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Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers

Interviews with members of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and those involved in RMFW conferences, workshops and other writing-related events. Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization dedicated to supporting, encouraging, and educating writers seeking publication in commercial fiction.
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Now displaying: Page 5
Aug 26, 2017

Okay, friends, we did this in 2015 and 2016 and here it is again—the live taping from the panel at the Tattered Cover with the Writer of the Year and the Independent Writer of the Year finalists.


This event was taped on Wednesday, August 23 at the Tattered Cover on East Colfax.

The moderators are 2016 Writer of the Year Mark Stevens and 2016 Independent Writer of the Year Lisa Manifold.

The panelists are Wendy Terrien, 2017 Independent Writer of the Year; Shannon Baker, 2017 Writer of the Year; IWOTY finalists Bernadette Marie and Stephanie Reisner; and WOTY finalist Colleen Oakes. Writer of the Year finalist Robin Owens was unable to participate on this particular evening.

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Aug 23, 2017


When she finished writing her novel Transference, Kate Jonuska came to a fork in a road and, as Yogi Berra once said, she took it.

The question was how to publish? Traditional? Or independent?

Kate was surprised that her views on the choice had changed and it was a choice she said was informed by her time in RMFW.

A Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers member since 2014, Kate Jonuska is a writer and author based in Boulder, Colorado.

Kate has a decade of experience writing features for top-notch regional publications, including the Denver Post, the Boulder Daily Camera, The (Colorado Springs) Gazette and Boulder Magazine. Kate's short fiction was nominated for a 2015 Pushcart Prize.

Transference is Kate’s first published novel. It features a professionally ruined and morally bankrupt psychiatrist named Derek Verbenk and a superpowered new patient who turns his life upside down—and his soul inside out.

Romping through Denver, breaking through barriers of privacy, social isolation and even politics, Transference is an odd-couple quest toward redemption full of wicked humor and radical honesty.

Kate Jonuska's website

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Aug 18, 2017

Two years ago, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers started a new tradition of recognizing Honored Guiding Members, those individuals who have significantly contributed to the success of the organization over the years. Honorees are selected for their talent and abilities, as well as the leadership they've shown.

This year, it’s Alice Kober.

Alice Kober has been a member of RMFW for over 20 years.

She has volunteered for numerous jobs, including Conference Chair and RMFW President. She was given the Jasmine Award in 2005 to honor the long-term service of individuals to the organization.

On the podcast, Alice reflects on her early years with RMFW and also give us a sneak peek about the workshop she’ll be giving at this year’s conference, about the importance of book covers.

Alice should know. She currently works for the Arapahoe Library District, where she buys both print and e-book fiction for one of the best library districts around.

Local writers please note – Alice particularly loves buying books by Colorado authors.

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Aug 14, 2017

The first million words are practice, right?

Many times on the podcast we’ve had examples of patience and dedication and hard work, and this chat with Curtis Craddock is proof again of the notion that you just need to keep writing and keep getting better.

It also doesn't hurt to attend Colorado Gold.

We’ve had stories in the past about chance meetings at the conference and again a very random encounter put Curtis Craddock together with the right editor and that informal meeting led to the publication, later this month, of Curtis’s first book, An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors, the first book in a series.

Kirkus has already raved and the Washington Post picked Curtis’s debut as one of the top three science fiction and fantasy books of the month.

Curtis Craddock was born in the wrong century and quite possibly on the wrong planet. He should have been born in a world where gallant heroes regularly vanquish dire and despicable foes, where friendship, romance, wit, and courage are the foundations of culture and civilization, and where adventure beckons from every shadow.

Instead, he was born on Earth and lives in a world bounded by bureaucracy, hemmed in by cynicism, and governed by the dull necessity of earning a wage. An exile in this world, he is a biographer of friends he’s never met, a chronicler of events that never happened, and a cartographer of places that never were.

Given that the mundane world supplies a dearth of oddly progressive kingdoms to be saved, he spends his time saving cats, dogs, and the occasional bird of prey. By day, he teaches Computer Information Systems classes to offenders at a correctional facility. By night, he puts on his writer’s cap, the broad-brimmed one with a feather, and, into the prison walls of reality, etches defiant words of legend.

Curtis Craddock's website

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Aug 5, 2017

The interview with Fleur Bradley, a.k.a. F.T. Bradley, was recorded one day before the news circulated that all spots at RMFW's Colorado Gold Conference in September are now taken.

If you’re going to the conference, this chat with Fleur will give a taste of the three workshops she is presenting—one on marketing, one that provides an overview of the children’s fiction market, and one about the advantages of using plot points as you write.

And if you’re not going to the conference, Fleur also chats about her Double Vision trilogy, a middle-grade spy adventure that Library Journal calls “"a must-read for mystery fans, including reluctant readers.”

Fleur Bradley is the author of numerous short crime stories, and she manages a freelance writing career along with various other writing projects in the works.

She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and two daughters, and entirely too many cats.

Fleur Bradley's website

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Jul 23, 2017

"Deep Revision - Making the Good Even Better" is the title of a master class being taught by Heather Webb at Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer's Colorado Gold conference in September.

On the podcast, Heather talks about the topics she’ll cover in those four hours of in-depth learning.

Heather also gives us a peek at books she has coming out later this year and early next.

The first is an epistolary love story she co-wrote with Hazel Gaynor called Last Christmas in Paris. The second is a re-telling of The Phantom of the Opera called The Phantom’s Apprentice.

Heather Webb is the author of historical novels Becoming Josephine and Rodin’s Lover, which have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Elle, France Magazine, and more.

Rodin’s Lover was a Goodreads Top Pick in 2015. To date, Heather’s novels have sold in ten countries. She is also a professional freelance editor, foodie, and travel fiend.

Heather's website.

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Jul 12, 2017

Corinne O’Flynn is the unflappable conference chair for RMFW’s big three day conference, Colorado Gold, coming up in early September.

But of course, she is also a writer of fantasy and mystery.

So this time on the podcast it's a dual-purpose interview, to catch up with Corinne’s writing and find out about the new features and some of the guests arriving from all over the country and, in fact, world for Colorado Gold.

Corinne O’Flynn is the author of The Expatriates fantasy-adventure series, Witches of Tower Hill paranormal suspense series featuring the award-winning Ghosts of Witches Past, the Aumahnee Prophecy urban fantasy series, which she co-writes with Lisa Manifold, and the Half Moon Girls murder-mystery series.

Corinne O'Flynn is also a publisher with Wicked Ink Books, whose titles include the award-winning TICK TOCK: Seven Tales of Time and their latest release, OFF BEAT: Nine Spins on Song.

Corinne is a native New Yorker living in Colorado. She is a self-proclaimed scone aficionado, a professional napper, and she has an entire section of her kitchen devoted to tea.

When not writing, she can be found hanging with her husband and their four kids, playing board games, knitting, reading, or binge watching some fabulous shows (while sipping tea)

Corinne's website.

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Jul 8, 2017

Writer Mario Acevedo has written what he considers to be his favorite book.

It’s called University of Doom and it’s a young-adult thriller from Hex Publishers.

On the podcast, Mario talks about the fairly wild premise of University of Doom, featuring thirteen-year-old Alfonso Frankenstein and his father Eugino. Mario also fills us in on what he calls a re-boot of the Felix Gomez series, and all of his other editing, writing and other artistic endeavors, too, including painting.

Mario’s latest Felix Gomez vampire-detective novel is Rescue From Planet Pleasure. His short fiction has appeared in several anthologies including Nightmares Unhinged and CyberWorld. Mario's novel Good Money Gone, co-authored with Richard Kilborn, won a best novel 2014 International Latino Book Award.

Mario edited the 2016 RMFW short story anthology, Found, which went on to win a Colorado Book Award.

Mario serves on the writing faculty of Regis University and Lighthouse Writers Workshops.

Mario's website.

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Jun 29, 2017

Peter Eichstaedt has written non-fiction books based on his reporting all over the world, from Kosovo to Armenia, Afghanistan and Uganda (among other stops).

He also published a book called The Dangerous Divide: Peril and Promise on the US-Mexico Border and that title won the 2015 International Latino Book Award for Best in Current Affairs.

It might not come as much of a surprise, then, that Peter’s first novel is a thriller called Borderland and it’s set on the US-Mexico Border, among other locations.

Borderland, published in March by Wild Blue Press, features reporter Kyle Dawson and this time on the podcast Peter is here to tell us about his first novel and about making the switch from covering stories to making them up.

Peter Eichstaedt's website.

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Jun 22, 2017

An interview with award-winning Denise Vega, who writes for teens and toddlers.

Denise talks about what inspired to write for young adults, how she keeps current with the world of teenagers, and how she draws from her own high school experience for the right emotional connections.

Denise is the award-winning author of seven books including Click Here, Access Denied, Fact of Life #31, and Rock On. Her picture books include her latest: If Your Monster Won't Go to Bed.

Denise is a former Co-Regional Advisor of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of SCBWI and she’s on the faculty at Lighthouse Writers Workshop. She is also a Young Adult Faculty Mentor for the Regis University MFA Creative Writing program.

Denise Vega's website.

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Jun 17, 2017

This time on the podcast we check back in with Laurence MacNaughton, whose new urban fantasy A Kiss Before Doomsday is set to launch in a few short weeks, one year after he debuted his new series with It Happened One Doomsday.

We are back with Dru Jasper and her crystal shop and her magical powers and sorcerers and major problems trying to stop, yes, another impending apocalypse.

Laurence MacNaughton grew up in Connecticut and sold his first magazine story at age 19. Over the years, he’s been a bookseller, typesetter, printer, copywriter and a prototype vehicle test driver.

Following the Q & A, Laurence reads the opening scene from A Kiss Before Doomsday.

Laurence MacNaughton's website.

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May 28, 2017

What makes a story horror?

If you ask Shannon Lawrence that basic question, be prepared for some thoughtful analysis.

The genre, she will tell you, extends beyond jump scares and slashers.

Shannon recaps the recent free workshop she gave for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers in Denver and explores one her favorite topics – the world of writing horror. Spoiler alert—it doesn’t always or necessarily involve gore or extreme violence.

Shannon also offers some tips about finding short story markets and how to keep track of where your stories you have submitted.

A fan of all things fantastical and frightening, Shannon Lawrence writes primarily horror and fantasy.

Her stories can be found in anthologies and magazines, including Once Upon a Scream, Dark Moon Digest, and The Deep Dark Woods.

When she's not writing, she's hiking through the wilds of Colorado and photographing her magnificent surroundings, where, coincidentally, there's always a place to hide a body or birth a monster.

Find Shannon Lawrence at her website.

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May 19, 2017

We’ve got advice this time all the way from Japan.

Charles Kowalski is only a few weeks away from the release of his first novel, Mind Virus, but it’s been a long road to reach this point.

And Charles knows it was all meant to be. He had just the right amount of encouragement, he says, at just the right time to keep going, to not give up.

Charles Kowalski is a two-time winner of the Action/Thriller category for Colorado Gold Award, for Mind Virus in 2013 and also in 2016 for the forthcoming Day of the Watchers.

Charles divides his time between Japan, where he teaches at a university, and his family home of Maine.

This is a special podcast because it marks the first international interview for the Rocky Mountain Writer. And, yes, members of RMFW live all around the world.

Charles Kowalski's website

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May 11, 2017

Teresa Funke is a high-in-demand coach who assists writers with all sorts of advice for every step of the process.

As a writer and self-publisher, Teresa has has done some creative and innovative things that have worked.

And a few that have not.

So she wanted to share what she’s learned, to help others avoid making the same mistakes.

Today, with decades of experience under her belt, Teresa talks about a new online tool called the Self-Publishing Blueprint that she produced to help writers sort through the many options and choices that are out there.

As she puts it, the Self-Publishing Blueprint is the only tool you will ever need to cut through the confusion of self-publishing and save yourself from costly mistakes.

Teresa Funke is the author of six award-winning works of fiction set in World War II. She is the owner of Victory House Press, and successfully
produces and markets her own books.

Visit her website to learn more about Teresa and access additional resources for writers or read her motivational blog "Bursts of Brilliance for a Creative Life."

Follow this link for a $50 discount to the blueprint.

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May 4, 2017

Michael Haspil has a soft spot for villains.

He also a mountain of patience.

His journey to publication was so long he still doesn’t believe Graveyard Shift will actually be in the hands of readers in mid-July.

On the podcast, Mike talks about that bumpy road to publication for his first urban fantasy and he sheds light on the many benefits of working with a good critique group. He also talks about the unusual jobs he has held, including work as an ICBM crew commander and as a launch director for the U.S. Air Force at Cape Canaveral.

Mike is a self-described geeky engineer and nerdy artist with an role-playing, cosplaying, computer gaming, and collecting and creating replica movie props. Mike devotes the largest share of his gaming time to Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 tabletop game and he is a regular contribut to “The Long War,” a podcast and webcast dedicated to tabletop gaming.

Stay tuned after the interview as Mike reads a selection from Graveyard Shift.

This episode also includes another installment of Writer’s Rehab with Natasha Watts. This time, Natasha has some great tips to help you avoid the dreaded issue of repeating gestures as you describe your characters and their actions.

Michael Haspil's website

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Apr 20, 2017

It’s been about 17 months since we had Margaret Mizushima on the Rocky Mountain Writer podcast, way back on episode number 23. At the time, her debut novel "Killing Trail" was a few weeks from publication and the buzz was just building for the Timber Creek K-9 mystery series.

Now, her second book “Stalking Ground” is a finalist for the Colorado Book Award, the release of her third, “Hunting Hour," is only a few months away, and she is writing her fourth. And the series is set for its United Kingdom debut in early May with plans for publication in France coming, too.

So it's hard to imagine a better time to chat with Margaret Mizushima, who catches up with her cast of characters, including K-9 cop Mattie Cobb, her dog Robo, and local veterinarian Cole Walker. 

Margaret also talks about how being under contract and facing deadlines has changed her writing process.

After earning a master’s degree in speech pathology, Margaret Mizushima practiced in a hospital and her own rehabilitation agency, and now she assists her husband with their veterinary clinic and her of Angus cattle. She enjoys reading and hiking and lives in Colorado on a small farm where she and her husband raised two daughters and a multitude of animals.

Margaret Mizushima's website

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Apr 14, 2017

The guest is Terri Benson, the Western Slope coordinator and education coordinator for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. Terri provides a detailed rundown of the day-long PubCon 2017, an educational event in Golden, Colorado on Saturday, April 29. 

Apr 11, 2017

Sleeper Protocol started with one sentence on a blank page. The sentence became a short story.

Then the short story became a novella and soon Kevin Ikenberry realized he needed to write the story as a full-length novel.

Now, Sleeper Protocol is a finalist this year in the genre fiction category for the Colorado Book Award.

Kevin is a life-long space geek and retired Army officer. He’s a former manager of the world-renowned U.S. Space Camp program and a former executive with two Challenger Learning Centers—learning environments that engage students in dynamic, hands-on opportunities to study space.

All the way along, through college and beyond, others noted Kevin’s talents as a writer but it took years for Kevin to take his writing more seriously. A battle with a serious disease prompted Kevin to bear down on getting Sleeper Protocol in final shape and ready to search for a publisher.

In short, Kevin Ikenberry’s story about writing and getting published is one you won’t soon forget.

Kevin Ikenberry's website

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Apr 6, 2017

Kevin Michaels is the author of the just-released Still Black Remains, a novel that takes readers down into the gritty streets of New Jersey with gangs and the Mafia.

Michaels is the author of the critically acclaimed debut novel Lost Exit, as well as two entries in the Fight Card Books series: Hard Road and Can't Miss Contender.

Michaels' short stories and flash fiction have also appeared in a number of magazines and indie zines, and in 2011 he was nominated for two separate Pushcart Prize awards.

On the podcast, Michaels talks about the appeal of writing gritty crime fiction and he talks about an organization he founded called Story Tellers that works with under-served teenagers and young adults in a community-based effort to develop and promote literacy through writing.

Michaels left the corporate world to focus on writing but he's realistic about the work ahead. “Writing is a craft,” he says. “Study it, play with it, keep improving.”

Kevin Michaels on Facebook

Literary Wanderlust

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Mar 30, 2017

Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers is getting ready to publish a new short story anthology in 2018: False Faces: Tales of Fakes, Frauds, and Facades

This time on the podcast co-editors Angie Hodapp and Warren Hammond walk us through the careful process they have developed for selecting and editing stories between now and the anticipated publication in September of 2018.

Angie Hodapp holds a BA in English and secondary education and an MA in English and communication development, and she is a graduate of the Denver Publishing Institute at the University of Denver. She has worked in publishing and professional writing and editing, in one form or another, for sixteen years. She currently works at Nelson Literary Agency as the Director of Literary Development.

Warren Hammond is known for his gritty, futuristic KOP series. The third book in the series, KOP Killer, won the Colorado Book Award. Warren's latest novel, Tides of Maritinia, is a spy novel set in a science-fictional world.

First up on this episode, however, is another episode of Writer’s Rehab from Natasha Watts. This time, Natasha is going after what she calls an issue of attitude. If your writing role model is Harper Lee or if you are treating your first novel like a passion project, these few minutes of commentary are for you.

False Faces Anthology Guidelines

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Mar 26, 2017


After seven years of writing and re-writing, Run Away Home is due out later this year or early next from Red Adept Publishing.

On the podcast, Diane talks about the inspiration for her first novel and why she couldn’t let the idea go, even after dozens of rewrites.

Diane Byington has been a tenured college professor, a yoga teacher, a psychotherapist, and executive coach. She has raised goats for fiber and once took a job cooking hot dogs for a NASCAR event. She still enjoys spinning and weaving, but she hasn’t eaten a hot dog or watched a car race since.

Diane and her husband divide their time between Boulder, Colorado, and the small Central Florida town they discovered while doing research for the book.


More about Diane Byington

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Mar 15, 2017

Freelance editor Anita Mumm is the guest. Anita recently made the switch from working at a Denver-based literary agency to establishing her own editing and critique services firm. Anita also made the switch from living in the big city to living in a small town in the Colorado mountains. On the podcast, Anita gives a rundown on the services she offers through her well-named business, Mumm’s the Word.

Anita also talks about what she learned from sorting through hundreds and thousands of query letters at the Nelson Literary Agency and she talks about the unusual thing she does with her spare time, a globe-trotting effort that helps her keep things in perspective.

If you’re thinking about hiring a professional editor in the near future, this chat might be helpful in understanding precisely what you need.

Anita Mumm

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Mar 7, 2017

Abby J. Reed is the guest with her first novel, When Planets Fall.

The young adult science fiction fantasy comes out later this spring from Soul Mate Press and it has already drawn nifty advance praise.

Kirkus Reviews has already called it “propulsive” and “sharply crafted.”

On the podcast, Abby talks about a disorder she deals with called chronic migraine and how it ties in with the characters and events on her distant planet in a galaxy far, far away.

She also tells us about the Twitter pitch that led to her publishing deal and she’s got some excellent ideas about how to define success.

Abby J. Reed writes young adult science fiction and fantasy novels that ask what if. She has a degree in English Writing and lives in Colorado with her husband and two fluffy pups.

First up on this episode Rocky Mountain Writer is a fresh installment of Writer’s Rehab with Natasha Watts. This time, Natasha has some great tips to make sure your writing doesn’t lose its your point of view - or even begin to wander.

More about Abby J. Reed

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Feb 23, 2017

This episode is a quick chat with Lisa Manifold about the process for submitting nominations for the Writer of the Year and the Independent Writer of the Year.  

Feb 18, 2017

This episode of the Rocky Mountain Writer is a chat with Lisa (a.k.a. LS) Hawker.

LS Hawker's third novel, End of the Road, was published last month by the Witness Impulse imprint of Harper Collins.

Lisa offers fun, interesting and heartfelt stories about her books, including an amazing story about her path to publication that took a significant turn on a famous date, 9/11.

Lisa talks about making the conversion from plotting from an organic approach to someone who now adheres to a tool called Story Grid to make sure she’s got all the necessary thriller elements in the right places.

LS Hawker is the author of the thrillers The Drowning Game, Body and Bone, and the brand new End of the Road.

The Drowning Game was a USA Today bestseller and also was a finalist in the ITW Thriller Awards in the Best First Novel category.

LS Hawker

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