Introducing Jenny Beanses! AKA Jennifer Hudock

I believe she needs no real introduction. However, she is the author and podcaster of The Goblin Market, she is taking readers on a 12 part Dark Journey, she is one of the founders of The Creative Alliance, and is the editor of two upcoming charity anthologies, From the Dark Side and Farrago.

Without any further ado…

So, who are  you and what do you do?

I am an emissary from the Old Gods sent to Earth to monitor human behavior and report back in written form so they can plan the best way to wreak havoc on mankind… seriously. I’m a storyteller. I have been telling stories as long as I can remember. I write all day long every day. Some of it is actually fiction, but right now most of it is creative nonfiction and news commentary on a variety of online blogs.

You write a mix of horror, dark fantasy, and more traditional fantasy. As an author, how do you juggle the genres? Is there any genre you find more compelling to write?

There is something that has always appealed to me about making the unbelievable believable. I’ve seen a lot of weird and unexplainable things in my own life, so I like to mirror that type of craziness back into the world. No matter which genre I’m writing in, I’m primarily focused on creating intense characters that readers or listeners can relate to. Through their personality and the way they approach the events and situations in the stories, I have this hope that readers can feel them as people, someone they can relate to on a personal level.
What made you and James start up the Creative Alliance?

Patrick Pillars and I were talking about the creative movement in our generation. How the Internet has really changed all the rules right now, and left a wide gap open for the creative world to mold and shape itself. As creators, we realized that in every memorable creative movement from the Romantic writers to the Beat Generation, it wasn’t just about one type of creativity, or just one memorable icon. It was a whole community of people who worked together on some level.

I talked with James about this extensively, and we started kicking the idea of putting together an online place where the people in the community we’re a part of could reach out and share their creativity, knowledge and approach to the changing times in an effort to make a greater impact as a group. So we set up The Creative Alliance.

We are working together as a community, not just for our own individual goals and such, which is a great thing.

What’s the deal with the Podcaturday Podcast?

Podcaturday, w00t! Acadia from Superficial Gallery has always been really cool about linking to people on his blog, especially on Saturdays. In fact, that was how I met him over a year and a half ago. Someone on Twitter said, “Get some free exposure for your blog today by sending this guy your link.”

One afternoon, Acadia asked me who I knew that podcatted (yes, podcatted) because he wanted to try and network with some podcatters and get them some more exposure. From there, he asked me if he was going to link to Podcats, if he should have a podcat, and he came up with an idea to record a 1 minute podcast about things he could say in under a minute.

Then we started playing around with FreeCallRecorder.com, and came up with an idea to just ramble on about whatever popped into our heads, and Podcaturday: The Weekend Roundtable Discussion, was born. We hook up on Skype every Saturday morning and just talk about whatever comes up for about an hour. On our second episode, we invited James to join us, and the chemistry the three of us had was so good, we decided to make it a regular thing.

It’s just nonsense… but it’s good nonsense, and I hope more people check it out because we really have a great time doing it.

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the free vs. paid model recently. You give away the podcast of Goblin Market, and you sell your stories for a small charge. Can you tell us about these two different systems, and the advantages they have?
Giving away Goblin Market has definitely introduced me to a lot of people, both in a networking sense, and a fanbase sense. I haven’t put Goblin Market up on Podiobooks yet, but it’s still managed to get about 15,000 downloads just on my website, which is such a great thing. Giving it away for free is an investment in your fans. You give them a piece of yourself in its entirety, and in a sense, you prove to them that you can provide good content, or not, in some cases.

There is a hope that through establishing yourself and building a little credibility by giving away your work for free, they will in turn tell others about you. When you do publish work, whether it’s through a publishing contract deal, or on Amazon or Smashwords, people at least know what they can expect from you as a writer. It’s touch and go marketing, and it doesn’t always work in terms of selling your fiction, as a lot of authors have discovered, but everything is changing so rapidly we have to do what we can.

For me, I want to get my work out to as many people as possible because that is why I write. So I will keep experimenting with both models as long as it keeps getting my work out there to new readers and listeners.

Goblin Market is finished, and there are only a few more Dark Journeys left. What will be coming up next?

Well, I am working on the sequel to Goblin Market, Jack in the Green, and plan to start podcasting that sometime this summer. It’s not finished yet, and while I know a lot of people recommend finishing your work before you start podcasting, most of the people who recommend that don’t even actually follow that themselves. I have a feeling that having the pressure of putting out new episodes will help me stay on track with writing. I promised myself I wouldn’t start podcasting until it was at least halfway complete though, so I can get a good head start.

I am also editing two charity anthologies this summer: From the Dark Side, which all proceeds will go to the Letters and Light Organization, and Farrago. Farrago is an effort to help raise money for Michael Bekemeyer’s film project.

On top of that, I am working on a novel called Running Down the Moon, which I want to get traditionally published once it’s finished.

If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be, and why?

I would be an oak tree because the oak is a powerful symbol of my Celtic ancestry.
My thanks to Jennifer! If you haven’t already, go check out her work!

Podcamp Toronto 2008 Wrap-Up

Podcamp Toronto 2008 wrapped up over the weekend, but this is my first opportunity to reflect on it. I came away with mixed feelings regarding the event.

The Good

The people behind the scenes of Podcamp worked tirelessly to create a well-organized, eclectic and interesting Camp. The information was always timely, the location was excellent for our needs, and even lunch was great! The sessions were diverse, well prepared, and helpful for users of all levels, from beginners to experts. Chris Brogan kicked things off in great style, presenting an interesting session on Social Media. One telling moment that demonstrated the power of technology occurred when a member of the audience exhorted someone on Twitter to call Chris during his presentation. Moments later his cell phone rang. Chris put Mitch Joel on speakerphone, and they entertained us with a brief chat. Mitch, meanwhile, was watching everything unfold, as the sessions were streamed live on the Internet. It was an interesting moment of technological symbiosis, each tool working together to make it happen. I can only imagine what will happen next year, with the constant advances in technology.

I enjoyed the session I was involved in immensely, and it was great to meet Steve Saylor and chat with him. The audience seemed to be interested and enjoying themselves. If you are curious about this or any other session, they are available online for your viewing pleasure.

The Bad

The only bad part of the event for me was the fact that I was suffering from a miserable cold. I was feeling slow, and sluggish, and not totally in the moment. I had a hard time talking to people, and seeing as one of the main reasons I was there was to meet the people I only know online, this was a dissipointment. I was feeling too out of it to really talk coherently for most of the camp, and I only made it to 1 day.

The Other

It was interesting for me to see how much of the camp revolved around Twitter. I love Twitter, and I use it on a daily basis. Many of the sessions included discussion of Twitter, and most people were actively Twittering the events of the camp. It almost could have been TwitterCamp (which could be a fun evening camp sometime).

I was also surprised by the amount of Macs, iPones, iTouches etc… people had. I know they are becoming more and more popular, but the percentage of Mac users was at least 80%.

The End

In then end I am happy to have gone. I hope I can attend other events like this, and I hope I will not be as sick next time! If a PodCamp happens near you, even if you are not  actively Podcasting, I highly recommend you attend, I’m sure you will find something that will interest you.

What I’m looking forward to at Podcamp Toronto 2008

Yesterday I took the opportunity to pimp the fact that I’m on a panel at Podcamp Toronto 2008, but I also thought I should write about some of the other interesting things happening there.

People

There are tonnes of people coming this year, over 400 registrants so far. I am not going to write out a list of those individuals I am looking forward to seeing, because I don’t want to leave someone off the list, and have them think “that Beatty, he is such a jerk, why doesn’t he want to meet ME!” and then have them give me a swift karate chop to the neck this weekend. There are a few people that I have been following on twitter, or reading on their blogs that I feel I already know, and I am sure that I will meet at least a few people there who will make me think “Why haven’t I been checking this out for years! That’s amazing!”

Sessions

There are some specific sessions I am interested in seeing. 

  • Social Media and Networking Starter Guide, with Chris Brogan. He always has an interesting and informed view of things, and I am looking forward to hearing what he has to say.
  • Living On The Cloud – how I have (mostly) given up desktop applications with Tommy Vallier. I am dabbling with the concept of cloud computing,  and I use Google Documents a fair amount. I would like to see what he has to say.
  • Introducing the Social Media Press Release: The rules, the tools , the metrics. Collin Douma. It just sounds interesting.
  • Marketing & New Media: A Discussion moderated by Jay Moonah.

Moments

I have heard so much about all of the great energizing and exciting things from previous podcamps. I look forward to having my mind blown. Hope to see you there!

    Podcamp Toronto This Weekend!

    Are you in? Are you coming to Podcamp Toronto this weekend? Well, I’ll be there. Over 400 people are registered to attend, making it even bigger (and hopefully better) than last year. I was supposed to attend PC 2007,  but the surprise early birth of my second son happened as Podcamp Toronto 2007 was starting.  I still think I made the right chioce, being there for the birth and all.

    Actually, I’ll even be part of a session, co-hosting an open discussion on Podiobooks, sharing my experiences regarding my first book, White Trash Land, and perhaps discussing some ideas fermenting in my brain for my second novel, Lost Gods. Here are the details:

    Producing Audio Books for Fame, Fun and …

    Open Panel Discussion authors and audiobook producers

    It’s on Saturday Feb. 23rd, in Room 359A at 1:45PM.  I hope to see you there!

    Podcamp Toronto 2008
    Date: February 23-24, 2008
    Place:Rogers Communications Centre at Ryerson University
    80 Gould Street, Toronto

    Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

    As part of the “Great Documents” project some of us are cooking up over at Podiobooks, I have recorded the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I hope you enjoy it. Please feel free to use it in any way you see fit.

    Welcome Squidboy!

    So, I have been meaning to write about the awesomeness that is Mur Lafferty`s Podcast Novel “Playing For Keeps” for awhile now, but I was waiting for to announce some exciting news. On the companion piece “Stories From the 3rd Wave”, Mur has been soliciting fan based recordings. There has been some great stuff there, and some awesome music. I couldn’t resist having the opportunity to play in someone else’s backyards, so a few weeks ago I recorded a short “Interview” with a hero that sadly has been overlooked in Mur’s novel. I sent it off, and low and behold, this week it has appeared in the feed!

     So, if you haven’t been listening to Playing For Keeps, you should be. Or, if you just really want to hear my little contribution, you can check out the episode here.

    Issue #1 of Sci Phi Journal is available!

    Sci Phi - The Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy You may ask yourself, “Why should I care about Sci Phi Journal? What has it ever done for me?” Or, you may ask yourself “Why is Drew Beatty pimping some magazine? Doesn’t he usually just go on and on about his own writing and ideas like some sort of self-centered egotistical jerk?” Or, you may ask yourself “What can I do to make the world a better place?” Or, you may ask yourself “My God, what have I done?”

    I can’t answer all of those questions for you. What I can do is tell you about a new magazine called Sci Phi, The Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy. It’s a new and interesting venture from Jason Rennie, the man behind Darwin or Design. He is obviously a clever fellow, given the nature of his work. So clever, in fact, that he allowed me to record one of the stories.* You see, this isn’t the standard magazine. When you purchase it you get it in several electronic formats: Printable PDF, Microsoft Lit format, eReader, Mobipocket, Plaintext, Plucker and MP3 Audio. I recorded the Audio for a mind bending story called “The Losting Corridor”, available with this month’s issue. So, head on over to Sci Phi Journal, you might just make yourself a little bit smarter. And that’s a good thing.

    Not that you aren’t smart already.

    *So, yeah. I’m still being a self indulgent, egotistical jerk. And you thought I had grown? Sorry to disappoint.

    Merry Christmas!

    I hope everyone is haveing a wonderful holiday season. In our household we are still figuring out how best to celebrate the season. I was able to find a beautiful tree this year, and we spent part of today getting some new ornaments at Ten Thousand Villages, an amazing store that sells fair trade crafts. Some amazing things there.

    After that, we recorded a brief Christmas message. Enjoy.

    Talking With Tots, Episode #4

    Welcome to Talking With Tots Episode Four. The recording of this was a little bit piecemeal, so the quality is not the best. But, it is one of the better conversations we have had in a while, especially when we get to the contents of our ears (last third). Tarquin also divulges the identity of his best friend!

    A Special Story from the Failed Cities!

    In addition to offering its listeners their regular story for the month of
    December, Variant Frequencies has prepared a special holiday surprise for
    fans of the two-time Parsec-nominated FAILED CITIES MONOLOGUES, as well as
    all those who’ve supported the podcast in the past year. We are proud to
    present THE FAILED CITIES: HATH A DARKNESS, an exclusive 10,000-word
    eChapbook written by Matt Wallace and produced by Variant Frequencies.

    For the first time since concluding his groundbreaking podcast fiction saga,
    Matt Wallace returns to the warped twin worlds he created with an all-new
    Failed Cities story. Featuring the characters that drove the original audio
    epic, and told, as always, in their own voices, THE FAILED CITIES: HATH A
    DARKNESS brings this unique storytelling style to the page for the first
    time, enhanced with original illustrations by Rick Stringer.

    About THE FAILED CITIES: HATH A DARKNESS . . .

    To some the number 99 represents the many names of God. But as a black
    snowfall blankets the Failed Cities on Christmas Eve, the arrival of 99
    mysterious steel chambers is the catalyst that sets a series of far from
    blessed events in motion. From bullets and bata sticks to a life-and-death
    hostage situation to high-speed battles up switchback mountain roads, eight
    people become links in a deadly chain that will either tether innocent lives
    to safety or strangle any hope for their future. And as each part of the
    story unfolds, we learn that above all things, Christmas in the Failed
    Cities is a feverishly struck balance between the constant threat of
    violence and the briefest, most bittersweet moments of joy.

    THE FAILED CITIES: HATH A DARKNESS by Matt Wallace is a freely distributed
    .PDF produced and illustrated by Rick Stringer, and available exclusively
    from Variant Frequencies. We’d like to encourage all our listeners to
    download, print, enjoy, and pass along this unique piece of the Failed
    Cities universe as a thank you for your continued support and enthusiastic
    participation in our podcast.

    And don’t forget to revisit THE FAILED CITIES MONOLOGUES, collected in its
    entirety on Podiobooks.com

    Happy Holidays from the entire crew of Variant Frequencies!