Jennifer Brozek | All posts tagged 'BubbleSqueek'

Tell Me - Aaron Rosenberg

Today, Aaron Rosenberg tells us how he allows research to inspire his writing in other people’s worlds without getting bogged down in it. And how it inspires his original works.

I love research. Maybe it’s the failed academic in me (I have a Master’s in English Lit and had finished all my PhD coursework before I left the field) but I do, I love getting stuck into history and mythology and language and culture and clothes and so many other things you can read about and learn about. And of course the Internet makes that all so dangerously easy, you click on just one link and it leads to a dozen others and pretty soon you’ve spent the past three hours reading about some obscure headgear and the rites associated with it and your eyes are killing you and you’ve completely missed dinner.

This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Not the eyestrain and missing dinner part, that’s all bad. But falling down the research rabbit hole. Because it can lead to so many amazing story ideas.

That’s even more true when you combine it with my favorite way to come up with stories in an existing IP (or intellectual property), which is to “mind the gap.” When I start thinking up ideas for an IP, I like to look around, see what’s where, and see where the spaces are, the little chinks between the big bricks of worldbuilding and history and character development. Those chinks are missing material, spots that weren’t necessary to create the setting and the main story—but they often contain fun little moments a writer can exploit, throwaway mentions you can tease out into an interesting tale that helps fill in the space and make the wall that much more solid and believable. And fun.

Most of the time, I only use that technique for tie-in writing. After all, if it’s my own world I’m the one creating those big blocks in the first place.

But that’s not how things went with Time of the Phoenix.

When Steve Savile and I first had the idea, we just had the one setting, Elizabethan London, and the playwriting scene there in particular. But we knew we’d want more. So we started looking at history, and especially at major literary figures.

Hence the rabbit hole.

What we found initially, and what I found later as I continued the project on my own, were lots of little gaps, the kind that occur naturally all the time—a person’s life documented here and there but nothing between those two moments, a single brief mention of a strange incident with little context and no follow-up, a bit of folklore wrongly attributed but now indelibly linked to that person. All those fun little gaps that can lead to exciting, amazing stories that both fit into real-world history and are wholly original fiction at the same time.

I wonder if I should go back and thank my old professors for getting me hooked on that? Maybe I should just send them some of my books instead. They’re clever, they should see what I mean.

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Aaron Rosenberg is the author of the best-selling DuckBob SF comedy series, the Time of the Phoenix historical dark fantasy series, the Relicant Chronicles epic fantasy series, the Dread Remora space-opera series, and, with David Niall Wilson, the O.C.L.T. occult thriller series. His tie-in work includes novels for Star Trek, Warhammer, World of WarCraft, Stargate: Atlantis, Shadowrun, and Eureka. He has written children’s books (including the award-winning Bandslam: The Junior Novel and the #1 best-selling 42: The Jackie Robinson Story), educational books, and roleplaying games (including the Origins Award-winning Gamemastering Secrets). You can follow him online at gryphonrose.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/gryphonrose, and on Twitter @gryphonrose.

Bubble & Squeek for 2 Aug 2021

Deadlines, like lemmings, all rush to the same point. Same thing with updates and book releases. July was a huge month for me.

•    Audiobook Release: BattleTech: The Nellus Academy Incident audiobook. This is my award-winning YA BattleTech book read by the ever-talented Liisa Lee.


•    Reading: Shadow Bytes for Wily Writers. I read the origin story for By-the-Numbers for Wily Writers, a group that is designed to help all writers succeed. This was one part of Shadow Bytes hosted by The Violent Life podcast. (YouTube video.)

•    Release! Shadowrun: See How She Runs. YA Shadowrun novella set in Barcelona. Ridley Ruiz has plans. Big ones. However it seems that the shadows have plans for her, too.


•    Release! BattleTech: Crimson Night, Book Three of the Rogue Academy trilogy. Just released! Can Jasper and Nadine Roux save their planet from a rogue Draconis Combine warlord? Winner takes all in this explosive conclusion to the Rogue Academy trilogy.
 


•    Support: As always… if you appreciate my work and would like to support me, I love coffee. I am made of caffeine. This is the quickest way to brighten my day.

Bubble & Squeek for 7 April 2021

Anthologies: I am editing my 21st anthology with the incredibly talented Cat Rambo. We’ve just finalized the TOC.  (I know this one is a bit old but life is complicated.)

Anthologies: Speaking of anthologies, The Reinvented Heart has a cover and it is beautiful! The artist is Christina P. Myrvold. I love it.

Review of me: A very nice review of an old story of mine in WESTWARD WEIRD from DAW.

Podcast: Interview with Writers Drinking Coffee. This was so much fun!

Thoughts: We Hate You Now. Especially since I didn’t get to visit my mother last year. Now I won’t get to visit her ever again.

Support: As always… if you appreciate my work and would like to support me, I love coffee. I am made of caffeine. This is the quickest way to brighten my day.

Bubble & Squeek for 2 Oct 2020

As I'm going to be taking next week as a social media break, here's a bubble and squeek for you.

Call for Submissions: 99 Tiny Terrors. This is my 19th anthology and is the first open call in a long time. I like creepy and atmospheric. All guidelines are here. Call closes EOD, Oct 31.

Cool Distraction: Window Swap FTW. Sometimes you just have to stare out someone else's window. If you need an interesting distraction, this is the website for you.

Workshop: Writing for Franchises, Oct 24, 1-3pm. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to write fiction for your favorite RPG, movie, TV series, videogame, or comic book? The Writing for Franchises workshop can give you an idea of what it is like to write in a universe you do not own—the benefits, the pitfalls, and some of the details you should be aware of. This workshop is focused around writing short stories, novellas, and novels for popular franchises such as Shadowrun, V-Wars, Predator, Master of Orion, and Valdemar.

Support: As always… if you appreciate my work and would like to support me, I love coffee. I am made of caffeine. This is the quickest way to brighten my day.

Bubble & Squeek for 15 June 2020

Today’s Bubble & Squeek is brought to you by galley proofs, workshops, and the letter “C” for cover reveals!

Cover reveal and Release: Pre-Order/Order Shadowrun: A Kiss to Die For. Meet Sartorial and Kintsugi. This happens the night they meet. The cover is by the ever fabulous Peter Tikos.

Review: Way of the Laser: Future Crime Stories. Five star review. “I’m very glad I picked this book up to review, and I know any science fictions fans will be glad they picked it up to read.” This one has the story, "When a Patch Won't Do" by me and Katie Cord.

Cover reveal for BattleTech: Ghost Hour. Jasper and Nadine are having a very bad time of it. The blonde is Lyric, Nadine’s girlfriend and all around “Death Pixie.” This is by the wonderful BattleTech artist Marco Mazzoni. He does such a good job!

Workshop: Clarion West - The Business of Writing, June 30. NOTE: However, sign-up will take place through a lottery system and you have to register for the Write-a-thon in order to sign up. They are closing the class lottery next Wednesday, June 17, so anyone interested needs to have signed up by then!

Support: As always… if you appreciate my work and would like to support me, I love coffee. I am made of caffeine. This is the quickest way to brighten my day.

 

Bubble & Squeek for 6 April 2020

I need to re-outline BattleTech: Crimson Night for a fourth time--in the words of one of my SFWA mentees "to stop being precious about my writing"--and add in a fourth point of view character that will make all my problems go away. In the meantime, here's a Bubble & Squeek for you.

• Awards: A SECRET GUIDE TO FIGHTING ELDER GODS is a 2019 Bram Stoker finalist! Congratulations to everyone who got the nod. I'm so happy.

• Interview (Video): I’m interviewed by Dacre Stoker about my Bram Stoker nomination.

• Publications: “Lair of the Infernal Thief” AKA “Untitled Infernal Goose Adventure” in Mini-Dungeon Monthly #12, An adventure for two to five characters of 3rd-5th level. Yes, inspired by THAT “Untitled Goose Adventure…


• Publications: It looks like Fantasy Flight Games did a reprint of the physical book of my Arkham Horror novella, TO FIGHT THE BLACK WIND, for those of you who were looking for it as well as the rest of them.

• Random Video: In honor of having my first lucid dream in years, probably brought about because of this video by Matt D'Avella: I learned how to lucid dream.

• Support: As always… if you appreciate my work and would like to support me, I love coffee. I am made of caffeine. This is the quickest way to brighten my day. Especially since most of my conventions have been cancelled this summer. Pretty please.

Bubble & Squeek for 21 Jan 2020

Awards: Woot! A Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods has been long-listed for the Bram Stoker award in superior achievement in an anthology.

Blog: A Decade in Review. How does one review a decade of growth, change, expansion, and experience in a single career? Start with the stats and end with the lessons learned.

Podcast: Dire Multiverse, part 5 – A Wild, Hopping Tale. Answers and alliances come at the point of a gun as our heroes try to make it out with their lives intact while learning more about what’s driving Dana Lessington — and one of their own. 

Publication: SEASONS, the latest Valdemar anthology, has my 7th Valdemar story in it, “One Town at a Time.” It's the opening story. I love having anchor stories in anthologies.

Support: As always… if you appreciate my work and would like to support me, I love coffee. I am made of caffeine. This is the quickest way to brighten my day.

Spike in snow.

 

Bubble & Squeek for 30 Sep 2019

Life has been a bit rough lately. Not just for me. It is getting better. Slowly, surely, life moves on. Still working on BattleTech: Ghost Hour. The words are returning. In the meantime, here's a Bubble & Squeek for you.

•    Podcast: The Dire Multiverse. I am voice talent on this urban fantasy podcast, mostly playing the character Dana Lessington…who you will find out is more than she seems. I occasionally play other NPC character parts, too.

•    Podcast: ShadowBytes 06: Miyazaki – From DocWagon 19. The team rescues someone they know. Trivia: Miyazaki stars in the serialized Shadowrun story in GTM magazine, “Between a Corp and a Hard Place.”

•    Podcast: ShadowBytes 07: Literal Milk Run – This is my play on a heist supposedly being so easy it’s like running out for milk. This is the penultimate episode of ShadowBytes.

•    Publication: “Written in Red” by Jennifer Brozek and John Helfers. This is my first collaboration with John and it turned out be a good one. Tie-in story for Emberwind, the RPG.

•    Recommendation: The Imaginary Corpse by Tyler Hayes. My blurb: “This book is messed up in all the right ways. It’s as if Pixar’s Inside Out mugged Toy Story in a surrealist Raymond Chandler novel. Weird, fun, scary, and a great mystery to boot. Hayes sticks the landing.”

•    Support: As always… if you appreciate my work and would like to support me, I love coffee. I am made of caffeine. This is the quickest way to brighten my day.

Bubble & Squeek for 8 July 2019

Spending a lot of time with my head down and fingers on the keyboard. Turned in a couple of lingering projects including an Emberwind story and another Shadowrun novella.

Release: Shadowrun: Makeda Red has been released! I know this is old news, but I'm super happy with this book.

Podcast: ShadowBytes 04: Hey Jude. This one is called "Hey Jude" and you learn about this ork's background and one of her surprising hobbies.

Podcast: ShadowBytes 05: Hunger and the Hand that Feeds It. This is one of my favorite in the series. I think it really captures the fragility of life running the shadows.

Review: Skiffy and Fanty review: A Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods. They liked it.

Review: Tor.com review of A Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods – “Us and Ours” by Premee Mohamed. The snark is beautiful in this review.

Support: As always… if you appreciate my work and would like to support me, I love coffee. I am made of caffeine. This is the quickest way to brighten my day.

And a cat picture. Just because.

 

 

Bubble & Squeek for 17 May 2019

I'm writing, editing, traveling, and working on sekrit projects won't be secret for much longer.  Here's a Bubble & Squeek for you. Reviews, Releases, Podcasts, and Interviews.

•    Interview: With No Wasted Ink about BattleTech: Iron Dawn.

•    Release: Here’s the How2Read link for all the different stores you can get A Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods

•    Release: Here’s the How2Read link for all the different stores you can get BattleTech: Iron Dawn.

•    Review: (Tor.com) Taking School Rivalries Seriously: Seanan McGuire’s “Away Game.” From A Secret Guide to Fighting Elder Gods.

•    Review: A new review of BattleTech: The Nellus Academy Incident.

•    Podcast: ShadowBytes #3: Non-Compliant. And you thought being a shadowrunner in the 6th World was hard. Try being an office worker.

•    Support: As always… if you appreciate my work and would like to support me, I love coffee. I am made of caffeine. This is the quickest way to brighten my day.

I love it when my kitties get into the corner kitty condo.
Here's Pharaoh (top) and Isis (inside).