The Halfling and the Spaceman

M.D. Boncher, Author

May 21, 2023 Janet & Roger Carden Season 2 Episode 21
The Halfling and the Spaceman
M.D. Boncher, Author
Show Notes Transcript

Joining us today is writer Michael Boncher, or M.D. as he is known.  He's a writer, artist, and musician!  He does it all!

References and Links:

M.D. Boncher, Author

[00:00:00] Halfling: Thanks for tuning in to the Halflingand the Spaceman: Journeys in Active Fandom. We're having great conversations with people that have turned their love of fandom into something creative. We're fans talking to fans. And joining us today is writer Michael Boncher, or MD as he's known. He's a writer, artist, and musician, and he does it all.

[00:00:27] Halfling: Welcome to the show, Michael.

[00:00:30] M.D. Boncher: Thanks for having me.

[00:00:32] Halfling: Ah, thanks. Thanks for being here. It's great to have you. So why don't we get started by you just telling us a little about yourself and what your background is.

[00:00:40] M.D. Boncher: Uh, well, uh, I to, like I say in my bio, I kinda led the, uh, writer's life as Stephen King once called. It led lots of different jobs and different careers. It kind of gave me a broad feel for life in, in lots of ways. Um, Generally speaking, that is, that's sort of informed my writing. I come from a family with a lot of musical background as well.

[00:01:04] M.D. Boncher: Uh, so I was raised singing and I attempted to learn the piano and I got enough down to get me into trouble, so to speak. But it helps when I, uh, compose my own music. Um, I went to college for English and Art. I originally wanted to get into comic books, but that dream didn't really make it so, uh, I sort of shelved my writing for many, for many years.

[00:01:26] M.D. Boncher: And my creative efforts went off into gaming. I'd been playing and running, uh, role playing games tabletops since 1980. So I was a, I, I'm an OG when it comes to R P G and, uh

[00:01:42] Halfling: So are we.

[00:01:44] M.D. Boncher: Oh, excellent. It's good to talk to someone of your, of your same caliber there. But yep, I, uh, I was. Basically, I started out going, you know, I have all these great story ideas in my head.

[00:01:56] M.D. Boncher: I, I really would like to have an audience larger than six to eight. And so I started thinking, well, maybe I'll take these big stories and start putting them down and coming up with something. And it wasn't until I was, can't sort of came back to gaming after a hiatus that I kinda hit on my loose thread.

[00:02:15] M.D. Boncher: And it was literally a gaming or a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Where I got to make a monk in 2003 and first words outta my mouth was to introduce myself. And I said, I'm Brother Reimar of the Haviarian order. And there was this little ding in the head and I was like, there's something there. I don't know what, but there's something there.

[00:02:37] M.D. Boncher: Of course, it took me 13 years then to unravel that thread and it turned into my first, um, my first series, uh, the Akiniwazisaga. And so all from that one little, little moment in gaming such, such things have, uh, developed.

[00:02:54] Spaceman: You know, it's amazing that if something as little as that or "in a hole there lives a hobbit" can just build an entire world.

[00:03:03] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:03:04] M.D. Boncher: Absolutely. Oh, I should mention I am an expatriated, cheesehead living in the mountains of West Virginia. Came down here, uh, my wife and I, we met at a writer's conference and fell out of touch after which for a few years, came back and, ran into each other online on a different site and we're like, Hey, do you remember me?

[00:03:22] M.D. Boncher: Oh my goodness, I remember you. Blah, blah, blah. You know how, how it goes. And, uh, within five, yeah, five months later we got married and it was two days before the wedding were the first days I stepped back into the state of West Virginia. And this time, although pretty much to stay. So,

[00:03:42] Halfling: Uh, how long have you guys been married?

[00:03:45] M.D. Boncher: uh, we actually just celebrated our second anniversary.

[00:03:49] Halfling: Okay.

[00:03:50] M.D. Boncher: yeah. Yeah.

[00:03:51] Spaceman: Congratulations. Yeah.

[00:03:53] M.D. Boncher: Thank you very much. It's a, it's a fun story.

[00:03:56] Halfling: Yeah. Yeah. So she's a writer too.

[00:04:00] M.D. Boncher: Well, she's an attempting writer. She has some wonderful ideas, and I am still going do it. Do it now, write it. And she's working at it. I'm, I'm helping nudge her along, but I, I am confident that one of the years we are going to see her act really cool idea come out. Uh, she's all wants to be a fantasy writer.

[00:04:22] M.D. Boncher: I do fantasy and sci-fi. So, but right now her biggest push is to try and keep me on the straight and narrow and get my deadlines and do all the other organizational stuff. She's, she's the, uh, she's really the reason why I can get as much done as I can.

[00:04:40] Spaceman: And never overlook how important that is.

[00:04:43] M.D. Boncher: Amen. That is a amen with, you know, sugar on top.

[00:04:50] Halfling: I'm, I'm glad to, to hear you guys say that. Yeah. Well just, just putting that out there. I'm glad to hear y'all say that.

[00:05:00] M.D. Boncher: Absolutely. You gotta have some gratitude to those that make your dreams possible, huh?

[00:05:04] Spaceman: Exactly. Exactly. So Michael, uh, one of the things we, we always talk about from our, our podcast, we talked to people asking them how they went from being consumers of media to creators of media. So everyone we've spoken with had started out as a fan of something and that expired them.

[00:05:25] Spaceman: So what was that first fandom of yours? What was that first thing that lit you on fire and said, you know, I gotta do this. Was it that D&D character, or was this something earlier even than that?

[00:05:37] M.D. Boncher: Um, as for how to explain it, Like most children in the seventies there was the original fandom and it begins with an S and it ends in wars. So Star Wars is what is my earliest, yeah, yeah. You back off with that, that that double finger. Yeah, I see those. I see that. Live long and prosperous stuff. You back off. But I became a fan of Star Wars first and foremost back, you know, 77. I have a distinct memory of it, believe it or not, and I'd seen, you know, Six year old, me seeing the posters going up and, and seeing the commercials on TV of Star Wars and just, you know, that ooh moment. And I still remember, walking down a street in Eagle River, Wisconsin and there's this, you know, little theater there and they have it playing and we're on vacation up there.

[00:06:34] M.D. Boncher: So there's no intent on going to, no, you're not going in there. You're in the great North Woods. You'll go outside and play. You're not going to a movie. And I remember distinctly begging my dad, please let me go in and I wanna watch the movie. Take me, take me, take me in. He's like, no, we're going back to the cabin. So we're go, you go play in nature. Okay. Six year old me goes off into nature, but that's the first movie they ever got to see twice that back when actually seeing movies multiple times was a big deal.

[00:07:05] Halfling: Oh yeah. Oh yeah.

[00:07:06] M.D. Boncher: that wa that was the first one where I had just an instinctual grab to fandom. But what made me want to be a creator, because from point A there Star Wars to point B, the uncanny X-men, I fell in love in the eighties with the, the writing and the work of Chris Claremont.

[00:07:28] M.D. Boncher: I loved his storytelling. And uh, when you spend 19 years working on the same book straight, you're gonna get pretty good at it and be a really good example of some good writing. Um, but yeah, that is what made me want to try and write. And I started writing, you know, school, you had school projects and things like that.

[00:07:48] M.D. Boncher: And I did write on my own, telling myself stories, sort of extensions of role playing games that I've been playing. Um, But I, that was the first time I tried to play in somebody else's sandbox. I, I still have the, to the rejection letter from Tom DeFalco to show. I proved once that I tried, but I, uh, I, that was what made me start going.

[00:08:11] M.D. Boncher: There's something to this more on being a creator. You know, I, I like my own creations and I want a bigger audience than six people

[00:08:19] Spaceman: Oh, well, I, I understand and respect that we won a bigger artist than six people Do too!

[00:08:26] M.D. Boncher: Have it come true someday.

[00:08:27] Spaceman: uh,

[00:08:29] M.D. Boncher: I'm still working on it too.

[00:08:31] Spaceman: All right, so you write fantasies such as the Akiniwazisaga, um But you've also written Dreams Within Dreams, which is more cyberpunk and has sci-fi elements.

[00:08:42] Spaceman: Um, what sparked your interest in those genres?

[00:08:45] M.D. Boncher: Well, when I first decided I'm going to write a novel, I mean, it was actually a point of conscious decision where I fought with myself and I'm like, well, I wrote fantasy first because I couldn't find any fantasy that I could read. I'm a born again Christian and a lot of the subject matters and sort of the underpinnings of a lot of fantasy I can't touch. I, I, it just, it scrapes my spirit the wrong way. And I mean, it's great for some people, but I file under the category of not your target audience. So I said, well, if nobody else is writing it out there, well, maybe I'm somebody, I ought to write it. But then I said, but I don't wanna write fantasy unless I can do it in my way.

[00:09:30] M.D. Boncher: So I said, fine. What is it that I like about fantasy and what do I wanna put into it? And I said, I like low fantasy. I don't need everything to be earth shattering and everything like that. I want Vikings, I want Indians because I love those things. I love the Great Lakes. So I've piled these things together and then said, you know what else I want?

[00:09:48] M.D. Boncher: I want Steamboats because reasons. I like Steamboats. I have books on Great Lakes history, and it's, it's a bit of a passion of mine. So I have, I, I'm like, I wanna, I wanna see that. So I created myself Steam Powered Vikings and shoveled it in there

[00:10:04] Spaceman: Ooh,

[00:10:05] M.D. Boncher: And then came, the big question is how do you take literal Christianity?

[00:10:11] M.D. Boncher: You know, cuz that was gonna be the basis for all things metaphysical and make it something fantastical and fun that anybody could watch or, or read, really. Right. I went, wait a minute, the gifts of the spirit, the miracles, all this is in there. Just take the special effects and turn them to 11. You know, as, as spinal tap one said, we, this one goes to 11.

[00:10:32] M.D. Boncher: So

[00:10:33] Spaceman: more, in'nit

[00:10:33] M.D. Boncher: I did and I put it all together and I, you know how you hear writers and, and you'll hear it from a lot of creatives. I want to do something unique. All I did was take what I loved, piled it together and told it in the only way, only way that I knew how. And I gained a unique. A whole unique setting and didn't realize it.

[00:10:55] M.D. Boncher: So there you are, an alternate version of the Great Lakes with steam powered Vikings magic and angels and demons. And it's something that I could read that was sort of that dark, gritty fantasy that I wasn't able to get anywhere else that wouldn't really rub my, my faith the wrong way. And I didn't write it to be an evangelical tool or anything like that.

[00:11:18] M.D. Boncher: It's like, no, this is just, you know, Pagan's put Pagan's stuff in. I'm putting Christian stuff in. I'm not proselytizing, I'm just telling a good story in sort of the manner that it is. And that's sort of how Akiniwazisaga evolved out of it.

[00:11:31] Halfling: Well, I, I will say that I admire. Are, you're sticking to your faith in incorporating that into the stories because like you, the way you put it was you wanted to write stories that you would want to read yourself, and you wanted to instill the things that you enjoy yourself. So you, you married those, you know, those, those elements and, and have come up with, you know, with something that's, that's, that's really unique and in and interesting.

[00:12:01] Halfling: So, so that's, that's great. Um, and you know, I, I think it's an example of there's room for everybody in fandom.

[00:12:11] M.D. Boncher: Yes.

[00:12:12] Halfling: you know,

[00:12:12] M.D. Boncher: There's a fandom for this. For some people they're, some people this is just not their jam, and that's cool.

[00:12:17] Halfling: Well, right. That's, you know, that's it. And I, I don't know if you have ever heard the phrase gatekeeping before and,

[00:12:26] M.D. Boncher: yeah. Curse cus swear. I've heard of gatekeeping.

[00:12:29] Halfling: So, so, you know, we, we've talked some about it on the show in terms of like, Cosplay, um, you know, in, in like anime conventions or what have you, um, you know, where people will, you know, dis you, dis you, because you don't look just like the character that you're trying to dress up as or what have you, even though they'll say, well, you can't, you know, you can't do that.

[00:12:54] Halfling: So I imagine that that exists in the literary, uh, you know, fandom as, as well. And so, uh, uh, speak a little bit about that. I, you know, this wasn't something I had planned on, you know, I'm really touching on, but, this is a good segueway into that, topic.

[00:13:13] M.D. Boncher: Mm-hmm. Well, I'm an indie author and let's face it what I just told you about Akiniwazisaga, that wouldn't get published by a big publishing house. They wouldn't touch it, touch it with a 30 meter cattle prod. That is way out of bounds. I, I've pitched to some companies, and even, even Christian presses, small presses even are like, mm, no, it's too dark or, mm, no, it's too Christian, or it, it, they won't even give it the time of day.

[00:13:42] M.D. Boncher: I mean, they, they ghost that phone number fast. If it wasn't for self-publishing, because I am an indie author and then I'm an indie author, not because I wanted to be, it's because I had to be, there was nobody that was willing to help me. I had to figure it out through o on my own. And this is where, uh, although I'm not a big follower of, of her right now, or a lot of the people of that same period.

[00:14:04] M.D. Boncher: Joanna Penn was a great help for me when I was working a job, sitting in a glass box, dealing with semis, coming into a distribution center. I was listening to her podcasts. I was listening to, um, a whole bunch of different people that were talking about the, the joys and the hardships of Indie Publishing.

[00:14:23] M.D. Boncher: And it was like, I'm not gonna get published any other way. I'd love to, but you know what? I'm gonna have to do it now. Unfortunately, you have the curse now of, oh, you've published already as an indie. Oh, yeah. No, we're not interested in you. We aren't, don't talk to me. Please don't. I I don't wanna file a restraining order.

[00:14:41] M.D. Boncher: That's about how bad some editors are getting about that kind of stuff. And, uh, you know, it, it makes a lot of bitterness. But I also see when I go to these, these conferences and conventions, I'm seeing it from the other way too. Some of these, some of these, uh, published authors with the houses, they've been, you know, they've been the, uh, the caged golden goose, and they're finally finding out there's a way out, and they're taking it.

[00:15:05] M.D. Boncher: They're becoming hybrids and they're doing wonderful with it. Dean a, oh, Dean Wesley Smith. He's a classic example of somebody that just blows the doors off of, of all sides of the publishing. That man's just a, a, a wonderful beast of a, of a, uh, of a, an example. And I, I was just astonished by how he does his business and, uh, so they're the, the gatekeepers for the most part.

[00:15:32] M.D. Boncher: Thanks to Amazon. Yeah. How often are you gonna hear that phrase

[00:15:36] Spaceman: Very rarely.

[00:15:37] M.D. Boncher: They are dead. And Amazon gatekeepers are also dead in many ways because they, you can go to smash words, you can go to Cobo, raccoon, raccoon, whatever it is pronounced. I'd never remember. Um, they are other ways for you to get it out.

[00:15:53] M.D. Boncher: And then you have like this, this podcast, people that can't write, they do podcasts, they do vlogs, they do blogs. They have any other way to get their creativity out. If they're into fan fiction, they can go to all sorts of other places and put their creative things out. And I think that's beautiful. The gatekeepers are dead.

[00:16:10] M.D. Boncher: Of course. The, there's a new gatekeeper and that's called the fandom itself. And if you're gonna produce crap, sturgeon, laws, sturgeon's law engages, and, uh, you'll find yourself not being followed by anybody. So you, that's, that's the ultimate arbiter in the end. You know, it's sort of like, what do you, there are two things you vote for in this world when it comes to fandom, your time and your money.

[00:16:34] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:16:35] M.D. Boncher: else can take a seat. They don't have any skin in your game.

[00:16:39] Halfling: Abs. Absolutely. Ab absolutely. Um, yeah. And, you know, and, and it's, it used to be that being, I hate to use the word, but I, I am one, so I'm gonna use the word nerd. Uh, uh,

[00:16:56] M.D. Boncher: Nerd.

[00:16:56] Halfling: used to, you know, it, it used to be that, that if you were a nerd, that meant that you were an outlier and you were sort of an outcast and people looked at you funny and every, you know, and all that.

[00:17:10] Halfling: And now being a nerd is sort of a badge of honor. It's like, you know, oh yeah, I'm into this nerdy stuff. You know, I love the M C U universe, you know, well, I'm sorry, but liking the m c universe doesn't necessarily make you a nerd.

[00:17:26] Spaceman: Hey,

[00:17:26] M.D. Boncher: If you like the mc universe in 1978 or 1986, then you've got the battle scars to prove it. Because let's face it, every teenage boy has the, oh, you're into comic books. I'm sorry. I'm not gonna date you. Scar somewhere on his body, he's got that scar.

[00:17:45] Halfling: Uh,

[00:17:46] M.D. Boncher: with the girls too. They, they got the guy, the guy that'll reject them because they're into nerdy things. What you like rainbow Bright? No, no thank you.

[00:17:56] Spaceman: I think, I think with the females it's more like about Benedict Cumberbatch than it is about anything

[00:18:01] M.D. Boncher: Well, nowadays, but I'm, I was referring way back in the day with the OG nerds. When those things happen nowadays, they're just like, eh, go to a con cosplay at cross. Play it whatever you want.

[00:18:10] Halfling: Right,

[00:18:11] Spaceman: We're rolling OG down

[00:18:12] M.D. Boncher: and you're cool. Suddenly,

[00:18:14] Halfling: Right. Exactly. Now, now it's, now it's cool to be a nerd. Right. So, yeah.

[00:18:21] M.D. Boncher: sort of as a, a, a, a point on the cosplay thing. I, I put up a book for auction at, uh, Coscon for the, for the women's shelter that they were supporting. And the woman who won it, she came up, they were dressed as family cosplay, her and her husband. He was playing Hades. She was playing Persephone and then their daughter was there and she was just this cute little lavender, they, they body painted and everything.

[00:18:44] M.D. Boncher: And they were just the, the most adorable, uh, trio there. That there's a lovely family there all in cosplay. And you sit there and look at that and ah, that's so cute. Uh, but you gotta realize that 20 years ago, that's like shun, shun, shun nobody'd be wanting to, you know, you, you wouldn't dare not let anybody know that even 20 years ago.

[00:19:06] Spaceman: Right.

[00:19:06] Halfling: Uh, that, that, yes, that would've been considered weird. Definitely

[00:19:11] M.D. Boncher: Yes, nowaday weird is a badge of honor

[00:19:14] Spaceman: exactly.

[00:19:15] M.D. Boncher: not when there's nothing to lose. Then you know, as you can tell, I'm a little feisty

[00:19:25] Halfling: Well, that's okay. We, we need feisty people. Um, it

[00:19:28] Spaceman: It keeps us awake.

[00:19:29] Halfling: I, among,

[00:19:32] M.D. Boncher: in the caffeine.

[00:19:35] Halfling: I was, I was going to actually say I've been known to be a little feisty myself as, as spaceman can, can attest to. Um, so, um, but, uh, kind of getting back on track a little bit, , yeah. One of the things that we do on this show is we try to talk to our guests about their journeys into becoming a creative force in fandom.

[00:19:56] Halfling: And with that in mind, where really was your starting point for your writing career? And, you know, was it something that you always wanted to do? Did you always have it in the back of your mind? I'm, I'm gonna write.

[00:20:10] M.D. Boncher: I'd be lying to say that it wasn't, because as I look back throughout my life, I go, yeah, the seeds were there. I just didn't understand them. I mean, I, I. I can see it back in the seventh. I hated to write when I was in elementary school, but the instant I got into junior high, I had to start doing journals for English classes.

[00:20:29] M.D. Boncher: And I hated doing that. But I said, you know what, I'm not gonna do this. What happened in my day stuff anymore. I decided I was gonna write stories to myself. So that's what I did when everybody was journaling. I got my pencil out in my notebook and I started writing a, whether what I would call an absolutely execrable story, but, but you know, I'm seventh grade, eighth grade, and I'm writing this stuff instead.

[00:20:54] M.D. Boncher: Um, by the, I started writing, uh, my first writing idol like it or lump it was Stephen King. I will still maintain that, that man is the absolute master of short stories and some of my favorite guilty pleasure novels are his stuff that he did in the seventies and the eighties. I can't read the man now because my tastes have changed.

[00:21:16] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:21:16] M.D. Boncher: It's got nothing to do with him, it's just my tastes have changed and I've moved on. But my, one of my favorite books of all time is still The Stand for instance, and Oh, powerful. And I mean, I'm growing up in the age of, well, the apocalypse is knocking on the door, shall we open it up today? Um, you know, it's the old 1980s when, when the, the, the day after and Red Dawn were something that us, us kids were like, that could really happen.

[00:21:41] M.D. Boncher: I may gotta drive into the country and shoot Russians in the, in on the back 40, you know, just to, just to not put too sharp a point on it. But, I wanted to be like him, so I started writing short stories, um, horror Bay, short stories again, crap on a stick. But yeah, it, it was getting, as Neil Gaiman would put it, and my million words in.

[00:22:02] M.D. Boncher: And that's what Neil Gaiman, I, I saw an interview or read it, watched it, something. Neil Gaiman, I attribute this to is saying that you have to get your million words in to kind of become good at something. So I was nibbling at it way back then. Um, by the time I hit my senior year in high school, the last project in my creative writing course was to write a short story.

[00:22:20] M.D. Boncher: Boy, I was looking at that at the rear view mirror because when the final came in, I said, well, I'll have to hurry up the ending. And the teacher's like, what's that? Well, it's about 150 pages right now. I dropped my final project. I, I went to the class and everybody's going, oh man. I wrote three pages. I wrote five pages, and they looked at me and hit boner, how much you write.

[00:22:42] M.D. Boncher: I opened up my backpack. I literally did this, opened up my backpack from head height dropped bam, right on the desk. 187. That's right.

[00:22:53] M.D. Boncher: I got an A minus. I got an A minus because I couldn't write a short story and he couldn't create a novel.

[00:22:59] Halfling: ah.

[00:23:00] M.D. Boncher: the word. I still have it to this day,

[00:23:02] Spaceman: ah.

[00:23:05] M.D. Boncher: but, you know, it grew from there.

[00:23:06] M.D. Boncher: I taught myself how to write comic scripts, but then it wasn't until, like I said, that that d and d campaign where I went, there's a loose thread here, there's something more here that I started tugging at it, and it took 13 years of figuring it out before I finally could get it down. And that was, it was a wonderful thing to be able to do.

[00:23:26] M.D. Boncher: And then more, and then the creative stuff goes sideways because I realized I had written two novels together. It was over 200,000 words and, no, no, nobody's got the patience for that. Break it in half. And I realized that when I broke it in half, I didn't have a second half of the book. I didn't have an ending.

[00:23:46] M.D. Boncher: So I had to rewrite what became the first novel to give it a new ending. And oh, that was, that was crazy. But I, I did it. I got it out there.

[00:23:56] Spaceman: You could have just written your own version of the Unfinished Tales and

[00:24:01] M.D. Boncher: I don't know what that is, but I'm not thinking I want to start that book.

[00:24:05] Spaceman: These are the Boncher letters. These, these are where we get the rest of the lore.

[00:24:09] M.D. Boncher: oh yeah. Yeah. Here's my Silmarillion. Uh, 

[00:24:12] M.D. Boncher:

[00:24:12] M.D. Boncher: love it if I did that. My wife loves the, she, she loves the Silmarillion. I, I am. I'm like, Nope. I'll stick with the Hobbit.

[00:24:19] Halfling: Yeah. That, that's kind of me too. I, you know, uh, spaceman has described that to me before and I'm like, nah, I, I just don't think I could do that. I mean, love, love the Hobbit and per his suggestion, I started with, I started with the other books

[00:24:41] M.D. Boncher: Mm-hmm.

[00:24:41] Halfling: at the end and went back

[00:24:45] Halfling: to the book. 

[00:24:45] Spaceman: So, she started, she started with Return of the King and then went back and read the other two?

[00:24:49] Halfling: Yeah.

[00:24:50] M.D. Boncher: Ah, there you go. Now see, you might have done it Smart. So I picked up Lord of the Rings, and I could not get past the birthday party for four attempts. I'm just like, uh, and then 111 bored, throw it across the room, kind of thing. I, I just, I was impressed. I made it to the prancing pony one time, and I'm like, yeah, I'm still bored.

[00:25:10] M.D. Boncher: Get to something worthwhile, not realizing, oh, look, here are the Wraith Kings. Just the one chapter away didn't care. Then I saw the movie and I read the entire trilogy in five days.

[00:25:21] Spaceman: I, I had the same problem when I was in high school. Everybody was reading the Lord of the Rings, so I had to too, and I could not get through the first book. So I read Return of the King to see if it would get any better, and then I went back and read the first, the for the first two.

[00:25:36] M.D. Boncher: Mm-hmm.

[00:25:37] Spaceman: like trying to start reading the Bible at all the begets.

[00:25:41] M.D. Boncher: Yeah, we're gonna start reading in the Book of Numbers. Oh, you can hear my k crusty the clown impersonation in that one.

[00:25:52] Halfling: Uh, well, did you at any point take any writing classes or go to writer's conferences or join any groups?

[00:26:01] M.D. Boncher: As a matter of fact, I am a member of, uh, a Christian speculative fiction group called Realmmakers. Um, that's basically, once I published my first book, I did not know there were another other Christian authors into fantasy. All I saw on the shelves were, you know, devotionals and Amish romance. No offense for those that love that style, but

[00:26:21] Spaceman: Amish Romance

[00:26:22] M.D. Boncher: audience.

[00:26:24] M.D. Boncher: Um, 

[00:26:24] Spaceman: Really Amish romance.

[00:26:26] M.D. Boncher: Amish romance is huge, huge. I mean, holy moly. Huge though. I will take it that, uh, off one of the guys, my first mentor at a conference was a gentleman by the name of Carrie Neats, who actually wrote one of the most hilarious titled books of All Time, which is Amish, uh, Amish Vampires in Space. I am not kidding you. He has, he has two sequels to it now too, which includes, uh, Amish, uh, Amish Zombies in Space and Amish Werewolves in Space.

[00:26:58] Halfling: Oh my gosh.

[00:26:59] M.D. Boncher: And it's, it's a scream, but he was really, really a great help for me right out of the gate. But I would, that's where I met my wife, by the Realmmaker Conference. And we lost touch.

[00:27:10] M.D. Boncher: Um, and, uh, that is where I was told by many people that I named my series Akiniwazisaga, very poorly. Because everybody's going what? And this is, this is that year was the year Terry Brooks was the guest of honor

[00:27:28] Spaceman: Ooh. 

[00:27:28] M.D. Boncher: and Yes. And so I, and one of the things I did, because I said, if I'm going into this, I'm going in an all, all guns a blazing.

[00:27:37] M.D. Boncher: So I got all the packages kind of thing. We're gonna, we're gonna soak in this environment and try to learn everything I can. And I, and one of the things was lunch with the staff. And that included all the guests of honor and the speakers and things like that. And I figured, Nope, I'm gonna plop myself down on the table.

[00:27:54] M.D. Boncher: I'm gonna tell, I'm gonna tie up my inner introvert and throw 'em under the hotel bed and say, shut up and wait until later. And so I went in and I managed to score lunch, basically sitting right next to Terry Brooks. And, and it was basically an open discussion and everything like that. And now I named it Akiniwazisaga because of Terry Brooks's Shannara series.

[00:28:16] M.D. Boncher: Mm-hmm. Yeah, no, there's a joke there. So I went there and I told him this, and I said, I, and I figured, because people remember Shannara people will, uh, or Shannara, my bad, uh, people would always know Shannara. And they would, they would recognize him, and they would, it would become its own thing, by the way. It's sort of coming true.

[00:28:38] M.D. Boncher: But he looked at me without missing me and says, it's pronounced Shannara. And I was like,

[00:28:45] Spaceman: Then everybody I've ever met that's read it is wrong.

[00:28:49] M.D. Boncher: Exactly, and that is direct from the author's mouth. It's pronounced Shannara, the table, I, the table burst out laughing. I just, I, you know, I could have taken it so badly, but it was such a funny moment and he just had that twinkle in his eye and, and, and we just sort of went on. I, I, I will remember that just for the rest of my life.

[00:29:12] M.D. Boncher: It was, it was a wonderful thing. But it also has proved to be true, is that although the name is huge, it makes it very easy to search for online. And people remember it because they struggled with it at first, but once they hear it, they're like, oh. And that name is also the reason why I will never do the audiobooks with myself because I don't wanna sprain my tongue on the long old Norse words I put in there because I was a stickler for being accurate. So yes, all the old Norse names, all the Ojibwe names, I need somebody that speaks that stuff native before I'm gonna hand it over to for an audiobook, cuz I don't want to hurt somebody and I don't want to be hurt.

[00:29:57] Spaceman: So we've come back around to, uh, uh, to your gaming and your books. So we know you're an accomplished game master, and we kind of get the idea that your, uh, book series is based on either a campaign or a character. Are you currently still running that or is, or we're getting that wrong?

[00:30:17] M.D. Boncher: Well, you're not necessarily getting that wrong. It's they, you just don't have all the, all the pieces. Um, I was playing in the campaign where Akiniwazisaga was done. My character was sort of plucked out of that universe and dropped into the D&D campaign as sort of how we worked it.

[00:30:32] M.D. Boncher: And then when the campaign was done, he went back to his universe. You know, uh, as the old Viking myth of things come out of the fog, was one of the GM's favorite things to do. So I literally had my character walk out of the fog, harpoon in one hand, dog at his side, carrying, carrying some ancient sacred sect, uh, uh, text, text, not sect.

[00:30:51] M.D. Boncher: You can't fit a bunch of people in there like that dog won't hold up. Anyway, the second the, I just finished running at, Coscon, I, I've gotten to the point of where I feel confident enough I've done a conversion for GURPS fourth edition for playing my tales from the Dream Nebula. Now. This is like, like you said before, it's sort of a cyber punky thing.

[00:31:12] M.D. Boncher: It's actually the idea came to me while watching Flash Gordon

[00:31:17] M.D. Boncher: and I said, yes, that one our favorite. But I'm watching Max Van Sydow chew on the scenery and going, you know, I miss Ming. I want a good Ming, the merciless again, there needs, somebody needs to write a merciless. Hmm. Wait, I'm a somebody. And by the way, anybody wanting to be a writer, you are a somebody you can write and you should.

[00:31:39] M.D. Boncher: And if you see something you like, you better be writing. Encourage, encourage, encourage. Um,

[00:31:46] Halfling: Good advice.

[00:31:47] M.D. Boncher: but the point was that I went, I want to see, this wonderful kind of vibe come back. So I created my own Ming, the merciless called Zal the Eternal. And yeah. Hails out. Yes. He has his own, his own Imperial Hen hand, uh, salute and everything.

[00:32:08] M.D. Boncher: And I got to run this at the, at Coscon in two sessions, and it was fun to kinda watch the entire table at through the end going, hails out, 

[00:32:16] Spaceman: Mm-hmm. 

[00:32:17] M.D. Boncher: doing all that. But the idea behind it is to be a pulpy retro futurist update. If George Lucas can do it, I can do it too. Neer Neener. So 

[00:32:28] Spaceman: And you can probably do it better. 

[00:32:30] M.D. Boncher: Yeah.

[00:32:31] M.D. Boncher: Well, tales From The Dream Nebula is sort of a mashup of film noir, pulp, retro futurism, nano punk cyberpunk, all these wonderful things that I love in science fiction, like I did in fantasy. I mashed up. So I write mashup is really what I write. Um, and I basically pitch it to people when they're, they're going, what's it about?

[00:32:50] M.D. Boncher: I say It's smokey and the Bandit meets Flash. Gordon meets the Matrix meets Tale Spin. And I tell 'em Tailspin because I have genetic engineering in there. And there are, you know, animal men of all, all different kinds. And because nobody knows what tales from the golden monkey is. And if you know it, you get extra points from me.

[00:33:11] Spaceman: Now you got me wanting to play in a campaign as Baloo.

[00:33:14] M.D. Boncher: Well, that you could, uh, an ursa, you could be an ursanoid or you could be an, uh, an uplifted bear to, ursaamorph. They're in the system. They'll be in the system

[00:33:25] Spaceman: But only if I get the Seaduck.

[00:33:28] M.D. Boncher: if you want to make the Seaduck, because it's also done in an endless sky. The idea is that Ming, think Ming, the merciless is one. So Zao. eternal is one. He has conquered the earth. He has torn apart. The entire solar system preserved a remnant of humanity and repopulates, on pieces of planets floating in an endless sunset sky. It's called the Dream Nebula. That's where it gets its name from. So these people are living on Sky lands, chunks of planets, and they're in search always for their past to learn more about the who they were as a people as humanity, and Zal The Eternal is out there in his benevolent negligence. Sticking his nose in where it doesn't really need to be, and just generally keeping humanity on its toes and paying tribute.

[00:34:14] M.D. Boncher: You know? Yeah. What, what else is a good God Emperor gonna do? I want some more tribute. Yeah, we'll go, we'll go pick on these people for a while. Hey, you kind of irritated me, made my nose itch for what you brought last time. I'm gonna go blow up one of your skyland. You know, the, the things any good God emperor does when he is bored.

[00:34:33] M.D. Boncher: That's now what I want to turn into a shared universe ultimately, and a, uh, tabletop RPG.

[00:34:40] Spaceman: Oh, okay. That, that sounds fun. I mean, there's, there's not really that kind of pulp sci-fi out there at outside of Star Wars.

[00:34:48] M.D. Boncher: No, exactly, and that's what got me. I mean, the closest that you get with anything with this kind of sci-fi pulpyness to it, and it shocked me to realize it was Guardians of the Galaxy. Hey, looping back around there, there's Marvel popping its nose in again. But I was never a fan of Guardians of the Galaxy either.

[00:35:06] M.D. Boncher: But I do enjoy the first two movies. They are kind of fun, but that kind of pulpyness, you know, happiness is a smirk and a warm phaser. It just doesn't exist anymore much. They either take theirselves too seriously or they ignore the technology that's there, or they start shoveling in some, a sermon on something.

[00:35:26] M.D. Boncher: And it's like, I don't have a hero. I have a Mary Sue. I don't have a a every, every adventure is save the universe or bust. Nobody understands the small stories anymore. I mean, this is the, John Carter didn't save the universe. He might have saved Barsoom and he protected Earth to a sort of extent, but it was very low fantasy.

[00:35:50] M.D. Boncher: And that's something I miss.

[00:35:52] Spaceman: It's the difference between Fritz Leiber and J. R. R. Tolkien.

[00:35:58] M.D. Boncher: I will have to, uh, confess. My shame. I have never read Fritz Leiber. That's A Canticle for Leibowitz, right?

[00:36:04] Spaceman: No. Fritz Leiber is Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.

[00:36:08] M.D. Boncher: I'm familiar with the characters, but I have never read. So I I am, I am a bad nerd.

[00:36:14] Spaceman: All right. So, So, let's rephrase that as Conan versus, you know, the Lord of the Rings.

[00:36:21] M.D. Boncher: I am, I, I am a not the fan for

[00:36:23] M.D. Boncher: Conan. Except for the quote, which we all know. The main quote from the movie. What is the definition? What is the definition of happiness? Uh,

[00:36:35] Halfling: Something about Lamentations.

[00:36:37] M.D. Boncher: yes, yes.

[00:36:39] Spaceman: well, Janet, you're the only, uh, woman on the podcast, so you, you have to have some lamentations.

[00:36:45] M.D. Boncher: Lamentations, maybe. Laminations. I'm not sure.

[00:36:53] Spaceman: All right, so we've digressed too far. Let's talk about, let's talk about your art and music. Um, you've recently been composing music for your, uh, your big saga. Tell us a little bit about that and how that came about.

[00:37:08] M.D. Boncher: Well, okay. As a child of the eighties, I always wanted to synthesizer her way back when and when I finally went, wait a minute. They've got them, they've got the software you can put on your computer and create your own, your own. Uh, music that way cuz I, I discovered the eight track sequencer that they used to have built into, like the cor game one and the en sonics.

[00:37:29] M.D. Boncher: And yeah, we, we, we can, we can name names back in the day. But all these classic things, you, you had a bunch of 'em that would have sequencers put in and I learned a little bit on how to do composition that way and I was enamored by it. But then, you know, life happened and that fell away, but only a few, well, I think it's about six, seven years now.

[00:37:50] M.D. Boncher: I bought my own, my own DAW, digital audio workstation and I bought a keyboard, which is sitting right here next to me. I barely use the keyboard as much as I do using the other stuff. And I started playing with that sound design and things like that and I finally started composing stuff. I've actually been working my way to a, a, a bit of a symphony.

[00:38:08] M.D. Boncher: But. My major musical influences are a little bit weird. I like Tangerine Dream, Jean Michelle Jar, and, uh, John Carpenter to name three. And especially, um, Jan Hammer of Miami Vice Fame. 

[00:38:23] Halfling: Mm-hmm. 

[00:38:23] M.D. Boncher: my music sounds very reminiscent of that. Smashed in with all the classical training that I got from when I was a kid, when I was in the Appleton Boy Choir in Appleton, Wisconsin.

[00:38:33] M.D. Boncher: Yes, I sang soprano back in the day. I am a professional singer. I have been paid, so ergo I get the de the definition.

[00:38:41] Halfling: Okay. Dually noted. Professional singer.

[00:38:44] M.D. Boncher: Yes, I can, I can make that claim. But anyway, I said, you know, I, I have these neat ideas. I was just gonna write it sort of for background music because, you know, new age space music, that was, that was something I really liked anyway. But you know, I, I have my own twist to it and my own sound. And I was really shocked.

[00:39:02] M.D. Boncher: It turned out as well as it did, and to the point of where I hope to be able to put this out together for public release. You know, why not?

[00:39:11] Spaceman: Why not?

[00:39:12] Halfling: abso. Absolutely. 

[00:39:13] M.D. Boncher: yeah. band band camp exists. There you go. Indie publishing for music, indie music, led indie publishing. So

[00:39:21] Halfling: yeah. 

[00:39:21] M.D. Boncher: the, it's, it's done I think, more damage than good in certain ways, but it did open the door for lots of wonderful music.

[00:39:29] M.D. Boncher: I think I discovered half my artists through old sites that, allowed people that were new and trying to come on the scene. It was wonderful. So I'm doing the same thing that way, just between writing

[00:39:43] Halfling: Yeah. Well, I mean, you know, I, I, I have to admire you because you have, you're multi-talented. Um, you know, you, you, you write, you, you know, you do your game designing, you do your music composition. I mean, you, you know, I, like I said at the very beginning with my introduction, you do it all. So, which is, which is really cool.

[00:40:06] Halfling: I mean, you know, I have to ask the question, when do you find time to sleep?

[00:40:10] M.D. Boncher: Well, sleep comes before consumption of other media is what I've discovered. Um, that's, that is the one thing that really bothers me. I don't get a lot of time to read. Um, and what I, when I do, I have, I, I have to watch a lot of movies. Instead, I have to glean a lot of my writing, style from how people are composing their stories on film.

[00:40:32] M.D. Boncher: Because I don't have the time and my wonderful eyesight here makes the reading a little difficult. Of course, though, my wife loves camping. We have ourselves a little camper and we try to get away a couple times a year and that's when I bring all the books I can and I start reading the books. We'll go to the beach, read the books.

[00:40:49] M.D. Boncher: Well, I'll be under the tree over there cuz sunlight is evil and makes me hurt. Um, yes, I am a, I am an honorary vampire according to some, um, and I'm a night owl too, so sitting there by the campfire, reading the books. So I, that's how I catch up on a lot of my reading. I turned a lot to classics slightly, but I have a large shelf of books that I've bought at other realm makers and, uh, now I got some from Fantasci, so I've got reading to catch up on. 

[00:41:19] M.D. Boncher: Um, but yeah. Yes, go 

[00:41:21] Spaceman: ahead.

[00:41:22] Spaceman: No, it's, it's funny, uh, we don't really read. Okay. That's not true. I was gonna, I was gonna tell a blatant lie. Uh, the Halfling reads. The Halfling reads. Um, I, because of my, you know, mundane job in doing this, I don't have as much opportunity to actually read. So we listen to a lot of audiobooks when we're commuting to and from work, and that's just opened up all sorts of doors for us.

[00:41:46] M.D. Boncher: Oh yeah. I wish I could get more audio stuff on my plate, and I wish I could get my books done. Audio as well. It's just getting the time and money together to pull it off. Indie High. I take all the costs,

[00:41:59] Spaceman: Yeah.

[00:42:00] Halfling: Yeah. Uh, well, one thing that's been great about. Doing this podcast is the number of writers that we've had on the show, 

[00:42:08] M.D. Boncher: Mm-hmm. 

[00:42:09] Halfling: has opened the door for me for all of these different books that I wouldn't have picked myself, you know, I'm, I mean, but, but I have enjoyed everything because I've, I've made it a mission that I'm going to read something from every writer that we have had on the show.

[00:42:29] Halfling: Uh, and I do plan on actually starting a blog where I review these books and these stories. Um, so, uh, so, you know, I'll, I'll eventually get around the yours, but, you

[00:42:42] M.D. Boncher: I'm on the list. I'm in the stack. We're 

[00:42:44] Halfling: yeah. I mean, I, I have a backlog because, because the idea didn't, didn't. Come to me. You know, early on when we first started doing this, it, it was just a fairly recent idea.

[00:42:58] Halfling: Um, but I, I really have loved, you know, reading all these different stories and, I haven't been disappointed, you know, in anything that I've read. Uh, but again, most of them were not things that I would've said, oh yeah, I wanna read that. I mean, you know, but, but you know, you, you, you start reading and it's like, oh, this is great.

[00:43:20] Halfling: You know, so kind of makes you think, what have, what have I been missing all this time? There's so many great books out there. So many,

[00:43:27] M.D. Boncher: absolutely

[00:43:28] Halfling: many, nobody has time to read everything they could ever possibly want to read.

[00:43:35] M.D. Boncher: not. Unless they get rid of their TV

[00:43:38] Halfling: Well even then, hey, 

[00:43:40] M.D. Boncher: Or their internet.

[00:43:41] Spaceman: Or Or their jobs. 

[00:43:43] M.D. Boncher: Wow.

[00:43:44] Halfling: I mean, pretty much you just have to be like the, like that Twilight Zone episode where, you know, where the apocalypse happens and he finally has the opportunity to read and then you know, his glasses.

[00:43:57] Spaceman: Yeah, dude, you do realize that I'm, that both me and you and Michael are all three 

[00:44:02] Spaceman: wearing 

[00:44:02] Spaceman: glasses.

[00:44:03] Halfling: I know. I, I

[00:44:04] M.D. Boncher: are of the visually challenged department,

[00:44:07] Spaceman: Yes. So you know that episode would not benefit us at all.

[00:44:12] Halfling: No. That it,

[00:44:14] M.D. Boncher: noo.

[00:44:16] M.D. Boncher: And do not go blind in the library. No, no, no.

[00:44:18] Halfling: nah. Well, tell us a little bit about what challenges you have faced along the way in, in your creative endeavors and, what have you been able to do to overcome some of those challenges?

[00:44:33] M.D. Boncher: Well, sort of like I, I said earlier about tying my introvert self up and, uh, leaving him in the hotel room, um, I'm, I'm a big introvert. I also am very social media averse. I am not a fan, um, especially in recent era in, you know, in this, this Twitter files universe, when you kind of find out what's really going on, you go, hmm.

[00:44:59] M.D. Boncher: Why do I, why do I wanna be on this? Where's my mark of the beast? What's this about? Um, it, you know, I, the social media thing I'm very curmudgeonly about. Um, it's not that I don't want to engage with people, but in my past, uh, it can get addictive and worse. I used to, back when I was less judicious and about it, I, I would get involved in all sorts of forums that were rather charged and, uh, um, sports team mentality.

[00:45:30] M.D. Boncher: In other words, this is my team, right or wrong, this is your ti your team, your evil through and through. But, uh, not sports. 

[00:45:38] M.D. Boncher: We'll, we'll, we'll, we'll cage, we'll couch it that way. Um, and I realized it was making me a worse person. So, uh, it was time for me to get out of that and the chat rooms and get out of that and, and just realizing that social media can, can destroy you.

[00:45:56] M.D. Boncher: There is something about seeing that little red dot that you have a message waiting that gets the dopamine hit going and you're like, oh, how am I gonna control this addiction? It's worse than cigarettes. Not that I've ever smoked, but so I've heard, um, and, and so I, I was, I, that's been one of my biggest challenges is how do you market yourself when you're not going out and doing all the social media stuff and it's, it's hard.

[00:46:22] M.D. Boncher: I've had to force myself out. Of my comfortable place. And lately it's been evolving or in involving, try with the right word, involving my wife, my wife dragging me out the door kicking and screaming. Fortunately, we've discovered I have a knack for going to cons and, uh, being at conventions and being the in-person, um, things, her parents, my wife's parents do craft shows.

[00:46:48] M.D. Boncher: They, uh, her, her father's a very skilled carpenter and they make, children's toys and things like that. And she learned a lot of stuff from them, especially him. And, uh, she, she's the one when we go to a, a show, at least we, these past. A few. She made wooden swords and wooden shields and soaps and things like that.

[00:47:08] M.D. Boncher: She's exceedingly crafty, but she had all these skills for going to there that are transferring over to going to comic-cons and craft shows and book fairs and things like that. I had none of that. She has the business sense more than me too. So I sit there and go, yay, I'm helping.

[00:47:28] Spaceman: Well, we have to give your wife a tip of the hat because when we met her at, at FantiSci, you know, she was, she was a great advocate for your work.

[00:47:38] M.D. Boncher: she is such a sweetheart. I do not deserve her. And I'm saying that without her watching me. So I, and I, honestly, I, I thank God every day that, that he put her in my life, my mother, thanks God that he put her in my life.

[00:47:53] Halfling: Mm-hmm. 

[00:47:55] M.D. Boncher: So, but yeah, she's, she's been such a wonderful advocate and, uh, help on all these things.

[00:48:01] M.D. Boncher: So, um, yeah, what can I say? But, uh, thank you, Bridget.

[00:48:06] Spaceman: All right. So do you have any advice for our listeners out there who may be just starting out in their own careers, or are there things that you wish you would've known when you got started that you know now that you could share with other folks?

[00:48:22] M.D. Boncher: Well, I was once quoted the statistic that 90% of people who wanna write a book never do. And 90% of those who do write it never publish. Even in this a era of self-publishing, I'm fairly certain those numbers are still true.

[00:48:38] Halfling: Hmm.

[00:48:39] M.D. Boncher: And those that publish, I'm worried is almost 90%. Never actually make it more than a few sales.

[00:48:47] M.D. Boncher: You know, they, they hit their family and that's it. So as much as I hated to learn this, if you're going to get into writing, realize you are not getting into writing to be an artist, that is the perk of what you're doing on starting your own intellectual property business. And that is going to come with some horrifying things known as adulting and as having to deal with the realities of running a business.

[00:49:20] M.D. Boncher: I was a graphic artist. I self-trained myself in being a graphic artist back in the early nine, or in the 1990s, early aughties. Um, I failed. I completely failed. I mean, crash and burn left a crater. Killed a few thousand dinosaurs. But that taught me, I don't have a brain for business that way.

[00:49:40] M.D. Boncher: Thankfully, I have someone that has a bit more of a brain for business. But that is a reality that you're gonna have to deal with, is that this is a business. And if you are not doing that and looking at it that way, you're just screwing around. You're not gonna be the next Stephen King. You are going to need to get on your either get on a schedule.

[00:50:01] M.D. Boncher: As much as, I hate to say that because trust me, I get beaten every day pretty much about not getting on my schedule. And distractions are so easy,

[00:50:09] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:50:10] M.D. Boncher: but if you are serious about writing and telling your stories beyond a group of six, then that's what you're gonna have to do to get serious. Now, I will also say this as a benefit, one of the best storytelling training grounds you can ever have.

[00:50:27] M.D. Boncher: Tabletop RPGs. Game set match tabletop RPGs will teach you with the fastest feedback you can have on how to tell stories. Well, you have to set up, you have to pay off, you have to meet the expectations of your players, or they will very vocally and physically leave your table never to return. You have to control your ego.

[00:50:54] M.D. Boncher: You are not all that in a bag of chips with a side of fries. You will have to learn how to meet your expectations in that way too, because if you're gonna try to also run 2, 3, 4 games a week, guess what you're doing? Nothing else with your life. You're getting great training, but you're not gonna have any chance to apply it beyond the games too.

[00:51:14] M.D. Boncher: So that's a huge balancing point in the end. But yeah, role playing games are probably the best training ground for dealing with dialogue, dealing with, pacing and definitely dealing with how to set a scene. Those have been lessons that I learned that were absolutely invaluable. And you're gonna ultimately need to make a team, find people that believe in you and that are willing to help you because you cannot do it all your own.

[00:51:40] M.D. Boncher: You can only get so far on your own. I was able to manage and get my first book published on my own. Heck, I actually got the first two published on my own, no help from anybody else, save for my saint of an editor, who basically really did a lot to show me how bad I stunk. And if you don't have the thick skin to take a look at those red or other colored ink marks on and, uh, and edits, you don't have the tough enough skin to handle that.

[00:52:10] M.D. Boncher: And right now, trust me, it is so easy to be a, author right now. You don't have to fight the gatekeepers. You don't have to take it in the teeth every week. It'll make you better to. To have somebody like, uh, Steve en, uh, Steve Louy of Enclave Punisher say, yeah, but it stinks. Um, yeah, he, he is, he's well known in the, uh, Realmmakers community as the dream crusher, which we all call him that out of great love because he, out of his love for you as a writer, will not mince any words or leave a bone unpicked.

[00:52:47] M.D. Boncher: And, you gotta have that at least enough intestinal fortitude to take those shots,

[00:52:52] Halfling: Well, as long as the as, as long as the feedback or the criticism is constructive. And will make you better then that's fine. You know, I mean, you do, you do have to have the tough skin. And, as, as another, as another author put it, uh, that we recently had, you know, you have to realize that rejection is not personal.

[00:53:16] Halfling: It's, you know, if, if somebody, you know, if a company publishing house or whatever, you know, rejects your story, there could be a million reasons why they, reject it. But you should not take it personally. And you should be thankful anytime you get feedback, whether it's good feedback or, you know, or not so good feedback. And, you know, as long as you can take it forward to the next attempt.

[00:53:43] M.D. Boncher: exactly, exactly. The constructive feedback you should listen to, even if it's painful. I've never been, uh, it's weird. I've never been scared of having somebody, honestly critique my work and try to at least point out what is wrong with it, but do so as a constructive manner. But those trolls that come in and just tear it up because they're just jerks.

[00:54:05] M.D. Boncher: And they just want to hurt somebody that's doing something that they are scared to do themselves. You need to cast, ignore, and go on.

[00:54:13] Halfling: Yep.

[00:54:14] M.D. Boncher: Those people have nothing valid to give you. And you should also give them nothing valid in, in return if they're just there to destroy you and try to make you hurt for their own self-esteem.

[00:54:25] Halfling: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

[00:54:26] M.D. Boncher: That's sort of that. I will say that's sort of the theme also for my Akiniwazisaga series, uh, Akiniwazisaga, they, that series, the, an underlying theme of the whole thing is rejection won't kill you,

[00:54:38] Halfling: Mm-hmm.

[00:54:38] Halfling: It's an important thing for people to, to realize, um, at, at, you know, beginning at a very early age. So, um, but spaceman, you had a (question?)

[00:54:50] Spaceman: no, no, no, no. I was wanted to give Michael a chance to tell us about any work he's got up and coming. Oh, yeah.

[00:54:54] Halfling: yeah. 

[00:54:56] M.D. Boncher: Well, funny you should ask that. We're going to, thanks to Fantisci, I, we've learned a whole bunch of things and have been recrafting on what we're gonna do with our, uh, resident media arts. We're looking at setting up a schedule to publish three times a year. Um, hang, well, I know that's not, uh, Katie cross level, but it's still something worthwhile.

[00:55:16] M.D. Boncher: We are going to be publishing book two of Tales from the Dream Nebula this June. That'll be coming out. And we have it slated for book three of the novella to come out in October. So Lucid Dreams comes out in, or I'm sorry, Lucid Reality comes out in June, and then the Living Nightmares shows up in October.

[00:55:37] M.D. Boncher: Akiniwazisaga is not gone. It was put on hold for me to do all this with the Tales from the Dream Nebula and Book four is ready or is getting ready to get back into production. It's about 35% written right now, but I hope to have that ready for next summer. And that should complete the, uh trilogy story arc there in hopefully rather spectacular fashion.

[00:56:03] M.D. Boncher: And we are also going to be starting our newsletter. That will be available starting hopefully next week. And all those that sign up for the newsletter will get a free, short story that is sort of a prequel to the Tales from the Dream Nebula Saga there.

[00:56:20] Halfling: Nice.

[00:56:21] M.D. Boncher: Mm-hmm. That one is titled Cold Pursuit of a Hot Case.

[00:56:25] Halfling: Ooh, I like that title. That's great. 

[00:56:28] M.D. Boncher: Yep. And I'm making those covers mostly using AI art. I'm using it as a base. I had to, I couldn't find an artist, so I had to train myself in AI art. And, we are doing that series. With that covers, I'm hoping that I'll be able to get the covers for, or the cover artist I had for Akiniwazisaga back for the last book there.

[00:56:48] Halfling: Okay. Um, well, where can people find you and find? Find your works.

[00:56:57] M.D. Boncher: Well, I, I do have a signed post on Facebook and you can find me through Discord under, uh, resonant Point. Um, otherwise I do have my blog out there under the name, uh, calling it Resonant Point. And you can find that at And you could also put in,

[00:57:27] M.D. Boncher: Um, you know, we, we, we have several domain names to get there, but yeah, if you find us through Facebook, just click on the link to go to the blog. I cross post over there, but I don't really do much activity on Facebook because of their, uh, their. Breach policies and things like that. Um, otherwise you can purchase our books or my books.

[00:57:47] M.D. Boncher: Our royal, we, you can find them on Amazon, you can find them on smash words. The fantasy books are gonna be going wide again, in a, uh, a month or two. So those eBooks will be available there as well. And you can also find our schedule on what, cons and shows we're gonna be at, through the blog as well.

[00:58:08] Halfling: Okay. Awesome. Well, we will make sure to include all that in the show notes.

[00:58:13] M.D. Boncher: Okay. Thank you.

[00:58:14] Spaceman: So thank you so much for talking with us today. We've had a great time getting to know you and hearing about your journey in active fandom,

[00:58:22] Halfling: And we also wanna thank our listeners for tuning in today, and we hope that everyone has been enjoying and has perhaps become a little inspired by our guest today, Michael Boncher. And we wanna give Michael a huge thank you for joining us today. We appreciate your time.

[00:58:39] M.D. Boncher: Oh, thank you so much for having me. It's been a real pleasure to be here with you guys.

[00:58:43] Spaceman: and this is a spaceman of the Halfling and the Spaceman signing out.

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