60 episodes

WE MAKE BOOKS is the only podcast to bring a publisher and an author for open and frank discussions about publishing in a way that discusses the concerns from both sides of the industry "table." New episodes publish twice each month.

Kaelyn Considine (@kindofkaelyn) is an acquiring editor for Parvus Press and as part of her position there, she reviews submissions, selects new books for purchase, and edits novels to get them ready for release.

Rekka (@bittybittyzap) writes genre fiction as R J Theodore. She has a series of SFF novels publishing through Parvus Press, and self-publishes other shorter books.

Together, Rekka and Kaelyn want to break down the divide between publishers and authors so everyone knows exactly where they should be focusing, and how best to work together for the successful book launches.

We Make Books Podcast WMBCast.com

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 9 Ratings

WE MAKE BOOKS is the only podcast to bring a publisher and an author for open and frank discussions about publishing in a way that discusses the concerns from both sides of the industry "table." New episodes publish twice each month.

Kaelyn Considine (@kindofkaelyn) is an acquiring editor for Parvus Press and as part of her position there, she reviews submissions, selects new books for purchase, and edits novels to get them ready for release.

Rekka (@bittybittyzap) writes genre fiction as R J Theodore. She has a series of SFF novels publishing through Parvus Press, and self-publishes other shorter books.

Together, Rekka and Kaelyn want to break down the divide between publishers and authors so everyone knows exactly where they should be focusing, and how best to work together for the successful book launches.

    Episode 60 - Worldbuilding Tricks and Traps

    Episode 60 - Worldbuilding Tricks and Traps

    We Make Books is a podcast for writers and publishers, by writers and publishers and we want to hear from our listeners! Hit us up on our social media, linked below, and send us your questions, comments, and concerns for us to address in future episodes.
    We hope you enjoy We Make Books!
    Twitter: @WMBCast  |  @KindofKaelyn  |  @BittyBittyZap
    Instagram: @WMBCast 
    Patreon.com/WMBCast
     
    Links for this episode:
    Worldbuilding for Masochists Podcast
    Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master's Guide
    Wonderbook by Jeff Vandermeer
    Episode Transcript (by TK @_torkz)
    [Upbeat Ukulele Intro Music]This is We Make Books, a podcast about writing publishing and everything in between. Rekka is a published Science Fiction and Fantasy author, and Kaelyn is a professional genre fiction editor. Together, they'll tackle the things you never knew you never knew about getting a book from concept to finished product, with explanations, examples, and a lot of laughter. Get your moleskin notebook ready. It's time for We Make Books.
    We Make Books Ep. 60 Transcription
     
    After intro: [00:26]
     
    Rekka: She was tuuckered out yesterday. I was tuckered out yesterday. [laughing] The trainer had us running around a field and it was the first time I had done any real, like, quick movements, certainly out in the sun on an 80 degree day, when I had forgotten water for both me and Evie, and the trainer only said “oh I have some in the car,” she only gave it to Evie, she didn’t give me any. But she’s like “jump around! Be active! Be real animated!” And I’m like ohh my goodness, do you not realize, that this is me animated.
     
    [both laughing]
     
    Rekka: So I was like, how about I lay down and pretend to be a dead squirrel, dogs love dead squirrels. [laughing]
     
    Kaelyn: [laughing] Aww.
     
    R: So we were all tired yesterday. So today, we are talking about worldbuilding.
     
    K: We are.
     
    R: We are. We are talking about mostly not overdoing your worldbuilding.
     
    K: And because it’s me, we’re certainly going to be talking about some of the elements of worldbuilding as well. Worldbuilding is the process of creating, constructing, and coming up with the rules for an imaginary world, or sometimes an entire fictional universe. There’s a lot of elements that go into this - interesting fact that I found while doing some research for this: the first time “worldbuilding” was used was actually in 1820.
     
    R: The term, or..?
     
    K: The term “worldbuilding” was first used in 1820 in the Edinburgh Review.
     
    R: Okay. 
     
    K: Fiction has existed in one form or another all through the course of humanity, obviously, you know, as we got into more recent centuries, literature became a little more organized? I guess? For lack of a better term.
     
    R: So that’s the first time it appeared in print as far as we know, in English, and presumably someone would have said it aloud and said “hey that sounds pretty good.”
    K: Yeah, you know what, I have to - I’ll try to dig up the article because I am curious but, the Edinburgh Review was, of course, just reviewing published stories and literature and reviews of different things. So the term really gained a lot of traction in the early 1900s when we saw a lot of science fiction and fantasy writing. A really good example, actually of thorough worldbuilding based off of existing history, would probably be Huxley’s Brave New World, and I think that was 1932, I believe. 
     
    K: Regardless of where your story is set, what time it’s set, how much you’re using and building off existing human history, or if this takes place in a galaxy far, far away, there’s certain elements you have to have in worldbuilding. One of the good places to start is geography. If it’s Earth: you’re done. No problem. [laughing] You have established that the world is Earth.
     
    R: But do you? Do you even say [laughing] that you are writing a

    • 39 min
    Episode 59 - Is it a duology? You don't know!

    Episode 59 - Is it a duology? You don't know!

    We Make Books is a podcast for writers and publishers, by writers and publishers and we want to hear from our listeners! Hit us up on our social media, linked below, and send us your questions, comments, and concerns for us to address in future episodes.
    We hope you enjoy We Make Books!
    Twitter: @WMBCast  |  @KindofKaelyn  |  @BittyBittyZap
    Instagram: @WMBCast 
    Patreon.com/WMBCast
     
    Episode Transcript (by TK @_torkz)
    [Upbeat Ukulele Intro Music]This is We Make Books, a podcast about writing publishing and everything in between. Rekka is a published Science Fiction and Fantasy author, and Kaelyn is a professional genre fiction editor. Together, they'll tackle the things you never knew you never knew about getting a book from concept to finished product, with explanations, examples, and a lot of laughter. Get your moleskin notebook ready. It's time for We Make Books.
    Kaelyn: Did you get your second shot yet?
     
    Rekka: We get it on Saturday.
     
    K [mumbling]: Okay.
     
    R: ‘Cause cool people get the vaccination.
     
    K: You hear that kids? Be cool, get vaccinated.
     
    R: Be Extremely cool. Be cool like me. [laughing] I don't know if that’s selling it but-
     
    K: [laughing] 
     
    R: -that’s what i’m gonna go with.
     
    K: I get mine May second. I got the moderna one so I had to wait four weeks and -
     
    R: Mhm. Yeah, I get two weeks between mine [loudly] it depends on your publisher.
     
    K: [laughing] 
     
    K: Speaking of things that come in part two-
     
    R: Yep, speaking of duologies-
     
    K: The covid duology, oh there we go.
     
    R [overlapping]: Yes, well the vaccine duology, not the covid itself-
     
    K [overlapping]: Yeah.
     
    R: Because you don't wanna get covid and then long covid, that’s one duology. The duology I’m all about is the mRNA duology, let’s do that one.
     
    K: We’ve got shots part two coming up here.
     
    R: Mhm.
     
    K: And you know, in many ways the vaccine is kind of similar to a duology. The first one’s the build up, the first one’s to get you a little bit of a taste there, get your immune system going like “hey, what is this? What's going on? What's happening?” and then the second one, that’s BAM, you know? like-
     
    R: That’s when it all happens
     
    K: - fully immune. Yeah and that’s [laughing] that’s why everyone’s getting sick from the second one.
     
    R: Ugh yeah, I don’t think this metaphor’s gonna last us too much longer. But, we are talking today about duologies.
     
    K: As promised.
     
    R: Yes, we are following through on the promise, the commitment we made, to follow last episode’s trilogy discussion with a discussion of duologies, and why they are harder than the thing we made sound really hard.
     
    K: Yeah, so. You know, last episode we talked about trilogies, and how trilogies can be really challenging, and one of the things we touched on was: if you’re really having a hard time with this, maybe you don’t have a trilogy. Maybe you have a duology. So, a duology, obviously, is a series of two books rather than a trilogy being three, although quadrilogies are becoming a thing now. Four books is getting super common. So, just to clarify some things here. If you’re going “I did not hear the word duology ever, until about a year ago, or so,” you’re right, you didn’t. [laughing] This wasn’t really a very common thing. 
     
    R: This wasn’t a thing, there was a book and a sequel but there wasn't a thing called a duology.
     
    K: Yeah and by the way, let’s clarify this real quickly here, the difference between a book and a sequel, and a duology. A duology is a story split up into two books. A book and a sequel is, presumably, one complete story and then another complete story.
     
    R: In the same world, usually featuring the same characters, spun off somehow.
     
    K: Yes.
     
    K: Contractual finite book series are kind of a relatively recent thing. You know, for those of you who

    • 54 min
    Episode 58 - Book Two Jitters

    Episode 58 - Book Two Jitters

    We Make Books is a podcast for writers and publishers, by writers and publishers and we want to hear from our listeners! Hit us up on our social media, linked below, and send us your questions, comments, and concerns for us to address in future episodes.
    We hope you enjoy We Make Books!
    Twitter: @WMBCast  |  @KindofKaelyn  |  @BittyBittyZap
    Instagram: @WMBCast 
    Patreon.com/WMBCast
     
    Episode Transcript 
    Rekka (00:00):This is We Make Books, a podcast about writing publishing and everything in between. Rekka is a published Science Fiction and Fantasy author, and Kaelyn is a professional genre fiction editor. Together, they'll tackle the things you never knew you never knew about getting a book from concept to finished product, with explanations, examples, and a lot of laughter. Get your moleskin notebook ready. It's time for We Make Books.
    Kaelyn (00:26):Y'know, it's funny because in movie trilogies, I always think it's the third movie that kind of slumps.
    Rekka (00:33):Okay. So maybe this is a poorly conceived episode. I don't know. Um, but the impression I have from the person asking us the topic... They did say "writing Book Two in a series of three or more." Assuming that you come out of the gate strong on Book One, you are heading toward some final book, and we'll assume trilogy for the purpose of this conversation.
    Kaelyn (01:01):Yeah, I was going to say, because writing Book Two in a planned trilogy is very different than writing Book Two in a, "Oh, we'll see how this goes."
    Rekka (01:08):Exactly. Uh, which is my experience of writing Book Twos, both times, even though they're now both trilogies. But anyway, so assuming that it's going to end in the following book, how do you tell a chunk of your story, keep the reader interested by—one supposes that you are ramping up action, and tension and danger and all these? Oop. I've already said something wrong.
    Kaelyn (01:40):No, no. I was going to say, I understand the question that they're trying to ask now and whatever they're trying to write should probably be a duology.
    Rekka (01:49):Oh no! Okay. That's a separate episode. We already figured that out before we started recording. Assuming that we are going to end this in the following book.
    Kaelyn (02:00):Well, that's fine. If we, if we start recording and we talk about this, I can explain what my thinking—
    Rekka (02:05):Oh, no, we're recording, and this is the episode now. Cause I phrased it very well and I felt very eloquent. So now we're going to go with it.
    Kaelyn (02:10):Oh goodness. Okay. Yeah. So, um, you know, we're talking about second books in trilogies and um, I think that for a lot of authors, this is going to be either the easiest thing they ever write or the hardest thing they ever write. It really depends on how, how your story's going. So if you're asking this question, "I feel like I'm trying to come up with stuff to fill the time in between the beginning and end of my story."
    Rekka (02:34):Okay. That's one way to interpret it. I have a second interpretation, but let's talk about that one first.
    Kaelyn (02:38):Well, wait, I want to hear your interpretation.
    Rekka (02:39):No no no. No, we're gonna go with that.
    Kaelyn (02:43):Okay. Um, there there's two reasons writing the second book in a trilogy can be, um, very difficult. One is that what I just said. You're, you feel like you're just trying to come up with, you know, stuff to happen so that you can get to the end of it. And that's what I was— the point I was making that, if that's the case, maybe you shouldn't be writing a trilogy. Maybe you should be writing a duology. Your story is your story. Um, unless you have a contract for a trilogy and they're like, you must generate this. And by the way, I would hope that before you signed that contract, you had discussed, um...
    Rekka (03:15):Where the trilogy was going.
    Kaelyn (03:18):Yeah, some outl

    • 43 min
    Episode 57 - Writing What You Don't Know That You Don't Know

    Episode 57 - Writing What You Don't Know That You Don't Know

    We Make Books is a podcast for writers and publishers, by writers and publishers and we want to hear from our listeners! Hit us up on our social media, linked below, and send us your questions, comments, and concerns for us to address in future episodes.
    We hope you enjoy We Make Books!
    Twitter: @WMBCast  |  @KindofKaelyn  |  @BittyBittyZap
    Instagram: @WMBCast 
    Patreon.com/WMBCast
    Titles referenced in this episode:
    Ken Follet  https://ken-follett.com/books/
    WMB Episode 43 with Antoine Bandele
    The Martian by Andy Weir
    Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
    Writing The Other Workshops and Resources
    Episode Transcript:
    Rekka (00:00):Welcome back to another episode of, we make books, a podcast about writing publishing and everything in between. I am Rekka. I write science fiction and fantasy as RJ Theodore.
    Kaelyn (00:11):I'm Kaelyn. I am the acquisitions editor for Parvus Press. And today... So today we're talking about the phrase, "write what you know," and how I dislike it.
    Rekka (00:22):Quite a bit. As it turns out.
    Kaelyn (00:24):I feel like it can be, without context as Rekka points out in this, a little bit of a cop out. A little bit of a, like, I don't know what to do here. Well, write what you know. Um, as a writing exercise, I think that's fantastic. But as a problem solving technique, I think it's lacking. Now, granted, as we point out, Rekka and I are coming from a genre fiction background, so we don't actually know a ton about aliens yet; we're working on it. So, yeah, I, um, I don't know. I'm not a big fan of the phrase, but, uh, we, you know, get into all different aspects of this. And then we spend a lot of time talking about, okay, well, how do you write what you don't know? And how do you know what you don't know? And if you don't know what you don't know, what do you do about that?
    Rekka (01:12):And do— and what if you don't know that you don't know anything, are you allowed to write?
    Kaelyn (01:16):Certainly hasn't stopped people.
    New Speaker (01:19):That's a, we didn't get into that. So, uh, here comes the music and we'll keep going on this. On the other side.
    New Speaker (01:40):I'm running out of cappuccino.
    Kaelyn (01:43):Sorry to hear that.
    Rekka (01:44):I'm getting very low.
    Kaelyn (01:45):So what happens when you've run out of cappuccino?
    New Speaker (01:48):I switch to water.
    Kaelyn (01:49):But how do you feel?
    Rekka (01:52):Um, let me tell you about it... In prose form? Were you trying to make that a segue?
    Kaelyn (02:00):Yes, I was.
    Rekka (02:00):I was not on the, uh, the wavelength of how that was exactly going to transition.
    Kaelyn (02:05):Well, that's because you're running out of cappuccino and you're caffeine deprived and your brain is not working at the, uh, super caffeinated level that you would like it to be.
    Rekka (02:13):Gotcha.
    Kaelyn (02:14):So if you were writing a character that was in desperate need of coffee...
    Rekka (02:18):I would know exactly what to write.
    Kaelyn (02:20):Yeah. So today, um, we're talking about the, uh, pervasive and very strange phrase, write what you know. And I say very strange, because everybody seems to have different opinions about what this means. And Rekka and I even have different opinions about what this means.
    Rekka (02:38):Well, the people who've said it to me have had different opinions about what it means. Um, sometimes it's somebody saying literally dig into your own life, and that's the only place where your inspiration or subject matter can come from. That kind of precludes the entire genre of science fiction and fantasy.
    Kaelyn (03:00):I don't like when people say that, because I think what ends up happening is you have a character or multiple characters that's experiences are limited to your own experiences. And I don't know about you, but I don't want to read a book that's just about me. I'm not interesting enough for that.
    Rekka (03:18):Writers

    • 37 min
    Episode 56 - Dev Edits and Line Edits and Copy Edits, Oh My!

    Episode 56 - Dev Edits and Line Edits and Copy Edits, Oh My!

    We Make Books is a podcast for writers and publishers, by writers and publishers and we want to hear from our listeners! Hit us up on our social media, linked below, and send us your questions, comments, and concerns for us to address in future episodes.
    We hope you enjoy We Make Books!
    Twitter: @WMBCast  |  @KindofKaelyn  |  @BittyBittyZap
    Instagram: @WMBCast 
    Patreon.com/WMBCast
     
    Tools Referenced in this episode:
    Grammarly
    ProWritingAid
     
    Episode Transcript
     
    Rekka (00:01):Welcome back to another episode of, we make books, a podcast about writing publishing and everything in between. I'm Rekka. I write science fiction and fantasy as R J Theodore.
    Kaelyn (00:10):I'm Kaelyn Considine. I'm the acquisition editor for Pu... Pu... Wait, I'm the acquisitions editor for Parvus Press. And we can edit that out.
    Rekka (00:20):Yeah. Is that a line edit?
    Kaelyn (00:24):Oh God. You know what? That's a good question. That, uh, I think that would be a line edit. Yeah. Uh, yeah. So today we're talking about editing. Um, I know it's something we've talked about before. I think we, we really were very focused on developmental edits.
    Rekka (00:40):Well, sure. Because that's your favorite, right?
    Kaelyn (00:43):Yeah. You know, there's, there's different components and different people you're going to encounter through the process of editing a book and they'll all want different things from you and be asking you to change different aspects of the book. So—
    Rekka (00:56):Oh, one thing we didn't say: that you are the author and your name goes on the cover. So all of these edits come from people who are hired because this is their specialty. However, this is your story. So it is up to you to stand by these edits. And if you don't feel comfortable standing by the edits, then you should not accept them.
    Kaelyn (01:22):Qualifier. I will have there: check your contract. Your book may have been accepted conditionally pending you making certain changes. So there's uh, there's contractual obligations for edits. But you know, as Rekka said, at the end of the day here, his name is on this. We talk a little bit at the end of the episode, about how, you know, people are, might yell at you online about things that you had absolutely no control over. So control the stuff that you can.
    Rekka (01:47):Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So anyway, um, there are lots of kinds of edits and they are variably painful each in their own way.
    Kaelyn (01:56):Some are far more excruciating than others.
    Rekka (02:00):And on the other side of this lovely ditty, we will tell you about them.
    Kaelyn (02:17):...that landing devices on Mars is becoming as routine as something like that can be, is, is very, is very cool. So yeah.
    Rekka (02:27):Yeah. Speaking of routine. How's that?
    Kaelyn (02:33):You've probably heard us say things like developmental edits, copy edits, line edits. And if you're going okay, well, what the heck is all of this art? Don't I just edit the book. No, you don't.
    Rekka (02:46):Sometimes you edit the book. Sometimes someone else edits the book, sometimes a third person edits the book. And sometimes you get a stack of pages and you hope that someone edited the book real well.
    Kaelyn (03:02):Yes. There's three main kinds of edits. You're going to come across while working on a book and then a fourth step in this order: developmental edits line edits and copy edit. Then after copy, edit, typically comes a proofreading. We're going to go through these step-by-step and instead of giving you definitions upfront, explain what they are as we're walking through them. So Rekka, as somebody who's gone through this process, what would you say your favorite part of all of these edits are? if you had to pick one of the three, what's your favorite?
    Rekka (03:36):Page proofs.
    Kaelyn (03:39):Really? Even as a writer?
    Rekka (03:40):Yeah. No, I mean, cause you're almost there.

    • 51 min
    Episode 55 - Poetry Brained with A.Z. Louise

    Episode 55 - Poetry Brained with A.Z. Louise

    We Make Books is a podcast for writers and publishers, by writers and publishers and we want to hear from our listeners! Hit us up on our social media, linked below, and send us your questions, comments, and concerns for us to address in future episodes.
    We hope you enjoy We Make Books!
    Twitter: @WMBCast  |  @KindofKaelyn  |  @BittyBittyZap
    Instagram: @WMBCast 
    Patreon.com/WMBCast
     
    Lots of links this episode! 
    A.Z.’s website https://www.azlouise.com/
    @az_louise https://twitter.com/az_louise
    “Chorus of the Captains” by Amanda Gorman (Performed at the NFL Super Bowl) https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/super-bowl-2021-read-the-transcript-of-amanda-gorman-poem-chorus-of-the-captains/
    The Hidebehind: https://cryptidz.fandom.com/wiki/Hidebehind
    The Iliad: http://classics.mit.edu/Homer/iliad.1.i.html
    Shakespeare: http://shakespeare.mit.edu/
    Poem “She’s Not A Phoenix” by A.Z. Louise (Strange Horizons): http://strangehorizons.com/poetry/shes-not-a-phoenix/
    AASHTO Manual: https://www.scribd.com/document/118295981/AASHTO
    Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer: https://www.jeffvandermeer.com/book/annihilation/
    Twisted Moon: http://www.twistedmoonmag.com/5/louise.html
    Submission Grinder: https://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/
     
    Episode Transcript (by Rekka, blame her for all errors)
    Kaelyn (00:00:00):
    Welcome back to another episode of We Make Books, a show about writing publishing and everything in between. I'm Kaelyn Considine. I'm the acquisitions editor for Parvus Press.
    Rekka (00:00:07):
    I'm Rekka. I write science fiction and fantasy as R J Theodore. And I might start writing some poetry as R J Theodore.
    Kaelyn (00:00:15):
    Yeah, really? Gonna, you're going to take that dive, that plunge?
    Rekka (00:00:19):
    Well, look, I've written a lot of poetry in my life. I've just spared everybody.
    Kaelyn (00:00:24):
    I didn't know that about you actually. I feel, um, not betrayed. Um, what's the word I'm looking for here? Uh, surprised.
    Rekka (00:00:33):
    Surprised. But not disappointed. I hope.
    Kaelyn (00:00:35):
    No, no, of course not. I've never disappointed at any of your writing. Uh, so yeah, we, um, We Make Books took a little bit of a turn—but it turns out not too much, if you listen to the episode—um, into the realm of poetry, because you know, it turns out people do actually publish poems and stuff.
    Rekka (00:00:52):
    Yeah, quite a few of the markets that publish the short stories that we sub out (and sometimes trunk) are also seeking poetry and some exclusively, and some anthologies are all about poetry, and some single author anthologies end up being all about poetry. So if you've got a poetic bone in your finger somewhere, maybe this is the episode you need to hear to, um, try and draw some of that out.
    Kaelyn (00:01:16):
    Rekka was able to interview poet A.Z. Louise, who, um, was kind enough to take the time to sit down and, you know, talk about like some things I really didn't know about poetry and the publishing industry.
    Rekka (00:01:28):
    Yeah, it was great to have A.Z.. A.Z. Louise is a lover of birds, a killer of houseplants and a former civil engineer. Their love of speculative fiction has been lifelong, but they became a speculative poet by accident. Their work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Fiyah, and The Future Fire.
    Kaelyn (00:01:45):
    I think poetry is a little intimidating. I don't know why a poem is so much more intimidating than a full length, novel to a lot of people, but it certainly is for me.
    Rekka (00:01:55):
    I think there's a certain expectation of highbrow, um, of elevated intellect that is required for good poem or to understand a good poem. There, there seems to be some sort of requirement to get in the door to poetry.
    Kaelyn (00:02:16):
    Yeah. I think everybody's got this notion in their head that like to understand poetry, you need to have gone to school for it, which I don't know why nobody th

    • 1 hr 1 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings

JohnstonMR ,

Entertaining and Illuminating

I’ve got two novels published, and I learn something from Rekka and Kaelyn every episode. They are funny, insightful, and honest about the field’s realities. Advice comes from both the authorial and editorial angle.

lelahlime ,

Insanely helpful

High quality content for those looking to publish. So glad I found this podcast. The distribution episodes are amazing. Thank you!!

booksnyarn ,

Fun and informative

This is a great introduction to the writing experience from two perspectives we don’t usually get to hear together. Inspiring, informative, and the hosts have a great rapport.

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