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Tell The Damn Story

Tell The Damn Story

By Alex Simmons & Chris Ryan
Where we interview and talk about the challenges and successes of writing books, comics, film, and other creative arts and pop culture topics.
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Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #32: Chris Ryan at PulpFest! Pt 2.

Tell The Damn Story

Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #32: Chris Ryan at PulpFest! Pt 2.

Tell The Damn Story

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TELL THE DAMN STORY 211: Facing The Monsters In the Dark of the Mind
For writers what's the greatest monster in the closet? This week Alex and Chris go in to find out when they talk about how lack of confidence can freeze us in our tracks.  They also talk about how it can be dealt with and even inspire your creativity.  And they finally shine a light on how your experiences in life can fuel your art. Lots of good advice here to help writers step out into their creativity light. Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below or ... Write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com And follow us on ... @Tell The Damn Story www.Facebook.com/Tell The Damn Story Youtube.com/ Tell The Damn Story #amwriting, #writerslife, #authortips, #writingtips #writersblock #creatives 
38:21
October 17, 2021
Tell The Damn Story 210: Spies, Sorcerers, Six-guns and Monsters. An Interview With Teel J. Glenn
This episode brings you an interview with Teel J. Glenn, actor, stuntman, weapons master, actor, fight choreographer, director, producer, and, most of all, writer.  With over 500 stories including 40 novels ranging from action-adventure to horror and sword & sorcery.   But in September and October he experienced a flurry of activity that can truly inspire us. We talked to Teel to explore what he writes, but not as much as why he writes, and why we should keep writing. Whew! Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section or ... Write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com And follow us on ... @Tell The Damn Story www.Facebook.com/Tell The Damn Story #WeirdTales #MysteryWeekly #PulpAdventures #Spinetingler #SciFan #Mad #BlackBelt #FantasyTales #SherlockHolmesMystery #SemperOccultus #QuestUntold #ChroniclesOfTheSkullMask #ACowboyinCarpathia 
01:10:17
October 3, 2021
Tell The Damn Story 209: Putting Story in Art, An Interview with Award Winning Artist, Julie Bell!
We're running a little longer than 30 minutes today because in this episode Alex and Chris gets to interview the extremely talented artist, Julie Bell.   "A world renowned, award winning fantasy artist and wildlife painter. Julie has won two Chelsea Awards and was the designer of the popular and award-winning Dragons of Destiny series..."   Artist do not only create cover art for stories, they also create stories within their art. Such has been Julie Bell's career from Heavy Metal magazine to major publishers and corporations.  How she managed that is what we'll discuss that and more this episode. Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section or ...   Write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com And follow us on ...  @Tell The Damn Story  www.Facebook.com/Tell The Damn Story
45:32
September 26, 2021
Tell The Damn Story 208: How To Submit Your Stories For Publication
This week Alex and Chris gave a concise, detailed "how to" for writers who have short stories they believe are ready to send out, but are not sure where to send them. Chock full of useful information, it's a must for emerging writers of any level.    So, while you're putting together that list of agents, publishers, and online zines, give a listen here!   Some places to go:  In the Facebook Search box type: Open Call and the genre you're interested in, i.e.:  OPEN CALL MYSTERY DuoTrope:  http://www.DuoTrope.com Shot Gun Honey: https://www.shotgunhoney.com/  Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below or ... Write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com And follow us on ... @Tell The Damn Story www.Facebook.com/Tell The Damn Story Youtube.com/ Tell The Damn Story #amwriting, #writerslife, #authortips, #writingtips
28:39
September 12, 2021
Tell The Damn Story 207: What's Coming This Fall?
Welcome to TELL THE DAMN STORY, Season 5 with veteran award winning authors Alex Simmons and Christopher Ryan.   It's a whole new season for tell the damn story!  And as we enter it we have some major news and changes to tell you about. So listen in as we share the promises of things to come starting this fall. Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below or ...  Write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com And follow us on ...  @Tell The Damn Story www.Facebook.com/Tell The Damn Story Youtube.com/ Tell The Damn Story
05:38
September 5, 2021
Tell The Damn Story 206 (Summer Shorts); Meet Don McGregor, Writer of The Black Panther & 200 Other Tales.
In joining with the quiet acknowledgement of the passing of Chadwick Bosman (1 year ago this month) this summer hiatus episode contains the interview with Don McGregor.   Chris and I thought we were prepared to interview storyteller extraordinaire DON McGREGOR.  I'd known him since the 70s.  And Chris had read his books and researched his other interviews.  Yep, we thought we were ready for him.  We weren't.  Listen as Don candidly speaks about his creative, professional, and personal life -- good, bad and amazing! Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below or on ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com #blackpanther #chadwickbosman #donmcgregor #panthersrage #marvelcomics #detectivesincorporated #jamesbond #comicbookwriting
01:27:12
August 29, 2021
Tell The Damn Story 205 / SUMMER SHORTS 4: Can Comics Inspire and Save Lives?
During our over 200 episodes TTDS has had the good fortune of exploring the creative process locally, nationally, and internationally. This episode originally aired in June of 2018.  And it involves my preparation to speak to young artists at the international Balkans Festival of Young Comics Creators, in Serbia. The festival’s purpose is to bring together a war torn area of the Balkans, and give support to young creators. The festival began in 1998 and is the oldest in the region. Since they didn't have one in 1999, because of bombings, this is their 20th anniversary. Hope you enjoy. Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below or on ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
28:58
August 22, 2021
Tell The Damn Story 204 / SUMMER SHORTS 3: What To Wonder About Wanda Vision.
Co-Hosts Chris Ryan & Alex Simmons are on summer hiatus. So in this flashback episode we're going to revisit some Marvel magic. Chris and Alex discuss the creative, risk taking experiment that was WANDA VISION. Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
01:11:45
August 15, 2021
Tell The Damn Story 203 / SUMMER SHORTS 2: How To Write Almost Everything. Interview w JOE R. LANSDALE
He's the author of over 45 crime, sci-fi, western and suspense novels, novellas and comics! With a tv show based on one of his series.  How does he do it? Back in 2018 cohost Chris Ryan attended PULPFEST in Pittsburg, PA. Chris managed to interview a number of writers, creators, illustrators, and others and Joe R. Lansdale was one of them. Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com #joerlansdale #hapandleonard #crimenovels #pulpfest 
18:14
August 8, 2021
Tell The Damn Story #202: Summer Flashback 1 - How Do You Learn To Create?
Chris and me are on hiatus so this is the first of their Summer Flashbacks visits of earlier episodes.   This week, Chris and Alex discuss some of the many ways artists learn not only how to create, but also how to deal with some of those negative mindsets.  Just back from a writers' conference with Neil Gaiman, Amy Tan and others, Chris shares some of their thoughts on, "How do you learn to write a good story?"  "Where do  ideas come from?"  And facing those challenges. "How do we continue to do what we do?" Have any comments or questions? Then please leave them in our comments section here, Our Facebook page, (Tell The Damn Story)  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. Or @TellTheDamnStory
49:08
August 1, 2021
TELL THE DAMN STORY 201: "The Importance of Writer Reflections"
Despite some technological challenges we made it. In this episode, Alex and Chris take a quick look at pop culture, discuss big changes coming for them, reflect on the importance of authors reflecting on their career and their work, and then make a whopper of an announcement. Don't miss it! Have any comments or questions? Then please leave them in our comments section here, Our Facebook page, (Tell The Damn Story)  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. Or @TellTheDamnStory #WandaVision, #TheFalconandTheWinterSoldier, #Loki, #Avengers #Wakanda #BlackPanther #BlackjackAdventures #writers #Superman #ManofSteel #TheShadow #CityofWoe #GeniusHigh #Hiatus
27:33
July 26, 2021
TELL THE DAMN STORY 200: Celebrating Over 200 Episode of Writing Tips, Techniques, & Tales
"Previously On..." In this momentous episode, Alex and Chris celebrate the "free writing school" aspects of TTDS. For over 6 years their conversations have included discussions and advice about writing habits, techniques, tropes, genres, and a ton of creative advice.  Not to mention the many locations and countries they've recorded in, conferences they reported from, and the over 100 people they've interviewed, all in the name of telling the damn story!  Come enjoy the fun as the boys look back over where they've been as they gear up for where they're going next. Have any comments or questions? Then please leave them in our comments section here, Our Facebook page, (Tell The Damn Story)  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. Or @TellTheDamnStory #WandaVision, #TheFalconandTheWinterSoldier, #Loki, #Avengers #Wakanda #BlackPanther #AvengersEndGame, #DavidWalker,  #TheDestinyWar, #AlexSegura #CaseenGaines #DonMcgregor #JerryCraft #FootNotes #OmarHolman #BlackNerdProblems #BlackLightning #TonyIsabella #PulpFest #BlackjackAdventures #writers 
01:11:46
July 18, 2021
Tell The Damn Story 199: Why Betting On Black ... Broadway, Can Be Bittersweet.
A long buried Broadway secret is now getting national attention because of one man's long shot. Chris and Alex welcome the return of author CASEEN GAINES, this time to delve into how his new book, FOOTNOTES, is getting national recognition.  From the Hollywood Reporter to the New York Times, and more.   The three dig deep into the gamble that Caseen took, writing about the fate of a long forgotten, controversial 1920s black Broadway musical ("Shuffle Along").  How a show that was a hit, while igniting conflict on both sides of the color line, then and for many years there after. It's an episode that explores the creative process, pitching to mainstream publishing, and the double-edge complications of racial representation. Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section. Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com @tellthedamnstory #caseengaines #Footnotes #shufflealong #blackpanther #spokenword #wedon'tneednoroads #peewee'splayhouse #darkcrystal #writers
01:07:11
July 11, 2021
TELL THE DAMN STORY 198: "Finish The Damn Story!"
This week Alex and Chris team up with writer/publishers Jim Beard and John C. Bruening of Flinch Books. The four creatives get together for a fantastic, fun, and enlightening discussion about the nature and value of pulp fiction, what it is like to run an independent publishing company, and how to put together an anthology project.  The conversation tackles what is "pulp," writing styles, researching, collaboration and editing challenges. We even go on a quest for the space gods! Monsters who eat earth, crime fighters in a post WW 2 world, and more.  If you like fiction, if you love books, this is an episode you cannot miss! And if you're a pulp fiction fan, you're gonna wanna listen to it twice!  Have any comments or questions? Then please leave them in our comments section here, Our Facebook page, (Tell The Damn Story)  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. Or @TellTheDamnStory Flinch Books on Facebook #pulp #newpulp #PulpFest #jimbeard #johncbruening #independentpublishing #indie #DIY #amwriting #amediting #ampublishing #ohio
01:16:57
July 4, 2021
TELL THE DAMN STORY 197: "The Episode at the Heart of Forever"
Or ... Caught In A Vortex Called The MCU. This week Alex and Chris had an idea. Like most ideas, it went awry.  The plan was to do a "just us" episode after having six very solid interview episodes in a row. If you haven't experienced those episodes they're 191 through 196.  But today we were going to keep it light. LOL. We may have started with personal news but we soon found ourselves in the MCU.  That led us to  talking about the Loki series and two other Marvel TV series.  Chris even offers a theory that the MCU is not heading into Phase IV - Secret Wars, but to The Destiny War covered in Kurt Busiek's Avengers Forever 12-issue mini-series! For this "interrogation" the UN-usual suspects are Time Keepers, Loki, Kang, Scarlet Witch, and more.   Come for the jokes; stay for the deep geek theories and writing advice! Have any comments or questions? Then please leave them in our comments section here, Our Facebook page, (Tell The Damn Story)  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. Or @TellTheDamnStory #WandaVision, #TheFalconandTheWinterSoldier, #Loki, #Avengers #Wakanda #BlackPanther #CrisisEnfiniteEarth, #AvengersForever, #KurtBusiek,  #TheDestinyWar, #KangTheConqueror, #TheDestinyWar
01:04:57
June 27, 2021
TELL THE DAMN STORY 196: "Night of The Living Horror Psychologist"
Care to wander down the Halls of Horror? On this episode Alex and Chris meet Dr. Vanessa Hintz, licensed clinical psychologist and self-professed "Geek Therapist" for a trip through horror classics and tropes. We discuss what they mean to our culture, what they say about us, how we can use them to help heal, and what writers of the new horror classics should be looking for. *Originally aired as a Facebook Live episode of Tell The Damn Story. Have any comments or questions? Then please leave them in our comments section, Our Facebook page, (Tell The Damn Story)  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #jason #nightmareonelmstreet #FreddieKruger #geeks #horrormovies #horrorfilms #Frankenstein #wolfman #Dracula #Walkingdead #trueblood #psychologicalhorror #thrillers #fridaythe13th 
01:13:42
June 20, 2021
TELL THE DAMN STORY 195: What Power Can Dr. Janina Scarlet Help Unleash On Us All?
Listen and learn. In this episode, Alex and Chris talk to Dr. Janina Scarlet, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who engages her clients in "superhero therapy."  Her goal is to help them with PTSD, other traumas, self-esteem issues, and connecting with inner power to resolve what is holding them back.  As a disaster survivor and a self proclaimed geek, Dr. Scarlet's work is fascinating, as is this interview with her.  So don't miss this one, Beloved Creatives, and get ready to share it with those who might need to hear from her. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's a very special episode of Tell The Damn Story. Have any comments or questions? Then please leave them in our comments section, Our Facebook page, (Tell The Damn Story)  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. http://www.superhero-therapy.com › meet-the-doctor #writers #superheroes #traumastherapy #amlearning #amwriting #journalism #comics #writersblock #buffythevampireslayer #chernobyl #xmen  #DCComics
01:02:26
June 13, 2021
TELL THE DAMN STORY 194: "A Tale of Two Alexes," Journalist to Comics, to Mystery Writer ... And More
He made it from Miami to New York. From local journalist to VP of Publishing. And he's a family man. In this episode Chris is surrounded by Alexes when the legendary Simmons is joined by Alex Segura, acclaimed, multi award-winning writer of novels, comic books, short stories, and podcasts.  The trio gets to talk about everything from Segura's Pete Fernandez mystery series to his experiences at DC, Archie, and now Oni Press. Their conversation does a deep dive on short story technique, promotion advice, and overall creative thoughts in a fun, funny, and most informative  interview. Have any comments or questions? Then please leave them in our comments section, Our Facebook page, (Tell The Damn Story)  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #writers #petefernadez #amlearning #amwriting #journalism #comics #writersblock #alexsegura #ArchieComics #DCComics 
01:09:15
June 6, 2021
Tell The Damn Story 193: The Writer's Life of Author/Journalist Jesse J. Holland
He started out as a child on a farm in Mississippi, and eventually became one of the few Washington DC journalist with clearance to cover all three main governmental branch sessions. And he didn't stop there. This week Alex and Chris interview the multi talented Jesse J. Holland. Reaching out beyond his carrier with the Associated Press, Jesse also became a university professor. He's written two nonfiction books, "The Invisibles," and "Black Men Built The White House;" a Star Wars novel, as well as, "Who Is The Black Panthers." And finally he edited the recently released "Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda" anthology. And he hasn't stopped yet. Have any comments or questions? Then please leave them in our comments section, Our Facebook page, (Tell The Damn Story)  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #writers #theinvisibles #Blackmenbuiltthewhitehouse #blackpanthertalesofwakanda #amlearning #amwriting #journalism #ethics #writersblock #jessejholland 
01:11:15
May 30, 2021
TELL THE DAMN STORY 192: Why Writers Should Get Back Out There?
We've been trapped in "our caves" for over a year.  Has that affected us creatively? This week Alex and Chris update us on some continuing creative project threads that have been evolving, for some time. Then they get to the main event: as the Covid lockdown is slowly lifted, how do creatives re-integrate ourselves with society, especially the kinds of crowds we might see at conferences and conventions? Each of us has changed over this year plus experience, and some are finding that as they re-emerge, there are our anxieties they did not expect. We discuss what those are and how we might overcome them to get back to our creative lives. Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them ... in our comments section,  Our Facebook page, (Tell The Damn Story)  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #writers #inisolation #lockdown #amlearning #amwriting #ammarketing #creatorsanxiety #writersblock
01:07:04
May 23, 2021
TELL THE DAMN STORY 191: "The Power of Perception: Learning With Eyes Wide Open"
Today's episode starts with a righteous rejection of cohost Christopher Ryan.  In an email received right before recording the episode, divinationhollow.com was gracious and generous and educational in their rejection of a story Chris sent to them only two days ago.  Their reasoning was sound, and they could've stopped right there. But they didn't. They offered to further educate on the nuance of writing LGBTQ+ characters.  Chris and Alex were so impressed that they opened the show with discussing how he was introduced to them, their initial generosity, what he submitted, and their response.  All of this as a way to launch Alex and Chris' discussion of how creatives must learn with their eyes wide open.  And that's whether it is taking writing courses or marketing courses or any of a 1,000 current offers to help you sell your first billion copies of your book.  Plenty of advice and experience offered here. Give us a listen, please.  Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section. Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #onlinelearning #onlineentrepreneurs #divinationhollow #LGBTQ+ #amlearning #amwriting #ammarketing 
01:06:01
May 16, 2021
TELL THE DAMN STORY 190: One Way To Have, "A Very Fictional Mother's Day"
Get ready for ready for nonsense that ... will surely make sense. Today Alex and Chris celebrate Mother's Day with a very special look at how fictional characters, especially superheroes, deal with this day. Bring flowers and a box of chocolate.  And trust the creative process. Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section. Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #writersworld #creativearts #comics #blackpanther #wakanda #suestorm #fantasticfour #ironman #hulk #thejusticeleague #batman #superman #superparents #mothersday #captainamerica imaginativeplay #imagination #creativeexercises 
49:11
May 9, 2021
Tell The Damn Story 189: "An Angel and Judas Walk into A Bar..."
In today's episode, Alex and Chris interview Maureen Britt, who has lead a life of theater and corporate adventures and continued finding new outlets for her creativity throughout. We discuss her time sharing stages with ...  #ChristopherReeves #RichardChamberlain #FrankLangella #AustinPendleton #BlytheDanner #DwightSchultz (from #theATeam) and #Richard Dreyfus As well as her long friendship with our own #AlexSimmons, who she first met while he was playing Judas Iscariot in a production of #JesusChrisSuperstar.  Maureen has been an angel to the Kids Comic Con for years, and has recently taken the plunge into writing fiction as well. Fascinating stories, behind the scenes tales, and useful advice is spread throughout this fun episode. Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section. Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #kidscomiccon #writersworld #creativearts #kidsart #comics #acting #creativearts
01:17:04
May 2, 2021
Tell The Damn Story 188: From The Bronx To Spain...A Comic Creator's Journey
Life is art, and art is life. This week Alex and Chris interview Juan Espinoza, creator of the comic book series, "Adventures Of A Systems Admin."  Written by Juan Espinosa, with art by El Santa, and colors by Candella Grizutti. The series follows the lives of a diverse IT team as they deal with, old school parents, up tight fellow employees, and some serious hacker threats.  "I created the series because I didn't see comics with people like this," said Espinosa, "... all kinds of people."  "This comic shows that life is a great adventure every day," according to El Santo. "...And you should be the lead character of your own adventure..." So if you are a creative or not; if you're not sure when you can or should create something, this episode will turn your No into a Yes. Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section. Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #kidscomiccon #writersworld #creativearts #kidsart #comics #AdventuresOfASystemAdmin 
50:12
April 26, 2021
Tell The Damn Story 187: Talking Marvel Messages and Creating Creative Kids
That's how we tell the damn story this week, when Alex and Chris discuss episode five of the Falcon and the Winter Soldier, without spoilers, (Yes we are the only people left in the world who do not spoil these shows).  We yack about the importance of the show and what it is saying on so many levels, and then we use that to spring into our main topic: how Alex Simmons gets young people to create, or unleash their creativity.  Listen, and you will learn some of that Alex Simmons magic, the power of positive reinforcement, and how to phrase editorial comment in a way that it's positive for the child and encouraging of their creativity. All this celebrates this Months Kids Comic Con (online event) which you and your young ones can attend. Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section. Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #falconandthewintersoldier #kidscomiccon #spokenword #writersworld #creativearts #kidsart #comics 
01:03:33
April 18, 2021
Tell The Damn Story 186: What's A Young Writers' Road To Pop Culture, Race, and Identity
While participating in a creative arts program to support and inspire young men of color, Chris and Alex talk with two pros they've interviewed before. Once again TTDS welcomes authors, Caseen Gaines and Omar Holman to the show. Both were Chris' students in high school.  Now they have books coming out that, as Chris put it, "... are significant enough to become required reading..." In very different ways Caseen's "FOOTNOTES," and Omar's "BLACK NERD PROBLEMS," explore and comment on media, pop culture, race in America, and defining identity.  Whether it be a culture's, a community's, -- or one's own. *This interview is excerpt from a project done in cooperation with Young Men's Initiative, City of New York. Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section. Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #caseengaines #Footnotes #Omarholman #Blacknerdproblems #shufflealong #blackpanther #spokenword #slampoetry #wedon'tneednoroads #peewee'splayhouse #darkcrystal #wewereallsomeoneelseyesterday 
01:08:28
April 12, 2021
TELL THE DAMN STORY 185: "Pop Culture Gumbo"
This week, Alex and Chris talk everything pop culture, covering the first three episodes of Marvel's "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier", plus those hilarious trailers for The Suicide Squad by the amazing James Gunn. And they smack around a rumor about DC Comics and take its lunch money.  And finally, Alex and Chris open themselves up for Audience Q&A, focusing on how to write both establish and independent characters, when to pitch big companies, and more. Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section. Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #Marvel #thewritersjourney #amwriting#writingtips #authortips #howtostructurestories #thefalconandthewintersoldier #pitchingstories #DCComics #suicidesquad #writersquestions 
01:07:03
April 4, 2021
March 28, 2021
00:23
March 28, 2021
Tell The Damn Story 184: Illness, Do You Work Through it or Just Lay Down And ...?
With Alex in the hospital, and with Chris recovering from a royal butt-kicking courtesy of his second Moderna vaccination, we discuss: how honesty is a key skill for the creative; the blessing of supportive people(and pets); the need to invest in your creativity via hiring editors, and how THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER might be the most important statement the MCU has ever made. Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section. Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #Marvel #thewritersjourney #amwriting#writingtips #authortips #howtostructurestories #thefalconandthewintersoldier 
42:41
March 28, 2021
TELL THE DAMN STORY 183: "How to Structure Stories and Opening Scenes"
This week, Alex and Chris discuss the value of story structure, and offer tips on how to go about gaining a good foundation, internalizing it, and then applying and adjusting the "rules" to create your own original story. We also discuss ways to open your story and offer several examples from famous books and movies for you to check out. Oh, and Chris has a battle with Aaron Sorkin that Sorkin will never know about.  Editor's Notes: Here are links to ...  The book, The Writer's Journey  Info on the movie ... The Courier ...  Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section. Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #storystructure #openingscene #Faulkner #Marvel #Seven #Lethal Weapon #ShaneBlack #jeffreyboam #JosephCampbell #HerosJourney #ChistopherVolger #thewritersjourney #astrangercomestotown #amwriting#writingtips #authortips #howtostructurestories #howtowriteopeningscenes #aaronsorkin
58:15
March 21, 2021
TELL THE DAMN STORY 182: "What is Heroics But Love Persevering?"
Today Alex must heroically persevere through Chris's awful Irish brogue and endless tributes to Roddy Doyle and Tim Fielder to discuss lingering questions about WandaVision and what it's like to write heroic characters.  A hero is usually someone who does “the right thing, at a precarious time.”  Or they face something life threatening for the sake of others. They save lives, invent cures, sacrifice themselves in some outstanding manner in a just cause or selfless act. So how do you write about such characters?  Is it simple and easy, or ... could it have a more complicated side? Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section. Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com.``` Editor's notes:  1) The word Chris cannot remember this episode is "agency". 2) we apologize that our feature "Alex Simmons' Time Machine" did not appear this episode - Alex was too busy being FREAKING AWESOME! #roddydoyle #love #paddyclarkehahaha #thecommitments #WandaVision #Marvel #TimFielder #Infinitum #afrofuturism #Batman #Superman #Tarzan #Archie #ScoogyDoo #Orpheus #Blackjack #SherlockHolmes #BlackPanthertalesofwakanda #amwriting #heroiccharacters #amwritingfiction #writingtips #authortips
01:03:21
March 14, 2021
Tell The Damn Story 181: "A Shot in the Dark"
Or "Vaccinations, WandaVision, and Author Rights, Oh My!"  This episode, Alex and Chris get wacky celebrating the fact that Alex was getting vaccinated!  Of course, while Chris got vaccinated at CVS at 3:30 PM, Alex had to get his at Yankee Stadium at one in the morning! Always an adventure with that guy!  Being writers, we discuss possible side effects Alex could have, covering everything from the Spider-Man's six arms to the super soldier serum to Morbius the Living Vampire! And we celebrate the final episode of WandaVision in glorious, spoil free fashion!  And then Chris gets on his high horse about ridiculous Twitter posts suggesting writers don't have rights to their creations once they die. He takes no prisoners and Alex, well he comes out with both Colts blazing. It's a fun, goofy, and sometimes serious episode not to be missed! (It's in honor of Stan Lee!) Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section. Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #pandemic #vaccination #Disney+ #WandaVision #screenwriting #acting #production #sets #wardrobe #directing #AlexSimmonsTimeMachine #PerryMason #Netflix #HBOMax #TimFielder #Infinitum #writersgroups #writerscritiquegroups #honoringcommitment #acceptingfeedback #Blackpanthertalesofwakanda #TalesOfWakanda #Blackjack #CityOfWoe
57:34
March 7, 2021
Tell The Damn Story 180: "Wandering Visions of Writing"
It's a jam-packed episode of TV shows, international animation, and the value of writer's groups. Today Alex and Chris talk about getting vaccinated, WandaVision episode seven and eight and how that show is offering master classes to creatives.  Alex talks about spending the week on panels to promote the upcoming Tales of Wakanda anthology that he is a part of.  He also mentions appearing virtually at the Jamaica Animation Con, while also teaching his usual load of screen writing classes, including a class consisting of students from all across Africa (told you he was a globetrotting adventurer).  During our segment called "Alex Simmons' Time Machine", Alex issues Chris a challenge to watch any four episodes from season one of the old Perry Mason show now on Netflix.  Then Chris is supposed to watch the eight episode Perry Mason reboot on HBO Max for discussion next week. (Challenge accepted. Come join in!)  Finally, we discuss in detail the pros and cons of leaving a writers group, taking a close look at honoring commitments versus getting out of a bad situation. There's a little something for everybody in this episode so dive on in!  Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section.   Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #pandemic #vaccination #Disney+ #WandaVision #ElizabethOlsen #PaulBettany #KathrynHahn #emmys #screenwriting #acting #production #sets #wardrobe #directing #AlexSimmonsTimeMachine #PerryMason #Netflix #HBOMax #BenjaminPercy #ThrillMe #TimFielder #Infinitum #writersgroups #writerscritiquegroups #honoringcommitment #acceptingfeedback #Blackpanthertalesofwakanda #TalesOfWakanda #Blackjack
01:11:45
March 1, 2021
Tell The Damn Story #179: TACKLE A NEW BOOK, ROARING 20's RACISM ON B'WAY & FACEBOOK LIVE!
This week, Alex and Chris are joined by Caseen Gaines on Facebook Live for the first time ever! And this time we're discussing how to tell the damn story through the prism of Caseen's upcoming new book FOOTNOTES.  We get deep into African-American entertainment history (spanning from Eubie Blake to August Wilson), deep in to the ongoing struggle that people have to see each other as people, not prey. Don't let that fool you, we have a lot of fun, a lot of laughs, and a lot of audience participation.  You can listen to us here. And you can check out the recorded video too.  Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #caseengaines #Footnote #ShuffleAlong #amwriting #writers #screenwriting #novelists #politicalthriller #Capitol #journalism #americandream #creatingcharacters #motivations #timfielder #infinitum #allthewayhome #writingcoach #valueoftruth #factchecking #gowriteforit #robertmckee #Raybradbury #nowsthetimetowritethecrime #chrisryanwrites #infinitum 
01:11:42
February 22, 2021
Tell The Damn Story 178: The Secret Origin of ... Writers
Today Alex and Chris talk about how writers and creators become writers and creators.  How does loving story or doodling evolve into creating the characters and heart wrenching stories that fill up so many of our lives? The answer is both unique and universal, and you may recognize yourself in the stories we tell.  Plus we talk briefly about Wanda Vision! Plus plus, we announce the winner of Alex's story idea competition. Plus plus plus, we have way too much fun for a Sunday morning and you get to reap the benefits. Come on along and further your journey on the creative path. NEWS BLASTS Join us Sunday, Feb. 21st for our TTDS Facebook Live Special. And we'll be joined by special guest author Caseen Gaines. Keep an eye on our TTDS Facebook page for more information. Click here to join Alex on a second Writer's Way Webinar on Friday, Feb. 19th at 7 PM eastern standard time. Click here for info on, "Now's The Time To Write The Crime" boot camp. Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #WandaVision #MarvelStudios #MarvelComics #Disney #amwriting #writers #screenwriting #novelists #politicalthriller #Capitol #journalism #americandream #creatingcharacters #motivations #timfielder #infinitum #allthewayhome #writingcoach #valueoftruth #factchecking #gowriteforit #robertmckee #Raybradbury 
01:05:39
February 14, 2021
Tell The Damn Story 177: What Two Characters Know About Characterization
We still believe Plot Is Character, And Character Is Plot. This week, Alex and Chris talk about WandaVision episode five and then go deep on characterization, offering a wide array of techniques for developing your characters, with examples of exceptional characterization in lit and on screen. If you want to know how to build your characters, you came to the right place. Let us know what you think and we'll mention it on our next show. Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #WandaVision #MarvelStudios #MarvelComics #Disney #amwriting #writers #screenwriting #novelists #politicalthriller #Capitol #journalism #americandream #creatingcharacters #motivations #timfielder #infinitum #allthewayhome #writingcoach #valueoftruth #factchecking #gowriteforit
01:05:49
February 7, 2021
Tell The Damn Story 176: “The Why of It All”
Stories & The Truth.  Fact In Fiction and Does It Really Matter This week Alex and Chris talk about very current stuff, very ancient, stuff and some universal all time life and story themes.  As they discuss how rewrites are going for Chris, update our views on Disney+‘s WandaVision (Alex finally saw episodes 1 to 3, Chris saw episode 4 - we talk about at all, sans spoilers).   We also do a commercial for co-founder Tim Fielder’s INFINITUM, and then get down to business.  We talk about the late 50s early 60s short film “All The Way Home“ which is about a black family potentially buying a house in a white neighborhood.  Needless to say we reflect, sadly, how much has not changed, and how much has.  We go deep, ladies and gents, so strap in and come along for the ride. And it all leads to an even deeper discussion of why we need to learn how to write and how to write well.  Harder still, why we need to see our writing as others see it and do the research to get our stories right so we can get past the gate keepers and tell the damn story. So again we say ... Fact in fiction and does it really matter? Let us know what you think and we'll mention it on our next show. Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #WandaVision #MarvelStudios #MarvelComics #Disney #amwriting #writers #screenwriting #novelists #politicalthriller #Capitol #journalism #americandream #creatingcharacters #motivations #timfielder #infinitum #allthewayhome #writingcoach #valueoftruth #factchecking #gowriteforit 
01:13:44
January 31, 2021
Tell The Damn Story 175: "The Creative Hill We Climb." Poetry, Wanda Vision, and Multi-Billion Dollar Movies
This episode we learn how Amanda Gorman made Chris cry and blubber and gosh with pride and praise and so much hope that Alex has it take control of the show for a while. After the river of tears ends we move on to discuss our new national poet laureate's impact on the inauguration, on our hearts, on our hopes, and in the textbooks of our children's future.  Then Chris gushed again, this time about WandaVision episode 3 "now in color."  He and Alex discuss how it deepens the plot and rewards patience, and really shows how Marvel is playing with house money and fan loyalty.  We go over how they weave a story that fits in the Marvel canon that they could never have done early on.  And one more topic is covered when we talk about about creating before the money is there, and after.   Speaking of money Alex and Chris, after having fun with it themselves, pose interesting question about the recent billion dollar lotto prize.  And they challenge you to answer it as well.   What question?  Give a listen and see. Holy smokes! We forgot one more thing!  (Respects to "Uncle," from the Jackie Chan cartoon show.). Alex and Chris also celebrate the publishing release of TTDS co-founder Tim Fielder's INFINITUM, an impressive, masterwork graphic novel that takes us from ancient Africa to Afro-futuristic heights in a fascinating, engrossing tale. What's your answer to that question?  Let us know and we'll mention it on our next show. Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #avengers #Desperado #RobertRoriguez #HollywoodShuffle #RobertTownsend  #AmandaGorman #inauguaration #WandaVision #MarvelStudios #MarvelComics #JohnSayles #ReturnOfTheSecaucus7 #ElMariachi #Disney #amwriting #writers #lowbudgetfilms #Milliondollarmovies #poetry #poetluareate #screenwriting #novelists #politicalthriller #Capitol #journalism #americandream #creatingcharacters #motivations #newsmedia 
01:04:57
January 24, 2021
Tell The Damn Story 174: Revisions, Offenses, Visions, and Queries ... A Writer's Blessing Or Curse?
Good question, especially for writers tackling tough subjects.  This week Alex and Chris discuss almost everything under the sun! Some of it ripe with conflict and controversy. We start off with a follow up on Chris 'Rewrite' Ryan's editing antics, segue to a spoiler free discussion of Marvel's "WandaVision" on Disney+.   Then we  segue to the second part of last weeks challenging discussion, what Alex is calling 'A Capitol Offense.'   It's where we use the developing siege in Washington DC as a way to view writing challenges.   So far that story is developing from an historical thriller, to a homegrown espionage thriller; complete with cyber conspiracies, interstate FBI investigations and arrests, and a multi-family drama that ultimately asks the question, "Who are we and what do we want America to be?"  After all that, we finish off with answers to a question we put to our international audience ... What kind of new books, films, or TV show stories do you want to see in 2021? What's your answer to that question?  Let us know and we'll mention it on our next show. Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #writer, #wandavision #Marvel #Disney+ #amwriting #amediting #screenwriting #novelists #politicalthriller #Capitol #journalism #reporter #insurrection #americandream #followupquestions #research #creatingcharacters #motivations #newsmedia #familydrama 
59:10
January 18, 2021
Tell The Damn Story 173: IF YOU WROTE 'A CAPITOL OFFENSE,' THE MOVIE, THE MANUSCRIPT, THE MADNESS
The saying goes, Truth is Stranger Than Fiction.  This week Alex and Chris talk about what happened Wednesday (Jan. 6, 2021) in Washington, DC, through a wilder lens.  They explore the lingering questions surrounding that event as if they were holes in a fictional novel, or a journalism assignment.   Discussing Plot, Characters, Motivations, and Resolutions they examine destress politics, the disenfranchised and focus on the questions that remain. And then Alex challenges Chris on his idea of re-writing the ending to his novel, "A Simple Rebellion," following Wednesday's insurrection. When life imitates art, should art change ... or reexamine it's message? What do you think?  Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #amwriting #amediting #screenwriting #novelists #politicalthriller #Capitol #journalism #reporter #insurrection #americandream #followupquestions #research #creatingcharacters #motivations #newsmedia 
01:01:01
January 10, 2021
TELL THE DAMN STORY 172: Which Social Media Platform Works For You?
Today we, Alex and Chris, talk about exploring social media to ask what works for you?  But we start with a special guest star. Sometimes referred to as the goddess, she prefers Tina Ryan. Tina is now doing a podcast with Chris called "Spousing", which is about staying married. They both speak about the podcast and about the Pixar movie "Soul" on Disney+ right now. The three of us discuss the power of that particular movie, urging all to see it as soon as they can.  What's one got to do with the other?  Listen in and find out. Then Alex and I explore Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and most especially Instagram as vehicles to create content which promotes creators.  We also  explore the different options that are being introduced in each platform that help you tell your damn story.  Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #Soul #Pixar #Disney+ #spousing #Instagram #Insta #Facebook #Twitter #YouTube#TimeManagement #Joannapenn #TheCreativePenn #SocialMedia #AlexTooby #EliseDarma #Planoly #Later #VanessaLau
01:25:55
January 3, 2021
TELL THE DAMN STORY 171: It's All About Holiday Highs and 2020 Goodbyes
Today on Tell The Damn Story, Chris speaks in defense of "WONDER WOMAN 1984," and Alex enthuses over "JINGLE JANGLE" and "SOULS." And then we look at our welcome goodbye to 2020, and a fond hello to 2021.  We discuss the good things, and there were actual good things, that came out of 2020, and we talk about our own plans, hopes and wishes for everybody in 2021.  We hope you enjoy the last episode of TTDS for the decade that was 2020.   And here's a couple of questions we have for you: What are you looking forward to in 2021?  What do you hope to change in 2021? Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #WW84 #WonderWoman #JingleJangle #Souls #goodbye2020 #lessonsof2020 #welcome2021 #2020 #2021 #pandemic #blacklivesmatter #America #forestwhittaker 
01:06:49
December 27, 2020
Tell The Damn Story 170: How A Love of Horses And A Real Life Crime Lead To Writing Mystery & Murder
Grab your flashlight, clues kit and, in this case, your reins and saddle.  This week Alex and Chris discuss the mane parts of murder and mystery when they interview equestrian mystery author, Janet Winters.  Ms Winters is the writer/creator of the Ivory Snow series, "Murder At Morgan House," and "Death At Heart's Desire," available on Amazon.   The conversation explores her inspiration and background with horses and mystery, and one more important element.  For over 20 years Janet was a professional in marketing.  Her experiences offer some insight into how authors can promote their books and appearances. Janet Winters web site:  The Barn Goddess Chronicles Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #mysterywriters #writers #horsebackriders #horsemysteries #equestirannovels  
59:20
December 20, 2020
TELL THE DAMN STORY 169: Come Play With The Holiday Tales!
This week, Alex and Chris play "What If..." (No.  Not the Marvel comic book or TV show) with a bunch of the new projects coming from Disney/Marvel/Star Wars.  Then our improv-writing duo discuss how they'd reboot several well-known holiday live action and animated specials.  Why? Besides being fun, it's a great lesson in why creatives need to keep their imagination and braincells flexible when creating new ideas, or revamping old ones. It's all big seasonal fun!  Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #Disney #Marvel #StarWars #Chistmas #Hanukkah #Kwanzaa #swissfamiltrobinson #lando #indianajones #iamgroot #shehulk #roguesquadron #pattyjenkins #taikawaititi #itsawonderfullife #wakanda #santaclaus #heyarnold #TheBlackCandle #Achristmascarol #achristmasstory #Miracleon34thstreet #giftofthemagi #thesantaclause #homealone #nightmarebeforechristmas #charliebrownchristmas #eightcrazynights
01:03:28
December 13, 2020
Tell The Damn Story 168: HOW HOLLYWOOD IS REBOOTING OLD CLASSIC INTO THEIR NEW MODELS
This TTDS episode is all about "THE RAZZLES, SORT OF," as Chris put it.  This week he and Alex deliver the verbal equivalent of Razzles ("First it's a candy, then it's a gum!") as they begin talking about modern classics redone or spun off in intriguing ways, and end up offering a "must read/see" or "must reread/rewatch" list that'll keep you busy the rest of 2020.  Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #TheMandalorian #StarWars #Disney+ #LovecraftCountry #TheWatchmen #AlanMoore #HBO #TheInvisibleMan #UniversalMonsters #Plots #Writers #amwriting #writingexercises #writing 
59:32
December 6, 2020
Tell The Damn Story 167: How To Make Creative Sparks Fly
Where do story Ideas come from and do you grow them? That's a question both Chris I have heard countless times over many years. Because writing is very much a personal experience, there are many ways to answer that it.  So in this episode, we decided not only to tell how, but also to show how.  We us a few writing exercises to spur positive creativity.  And we're hoping it will do the same for our listeners, for whom we are very grateful.  But just before we do, we take a moment to pay tribute to actor David Prowse (Darth Vader). We even share a couple of stories about meeting him some years ago. So sit back, grab a pen and paper and flex your imagination. Suggestion: After listening to this episode, try the exercise we demonstrate.  Then send us your *results in the comments section, or via our email address.  (*No more than a paragraph or two.) BONUS: EMAIL your exercise results and we'll send you a FREE PDF copy of one of our short story anthologies, "BLACKJACK: SHOOTERS."  Nuff said.  Go to it! Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #BlackjackShooters #GeniusHigh #CityOfWoe #CityOfSin #Plots #Writers #Starwars #darthvader  #Davidprowse #amwriting #writingexercises #writing
01:06:52
November 29, 2020
TELL THE DAMN STORY 166: IF DC'S GOING THROUGH CHANGES -AND SO ARE WE ALL!
This week, Alex and Chris discuss changes. Business changes for DC comics, potential changes in the comic book industry, and changes creatively in who we write, draw, and read about, and who we enjoy…  Yes, we are talking about diversity. What the industry is doing with diversity, where we can see business diversity opportunities and where we can see creative diversity opportunities.  As the year 2020 draws to a close, finally, we're starting to see hope and a chance for a wider basis for storytelling and creativity. Now that's something to be thankful for!  Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com. #DC #kidquick #msmarvel #endofprintcomics #independentcomics #marvel #milestonecomics #creatorsofcolor #CW #WonderWoman #YaraFlor #WonderGirl
57:60
November 22, 2020
TELL THE DAMN STORY EPISODE #165: ARE POSITIVELY POSITIVE ABOUT THE NEED FOR POSITIVITY?
 This week, Alex and Chris discuss the opportunity that creatives have to end 2020 on a positive note in whatever we are working on. We cover a lot of ground this episode, dropping names and titles of books and films and TV shows (and Alex leaves mysteries for us to solve), and all of it is in the service of trying to inspire you to put those positive moments in your work, to create the world we want to live in together.  Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com.  #outoftheirminds #startrek #picard #sacosby #blacktopwasteland #andhersmilewilluntehertheuniverse #gwendolynkiste #herbodyandotherpaeties #carmenmariamachado #gabinoiglesias #richienarvaez #pa'quetulosepas! #angelluiscolon #shatteringglass #nastywomanpress #underherblackwings #graveyardsmash #2020womenofhorroranthology #kandishapress
56:53
November 15, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #164: ARE THERE STORIES IN OUR COUNTRY'S 2020 CHANGES?
Today on Tell The Damn Story, Chris and Alex discuss the dramatic changes defining 2020 and how they can inspire creative to do the kind of work we need to be putting out there these days. A bit of friction ensues as the two old friends discuss the election, ongoing deeply-rooted problems in America, and how all of that actually provides great opportunities for creatives tell the kind of tales we need to create if we are going to contribute to moving our country and our world forward. Have any comments or questions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
38:44
November 8, 2020
TELL THE DAMN STORY, Episode # 163 - "Cornered Creatives Can Conjure Compelling Classics"
In this energized episode Alex and Chris discuss a full range of how creators are working through the limitations and obstacles Covid presents and urge creators to find a way to tell their own damn story.  Have any recommendations, questions, or suggestions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com #TheMandalorian #CGI #jonfavreau #davefiloni #davechappelle #jamesmcmurtry #djrogue #thesocialdilemma #netflix #disney #microfiction #flashfiction #NewYorkFilmAcademy #write #amwriting #podcast #robertmckee #studentcreativity #Avengers #starwars #microfiction #instagramReels #InstagramStories #cellphonesfilms 
48:05
November 1, 2020
TELL THE DAMN STORY EPISODE 162 : THE TRICKS AND TREATS OF HORROR
This week, Alex and Chris prepare for Halloween by celebrating fiction and film moments that scared them and then discussing the techniques and/or elements that made those moments work. With excerpts read and film moments recounted from: Salems Lot, The Shinning, Stephen King, Richard Matheson, I Am Legend, "Under Her Black Wings: Women of Horror Anthology," Burnt Offering, Grave of the Vampire, "The Aztec," Carmen Baca, "Sarah Smiles," Christy Aldridge.  Have any recommendations, questions, or suggestions for this episode topics? Then please leave them in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com #salemslot #theshining #stephenking #iamlegend #richardmatheson #underherblackwings #2020womenofhorroranthology #kandishapress #thevampiresgrave #burntofferings, #theaztec #carmenbaca #sarahsmiles #christyaldridge 
57:14
October 25, 2020
Tell The Damn Story Episode #161: A Covid Book Addiction Offers Halloween Entertainment Ideas
 In this episode, Alex and Chris confront Chris' out of control addiction ... Covid books.   We get to see how his delicious affliction has resulted in a formidable list of suggestions for spooky Halloween fun. The list goes from classic horror to supernatural tales of multi cultural genders and ages.   If we can't go out physically to parties, we might as well send our minds out for some fun.  Have any recommendations, questions, or suggestions for this episode topics?  Then please leave them in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com Here are the hashtags (book titles and or authors) for many of those mentioned in our episode. #book #books #movies #Halloweenreading #sacosby #blacktopwasteland #victorlavalle #theballadofblacktom #kandishapress #underherblackwings #graveyardsmash #gwendolynkiste #andhersmilewilluntethertheuniverse #carmenmariamachado #herbodyandotherparties #johnhornerjacobs #southerngods #marysangiovanni #cosmicshenanigans #briankeene #TheRising #triggerwarnings #earthwormgods #gabinoiglesias #coyoresongs #bothsidesstoriesfromtheborder #alfredhitcocksmysterymagazine #ahmm #elleryqueensmysterymagazine #eqmm #catrionaward #rawblood #marvelcomics #man-thing #defendersdialogue #dansimmons #theterror #paultremblay #growingthingsandotherstories #thecabinattheendoftheworld #ramseycampbell #alonewiththehorrors #mattruff #lovecraftcountry #joshmalerman #birdbox #wesleysouthard #resistingmadness #richienarvaez #roachkiller&otherstories #hipsterdeathrattle #hollyhernandezandthedeathofdisco #noirican #mikemignola #christophergolden #peterbergting #bensteinbeck #davestewart #michellemadsen #Baltimore #lordbaltimore #omnibus #wandavision #avengers #visionandthescarletwitch#ayearinthelife #joerlansdale #ofmiceandminestrone #lawrenceblock #stephenking #joycecaroloates #robertolenbutler # michaelconnelly #meganabbott #craigferguson #nicholaschristopher #jilldblock #joerlansdale #justinscott #krisnelscott #warrenmoore #jonathansantlofer #jeffreydeaver #leechild #gaillevin #insunlightorinshadow #edwardhopper #angelluiscolon #pa'quetulosepas! #thuglit #hardcorehardboiled #toddrobinson #ottopenzler #kenbruen #victorgischler #duaneswierczynski #seanchercover #charliestella #omarholman #wewereallsomeoneelseyesterday #valancourtp
01:02:51
October 19, 2020
Tell The Damn Story 160: Question Quest - How To Deal With Tough Writer Challenges
Despite upset stomach and looming deadlines, once again co-hosts Chris Ryan and Alex Simmons take time to answer some of the questions writers are wrestling with most.  Listen in to see if they answer one of yours.  And if they don't leave it in the comments and they'll get to it next time. Have any questions, or suggestions for episode topics? Leave your thoughts in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
01:07:41
October 12, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #159: What Music Do Your Characters Live By?
This episode Alex and Chris discuss how music can help inform and develop and evolve your characters in interesting ways. From pre-writing character playlists to novel theme playlists to scene playlists, the music you choose for your characters and situations help you think about those characters and situations more deeply and help bring your novel to life. Alex and Chris also discuss what they write to; is it music or silence or a combination of both that helps keep them going, propelling the work to the much desired finish line. And then we ask all those questions of you! c  Challenge:  Take a minute to let us know what music does for your creativity.  Do you use any of the methods we mentioned?  Do you have any favorite music you use when you write?   And please leave a question, suggestion, or other thoughts in the Comments Section below. Or write to us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
45:16
October 4, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #158: WRITER'S HARD WON BUSINESS WISDOM! SORT OF
It's time to talk about the BUSINESS OF WRITING.   So follow our intrepid co-hosts, Alex and Chris, as they discuss practical --sometimes hard won -- lessons from the business side of publishing.  Most experiences are fair, some are funny, and others are tough but necessary to learn.  One such lesson is how to act professionally in the face of challenging or disappointing circumstances.  We hope all enjoy and benefit from our takes from the wild!  Take a minute to leave a question, suggestion, or other thoughts in the Comments Section below. Or write to us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com 
50:56
September 27, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #157: Return to TTDS Ep. 69 ... The Challenge of Writing About Volatile Topics
Hey Folks: There's a saying that goes, "Life does happen."  Another suggests, "God laughs while man is making plans." They both speak to, "You can't control everything."  So things came up preventing Chris & me from getting together to record Ep. 157.  So we grabbed another strong episode (ep. #69) to stand in for us this week.  Episode 69 was recorded in January of 2019, and covers a wide range of the creative arena, starting with the latest changes in comics, film and TV.   Then they wrestle with some of the methods, pros and emotionally charges cons of writing about hot topics -- even in fiction.    Post your comments or questions in the comments section below ...  Or write to us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
46:37
September 21, 2020
The The Damn Story #156: How Character Knowledge, Not Gimmicks, Can Add A New Spin
Chris and me (spunky Alex Simmons) discuss the how old tropes and lazy gimmicks are not the best source for bring a new angle to an old character.  So many series, reboots, and new projects struggle to make plots more appealing.  Today's audiences are different, and many long time fans wants something new.  Lame and formulaic approaches are a popular go to resource, but even they're turning customers off.  Which is why going back to the staple big two sources is the best answer.  What are the Big Two?   Listen and learn.  Or, for some of you, have your belief/practice confirmed. PS.  We enjoyed the questions you sent in before.  So, keep'em coming.  In fact, make'em a little tougher this time. We really want to help. Leave any writer's questions, challenges, or solutions you have in the comments area. Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
44:23
September 13, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #155: How Certain Stories Can Touch The Soul.
TELL THE DAMN STORY podcast inspired by #chadwickboseman and is devoted to telling stories that touch us deeply.  Stories in books, films and TV shows can simply entertain.  But quite often one story can get to us, and stay with us forever. This episode co-host Alex Simmons, guest Omar Holman and I discuss stories that have stayed with us.  We also share a slew of written comments by #WaltSimonson, #MichaelWright, and others, as they add to a celebration of tales.  You are sure to find a favorite and some new things to track down in episode #155.   By the way, Is there a story that for some reason, you've never forgotten? Please write down the name here in the comment section.  You can even add 1 or 2 sentences telling us a little about it. Or leave any writing questions, challenges, or solutions you may have?   Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com #lovercraftcountry #mattruff #hbo #theoutsiders #sehinton#durangostreet #frankbonham #stephenking #thestand #richardbach #illusions #fictionillustrated #chandler #steranko #robertehoward #conanthebarbarian #docsavage #lesterdent #philipjosefarmer #captainamericaandthefalcon #starman #jamesrobinson #black #jamaligle #kwanzaosajyefo #timsmith #avengers #roythomas #johnbuscema #ikillgiants #joekelly #jmkenniimura #nealadams #dennyoneil #greenlanterngreenarrow #thespectre #johnostrander #tommandrake #planethulk #gregpak #johnromitajr #planethulk #aaronlopresti #carlopagulayan #howardtheduck #stevegerber #genecolan #geoffjohns #boostergold #bluebeetle #superman #loneranger #tonto #sherlockholmes #JohnWatson #RaymondChandler #raybradbury #somethingwickedthiswaycomes #donmcgregor #spenser #robertparker #nerowolfe #RexStout 
01:12:02
September 6, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #154: The Dignity of Chadwick Boseman, The Healing Grace of Creativity
In this episode Alex and Chris talk about loss and gain, and carrying on.  First they they take a moment to eulogize the loss of acting artistry with the passing of Chadwick Boseman (portrayed Black Panther, Jackie Robinson, and more).   Then they answer more questions about about all things dealing with the challenges of creative writing.  It's the power of words, whether performed or written.  It's sadness lifted by the arts once again.  "...Not all human beings are made up of the worst of our traits, habits, and instincts. We are a product of what we believe, what we practice, and what we do..." Got a few questions of your own?  Send them in, or drop them in the comments. Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
42:37
August 30, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #153: Seven Plus Top Tips For Besting The Beast of Writing
Hey, hey, Hey!  This episode Alex and Chris dip into our new email Q-Bag (Q = Questions) and answer a few of the the questions you listeners sent in. They range from tackling writer's block to getting trapped in the "mushy middle" of a daunting storyline.  So grab something to write with and write on, then sit, click, and listen. By the way, in the spirit of a writer's community, how do you tackle some of these writing challenges?  What works for you that might work for others? Got a few questions of your own?  Send them in, or drop them in the comments.   Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com 
43:42
August 23, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #152: Can You Survive Night of the Living Contracts?
This week on TTDS, Alex and Chris explore the creatures called Contracts, including how to tell confident agreements from the ones that eat your brain and your rights.   They share how to handle contract elements that make you uncomfortable; why anger, frustration, sarcasm, attitude, and ultimatums don't work, and calm professionalism is always better, even if you lose the gig. So take notes.  Because whether your goals are aimed at the independents or main stream publishers, you'll face them. It will be a time when you'll need to know how much of your rights they'll want, and what you're willing to give up, or lose. Send in your questions and suggestions regarding this topics.  We'll discuss them on our next show. Or respond in our social media. Want to see samples of simple basic Agreements?  Email us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com and we'll send along a sample or two.
53:07
August 16, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #151: Why Change Anything When You Know It All?
Or, BUILDING A BETTER TTDS and ME So many of people would rather hunker down, block off and shut out change, when growth and communication are at the very core of Life’s adventures. This episode Alex and Chris discuss teaching and learning and being the student even while being the teacher or writer or creative.  It’s a dialog about inspiration and mentors and how that path runs both ways. And how we should always be growing and learning from each other to get to our best selves, as people, but especially as creatives. Have any questions, or suggestions for episode topics? Leave your thoughts in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
55:21
August 10, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #150: SUPER WRITERS SHARE HOW THEY TELL THE DAMN STORY
It's a TTDS WRITER-PALOOZA!   We're celebrating a 150 Episodes!   Alex And Chris host a tribute to Corona-cancelled (and we don't mean beer) genre conferences #MurderInk and #PulpFest with four great interviews featuring @writerjimbeard, @lindarawlins, @janekellytrinity, @arttaylorwriter, and @joerlansdale.  Listen as writers of mystery and adventure fiction share their experiences tell tales for book, television and more.  Enjoy!    Have any questions, or suggestions for episode topics? Leave your thoughts in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com 
01:33:20
August 3, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #149: HOW TO TELL THE DAMN STORY SUMMER SERIES (Part 4) The Pros & Perilous Cons of Promoting
It's episode four, so we added TIPS galore! That's right week 4 is here and so are Alex and Chris with the final component of their month-long creative writing workshop, “HOW TO TELL THE DAMN STORY SUMMER SERIES.”    Once again, Pop culture king Caseen Gaines and spoken word poet and children’s book creator Toney Jackson have returned. So did slam poet winning, co-founder of BlackNerdProblems, and author, OMAR HOLMON. They're all here to discuss the Perils of Promotions - getting yourself and product out there.   So sit back and enjoy this SUPER super-sized episode and take notes. Because it's leading up to episode #150, TTDS StoryFest, a collection of clips and tips from some of our best interviews. Want to be more a part of this?  Share your promotion methods or stories, good or bad! Want to know more about our guests?  Just click on their names above. Have any questions, or suggestions for episode topics? Leave your thoughts in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
01:55:11
July 26, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #148: HOW TO TELL THE DAMN STORY SUMMER SERIES (Part 3) EDITING = Clear, Cut, Delete
The Boys Are Back -- With Back Up! It's the THIRD WEEK, And Alex and Chris are back with Part 3 of their month-long supersize workshop, the “HOW TO TELL THE DAMN STORY SUMMER SERIES.”   Pop culture king Caseen Gaines and spoken word poet and children’s book creator Toney Jackson have returned. This time we added on some slam poet winning, co-founder of BlackNerdProblems, and author of the new book, "WE WERE ALL SOMEONE ELSE YESTERDAY," OMAR HOLMON. Now it's time to discuss The editing process!  How to get down and get the work done.  Remember this series takes up episodes 146 - 149, leading up to episode 150 StoryFest (the three-sectioned, weekend long interview clips package) to celebrate this milestone. Want to be more a part of this?  Share your editing methods or stories.   Want to know more about our guests?  Just click on their names above. Have any questions, or suggestions for episode topics? Leave your thoughts in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
01:30:13
July 19, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #147: HOW TO TELL THE DAMN STORY SUMMER SERIES (Part 2) - Getting The Work Done
The Boys Are Back in Town! This week, Alex and Chris are back with Part 2 of their month-long workshop, the “HOW TO TELL THE DAMN STORY SUMMER SERIES.”    Pop culture king Caseen Gaines and spoken word poet and children’s book creator Toney Jackson have returned.  This time they'll discuss getting the BUTTS in the SEATS!  How to get down and get the work done. Remember this series takes up episodes 146, 147, 148, and 149, creating an opportunity for us to use episode 150 as StoryFest (the three-sectioned, weekend long interview clips package). That would be a cool way to celebrate this milestone.  Want to be more a part of this?  Send in your methods for nurturing inspiration.  Where do you find it?  What do you do with it? Have any questions, or suggestions for episode topics? Leave your thoughts in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
01:29:14
July 12, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #146: How To Tell The Damn Story Summer Writing Series - Part One
This week, Alex and Chris launch a month-long workshop, the “HOW TO TELL THE DAMN STORY SUMMER SERIES.”  Each week in July, we will join with special guests to focus on a different aspect of the creative process.  This episode features non-fiction pop culture king Caseen Gaines and spoken word poet and children’s book creator Toney Jackson to explore inspiration.  We'll discus where it comes from, how to work with it, respect it, and keep it flowing so you can Tell Your Damn Story!  By the way, this series takes up episodes 146, 147, 148, and 149, creating an opportunity for us to use episode 150 as StoryFest (the three-sectioned, weekend long interview clips package). That would be a cool way to celebrate this milestone. What do you think?  Leave your thoughts in our comments section.  Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com * Want to be more a part of this?  Send in your methods for nurturing inspiration.  Where do you find it?  What do you do with it?  
59:28
July 5, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #145: TTDS PRESENTS "BLACKJACK: ONLY SECONDS LEFT TO LIVE" and More ...
This week, Alex and Chris present a Blackjack story created by Tim Fielder in the furious wake of Charlottesville, back in 2017.  Fate worked against us publishing it at the time, and during each subsequent horrific racist tragedy.   But George Floyd changed that. We can no longer let Tim's tale remain just among us.  So we came up with a way to share this emotional, daring story. We tell its backstory, and then we present Blackjack: Only Seconds Left to Live as an unrehearsed audio experience. The tie-in to today will be obvious, and our discussion afterwards connects many elements that convinced us that now is the time to share this tale. And we have much more coming. So give a listen, then leave your thoughts in our comments section.   Or write to us at:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
44:05
June 28, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #144: WHAT IFFING TWILIGHT ZONE SEASON TWO
And no, we're not PC cursing in the title.   Alex and Chris enjoy a fun and intriguing episode of Tell The Damn Story with special guest pop culture author, Caseen Gaines ( @caseengaines ), speculating about the upcoming season 2 of #twilghtzone. We show and use our respect for @jordanpeele as a springboard to play “what if” about themes, issues and storylines using episode titles as prompts.  Come share some big fun, a wide range of topics, some good laughs, and an occasional deep thought, all aimed at psyching fans up for Season Two of THE TWILIGHT ZONE. (Cue the eerie music.) Have a thought about this episode? Sure you do.  So leave a message in our Comments section. Or send an email to:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com #jordanpeele #rodserling #twilightzone #writers # social issue #humandrama #oldtvshows #newtvshows #getout #caseengaines #whatifwecould #whatifthis
01:00:48
June 21, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #143: HOW TO TAKE OLD WORLD THEMES & CREATE PRESENT DAY MOVIE and TV GOLD!
For filmmakers and novelist what's old is new again, and again, and again!  It always has been! First, Alex and Chris remember DC author/editor legend Denny O'Neill, who passed on June 11.  Then they jump back-and-forth through time to explore classic tropes (story themes) that are being updated and renewed in clever and creative ways.  From Kevin Smith to Greta Gerwig to Jordan Peele, creatives are encouraged to look at classic form and ask "What If" as a means to tell the damn story reflecting modern sensibilities.  Listen as Alex and Chris discuss the creative and thought-provoking process behind it. Do you agree or disagree with our POV?  Leave a message in our Comments section.   Or send an email to:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com #TheInvisibleMan1933, #TheInvisibleMan2020, #TheThinMan, #AnimalHouse, #RealityTV, #LittleWoman1933, #LittleWomen2019, #LittleWomen, #IntruderInTheDust,  #JustMercy, #BrooklynTheMovie2015, #TheQuietMan, #SusanSleptHere, #SummerOf42, #BillAndTedFaceTheMusic, #LaurelandHardy, #AbbottandCostello, #JayandSilentBob
01:13:23
June 14, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #142: REFLECTING LIFE THROUGH ART, OR THE UNCOMFORTABLE ROAD TO PROGRESS CAN INSPIRE
Whatever genre we choose the stories we tell past, present or future, benefit from what we see, experience, and learn.  For all artists time is the canvas and living the brush.   This week Alex and Chris record a sequel of sorts; checking in on humanity's progress both national and global and human.  The world is generating material that will influence articles, books, films, music and more for years to come.  So our hosts explore their thoughts, as well as some  uncomfortable questions, all in pursuit of finding avenues for creativity, progress, dignity, and humanity.  Always staying true to how they tell the story. What has inspired your creativity recently? Share it in our comments section.  Or send an email to: TTTDSOnAir@gmail.com Thank you.
01:07:17
June 7, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #141: HOW CREATIVES HAVE AN HONEST DISCUSSION OF RACISM IN AMERICA
This episode Alex and Chris "tell the story" of creatives dealing with racial conflict in America in their lives, past and present.  What does that have to do with writing and creative art?   Everything. How it has influenced, as well as been reflected and revealed by whites and artists of color is key to present and future mindsets.  What do our hosts have to say about it?  Check it out.  Then ... What do you have to say about it? Please leave your comments and questions here.  Or write:  TTDSOnAir@gmail.com #Minneapolis #37Cities #Protests #RacistAmerica #FatManBeyond #KevinSmith #Marcberbardin #LangstonHughes #MLK #MalcolmX # #DenzelWashington #TonyShalhoub #BruceWillis #GilleScottHeron #JordanPeele #TwilightZone #Covid #Prince #Baltimore #Seattle #Portland #Sacramento #Oakland #SanJose #LasVegas #Phoenix #Bakersfield #Minneapolis #SaintPaul #NewYorkCity #Boston #WashingtonDC #Richmond #Hampton #FortWayne #Chicago #Detroit #Indianapolis #Omaha #Denville #Dallas #Albuquerque #Houston #NewOrleans #Atlanta #Norfolk #Hackensack #Charlotte #KansasCity #DesMoines's #Columbus #Cincinnati #Louisville #Memphis #Orlando #YourTown
01:01:38
May 31, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #140: Is All Art Political and All Artists Merely The Voice?
 This week Alex and Chris explore a multitude of answers to the question, Is All Art Political? And, Are All Artist Obligated to Create Political Art?  Using examples from the #MCU #MarkTwain, #DCComics, #AynRand, #GeorgeOrwell and many other works (including their own) Alex and Chris discuss in detail the Creatives ultimate obligation to her or his or their art.  What motivates art?  Is all art subjective or political?  Or do artist have the right to be humans who create art, whatever the form?  Is there a universal answer, or only more questions? All this and a bit more on this episode. On this topic we'd truly like to hear your opinions pro of con.  That's what discussion is all about.  So please leave your questions or comments right here in our Comments Section. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
51:20
May 24, 2020
Tell The Damn Story 139: Raiding Our Creative Energies, A Childhood Blessing
Today Alex and Chris celebrate Creativity long past and brand new!  We discuss the documentary "Raiders" (NetFlix) which is all about a group of 11-year-olds who decided to re-create "Raiders of the Lost Ark" shot for shot,  the seven years it took them to get it done, and then re-uniting years later to do one last scene.  And we discuss their actual film "Raiders of the Lost Ark- The Adaptation" (YouTube). We See it is a celebration of the pure creative urge, and we tie directly to both Alex's own childhood filmmaking memories and the hordes of young people creating on TikTok right now.  Yes, we may be in a new golden age of creativity right when we need it the most! So celebrate with us. Here's to all the Creatives who Tell Their Damn Story! Please leave your questions or comments right here in our Comments Section. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com #RaidersOfTheLostArc, #Raiders, #Netflix, TikTok, #RaidersOfTheLostArcTheAdaptation, #KidFilms, #kidsimagination 
27:28
May 17, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #138: TTDS, FAMILY REUNION
The Boys Are Back In Town! And it is a Family Reunion when Alex Simmons and Chris Ryan catch up with TTDS co-founder Tim Fielder.  Alex, Chris and Tim created this show 138 episodes ago to discuss the wide range of media they called home.  And creative and conversational pandemonium abounds as they discuss dealing with the pandemic in terms of teachers, creatives, and where we are going from here. Additionally, we find out about Tim's huge upcoming epic graphic novel, "Infinitum," available now for preorder. And don't forget our call for original short stories for our, TELL THE DAMN STORY: PANDEMIC. We'll publish 10 of the best stories and 10 pieces of visual art on the TELL THE DAMN STORY web site, blog, and Facebook page.  We'll also promote them on social media. Those original stories and all visuals must avoid using copyrighted characters, and be no more than 700 words. *All submissions remain properties of their creators.  Neither Chris, Alex or Tell The Damn Story will own any rights to the works.  Submit your work by May 15, 2020. For more information listen to TTDS Episode 137. We enjoy hearing from you!  So please leave your questions or comments right here in our Comments Section. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
01:09:35
May 11, 2020
Tell The Damn Story 137: Pandemic, To Write or Not To Write? That Is The Question.
  This week Alex and Chris go against the collective wisdom of writers and authors everywhere!  Many creatives have suggested people not to write about the Covid "because everybody's going to be writing about the pandemic."  Well Alex and I  discuss a very different view. We explore how the tried and true "seven basic plots" could be used to write about one of the biggest global events in human history -- from almost limitless angles.  We even improvise various scenarios and then we challenge you, creatives, to tell the damn story!  We want to help everybody get through this pandemic by sharing stories. So ... We're calling for fiction writers and visual artists to express yourselves about the pandemic in any genre or visual format (illustration, photography, etc.).  How? Compose an original story in no more than 700 words. Those stories and all visuals must avoid using copyrighted characters.  Submit your work by May 15, 2020. We'll publish 10 of the stories and 10 pieces of visual art on the TELL THE DAMN STORY web site, blog, and Facebook page.  We'll also promote them on social media. *All submissions remain properties of their creators.  Neither Chris, Alex or Tell The Damn Story will own any rights to the works.   We enjoy hearing from you!  So please leave your questions or comments right here in our Comments Section. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
01:08:00
May 3, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #136: Kids Comic Con 2020, The Con That Never Ends
Chris and Alex tackle a different story this time -- a kids story.  Chris interviews Alex about his efforts to keep COVID-19 from completely canceling the 14th annual Kids Comic Con.  When social distancing prevents families from going to fun events what can creatives do? Learn how writers, illustrators and performers came together to make a one day event global and evergreen.  We enjoy hearing from you!  So please leave your questions comments right here in our Comments Section. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com #kids, #comics, #puppetry, #sesamestreet #MartyGrabstein #VeronicaTaylor #couragethecowardlydog #pokemon #comiccon 
38:15
April 29, 2020
Tell The. Damn Story 135: The Healing Episode. What Happens After Corona Time?
This week Alex and Chris talk about coronavirus head on; what's happening to us.  They discuss the effect all aspects of this disease are having on us, and how too many creators are struggling to create in its shadow.  We talk about the importance of commiserating with each other on social media or through texting, zoom, FaceTime, or whatever it takes. We are all craving human connection now, especially when family members or friends become sick, or sadly, pass away. We need to extend our humanity to each other now more than ever They also take a look at some activities that can help nourish and inform creatives, including the Corona Con, which is much more uplifting and charitable than it may sound, and the testimony of the legendary Joe Illidge, who has written about the experiences he and his wife had while battling coronavirus. This episode is meant to help, to celebrate, and to unify all of us. We pray that it is taken as such. Peace and health, everybody.  We've enjoyed hearing from you!  So please leave your questions comments right here in our Comments Section. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com For more information about Caseen Gaines just click here. #coronacon #joeillidge #kcc #covid19 
54:07
April 19, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #134: Watching While Living In The Twilight Zone
Submitted for your approval ladies and gentlemen, we have all entered the twilight zone.   In this episode Alex and Chris, and special guest, pop culture expert and author Caseen Gaines, get together on this super extravaganza of a podcast episode to discuss classic and new twilight zone episodes to tantalize and intrigue and give you something else to search out and watch as we continue to quarantine ourselves to oblivion! We've enjoyed hearing from you!  So please leave your questions comments right here in our Comments Section.  For more information about Caseen Gaines just click here. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com 
01:35:05
April 12, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #133: In Creating Characters It's Hard To Get Better Than Olmos
Today, Alex and Chris turn to veteran actor Edward James Olmos for wisdom and guidance when it comes to contributing to story. At least they do in the second half of this episode.  In Part One, they talk about what is going on and how they are dealing it all.  They also suggest how others may deal, and Chris goes on a mini rant rejecting the term "new normal" for our current challenges.  In Part Two, our duo uses the Olmos wisdom to discuss the importance of choices, from character and performance, to costuming and setting to help Tell The Damn Story.  Olmos' experiences lead to discussions of their own choices in Loeser productions (LOL) and offer insight into how all of this applies to the creative process.  It's a fun and informative episode from our heroes. Well, Maybe they're just each other's heroes. *Here's a link to the first of the three EDWARD JAMES OLMOS interview clips. #Edwardjamesolmos  #MiamiVice #Zootsuit  #standanddeliver #clandestine #actorschoices # 
01:04:44
April 5, 2020
Tell The Damn Story 132: Turn Left At "The Grind!"
And BATTLING THE GRIND This week Alex and Chris dive deep into the struggle that we're all facing; the war against boredom. While outlining some of the challenges they suggest ways to keep yourself occupied and your spirits up, inside the house, outside the house, with the social distancing, and online. Do not despair. Do not give in. There is hope. There is life. There are literary and cinematic distractions. And ... there is really interesting trivia on your favorite artists -- past and present -- somewhere on the Internet! So listen tight and take notes.  :) * In response to a comment Chris made in the show, I mentioned an old Terry Thomas movie. Here's a link to it on YouTube.  "A MATTER OF WHO." We've enjoyed hearing from you!  So please leave your questions comments right here in our Comments Section. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com #amwriting #writingtips #authortips #terrythomas #severtiesmusic #U2  #koolandthegang  
58:19
March 29, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #131: PLOTS OF THE FAST AND FURIOUS
Today on Tell The Damn Story, Alex and Chris role model how to create a new story out of mid air.  By pitching each other genres and themes they create three story sketches and explain how they would then develop those into full stories. This is to encourage all those aspiring writers in quarantine.  That's right. Take advantage of the lockdown to unlock your own creativity!   Remember -- you can do this on your own, with a writing partner, or even as a game. Want to give Chris and Alex a Plot This Challenge?  Just leave a Theme and a Genre suggestion here and listen to the next show. Need a little help choosing a Theme or Genre?  Then click here and receive a FREE THEME & GENRE cheat sheet. And leave your comments right here in our Comments Section. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com #amwriting #writingtips #authortips
01:01:22
March 23, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #130: How Do You Tell This Story? Dance, Sing, Draw, Write!
We're two days early!  Yes we are! In light of the quickly escalating coronavirus, Alex and Chris discuss social distancing and the hardships and blessings that presents to creatives. Ideas and opinions abound and we are interested in what you think about these unprecedented times. Give us a listen and then tell us what is on your mind. Reach out to leave your thoughts, tips, questions and comments right here in our Comments Section. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
46:21
March 14, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #129: WITH SUSPECTS AND RED HERRINGS, WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE? IT'S A MYSTERY!
This week Alex and Chris sing the coronavirus blues, absolutely diss Agatha Christie, and discuss structuring a mystery, the value of red herrings, and why we need suspects, all accomplished between our usual chuckles.  We know you've got'em.  So leave your thoughts, tips, questions and comments right here in our Comments Section. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com    #agathachristie #amwriting #authortips #writingtips #amwriting #amwritingmysteries #mysterywritersofamerica #redherrings #suspects
01:01:18
March 8, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #128: How To Face The Fears of Telling A Damn Story
Go in deep with Alex and Chris as they embrace the pain.  This week they're talking about the times when writing caused them pain or was painful or was inspired by pain of some kind - emotional spiritual, sleep deprivation, all sorts of stuff. As a matter of fact, Chris even reads from one of his novels. The idea is to encourage aspiring creatives to push past the pain sometimes encountered while creating and also to be aware and judicious about using personal pain in your creativity. We know you've got'em.  So leave your thoughts, tips, questions and comments right here in our Comments Section. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
01:08:58
March 1, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #127: A Story By Any Other Name. Or Finding Yourself, Your Voice, And Your Genre.
Alex and Chris talk about, well, almost everything in an attempt to explain the chicken-or-egg maze run of a creative finding voice and proper genre. From Chris' ongoing transitioning from pure Indie writer to traditionally published, to expectations for editors, to, in our ongoing Get Your Write On section, examining Alex's idea of strongest genre choices and how it helps creates, we exclude nothing in our goal to offer a portrait of the many considerations we must embrace to further our creative dreams.  Agree or disagree?  Did we leave out any genre or sub genres?  Let us know. Leave your thoughts, questions and comments right here in our Comments Section. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
01:02:17
February 23, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #126: Are ReWrites An Author's Path To Heaven or Hell?
In this episode, Chris and Alex explore the next segment of their GET YOUR WRITE ON series. Rewriting -- how to seed what you need in your stories so  the climax to pays off.  They talk almost exclusively about the secret pleasures of rewriting. There's finishing your first draft, reading it, finding what your story needs, and then going back and seeding those plot points and character moments and foreshadowing, etc. that will make your story sing. Come for the jokes, stay for the rewrites! As authors, how your book, play or movie ends is the last chance to leave your audience feeling satisfied. They want to look back over the experience and feel you faithfully lead them on the journey, and that the ending made sense.  Rewriting is your opportunity to get the cuts, clues, and characters just right. Agree or disagree?  Have any rewriting tips you want to share? Then leave your thoughts, questions and comments right here in our Comments Section. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
01:04:26
February 16, 2020
Tell The Damn Story # 125: VICTOR, A PAUSE TO PAY TRIBUTE
This week, Alex and Chris pay tribute to Archie Comics legend Victor Gorelick, the oldest editor in comics, who has died this week. He was a sweet guy, a major fount of comic industry knowledge, and a good friend to Alex for over 15 years. Alex interviewed him IN 2015 and we honor his passing by sharing some of that discussion with you to let Victor relate how he told the damn story for 60 years. Peace. Did you know Victor?  Or are you an Archie fan? If so share your thoughts, questions and comments right here in our Comments Section. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com #Archie #Comics #cartoon #highschoolofindustrialarts #veronica #Betty #brooklyn #1950s #jughead #writers #michaeluslan 
01:11:28
February 10, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #124: A WRITER'S SUPER BRAWL - HOW TO PLAY IN THE BIG GAME OF GETTING YOUR STORY RIGHT
 It might be Super Bowl Sunday for everyone else, but for Alex Simmons and Christopher Ryan, it is time to Tell The Damn Story. Today we talk about many topics including Morning Meditations by Alex "guru" Simmons, and, in our Get Your Write On segment, we discuss elaborate description versus minimal description and how it affects pacing. We also offer suggestions on how you can achieve both of those by doing the work to get out of your own way and become more objective about your own writing.  Along the way, we mention #BrianKeene, #sidneylumet, #marisatomei, #philipseymourhoffman, #albertfinney, all in the film #beforethedevilknowsyouredead, #thegodfather, #atomichabits, by James Clear, #Themiraclemorning, by #halelrod and many other pop culture references aimed at helping you Tell The Damn Story.  Share your thoughts, questions and comments right here in our Comments Section. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com #amwriting #writingtips #author #christopherpike 
56:49
February 2, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #123: HOW TO GET YOUR WRITE ON #3 - READY, SETTING, GO!
It's Where, When, and How Much do you need to decide before writing a good story!  This week Alex and Chris discuss Rod Serling, tease an upcoming Twilight Zone TTDS episode,  a black out in the subway, and setting, setting, setting! We go over purpose in using setting, when to worry about the impact of location, as well as how time of day and time of year can accentuate the tale you spin.  So it's about time you listened to Tell The Damn Story!  Have you watched the Twilight Zone series (old or new)? If so, which do you prefer?  And tell us your favorite episode.    Share your thoughts, questions and comments right here in our Comments Section. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com #rodserling #twilightzone #amwriting #amediting #setting #amrewriting #writing
46:32
January 26, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #122: What Is A Writers' Toughest Challenge? Or Tales From The Comments
This week Alex and I catch up on our separate creative projects, give a huge shout out to a truly fun podcast (besides this one, of course), and we use our "Get Your Write On" segment to respond to your comments about plot, character, and structure.  It's talks and tips and a whole lot more, so don't miss it!  Share your thoughts, questions and comments right here in our Comments Section. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com Click here for a 20 Question Character Bio guide  #DefendersDialogue #ChristopherGolden #BrianKeene #plot #character #structure #godzilla #marvel 
01:07:48
January 19, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #121: For Writers What's The Big Story Behind, "LITTLE WOMEN?"
After weeks of Alex fretting about the quality of the new film version of "Little Women" both he and Chris (and the goddess) went to see #LittleWomen and they discuss the film, earlier versions of it, and Louisa May Alcott's 1868 novel.  All of this is in the service of creativity and telling the damn story. They then discuss Getting Your Write On, part two, in which Chris and Alex explain subtext, avoiding stereotypes, the usefulness of second bananas, and interior versus exterior dialogue, using the film/book and other works as examples to support each topic.  Come for the film, stay for the learning, and then go tell your own damn story!  Share your thoughts, questions and comments right here in our Comments Section. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com #LittleWomen, #saoirseronan #EmmaWatson #FlorencePugh #ElizaScanlen #LauraDern #TimotheeChalamet #TracyLetts #BobOdenkirk #JamesNorton #ChrisCooper #MerylStreep #AmWriting #WritingSubText #AvoidingStereotypes #secondbananas #Dialogue
01:04:08
January 12, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #120: A 2020 Look At Getting It Write
Alex and Chris launch a new decade with a new feature, "Get Yer Write On" offering practical advice on a wide range of storytelling skills, this week including Motivation (two kinds!), Character, Conflict, and Creating a Character's Arc. And that's after discussing current events and personal news. All this and laughs! Don't miss it! Share your thoughts, questions and comments right here in our Comments Section below. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com Click here for the TTDS's 20 Character Bio Questions Guide. Read BLACKJACK: Trial By Fire, Trial By Ice (written by Alex and Chris) on Amazon. #littlewomen #starwarstheriseofskywalker #themandalorian #getyourwriteon #writersmotivation #Thefugitive #Theequalizer #shotgunhoney #blackjacktrialbyfire #blackjacktrialbyice
01:03:27
January 5, 2020
Tell The Damn Story #119: The Last Decade, Yours Mine & Ours
It's TELL YOUR OWN DAMN STORY about the teens as Alex and Chris tell theirs.  "We'll leave "Best ofs" and "Top Ten" lists for others to share, and we are grateful for their ideas as we look back to look forward.  This episode the cohosts we'll be talking of books and films and TV and music that fueled us, and ask you, what fueled your creativity over the past decade?" If you have any positive or inspirational tips to share, drop them (along with your questions) in our Comments Section below. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
01:03:45
December 29, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #118: What's A Creative To Do With 2019
This week Alex and Chris say goodbye to a decade --goodbye twenty-teens --and prep for 2020 by talking to Creatives about how they can use the technological and social media revolution of the last decade to curate the best fuel for their creativity in the new decade. Through reflection and action, we can avoid being programmed, block trolls, and contribute positively to where we all go next. If you have any positive or inspirational tips to share, drop them (along with your questions) in our Comments Section below. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
26:50
December 22, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #117: IT'S THE TELL THE DAMN STORY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL!
Alex and Chris talk about fuel for creatives' holiday productivity, going through lots of Christmas music and movies and TV shows discussing the themes of redemption and renewal and reunion and how we can use any or all of this to fuel our own creativity. This episode offers a lot of fun and many suggestions for both your holiday entertainment and for creative nourishment during this busy time of year. Peace. And if there were any songs, TV shows, or movies we left out, add them along with your questions in our Comments Section below. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
01:04:35
December 15, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #116: A HOLIDAY VISIT TO THE LAIR!
With holiday shopping on our minds, Alex and Chris visit with Jorge Rodriguez, owner of the legendary comics and collectibles shop in The Bronx (known center of the multiverse), to discuss comics, collectibles, independents,  movie boosts to business, being creative in business, and who seems more together these days, DC or Marvel. Come on into The Lair, hang out, and enjoy this fascinating conversation. Should want to know more about The Lair, click here. Let us know your thoughts on this topic by leaving  your questions or comments in our Comments Section below. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
58:03
December 8, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #115: It's A Blackjack On Black Friday Weekend Scandal! Or Is It?
Alex and Chris talk about giving thanks during a time of division, about being dedicated to gratitude in a time where for some gratitude is difficult, and for others it may be cause for stress, and/or rebellion.  Our co-hosts go deep as they discuss how creatives must overcome these and so many other challenges to get the word out on their creative output.  Especially when that could include being surprise blocked from posting Facebook ads due to alleged racial insensitivity when none exists in their ads! So Alex and Chris discuss all sorts of algorithm shenanigans that creatives have to deal with to tell their damn story! And please let us know your thoughts on this hot topic by leaving  your questions or comments in our Comments Section below. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com * During the episode we mentioned a free Blackjack novel.  Click here for your free copy of  "Blackjack: Rise of the Red Star."    Or copy and past this link: http://bit.ly/JoinArronAdventures 
42:15
December 1, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #114: THANKFULLY, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE STUFFING
This week Alex and Chris prepare you for your Thanksgiving, be it heaven or a horror! Whether you are dreading the holiday or just certain relatives or trying to get your mind right for celebration, we've got what you need. With humor and tongue in cheek and memories both hilariously dark and warmly bittersweet, Alex and Chris prepare you for your Thanksgiving feast by discussing how to use your experiences to fuel the damn stories you tell. Enjoy and have a great holiday, no matter what! And PLEASE let us know your thoughts on this hot topic by leaving  your questions or comments in our Comments Section below. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
37:38
November 24, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #113: NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN - EXCEPT YOU
Alex and Chris discuss the plight of one of Alex's students who discovered a story he was working on was very similar to a story already out there. What is a creative to do when influences show, or an original idea has been thunk by others, too. The answers, including examples from film, television, and music, and some very crucial advise, is offered this week, all as part of what it takes to TELL THE DAMN STORY. * Episodes referenced in this episode:  #84, #86, #90, #105, #108 And PLEASE let us know your thoughts on this hot topic by leaving  your questions or comments in our Comments Section below. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
51:31
November 17, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #112: From Curious Creative to Indy Publisher: Juan Espinosa is A Role Model for TTDS Listeners
Juan Espinosa took his family to Alex's Kids Comic Con at his workplace, Bronx Community College, wanting them to see Spidey and Bats. What he got was a book to read, pros to question, a podcast to listen to, and then, with the help of a loving and supportive family, he launched a comic that celebrates the every man as hero, portrays diversity as the fact of American life that it is, and shows us all that the dream is possible. Episode #112 is a fun interview, a treasure trove of practical experience and advice for creatives, and an inspiration for Alex and Chris because one of ours is Telling The Damn Story for himself! *Juan Espinosa's comic book web site click here; Gordidon. *His comic book series is, "Adventures of A System Admin." PLEASE let us know your thoughts on this hot topic by leaving  your questions or comments in our Comments Section below. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com * For "Art of Making Comics" by Alex Simmons click here and enjoy.
01:00:06
November 10, 2019
Tell The Damn Story Episode #111: FUNDAMENTALLY SPEAKING: A HOW-TO-PURSUE CREATIVE AGENTS, CONTACTS & GIGS
It's a A HOW-TO-APALOOZA this week, when Alex and Chris get down to basics.  They're talking about how to find writing jobs, how to create a submission plan, the reality of getting gigs, how to keep going, how to deal with rejection, the idea of creativity being 1% inspiration and 99% getting your butt in the chair and doing the work, and how to make all of this happen in an extremely busy daily routine. This episode, number 111, is all about hope, folks, and all about telling the damn story. And PLEASE let us know your thoughts on this hot topic by leaving  your questions or comments in our Comments Section below. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com * PS.  Alex's has 3 FREE mini video tips on writing mysteries. So click here and enjoy.
01:08:40
November 4, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #110: Marvel vs The Masters! To Be Or Not to Be Cinema, That is Question!
This week, Alex and Chris jump into the biggest movie fracas of the year: the Masters of 70's Cinema vs. the Marvel Cinematic Auteurs! Scorsese! Copolla! Foster! Favreau! RDJ! Iger! Gunn! Are Marvel movies cinema? Are they modern versions of the classic westerns of Ford and Leone? Or the gangster flicks of Scorsese and Copolla? Our TTDS crew explores all this in our 110th episode! (Exclamation points used in tribute to Stan Lee, who kind of started this whole rumble!) And PLEASE let us know your thoughts on this hot topic by leaving  your questions or comments in our Comments Section below.  Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com * PS. As mentioned in this show, Alex's FREE 3 video mini tips on writing mysteries can be found here.
01:04:54
October 27, 2019
Tell The Damn Story # 109: Lean Into the Damn Story Pt 1
IT'S A PODCAST TEAM-UP! IT'S A CREATIVES CROSSOVER! IT'S A HELLUVA DEEP CONVERSATION! Chris and Alex team up with the hosts of the Lean Into Art Cast, Jerzy Drozd and Rob Stenzinger, for a two-part discussion on writing, art, and finding your way through this challenging endeavor of creating for an audience. Part 2 from this creative quartet airs on the upcoming episode of LEAN INTO ART, which drops Thursday, October 24, 2019. Meanwhile, PLEASE leave your questions or comments in our Comments Section below. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com 
01:00:06
October 20, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #108: TO FEED THE BEAST
Every writer of any success will tell aspiring creatives to read constantly, so today Chris and Alex explore the ecstasy that is reading -- with special guest ... "the goddess" Tina Ryan! *During the show I sent out a note to folks asking what they like to read. Below are some of the replies: Genre: Science Fiction, fantasy and urban fantasy, mystery, historical fiction, horror, modern detectives (Lehane), comics, and non fiction. Authors: Christopher Moore-Fool, Lamb, Sacre Bleu, Ladit, Lawrence Block, Loren Estleman, JIm Butcher, Kelly McCullough, Eliot Pattison, Lois McMaster Bujold, Jennifer Robertson … Titles: Moby Dick, New Stan Lee Biography Want to add some? PLEASE leave your questions or comments in our Comments Section below.  Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com  * During the show I sent out a note to folks asking what they like to read.  Below are some of the replies:
46:04
October 13, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #107: Heroic Journeys - Identity_Discovery_Damage_Recovery
While attending the 2019 New York Comic Con, Alex had an opportunity to conduct a group interview with four, intelligent, creative, and caring people.  And though Chris was not able to be there, and though there were some sound issues, we ask that you bear with us because the insight, experiences and information shared is well worth it.  And as usual, PLEASE leave your questions or comments in our Comments Section below. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com We especially want to hear your thoughts on this one.
49:01
October 9, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #106: Deadly Ink Roundup, The Rookies
Chris finds Alex in the grip of a horrible villain (especially for podcasters) and must recruit a trio of authors from the Deadly Ink Writers Conference, conducting first-time interviews with each. He finds the scribes sincere and interesting and worth working past all audio challenges. Give them a chance; they have great stories to tell.... and they saved Alex this week! Please leave your questions or comments in our Comments Section below. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
48:25
September 29, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #105: Out of the Darkness ... Demons, An Interview With Author David F. Walker
Alex and Chris Skype across America for a brave and inspiring conversation with the great author, David F. Walker (Luke Cage, Shaft, CyBorg, Bitter Roots, etc.).  While we start with his early work on Luke Cage and Iron Fist progressing to his new projects like Bitter Roots, this episode mostly focuses on David's harrowing battle with crushing depression and methods he uses to claw his way out of the abyss. Don't miss this one, folks. Please leave your questions or comments in our Comments Section below. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com PS:  During the episode I couldn't remember the name of a certain comic strip.  It was "For Better, Or For Worse."  Why'd that subject come up? Listen and you will see. 
58:58
September 22, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #104: Goin' Deep, From Creative Heart to Business Head
Alex and Chris take a break from the  Deadly Ink Mystery Conference interviews this week to delve deep into that treacherous path that takes us from being a creative to a business person. They discuss the self-knowledge one needs to deal with editors and producers and publishers who say they "get it" and but may not and explore the importance knowing the difference between being editorially flexible so you can sell the work and committing the sin of selling out the work.   Please leave your questions or comments in our Comments Section below. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
01:07:13
September 15, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #103: It's the Quiet Ones You Have To Watch Out For
Alex and Chris talk about how creatives' personality and early influences shaped them into writers you might not expect from hearing them, like the gentle-voiced Vicki Weisfeld who has seen her inventive, precise mysteries published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, among other places. Our interview with Vicki is the highlight of this episode, and she offers great insight into her process and tips for aspiring writers. Enjoy!   Please leave your questions or comments in our Comments Section below. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
42:09
September 8, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #102: How "Cozy" Can Murder Be?
Alex and Chris offer a little of their good buddy banter before they present another interview Chris recorded at the Deadly Ink Conference.  This time it's with Eileen Watkins & Peggy Earhart, two authors of a special genre known as Cozy Mysteries.  And though it may sound tame, it does beg the title question, how cozy can murder be?  Please leave your questions or comments in our Comments Section below. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
49:14
September 2, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #101: Where Can Writers Find Support? Sisters In Crime!
Alex and Chris introduce another interview from the Deadly Ink Mystery Writers Conference. Today we hear from not one but two local presidents of the national Sisters in Crime mystery writers organization, New Jersey President Linda Rawlins and Delaware Valley President Jane Kelly, discussing the resources and benefits and support SinC offers members (open to sisters and brothers) and their own writing challenges and goals. We're all facing similar struggles and having the support of an organization really helps.  Please leave your questions or comments in our Comments Section below. Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
28:05
August 25, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #100: WHATS THE BENEFIT OF TELLING A DAMN STORY?
No one said it couldn't be done ... So we did it anyway!!! Alex and Chris (a few listeners) review, revere, recount and revisit their journey of interviews, doubts, tips, issues, and revelations on the way to 100 episodes of TTDS!  Please leave your questions or comments in our Comments Section below.  Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com 
59:29
August 18, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #99: Deadly Ink Interview #2_ DimeSleuth
For the first half hour, Alex and Chris spend some quality time talking about bringing their work to the next level and Chris discusses the Deadly Ink Mystery Conference, he attended two weeks ago, in all it's glory.   From cat cozies to pulp to the traditional mystery, there's a little something for everybody, Including Dimesleuth, a creative Instagram and Twitter page celebrating the noir crime genre.  And in the second half of the show, we  share Chris' interview with the man behind, DimeSleuth, who comes at the topic of story-telling from a slightly different angle.  Please leave your questions or comments in our Comments Section below.  Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com 
51:04
August 11, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #98: Are Writers' Groups First Aid, Or Blood Bath?
Chris is on a solo mission at the DEADLY INK WRITERS' CONFERENCE meeting and learning from writers of many genres.  And of course Chris is also interviewing as many of these creatives as he can.  So in this episode Chris sits with Carol Gyzander (sci-fi, mystery, etc.), Joe Kennedy (fiction author), Teel James Glenn (writer of pulp, adventures, etc.), as they discuss the pros and cons of finding and being part of a writers' group. Please leave your questions or comments in our Comments Section below.  Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com 
33:45
August 4, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #97: Dreams, Goals and Michael Uslan, The Man Who Owned Batman
Chris is back from the wilds of creative career contemplation, and Alex has returned from panels and presentations at the San Diego Comic Con!  They're here to share some insight on the challenges of pursuing your goals and dreams. and they're not alone. They've brought with them Michael Uslan, the executive producer of every Batman movie since 1989.   Actually, it's a recording of his presentation to a packed auditorium at Comic Con International. Micheal's pursuit of his goals and dreams will resonate with anyone who has ever imagined achieving what seemed to be impossible.  (*Because the recording was on a small handheld device, the sound is not at the quality we would prefer. But the message is well worth the occasional bleeps, or peaks.) Have comments or questions for us?  Leave them in our comments section. Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com 
01:16:51
July 28, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #96: What's So Great About the San Diego Comic Con?
With Alex attending the the biggest comic con on the west coast, and Chris watching social media report and respond to it from the east coast, the boys offer their own insight into the verbiage and views of commentators, comics and crowds. Have comments or questions for us?  Leave them in our comments section. Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com  [*Sorry we were late with this one. Sometimes globe-hopping and tech can be a serious challenge.]
34:02
July 23, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #95: With Millions of Stories To Compete Against, What Makes Mine Better Or Different?
Many, many students ask the same question, sometimes with subtle variations.  How can I come up with a new idea?  Why bother, mine won't be as good? Will anybody even read my story? How can I make mine better? And so it goes on. In this episode, Alex Simmons explores 5 ways to address these questions and the process. Click here for a Story Pool List Guide. Click here to get a list of 20 Character Bio Questions to help you create yours. Have comments or questions for us?  Leave them in our comments section. Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com 
40:46
July 14, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #94: Why Do You Tell Your Damn Stories?
Writers often talk about character motivations. Basically why do they do what they do? Though that is a major question, another equally important one is, Why Do We, the Writers Do What We Do?  Alex explores that question because the answer often impacts and empowers our choices for topics, plots, characters, genres, and audience.  Sometimes, more than we suspect. Have comments or questions for us?  Leave them in our comments section. Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com 
47:46
July 7, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #93: Life As The Story Pool = Inspiration, Imitation, Perspiration & Innovation
There are so many things that influence our storytelling. If we only scratch the surface we wind up repeating what's gone before, in almost the same "voice." But diving deeper into our own thoughts, feelings, and experiences helps separate imitation from innovation. In this episode, Alex shares the  process that's lead to him writing some of the most iconic characters in fiction. Click here for a Story Pool List Guide. Have comments or questions for us?  Leave them in our comments section. Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com 
44:17
June 30, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #92: 7 Top Sources For Good Story Ideas
In this episode Alex identifies and underlines the 7 important sources writers explore for stories. From an item on your desk to a tragic moment in life, artist must look to the inner and outer world, in order to reflect it.  Click here for a free lis of these 7 Top Sources. Have comments or questions for us?  Leave them in our comments section.  Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com 
29:59
June 23, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #91: Fathers and Sons In Fact and Fiction
Alex and Chris celebrate Father's Day talking about the influence of fathers (and mothers!) present or not, being fathers, and the impact of fictional fathers on us, as well as infamous fictional sons and daughters, including Batman, 4 Robins, Batgirl, Spider-Man, This Is Us (yep!), Odin, Blackjack, Captain America, Raven, and Black Panther. Whew!  Happy Father's Day, everybody. Have comments or questions for us?  Leave them in our comments section. Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com 
01:02:39
June 16, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #90: Re-Entry: How Creatives Exist in More Than One World
Alex and Chris discuss what Chris calls the "come down" from being heavily engaged in the creative process; the time when we're not quite out of our creative world and not quite in our every day world. The results can be challenging, hilarious, and sometimes a little confusing. Alex recorded this episode during his own come down from his latest creative efforts, adding an interesting twist to this episode.  Have comments or questions for us?  Leave them in our comments section. Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
51:50
June 10, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #89: How Do We Learn In Order To Create?
Based on a few things that happened this past week,  on Alex's Facebook Live webinar, and on Chris attending a major writers' conference, as well as  questions from their respective students, Chris and Alex explore, "How do you learn to write a good story?"  "Where do  ideas come from?"  And facing those challenges. "How do we continue to do what we do?"  Have comments or questions for us?  Leave them in our comments section. Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
56:56
June 2, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #88: Confronting Creative Darkness and Why Bother?
For the Memorial Day weekend, Alex & Chris take a look at creative demons and angels in an unusual way.  First Chris shares some honest and painful insight into his own struggles with doubt and fears, while trying to build his career.  Then it's a look at Alex's creative battles, but through his being interviewed by Jerzy and Rob, co-hosts of the podcast LEAN INTO ART.   It's another of TTDS' revealing experiments in artistic transparency, but from an additional point of view.   Click here for Alex's interview on the podcast, Lean Into Art. Please leave your comments and questions in our comments section. Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com Join Alex for the 1st of his summer Write Right Webinars, May 30, 2019, 7 PM EST, on Facebook Live.  Get a head start on his free writing tips by click here, WRITE RIGHT: COMPELLING CHARACTERS.
31:07
May 26, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #87: WHAT MUST WE DO FOR OUR ART?
Returning tired and inspired from a weekend comic con in Philadelphia, co-host Alex Simmons goes solo for this episode.  His time at the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention left him with many thoughts about artists, choices, life and death, and what we lose and gain for our art.  Leave your comments and questions for us in our comments section. Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
37:42
May 20, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #86: Why Care Who You Write For?
In this week's episode, Alex and Chris discuss why care who you write for, yourself or an audience.  Does it make a difference as long as you tell the story in your head? Does knowing who you're trying to reach affect what you write and how you accomplish that task?  Does making that decision ahead of time affect the quality of your work, the topics you'll tackle, or the genre you'll use?  They'll share their knowledges and experiences.  Will you? If so, drop a comment in our Comments Section. Have questions for us?  Then post them too ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
58:21
May 12, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #85: Spoilers Assemble! An Avengers Endgame Analysis - Pt 2
Part 2: Alex and Chris continue their analysis of Avengers: Endgame from the perspective of older fans and writers/creators. The result is a two-part extravaganza celebrating the writing/producer/directing/acting/behind the camera efforts to create this epic conclusion to an unprecedented 22-film tapestry of a story. Our opinions differ at times from other podcasters and YouTubers coming at this from a younger perspective (or, in one case, a Hawkeye hating POV), and we alternate between being fans of a certain age and longtime creators offering insight, but, ultimately, we hope you enjoy  our take on a masterful example of creatives all working together to Tell The Damn Story. Have questions or comments for us, and I hope you do?  Then post them in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
01:01:12
May 5, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #84 Spoilers Assemble! An Avengers Endgame Analysis - Pt. 1
Alex and Chris offer a spoiler-rich analysis of Avengers: Endgame from the perspective of older fans and writers/creators. The result is a two-part extravaganza celebrating the writing/producer/directing/acting/behind the camera efforts to create this epic conclusion to an unprecedented 22-film tapestry of a story. Our opinions differ at times from other podcasters and YouTubers coming at this from a younger perspective (or, in one case, a Hawkeye hating POV), and we alternate between being fans of a certain age and longtime creators offering insight, but, ultimately, we hope you enjoy  our take on a masterful example of creatives all working together to Tell The Damn Story. Have questions or comments for us, and I hope you do?  Then post them in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
59:28
May 5, 2019
Tell The Damn Story Episode #83: From Russia to the U.S. And Back. Telling The Story Through Comics
They came to the U.S. to see how we tell stories about social justice through comics.  In this episode Alex and Chris interview several artists (Anastasia, Alexey, and Mitia) from Russia.  For a little over a week they toured the country meeting independent  and main stream comic artists and publishers.  That in itself is quite a story.  But even more amazing is their efforts to reflect through their comics, some of the same issues we face all over the world, even here at home.  Art truly is the bridge. * This was not recorded in a studio, but from several different locations.  Also, since english is not the first language for all the participants  (plus Chris and Alex are not bi-lingual), so you'll have to listen more closely.  Have questions or comments for us, and I hope you do?   Post them in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com For info on the KIDS COMIC CON: www.KIDSCOMICCON. COM
49:32
April 28, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #82: What's Behind 13 Years of Producing the Kids Comic Con?
Movies based on comics are a billion dollar business. Comics are a million dollar business, especially with racy adult material. And many comic conventions bring in thousands of dollars, catering to a pop culture fan base. So how does a little con in the Bronx, with almost no budget, catering just to kids and families, survive for 13 years? On this episode Chris interviews KIDS COMIC CON co-founder, Alex Simmons, and this year's KCC'S Events Manager, Maureen Britt. The goal? To learn how to Alex the team of volunteers have managed to produce these shows that draw over 700 children and their families -- with  no serious funding. Listen and learn. Have questions or comments for us, and I hope you do?   Post them in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com For info on the KIDS COMIC CON: www.KIDSCOMICCON. COM
44:37
April 20, 2019
Tell The Damn Story #81: From "What if" to 13 Years: Getting to "Yes" with Your Creative Endeavors
Alex Simmons and Chris Ryan discuss how to keep going when there are roadblocks thrown in front of your creativity. They speak of pop culture phenomena and their own projects, from brand new ideas to works in progress to 13 years of the Kids Comic Con! Have questions or comments for us, and I hope you do?   Post them in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com For info on the KIDS COMIC CON: www.KIDSCOMICCON. COM
54:20
April 14, 2019
Tell The Damn Story: What Do Avenger #80: Endgame & Kids Comic Con Have In Common? Marketing!
Chris and Alex are comparing a multi-billion dollar property (with a multi-million dollar promotion budget), with a grassroots kids comic convention in the Bronx?! Yes.  They're set to discuss both and more in this episode of Tell The Damn Story. Have questions or comments for us, and I hope you do?   Post them in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com For info on the KIDS COMIC CON: www.KIDSCOMICCON. COM
48:37
April 7, 2019
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #79: How Do You Face Creative Depression?
Alex and Chris discuss numerous aspects of creative depression from "The Mean Editor" interior voice to worrying about aging, to time, to dealing with collaborators and publishers who do not share your vision. And they suggest ways to deal with each in what threatens to become “a very special episode” of Tell the Damn Story. Have questions or comments for us, and I hope you do?  Post them in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
01:01:09
March 31, 2019
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #78: How Hard Is It To Give Credit Where Credit Is Due?
Being a freelance artists (writer, illustrator, dancer, etc.) can be a hard road to travel.  It's not just about the quality of your craft. It's also about the level of your business skills, and the ethics of the business world.  In this episode Alex and Chris reflect on that and the hard times many comic artists have faced over the past 80 years.   The financial worth of comics have grown from five cent newspapers fillers, to multi-billion dollar intellectual properties. Where did and do the creators fit in that whirl-wind of wealth?  Have questions or comments for us, and I hope you do?  Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
37:25
March 24, 2019
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #77: Choosing To Write Outside Life Experience (Race, Religion, and More)
In this episode Alex and Chris verbally cruise the choppy waters of the right to write debate.  Should writers tell stories about life experiences (race, religion, etc.) that they haven't lived.  If so, what are their responsibilities? What harm can come out of it?  What good? Will Chris and Alex have the answers, or just raise more questions? Have questions or comments for us, and I hope you do?  Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com   
01:14:49
March 17, 2019
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #76: Chris Ryan Interviews Mystery Author & Ex-Journalist, R.G. Belsky
A little while back, Chris attended the Deadly Ink Writer's Conference in central New Jersey.  There he met and interviewed several other talented authors to get a glimpse of their process for telling the damn story.  So listen up as he shares some process and experiences of mystery writer and ex-journalist R.G. BELSKY. Have questions or comments for us, and I hope you will? Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
14:13
March 10, 2019
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #75: An Interview With "Black Lightning" Creator, Tony Isabella
In this episode, Alex has to roll solo as he sits down with one of the comic industries best talents, writer/creator Tony Isabella. Tony worked for both Marvel and DC Comics starting back in the seventies, and is best known as the creator of the popular character, "Black Lightning." But there's more to his long and formidable history.  And there's a lot more to the story behind those years, and the other characters he's written or created. So sit back, listen, laugh and learn about his creative path from Cleveland to Hollywood. Post your comments or questions in the comments section below ... Or write to us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com.
01:23:52
March 3, 2019
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #73: TTDS Challenges Black History Month!
This week Alex and Chris discuss what Black History Month means, what it should mean, whether Michael B Jordan should play Superman, and explore Blackjack's place in American history. Post your comments or questions in the comments section below ... Or write to us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com.
59:38
February 17, 2019
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged: Joss Whedon, From Vampires to Galactic Gods!
In Part 2 of our double your fun Brown Coat podcastic experience, Chris and Alex take a walk on the Whedon side. JOSS WHEDON, that is. They discuss the works, creative phIlosophy, industry influence of the man who created Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and more. as well as the director of the Avengers. Special Episode Question To The Public:  What comics book or graphic novel characters would you like to see in  a movie, or a TV series? And what do you think of what's been done so far? Post your comments or questions in the comments section below ... Or write to us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com.
32:46
February 11, 2019
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #71: Matt, Steve and the FIREFLY BROWN COATS, PT 1
In this two-parter, Chris interviews two members of the Pennsylvania Brown Coats, a fan group inspired by the TV series, FIREFLY.  Created by Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Serenity, The Avengers, etc.), the series was short lived, but fan power extended it's life both on the screen, and around the globe.  Matt and Steve explain how much so. Special episode question to the public: What comics book or graphic novel characters would you like to see in movies, or a TV series? And what do you think of what's been done so far? Post your comments or questions in the comments section below ... Or write to us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
13:26
February 4, 2019
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #70: IS IT TIME TO MARVEL AT AWARDS SHOWS?
Alex Simmons and Chris Ryan talk about finding your Twitter Tribe, upcoming DC projects, and whether Hollywood is really ready to honor Marvel's Black Panther.   Special episode question to the public: What comics book or graphic novel characters would you like to see in movies, or a TV series? And what do you think of what's been done so far? Post your comments or questions in the comments section below ... Or write to us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
59:05
January 27, 2019
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #69: The Challenge of Writing About Volatile Topics
In this episode, Alex and Chris cover a wide range of the creative arena, starting with the latest changes in comics, film and TV. Then they wrestle with some of the methods, as well as the pros and emotionally charges cons of writing about hot topics -- even in fiction.  Special episode question to the public: Should Disney create separate channels for their Marvel Comics (i.e. DareDevil and Punisher), Star Wars, and Disney programs?  Post your comments or questions in the comments section below ... Or write to us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
45:40
January 21, 2019
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #68: Batton Lash and the Road to Indy-pendence
In this episode Alex and Chris talk about pop culture Aqua-billions, Spidey-good-sense, some tips for those seeking creative independence, and the passing of a much respected comic industry great, BATTON LASH.  Post your comments or questions in the comments section below ... Or write to us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
38:39
January 13, 2019
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #67: Chris Interviews author, L.A. DiPaolo!
A few months back Chris went on another solo mission to Phil Con, and while there he interviewed 3 talented authors. So sit back and listen to the first and unedited interview. It's with author, L.A. DiPaolo.  Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
13:33
January 6, 2019
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #66: How We Feed The Muse
Hey Folks: It's the end of the year and a time to reflect on what we've learned and what's inspired us to keep going. Those bright lights, or sparkling jewels of knowledge can come as things we've read, heard, or seen. So, join co-hosts Alex and Chris as they look back on the turbulent times we know as 2018, to share, "How We Feed The Muse." * PS: During the podcast I could not remember the name of a particular motivational speaker. Right after we signed off, I did remember. It's Tony Roberts. Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
22:08
December 30, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #65: What Ever Happened To 2018?
Hey Folks: It the end of the year and a time to reflect on what went right, wrong and somewhere in between. And this is the time that most of us discover that we may have gained far more than we've ever lost. So, join co hosts Alex and Chris as they look back on the turbulent time we know as 2018. Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
50:16
December 23, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #64: Pulp, Partners. Deadlines and the "N" Word
Sometimes writing stories about the past challenges our present day sensibilities, and more. Alex and Chris reveal how the pressures of writing two short stories in two weeks, required research, reflection, and restraint.  Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
41:20
December 17, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #63: Chris Ryan Interviews Author Teel James Glenn
Back in October, Chris went on a solo mission to Deadly Ink Writer's Conference in central New Jersey. While honing his own crime fiction writing skills he interviewed several other talented authors. So listen well to the fourth of six, author TEEL JAMES GLENN, as he shares some of his best writing habits and tips. Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
19:08
December 10, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #62: How Is "Done Is Better Than Perfect?
Alex is early morning solo as he ponders the artistic side of the popular online mantra, "Done Is Better Than Perfect." Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
20:49
December 5, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #61: Chris Interviews Mystery Writer, Art Taylor!
Back in October, Chris went on a solo mission to Deadly Ink Writer's Conference in central New Jersey. While honing his own crime fiction writing skills he interviewed several other talented authors. So listen well to his third of six, as they share their highly developed writing skills, habits and tips. Attentive persons, meet mystery writer Art Taylor. Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
21:01
November 25, 2018
Tell The Damn Story Unplugged #60: Stripping Comics Strips (Or Behind Creation) with Jerry Craft
In this episode host Alex Simmons interviews graphic novelist, creator/writer, and children's book illustrator, JERRY CRAFT. Jerry shares some of the funny but also twisted turns he had to take as an black artist, creating black non-stereotypical characters in the comics world. [*This is half of an interview I did with Jerry about his homework and about his impressions of my character Blackjack. If you'd like to hear the Blackjack portion of his interview let me know in the comments below.] Please leave us your comments below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
20:48
November 18, 2018
Tell The Damn Story Unplugged #59: STAN LEE HAS COME AND GONE
The Real "True Believer" is gone. Alex and Chris share thoughts and personal memories about the legend that was Stan Lee. As Alex put it, "he was the P.T. Barnum of the comics industry ... the face of Marvel..." His collaborations with many great artists, and his business and marketing savvy helped build a multi-billion dollar property. *After the show leave a comment about your favorite Stan Lee creation, story, saying, or appearance. Please leave us your comments below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
23:41
November 12, 2018
Tell The Damn Story Unplugged #58: TTDS How Does A The Hollywood Film Deal Work? Pt 2
Welcome to the second part of Alex and Chris' discussion about the facts and fancies surrounding the quest for a Hollywood film or TV deal? Is all the negotiating, research, paperwork, waiting and more a road to fortune and fame, or disillusion and shame? Please leave us your comments below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.come Damn Story
25:40
November 12, 2018
Tell The Damn Story Unplugged #57: TTDS How Does A The Hollywood Film Deal Work? Pt 1
Alex and Chris discuss the facts and fancies surrounding the quest for a Hollywood film or TV deal? Is it just like winning the lottery, or more like back stroking in a tsunami? Please leave us your comments below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
26:42
November 11, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #56: Confessions of A Writer's Week
As independent writers and publishers, Alex and Chris have had a week stuffed with author activity. They've been traveling the full range of a writer’s experience. So listen in as they discuss a creators experience of patrons buying their work (Blackjack - Trial..); positive reviews and fan exuberant quotes, trying to build on the momentum, and ... the odd cure for rejection. Please leave us your comments below ... Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
27:59
November 4, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #55: Alex Interviews ECBACC Media Tech, Dionne Stallworth. Pt 3
Release of the new Blackjack (Rapid Read book), TRIAL BY FIRE, TRIAL BY ICE, delayed the posting of the 3rd episode of the series WHY BLACKJACK, where Alex continues to explore the appeal of his action adventure creation, ARRON DAY aka BLACKJACK. So here is Part Three of the interview with ECBACC media tech, and Blackjack fan, Dionne Stallworth. This concludes their conversation about childhood challenges, comic book inspirations, and the importance of history and cultural identity. Please leave us your comments below ... Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
15:34
November 3, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #54: Alex Interviews ECBACC Media Tech, Dionne Stallworth, Pt 2
In this second episode of the series WHY BLACKJACK, Alex continues to explore the appeal of his action adventure creation, ARRON DAY aka BLACKJACK. Part two of the interview with ECBACC media tech, and Blackjack fan, Dionne Stallworth. The conversation covers childhood challenges, comic book inspirations, and the importance of history and cultural identity. All that and Stan Lee too. Please leave us your comments below ... Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
15:15
October 29, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #53: Alex Interviews Blackjack Fan Dionne Stallworth. Pt 1
In this second episode of the series WHY BLACKJACK, Alex continues to explore the appeal of his action adventure creation, ARRON DAY aka BLACKJACK. This time it's with ECBACC media tech, and Blackjack fan, Dionne Stallworth. The conversation covers childhood challenges, comic book inspirations, and the importance of history and cultural identity. All that and Stan Lee too. Please leave us your comments below ... Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
15:25
October 27, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #52: The Hidden Challenges of Blackjack Trial By Fire, Trial By Ice
How do you write and remain true to the story when personal and political storms are brewing? Your hosts, Alex and Chris, celebrate as well as reveal some of the thoughts, challenges, and fears behind writing this latest Arron Day double action-adventure, "Blackjack: Trial By Fire, Trial By Ice." Please leave us your comments below ... Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
33:05
October 25, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #51: Alex Interviews One of the First Blackjack Artist, ERIC BATTLE. Pt 1
Alex sets out to explore the appeal of his action adventure creation, ARRON DAY aka BLACKJACK. This is the first of several interviews with the people that helped prove stories about a 1930s African-American soldier of fortune have mass appeal. So listen to this interview with artist extraordinaire, ERIC BATTLE, Part one. Please leave us your comments below ... Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com (*A new adventure has just been released, "Blackjack: Trial By Fire, Trial By Ice." Available on Amazon.com.) (*Sorry this episode is out of sequence. Oops!)
47:31
October 25, 2018
Tell The Damn Story Unplugged #50: Alex Simmons Asks ERIC BATTLE, WHY BLACKJACK? Pt 2
As a new book prepares to launch, Alex sets out to explore the appeal of his action adventure creation, ARRON DAY aka BLACKJACK. He starts here with the first of several interviews, with Blackjack artists and fans, to learn why tales about a 1930s African-American soldier of fortune has such mass appeal. Please leave us your comments below ... Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
12:60
October 19, 2018
Tell The Damn Story Unplugged #49: Alex Simmons Asks ERIC BATTLE, WHY BLACKJACK? Pt 2
As a new book prepares to launch, Alex sets out to explore the appeal of his action adventure creation, ARRON DAY aka BLACKJACK. He starts here with the first of several interviews, with Blackjack artists and fans, to learn why tales about a 1930s African-American soldier of fortune has such mass appeal. Please leave us your comments below ... Or write us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
17:30
October 17, 2018
Tell The Damn Story Unplugged #48: Is Superhero Pop Culture Defeating Itself?
Alex and Chris are back together again talking out whether superhero pop culture is about to experience it's own INFINITY WAR. And if so, who is Thanos? Corporations? Fans? Or an increasingly divisive culture? Please leave us your comments below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
46:47
October 14, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #47: Chris Interviews, Carol Gyzander!
Chris went on a solo mission to Deadly Ink Writer's Conference in central New Jersey. While lurking and ferreting out creative intel, he also conversed with several other talented authors. So listen well to his first of 6 interrogat ... uh, I mean interviews, as they share their highly developed writing skills, habits and tips. His second interview is with author, Carol Gyzander.  Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
13:36
October 9, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #46: Chris w mystery author A. J. Sidransky
Chris went on a solo mission to Deadly Ink Writer's Conference in central New Jersey. While lurking and ferreting out creative intel, he also conversed with several other talented authors. So listen well to his first of 6 interrogat ... uh, I mean interviews, as they share their highly developed writing skills, habits and tips. First up, mystery/history/romance author A. J. Sidransky. Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
21:43
October 2, 2018
Tell The Damn Story Unplugged #45: Chris Ryan at PulpFest, Interview 5: Bob Deis & Wyatt Doyle
Chris Ryan's is still on the road. He's in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania at an event called PULPFEST, not only as a writer/creator, but also to interview others who have created stories in a very particular genre, pulp adventures! Hi next interviewee ... Bob Deis & Wyatt Doyle. Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
31:37
September 23, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #44: Chris Ryan at PulpFest, Interview 7: Jim Beard
Here's the next great interview Chris Ryan achieved while on the road in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania at PULPFEST. Chris managed to interview writer, creators, illustrators, and others who have created stories in the pulp adventures genre! This time his interview is with the talented author ... Jim Beard. Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
18:01
September 23, 2018
Tell The Damn Story Unplugged #43: Writing When Your Heart & Your Head Ain't In It
In this episode Simmons "Fesses Up." Alex goes solo to shares some of the emotional hardships and confusion he faced trying to write a story that should have been a breeze. Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
28:50
September 23, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #42: Is Being True To You on Social Media A Trap, Pt 1
With "snipers," "spammers," and "trolls" waiting in the digital bushes and hills of the internet, how do promote on social media. Alex and Chris tackled the high points and pitfalls of being artists and entrepreneur being themselves while trying to promote their products. Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
31:41
September 23, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #41: Is Being True To You on Social Media A Trap, Pt 2
Here's the conclusion of this Alex and Chris' discussion on the pros and cons of being your real self on social media. How can artists promote their projects and still face the internet "snipers," "spammers," and "trolls" waiting in the digital bushes and hills? Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
35:29
September 23, 2018
Tell The Damn Story Unplugged #40: Night of the Living Deadlines
Alex and Chris discuss the disciplines and dangers of trying to meet the  DREADED DEADLINES. They also shares insights and tips as they share some of their own deadline fails and how they coped. Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
55:03
September 4, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #39: Chris Ryan at PulpFest, Interview 9: Colin Richards
Here's the last great interview Chris Ryan achieved while on the road in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania at PULPFEST. Chris managed to interview writer/creators and others who have created stories in the pulp adventures genre! This time his interview is with Colin Richards. Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
08:03
August 27, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #38: Chris Ryan at PulpFest, Interview 8: Mark Wheatley & Henry Franke
Here's the next great interview Chris Ryan achieved while on the road in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania at PULPFEST. Chris managed to interview writer/creators and others who have created stories in the pulp adventures genre! This time his interview is with the well known artist, Mark Wheatley and and his associate, Henry Franke. Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
11:49
August 19, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #37: Chris Ryan at PulpFest, Interview 6: Joe R. Lansdale
Here's the next great interview Chris Ryan achieved while on the road in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania at PULPFEST. Chris managed to interview writer, creators, illustrators, and others who have created stories in the pulp adventures genre!  This time his interview is with the well known ... Joe R. Lansdale.  Have questions or comments for us?  Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com 
18:47
August 12, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #36: Interview With The Africa Cartoon Centre, Pt. 2
Alex continues with Part 2 of the interview with Mr. Adedotun Salu and his associates at the Africa Cartoon Centre (ACC) in Lagos, Nigeria. They'll offer more information on their GLOBAL comic art poster contest, as well as other comic and cartoon projects, they've started to challenge social issues facing youth in their country. Africa Cartoon Centre Web site: www.accentre.org Email: AfriCartoonCentre@gmail.com Facebook:  Africa Cartoon Centre Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
18:34
August 11, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #35: Interview With The Africa Cartoon Centre, Pt. 1
Alex and Chris begin a two-part interview with Mr. Adedotun Salu and his associates at the Africa Cartoon Centre (ACC) in Lagos, Nigeria. They'll discuss a new comic art poster contest, as well as other comic and cartoon projects, that they've started to challenge social issues facing youth in their country. Africa Cartoon Centre Web site: www.accentre.org Email: AfriCartoonCentre@gmail.com Facebook: Africa Cartoon Centre Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
13:55
August 11, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #34: Chris Ryan at PulpFest! Pt 4.
Chris Ryan's is still on the road. He's in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania at an event called PULPFEST, not only as a writer/creator, but also to interview others who have created stories in a very particular genre, pulp adventures! Hi next interviewee ... David Kalb, Bill Mann, and Chris Kalb of Age of Aces Books. Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below or on ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
09:04
August 1, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #33: Chris Ryan at PulpFest! Pt 3.
Chris Ryan's is still on the road. He's in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania at an event called PULPFEST, not only as a writer/creator, but also to interview others who have created stories in a very particular genre, pulp adventures! Hi next interviewee ... Interviewee: Brett A. Brooks Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below or on ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
14:44
August 1, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #32: Chris Ryan at PulpFest! Pt 2.
Chris Ryan's is still on the road. He's in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania at an event called PULPFEST, not only as a writer/creator, but also to interview others who have created stories in a very particular genre, pulp adventures! Hi next interviewee ... author Sara Light-Waller. *Want to leave a comment or ask a question? Do so in the Comments section or... Please do so by contacting us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
23:53
July 28, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #31: Chris Ryan at PulpFest! Pt 1
It's Chris Ryan's turn to hit the road. He's in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania at an event called PULPFEST, not only as a writer/creator, but also to interview others who have created stories in a very particular genre, pulp adventures! First author up ... Joab Stieglitz. *Want to leave a comment or ask a question? Do so in the Comments section or... Please do so by contacting us at: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com
09:32
July 27, 2018
Tell The Damn Story Unplugged #30: Interview at Helsinki Comic Center, Pt. 2
(This is part 2 of 2) While traveling through a few cities in Europe, co-host Alex Simmons has a meeting with two artists/members (Ainur and Remi) of the Comics Center of Helsinki in Helsinki, Finland. They are The interview gave all three a chance to discuss the creative, entertainment, educational, community benefits, historical and global advances of comics and graphic novels. Helsinki Comics Center Website: http://www.sarjakuvakeskus.fi/
20:60
July 17, 2018
Tell The Damn Story-Unplugged #29: Interview at the Comics Center of Helsinki, Finland.
While traveling through a few cities in Europe, co-host Alex Simmons has a meeting with two artists/members of the Comics Center of Helsinki in Helsinki, Finland. The interview gave all three a chance to discuss the creative, entertainment, educational, community benefits, historical and global advances of comics and graphic novels. This is Episode 1 of a 2 parter. Have questions or comments for us? Post in the comments section below or on ... Or write: TTDSOnAir@gmail.com