Lasers Dragons And Keyboards

A podcast for readers and writers of science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction.
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Mar 25, 2024

I write with dogs wrapped around my feet. I get to wear sandals or bedroom slippers to work, and old, comfortable clothes. When the weather is fine I get to write on my back porch. I love summer.

I write mysteries and fantasies because life is too short to be limited to one genre.

I started getting published when I was 12, studied journalism at Northern Illinois University, then went to work as a news reporter…eventually for Scripps Howard, where I managed their Western Kentucky bureau. Getting itchy feet, I moved to Wisconsin and went to work for TSR, Inc., the then-producers of the Dungeons & Dragons game. I dipped my itchy feet into the fiction pool and wrote Dragonlance novels for several years. Now I’m back in Illinois, my land surrounded by train tracks that offer music to write by. And there are plenty of dogs in the neighborhood to provide an accompaniment.

I am a recipient of the Faust, the grand master award of the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, and the Illinois Author Project’s Soon-to-be Famous Award.

I’ve been on the USA Today’s Bestseller list a few times … ah, I’ve never hit the Times.

I’ve written more than forty SF, fantasy, mystery, and adventure novels (including a couple of ghosted projects), more short stories than I care to count, and I’ve edited magazines and anthologies. 

When I’m writing I listen to classical guitar and 60s rock … depending on my subject matter. And at every good opportunity I toss tennis balls for my cadre of dogs.

- Always hire a copy editor to make sure everything is caught.
- How can you not afford an editor?
- Read the manuscript backwards for editing purposes.
- Buy ads - compare and contrast where is going to be best per novel.
- Once a month newsletter for Jean!



Mar 16, 2024

Pam Halter was a home-schooling mom for nine years, has been a children’s book author since
1995, a freelance children’s book editor since 2006, and was the children’s book editor for
Fruitbearer Publishing until January 2023 when the publishing house closed.
She’s the author of Fairyeater, a YA fantasy novel published by Love2ReadLove2Write
Publishing, and Willoughby and Friends, a picture book series about friendship featuring
Willoughby, who is a dragon.

Pam lives in Southern New Jersey with her husband, Daryl, special needs adult daughter, Anna,
and four cats. When she’s not writing, Pam enjoys reading, quilting, gardening, cooking, playing
the piano, Bible study, and walking long country roads where she discovers fairy homes,
emerging dragons, and trees eating wood gnomes.


You can find out more about Pam and Willoughby at

Mar 11, 2024

Thomas Doscher is an author and retired Air Force journalist with a degree in history from the University of Maryland University College. During his Air Force career, Thomas wrote news and feature stories for the Air Force and joint military publications across 20 years and three deployments. Thomas retired from the Air Force in 2021 and now spends his time writing and being with his wife and two sons in Illinois.

We had a delightful chat with author Thomas Doscher, primarily discussing his upcoming book in the Vixen War Bride series. Highlights included:

Reading 'Blossoms in the Wind', cultural mixing, being a history nerd
Having an epic troll in the book, matching tone of the book with the subplots.
Upcoming projects! American Isakai
Getting punched by wife for editing.
20 Books to 50K
Don't sweat the marketing!


Be sure to check out Thomas's books on Amazon and Facebook.



Mar 9, 2024

Paul Regnier is a speculative fiction author. He believes one of the closest things to magic on this earth is imagination. His favorite type of story is filled with adventure, humor, and heartfelt moments between characters. He likes to dream up worlds of fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, and the supernatural. Sometimes they end up in a book.

Paul is the writer of a new fantasy book called Bard Tidings, as well as the Luke and Bandit cozy mystery series, the Paranormia series, and the Space Drifters series.

Paul lives in Treasure Valley, Idaho, with his wife and two children.

You can learn more about Paul and his books at


Jun 26, 2023

We had the incomparable John Otte on the show this week! 

John W. Otte is a husband, a father, a Lutheran pastor, and a big ol’ geek. He graduated from Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota, with a theatre major, and then from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. By night, he writes unusual stories of geeky grace. He lives in the Kansas City area with his wife and two boys.


On today's show, we discussed his recent forays into Kickstarter campaigns, both for his Drawn in Ash novel and forthcoming sequel, Drawn Through Blood. His influence to try the Kickstarter method? Novel Marketing Podcast (which is a great podcast for novelists! Check out this podcast about Kickstarting with Chris Fox, which we think is the episode John refers to in the episode.)

We also hear about balancing his life as full-time Lutheran pastor and writing novels, and the challenges there. 

Many shout outs today!
John W. Otte 
Novel Marketing Podcast
John's editor, Megan Gerig
One Year Adventure Novel

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Jun 12, 2023

For the second time, we had Cindy Koepp on, author of LitRPG novels and graphic novels, among other things! We had a blast learning about the process of turning a novel into a comic book, what it takes to do in-person events at comic-cons, and even a little bit about hooking. (Get your head out of the gutter! It's a legit thing!) 

Originally from Michigan, Cindy Koepp combined a love of pedagogy and ecology into a 14-year career as an elementary science specialist. After teaching four-footers -- that's height, not leg count, she pursued a Master's in Adult Learning with a specialization in Performance Improvement. Her published works include science fiction novels, fantasy novels, a passel of short stories, and educator resources. When she isn't reading or writing, Cindy is currently working as a tech writer, hat collector, quilter, crafter, and weird joke teller.

Find out where Cindy's going to be via her website and sign up for her newsletter at 
Cindy's books can be purchased on Amazon too.

Jun 9, 2023

We got to hear quite a bit about how Heidi has jumped from many different genres to focus on Superhero Romance. It's a niche that she greatly enjoys and hasn't been able to find many clean examples of.

From there, we moved on to favorite characters, what it's like to put yourself in the mind of who started out as a side character and suddenly needing to write a tale about them specifically, and how she researches.

To the latter point: ex-marine husband!

Snails were mentioned, of course.


We love having Heidi on! She's an absolute blast in person and on the show!

Follow Heidi at:
On Amazon: 

Apr 17, 2023

Today we had Kara Swanson, author of the Heirs of Neverland books, on the show! This SoCal native enjoys running the Authors Conservatory, the writers school she co-founded, and is hard at work at a new series focusing on the phoenix.


Apr 10, 2023

We are absolutely delighted to have back on our show Becky Dean! Becky, also known as B.L. Dean, is the author of her debut space opera novel, Rogue Pursuit, which released in March. In today's podcast, we discuss writing for two different major publishing houses, the differences between them, as well as how she came up with the ideas for Rogue Pursuit and its sequels (all coming out by June 2023.) 

We last had Becky on for S4 E2 discussing her contemporary YA romance which is laced with tons of geeky references.

Becky Dean is a fan of adventures both real and fictional. When she’s not writing or traveling, she can be found drinking tea, watching science fiction shows or Jane Austen adaptations, or quoting The Lord of the Rings. Though she’s a proud Baylor grad and lives in Texas with her husband, she remains a Southern California girl at heart.

You can find out more about her books at .

Apr 8, 2023

Under the guise of testing some borked settings, we reinterviewed our very own Aaron DeMott who just released his third novel, "Etherno 2: Catgirl Overload". We discuss everything from needing to do rants (look forward to updates from Patreon!) to the inspiration of his books to finding time to write while working full-time and raising four kids. 

As one third of the LDK group, Aaron is hugely busy, and the fact he still wants to do the podcast is amazing in and of itself, so it was fun to just sit down and discuss his books for a change. 

Also in the episode: some personal updates from all three of us. (Hint: two of us are married to each other now!)

Check out Aaron's books at .

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