S2.3 Mermaid at the Mall

Mermaid at the Mall by Tamara Hecht a Monsterville story

Tamara Hecht is an author and monster movie enthusiast.  She is working on her third book in a children’s series called Monsterville. Tamara loves nature, video games, ghost stories, and learning about other cultures.  She would like to encourage people to write the books they wish existed.

Website http://turtlehill.wix.com/monsterville
Book 1 Welcome to Monsterville
Book 2 Music Room

Music is provided by MADS.

You can support 600 Second Saga by giving us a 5-star review on iTunes.

Scrivener and Marketing

Scrivener is THE tool. It’s great. If you’ve used it for writing, you likely enjoy it. It might be too complex or not quite right, but a lot of people really love it. I certainly am a fan. But mostly I use it for writing novels, short stories, things like that. But this year I’ve expanded how I use it. I’ve started using it as a promotional tool.

Scrivener and Marketing

I have a file that’s just my name (it started as just the name of the podcast but I use it for more than that). And it has in it several sets of things one is a task tracking kind of set. It’s not a great To-Do tool, but for the things that I’m using it for (add the podcast to these places, write up this author interview, etc) it works great, I move them through and then have the final information on things I’ve done all compiled together.

Task Tracking

First is a task tracking kind of set. It’s not a great To-Do tool, but for the things that I’m using it for (add the podcast to these places, write up this author interview, etc) it works great, I move them through and then have the final information on things I’ve done all compiled together.

  • To Do
  • In Progress
  • Waiting
  • Completed

About Me

I have a folder that is just “About Me” and it has in it a lot of links. So many links. All my social media links, all my books in all the places they are (and for a bonus…the html for some of those link sets), all the podcast links etc. This makes it much easier when some form wants me to enter all this information? Just open this up and drop in all the links. It also means if anything happens to the website, or anywhere else? I’ve got that code right at my finger tips.

I also have my bio. All the forms of it organized and as I imagine it evolves I’ll have older versions stashed away there too.


I have a media folder. Some day I’d like that folder that is sort of a press kit. And that would be a generic version. I think the ideal place for the press kit for each book will be in that book’s Scrivener file. (Though…here would be nice too…hm.)

The media I have right now is all the links to my work, interviews, places you can find someone else talking about me, or me talking to someone else.

Prompt: Brain Scans

Happy Friday!

I find myself often being prompted to write based on a news or newsish story I read. I thought I’d try posting those on Fridays and see if people like it.

Prompt: Brain Scans

Article: Could brain scans determine guilt? from a great podcast that I really enjoy Quirks and Quarks. (The transcript has been included and more information.)


What happens if we start to really come to have a solid handle scientifically on who people who will commit crimes are? Who is recidivists? What the trends are? We are a very long way out from being exact. But we might be closer to knowing that someone’s brain has a tendency to quickly anger, to behave impulsively. We might know which brains are more antiauthoritarian, which are more likely to resist, to fight back.

Do we treat people differently? Do we treat? Do we jail? Do we protect people? Do we decide that it doesn’t matter what your intent was? Do we decide that’s all that matters?

What questions come to your mind when you read this? What futures do you see?

S2.2 Career Choices for Young Shape-shifters

Career Choices for Young Shape-shifters by Russell Hemmell

Career Choices for Young Shape-shifters first appeared on Theme of Absence

Russell Hemmell is a statistician and social scientist from the U.K, passionate about astrophysics and speculative fiction. Recent stories in Not One of Us, SQ Mag, Strangelet, and others.

Read more on earthianhivemind.net or @SPBianchini.

Music is provided by MADS.

You can support 600 Second Saga by giving us a 5-star review on iTunes.


I see something come up fairly frequently in conversations about writing, becoming a writing, why you write. Some people talk about it like it is a compulsion. It isn’t for me. I don’t have to write. I won’t die if I don’t write. Writing isn’t like breathing. I have during times of my life not written fiction at all. This is sort of two fold…

Not a compulsion

Compulsion for me is when I stand at the door to my apartment and check the handle for the 4th or 5th or 9th time to make sure it’s locked. It’s when I hit the elevator button and then go back to check anyway. It’s when I get all the way down and out of the building and struggle to not turn around and go back to check one more time. Just one more time. That’s compulsion. The fight with myself to not do the thing that my brain is telling me I HAVE TO DO OR THE WORLD WILL END. For me that’s check to make sure my door is locked when I’m stressed.

Writing is none of those things. I like it, I feel better when I do it, I enjoy it. I get frustrated with it. Sometimes I even stay up to late doing it. But my brain never says the world will end if I don’t do it. I have never had to grab my own hand and pull it away from the keyboard.

I’m not saying this isn’t true for everyone. It might be. But it isn’t for me.

Sometimes I’ve even not written

Gasp to those who say that writing is like breathing. But I’ve gone long stretches in my life where I didn’t write. Where I was convinced that I wasn’t creative. That I wasn’t interesting. That the words I thought weren’t worth the paper. I would feel like maybe I was good at the thing I was good at, but that was it, that was what I got to do with my life and that way that.

I would read things and it was the same thing. I’ve always know I’d write. I’ve written forever. Writing is like breathing. Not a lot of, “Hey, so listen, writing is hard fucking work. It’s not always, or even usually, rewarding. It’s not shiny. It’s not easy. It’s not magic. It isn’t a panacea. It won’t change the way anything happens overnight. But you can do it. Even if you don’t breath writing. You can do it.”

And you know what? It is way more the second than the first. It is much more, in my experience at least, work and hard and not magic. It’s not like fairies and dancing bunnies. Maybe it’s fairies and dancing bunnies for some people. But if it isn’t? And you still want to do it? DAMN RIGHT! Keep putting that pen to paper or those fingers to the keyboard.

So no, I don’t feel a compulsion. I can go to sleep having not written another chapter. (And on a good night without having triple checked the door lock.) But that doesn’t make me not a writer. Or a bad one. And if you are unsure because you don’t feel the same compulsion to write as you do to check to make sure your door is locked (or whatever you may or may not have a compulsion to do) that’s ok. You can still do it.

It’s hard work. But I can do hard work. And so can you.

S2.1 We’re Going to the Zoo

We're Going to the Zoo

Welcome back for Season 2!


We’re Going to the Zoo by M L Moos

M L Moos writes YA fantasy and is currently working on a magical trilogy featuring three young heroines and an undersea treasure hunt adventure. To learn more, go to her Facebook page.

She lives in Washington with her husband, two boys and one country cat with a cougar alter ego. When she’s not writing or reading, she’s either baking, volunteering at her church or watching Jane Austen movies to make up for the overabundance of testosterone. On the rare occasion she makes it out into public, though, she’s always sure to be glamorous in her mom hair and yoga pants.

You can find her on Facebook @mlmoos or at her blog or on Twitter @mlmoosauthor

Music is provided by MADS.

You can support 600 Second Saga by giving us a 5-star review on iTunes. You can also visit our Patreon site to support us.




ISWG Marketing

Another round of questions/prompts from Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The actual question is about using the annual A to Z Challenge and marketing, networking, and publicity. I’m really looking forward to reading what other authors have to say about this. I have not. So I’m going to talk about marketing a little more broadly.

Marketing and Mom

I recently had a conversation with my mother about my books. She wanted to get to read one, or listen to one of the audiobooks. Which is great, and I didn’t get a chance to take her phone and take care of getting her set up on Audible, but hopefully soon.

The really interesting thing that I became aware of through this conversation was that my own mother doesn’t know that I have 3 books out (or 2 novella and a novel, depending on how you describe them). That’s…concerning.

She follows me on FB. She listens to the podcast.

And my own mother doesn’t know. Now this could be several things. It could be she actively avoids news about me or she’s blocked me or she didn’t listen/read any of my stuff. But that’s not it. She actively listens, she interacts on FB so fb isn’t hiding all my posts.

I think I’m doing a bad job talking about it.

I recently learned there are a few other people who were surprised I had a podcast, had written books, or had audiobooks.

Social Strategies

I’m bad at coming up with them. I’m nervous about following through. I really don’t want to bug people. I don’t want to get to the point of annoying. I don’t want to get blocked.

But I do want people to know. I want people to be able to discover. I want the people who DO want to know, to actually know.

I’ve been trying to engage in social media.

Good things:

  • My pinned twitter post is about the podcast
  • I do have a books page (see above!) with links to my books (e and audio!)
  • I do have a page (see above!) about the podcast (which I think has a very small note about patreon- I still want people to support authors first and foremost, and I’ll keep retweeting/sharing etc)
  • I’ve been engaging in a handful of FB groups
  • I’ve been trying to engage in some of the Twitter chats (though I need a better plan to remember to do those!)


Less great – things I can/should improve:

  • Twitter bio doesn’t say I have any books out at all, I don’t think I’ve even tweeted out patreon (hopefully I will have by the time this post is live)
  • Facebook bio is worse …
  • I don’t have anything on my website here that links to the media I’ve engaged in
  • On most of the FB groups I haven’t even introduced myself (which is problematic in multiple ways, I really need to do it but I’m so …nervous? unsure?…I guess insecure? That I’m not enough of a …person? fancy person? something? to bother. But I know that I like introductions from people. I want to see them. Why am I so stressed that I’m going to get my own wrong?


I have a few things on my to-do list that are marketing related that hopefully will help.

  • Work on a YouTube/podcast “trailer”/ad
  • That ad (or a variant of it) will also be the base for an ad that I’m going to use to promote the podcast in a few other places
  • Try to introduce myself to 1 FB group per weekend (I’m not going to introduce myself in all of them, just a few where it makes sense), so starting next weekend – 1 group (She Podcasts – see even listing is to I’m holding myself responsible!)
  • Read a boatload of the other IWSG blog posts and see who has amazing ideas and take and actually DO 1 of them

Finally, do this:

Tune in later today at 6 pm for the first episode of Season 2 of 600 Second Saga, we’ll be featuring ML Moos and a fantastic new episode!

One Year of Podcasting

It’s been a whole year! I’ve now got one year of podcasting complete. There are 52 episodes of 600 Second Saga! 53, because there was a bonus episode in there.

Have a listen!

It’s been a great year. I’ve read so many amazing stories. I cannot thank the amazing authors who have been a part of this year enough. Thank you to everyone who has given me the opportunity to share their stories.

Thank you to the amazing listeners. I love hearing from people who listen to the podcast. I know as a podcast listener that most people who listen never say anything, so to those of you who listen and haven’t said anything, I get it! To those of you who have, I really appreciate it. (And so do the authors.) The reason I do this is to share amazing stories with listeners like you. Thank you.


We will be taking a short break before Season 2. I’ve managed 52…53 episodes, so we are going to take a little break between seasons here. It’s only a couple weeks to make a few changes and upgrades to gear and set up to make things better. All of the back episodes are there and will continue to be there. We won’t be taking down old seasons so you can always listen. Go back and relisten to your favorites, discover new favorites, and tune back in soon!

Season 2

We’ll be back at the start of April and moving from Friday release to Wednesday release. You’ll be able to listen on your way to work Thursday mornings!

M L Moos who has done some amazing pieces for us will kick off Season 2 with a great new story on April 5th.

I am still looking for submission for Season 2. And the offer to give feedback on pieces is still open, just let me know if you are interested in feedback and I’m happy to help.

I’m looking forward to an amazing Season 2 and many more.

If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

S1.52 The Feed

The Feed

The Feed
The Feed

The Feed by Andrew Milne

Andrew Milne is a lifelong sci-fi fan and chronic daydreamer. He graduated from the University of Dundee in 2012 and now lives and works in Edinburgh, where he currently spends his off-hours slowly but surely working on his first novel. He also comprises one-half of the Two Friends Watch film review podcast.

Find Andrew on Facebook
Two Friends Watch

Music is provided by MADS.

You can support 600 Second Saga by giving us a 5-star review on iTunes.