Lasers Dragons And Keyboards
A podcast for readers and writers of science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction.
info_outline LDK - THE LOST EPISODES - Ep 1 with Amy Brock McNew 05/23/2020
LDK - THE LOST EPISODES - Ep 1 with Amy Brock McNew In our "lost episodes" files, we interview UF and Paranormal Romance author, Amy Brock McNew.
info_outline LDK S2 Ep 3 - Plan For Your Success 01/14/2020
LDK S2 Ep 3 - Plan For Your Success Due to a Midwestern snowstorm, Liberty was unable to join Aaron & Josh in this spectacular interview with sci-fi legend, Nick Cole. A former soldier and actor, Nick shares insights into his writing process, tabletop gaming, indie publishing, and who you should pay attention to in this world where everybody is a guru in the indie-sphere.
info_outline LDK S2 Ep2: The Bleeding Will Eventually Stop 11/11/2019
LDK S2 Ep2: The Bleeding Will Eventually Stop We sat down and discussed Jason Joyner's debut novel, Launch. As well as what led to the creation of the Realm Makers Consortium in 2015, and how great it is to be a part of a writing community that shares bonds in areas of both spiritual and fandom. Be sure to check out the stream on Twitch.tv/LDK_Podcast for great interaction on the chat! Where to Find Jason + other links:
info_outline LDK S2 Ep 1 - Dinosaurs, Soda Pop, & Snot 11/04/2019
LDK S2 Ep 1 - Dinosaurs, Soda Pop, & Snot We sat down with J.J. Johnson, author of Iggy & Oz: The Plastic Dinos of Doom this week on LDK! We discussed the challenges of writing for middle grade, giant snot blobs, and insights into marketing from a marketing professional. Oh, and there was laughter. A. Lot. Of. Laughter. (But what else do you expect from us?) Links:
info_outline LDK S2 Ep 0 - Just a Few Technical Difficulties (re-meet the hosts!) 10/26/2019
LDK S2 Ep 0 - Just a Few Technical Difficulties (re-meet the hosts!) We're excited to be re-launching the podcast! And today, we did a test run of our new recording setup. Be sure to join us on Twitch.tv/LDK_Podcast for future episodes!
info_outline LDK 77 - The History of Fantasy 04/25/2018
LDK 77 - The History of Fantasy We were delighted to have with us NYT bestselling author, Ed Greenwood, on this week's episode of the show! For those not in the know, Mr. Greenwood is the creator of The Forgotten Realms. Note to listeners: we had not only our producer missing, but the guys had to jury-rig a setup to record. Mr. Greenwood joined us over the phone, which was not what we had planned—but we were delighted to have him despite our technical difficulties. (Liberty's hair may or may not be more grey after editing...) Also, for our listeners with sensitive ears, there is some mild swearing in this episode. The guys mostly let Mr. Greenwood talk, and as such, we think this is an episode best listened to rather than trying to sum it up. But we do get a history lesson on publishing and research. My word, do we have it easy nowadays. Everything in a home exists to support bookshelves. ~ Ed Greenwood Links:
info_outline LDK 76 - Intellectual Property Law with Steven Fairchild 04/24/2018
LDK 76 - Intellectual Property Law with Steven Fairchild We've got some great insight into intellectual property law with attorney Steve Fairchild. It may sound boring, but as authors, it's important we understand at least a little bit about the law. We start things out with an overview of what's encompassed in intellectual property, and then it really gets fun! In Episode 76: How biology degrees relates to intellectual property How Steve gets his clients Can you use the term "lightsaber™" in your book? Does I.P. law translate to other countries? Finding an I.P. attorney...and do you need one? What's the difference between an I.P. attorney and an agent? When does copyright exist? Do you need to file your copyright with the copyright office? What happens when your work has been pirated? Can I.P. law be funny? How Steven actually informed an episode of Suits--and how they got it wrong! What Steven finds frustrating in fiction about the law Bunny trails! Do I need to copyright my idea formally with the copyright office? Fair use law Steve's advice on courtroom scenes Steve's favorite movies about legal stuff Links:
info_outline LDK 75 - Alien Artifacts with K.M. Dailey 01/09/2018
LDK 75 - Alien Artifacts with K.M. Dailey We sit down with physics teacher by day, thriller author by night, Kayla--K.M.--Dailey this episode. K.M. is the winner of our flash short story contest with Laura VanArendonk Baugh to write a short story featuring Samwise Gamgee (LOTR) and River Song (Doctor Who.) K.M.'s story had us in stitches, and we're sure you'll see why we picked the story as our winner. We talk about our Harry Potter houses, Kayla's inspiration for the short story, Christmas trees out of books, Liberty admits to having lower standards in her reading, the ever-present need for more bookcases, , the new doctor on Doctor Who and Kayla's and Liberty's concerns about the direction, Doctor Who indoctrination (no pun intended!), Kayla's goal of 100 rejections in 2018 (!!!), Captain America...or Captain Jack Sparrow? Find out more about . Kayla's book recommendations: - Orson Scott Card - Lemony Snicket - Cixin Liu For a transcript of K.M. Dailey's short story, visit our website at:
info_outline LDK 74 - Don't Ask Permission To Create Art 11/21/2017
LDK 74 - Don't Ask Permission To Create Art This week we have hopeless romantic, H.L. (Heidi) Burke on the show. She's totally obsessed with dragons, but we know a few people who also are, so we won't hold it against her. In episode 74: The evolution of a pantser to a plotter Guess which of Heidi's offspring might be a future Bond villain! Lyrics in music? Yes or no? The adventures of being a military wife Why Heidi doesn't think she's a very deep person. Working with an editor when you've been self-published first How Sarah picks her release dates Aaron warns new authors about vanity presses Who is Theodore?? As always, check our website for full show notes!
info_outline LDK 72 - Exploring Splickety Publishing Group 10/12/2017
LDK 72 - Exploring Splickety Publishing Group We have Andrew Winch on this week, who is the executive editor with Splickety Publishing group where he's worked with a whole host of authors including Jerry B. Jenkins, Tosca Lee, and Robert Liparulo. He's a full time physical therapist when he's not running around with Ben Wolf.
info_outline LDK 70 - Get Words On Paper 09/27/2017
LDK 70 - Get Words On Paper On this episode, we have Paul Smith, friend of previous guests, CW Briar and Jon Brhel. He's author of Jason and the Draconauts! Paul Smith lives in upstate New York with his wife and two sons, where he works with emotionally disturbed and mentally ill children. He earned a master’s degree in social sciences from Binghamton University in 1999. A lifelong love of science fiction, fantasy, and superhero stories influences Paul’s writing. His most recent work was a popular weekly online series that generated over 20,000 views. Jason and the Draconauts is his first novel. In Episode 70: The pitfalls of pantsing The guys give Liberty a hard time for ditching her outline Liberty keeps bringing up Scrivener... Bluetooth keyboards! Why reading out loud is an important editing tool. Paul's techniques for battling writer's block and why he hates frustration. Paul's thoughts on conventions and selling books on them. Whether FB ads are worth the paper they're printed on... Including fandom quotes in our books! What do your books teach you in the course of the writing? Get words on paper Links! (audiobook link) by John Scalzi (on audiobook!) (again!) Dan Brown's As always, you can find complete show notes at
info_outline LDK 69 - Jason & the Draconauts with Paul D. Smith 09/27/2017
LDK 69 - Jason & the Draconauts with Paul D. Smith We hang out with Paul D. Smith, author of the fantastic middle grade novel, "Jason and the Draconauts". We talk dragons, raising kids, plagiarization, and a whole lot more!
info_outline THE LOST EPISODES! LDK 55 - Writing with Deanna Fugett 09/06/2017
THE LOST EPISODES! LDK 55 - Writing with Deanna Fugett This week, we talk with Deanna Fugett (not to be confused with Deanna Troi). We get right into it with a discussion about oddly named characters, and where some of these names come from (don't ask...) Next, because this is a speculative fiction show, we talk at length about Little House on the Prairie (Of course...) Liberty wasn't around this week to steer us back on track... (because she spontaneously combusted... well, that's our story, anyway...) We eventually got back on track (kind of...), and learned that Josh loves depressing endings (Aaron can't stand them...) Who's Deanna's favorite super hero? Is it Green Arrow? Super Grover? You'll have to listen to find out. Does Deanna prefer Scrivener? Word? Pen? Crayon? We also take a quick break to provide a public service announcement of things computers don't like (such as hammers and crumbs...) Lingo 101... We're thinking of making this a regular feature... And last, but not least, being eaten alive (metaphorically...) Some of Deanna's favorite authors: - Liberty - Aaron - Josh (he's almost done...) - Lynn Austin, who writes historical fiction/romance. She has a really good series set in the Civil War (U.S. History, not Marvel, sadly) that does a good job of showing the conflict and motivation from both sides. (Also, if you like history, check out "Across Five Aprils") Deanna thinks critique groups are pretty darn important. We think so too! Extrovert shadowing! As always, get full show notes at .
info_outline LDK64 - My Little Mermaid (with Avily Jerome) 08/31/2017
LDK64 - My Little Mermaid (with Avily Jerome) After a way-too-long hiatus from publishing, we're finally getting back into the swing of things! On this episode of the show, recorded WAAAAAY back in the spring (we won't bring up Liberty's scheduling/production issues), we have with us the one and only Avily Jerome. We know Avily from the Realm Maker's conference, where she sometimes body-doubles President Donald Trump. But she's also an amazingly talented author who wrote The Heir. As you'll find out, Avily likes to laugh as much as we do, and her snarky brand of humor was a great fit with your hosts' funny bones. In Episode 64: Plotting or pantsing...and how her research affects this. Steve Irwin...Mermaid Hunter... Crazy NaNo+ word counts Avily and her organizational methods My Evil Mermaid How Avily deals with writer's block Dealing with people who don't like what you write. Develop a thick skin. Darkside Cookies As always, visit for our full show notes and access to our back episodes!
info_outline LDK 63 - The Heir with Avily Jerome 08/25/2017
LDK 63 - The Heir with Avily Jerome On this episode of the show, recorded WAAAAAY back in the spring, we have with us the one and only Avily Jerome. We know Avily from the Realm Maker's conference, where she sometimes body-doubles President Donald Trump. But she's also an amazingly talented author who wrote The Heir. As you'll find out, Avily likes to laugh as much as we do, and her snarky brand of humor was a great fit with your hosts' funny bones.
info_outline LDK 62 -- The Songweaver's Vow 06/14/2017
LDK 62 -- The Songweaver's Vow This week, we hang out with second-time guest, (try saying that one three times fast!) We last visited with Laura in . Last time we spoke, we discussed her Japanese culture books. But this time, she takes us to a different culture altogether with The Songweaver's Vow, which is a retelling of Ares and Psyche, but in the Norwegian culture rather than Greek. In this episode: Laura's unique view on fiction Laura's upcoming trilogy...that she may or may not be working on...an epic fantasy. (Angst porn!) Laura's research in Denmark. Nine months of winter and mead! Laura's take on Greek and Norse mythology. Having a reader warning on her books. On writing Loki. Who would Laura go on a quest with? Greek mythology is all about people having sex. Norse mythology is all about people on LSD. ~ Laura VAB Links Details on our contest! Our first ever contest! Write a 1,000 or less fan fiction featuring Samwise Gamgee (Lord of the Rings fame) and River Song (Doctor Who with David Tennant, Matt Smith, and Peter Capaldi). PG-13 rating max. You can put them in whatever scenario or world you want and whatever other characters you want as long as you feature them. Prizes: E-book of . E-book or Audible of Liberty Speidel's . E-book of Aaron DeMott's A New Threat. An opportunity to come on the show and talk about whatever you want to talk about, plus read your winning short story. Deadlines and contact: E-mail your polished story in standard manuscript format (12-point Times New Roman, 1 inch margins, double-spaced) to LasersDragonsKeyboards@gmail.com no later than August 1, 2017. Winner will be announced on an upcoming episode of the show and selected by the hosts and Laura VanArendonk Baugh. Timeframe on when winner will be selected depends on number of entries. We will e-mail you back to confirm receipt of your story. Please put "Sam & River" in the subject line.
info_outline LDK 61 - Getting Serious with Amy Brock McNew 06/08/2017
LDK 61 - Getting Serious with Amy Brock McNew Author Amy Brock McNew Our guest tonight is Amy Brock McNew, who apparently can't stay away. Our hosts, though, I'm not sure about. We apparently have two Liberties, and one Josh... I think... Tonight's topic... Venison, and how delicious it is! ...uh, I mean, we're talking about Amy's second book, Reconciliation. *** SPOILER WARNING*** You might not want to listen to this podcast (Episodes 22 & 23) if you haven't read the first book in the series. Go read, then come back and listen to this episode. Go on... we'll wait... Wow, it's a little mushy in here as we talk about putting yourself back in old situations, re-living old hurts and fears as we put our characters in similar situations... and the healing that can come with dealing with those emotions. Enough of that, let's go hunt moose and squirrel! In this episode: Differences in writing Rebirth versus Reconciliation The catharsis of writing Prayer & forgiveness Russian Ninja Barbie! Amy's passion for helping women get out of human trafficking. Fighting with your husband (as story research) Casting the Reluctant Warriors We are Groot! Reading our own books for pleasure Rebirth NOT on sale now Amy's combat demo videos! For more links to books and organizations discussed, visit our website:
info_outline LDK 60 - Blood Mercy with Janeen Ippolito & Julia Busko 05/17/2017
LDK 60 - Blood Mercy with Janeen Ippolito & Julia Busko We were delighted to have on the show with us horror authors Janeen Ippolito and Julia Busko this week, authors of Blood Mercy. In this episode... Characters and their quirks and how they may or may not resemble actual people. Favorite vampires! Being horror junkies Favorite scenes Dream actor casting! Questing! Doctor Who and our favorite doctors Gaming! Upcoming release (October 2017) Blood Mercy: The Darkest Stain Links! Blood Mercy The Dresden Files Mike Duran Christian Horror Uncommon Universes Press
info_outline LDK 59 - Mother's Day Special with Donita K. Paul & Evangeline Denmark 05/09/2017
LDK 59 - Mother's Day Special with Donita K. Paul & Evangeline Denmark We have a special mother-daughter show for you this week! Our guests are Donita K. Paul and her daughter, Evangeline Denmark. In this week's episode... Donita learns something new about her daughter right off the bat. We talk WIPs that sound really cool. Growing up with an author for a mom. Minigames! How Donita raised Evangeline with a love for words. Donita & Evangeline's collaborations, including their children's books. Living up to your mom's standards. Legacies. Catching Didactics. Other creative endeavors Favorite parts of the creative process. (We have some technical difficulties with Donita's feed--we apologize!) How to balance family & writing Having gifts you need to use as a wife and mother. How you need other writers to give you feedback. And, we explore some fun new questions! Links
info_outline LDK 58 - Be Excited! 04/18/2017
LDK 58 - Be Excited! This week we have with us Lauren Brandenburg, author of Orlo the Created! This sounds like an awesome middle grade steampunk book series, and we can't wait to get it to share with our kids...yeah, that's the reason. ;) Episode 58 (Be Excited!): Plotting/pantsing Scrivener! Some of the cool features of Scrivener! Maps! Liberty continues having technical issues... Lauren's self-editing process & her editor -- and incorporating her editing into her homeschooling. Writer's block and a funny story How writing "Orlo" changed Lauren Lauren's unique approach to marketing (which probably not for everyone because of her market) Lauren's love of Harry Potter, and her recommendations for how a kid should read the books. Awesome rabbit trails! Links! (Edgar Rice Burroughs)
info_outline LDK 57 - Orlo with Lauren Brandenburg 04/07/2017
LDK 57 - Orlo with Lauren Brandenburg This week we have with us Lauren Brandenburg, author of Orlo the Created! This sounds like an awesome middle grade steampunk book series, and we can't wait to get it to share with our kids...yeah, that's the reason. ;) In Episode 57: Orlo! We talk about the earlier books in the series, focusing on Boone. How much does Lauren love world-building? CS Lewis quotes! Having favorite characters. Lauren, Aaron, and Josh's aversion to coffee Lauren's mad ninja skills What Lauren avoided talking about in Orlo. Aaron's obsession with finding a Doctor Strange figurine. What Muppet is most like Lauren? And her main character? What's up for Lauren next? Liberty's got some technical issues (what else is new?) Be sure to check out our website for additional shows and more extensive show notes!
info_outline LDK 56 - Our First Anniversary! 03/02/2017
LDK 56 - Our First Anniversary! We finally sat down to do our anniversary episode, and since we hadn't chatted lately, added in short discussions of the two best movies of 2016: Doctor Strange and Rogue One. It didn't take long for hilarity to ensue (really, so you expect any different from us?) as we had some frank discussion over the movies and our desire to see both again (pre-order anyone?) 18 stars for Doctor Strange from the three of us and 8.5 - 9 stars for Rogue One (since Aaron hadn't seen it yet!) After talking movies & books, we get into a recap of the last year and hint at what's coming up in 2017. Aaron hits his sugar high for the day, and turns into the LDK version of Twitchy from Hoodwinked. Liberty tries to be serious, but this is LDK. It doesn't last long! We have to be serious for a moment and thank our listeners for tuning in, and our guests for being willing guinea pigs, err, victims, err, to come on the show and hang out. We love doing the show and love sharing a bit of ourselves with you. We can't wait to see what 2017 has in store!
info_outline THE LOST EPISODES! LDK 54 - Deanna Fugett 02/20/2017
THE LOST EPISODES! LDK 54 - Deanna Fugett This week, we talk with Deanna Fugett (not to be confused with Deanna Troi). We get right into it with a discussion about oddly named characters, and where some of these names come from (don't ask...) Next, because this is a speculative fiction show, we talk at length about Little House on the Prairie (Of course...) Liberty wasn't around this week to steer us back on track... (because she spontaneously combusted... well, that's our story, anyway...) We eventually got back on track (kind of...), and learned that Josh loves depressing endings (Aaron can't stand them...) Who's Deanna's favorite super hero? Is it Green Arrow? Super Grover? You'll have to listen to find out. As always, check out for full show notes and links to things we discussed!