The Complete Creative
How to Author Like a Boss with author Ella Barnard

How to Author Like a Boss with author Ella Barnard

October 20, 2020

This is my 200th show! 

It's also my last show for the decided future. I promised myself I would hit 200 shows and keep this show going for a year, and I have. 

I hope you have enjoyed this show, and now let's go out with a bang. I'm so excited to welcome Ella Barnard onto the show for our 200th episode! 

Woot! 

Ella and I have been friends for a long time and I've been on her show multiple times. She's amazing. A successful author who helps other author be successful, and in this episode she basically lays out the step-by-step formula for jumpstarting your author career. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to choose your genre
  • What makes a great cover and blurb
  • How to get out books faster than you ever thought possible
  • How to make a living as an author

...and much more. 

I couldn't have asked for a better episode to be my last one. If you want to check out Ella's work, head over to http://authorlikeaboss.com/.

If you want to see what's next for me, you can check out my work at www.russellnohelty.com

See you on the bestseller list. 

Russell 

 

The Anatomy of a Darkened Heart with author Christie Stratos

The Anatomy of a Darkened Heart with author Christie Stratos

October 13, 2020

This week on the show we have author Christie Stratos. We did a deep, deep dive on one of her books, Anatomy of a Darkened Heart, which was just a phenomenal work that I loved so much. Here's her bio, straight from her website. 

Christie Stratos is an award-winning writer who holds a degree in English Literature. She is the author of the psychological suspense novels Anatomy of a Darkened Heart and Brotherhood of Secrets, the first two books in the Dark Victoriana Collection. Also a poet and short story writer, Christie has been published in anthologies, literary journals, and magazines. Christie has been featured on the radio, in magazines, and on podcasts, and she has given presentations for writing organizations and at writing conferences.

She owns her own editing company, Proof Positive, where she works one-on-one with authors as well as with small presses as a freelance editor, and she has enjoyed working with a rising press as an acquisitions editor.

Christie hosts the well-received podcast Writers Showcase on the Authors on the Air Radio Network. She has interviewed New York Times bestsellers, publishers, and major award-winning authors, including #1 New York Times bestselling author Peter Straub, Hugo Award winner Robert J. Sawyer, BBC correspondent Humphrey Hawksley, and Mary Higgins Clark Award winner Hank Phillippi Ryan.

I was introduced to Christie from friend of the pod Jennifer Gordon, and reading Anatomy of a Darkened Heart made me realize I just really love Victorian Gothic horror suspense. It's not something I would have ever known about myself until reading both Jennifer and Christie's book, but I really, really do. Christie's work is nuanced and complex, diving into historical traditions while explaining them so even somebody without a history of reading the genre can understand. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to keep a book from lagging
  • How to plot an intimate book without a lot of action while still keeping engagement
  • How to make the reader feel a character and root for them

...and much more. 

If you liked this episode, check out Christie's work at: https://christiestratos.com/

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

 

How to build a fanbase with Fanbase Press editor-in-chief Barbra Dillon

How to build a fanbase with Fanbase Press editor-in-chief Barbra Dillon

October 6, 2020

This week on the show we have my dear friend Barbra Dillon, editor-in-chief of Fanbase Press and my dear friend. Fanbase Press gave Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter, my first book, its first review, and I have been honored to call her and Bryant friends for years. 

Fanbase Press celebrates fandoms and creates new ones! As an award-winning comic book publisher and geek culture website, Fanbase Press produces new and distinctive works, as well as daily reviews, interviews, and podcasts, that span the pop culture spectrum and give voice to the themes, ideals, and people that make geekdom so exceptional.

Here is a little about the company, which is both a member of the press AND a comics company.

The company was founded in 2010 (originally under the name Fanboy Comics) by Barbra and Bryant Dillon and Sam Rhodes and rebranded to Fanbase Press in May 2016.

Fanbase Press' graphic novels, including the 2018 Eisner Award-nominated Quince, the 2020 IPPY Award-winning Quince: The Definitive Bilingual Edition hardcover, the 2019 IPPY Award-winning A Geek's Guide to Cross-Stitch: Journeys in Space, the 2014 Bram Stoker Award-nominated Fearworms: Selected Poems, The Sequels, The Margins, The Gamma Gals, Something Animal, Identity Thief, The Arcs, and Penguins vs. Possums, are available online at www.fanbasepress.com.

Barbra is seriously one of the most lovely humans of all time, and she's also a fount of knowledge about a whole range of topics, including, most recently, how to run a company and have a full-time job while pregnant with twins. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • how to have some semblance of work life balance while building an empire.
  • how to introspect in order to move forward
  • how to rebrand and evolve an established business

...and much more.

Make sure to check out Fanbase Press's work at http://fanbasepress.com

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

How to create a sweet nightmare with artist Saturn Santiago

How to create a sweet nightmare with artist Saturn Santiago

September 29, 2020

This week on the show I have artist and founder of PhantasMeow, Saturn Santiago. Here's here bio. 

PhantasMeow, the new name of pastel goth, was conceived when Saturn Santiago blended pink, blue, and decay onto the canvas for the first time back in 2016. This riveting take on the occult, fantasy, and taxidermy-conceptual art became a place for her imagination to grow; and like most dead things left alone in the dark, her artwork was stripped to the emotional bones. What rose from the grave was the CATton Candy Nightmare Series, a chilling set that blends her favorite colors into scenes that terrify and captivates the senses.

Saturn started practicing with all mediums in 1997; born from a family of varied artists, she was always pushed to grow her talent. Saturn’s early career consists of School of The Arts Programs, where in 2004 she was inducted into the National Art Honors Society. More recently, she has become an art instructor and is the cover artist for Horror Author J.L. Gipson’s, The Effect Trilogy.

J.L. Gipson actually introduced us and we had a blast talking about pastel goth, building an art business, and general creative things. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to run a successful art campaign on Kickstarter
  • How to tell a story with your art
  • Why duality in art is so important

...and much more. 

If you want to check out PhantasMeow's awesome work, you can go to: https://www.phantasmeow.com/

This is also the last week on my Kickstarter, which ends on October 1st. You can check it out at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/russellnohelty/ichabod-jones-volume-1-2-a-lovecraftian-dark-fantasy-comic

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

How to make movies at the Speed of Life with filmmaker Liz Manashil

How to make movies at the Speed of Life with filmmaker Liz Manashil

September 22, 2020

This week on the show I have my new friend Liz Manashil. I was introduced to Liz by previous guest Kris Wile, and I loved our conversation.

Here's her bio. 

Liz Manashil earned her B.A. in Film and Media Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, and her M.F.A. from USC's School of Cinematic Arts. Post-graduation, Liz spent several years as a film critic for the PBS/Hulu series JUST SEEN IT (which she also helped produce and direct). Overlapping this, Liz worked with distribution guru Peter Broderick. In 2016, Liz became the sole manager of Sundance's groundbreaking Creative Distribution Initiative until the program's close in 2019. As a filmmaker, her debut feature, BREAD AND BUTTER (starring Christine Weatherup, Bobby Moynihan, MIcah Hauptman, Eric Lange, and Lauren Lapkus), was called “an absolute must-watch for women everywhere” by HelloGiggles. It was released by The Orchard and can be seen on VOD nearly everywhere.

Her second feature, SPEED OF LIFE (starring Ann Dowd, Allison Tolman, Jeff Perry, and Ray Santiago), was called “Delightful in just about every way,” by noted film critic Tim Cogshell. Liz has started production on her third feature, LADY PARTS.

She lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Laura Palmer, her partner, Sean Wright, and her son, Colin. She is a Women in Film mentee and currently works as the Senior Manager, Impact Distribution at Picture Motion.

I was so excited for this interview because I watched Speed of Life before our interview and frigging LOVED it. Since my background is in film and TV, it was amazing to be able to talk with a filmmaker about her process. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

-How to make an amazing indie film for less than $100,000. 

-How to write a movie script

-How to use crowdfunding to seed your budget and then go out to find investors

-How to cast top tier talent for a low budget movie 

...and much more. 

If you want to find more about Liz's work, http://www.lizmanashil.com. 

This is also the last full week of my Kickstarter, and if you want to support check out, you can do so at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/russellnohelty/ichabod-jones-volume-1-2-a-lovecraftian-dark-fantasy-comic

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Celebrating Black mythology and comics with comic creator Greg Anderson-Elysee

Celebrating Black mythology and comics with comic creator Greg Anderson-Elysee

September 15, 2020

Today on the show I have my good friend Greg Anderson-Elysee, creator of Is'nana: The Were-Spider, which is on Kickstarter now. Here's a summary of the book straight from the Kickstarter page

A horror-fantasy, coming of age story, Is'nana the Were-Spider: Showtime (64 page one-shot) is the fourth release of an on-going series of graphic novels and one-shots. Is'nana the Were-Spider has won 7 Glyph Awards (2018 Fan AwardRising Star Award, & Best Male Character Award2019 Best Male Character Award2019 Best Writer Award, & Story of the Year Award2020 Best Male Character Award).

Accidentally breaking a barrier between our world and theirs (called THE MOTHER KINGDOM), Is'nana (the son of Anansi the Spider God of Stories) accepts the responsibility for releasing creatures of horror into our reality, villains who want nothing more but to cause chaos and mayhem to achieve their own diabolical or selfish goals. With guidance from his father, Is'nana not only strives to live up to his father's name but to also reach his own potential while he seeks to discover his individuality and place in the world.

I absolutely love this series. Greg uses a collection of artists to do a one-character, one writer, anthology series. My good friend Walter Ostlie draws a several of the stories, and they are just all so great, and Greg is so great. We started our creator journey at around the same time, and it's amazing to watch how he's grown as a creator while I've grown at a creator. 

This is why the people you come up with are so important to your career, because you've gone through the ringer together and come out stronger on the other side. I'm so grateful for our friendship, and love watching his success. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to work with multiple artists at the same time
  • How to make a single character anthology book
  • How to collaborate better 
  • Why ideas are only the first step

...and much more. 

If you want to check out Is'nana the Were-Spider for yourself, check out his Kickstarter at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/isnanashowtime/isnana-the-were-spider-showtime

AND I also have a Kickstarter for my book Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter, about a mental patient that escapes from an asylum and becomes a monster hunter during the Apocalypse, but doesn't know if he's killing monsters, humans, or its all in his head the whole time. You can check that one out at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/russellnohelty/ichabod-jones-volume-1-2-a-lovecraftian-dark-fantasy-comic

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

How to edit Insider Art with comics editors Shelly Bond and Kris Simon

How to edit Insider Art with comics editors Shelly Bond and Kris Simon

September 8, 2020

Holy crap. This week I'm interviewing Shelly Bond. When I first set out to make this show, I made a dream list of people to get on my show and she was on the list! Then, friend of the pod Kris Simon edited an anthology with her called Insider Art that's RIGHT NOW on Kickstarter, and BOTH of them came on to geek out about editing and tell me all about this book. 

So, this episode is a twofer, not only did one of my favorite humans, Kris Simon, co-editor of the Cthulhu is Hard to Spell: The Terrible Twos anthology, come on the show, but Shelly FRIGGING Bond came on the show, too. 

If you don't know Shelly Bond's work, then just pick up any Vertigo title and there's a good chance her editing fingerprint is all over it. She helped mold and grow the Vertigo line and has worked on over 1,100 comics titles according to ComicsVine, along with rising up to become executive editor at Vertigo from 2013-2016 and having her own imprint at IDW called Black Crown. 

She's a comics legend, basically. 

If you don't remember Kris, she was on the show in March during our Cthulhu is Hard to Spell: The Terrible Twos campaign. She's edited just about everybody in comics as well, including ME, which makes her Wannabe Press royalty. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to become a world-class editor
  • How to work and choose the right editor for your project
  • How to get the best out of the people you work with 
  • Why passion is the key to making a great comic

...and much more. 

Most importantly, Shelly and Kris have a Kickstarter campaign going right now for an incredibly cool anthology called Insider Art, which is a love letter to editing and the art of making comics. I have bought both the ebook AND the print book, and highly recommend it.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sxbond/insider-art

And while you're on Kickstarter, I ALSO have a campaign going right now for my book Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter. 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/russellnohelty/ichabod-jones-volume-1-2-a-lovecraftian-dark-fantasy-comic

Go back both books today, especially since Shelly's book only has a couple days left on it. 

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

How to Spencer and Locke in a hit comic series with creator David Pepose

How to Spencer and Locke in a hit comic series with creator David Pepose

September 1, 2020

This week on the show I have my good friend David Pepose, creator of Spencer and Locke, Going to the Chapel, and The O.Z., which is live on Kickstarter right now.  Here's his Comixology bio: 

After starting his career at DC Comics, David Pepose has gone on to write thousands of articles about comic book storytelling. SPENCER & LOCKE, Pepose's debut series with artist Jorge Santiago, Jr., has been praised by IGN as "a fiendishly fun take on an age-old classic." A St. Louis native, Pepose currently lives in Los Angeles, where he works in the television industry.

I met David years ago on the con circuit when he just had the first volume of Spencer and Locke, and I thought it was BANANAS. He pitched it as Calvin and Hobbes meets Sin City, and it absolutely delivered. Plus, he's just a very pleasant human to converse with, so we got along well. 

He's been blowing up recently, and his latest book raised over $20,000 on Kickstarter...in a single day. We recorded this episode right after the Kickstarter went live, so we talk about his incredible first day, and more. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to raise $20,000 in a single day on Kickstarter
  • How to deal with the press and make them want to promote you
  • How to build a world-class network

...and much more. 

If you want to check out David's amazing Kickstarter, then it's still live at this link: 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/theozcomic/the-oz-1

I ALSO have a Kickstarter live right now, and it's launching TODAY. I would love to get even half of what David did on his first day. I've been working on Ichabod Jones: Monster Hunter for a decade, and this is the first new volume of the book to launch since 2014. 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/russellnohelty/ichabod-jones-volume-1-2-a-lovecraftian-dark-fantasy-comic

I am super excited for it, and I hope you are too. Ichabod is my most beloved property, and I look forward to bringing the new evolution of the book to you. 

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

 

How to sell 3 million books with bestselling author Jonas Saul

How to sell 3 million books with bestselling author Jonas Saul

August 25, 2020

This week on the show we have my good friend Jonas Saul, bestselling author of more than THREE MILLION BOOKS. Here's his Amazon bio: 

Jonas Saul is the bestselling author of the Sarah Roberts Series and has written and published over thirty thrillers. After selling more than two million books, he signed with the Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary and Dramatic Rights Management.
His recent releases are, THE FUTURE IS WRITTEN, published by pioneering media company Adaptive Studios, and THE IMMORTAL GENE, published by Vesuvian Books.

Saul has traveled extensively throughout the world to scout settings for his thrillers, spending several years between Greece, Italy, Denmark, and Hungary. He is regularly invited to be a guest speaker, teacher, or workshop presenter at international writing conferences.

I caught up with Jonas while he was in Greece, and I was hella jealous of it. I've known Jonas since we were both guests at a writer's conference years ago, and we stayed in touch. We both have a very business mindset to our writing careers, and both owned businesses before getting into writing, so we connected almost immediately. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to structure a book
  • Why a writing career is about the long term
  • How to make a series last
  • What's more important than whether you are self published or traditionally published

...and much more. 

The TWENTY-FOURTH Sarah Roberts book is out today, and if you are interested in checking it out, you can go here.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08F4N4K4X

Otherwise, you can check out his work at jonassaul.com/

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

 

How to build a successful audio drama with Travis Vengroff and Kailtin Statz

How to build a successful audio drama with Travis Vengroff and Kailtin Statz

August 18, 2020

Today on the show we have Travis Vengroff and Kaitlin Statz, the creative team behind The White Vault, Vast Horizon, Liberty, and Dark Dice audio dramas, and founders of Fool and Scholar Productions. 

I've known Travis for YEARS, back when he was deep into trying to make a go of it as an independent comic creator. So, when he suddenly blew up with The White Vault, an audio drama, I took notice. I've been wanting to speak with him and Kaitlin for years, and I was so excited we could set this up. I know several indie comic creators and authors who have successfully transitioned into audio dramas, and since I have a podcast I'm fascinated by that kind of thing. 

I love all their shows, but for my money, Vast Horizon is my favorite. However, it costs NO MONEY to check them out. Fool and Scholar rely on Patreon to create and fund their shows, and with over 1,000 patrons, they are one of the most successful Patreon creators that I personally know. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to subvert listener expectations
  • Why audio is one of the best mediums for horror
  • How to collaborate with your spouse and live harmoniously

...and much more. 

If you want to find our more about Travis and Kaitlin, check out their Patreon at: https://www.patreon.com/LibertyPodcast

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

How to create a vibrant Colorworld with author Rachel Kelly

How to create a vibrant Colorworld with author Rachel Kelly

August 11, 2020

This week on the show I have a new friend who I've been dying to speak to forever, Rachel Kelly of Colorworld, an awesome YA fantasy book series, but her and her husband have turned it into a whole art business. Here's a bio for Rachel: 

I dig philosophy, lore, fairy tales, authentic romance, and the occult. I have longed to read something that artfully combines all 5, and since I haven't found it, I decided to write a story of my own.

Colorworld is the culmination of all these loves of mine, and it's my passion to make it something everyone can read and get something out of. Stories are meant to entertain, yes, but the best stories are the ones that do that AND make you question yourself. And since I hold all other literary works to this standard, it is also the standard I hold myself to when writing.

The Colorworld series is a story that opens your eyes to the beauty of that everydayness we all know so well while weaving in that wee bit of fantasy we all long for.

I've known about Colorworld for years. My longterm collaborator Erik Lervold has worked with them for years on their metal bookmark line, and I've seen Brad at shows for a long time. However, we're always so busy that it's hard to connect. 

Luckily, Brad reached out to me a couple month ago asking if I wanted to do a panel with Rachel for their livestream channel and I jumped at the offer. 

Then, I had such a great time that I asked Rachel to come on my show to talk about how she built her Colorworld universe, why she write in first person present, and more. 

Listen to this episode if you want to hear: 

  • How to expand a book world beyond just novels
  • Rachel's inspirations for making Colorworld
  • How to build out a creative business

...and much more. 

If you liked this interview, check out Rachel's work at https://colorworldbooks.com.

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

 

Making better indie comics with Anne Agnew, Andrea Rosales-Casillas, Bryan Silverbax, John Dover, and Jason Brick

Making better indie comics with Anne Agnew, Andrea Rosales-Casillas, Bryan Silverbax, John Dover, and Jason Brick

August 4, 2020

This week I have a special episode for you. A couple of months ago we recorded a panel for Wondercon @ Home which I thought was very good but apparently didn't get shown at all. 

 

Therefore, this week I'm going to bring it to you for the first time. This is a panel on making indie comics with Anne Agnew (https://twitter.com/annesplains), Bryan Silverbax (https://silverbax.com), John Dover (https://johnnyscotchjustice.com), Andrea Rosales (http://www.andrearosales.com), and me, Russell Nohelty (www.russellnohelty.com) being moderated by Jason Brick (http://www.brickcommajason.com).

 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to make better comics
  • How to market your comics better
  • Where to expend your energy 

...and much more. 

 

If you enjoy this episode, make sure the check out each artist and writer and get more info on them at the links above. 

 

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

 

How to make a great novel with Plottr co-founders Ryan Zee and Cameron Sutter

How to make a great novel with Plottr co-founders Ryan Zee and Cameron Sutter

July 28, 2020

This week on the show we have Ryan Zee and Cameron Sutter, founders of Plottr. Here's a little bit about the software. 

 

Plottr lets you easily arrange (and rearrange) your scenes, plots, and character arcs so you can quickly find your way to the end of your tale — no corkboard required.
  • Quickly outline your book with visual story cards
  • Filter your timeline by characters, places, and tags
  • Color-coordinate your storylines to keep them organized
  • Flip the timeline to view it vertically or horizontally

So, I have known Ryan for a long time. I used to use him for book marketing a long time ago, and we reconnected a few months ago when I ran my Online Writer's Conference. 

 

He asked me if I wanted to have him on to talk about Plottr, and I was interested, but recently I've gotten DOZENS of messages about Plottr, so I figured that it was time to have him on and find out what all the hype is about, though if you're a fan of the show, you probably know this is much more than just a program pitch. 

 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to write a book visually
  • Why you shouldn't make your dream project first
  • Why you need a safe space to fail at the beginning of your career
  • A better way to outline and plot your book

...and more. 

 

If it piques your interest, make sure to check out Plottr at https://getplottr.com/

 

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

A little bit of everything and more in between with writer and ballroom dancer Jennifer Anne Gordon

A little bit of everything and more in between with writer and ballroom dancer Jennifer Anne Gordon

July 21, 2020

This week on the show we have author and dancer Jennifer Anne Gordon. Before we get into it, here's her bio.

 

Jennifer Anne Gordon is an award-winning ballroom dancer, performer, and choreographer, she studied acting at the New Hampshire Institute of Art, as well as English and Art History at University of New Hampshire. Past jobs have included professional actress, a magician’s assistant, a gallery director, an artist, a burlesque performer, as well as a horror novelist.

 

Her mixed media artwork showcases her love of the late Victorian and Edwardian Era, as well as her passionate love for showgirls, burlesque, and vaudeville. Her work is in private collections throughout the world, and has been showcased in calendars, perfume labels, and has been featured in Somerset Studio Magazine, as well as Mixed Media Art Magazine.

 

Her first novel, “Beautiful, Frightening, and Silent” was published by Breaking Rules Publishing in late winter 2019. Her second novel “From Daylight to Madness” will be published during summer of 2020.

When Jennifer is not busy writing or performing, she is an avid traveler who loves to photograph abandoned and forgotten places.

 

Victoriana is the first published collection of Jennifer’s work.

 

I'll be honest, I was dealing with some stuff when I recorded this episode, so we kind of drifted to a lot of things, from feminism in gothic literature to keeping a business afloat when everything is falling apart to keeping the creative spark alive and lots of stuff in between. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • The benefits of slow multitasking
  • How to transition your creativity and stay alive when everything it falling apart
  • Why creativity feels different depending on the medium
  • Why we need art
  • How to deal with grief

...and more. 

 

If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to check out Jennifer's website at: 

www.jenniferannegordon.com

 

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

How to get a Kick in the Creatives with artists Sandra Busby and Tara Roskell

How to get a Kick in the Creatives with artists Sandra Busby and Tara Roskell

July 14, 2020

This week on the show we have artists Sandra Busby and Tara Roskell, co-founders of Kick in the Creatives, a website that helps people get and stay creative through monthly challenges. Here's some info from their webpage: 

Do you often find yourself discovering challenges through the sudden flow of related hashtags, only to find that you’re late to the party?

Well, now you don’t ever need to miss an online creative challenge again!

This is the place where you can find an abundance of existing online creative challenges all under one umbrella and with some brand new ones added to the mix!

All you need to do is click on each individual month on the calendar, to find out what challenges are going on during that particular month.

I met Sandra and Tara when I was a guest for their show, and found them so compelling that I decided to have them on this show to talk about building and maintaining creativity. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to build a creative habit
  • The power of collaboration
  • Why accountability is so important for success
  • How to create a community that creates a positive tone for your career

...and much more. 

If you enjoy this episode, you can find Sandra and Tara on their Kick in the Creatives website.

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

How to find the perfect mentor and build your network with Betabooks.co co-founder Paul Kilpatrick

How to find the perfect mentor and build your network with Betabooks.co co-founder Paul Kilpatrick

July 7, 2020

Today on the show we have Betabooks co-founder and all around creative human Paul Kilpatrick. Here's a bit of his bio: 

Paul Kilpatrick has enjoyed working in the comic book industry, video games, publishing, music, and film filling various support roles including being an editor, project manager, coordinator, stage manager and assistant director, tons of logistics fun. As the co-founder of BetaBooks Paul has helped thousands of authors beta their book, many of whom are discovering the process for the first time. He enjoys jigsaw puzzles and has recently been watching the tv show Ghosts.

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to find the perfect mentor
  • How to build a rock-solid network
  • Why word of mouth is the best marketing
  • How to determine book/reader fit
  • How to create your ideal reader profile 

...and much more. 

If you want to learn more about Paul, check out Betabooks at www.betabooks.co.

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

How to nurture creativity with The Creativity Explorer Fredrik Haren

How to nurture creativity with The Creativity Explorer Fredrik Haren

June 30, 2020

This week on the show I brought on The Creativity Explorer, Fredrik Haren, to discuss how to increase your productivity and become more creative. Here is his bio: 

Fredrik Haren is an author and global keynote speaker, based in Singapore. He speaks on business creativity and human innovation, on embracing disruption and change, and about the importance of having a global, human mindset. While some speakers claim they are global, few match Fredrik; he has given over 2,000 speeches in 67 countries across six continents of the world, and usually speaks in 20 to 30 countries a year.

He is the author of 10 books, the most significant ones being The Idea Book, Developing World and One World One CompanyThe Idea Book has sold over 200,000 copies, and was included in the 100 Best Business Books Of All Time. Fredrik draws on literally thousands of conversations and interviews he has had over the past 20 years, with business leaders from all corners of the globe. This unique experience allows him to connect with audience members from diverse cultures and backgrounds, and what makes being the global speaker for global conferences his speciality. He is invited to speak at conferences, client events, company offsite meetings and leadership development programmes. His use of storytelling, interaction and humour, along with his authentic speaking style, makes him one of the most sought-after and inspiring speakers in the world., Fredrik essentially believes in the potential of humanity and the power of ideas to achieve this. He understands that people are often resistant to change, yet also curiously creative. He encourages his audiences to embrace rather than fear disruption and change through becoming more creative and innovative, and to develop a truly global mindset.

What I love about Fredrik is that he's interviewed creative people ALL over the world and he was able to talk about the different ways creatives have cracked creativity and productivity in their countries. It's fascinating to see what is the same and different with creatives everywhere. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How you can become more creative
  • The most important project for a creative person
  • The most beautiful moment of the creative process
  • Thinking in patterns
  • Balancing creativity and focus

...and much more. 

If you enjoy this episode, go check out his blog at: https://www.fredrikharen.com/category/theworldofcreativity/blog/

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Wrestling your career into a headlock with Headlocked creator Michael Kingston

Wrestling your career into a headlock with Headlocked creator Michael Kingston

June 23, 2020

This week on the show we have Headlocked creator Michael Kingston. Headlocked is a smash hit indie comic made by professional wrestlers for wrestling fans. It's awesome to see Michael's booths at conventions because they are always constantly swarmed with fans. Here's some info on his smash hit Headlocked from www.headlockedcomic.com

Nine years ago, I just wanted to make a cool wrestling comic. Something that was entertaining but that also showcased wrestling as an art form. As a lifelong fan of both wrestling and comics, I felt that despite the obvious parallels and crossover fanbase…no one had really done wrestling comics the right way.

I created Headlocked, an HBO-style drama chronicling an aspiring wrestler’s coming of age in the wrestling business. And I pitched it to everyone in comics… and I was turned down by everyone…one dude from a major publisher straight up laughed in my face.

So we just made them ourselves.

I love that last line. "So we just made them ourselves". It's incredible to think about Michael starting out in comics at a time when nobody wanted to book wrestlers and to watch how he has influenced the convention scene over the years until now when wrestling is a huge draw at conventions. 

Now, this show was recorded in February, before COVID, which means it might feel a little dated, but I liked listening to a time when we didn't have to worry about all this stuff, and we actually had conventions to look forward to, and we will again, which makes this the perfect planning episode for the future. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn. 

  • How to build a world-class brand
  • How to partner with celebrities
  • How to bounce back after failure

And much more. If you like this episode, head over and check out Michael's Kickstarter at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/headlockedcomic/headlocked-tales-from-the-road

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

How to draw 180+ pages of comics in three months with comic creator Richard Fairgray

How to draw 180+ pages of comics in three months with comic creator Richard Fairgray

June 16, 2020

Richard Fairgray has been making comics since he was a little kid, rose to became one of the biggest names on the New Zealand comic scene, and published over 200 comics all over the world. 

When I found all this information, I was blown away, because I only knew him from his book Blastasaurus published by Golden Apple Books. He's produced a little bit of everything in just about every genre, and recently expanded into children's books as well. 

Not only has he had a long career, but a prolific one as well. He churns out finished pages like Kirby in his prime. He tells a story on the show about how he produced a 180-page book in three months. 

I am astounded by the level of dedication Richard has to comics, and I can't wait for you to hear from him. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to find your voice
  • How to unlock the formula for comic success
  • How to jump around genres and still maintain a rabid fanbase
  • How to draw several hundred pages of art in less than three months
  • How to make money in comics

...and much more. 

If you would like to learn more about Richard's work, or reach out to him, you can check out his website at: http://richardfairgray.com

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

How to build your brand from scratch with ELA Advertising CEO & founder Andre Filip and executive creative director Carlos Musquez

How to build your brand from scratch with ELA Advertising CEO & founder Andre Filip and executive creative director Carlos Musquez

June 9, 2020

Today on the show we have two guests, Andre Filip and Carlos Musquez from ELA Advertising to talk about how to effectively develop a brand and marketing campaign even if you are operating on a shoestring budget. Here are their bios before we get into it.

Andre Filip, CEO & Founder, ELA Advertising

Andre Filip is the CEO and Founder of ELA (“Everything LA”), a global creative advertising agency headquartered in Los Angeles. 

He founded ELA in 2004 to capture the spirit, culture, vibe, and attitude of LA, where great creative ideas are born and where his creative energy and zest for advertising began. He oversees all aspects of the agency including creative, business strategy, culture, client service, and operations and has played an integral role in expanding the agency’s global presence for leading brands including TikTok, Disney, Easterseals, PepsiCo, Thermador and Western Digital. 

A creative visionary with a strong business acumen, his more than 15 years of experience spans innovative campaigns for clients including HBO, Disney, Starbucks, Paramount Pictures, Universal, EA Games, NASCAR, Showtime, 20th Century Fox, ABC, Fox Sports and Bravo. 

Andre also serves as the Board Chair for Easterseals Southern California.

Carlos Musquez, Executive Creative Director, ELA Advertising

Carlos Musquez, Executive Creative Director of ELA, is the creative lead for the agency. His deep agency roots at Omnicom under Alcone Marketing, saw him developing and designing best-in-class campaigns for major brands such as The California Lottery, Warner Music Group, Nestle, Logitech, LG Mobile, eBay, Sony, Diageo, and Coca-Cola to name a few. Carlos lives by the philosophy that an idea is only as good as its execution, and passion and craft are what turn good ideas into award winning ideas. 

His work has been recognized by the Addy’s, Creativity, Effie’s, New York Festivals, Communication Arts, Art Director’s Club, and the Clio’s. In his free time, Carlos extends his love of craft to the world of home brewing, crafting ales and designing labels.

I met Andre and Carlos through a public relations person and I’m so glad I did. I always worry about advertising agencies will not be able to talk to people who are freelancers or working on a small business budget, but they were both great. I think if you want to develop a brand, which we all do, then this is incredibly insightful advice.

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

  • How to fail better
  • How to find the discovery in the chaos
  • Why anybody would care about your work
  • Why you can’t be everything to everybody
  • How to test your messaging

…and much more.

If you enjoyed this episode, then make sure to check them out at: https://www.ela1.com/about or https://www.instagram.com/elaadvertising/

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

The Business of Being a Writer with publishing expert Jane Friedman

The Business of Being a Writer with publishing expert Jane Friedman

June 3, 2020

This week on the show we have Jane Friedman, one of the foremost publishing experts in the world. Here's a part of her bio from her website: 

Jane Friedman has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in business strategy for authors and publishers. She's the editor of The Hot Sheet, the essential industry newsletter for authors, and has previously worked for F+W Media and the Virginia Quarterly Review. In 2019, Jane was awarded Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World.

Jane's newest book is The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press); Publishers Weekly said that it is "destined to become a staple reference book for writers and those interested in publishing careers." Also, in collaboration with The Authors Guild, she wrote The Authors Guild Guide to Self-Publishing.

I've known about Jane's work tangentially for a long time, but it wasn't until my The Online Writer's Conference co-host Nicolas Nelson reached out to her that she came into my circle. I will admit that he actually booked this interview, or at least got it to the point where she was willing to do an interview. I finished it off with a date and time, and then conducted the interview, but it was really him that was responsible for making this happen...and I'm so glad that he did. 

We used her book, The Business of Being a Writer as a guide for this conversation. Listen to this episode if you would like to learn: 

  • How to make a living as a writer
  • How to generate leads and gain exposure
  • How to build your author platform like a three-legged stool
  • The basics of book launches

...and much more. 

If you loved this episode, head over to https://www.janefriedman.com and check out her work.

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

How to connect with people through storytelling with podcaster Shannon Cason

How to connect with people through storytelling with podcaster Shannon Cason

May 26, 2020

This week on the show we have seriously my last interview from Podcast Movement: Evolutions back in February.

I met Shannon at an afterparty during the show and then listened to him moderate a keynote and knew I needed to have him on the show. Why? I'll tell you after his bio. 

Shannon Cason has shared his stories all over the country. Shannon is a host, MainStage storyteller and GrandSlam champion with The Moth. He is a regular on NPR’s Snap Judgment; awarded their Best Performance Award. Shannon has appeared on countless podcasts and storytelling stages, including TEDx, RISK!, Third Coast Festival, Podcast Movement, and an upcoming television pilot.

He also hosts his own long-standing storytelling podcast, Shannon Cason’s Homemade Stories. Shannon also launched a podcast with WBEZ Chicago called The Trouble with Shannon Cason. His storytelling is featured in the anthology, The Moth Presents: All These Wonders. Shannon serves as the chief educator for the Brutally Honest Storytelling workshop series, where he has helped companies, pro athletes, celebrities, and everyday people tell their stories more honestly.

I talked to Shannon at the show for maybe 15 minutes, but during that time he was constantly deluged with people coming up to him and telling him how much they loved his show Homemade Stories. There was a visceral reaction people had to his stories that you don't see very often, and when I do see it I queue into it. He is a podcaster's podcaster, and when I listened to his show I realized he was also a storyteller's storyteller. He took these small moments and made them big and grand. I love that about his work. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to develop your voice
  • How to love the small moments
  • How to develop the feel of a story
  • How to be more vulnerable with your work

If you loved this episode, head over to https://www.shannoncason.com and check out his work. 

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

How to book media with celebrity psychic Laura Powers

How to book media with celebrity psychic Laura Powers

May 19, 2020

This week I have another episode with somebody I met at Podcast Movement: Evolutions. This time it's with celebrity psychic Laura Powers. If you think that's a little too out there for you, then I would urge you to listen because Laura delivers so much value in this episode. Before I tell you how, here's a piece of her bio: 

Laura Powers is a celebrity psychic who has been featured by Buzzfeed, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, Motherboard Magazine by Vice, and many other media outlets.

Laura is the author of seven books and her new book, Archangels and Ascended Masters is out now. She is working on the eight and ninth books, Celebrity Channeled messages and her work with Pets and Animals. 

Even if you are wary about psychics, you will still get a ton out of this episode as Laura is as much business and life coach as spiritual healer. She is a master at navigating a creative career AND booking media, which is something most of us have problems with. 

She gives us her step by step formula for booking media, which rocks and will totally revolutionize how you think about the press. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to manifest the career of your dreams
  • How to turn directions midstream when something isn't working
  • How to book media like a pro 
  • How to know when to quit and when to keep going

And much more. 

You can find Laura on her website at: https://www.healingpowers.net/laurapowers

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Creating a publishing company with Buno Books publisher Storme Smith

Creating a publishing company with Buno Books publisher Storme Smith

May 12, 2020

I've known about the story of Buño Books since pretty much the beginning when they had a deal with Magnetic Press, before they went off on their own to conquer the brave new world of independent publishing. So, when Storme Smith emailed to ask if I wanted to have him on my show, I jumped at the chance, and I'm so glad I did. For those of you who haven't been obsessively following this upstart company for years, here's their bio: 

Buño is an independent publisher founded in 2016, by Ulises Farinas and Storme Smith. We publish graphic novels and comic books by talented artists from around the world. We look for fresh and unexpected work, and believe in a diverse and dynamic community of creators, making work that connects cultures, experiences, and people.

I loved this conversation. I find the best conversations for this podcast come with people who've been on a similar journey as I have so we can dive deep into the aspects of commonality we both share, and Storme and I have both been fighting in the pits of publishing for years, which made this conversation as fun as it was cathartic and (hopefully) informative. 

Listen to this episode if you'd like to learn: 

  • How to build a brand from scratch
  • The perils of independent publishing
  • How to avoid being drowned out by the bigger players
  • How to design for markets
  • How to understand comics better

and much more. 

You can find Buño on the web at https://bunobooks.com and Storme Smith on Twitter

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

How to Make a World Class Virtual Convention with creator Wendy Shaner

How to Make a World Class Virtual Convention with creator Wendy Shaner

May 5, 2020

Earlier this year, before ANY of this COVID stuff happened, my friend Wendy Shaner put together a virtual comic book convention on Kickstarter called the Naughty Faeries Online Comic Con Experience.

I had no idea what she was thinking, and I was confused for just about the whole Kickstarter, but she raised over $13,000 so I knew she was doing something right. 

When the world ended, she seemed like the most prescient guru of all time, because she was WAY ahead of the curve on that one. 

Since then I've run three conventions, but while they've been well-received they have not even come CLOSE to making me $13,000. 

So, I thought it would be a good idea to have Wendy on the show to talk about her experience, and then dovetail it with my experience running shows. 

This is likely the future, at least in the short term, so we might as well turn into the skid. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to create a convention experience online
  • What swag has the best ROI
  • How to make money on an online convention
  • What you need to make sure your convention goes off without a hitch

...and much more.

You can find Wendy on Twitter or check out her Etsy store

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Getting on the Revision Path with podcaster and creative strategist Maurice Cherry

Getting on the Revision Path with podcaster and creative strategist Maurice Cherry

April 28, 2020

This week's guest is podcast Maurice Cherry, who I met at Podcast Evolutions many months ago. It feels like a hundred years but it was really only two months. He has an award-winning podcast called Revision Path, which is the first podcast featured in the Smithsonian. Here's his bio: 

Maurice Cherry works as a snior creative strategist at Glitch, the friendly community where everyone can discover and create the best stuff on the web. Before Glitch, Maurice was principal and creative director at Lunch, an award-winning multidisciplinary creative studio in Atlanta, GA.

These days, Maurice is perhaps most well known for his award-winning podcast Revision Path, which showcases Black designers, developers, and digital creators from all over the world. Other projects of Maurice’s include the Black Weblog Awards28 Days of the WebThe Year of Teaand the design anthology RECOGNIZE.

Maurice is the 2018 recipient of the Steven Heller Prize for Cultural Commentary from AIGA, was named as one of GDUSA’s “People to Watch” in 2018, and was included in the 2018 edition of The Root 100 (#60), their annual list of the most influential African-Americans ages 25 to 45. 

I met Maurice just hanging out trying to get work done at one of the conference tables and we struck up a conversation. I really loved what he had to say about podcasting and finding your fanbase, so I invited him on the show, and he did NOT disappoint. He really brought the value about how to make something that resonates with an audience. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to get your show into the Smithsonian
  • How to use radial adjacency to your advantage
  • How to scale a podcast
  • How to give your project an identity that resonates with people
  • How to define success

And much more. 

If you enjoyed this interview, make sure to find Maurice on Twitter and check out his other work at https://mauricecherry.com.

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram

 

How to make a winning webcomic with Tapas editor-in-chief Michael Son

How to make a winning webcomic with Tapas editor-in-chief Michael Son

April 21, 2020

Today's episode features a guest I've wanted to interview for a long time, Tapas editor-in-chief Michael Son. Here's his bio. 

Michael Son, Editor-in-Chief of Tapas Media, graduated from UC Berkeley where he facilitated a course on publishing creator-owned comics. Shortly thereafter, he joined Tapas, formally known as Tapastic, where he helped nurture a growing community of independent creators, starting with eight and growing it out to what is now over 50,000. As Editor in Chief at Tapas Media, he has helmed notable projects such as Cheshire Crossing with Andy Weir (author of The Martian) and Sarah Andersen (creator of Adulthood is a Myth), as well as Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, a modern adaptation of Little Women with an all-star art team physically published by Hachette.

I was introduced to Michael a couple of months ago, and we got along well from the off. We've both edited and created comics, and now were very focused on how to build an audience for those comics. 

However, while I'm doing it on a relatively small scale, he was handling it for hundreds of comics at once. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to create a popular webcomic
  • What editors look for in creator pitches
  • How to make your comic stand out from the crowd
  • How to build an audience for your comics

And much more. I really enjoyed this one with Michael, and if you've ever thought about creating a webcomic, or you have a webcomic that you want to take to the next level, you have to listen to this one. 

You can find Michael on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tapastic or on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/coolbeanjeans

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Building a membership community with Glow.fm Founder and CEO Amira Valliani

Building a membership community with Glow.fm Founder and CEO Amira Valliani

April 14, 2020

This week's guest is Amira Valliani, founder and CEO of Glow.fm, a membership platform catering specifically to podcasters. Here's how it works: 

A Branded Page for Your Podcast

Your Glow page is a custom marketing webpage which you can design to match your brand.

Place your Glow Page URL in your Episode Notes, on your website, in social media, or wherever else you'd like. Then drive listeners to your Glow Page with calls to action.

Listeners can sign up for recurring subscriptions or send one-time payments through your Glow Page without leaving their favorite podcast streaming apps.

Payments are quick and easy with Apple Pay and Google Pay, or directly through Stripe.

I met Amira after hearing her present at the conference about building a membership and I desperately asked if she would be on my show. We talked once between the conference and this recording, and I am so fascinated by what she's been able to accomplish, and how she's able to help so many podcasters. 

Because of her experience working behind the scenes with podcasters in their membership communities, she knows A LOT about memberships, and this is something we're all trying to do right? Build a community of people who'll pay you every month to make things? 

Well, Amira has lots of hard data and experience, and she came on the show to talk all about it. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to turn your fans into buyers
  • How to build a vibrant community
  • Why building a membership community is like compounding interest
  • When to start building a membership community

And much, much more. 

Find Amira at glow.fm or Twitter @amiravalliani.

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Secrets of the world’s most prolific writers with author Sean McLachlan

Secrets of the world’s most prolific writers with author Sean McLachlan

April 7, 2020

Sean McLachlan is a member of my Facebook writer's group, Authors and Creators Making Money Selling Books, and avid listener to the show who pitched me a great idea for an episode. He recently released a book called Writing Secrets of the World's Most Prolific Authors, and wanted to come on the show to discuss what he learned writing the book. 

On top of that, Sean McLachlan is a freelance writer specializing in fiction, history, and travel, Sean's the author of numerous books, including the Toxic World post-apocalyptic series and the Trench Raiders WWI action series

I usually don't accept people's pitches for being on the show, but he tugged at the right strings, as I am all about writing faster and better. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • Why it's possible to write good books fast
  • How we are in the New Pulp Era, and what that means
  • How to stop the purple prose
  • What you need to master before turning out world-class books

And much more. 

Find Sean online at http://midlistwriter.blogspot.com/

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

How to produce an amazing podcast with To the Best of Our Knowledge producer Mark Reichers

How to produce an amazing podcast with To the Best of Our Knowledge producer Mark Reichers

March 31, 2020

I met Mark Reichers at Podcast Evolutions in February. He's one of several past and upcoming guests I've had on from that conference, which ended up being one of my last conferences of the year as things are working out right now. Mark is the digital producer for the radio show and podcast To the Best of Our Knowledge. Here is his bio straight from the site. 

Mark is the digital producer for the show, dreaming up ways to extend discussions on the show to the web and spark new conversations between ourselves, our listeners and guests via social media. He makes it his goal to give listeners a voice in editorial meetings. And yes, he really does read every one of your emails to the show.

He's worked for The A.V. Club, Madison's Isthmus weekly paper, and local alt-weekly Tone Madison, writing on beer, nerd culture, video games, film festivals, and the occasional op-ed on the economic value of reclining seats. He has formerly worked as a science communicator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Chicago, interviewing engineerscomputer scientists and Nobel laureate economists about their work and relating their discoveries to a mainstream audience.

In his free time, Mark dives into internet weirdness, plays with his two Boston terriers, and hangs out with his awesome wife — she gives him his best ideas

I met Mark at an after-party, and he immediately started to tear down my podcasting set-ups, chiding me for using a Blue Yeti and not having a mixing board...so of course we were fast friends because I love when people at the top of their game confront me about that kind of thing. 

When I got back from the conference, I immediately asked Mark if he would be on the show, to which he agreed, and I brought him on to talk about how to make a podcast right. 

We play a fun game where he gives me the RIGHT equipment, and then I give you my dirty equipment set-up. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • The equipment you need, and may want, to make your podcast set-up sound professional. 
  • How to interview better
  • How to edit an interview so it sounds perfect
  • How tech will help us survive the COVID-19 pandemic 

And much more. 

Follow @markonfire and @ttbook on Twitter, and check out To the Best of our Knowledge at: https://www.ttbook.org or on any podcast player. 

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

[REBROADCAST] 31 Tips to help you crush it on Kickstarter

[REBROADCAST] 31 Tips to help you crush it on Kickstarter

March 24, 2020

With our campaign coming to a close, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit one of the most popular episodes from our past to help you crush your next Kickstarter campaign goal. 

These are the best tips to help you plan and execute your next Kickstarter campaign. I hope you enjoy them. There is a bumper between each one where you will hear our theme music, just FYI. 

Tip #1: Start early.

You should be building your audience for at least three months before you launch a campaign. You can’t be successful in crowdfunding without a crowd.

That means showing off your project, starting a Facebook group, beefing up your social media presence, making press contacts, and building a newsletter.

The more time you have to build your network and prep them for a Kickstarter project that’s coming, the more likely they will be to back your campaign when it’s time.

Tip #2: Send individual thank you notes to backers.

When somebody gives you their hard earned money it is only polite to say thank you. It’s easy for us to treat our backers as money, but they are humans and adding the human touch will improve your connection.

On top of being the right thing to do, it will also stem the loss of backers toward the middle of your campaign because you are making a connection.

Tip #3: Stretch goals should always make your core product better.

Most people have terrible trouble with stretch goals. Once a project funds the backers fall off because there’s nothing more to keep their interest.

You can change that by making sure your stretch goals always improve the quality of your project. For instance, if you have a book that is a 100-page soft cover comic, you can add extra pages at the end as a stretch goal, you can add an extra story, you can make your soft cover a hardcover, you could make your book a bigger size.

Meanwhile, the original backer is still paying the same amount for their pledge, and they are getting a better product. Nobody cares about the bookmarks and prints. They just want the coolest project they can get.

Tip #4: Keep your rewards simple.

There is no need to add multiple options for similar items. Each reward should be targeting a specific buyer, and have enough space in between to clearly delineate the right buyer for that product.

I recommend you start with a $1, $10, $25, $50, and $250 for a standard book. Certain products will not fall into this range, but for a publishing product like a book or CD these five categories should be your base. You can always add more later.

Tip #5: make deposits into the good will bank.

Good will is a finite resource, and you will use it up when you run a campaign. In order to make running a Kickstarter palatable to your audience, you need to add value to people’s lives for months and months before you ask them to pledge to your campaign.

This could be from a webcomic, or free pages from your book, or a podcast helping them fix their biggest problems, or anything you can do to help add value to your audience’s lives. The more value you add, the more trust you will have with your audience and the fuller your good will bank will become.

You can’t be a take with Kickstarter, you have to give 10x more than you ask. You should be delivering 10x value to your audience so they will gladly give you money. In fact, they will consider it the least they can do after all the help you have given them.

Tip #6: Don’t overextend yourself on merchandise.

Especially once a project is funded, creators generally go crazy offering all sorts of merchandise like t-shirts, mugs, and other very high priced items. The problem is that they are eating into their own profit margins and eventually end up in the red.

Merchandise is unnecessary in almost all instances until you have a well-known product. Just focus on making a great single product (unless your product is incredibly high priced like many tech products are). If you must make merchandise, don’t make anything with multiple sizes. Also note that if you offer merchandise you can no longer ship your product media mail.

Tip #7: Keep your video under three minutes.

Your video is a commercial, and nobody can stand a commercial for more than a couple minutes, no matter how amazing the commercial. You can say everything you need to say in under three minutes.

Yes, you will have to edit yourself down. There are plenty of free programs like iMovie which can take out all the ums and ah. You need to make your case clearly and succinctly so people don’t tune out.

Tip #8: Add lots of images.

The average successful Kickstarter has 11 images in it. Even if you have something with a novel, there are plenty of images you can add besides your cover. You can add a photo of yourself. You can add some quotes from your book overlaid on top of a royalty free image. You can add silly memes. You can have somebody draw some illustrations of your book.

In whatever the case, your book needs images. Humans are visual creatures and picture help improve the quality of your page and make your project look more professional.

Tip #9: Keep your text concise.

People on Kickstarter love to use huge blocks of text, but that is ugly to the eye. They also love to muddle their paragraphs. Remember in school where we learned how to write a paragraph?

You have a main sentence, 2–3 sentences that support the main sentence, and finally a concluding sentence that ties together everything you said. The same thing is true with paragraphs. You have a thesis paragraph with your main point, then 3–5 supporting paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph.

You don’t need much in order to get somebody to back, but it does have to make a compelling, clear, and concise case.

Tip #10: Send updates often.

Throughout the campaign you need to update your backers at least once every 3 days. The average successful projects have given more than 10 updates. These can be raffle giveaways, or stretch goal announcements, or just a great day that you had. I like to offer weekly challenges on my campaigns, so every week I upload a new video for backers.

The point is that the backers need to be involved in your campaign throughout.

Tip #11: You don’t have to do your dream project first.

If you’ve never raised money on Kickstarter before, then don’t expect to raise several thousand dollars, especially if you have no network. You are much better served doing a project you can complete and fund, even if it’s only $500 or less. Then you will have a baseline of your audience and be able to build from there.

Your goal is to get your feet wet and learn the ropes. It’s not to stress yourself out chasing an impossible goal. You have an entire career to build up to your dream project.

Tip #12: Pledge to other projects.

Kickstarter is a community, and people want to see that you are an active backer before you launch a project. Additionally, if you do back a lot of projects you can then email them during your campaign and ask them to introduce you to their audience. It might not work, but you are almost buying their time to consider your offer.

Tip #13: Consider your category carefully.

Some categories have a much more active community than others. Tech, design, and comics have very active communities. Publishing does not. You want to make sure you get a sense of the community

Tip #14: Start on a Tuesday. End on a Thursday.

Studies show that Tuesday is the best day to begin a campaign. However, Wednesday and Thursday are very close to Thursday. So much so to be within the study’s margin of error. However, Thursday is far and away the best day to end a campaign. Thursday blew all other days of the week away by a statistically significant margin.

Tip #15: Post more to social than you think necessary by a factor of 10.

Only about 3% of people see your Facebook posts. Twitter has a shelf life of 15 minutes. So the people you think you are going to annoy probably haven’t even seen your post. You need to post all the time in order to get word out about your project.

Post when people back your campaign. Post when you’ve hit a milestone. Post everything, but make sure to keep changing your imagery so it doesn’t get stale. It’s the same reason McDonald’s has 1,000 different billboards. The same image drowns into the background. People need new stimuli in order to keep engaged.

Tip #16: You need to raise 30% of your funding in the first 48 hours.

If you think you can raise $1,000, that means at least $300 needs to be raises in the first 48 in order to guarantee success. If you raise under 20% then your project will have a tough uphill battle. If you raise more than 50% it means your target was too low. 30% means you hit the nail on the head.

Tip #17: Convey the why.

Most campaigns are pretty good about describe what their product it. Some can even clearly discuss how they are going to bring it to market. Almost none convey why people should back their project or why they are uniquely qualified to bring the product to market.

The why is what makes people back, though. People are much more likely to back an unfinished product with a compelling why than a finished product that has none. The why is different for every product, but if there is no why you will suffer much fewer backers and risk your campaign not funding.

Tip #18: Bring the passion.

If you can’t show passion for your product, then nobody else will show passion either. You need to show extreme passion for your product to motivate others to get passionate about the product as well. Your passion is contagious, as is your lack of it. It needs to come through in your word, your social strategy, and definitely in your video.

Tip #19: Make sure to calculate shipping carefully.

Almost 10% of successfully funded products fail to deliver. The number one culprit in that failure is shipping. Sometimes rates go up, but sometimes it’s because stretch goals change the weight and size of the box. Still other times it’s because a product that was once media mail can no longer be shipped that way because certain incentives prevent it from being shipped in that way. Other times it can be because they didn’t properly check shipping rates to all countries, and international shipping ate into all their costs.

You need to be very careful with shipping. It can add an undue burden on the unprepared creator. However, with some planning you can make sure it doesn’t destroy your campaign and send you into debt fulfilling rewards.

Tip #20: Kickstarter takes 10% off the top.

Kickstarter takes 5% for their fees and 3–5% for all processing fees through their credit card vendor. Take this into account. Add a 10% buffer to your campaign to prevent failing to raise enough money.

Tip #21: Transparency is key.

If something is going wrong, or right, tell your backers. If you have something to say, say it. Don’t hide anything. People are very forgiving if you are honest.

Tip #22: Schedule posts before your campaign begins.

Buffer, Hootsuite, meet Edgar, Tweet Jukebox, and many others allow you to schedule a base line of social media posts before your campaign begins. You will have other things to post as well, but you want to make sure you get the bulk of your updates out of the way early so that you aren’t fretting about them when your campaign is live.

Tip #23: Double check your rewards.

You can’t change your rewards when your campaign is live. If you accidentally charge the wrong shipping price, or you need to change the tiers in any way once even one person backs, you can’t. This often leads creators to creating new tiers to try to fix what they screwed up. An ounce of preparation is priceless.

Tip #24: Give an early bird perk to your first-day backers.

The first 48 hours is critical to the success of the campaign, so reward those people who back early. It doesn’t have to be much. Maybe the first day backers get a free wallpaper, or maybe they get the digital rewards before anybody else. It doesn’t have to be much, but that little gesture will help push people over the edge to back early.

Tip #25: Make your Kickstarter campaign a spectacle.

Kickstarter is the closest thing to an online comic-con that I’ve ever seen. You should be treating it as such by offering super cool, exclusive perks, doing live chats, engaging with your fans, and giving people something they can’t get anywhere else. You could offer daily giveaways through raffles, or weekly videos.

You can do a google hangout or an AMA, but the simple fact is that Kickstarter is an event and the more you can treat it as such the more success you will have.

Tip #26: Set up a launch and close event for your campaign.

You can do this at your house, at a local comic book store, at a park, or a restaurant. The key is not to spend a bunch of money on the event, it’s to get people excited about your project. If you are an artist, you can hold a show at a local gallery.

If you are a filmmaker you can hold a trailer screening at a local theater. You should hold these events the first and last day of your campaign to help drum up the most fervent enthusiasm possible during the most crucial times of your campaign.

Tip #27: Build press relationships early.

Emailing press contacts the day your campaign launches is too late. The press may have up to a six-month lead time on getting articles into their pipeline. However, if you aren’t building your contacts well before then the press won’t even write a story about you.

You need to be fostering these contacts for months or years before you launch. Offer to do articles for them, meet them at cons, find them on social media, and treat them like humans just like you would for anybody else. The real question you need to ask is “how can I provide value in their lives?” When it’s time to email about your project, then you need to make it easy for them to publish.

Tip #28: Your backers will be mostly people you know.

No matter how many emails you send to the press or how many cold contacts you make during your campaign, most people that back your project will be people you know for months or years before the campaign launches. That means you need the biggest network of energetic friends and fans before you ever hit the launch button. Remember, you can’t be successfully on crowdfunding without a crowd.

Tip #29: Pledge levels should include rewards from all previous tiers.

You don’t want people hesitating about backing a higher tier because they don’t want to miss out on something they really wanted from a previous tier. You want it to be very easy for them to increase their pledge level.

Increasing existing pledges is a crucial part of the middle campaign lull, and any hesitation will prevent you from getting that extra pledge money.

Tip #30: Model success.

Hundreds of other campaigns have done Kickstarter better than you in the past. They’ve succeeded and failed thousands of times. Use that to your advantage. Look through them all and find the points of commonality between them. Make sure to take note of the words they use, the imagery, and the reward levels that are consistent among the highest performers. Then, you can model that in your own campaign for the highest chance of success.

Tip #31: The right title is critical for success.

With hundreds of projects to choose from, you only have a second to catch a backer’s eye. With the way that Kickstarter is set up, you basically get an image and a title to make a backer click on your link.

So you want to make sure your title is catchy AND that is uses all 60 characters to fully explain the reason somebody should click on your project. Almost all hyper successful projects use a colon after the name of their project to state what the project is about. Make sure to utilize all 60 characters in order to give yourself the best chance for success.

That’s it for our mini-season. If you liked this, please subscribe, rate, and review it wherever you download your podcasts, whether it’s ItunesStitcherGoogle Play, or any of the other wonderful podcast aggregators out there.

It’s the best way for us to find new people to help and to make sure you don’t miss any future episodes. We have some crazy stuff coming up that you won’t want to miss, so subscribe now.

Surviving the chaotic waters of creativity as a couple with Cthulhu is Hard to Spell editor Kris Simon and filmmaker Marcus Perry

Surviving the chaotic waters of creativity as a couple with Cthulhu is Hard to Spell editor Kris Simon and filmmaker Marcus Perry

March 17, 2020

This week I'm so excited to bring my good friends Kris Simon and Marcus Perry to the show. I've known Kris, well forever, and she is my all time favorite convention programmer I've ever met. I LOVE doing programming at her shows because it is always well thought out and amazing. I feel like I've been doing her shows forever, but it's been at least five years. 

What I didn't know was that she was also an amazing editor who had worked with everybody in the industry back when she was at Shadowline. Before I decided to do our latest book, Cthulhu is Hard to Spell: The Terrible Twos, I sat down with her and asked if she would please please please help me edit it. The first two books nearly killed me, and I couldn't do it a third time without serious help. 

She agreed, and I think we made an AMAZING book, which you can find on Kickstarter by going to www.cthulhuishardtospell.com, or typing Cthulhu is Hard to Spell into the search bar.

One of the great finds she brought into the book was her significant other, Marcus Perry, a filmmaker who has worked with just about everybody, and who used to be head of marketing at Paramount. Together, they make an amazing team, and an interesting interview. It's way more common for a couple to have one creative person or entrepreneur and the other has a stable job, which is the situation I have with my wife. 

I was really enthusiastic to have them on to discuss what it's like to both be in highly creative and unstable fields at the same time. Listen to this episode if you want to know about: 

  • succeeding as a creator
  • How to keep going in the face of overwhelming odds
  • how to pitch and market your project like a Hollywood studio
  • How to overcome imposter syndrome

And much more. 

If you liked this episode, find Kris on Twitter @kris_simon or https://www.geekchicpromotions.com, and find Marcus at https://vimeo.com/marcusperry

If you love this show, please rate, review, and subscribe on your favorite podcast app. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

[REBROADCAST] Working Marvel and Working Indie with Paul Jenkins

[REBROADCAST] Working Marvel and Working Indie with Paul Jenkins

March 10, 2020

Today on the podcast I am going back to the archives to my interview with Paul Jenkins. Paul is one of the writers behind my anthology, Cthulhu is Hard to Spell: The Terrible Twos, and my first really big "get" for the show.

Kickstarter link

Paul is writer of all the things. Paul was the third employee on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, right when Eastman and Laird were about to explode into an empire. He’s worked with almost every known writer as an editor, and every artist as a writer. He’s written for Hellblazer, Spider-man, Batman, Inhumans (which won him an Eisner), and so much more…and that’s just on the comics side.

Paul is really a transmedia kind of guy. He works in every medium. Aside from writing movies, he’s written several video games including the Legacy of KainTwisted Metal Black and God of War series.Most recently, Paul is credited as writer on Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, created with RadicalEntertainment and The Darkness, created by StarbreezeStudios (source: Wikipedia).

On top of that he runs Meta Studios, and does his own creator owned comics Fairy Quest,which went on to raise $95,100 from 1,642 backers on Kickstarter, and is one of the prettiest books you’ve ever seen.

So long story short…Paul has some creds. And because of that we were able to go allover the map. He started by talking about his passion, which I found interesting…because he said he can find passion in anything. I love that idea,because it’s one that I use all the time. I hates marketing and sales before Istarted doing it, and by doing it I found something to love in it.

Paul’s big thing in that segment was in coming to work and doing it full force, and the idea that If you come full force at something, you’re going to be able to find something you love about it. Paul could choose anything to work on, and I’m sure he has people throwing projects at him, at least sometimes. He could phone it in, yet he still comes with the same work ethic that made his career.

Over and over it seems that these successful guys, talented as they are, come from a place of work ethic, and incredible work ethic. We saw this all the way back in the Les Garner episode and echoed in other episodes like Erik Lervold when he talked about every day being a fist fight.

These are incredibly talented guys, but there are thousands of talented guys. What separates the talent from the success is work ethic. It’s so much more important than talent. The world is littered with talented, lazy guys. If you can just outlast and out hustle, you will be a success.

Then we talked about Pixar’s 22 rules ofstorytelling, and how important they are. We touched on a lot, but mostly talked about endings, and how without an ending you have nothing. Lots of times people think they’ll figure out the ending as the go, but without an ending,Paul said, you are lost.

We also touched on some structure stuff. I talked about my way of designing a story and writing it sort of ends into the middle, where I take each issue and work from page 1 and page 20, toward page 10, and end on page 10-11.

What we really talked about though was whether writing comics gave him structure when he was writing his new novel, Curioddity,which I’ll plug now. Here’s the synopsis, pulled from Amazon.

Will Morgan is a low-budget detective after quitting his job and hardly ever has any work. When one day a mysterious man named Mr. Disndale, curator of an even more mysterious Curioddity Museum (a museum that houses legendary relics of history), visits him and asks him to find a wooden box made of teak, with a mother of pearl inlay that contains the world’s largest sample of levity, Wil thinks it is all a joke. He accepts the task and before long finds a worthy substitute to meet Mr. Dinsdale’s specifications.What Wil soon learns, however, is that there is a whole other world out there,a world he can only see by learning to un-see things, and in this world thereare people who want to close the Curioddity museum down. With the help of his new girlfriend Lucy, Wil will do everything he can to deliver on his promise to help Mr. Dinsdale keep the Curioddity Museum in business.

Curioddity is Paul Jenkin’s debut novel…exciting, fast-paced, and uncanny. A must-read.

Honestly, when I asked we sort of skirted around the question, because I was much more interested in his answer. He told me that most novelists and screenwriters have a hard time in graphic novels because so much is unseen and unread. I’m fascinated by that, because I found that comics made complete sense to me.

That’s when Paul dropped another truth bomb; he said it’s probably because I’m adaptable and not afraid to fail, so when I went into comics I was ready to figure out how to make it work.

And that made me think, because I always think that people are like me, but most people aren’t like me. They aren’t proactive, and in this business you have to be proactive. You have to be adaptable too. And when I went from movies to television to comic books, there was a comfort in that structure for me. I knew that every issue needed a cliffhanger, and every page and two page spread needed a cliffhanger, so I understood it all immediately, in fact I welcomed it.

Funny story,Paul blew me away when he told me writing for Marvel and DC is totally different, in that you can’t end every page on a cliffhanger. Why? Ads. You never know where ads are going to come, so you can’t rely on having every two-page spread end on a beat. That’s something unique to creator-owned books these days. The only way to guarantee you will get that beat you want is by doing a two-page spread, because then you have to run the pages back to back.

I always wondered, with digital, why people still did so many two-pages spreads, and now I think I have an answer. So when you write mainstream, you don’t have that freedom.

We also talked about Teenage Mutant Ninjas Turtles, and the phenomenon that accompanied it.TMNT is a violent book made for adults, and how it became a household name associated with children is fascinating. I’ll let you listen to the story Paul tells for yourself.

We ended on Paul talking about his creator-owned books, like Fairy Quest, and indie vs.mainstream. I still don’t think it’s possible right now to break in the wayPaul did, basically by asking an editor for a shot, but I love that idea.

And it’s in that idea that I want to end: asking. Paul was an editor who wanted to be a writer. So what did he do? Asked an editor for a shot…and he made the most out of it. But even if he didn’t get the job, the worst that would have happened was a no from that editor.

I love asking. I love Amanda Palmer’s TheArt of Asking, and I’ve pretty much built my career on asking for things. It’s the only way I had Paul on the show. It’s the only reason I had successful projects. It’s the only reason we’ve had success at all, and the more I do these shows, the more through lines I see. One of them being that asking is one key to success. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. 

Hope you enjoy the show. Go follow Paul on twitter @mypauljenkins if you do, and make sure to rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on your favorite podcast app, too.

How to build a Marvelous career with Spider-Girl artist Ray-Anthony Height

How to build a Marvelous career with Spider-Girl artist Ray-Anthony Height

March 3, 2020

Welcome back to The Complete Creative, the podcast that helps you build and sustain a better creative business. 

This week we continue with our unofficial mini-season devoted to my new anthology Cthulhu is Hard to Spell: The Terrible Twos, which is live on Kickstarter now. 

Kickstarter link

This month I'll be highlighting some of the creators that helped create the book by dropping three interviews from them this month. 

First up is my friend Ray-Anthony Height. Ray is a wonderful artist who has his own very popular indie book, Midnight Tiger, which is also live on Kickstarter now. You can scoop it up by heading here.

Ray-Anthony Height is freelance comic book penciler, creator, character designer and Co-Founder of Write Height Media. He's done work for Marvel Comics, Image Comics, Alias Comics, Viz Media, Mirage Studios, Hasbro and various other companies.

I really enjoyed this interview. When I looked up to clock the time, I was shocked an hour went by, and I could have talked to Ray for another hour without even realizing it. 

Listen to this episode if you want to learn: 

  • How to push your own limits as a creator
  • Why you should stop switching between projects constantly
  • How to get over the fear holding you back
  • How to grab opportunity when it comes knocking

and much more. 

If you liked this episode, head on over to Ray's Kickstarter and check it out, or find him on Instagram.

And if you are enjoying the show please rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes by clicking here, or find us wherever you download your episodes.

Rising from the Ashes and writing over 75 novels with USA Today bestselling author Ann Gimpel

Rising from the Ashes and writing over 75 novels with USA Today bestselling author Ann Gimpel

February 25, 2020

Today on the show I’m talking to USA Today bestselling author Ann Gimpel.

Ann Gimpel is a USA Today bestselling author. She’s also a mountaineer and vagabond at heart. She’s stood on top of some really gnarly peaks, and discovered that Zen mindfulness comes in very useful when the only other option is screaming your lungs out or curling into a fetal position because you’re too scared to do anything else.

I met Ann at Loscon last November when we sat on a panel together, and I was just so impressed by everything she had to say about writing and building a career. I later found out that she’s written over 75 novels, and attained a level of success in publishing that most authors can only dream to achieve.

After the show, we became friends, and recently she put together an anthology of stories to support the victims, both animal and human, of the horrendous fires in Australia. I gave a story to that anthology, and since it’s now live on all platforms, we wanted to do an episode of the show to support it and raise funds for the project.

All proceeds go straight to relief efforts on the ground in Australia.

Rising from the ashes book link

 It just so happens that I have my own anthology launching next week, so anthologies have been on my brain, which makes this perfect timing.

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

  • Why Ann will never go into Kindle Unlimited
  • How to self edit more effectively
  • How to maintain the stamina to write 75 books
  • How to research better

And much more. If you love this one, make sure to head over to https://anngimpel.com and tell Ann how much you appreciated her stopping by for a chat.

And if you are enjoying the show please rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes by clicking here, or find us wherever you download your episodes. 

Digging deep on anthologies with editor Terry Cronin

Digging deep on anthologies with editor Terry Cronin

February 18, 2020

Welcome back Wannabes and Creators to another episode of The Complete Creative. I'm changing up the show notes this week. I've been having my editor write these notes for the past few weeks, but this week I'm back at the helm. In two weeks my biggest project of the year launches, the second volume of my epic anthology series, Cthulhu is Hard to Spell. 

Because of that, I've got anthologies on the brain, and I'm going to be talking about them a lot in the next month. This week, I'm talking to Terry Cronin, editor of The Healing, which is live on Kickstarter right now. 

The Healing link

Terry Cronin is a writer, filmmaker, and the creator of the Horsepower G comic book. He is also the writer of The Skinvestigator novel trilogy, along with the editor of The Healing, An unforgettable superhero comic tale by a collaborative group of 10 writer/artist teams each telling a chapter of the story. It's an anthology series, but Terry had a huge part in forging the overall story, providing beat sheets to each creator, and pairing them up with superstar artists like, Larry Waits, Barry Kitson, Lee Oaks, Sergio Cariello, Ben Herrera, and more.

We dug deep on the process of creating an anthology in this episode, from finding artists to hiring writers to how to write a good piece of short fiction. Listen to this one if you want to learn: 

  • How to fund an anthology
  • Why anthologies are a lot like mixtapes
  • How to pace an anthology
  • How to get chosen to be in an anthology
  • How to write a great anthology story

And much more. 

Dealing with anxiety, depression, and burnout with New York Times bestselling author Dr. Debra Holland

Dealing with anxiety, depression, and burnout with New York Times bestselling author Dr. Debra Holland

February 11, 2020

Join Russell Nohelty (The Complete Creative) and Dr. Debra Holland (psychotherapist) as they chat about Dealing with anxiety, depression, and burnout.

By the end of this episode, you will learn much about how to properly deal with anxiety, depression and burnout. You will also learn a lot about writing different genre of books, and a lot of other great stuff from both Russell and Debra. Enjoy!

~

Debra Holland is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of the award-winning Montana Sky Series (sweet, historical Western romance) and The Gods’ Dream Trilogy (fantasy romance.)

Debra is a three-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist and one-time winner. In 2013, Amazon selected Starry Montana Sky as one of the Top 50 Greatest Love Stories.

When she’s not writing, Dr. Debra works as a psychotherapist and corporate crisis/grief counselor. She’s the author of The Essential Guide to Grief and Grieving, a book about helping people cope with all kinds of loss, and Cultivating an Attitude about Gratitude, a Ten Minute Ebook. She’s also a contributing author to The Naked Truth About Self-Publishing.

I sincerely hope you enjoy the interview.

You can find Debra on...

https://www.debraholland.com/
https://twitter.com/drdebraholland
https://www.facebook.com/Debra-Holland-395355780562473/

 

Connect with Russell Nohelty
http://thecompletecreative.com/
https://www.facebook.com/russellnohelty
http://facebook.com/thecompletecreative/
https://www.instagram.com/russellnohelty/

[REBROADCAST] Traditional vs. Self-Publishing with World Fantasy Award Winning Author Tim Powers

[REBROADCAST] Traditional vs. Self-Publishing with World Fantasy Award Winning Author Tim Powers

February 4, 2020

This week on the show we have Tim Powers, Philip K. Dick award-winning science fiction and fantasy author of Dinner at Deviant’s Palace and On Stranger Tides. I met Tim at Loscon and he made an offhand comment about how nobody should ever self-publish their book. I asked him to come on the show and make his case, and he agreed! This is his bio, straight from Wikipedia:

Timothy Thomas ”Tim“ Powers (born February 29, 1952)[1] is an American science fiction and fantasy author. Powers has won the World Fantasy Award twice for his critically acclaimed novels Last Call and Declare. His 1988 novel On Stranger Tides served as inspiration for the Monkey Island franchise of video games and was optioned for adaptation into the fourth Pirates of the Caribbeanfilm.

Most of Powers’ novels are “secret histories“. He uses actual, documented historical events featuring famous people, but shows another view of them in which occult or supernatural factors heavily influence the motivations and actions of the characters.

Typically, Powers strictly adheres to established historical facts. He reads extensively on a given subject, and the plot develops as he notes inconsistencies, gaps and curious data; regarding his 2000 novel Declare, he stated,[2]

“I made it an ironclad rule that I could not change or disregard any of the recorded facts, nor rearrange any days of the calendar – and then I tried to figure out what momentous but unrecorded fact could explain them all.”

Tim has been a published writer for a long time, and I really enjoyed his perspective on writing. Even though I don’t agree that there is never a reason to self-publish. He laid out his case very well for why somebody should look for a publisher, and even how to do it. I really enjoyed toward the end of the interview when he went through the step by step process for how to get a book published. It was a brilliant strategy, and even though he’s not a marketing person he clearly has some marketing in him because it’s genius in its simplicity.

I also really liked what he said about how to find an agent. Yes, he went through the exact process you should use to find an agent toward the end of the interview and it was great. There is a secret piece of the puzzle you need before getting an agent interested, and the way he talks about it is just fantastic.

The four publishers he talked about in this interview that accept unsolicited manuscripts are TorDawBaen, and Ace. I know I’m going to look into them and if you have a qualifying book then you should too.

If you liked this episode, please head on over to Tim’s Facebook page and website to say thanks. If you like the show, please head on over to iTunes. Rate, review, and subscribe today.

If you want to check out my Kickstarter Toolkit, the free resource I designed to help you launch your own project, filled with everything I’ve ever said about Kickstarter on my blog and podcast, click here.

Following your Hollywood dreams with filmmaker Kris Wile

Following your Hollywood dreams with filmmaker Kris Wile

January 28, 2020

Join Russell Nohelty (The Complete Creative) and Kristopher Wile (filmmaker) as they chat about Following your Hollywood Dreams and talk about other cool stuff related to film making.

By the end of this episode you will learn much about the film making industry, tips on how to become a successful film maker, and a lot of cool stuff as they share both their experiences in film making. Enjoy!

~

Kristopher Wile was born in Greensboro, North Carolina to Eric and Belinda Wile. He began writing at an early age and would often bring along pen and paper on family vacations, only to have filled them with short stories by the end of the trip. Kristopher attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he began studying History and Classical Archaeology with the intent of entering academia as a professor of Near Eastern Archaeology.

While at Chapel Hill, he stumbled onto the Carolina Production Guild, a student run production company devoted to the art of celluloid filmmaking. It was through his involvement with CPG that he filmed his first short film on Kodak Super 8mm film stock. The experience awakened his love of film and motivated him to pursue a career in entertainment. After moving to Los Angeles, Kristopher founded the production company Aureate Films with business partner Wally Schrass to produce commercials, music videos, and feature length content.~

 

I sincerely hope you enjoy the interview.

You can find Kristopher on...

https://www.instagram.com/kwiledirects
https://www.instagram.com/aureatefilms/
https://aureatefilms.com/

 

Connect with Russell Nohelty
http://thecompletecreative.com/
https://www.facebook.com/russellnohelty
http://facebook.com/thecompletecreative/
https://www.instagram.com/russellnohelty/

How to build a personal brand and publish books with Humanoids senior editor Fabrice Sapolsky

How to build a personal brand and publish books with Humanoids senior editor Fabrice Sapolsky

January 21, 2020

Join Russell Nohelty (The Complete Creative) and Fabrice Sapolsky (Humanoids senior editor) as they chat How to Build a Personal Brand and talk about the right approach and mindset when building a brand.

By the end of this episode you will learn a unique perspective on the subject of building a brand, the right approach and mindset to be successful, and a lot of great stuff as they share both their experiences in brand building. Enjoy!

~

Born in Paris (France), in 1970, Fabrice Sapolsky broke into the comic book world as creator of the French magazine about American comics Comic Box in 1998. But in December 2006, he wakes up one morning with the idea of alternate reality Spider-Man set in the 1930s. After sharing his idea with David Hine, they both decide to pitch it to Marvel comics as Spider-Man Noir. The first mini-series, will be published between Dec.2008 and March 2009. A second series, Spider-Man Noir: Eyes without a Face follows a year later (Dec.2009-March 2010). Both series have been blessed with critical and commercial success.

On top of his numerous activities, Fabrice created and curated his own comic book convention! After meeting with President of the Kol Israel Synagogue, Fred Polaniecki, Fabrice decides to create a convention like no other: the Jewish Comic Con. This convention, not a Jew-Centric con, is as much a celebration of the founders of the comic book industry (where 90% of the creators happened to be jewish) as a place to bridge communities of Brooklyn around a fantastic medium (comics, of course). The first edition took place on November 13th, 2016. A second one happened on April 29th, 2018.Fabrice Sapolsky edits, designs, draws and, of course, writes. He has many projects in development and likes the quote : “To Be Continued”.

~

I sincerely hope you enjoy the interview.

You can find David on...

https://fairsquarecomics.com/
+1 (323) 405-9401
https://twitter.com/fabricesapolsky
https://www.instagram.com/fabricesapolsky/---

 

Connect with Russell Nohelty
http://thecompletecreative.com/
https://www.facebook.com/russellnohelty
http://facebook.com/thecompletecreative/
https://www.instagram.com/russellnohelty/

Building the career of your dreams with artists Kristine and Colin Poole

Building the career of your dreams with artists Kristine and Colin Poole

January 14, 2020

Join Russell Nohelty (The Complete Creative) and Kristine and Colin Poole (artists) as they chat about building the career of your dreams.

By the end of this episode you will learn how networking can help you, use shows and social media to grow brand, get some pointers to stretch your mind to be more creative, and a lot of fun stuff especially in the world of entertainment. Enjoy!

~

Colin and Kristine Poole are partners in both art and life. Kristine, a sculptor and Colin, both a painter and sculptor, work both individually and collectively. As Colin describes their sculptural collaborations, “We are both completely involved in all aspects of the process from the beginning. There isn’t any part that we don’t both have our hands in, both literally and figuratively.” Kristine adds, “We both bring specialized backgrounds to the table – my extensive background in ceramic sculpture and anatomical study is the perfect complement to Colin’s 25 years of experience as a professional painter and sculptor.”

~

I sincerely hope you enjoy the interview.

You can find Kristine and Colin on...

Colin and Kristine Poole
http://www.colinpoole.com/
http://www.kristinepoole.com/
https://www.instagram.com/kcpooleartists

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Connect with Russell Nohelty
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https://www.facebook.com/russellnohelty
http://facebook.com/thecompletecreative/
https://www.instagram.com/russellnohelty/

Surviving Creative Burnout with Hugo winning author David D. Levine

Surviving Creative Burnout with Hugo winning author David D. Levine

January 7, 2020

Join Russell Nohelty (The Complete Creative) and David D. Levine (Hugo Nominated author)  as they chat about Surviving Creative Burnout and Give some tips on how to be successful with your writing career.

By the end of this episode you will learn survival tips from having creative burnout, define your own brand of success, and you’ll also learn how to balance your passion and business. Enjoy!

~

Although he has a long interest in reading and writing science fiction, he began as a writer of technical articles. He has primarily written short fiction; his first professional fiction sale came in 2001.

A long-time member of science fiction fandom and early member of MilwApa. He also co-edited a fanzine, Bento, with his late wife, Kate Yule, and has served as Convention Committee Chair for Potlatch. His short story "Ukaliq and the Great Hunt" appeared in The Phobos Science Fiction Anthology Volume 2 (2003).

Although he grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Levine now lives in Portland, Oregon. In 2010, he spent two weeks in a simulated Mars habitat of the Mars Society, in Utah.

~

I sincerely hope you enjoy the interview.

You can find David on...

Website: https://daviddlevine.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/david.d.levine.sf

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/daviddlevine/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/daviddlevine

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Connect with Russell Nohelty
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http://facebook.com/thecompletecreative/
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[LIVE] How to dominate on social media in less than one hour a week

[LIVE] How to dominate on social media in less than one hour a week

December 31, 2019

Join Russell Nohelty (The Complete Creative) as he talked about How to dominate on social media in less than one hour a week during a live show from World Fantasy convention in 2019.

By the end of this episode you will learn how to utilize social media properly, mastering one social media platform is much better using all social media platform at the same time, and spend less time while reaping the full benefits social media can give to you. Enjoy!

 

~

Hi. I'm USA Today Bestselling author Russell Nohelty. I write the books you read. Some of them at least. Well, I hope you read my books. I guess that's a bit of a presumption on my part. At least I hope you read my books now if you haven't already. That would be cool.

I like to think of myself as Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, John Green, and Chuck Palahniuk's love baby. If you like them, you're almost guaranteed to like my stuff.

The goal of my writing is to combine entertaining plots with thought provoking ideas. I hope to incite conversations with the stories that I tell, but without the impossible density some literary novels face when dealing with difficult subjects.

I love thinking about reality, perception, righteousness, justice, religion, piety, love and the origins of it everything. Since that's what I love thinking about, it's also what I love to write, but I try to do so in an entertaining way real human people can enjoy. To me, entertainment is paramount.

---

 

Connect with Russell Nohelty
http://thecompletecreative.com/
https://www.facebook.com/russellnohelty
http://facebook.com/thecompletecreative/
https://www.instagram.com/russellnohelty/

Finding the rhythm of your creative career with composer David Raiklen

Finding the rhythm of your creative career with composer David Raiklen

December 24, 2019

Join Russell Nohelty (The Complete Creative) and David Raiklen (composer-producer-host) as they chat about finding the rhythm of your creative career and give their perspective on living a complete creative lifestyle.

By the end of this episode you will learn a unique perspective on how to advance your career through being creative, get some pointers to stretch your mind to be more creative, and a lot of fun stuff specially in the world of entertainment. Enjoy!

~

David Raiklen is a composer-producer-host. He was mentored by Oscar winner John Williams and Pulitzer Prize winner Mel Powel. Dr. Raiklen studied at USC and CalArts and later taught at those universities. He has worked for Fox, Sony, Disney, Sprint, Mattel, Warner Bros and PBS, plus many independent producers. Films he scored have starred Elliott Gould, Doug Jones, and Martin Sheen. David made the New York Film Critics Top Ten with the documentary Heist, the short list for an Academy Award® for Worth, and Mia, A Dancer’s Journey won the Emmy.

David Raiklen compositions have been performed at the Hollywood Bowl and Disney Hall. He is also host of a successful radio program, Classical Fan Club, where guests include Joshua Bell and John Williams; and is host and leader of The Academy of Scoring Arts seminars. David is currently producing and composing for Space Command, a series of epic adventures set in a hopeful future, and creating a Virtual Reality experience.

~

I sincerely hope you enjoy the interview.

You can find David on...

Be Friends https://www.facebook.com/david.raiklen

Space Command Pilot https://youtu.be/o9bDvJnrOyI

Sound Cloud https://soundcloud.com/cinematicmusic1

Website: http://davidraiklen.com/wp/

email: cinematicmusic1@gmail.com

youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzxmcE0I6UbomGFne0pb85w

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Connect with Russell Nohelty
http://thecompletecreative.com/
https://www.facebook.com/russellnohelty
http://facebook.com/thecompletecreative/
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How to be successful writing in a niche with author Chrishaun Keller Hanna

How to be successful writing in a niche with author Chrishaun Keller Hanna

December 17, 2019

This week’s episode is Chrishaun Keller-Hanna. I’ve known Chrishaun for a while, and she’s one of my book marketing clients, but then I was listening to the Sell More Books show and heard her as the guest host, and completely went digging to learn everything I could about her.

She’s the real deal. Mentored by Michael Anderle, she learned from all of his successes and failures, and then went to launch her own successful series. Chrishaun talks about her journey to success including all the bumps along the way.

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

  • How to be successful in a niche
  • How to diversify your offerings beyond just your core product
  • How to make sure your community functions like a living organism
  • Why geeking out about the things you love is so important to your success

And more.

If you liked this episode, go find Chrishaun on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram and let her know how much you enjoyed it. Also, find her Shaman States of America on this website.

Make sure to subscribe to this podcast, too, and visit www.thecompletecreative.com for tons of awesome resources that can help you build your own creative career.

 

Dominating the convention scene with artist Megan Risk

Dominating the convention scene with artist Megan Risk

December 10, 2019

Join Russell Nohelty (The Complete Creative) and Megan Risk (The Art of Megan E. Risk) as they chat about Dominating the convention scene and Tips to be a successful artist.

By the end of this episode, you will learn as an artist how to use your creativity to be successful in a convention scene, to do what you love and be successful, and how being adaptable can help you with your career as an artist. Enjoy!

~

Megan Risk has been an art student since freshman year of High School. As a kid, she was always drawing. None of it was miraculous or evidence of her being any kind of child savant in art, but it was always very detailed and people seemed to like it. She enjoyed making things, so it worked out for everyone

Then she started to understand the fundamentals and realized what she could actually do with a pencil and paper or a brush and canvas. Even clay. And it just never stopped. She wants to learn everything, knowing she never will, but as long as she’s learning SOMETHING, she is happy.

In 2014, she started my creative business online where she sold hand-dyed and handspun yarn as well as crocheted items for those who don’t have time. She took drawing portrait commissions at the same time and supplemented her income while she worked as a sushi chef, which is what she originally thought she would be building a career in. She realized one day that it wasn’t. Where she has a deep respect for sushi making and working in a professional kitchen and will never forget the discipline and friends (and family) She gained along the way, every second she spent away from my artwork of the non-food kind felt like she was that much closer to shriveling up. SHE NEEDED to draw.

In January 2017, Megan gave up my day job and went full time into freelance art. Her bread and butter has been conventions and it’s been an ABSOLUTE BLAST. She can’t even believe this is my life right now.

~

I sincerely hope you enjoy the interview.

You can find Megan on...

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meganerisk/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MeganERisk/

Website: https://www.meganrisk.com/

 

This is the Kickstarter she talks about for her super creepy short story art book:

 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/marionette/marionette

 

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Connect with Russell Nohelty
http://thecompletecreative.com/
https://www.facebook.com/russellnohelty
http://facebook.com/thecompletecreative/
https://www.instagram.com/russellnohelty/

What it takes to make a living as an artist with Naomi VanDoren

What it takes to make a living as an artist with Naomi VanDoren

December 3, 2019

This week I talk to one of my favorite fantasy artists, Naomi VanDoren, about what it takes to build a brand that sticks and endures for the long haul. I still remember the first time I saw Naomi's art at Worldcon 2018. I literally stopped dead in my tracks because I loved it so much, and then spent the next 15 minutes gushing about it to her. In the years since, I've spent a lot of time with Naomi at shows and grown to treasure her not just as an artist, but as a friend and fellow artrepreneur. 

This episode we talk about how to build a brand from scratch, what it takes to make a living as an artist, and how to transition into authorship after years as an artist.

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

  • Learn how to experiment with your art effectively
  • How to figure out what you’re passionate about
  • The secrets to growing your brand
  • How to evolve your brand over time

And more.

You can check out Naomi’s work at:

https://www.naomivandoren.com/

Make sure to go to her site b/c she has one of the most cohesive art brands you will ever see.

If you liked this episode, go find Naomi on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram and let her know how much you enjoyed it. Also, subscribe to her Youtube channel for some awesome resources and beautiful process videos.

Make sure to subscribe to this podcast, too, and visit www.thecompletecreative.com for tons of awesome resources that can help you build your own creative career.

 

How to raise $43,000 on your first Kickstarter with Melissa Pagluica

How to raise $43,000 on your first Kickstarter with Melissa Pagluica

November 26, 2019

This week’s guest is artist and creator Melissa Pagluica, writer and artist for the Above the Clouds series, which raised $43,000 on Kickstarter.

Oh, and did I mention that was her first campaign?

This episode, we dig deep into what made her campaign, and her career work, what she does to keep going, and how she found success.

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

  • How to write comics where the words don’t overpower the art
  • How to plan ahead in your writing
  • How to create an enduring fandom
  • What’s most important for Kickstarter success

And more.

There were also a couple of books that Melissa mentioned on this episode:

-Invisible Ink by Brian McDonald (she said McCloud) can be found here.

-Wired for Story by Lisa Cron can be found here.

You can also read all of Above the Clouds at:

http://www.atcloudscomic.com/

If you liked this episode, go find Melissa on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram and let her know how much you enjoyed it.

Make sure to subscribe to this podcast, too, and visit www.thecompletecreative.com for tons of awesome resources that can help you build your own creative career.

How to build a sustainable hybrid writing career with Neo Edmund

How to build a sustainable hybrid writing career with Neo Edmund

November 19, 2019

This week’s guest is Neo Edmund, author of the Alpha Huntress series, several Power Ranger books for Random House, and animation writer for such shows as Kaijudo.

Neo has taught me so much over the years, and I am excited that I got to have this conversation with him. Neo taught me all about panels, and tabling at conventions, and what makes a book sell while I was just getting my feet wet as an author.

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

  • How to take risks strategically
  • Why even if you’re scared you should do it anyway
  • How to interact with fans at conventions
  • Why writing a thousand books a year doesn’t matter much

And more.

If you liked this episode, go find Neo on Facebook at www.facebook.com/neoedmundauthorguy or Twitter www.twitter.com/neoedmundx and let him know how much you enjoyed it.

Make sure to subscribe to this podcast, too, and visit www.thecompletecreative.com for tons of awesome resources that can help you build your own creative career.

The free course I talked about in the intro can be found at www.thecompletecreative.com/fbc

 

How to sustain a 50 year comics career with legendary writer and creator of The New Teen Titans Marv Wolfman

How to sustain a 50 year comics career with legendary writer and creator of The New Teen Titans Marv Wolfman

November 12, 2019

This is my first new guest on my podcast in over 18 months.

I’m so thrilled to be back, and I’m excited to get back to it. This podcast has always been near and dear to me. It’s the one thing I always regretted giving up, so to be able to be back on the air is very special to me.

I wanted to give you a guest as special as this moment entails, and that was a tall order. I have been planning this launch for over a year, and almost immediately I knew who I wanted to kick us off.

My good friend Marv Wolfman. Marv is a living legend in comics and one of the most successful creators working today. I say that without an ounce of sarcasm, either.

Marv has had a 50+ year career. He created the Teen Titans, Deathstroke, Nova, Blade, and hundreds of others, as well as writing every character you can imagine. He was the editor in chief of Marvel comics for a time, as well as Disney comics, and more. He's also the architect of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, with CW is retelling through all five of their shows. 

This was a treat to record, and I’ve been planning this whole relaunch on this interview. I was a wee bit nervous, but I think it turned out amazing.

Listen to this episode if you want to learn:

  • How to develop a character that enters the public zeitgeist
  • The biggest change to creating in the last 50 years
  • How to break down a story that keeps readers guessing
  • How to build a sustainable career

And more.

If you liked this episode, go find Marv on Facebook, Twitter, or on his website at:

http://www.marvwolfman.com/marv/frontpage.html

Make sure to subscribe to this podcast, too, and visit www.thecompletecreative.com for tons of awesome resources that can help you build your own creative career.

The free course I talked about in the intro can be found at www.thecompletecreative.com/fbc

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