Kobo Writing Life Podcast

KWL Director Mark Lefebvre interviews Kristine Kathryn Rusch, an award-winning writer of science fiction, fantasy, mystery and romance, at Superstars Writing Seminars.

Apart from her decades of writing and editing experience which includes being published in 14 different countries in 13 languages, Rusch co-runs a publishing business (WMG Publishing) with her partner Dean Wesley Smith and provides authors invaluable insights about writing and publishing through her popular blog series: The Business Rusch.

During the conversation, Mark and Kris talk about:

  • ·         Her recent book, Discoverability and how it was derived from about 6 months’ worth of blog posts outlining a bit about the history of publishing and how it relates to where we are today
  • ·         A disclaimer that, unless you’ve already published about 10 books, you aren’t likely to be able to use the advice from this book
  • ·         The Business Rusch, the blog in which Rusch provides valuable insights that many smart writers ensure they read every week
  • ·         Rusch has been a professional writer since she was sixteen years old and wrote an article for the local newspaper (insert appropriate and in-appropriate age jokes and laughing here)
  • ·         How Rusch and author Kevin J. Anderson met while in college as like-minded writers with similar goals and how that social group expanded into relationships they’ve both had with writer friends ever since
  • ·         How much Rusch gives back to the writing community and why she feels it’s important to pay it forward to other writers the way that she was provided help, insights and support from writers who took the time to help her
  • ·         The selfish reason why Rusch gives back – because she’s an avid reader and wants more great books to read
  • ·         The biggest pitfall that writers fall into – that they don’t know enough about the business of writing
  • ·         The reason why Rusch stopped editing full-time – how living in that critical space can affect your writing style and writing brain
  • ·         The concept of “reader cookies” – a term that Rusch learned from editor Gardner Dozois – as well as “anti-cookies” and how that can affect an editor
  • ·         Rusch’s love of “secret identity” stories
  • ·         The various different pseudonyms that Rusch has written under in various styles and genres, including Kristine Grayson, Kris Nelscott, and Kristine Dexter.
  • ·         How Rusch puts up a free short story on her blog every Monday that people can check out with no strings attached.
  • ·         Rusch’s statement of advice to beginning writers     


Mark then talks a bit more about the books for writers that Rusch has written and shares a personal experience about how reading the book Deal Breakers helped him in a very significant way when he was negotating a contract for one of his most recent books, Tomes of Terror.



Rusch's book: Discoverability

Rusch's book: Deal Breakers: Contract Terms Writers Should Avoid

The Business Rusch



Direct download: KWL_EP029_KristineKathrynRusch.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:36am PDT

Kobo Writing Life director Mark Lefebvre recently attended the 2015 Superstars Writing Seminars (Teaching you the business of being a writer) in Colorado Springs, CO. During the conference, he had a chance to interview several of the faculty and guest lecturers.

Presented here is Mark's interview with Superstars Faculty member James A. Owen a comic book illustrator, publisher and writer who is best known for the comic book series Starchild and the The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica novels.

Highlights from the discussion include:

  • How Owen got to know Kevin J. Anderson and was first invited to be a guest instructor of Superstars Writing Seminars and that led to a permanent Faculty position
  • The collaboration that Owen is working on with with Kevin
  • The regular Standing Ovation that Owen's "Drawing out the Dragons" talk receives
  • The speaking that Owen has done in Middle Grade schools, Art Schools and for Corporations
  • Mark pauses to express the wonder he feels whenever Owen gives a talk, harking on how James is an example of one of the ultimate types of oral storyteller
  • The mixture of storyteller and artist and how Owen self-identifies as a "Comic Guy"
  • The manner by which the story beautifully derives from the words and pictures coming together
  • How Owen puts the needs of others, of those he meets, those he works with, those who look to him for advice first
  • Owen's perspective on how all of us are born into this world without prejudice, without hate, without anger; but how some can become conditioned to that. The shewing of things into a positive light is a choice James makes as a way to perceive a life in an attempt to return to the more natural state
  • Owen's roll at Superstars in terms of a question he asks, which is "How can I serve you?"
  • The philosophy of deciding to make things happen or allowing things to happen to you and the manner by which Owen embraces that at all turns
  • Being in the depths of despair, and how Owen had posted publicly regarding where he had been and the demons he had been struggling with the previous year, his public posting of it and how, in the middle of it, he still had to do the "Drawing Out the Dragons" presentation on an empty gas tank
  • Owen's belief in the attendees of the Superstars Writing Seminars and how he knew that they all had his back and would not let him down
  • The difficulty most people have in not surfacing those personal struggles in believing that we won't be listened to and that we will be judged for our struggle.  Which is why Owen is so open about that
  • An intriguing depression-help line discussion that Owen was involved in when he'd been struggling with his own demons
  • A moment when a story Owen shares is so emotional that interviewer Lefebvre is overcome with emotion and is rendered speechless
  • Advice for writers: How no writer ever wrote a great book without first having finished it. Finish it and then it can be made better
  • Owen's next projects:  The Fool's Hollow novels (the novel versions of the stories told in Starchild) and The Hundred.

Mark then discusses the importance of drawing attention to mental health issues such as depression, which can affect writers and other creative types, outlining the need to discuss these things openly in an understanding way, rather than trying to blame those who suffer from mental health issues.  He mentions online resources that might help in Canada (Healthy Minds Canada), the US (Mental Health America) and the UK (Mental Health Foundation)


Direct download: KWL_EP028_JamesAOwen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:51pm PDT