadows mystery called The Buried Life, came out from Angry Robot in March 2015. The sequel, Cities and Thrones, came out in July of 2015.

Carrie works full-time as a narrative designer for Obsidian Entertainment. She wrote for the critically-acclaimed Pillars of Eternity.

She likes travel and beer.

Mike Underwood

Mike Underwood

Author: Genrenauts

Mike is a speculative fiction writer and the North American Sales & Marketing Manager for Angry Robot Books.

His first novel is an urban fantasy called Geekomancy (published July 2012 by Pocket Star, an imprint of Simon & Schuster). Geekomancy was inspired by stories like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Clerks, the Dresden Files, and The Middleman, as well as Mike’s experiences growing up geek. The series continues with Celebromancy, Attack the Geek, and Hexomancy.

Other books by Mike Underwood:

Shield and Crocus: An action-packed mash-up of weird fantasy and superheroes

The Younger Gods: A supernatural thriller starring the one moral son in a family of sociopathic apocalypse cultists.

Genrenauts: The Shootout Solution It’s the one we talked about today and is available now!

Check out his website at michaelrunderwood.com

Gregory A Wilson

Gregory A Wilson

Author & Podcaster

Gregory A Wilson is Professor of English at St. John’s University in New York City, where he teaches creative writing and fantasy fiction along with various other courses in literature. He has won an award for a national playwriting contest, and his first novel, a work of fantasy entitled The Third Sign, was published by Gale Cengagein the summer of 2009. His second novel, Icarus, will be published as a graphic novel bySilence in the Library Publishing in 2015, and he has just signed a three book deal withThe Ed Greenwood Group, which will be publishing his Gray Assassin Trilogy beginning with his third novel, Grayshade, in 2016. Along with fellow speculative fiction author Brad Beaulieu is the co-host of the critically-acclaimed podcast Speculate! The Podcast for Writers, Readers and Fans.

Jay Swanson

Jay Swanson

Host - Creator: Into the Nanten

Jay is the creator of Into the Nanten, the world’s first real-time fantasy blog, and is the host of Creative Mines. He has written and published five books within the same world and body of work entitled “Oracle of the Dread Gods.”

Find out more about him at jayswanson.me

Jay’s new book: Shadows of the Highridge

What do you think?

 

What platforms work for you and which ones drive you crazy? It’s ironic that in watching this again I’m inspired to cut everything, including this podcast, in an effort to focus in on writing for a period of time. I’m going to mull that temptation over. How about you? What could you cut that would improve your creative life? What do you think is absolutely necessary to keep in order to continue growing your audience and platform?

Saratoga Springs Hilton

If you wanted to find a hotel room to shoot poorly-framed interviews in, this one will do quite nicely.

Coming Soon

Seriously – Mulling this over

Creative Mines – Episode 03 – Behind Into the Nanten

Where did Into the Nanten Come From?

 

Dennis and Nimit always have so many questions that never make it into our recorded conversations. Unfortunately the audio quality of my responses wasn’t great tonight as I called in from Paris on my phone – but it’s better than nothing.

If you’ve ever wondered what the story behind Into the Nanten was, this is your chance to find out!

Our Guests

They tried to run, but weren’t fast enough
Nimit Malaiva

Nimit Malaiva

Illustrator: Into the Nanten

Nimit Malavia is an award-winning Illustrator from Ottawa, Canada.

He has produced work for clients including DC Comics, Shopify, Marvel Comics, IDW Publishing, the National Post and 20th Century Fox.

Along with his commercial work, he has also been exhibited in galleries across North America and Europe, including Hashimoto Contemporary, Gallery Nucleus, Spoke Art Gallery, Bold Hype Gallery, Thinkspace Gallery, Art Basel (Miami), LeBasse Projects, London Miles Gallery, and Show & Tell Gallery.

Jay Swanson

Jay Swanson

Host - Creator: Into the Nanten

Jay is the creator of Into the Nanten, the world’s first real-time fantasy blog, and is the host of Creative Mines. He has written and published five books within the same world and body of work entitled “Oracle of the Dread Gods.”

Find out more about him at jayswanson.me

Jay’s new book: Shadows of the Highridge

Dennis Kleinman

Dennis Kleinman

Narrator: Into the Nanten

Dennis possesses a warm, rich international voice that crosses geographical boundaries and is ideal for a wide range of voice over projects featuring various international dialects including non-regional European.

His professionalism, enunciation, fast turnaround and perfection provides seamless integration in the approach and execution each project demands.

aworldvoice.com

Coming Soon

DECEMBER – Publishing Online – In Real Time and Real Spaces
12/9/15 – Episode 04 – The Art – Managing the workload – Releasing regular content on a daily deadline, with no editor in sight
12/23/15 – Episode 05 – The Business – Building audience and revenue – Sharing into the void and hoping someone finds it. And pays you for it.

Killing Canaries with Mike Underwood – Understanding Genre

Understanding Genre as Both a Literary and Marketing Tool

From World Fantasy 2015 (something we forgot to mention during the podcast itself) – it’s Mike Underwood! There’s probably no one better with whom we could discuss the idea of “genre,” especially considering the release of his new book: The Shootout Solution. It’s the first novella of the Genrenauts series, out now from Tor.com.

Mike is also the North American Rep for Angry Robot Publishing, which makes him a bit of a double-expert. How do we approach genre as a useful tool and not see it as a creative constraint? And then how do we fit our work into the ideas of genre in a useful way – primarily one in which we can sell some dang books.

Our Guest

He tried to run, but wasn’t fast enough
Mike Underwood

Mike Underwood

Author: Genrenauts

Mike is a speculative fiction writer and the North American Sales & Marketing Manager for Angry Robot Books.

His first novel is an urban fantasy called Geekomancy (published July 2012 by Pocket Star, an imprint of Simon & Schuster). Geekomancy was inspired by stories like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Clerks, the Dresden Files, and The Middleman, as well as Mike’s experiences growing up geek. The series continues with Celebromancy, Attack the Geek, and Hexomancy.

Other books by Mike Underwood:

Shield and Crocus: An action-packed mash-up of weird fantasy and superheroes

The Younger Gods: A supernatural thriller starring the one moral son in a family of sociopathic apocalypse cultists.

Genrenauts: The Shootout Solution It’s the one we talked about today and is available now!

Check out his website at michaelrunderwood.com

Jay Swanson

Jay Swanson

Host - Creator: Into the Nanten

Jay is the creator of Into the Nanten, the world’s first real-time fantasy blog, and is the host of Creative Mines. He has written and published five books within the same world and body of work entitled “Oracle of the Dread Gods.”

Find out more about him at jayswanson.me

Jay’s new book: Shadows of the Highridge

Coming Soon

NOVEMBER – Into the Nanten – Building an Audience

11/25/15 – Episode 03 – The Business – How do you make money off a free publication?
DECEMBER – Publishing Online – In Real Time and Real Spaces
12/9/15 – Episode 04 – The Art – Managing the workload – Releasing regular content on a daily deadline, with no editor in sight
12/23/15 – Episode 05 – The Business – Building audience and revenue – Sharing into the void and hoping someone finds it. And pays you for it.

Creative Mines Episode 02 – The Art of Into the Nanten

Transmedia Storytelling: Into the Nanten

The art of Into the Nanten spans a number of disciplines – it’s what inspired us to start talking more about all of this. Two weeks ago we dove into Transmedia Storytelling to figure out what exactly it was. Tonight we discuss our own approach in Into the Nanten.

More than just a story told on a blog, Into the Nanten is geared to be an immersive experience across mediums – social media, visual art, narration/podcasting, and various physical forms. Tonight we’ll be discussing how we create the art that fills those mediums, and what our goals are as we do.

Next time, on 11/25/15, we’ll get deeper into the mechanics and business side of running the world’s first real-time fantasy blog.

Our Guests

They tried to run, but weren’t fast enough
Nimit Malaiva

Nimit Malaiva

Illustrator: Into the Nanten

Nimit Malavia is an award-winning Illustrator from Ottawa, Canada.

He has produced work for clients including DC Comics, Shopify, Marvel Comics, IDW Publishing, the National Post and 20th Century Fox.

Along with his commercial work, he has also been exhibited in galleries across North America and Europe, including Hashimoto Contemporary, Gallery Nucleus, Spoke Art Gallery, Bold Hype Gallery, Thinkspace Gallery, Art Basel (Miami), LeBasse Projects, London Miles Gallery, and Show & Tell Gallery.

Jay Swanson

Jay Swanson

Host - Creator: Into the Nanten

Jay is the creator of Into the Nanten, the world’s first real-time fantasy blog, and is the host of Creative Mines. He has written and published five books within the same world and body of work entitled “Oracle of the Dread Gods.”

Find out more about him at jayswanson.me

Jay’s new book: Shadows of the Highridge

Dennis Kleinman

Dennis Kleinman

Narrator: Into the Nanten

Dennis possesses a warm, rich international voice that crosses geographical boundaries and is ideal for a wide range of voice over projects featuring various international dialects including non-regional European.

His professionalism, enunciation, fast turnaround and perfection provides seamless integration in the approach and execution each project demands.

aworldvoice.com

What do you think?

 

What are the challenges you face in your own content creation? Does our approach to Into the Nanten enrich your experience with the story, or does it somehow distract?

Episode 02 – Show Notes

 

So we didn’t really have as many notes on this one, but examples of characters being consistent or not (you be the judge):

Dionus: Entry 30Entry 37Entry 116 – Entry 183Entry 207 – Entry 242 – Entry 254

Inifra: Entry 4Entry 55 – Entry 62Entry 114 – Entry 242

Lystra: Entry 119Entry 213

Marceles: Entry 1Entry 151Entry 185

The Story Itself:

Into the Nanten

Coming Soon

NOVEMBER – Into the Nanten – Building an Audience

11/11/15 – Episode 02 – The Art – Cross-media storytelling – How to bring different mediums together to tell one story
11/25/15 – Episode 03 – The Business – How do you make money off a free publication?
DECEMBER – Publishing Online – In Real Time and Real Spaces
12/9/15 – Episode 04 – The Art – Managing the workload – Releasing regular content on a daily deadline, with no editor in sight
12/23/15 – Episode 05 – The Business – Building audience and revenue – Sharing into the void and hoping someone finds it. And pays you for it.

Episode 01 – What the Heck is Transmedia Storytelling?

Transmedia Storytelling: Cross-platform and Cross-media

Transmedia storytelling sounds like a really foreign concept until you start to break it down. Basically it’s any form of storytelling that crosses platforms to build a narrative (thus synonyms like “cross-platform media” or “cross-medium storytelling”). The fan art and experience that has grown up around Star Wars, Marvel, and Harry Potter are great examples of fans reaching out to claim hold of their experience within whichever narrative captivates them to make it their own.

This turns it into a story born of their own imagination, one fans might enjoy alone or into which they could draw multitudes. Through role playing, art, music, video production and more, a story can spill into every avenue of life – the way it used to be long before mass-media dominated our entertainment landscape.

From the original content creator’s viewpoint, transmedia is a way of bringing a story to life for readers through various mediums. Whether that’s using multiple online platforms or moving into the physical space, a transmedia story is enhanced as it is consumed in more and more ways.

Tonight’s guests are a combination of creators, thinkers, and an IP lawyer. Yes – we have legal counsel on site.

Our Guests

They tried to run, but weren’t fast enough
Darin Ross

Darin Ross

Creator: Find the Starlight

Darin Ross is the creator of the hit party game Superfight, and creator of the conceptual art storytelling project Find the Starlight. He is a writer, an illustrator, a humorist, and a single father. He writes about parenting, the creative process, and poorly-made burritos. He has been a SXSW panelist, was named one of American Genius’s “Fifty Most Influential People of 2014”, and was a silver medalist in the 4th-grade parking lot footrace against Billy Thompson who is a stupid cheater.

Nimit Malaiva

Nimit Malaiva

Illustrator: Into the Nanten

Nimit Malavia is an award-winning Illustrator from Ottawa, Canada.

He has produced work for clients including DC Comics, Shopify, Marvel Comics, IDW Publishing, the National Post and 20th Century Fox.

Along with his commercial work, he has also been exhibited in galleries across North America and Europe, including Hashimoto Contemporary, Gallery Nucleus, Spoke Art Gallery, Bold Hype Gallery, Thinkspace Gallery, Art Basel (Miami), LeBasse Projects, London Miles Gallery, and Show & Tell Gallery.

Heidi Tandy

Heidi Tandy

IP Lawyer

Heidi (aka Heidi8) has practiced internet, media, and intellectual property law for 20 years, with a focus on follow-on works, social media policy development/management, community management, fair use and fan-supportive policies, reputation control and licenses. She is currently an attorney with the law firm Price Benowitz. Heidi has represented authors, websites, and literacy, writing, and education-focused nonprofits. She serves on the lawyers’ committee for the Organization for Transformative Works, founded fyeahcopyright.tumblr.com, and was a founder of the longstanding Harry Potter fanworks collective, FictionAlley.org.

She has been quoted in TIME Magazine, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Daily Dot.

Find her on her blog or at about.me/heidi8

Jay Swanson

Jay Swanson

Host - Creator: Into the Nanten

Jay is the creator of Into the Nanten, the world’s first real-time fantasy blog, and is the host of Creative Mines. He has written and published five books within the same world and body of work entitled “Oracle of the Dread Gods.”

Find out more about him at jayswanson.me

Jay’s new book: Shadows of the Highridge

What do you think?

As a creator, how do you build a transmedia project of your own? What mediums get you the most excited? If you have any great examples of transmedia projects you love, or have any questions about all of this, please leave a comment below!

Heidi has also agreed to stick around and answer your questions surrounding the legality of fair use and everything going on around the legal madness happening right now with copyright. You can tweet her at @travelingheidi or leave a comment below here.

We hope you’ll join us next month as we dive deep into how we approach all of this with Into the Nanten. See you on November 11!

Coming Soon

NOVEMBER – Into the Nanten – Building an Audience

11/11/15 – Episode 02 – The Art – Cross-media storytelling – How to bring different mediums together to tell one story
11/25/15 – Episode 03 – The Business – How do you make money off a free publication?
DECEMBER – Publishing Online – In Real Time and Real Spaces
12/9/15 – Episode 04 – The Art – Managing the workload – Releasing regular content on a daily deadline, with no editor in sight
12/23/15 – Episode 05 – The Business – Building audience and revenue – Sharing into the void and hoping someone finds it. And pays you for it.
Episode 00 – Brainstorming the Path Ahead

Episode 00 – Brainstorming the Path Ahead

Episode 00 was off to a cold start with some late arrivals. Some of our best stuff happened after we went off the air, which led to one of the main lessons from the night: 45min to 1hr of warmup time for future episodes.

There’s a lot to chew through here in Episode 00, but in the end I think we’re going to start by talking about how we do Into the Nanten for the first few episodes. Nimit and Dennis literally said they want to grill me. That also gives us time to find our voice and prepare for the rest of the episodes, as well as invite more people to join us and get our guest spots filled in advance.

It’s only going to get better from here. Stay tuned!

Jay

Creative Mines Podcast – The Concept

Creative Mines Podcast – The Concept

Thanks largely to Into the Nanten, I’ve found myself being asked a lot of questions by a variety of people who want to know how I do a lot of what I do. Whether it’s produce high-quality paperbacks, discover talent, work conventions, or just get down to writing – I’m getting more emails every day.

Into the Nanten has also led me to work more closely and regularly with a number of professionals, my “staff” as it were. Together we have a breadth of experience to share, and even more contacts to draw into the conversation.

So here’s the idea, and what we’ll be brainstorming tonight on Creative Mines Podcast – Episode 00: I want to create a regular resource for creators at large, one that goes deeper than standard questions, and one that promotes the idea of growing the community instead of driving it to compete with itself.

Resources

So much of what it takes to succeed as a creator is knowledge. I want to draw people in who have lots of experience producing art, music, books, and more – all so they can help teach the rest of us how they do it. Beyond pragmatic guides for creation, I want to ask them how they balance their work and their life. How do they stay healthy? How do they keep on creating? We’ll compile all of this over time into what I hope will be a helpful and inspiring collection.

Interviews

The interviews we will do on Creative Mines Podcast will be as much to get to know the artists as to learn their methods. So much encouragement can be gained by hearing someone’s story, especially when theirs is so similar to yours. We’ll talk about what we’re seeing in the world around us, but I want to talk about what drives us and where we’ve come from as well.

Growing the Community

We aren’t in this to compete, but to encourage and grow. I’ll touch on this repeatedly, I’m sure, but one of the most important concepts to recognize going into this is that the only zero-sum game is time. Otherwise there is plenty of room for growing our respective industries, building wealth, and finding more opportunities for more people to pursue their dreams of creating wonderful art.

We Need You

Are you a creator? Perhaps you’re just fascinated with the creative process. We’d love to hear your questions; feel free to suggest ideas for topics you’d like to hear covered on the Creative Mines Podcast. You can do so in the comments of these blog posts for now and I’ll provide more methods soon.

I’m really excited to host this new venture, and I hope that you’ll come along and make it a part of your own process. Until then, keep digging!