Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Siege Perilous Talks Indie Fantasy & Science Fiction

Are you a fan of fantasy and science fiction? Are you an indie author of fantasy and science fiction?
If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you might be interested in learning more about The Siege Perilous, a roundtable of four reviewers who review the works of indie fantasy and science fiction authors. I can't remember how I stumbled upon their first podcast/review of Unicorn Western, but by the time I was finished listening to the hour-long podcast (which is also available on iTunes) I was hooked. The roundtable discussion by reviewers Eric Guindon, Ted Whitemell, Jason Helferty, and Val, was lively, humorous, and thorough.

With both trepidation and hope, I submitted Queen of the Realm of Faerie Book 1 for their review. After some time, I was notified that the podcast review of Nandana's Mark (now the first part of Half Faerie) had been completed and posted. I mentally prepared myself for a listen. While the roundtable didn't fail to point out what they felt were shortcomings in the novel, they also highlighted some of the aspects of the story that are precious to me as a writer: the unique cosmology and original storyline.

I was thrilled to survive The Siege Perilous.

Curious about how it all began, I contacted the show's host and creator, Eric Guindon. He shared his purpose for creating the show and its evolution.

"The podcast got started shortly after I began my foray into self-publishing. I saw how hard it was to get yourself noticed as a self-published author first hand. I created the podcast to remedy the situation for as many of the good self-published authors as I could. I reached out to my friends and acquaintances who like to read the sci-fi and fantasy genres and they generously agreed to be guests.

"I thought a long time about the format I wanted to use. It was important to me that the podcast only do positive reviews. If a book is submitted to us but we don't think it deserves three grails (our stars) or more, we'll not review it. We don't want to bring negative notice to any authors. The author interview idea came later when I thought it would be nice to make the podcast more of a cross between a reviews podcast and a book club. With the interviews we can give more exposure to the author and get to know where their coming from. It also give the listeners a chance to get to know the person behind the book; which I think is important.

"What I hadn't planned on was that doing the podcast is actually good fun."

A few weeks after the roundtable review of Nandana's Mark was posted, I had the opportunity to discuss the book in a companion episode with the reviewers. It was indeed a lot of fun.

The Roundtable:

The host, Eric Guindon, is an IT professional who has always loved reading fiction, especially science-fiction and fantasy. His love of reading is only exceeded by his desire to write fiction as good as he has read. He shares his life with his wife Kathryn and daughter ZoĆ© -- not to mention a host of pets, including his dog, Thor, and three cats. Eric is the author of The Reluctant Messiah, An Unexpected Apocalypse, False Messiah, Seven Tribes: The Spear's Point, and A Wizard's Life: Apprentice.

Ted Whitmell is a Science Fiction and Fantasy fan with a literature degree and a technical background. He hopes to someday find time to write his own grail-worthy fiction.

Jason Helferty spends his days working for the federal government in Ottawa, Canada, and his nights as an avid gamer playing all kinds of games, from FPS’ to RPGs, and taking care of his new baby girl. His favourite genres of fiction are fantasy and sci fi.

Valerie “Val” spent her high school years in an intensive writing program at an arts high school. She followed this by a degree in Art History and then a Masters in Communciation Studies. She currently earns her wages as a technical writer and editor for the federal government of Canada. In her spare time, she is an avid reader of blogs and novels, with a passion for new media. She is also a sleep deprived new mom, learning the ins and outs of parenting.