The podcast where you join Oliver Brackenbury on the journey of writing his next novel!

Oliver does his best to make each episode work on its own, but this podcast is a series and so you may wish to start with episode 1, or perhaps the episode where he reads you the short story that birthed both the novel and the podcast! Heck, there’s even a lil’ trailer for the show.

Ep20 – Interview with Milton Davis about Sword & Soul

In this interview we’re speaking with author and publisher, Milton Davis. Oliver and Milton have plenty of laughs talking about what it’s like being both a writer and a publisher, knowing Charles Saunders and what’s going on with the Imaro TV adaptation, when the history nerds come for you, origin stories, designing and playtesting an…More

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Ep19 – Interview with J.M. Frey

Oliver has a long, highly informative chat with author, actor, and voice actor J.M. Frey about her experiences as a writer, including what happens when your book grows to around the 200K word mark, self-publishing, the challenges of author exhaustion (incl. frank discussion of how the economics of publishing deals have evolved), when she received…More

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Ep18 – Interview with Christine Brackenbury

We’re kicking off a block of interviews with a chat with Oliver’s mum, about her relationship to creativity as both parent and “pre-parent”, the book she wrote, the book Oliver’s dad says he’ll finish, what it’s like for both Oliver and Christine to look back on his decision to try making writing what he does…More

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Ep 17 – Disgrace the Stone

With this, the fifth short story, we’ve reached the end of the first act! In Disgrace the Stone, the outlining of which Oliver will share with you, Voe is finally a “hero” as she’s struggled to be but the events of this story will change her mind about that being what she wants. The brainstorming…More

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Ep 16 – The Boy and the Blacksmith

This time around we’re outlining story number four in our sword & sorcery short story cycle! Oliver sets out to write a sword & sorcery love story, but is that what he ends up with? He also gets into that time the rural Canadian mafia murdered Oliver’s brother because his parents wouldn’t give them gold,…More

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Ep15 – Monstrously Slow

This time around we’re outlining story number three in our sword & sorcery short story cycle! Oliver introduces you to the marvelous book which made him want to tell this story, thrusting his protagonist Voe into the middle of a mighty battle between empires in the absolute meat grinder of a canyon floor with arrows…More

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Ep14 – The Woman Who Floated Through Time

Outlining the rest of the book has begun! Oliver walks you through how he outlined the second story in the novel, currently called “The Woman Who Floated Through Time”, which includes discussion of whether or not characters should change over the course of a story, templates vs writing prompts, when its time to really break…More

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Ep12 – Interview with Howard Andrew Jones

Author of the recently concluded Ring-Sworn trilogy, editor of the most excellent sword & sorcery magazine Tales of the Magician’s Skull, and teacher of a heroic fantasy writing class Oliver recently attended (the next session just opened to registration), Howard Andrew Jones has been a source of inspiration, knowledge, and encouragement for Oliver while our…More

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Ep11 – Sword and Planet

Oliver looks at the risky proposition of mixing some scifi in with his fantasy via the sub-sub-genre known as Sword and Planet, explores S&P and makes some recommendations, then walks you through the thought process that got him to the kind of S&P story he’d like to tell in his Untitled Sword & Sorcery Novel.…More

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Ep 9 – Choosing Seventeen Stories

In this episode Oliver gets down to the task of choosing exactly what stories are going to go into this short story cycle of a sword & sorcery novel, discusses the importance of order of information, figuring out the word count he wants to aim for and more.More

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Ep8 – Language and Race in Speculative Fiction

Oliver gets into universal translators and “The Common Tongue”, Robert Howard’s prose, reads a few cool paragraphs by Howard and a handful of his S&S contemporaries, gets into writing while not being entirely aware of the precise terminology for the techniques you’re using, our old friend racism, and doing your best to avoid the inherent…More

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Ep7 – Rereading “Voe”

Okay, NOW Oliver reads to you the short story that birthed this novel writing project, “Voe”. He’ll also explain why he waited this long, provide commentary on his decision-making while writing “Voe”, and discuss how this episode marks an important point in the progress of both podcast & novel. He also gets into his greatest…More

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Ep6 – The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction

In this episode Oliver shares the essay he found that helped him envision the ending of the novel, an almost anti-sword & sorcery essay, The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction by Ursula K Le Guin. First he reads it to you (click here if you want to read it yourself), then gets into how it…More

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Ep5 – Outlining My Outline

Oliver discusses how, after the initial sugar rush of brainstorming for the novel, he stepped back to make several important decisions that would help keep him from getting lost while finishing the outline of the novel, as well as writing the dang novel itself! This involves choosing tense, perspective, primary POV, theme, all that good…More

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Ep3 – Brainstorming Stories

Oliver discusses what a short story cycle is in novel form, his initial brainstorming of stories to include in his novel, and reclaiming dry or even dispiriting material from your school days as a source of pleasure later in life. This episode’s listener question comes off of episode two’s discussion of protagonists, with Oliver answering…More

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Ep2 – My Protagonist

Oliver shares with you the path he took from being inspired by a famous painting, through to his creating the protagonist of “Untitled Sword & Sorcery Novel”, Voe, roughly nine years later. He also answers a listener question about best practices when soliciting and receiving feedback on your work.More

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Ep1 – So I’m Writing a Novel… begins!

Meet host Oliver Brackenbury as he introduces the podcast, himself, and the titular novel “Untitled Sword & Sorcery novel“. He also discusses the genre of sword & sorcery, then shares his experience working with an editor on the short story which become the first chapter of the novel. It can be lonely writing a novel,…More

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