Keystroke Medium
LIVE! with Nicholas Sansbury Smith

LIVE! with Nicholas Sansbury Smith

September 26, 2016

In this episode, Nicholas Sansbury Smith (author of Hell Divers, The Extinction Cycle, and Orbs) talks about how he got started in his writing career, how he built his brand, and how to write a thrilling book. As an added bonus, we are the first to see the inside of his new house. I thought we would get to meet the pitbull and the shih tzu, but alas, it was not to be. You will need to watch this one to the end to understand the reference, but I digress.

After listening to Hell Divers on Audible, Josh told me I had to give it a listen, and now I am recommending it to you. The story takes dystopian fiction to a new level. The characters, story and pacing are outstanding and his voice is second to none.

One of the unique things about Keystroke Medium is the openness and enthusiasm of our guests. Nicholas was no exception. He talks, in detail, about development, writing, working with editors and agents, and being a hybrid author (indie published and traditionally published). I started taking notes when he gave examples of how he builds his brand. Spoiler alert, he interacts with his fans and keeps it positive.

If you want entertaining conversation about books, writing, and a marketing, this episode is for you. I came away with a very good outlook on what it takes to be successful in this business or any other.

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The Write Stuff - Making Stories Great featuring David Farland and Jacob Cooper

The Write Stuff - Making Stories Great featuring David Farland and Jacob Cooper

September 14, 2016

What do you do when a legend makes an appearance? If you are a writer and a fan of works of wonder, let’s just say...the might want to tune in and have a list of questions ready.

David Farland (author of the Runelords series and the award-winning novel On My Way to Paradise) joined us at Keystroke Medium with one of his proteges, Jacob Cooper (the Dying Lands Chronicle). Readers may recognize some other best selling authors who took lessons from Mr. Farland. The list is distinguished: Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn), Stephenie Meyer (Twilight), James Dasher (The Maze Runner), and Brandon Mull (Fablehaven).

The idea of this special episode of The Write Stuff at Keystroke Medium was to focus on revising and editing. We picked Jacob Cooper because he underwent a major revision of an already published work -- not something many people have the heart to attempt. We asked him to be on our special six month anniversary episode already knowing he brings entertainment and information every time.

To our surprise and delight (imagine us doing cartwheels and high-fiving, though maybe not at the same time) Jacob dropped this casual statement.

“Hey guys, I think I can get David Farland on the show.”

Speechless, then cartwheels.

Here is a question. Should science fiction and fantasy have a new genre name? David Farland makes a good argument for “Wonder Fiction.” The moment he began the discussion on this seemingly small distinction there was a wave of revelation that smacked me in the face. Other genres are named by emotion: mystery, thriller, romance and so on. The science fiction and fantasy genres are designated by adjectives (or an adjective phrase in the case of science fiction, but let’s not geek out on grammar here). No one is saying we should disregard the terms we know and love, it is just a thought provoking observation.

Which is a theme throughout this interview.

I don’t know how much David Farland charged Brandon Sanderson, Stephenie Meyer, James Dasher, and Brandon Mull for his mentoring services, but you can get some of it for free right here at The Write Stuff at Keystroke Medium.

Visit  David Farland's website:

Visit Jacob Cooper's website:

LIVE! with Jo Zebedee

LIVE! with Jo Zebedee

September 7, 2016

Welcome to Northern Ireland, where you can drink pints of ale and read great works of science fiction. It’s also home to today’s guest, Jo Zebedee, author of the Inheritance Trilogy and alien invasion novel, Inish Carraig.

On today’s show, we bring you the inside scoop about the third and final book in the Inheritance Trilogy, Abendau’s Legacy and have an depth discussion about Jo’s Hugo nominated novel Inish Carraig. Jo also talks about writing short fiction for the newly released Explorations: Through the Wormhole anthology and what it was like to write in a shared universe.

We had a great time talking to Jo and had we actually been in a Belfast, I’m sure the show would have been even more epic. (And perhaps a little tipsy) Should there ever be a Keystroke Medium world tour, Belfast will be on our top 5 list.

Jo Zebedee writes military space operas by combining her love of the genre with the expert input from actual military officers to get the technical parts right. What struck me during this interview was her concern for strong characters and ability to write darker fiction when the effects of the story demanded it. One of her pet peeves in the genre is having child heroes save the universe then “dust themselves off like nothing happened.”

During this interview we talked about how characters are changed by their ordeal. what inspires her,  writing style, and go behind the scenes of her creation process.

We hope you enjoy this interview, and please subscribe to our YouTube channel and give us some likes.

You can learn more about Jo Zebedee at,, and

You can find her books on Amazon here: Jo Zebedee's Author Page

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