The Grim Tidings Podcast: Anna Smith Spark Parts I and II

Listen to Part I of our interview of Anna Smith Spark!

Anna Smith Spark

In part one of this queen-sized two part episode, Rob and Phil are joined by debut Grimdark fantasy author Dr. Anna Smith Spark! Anna is the author of the new novel THE COURT OF BROKEN KNIVES, book one of the Empires of Dust Trilogy. It’s clear that 2017 has been a big year for Grimdark, and Anna stops by to talk about her ultra-violent and dark fantasy debut and the pressures of being a new author, and being the queen of Grimdark, we get her thoughts on the ever-evolving sub-genre and address some common, we also get a preview of her short story appearing in the new issue Grimdark Magazine, and more! Find Anna online at, or on Twitter @QueenofGrimdark!


Thanks to this weeks sponsors:

LUCIFER’S STAR by CT Phipps and Michael Suttkus

ARCHIVOS Story App, online at Archivos.Digital


NINE PARTS BLUSTER by author AZ Anthony

Listen to Part II of our interview with Anna Smith Spark here!

Court of Broken KnivesIn part II of our conversation with Anna Smith Spark, author of the Grimdark fantasy debut THE COURT OF BROKEN KNIVES, we conclude our chat by talking literary influences and what sort of fiction is too extreme for the Queen of Grimdark; we delve into Anna’s past as a goth and what her favorite pair of shoes look like (hint: they’re covered in spikes); we’ll talk about Anna’s struggle with dyslexia, dyspraxia, and Aspurger’s Syndrome, and what advice she has for creatives who struggle with disabilities; we’ll find out how she landed Mark Lawrence’s literary agent, get a preview of new projects Anna’s working on including the occult Grimdark serial anthology LANDFALL, a round of our new game Knife Party, and more!  Find Anna Smith Spark online at, or on Twitter @QueenofGrimdark!


Thanks to this weeks sponsors:

Darkstorm by M.L. Spencer, grimdark epic adventure avilable now on Amazon!

The Strangeful Things Podcast, download on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play!

Ascension by Matthew Johnson, rise with the gods, or fall with the dead!


GOAT DEMON BLOOD SWORD #1: Sebastien de Castell

Grim Gozzoth Goat Demon Blood Sword

Welcome to the newest feature on The Grim Tidings, GOAT DEMON BLOOD SWORD, which shall feature blood-soaked goblin interviewer/Splatter Elf mascot Grim Gozzoth talking to some of the heavy-hitters of the fantasy genre. Grim Gozzoth never went to school for this shit, so bear that in mind. Enjoy!

Grim Gozzoth: Thank you for agreeing to this meeting, manflesh. We shall dig further into your guts and find the truths that await within. Our shamans have received ill omens from the constellation of the Skeletal Serpent, but we shall carry on. For my first question, I’d like to start with the usual: who is your favorite Butcher of the Five Angelic Scars?

Sebastien De Castell: Buddy Holly. Sure, Elvis had more hits, but Buddy brought so much melodic innovation to the genre that I think he deserves more recognition. Give the man a sharpened Stratocaster and he would totally have butchered the shit out of those angelic scars.

GG: How does it feel to be human?

SDC: Like being a goblin only taller and you don’t freak out every time you catch your reflection in a mirror. Actually, after a while, you start to freak out when your reflection anyway, so I guess not that different.

GG: Sacrificial offerings are something often brought up in the office. How many elves have you sacrificed to the Petrified Goddess and why so many?

SDC: Six, but to be fair, I was just trying to sacrifice the one. I kept getting the setting on the blender wrong.

GG: You write books. What is your feeling on the transition from e-books to the nightly screeches of swamp hags?

SDC: I think we all need to move past the false dichotomy between nightly swamp hag screeches and e-readers. Both have an audience, both have a place in the modern world of publishing, and, really, in the end what matters are the stories, right?

GG: I collect the withered husks of forgotten pixies. What is your most prized grotesquerie in your collection?

SDC: I kept a gorgeous collection of tiny misshapen sprites until one day my mother pointed out that those were just desiccated flies. I got my first pair of prescription glasses the next day.

GG: You are well-renowned for your musical ability with the pan-flute. What creature’s bones did you craft it from?

SDC: Well, I have several pan flutes, but my favourite is made from the dried tongues of swamp hags. Every song I perform with it is like french-kissing seven septuagenarian serpents. #heaven

GG: I can’t stop eating raw turnips. Can you help me?

SDC: If you look at a raw turnip from just the right angle, it looks like the inside of a troll’s testicle. Let that thought guide your culinary decisions.

GG: What is the smartest thing you can say to people to prove that you are not a minion of the Necromancer Lord Aktolminium?

SDC: Uh . . . because I joined the Kiss Army when I was a kid? Sure, Gene Simmons was the most popular, but I think Ace Frehley was the better musician.

GG: And finally, tell us about your books.

SDC: I’m the author of the swashbuckling fantasy series, The Greatcoats, which has just completed with the fourth and final book, Tyrant’s Throne. For those just starting out, the first book is Traitor’s Blade, which was shortlisted for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Fantasy, the Gemmell Award for Best Debut, the Cambell Award for Best New Writer, and the Prix Imaginale for Best Foreign Work.

My new series is a YA fantasy with a wild-west feel called Spellslinger. The first book is out now and the sequel, Shadowblack, comes out in October.

Click on the picture to Sebastien’s Amazon author page!



Fantasy EBook Deals Galore!

We have a goal here at The Grim Tidings Podcast to completely ruin any hope of EVER reaching the bottom of your TBR pile. So we’ve gathered some great eBook deals for you to check out and add some of these great titles to your Kindle library!

BLOOD SONG by Anthony Ryan – Kindle US $2.99

Past guest Anthony Ryan’s stunning dark fantasy debut that made him a New York Times Best-Seller. Check out our first interview here, and be sure to pick up BLOOD SONG.


PRINCE OF FOOLS by Mark Lawrence – Kindle US $2.99

Papa Mark is in on today’s list as well with PRINCE OF FOOLS, the first entry in the RED QUEEN’S WAR trilogy. Nominated for Gemmell Legend Awards and voted one of the best fantasy novels of 2014 by Goodreads. Pick this one up today!


THE BLACK PRISM by Brent Weeks – Kindle US $2.99

The New York Times Best-Selling LIGHTBRINGER series kicks off with THE BLACK PRISM, an action packed tale of magic and adventure.


OTHERLAND by Tad Williams – Kindle US $2.99

This gargantuan novel kicks off the far-reaching cyberpunk saga about the mysterious golden city known as Otherland.


Be sure to subscribe to the show on iTunes, Sticher, or Podbean. Follow us on Twitter @GrimdarkFiction, and like us on Facebook as well! Be sure to visit our Facebook group GRIMDARK FICTION READERS & WRITERS for daily updates on all things Grimdark! Happy reading!


(Not-So-)Grimspirations #3: Happy Hardcore, Final Fantasy VIII, and the Mental Storyboard (Guest Post by Brandon Draga)


If you’re reading this right now, it’s not unlikely that you’ve come across me at one point or another, most likely over on the Grimdark Fiction Readers and Writers Facebook group. I’m… a bit of a black sheep in the community, if I’m being honest. I don’t mean that in the sense that I feel unwelcome, far from it. If anything, Rob and Phil are easily two of the nicest guys in the industry, if not the fandom at large, and said Facebook group is a product of that. What I mean is, I’m not really a grimdark guy. Sure, I watch Game of Thrones, I’ve read some of the grimdark staples, hell if we’re being honest I’m shopping a pretty grimdark short around as we speak. That said, though, I’ve always had a bit of a taste for the more pleasant side of the genre. Give me your Sullivans, your Weekes, your Brooks, and your Greenwoods. Give me your tropes, your tie-ins, your halflings.

Seriously, there’s a whole thread on /r/Fantasy right now talking about why people don’t care about halflings, and it’s a bit upsetting.

Similarly, my inspirations are maybe not quite what one might expect for a fantasy author, grimdark or not. I won’t belabor the point about how video games have become a major influence to fantasy writers, because that’s already been discussed by the inimitable Sam Sykes. Music has more often than not been considered the greatest muse for any creative endeavor, and such has been my case on several occasions. Now, obviously if these two things are so common as inspirations for the modern day writer, then I’ve just wasted your time, right?

Well, I want to tell you a story about when the importance of music collided with a video game in so perfect a way that it swapped out the lenses through which I saw the world.

In 1998 my family got a Sony Playstation. It was the first non-Nintendo console we’d owned since the Genesis, and it was already a couple years into its production cycle. I mention this because it leads up to two important facts about this story:

  1. Up until the release of the Nintendo 64 two years prior, I wasn’t a terribly well-informed gamer, and most of what I did know from then on came from Nintendo Power magazine.
  2. Because of this, I was blissfully unaware of any Final Fantasy game between the original, which I had for NES, and VII, which was on a console that, when it was released, I didn’t own.

That’s right, I never experienced the Final Fantasy games that, for many people, were life-changing pieces of media. In truth, by the time I did have a Playstation at my disposal, there was little drive for me to pick the franchise back up, and I probably wouldn’t have, had it not been for the fateful day when my older brother came home from a trip to the local Blockbuster Video, a rental copy of the new Final Fantasy game in his hand.

Now, people can rag on Final Fantasy VIII all they like, and I won’t for a second tell them that many of their points aren’t valid, but the fact of the matter is that this game sunk its hooks deep into twelve-year-old me, so much so that I asked for a copy for Christmas (keeping the save file from the rented copy on a memory card for months). My brother, too, fell in love with the game, and it was his further influence, in fact, that pushes this little story forward.

In a time when most teenagers were listening to the latest pop-punk, or the nascent rap-metal that inundated the radio, my older brother’s musical tastes were a bit more off-the-beaten-path. Yes, by the mid-late 90s the mainstream was beginning to see the emergence of electronic music by way of Fatboy Slim, the Prodigy, and that one commercial for The Gap where someone is skating an all-white vert ramp to the Crystal Method. My brother, however, was tapped into something a bit more esoteric, something he shared with me one afternoon.

“I have to show you this!” he told me excitedly as he beckoned me into his bedroom. “It’s this subgenre called happy hardcore. There’s this song, ‘Distant Skies’. You listen to it and you just imagine Squall and the others flying the Raganrok over Gaia!”

Sidenote: The Raganrok was the name of the ship your party eventually gets in FFVIII that allows you to fly across the map.

He cued up the song and pressed play, and damned if he wasn’t spot-on. The music had a pulsing, frenetic backbeat, a soaring synth hook, and the classic backing of a grand piano chord structure. My eyes widened as if to manifest my mind’s eye in physical form.

It was perfect. The music was the scene. The two were intertwined intrinsically. In my mind the movements of the Raganrok mirrored the highs and lows of the song, each crescendo a punch on the throttle of her controls.

The experience set me on the path of what would become a love-affair with both JRPGs and electronic music of many different stripes. The latter I would eschew as I got older, favouring punk rock to fuel my teenage angst and post-secondary political radicalization. That feeling never subsided, though, the feeling of how music could not just impact or inform, but become the very backbone of a scene. It didn’t always manifest in fiction, mind you. As a matter of fact I more or less stopped writing fiction from ages eighteen to twenty-six. More often than not, it existed as something more ephemeral; vague narratives that would play out in my mind, but never on paper. The soundtracks, however, were always constant.

Funny enough, it was when I was on a particularly nostalgic kick, listening to a happy hardcore playlist I found on Spotify, that what was arguably the most pivotal plot moment in Collapse of Kingdoms, and arguably in the whole of The Four Kingdoms Saga, came to me. Funnier still, if you look hard enough, you can see the influence of some of those most formative Final Fantasy games in the plot.

Some authors seek their inspiration in metal, Tolkien, and if they’re in my age bracket probably Final Fantasy VI, VII, and Neverwinter Nights. And all the power to you if you do. Whatever your grim (or not-so-grim)-spiration, just be sure to keep that volume cranked to eleven, and remember to save often, or all progress may be lost.


Brandon Draga was born in 1986, just outside Toronto, Ontario. His love of all things fantasy began at an early age with games like The Legend of Zelda, Heroquest, and Dungeons and Dragons. This affinity for the arcane and archaic led to his studying history at York University from 2005 to 2011. In late 2012, he began writing a D&D campaign setting that would lay the groundwork for the world of Olhean, the setting for his “Four Kingdoms Saga” novel series, compared by critics to the works of Terry Brooks, Michael J. Sullivan, and R.A. Salvatore. Brandon has also proven that SF/F can be made accessible at any age, writing the lauded picture book “Dragon in the Doghouse”. Brandon still lives just outside Toronto, and when he is not writing enjoys skateboarding, playing guitar, and playing tabletop games.

Social Media Stuff
Twitter: @brandondraga
Instagram: brandondraga

To find Brandon’s books, check out his Amazon author page here!

And, for special bonus Draga action, you can listen to our Keeping it Indie Panel episode of The Grim Tidings Podcast as well!

Grimspirations #2: Dungeons & Dragons

The game that launched a thousand careers, slayed millions of kobolds, and made staying at home drinking copious amounts of soda fun, Dungeons and Dragons is definitely one of the top Grimspirations of all time. To celebrate International Tabletop Day (April 29th) I decided to put together a post about how Dungeons and Dragons inspired me in multiple ways, including most of my interests to this day. Shit, if not for Dungeons and Dragons, the Philip you all know and love might be still shoveling chicken guts for a living. But let’s not get into that.

On The Grim Tidings Podcast, Rob and I have had multiple guests tell us the impact role-playing games, particularly D&D, had on their lives. Some even famously wrote books for D&D worlds (including R.A. Salvatore and Richard A. Knaak). Suffice to say, I devoured dozens of Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance books back in the day. A sprightly young Phil was seen 9 times out of 10 with a beat-up paperback in his grip. These included the adventures of Drizzt, the Heroes of the Lance, Huma, and many others. I wasn’t inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien like many in the generations before me, but by the worlds influenced by Tolkien. I’m one of the sad few on Earth that has never read Lord of the Rings. I’m one of those lowly “saw the movies” guys.

But let’s not get too far off track. I want to talk about a few things that heavily influence me even today that were directly caused by my days of playing D&D.


The obvious one, I wouldn’t be writing jack shit if not for D&D. I had a friend introduce me to D&D back when I was a teenager and I spent most weekends of junior high and high school staying up late and playing marathon sessions. I eventually transitioned from a Player Character (PC) to a Dungeon Master (DM). This is what led me to get bit by the story-telling bug.

I spent many hours at my early part-time jobs (during breaks) designing campaigns and plotting out small maps. I had dozens of little memos folded up in my pocket that I’d doodle on whenever I got even a small window. I was literally working for the weekend. I always looked forward to how my players would react to what I had in store.

I never really had “loot monger” players. Fortunately, they enjoyed the role-playing aspect more than endless battles. The battles I did throw at them usually meant something because I worked hard on making them hate the people that they occasionally ran into. Monsters were around as well, but I never did the standard dungeon crawl kind of games. The players seemed to like that, so I rolled with it.

Then the games ended. People went off to different universities, I went off to university, and no one really played anymore. I tried other groups, but nothing really clicked. That’s when the foray into writing really began.

I never used any of my D&D ideas for stories, but I’d be lying if I said DMing had become an addiction, an addiction that transferred over to writing. The folded memos were no more, replaced by notebooks full of ideas and a desktop crammed with Works-in-Progress.

At some point I hit the “fuck it” point of my life and decided to publish some of the stuff I’d written. I decided waiting around for things to be perfect wouldn’t work. Just like that wouldn’t work when I was DMing. I had players waiting for a story. Surprisingly, I have people interested in the next Splatter Elf tale. So…addiction sated.

Game Design

A few years ago I had a revelation while teaching. It was: “If I make classes I’d have fun doing, then maybe other people would like them, too.” This meant games. A shit ton of them. I started cutting up cards, collecting tokens, dice, and all sorts of things to make games out of. Students started to like my lessons and lit up when they learned we were playing a game. That’s when I knew that game design was something I had suddenly gained interest in. Now, I have to go back to my D&D roots because without them, I would never have even thought about playing games in my classes. Game designing also brought me to one of my new favorite hobbies, card/board games. I have about 20 now that I’ve bought in the last three years or so. They help me come up with new ideas not only for classes, but also for my own games. That’s right, I design games now also. Woo hoo.

Without D&D, I wouldn’t have one of the things I enjoy most in life, something I can share with friends and my wife. It’s awakened new creative impulses in me that have lain dormant for a while. Making card games for classes and myself (for possible sale at some point?) have become the new folded memos of my 30s.


Ah, reading. It’s something I’ve done a lot of, but unfortunately is never enough. I always feel guilty for getting behind on reading. Mostly because I know the amount of work authors put into their books. Yet I’ve realized that this is never going to end. The To Be Read Pile is like eating a Sisyphean doughnut. The more I eat, the more it grows. That said, most of what I read is fantasy. That’s because of, you guessed it, D&D. I’ve always been interested in magic, swords, and the like, probably dating back to when I was in elementary school reading Greek mythology every day. Why did I do that? I was bored after school most days and I had a library at my disposal.

I read fantasy not necessarily for the escapism like some may do, but to remind me of what I love. I love the fantastical, the weird, the unexplained. And I think that comes from watching a party get butchered by a beholder, or seeing a blue dragon get its head sliced off by a vorpal blade, or even my main villain get turned to dust by a Disintegrate scroll. These are fond memories that really happened. With friends. Memories that I still hold dear.

OK, this is getting less grim. Uh, unicorn throat rip. There, that’s better.

In any case, I think those of us that have played D&D have been inspired by it in multiple ways. Those who still smile at the glimpse of an old 2nd Edition book or marvel at the ungodly stats of the Tarrasque. We will not go quietly into the night. Unless we’ve had too much caffeine. They we’ll howl and curse.

But those of us that create have that addiction. We must create so we do create. And I owe that in part to Dungeons and Dragons.

Now roll that trusty d20 and see what you get.

  1. You trip on your guts down a staircase into a pit of ravenous jackals.
  2. Your shield breaks and splinters in your face. Now everyone calls you Dumbass Shield-Face.
  3. Your pegasus shits on your tent.
  4. An owlbear eats your last can of beans, flattens your wagon, and kills your cleric. In that order.
  5. A pack of wights drains the piss out of your levels.
  6. A necromancer raises a were-boar from the dead. Now you have to fight an undead were-boar. Ha ha ha!
  7. A thief steals your bag of holding and sticks in another bag of holding.
  8. You trigger a Stinking Cloud trap. Now you smell like ass.
  9. You get Melf’s Acid Arrow right in your junk.
  10. A big ass umber hulk crashes through the wall, screams “Oh yeah!” and then douses you in acidic Kool-Aid.
  11. An elvish fighter/mage/thief throws nuts at you.
  12. A wild beholder appears. You pee a little.
  13. Oh, you found some treasure! It’s the Hand of Vecna! Oh…
  14. The party wants to split. The DM sighs.
  15. A Hill Giant and a Frost Giant get it on near your tavern. You are not amused.
  16. A bard keeps playing the same song over and over and it vaguely sounds like “Let It Go” from Frozen.
  17. A paladin mistakes you for an evil priestess and smashes your toe with his warhammer. You need new shoes.
  18. Rust monsters.
  19. Mountain Dew river.
  20. Someone walks in and laughs. “What you guys playing?” “D&D” “Oh yeah? Who’s winning?”


-Philip Overby

Grimspirations #1: Joe Abercrombie and Desperate Housewives


Welcome to Grimspirations! This is a new feature on where Rob, Phil, and sometimes special guests will share how some grimdark writers (and maybe some other strange sources) have inspired them as readers, writers, artists, etc. If you’ve been grimspired, feel free to share with us!

No, this is not a trick. I seriously changed my views on writing after watching the complete series of Desperate Housewives and reading Joe Abercrombie for the first time. It comes down to this word: episodes.

Some background info. I was getting tired of reading fantasy epic after fantasy epic. I enjoyed Abercrombie’s world so much I was delighted to see stand-alone novels featured with some of the same characters. However, some minor characters made cameos, weaved in and out of the stories, or became major characters themselves. Nicomo Cosca, Bremer dan Gorst, and Black Dow stand out to me as good examples of this. Then there’s the short stories that introduce new characters to the world that later ended up being in novels like fan favorite Whirrun of Bligh. It all had a very TV feel to me. Characters get promoted to “main players,” characters leave and go on their own adventures, characters die and get replaced by others. That made me think of Desperate Housewives.

Yes, that Desperate Housewives.

I started watching Desperate Housewives several years back thinking it would be something fun to laugh at how silly it was. While there were silly moments, I was surprised by how good the writing, character development, and plot structure on the show turned out to be. It might be considered a sin by some to mention Desperate Housewives and the First Law series in the same breath, but hear me out. While I might be stretching to compare the two, I enjoyed the overall “lived-in” feel of the show. That even though some characters died or moved away, the common theme of drama on Wisteria Lane stuck with the four main cast members, Susan, Bree, Lynette, and Gabby with some minor characters getting promoted to bigger roles in later seasons.

So I wrote “The Unicorn-Eater”, my first Splatter Elf title, with these things in mind.

Wait, what?

Burned out with failed novel after failed novel, I decided to write in a shorter, episodic style. Main characters get over-arching stories, but I feel like each story can be read by itself as a stand-alone if needed. For example, Katzia of Clovenhoof is a monster hunting sword-collector that has a penchant for cursing at anyone and anything. She appears in all of the Splatter Elf stories so far, but she has a minor role in “The Bog Wyvern.” In turn, I gave Katzia the main story of competing with her father, also a sword-collector, and her shitty relationship with him. Yet in “The Bog Wyvern” she is dealing with some other issue so she goes off on her merry way “off-camera.” Instead we get the focus on Bathbrady, Katzia’s partner from the first story “The Unicorn-Eater.” The same goes with my first novella One Goblin Army which shifts the focus to Grinner, Bathbrady’s goblin partner in “The Bog Wyvern.” Lots of criss-crossing, weaving, and exploring characters. So why do this? Um, because? Maybe it could be best explained through a fancy list. Everyone loves fancy-ass lists, right?

1.Character Development AF

Ever read something and thought “I wish I could learn more about that character.” This is my way of thinking when doing the Splatter Elf stories. As Joe Abercrombie’s characters change and grow in different stories and novels, I’m attempting to do the same thing. A good example would be Black Dow, but I won’t get into SPOILERS here. For Desperate Housewives, the best choice would be one of my personal favorites Mrs. McCluskey, who starts out as curmudgeonly neighbor, but later grows to be beloved by everyone on Wisteria Lane for her incredible kindness. Giving various characters the spotlight allows readers to learn more about them and watch their journey. Doing this with too many characters can be dangerous, but in moderation it can be fun for both the writer and readers.

2. Explorin’ and Shit

One way to show more of the world is to allow characters to travel. I’ve introduced numerous places in the main continent of Groteskia by honing in on different characters experiences. Wyvern-infested swamps, desolate post-war landscapes, and sites of unicorn butchery. While Desperate Housewives tends to spend almost all of its time on Wisteria Lane, we do get to see inside the homes of most of the characters. The places where murders were hidden, secrets were told, and affairs were had. Mary Alice’s home in particular was a uniquely grim place on the show, the site of a murder, a suicide, stealing a baby, all sorts of horrible shit.

In turn, I began looking at locations as more than just places. They have their own stories, their own lives. Abercrombie’s approach made me think about this idea even deeper. The people of the world don’t just sit there and do nothing, waiting for the main characters to appear. They have their own wars, atrocities, victories, etc. Case in point, Styria, only briefly mentioned here and there in the original First Law trilogy, we get a close-up of it in Best Served Cold. I love this style of seeing new places through different eyes and not just through one set of characters.

3. WTF Moments

One thing we’ve talked about on The Grim Tidings Podcast before is having WTF moments in books. George R.R. Martin seems to be the master of smashing his readers in the face. Abercrombie excels at this as well by having characters that do surprising and unpredictable things. Logen Ninefingers, the Bloody Nine himself, had a lot of depth as a character because he had done so many terrible things in his past. So when he went batshit crazy and slaughtered people on occasion, it gave his arc some WTF moments that can keep the readers hooked.Same with one of the most complex characters in all of fantasy, Sand dan Glotka, former hero turned torturer. Any time he would come up in POVs, it was always exciting to read because you never knew which direction he would go.

And Desperate Housewives builds itself on WTF moments every episode. Seriously, watch it.

I’ve tried to create that same element in my own writing. I wouldn’t call it “shock value” but more along the lines of keeping the reader entertained through off-the-wall characters and situations.

So that’s it for the first Grimspirations post. I didn’t expect to bring Desperate Housewives into this article about Joe Abercrombie’s style having a great influence on me, but it seemed apt. Plus, that’s a grim ass show.

How has Joe Abercrombie made you interested in fantasy fiction? What elements do you think he does the best? Share in the comments below!

-Philip Overby

Welcome to The Grim Tidings


Welcome to the internet home of The Grim Tidings Podcast! Not only will we continue to grim up the podcast airwaves, but we’ll also be featuring new content here on this very website. If you’re new to The Grim Tidings Podcast, here are a few primers for you to get caught up with the epicosity.

Q. Who in the blue hell are you guys?

A. The Grim Tidings Podcast is hosted by Rob Matheny and Philip Overby, both life-long fans of speculative fiction and all things dark. We formed The Grim Tidings Podcast in 2015 and have interviewed some of the heaviest hitters in the genre including Joe Abercrombie, Steven Erikson, Kameron Hurley, Anthony Ryan, R.A. Salvatore, Raymond E. Feist and more. We also like to dig into the guts of the industry every so often by talking to literary agents such as Mark Gottlieb or acclaimed editors like Ellen Datlow. We have a mature rating because we like to use colorful language and that’s probably not stopping anytime soon.

Q. OK, so where are your episodes?

A. You can find them on iTunes, Stitcher, or Podbean, but we also have a direct link here to all of the current episodes.

Q. And will this website just sit here and rot now after this initial post?

A. Uh, hell no. We’re planning tons of content. Let me spill the grim beans below.

  • Text Interviews: In addition to our regular podcast episodes, we will also feature text interviews with some of the biggest names in fantasy, SF, and horror.
  • Grimspirations: We’ll be sharing how some of our guests have inspired us by highlighting our background, first time reading their work, etc. Getting teary-eyed just thinking about the memories.
  • Guest Posts: The site will also be open to guest posts from all sorts of people which opens the gates to infinite possibilities.
  • Reviews: Reviews of books, movies, games and any other media that gets The Grim Tidings Podcast seal of approval.
  • …and much more!

So keep an eye on this space for future content, links to episodes, and even some surprises!

You can find us at the following  places as well:

The Grim Tidings Podcast Facebook Page

Twitter: @grimdarkfiction

And the awesome community where we met on Facebook Grimdark Fiction Readers and Writers.