The Word Count Podcast: Episode 97

R. B. Wood

Former technologist, world traveler, & storyteller.

Strength in Numbers


The “Year of Hell” as I’m calling 2020, took a personal turn over the summer.

The details are unimportant. But suffice to say that there were troubles and they were addressed (or continue to be addressed).

Let me make my apologies, make an announcement, then we’ll get on with episode 97.

First, to those writers who volunteer their time and creative efforts to the Word Count, Sorry about the long delay in releasing this episode. And second, to our listeners, this is no one’s fault but my own.

Now for that announcement.

The upcoming 100th episode of The Word Count will be the final show for this podcast. For ten years I, and the WC Irregulars, have been posting stories for your listening pleasure. It has been our absolute delight to work on this show.

 More details as we progress through our final shows.

Our theme this final year is Animals and I gave our intrepid author’s this creepy picture to get the creative juices flowing:

WCPep97 prompt

You can listen to the episode here:

THREE brand new stories this month (two collaborative tales) for your listening pleasure!

In the meantime, allow me to introduce you to my talented friends starring in this episode:

Our Guests:

Bill Kirton & Eden Baylee – “A Tale of Two Geralds”

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Bill Kirton was born in Plymouth, England, studied French at Exeter University, and graduated in 1962. While teaching at Hardye’s School, Dorchester, he started his Ph.D. on the theatre of Victor Hugo and was a lecturer at Aberdeen University from 1968 to 1989.

He’s also been a voice-over artist, TV presenter and has extensive experience of acting and directing. His directing credits include many French language plays as well as works by Shakespeare, Orton, Beckett, and Ionesco. He spent a sabbatical year at the University of Rhode Island Theater Department, which commissioned translations of 3 Molière plays from me, one of which he directed himself. The script also won third prize in the British Comparative Literature Association’s Annual Translation competition, 1999.

Bill wrote and performed songs and sketches in revues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, stage plays, two of which were commissioned by Aberdeen Children’s Theatre, and radio plays for the BBC, two of which were also broadcast in Australia.

Since the late 1990s, his writing has concentrated on prose fiction. He has written many short stories and ten novels, two of which have won awards, with a third being long-listed for the Rubery International Book Award.

Bill has held posts as a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at universities in Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews and, since 2015, have been the organiser of a Scotland-wide scheme which places professional writers in schools to help students with the transition to writing at university. He still gives workshops in schools from Orkney to Dundee as part of the scheme and he’s written five books in Pearson Educational’s ‘Brilliant’ series on the study, writing, and workplace skills. Bill also co-authored ‘Just Write’ for Routledge.

Website (and blog):

Facebook pages:

Eden Baylee left a twenty-year banking career to write and is now a full-time author of multiple genres.

She has written three collections of erotic novellas and flash fiction ~ SPRING INTO SUMMER, FALL INTO WINTER, and HOT FLASH.

In 2014, she launched the first novel of her STRANGER TRILOGY with Dr. Kate Hampton–a psychological mystery/suspense called “Stranger at Sunset.” In addition to working on her next novel, Eden created the LAINEY LEE SERIES about a feisty divorcée who finds adventure and romance in Hawaii.

An introvert by nature and an extrovert by design, Eden is most comfortable at home with her laptop surrounded by books. She is an online Scrabble junkie and a social media enthusiast, but she really needs to get out more often! 
FB IMG 1578625698417Maria Haskins – “The Rules of Meerkats


Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and reviewer of speculative fiction. She lives just outside Vancouver with two kids, a husband, a large black dog, a ball python, and several birds (some of you might or might not hear in this recording). Find out more at, or follow her on Twitter at @mariahaskins.


Twitter: @mariahaskins

Jack Gwaltney & John McCaffrey“Saturday Morning”

john and jack

Jack Gwaltney was born in Virginia, went to the University of Virginia and lives in New York, fortunate to perform as an actor on stage, television and in film. Collaborating with John McCaffrey is one of the wisest things Jack does. Thanks to The Word Count Podcast!

John McCaffrey grew up in Rochester, New York, attended Villanova University, and received his MA in Creative Writing from the City College of New York. He is the author of The Book of Ash and Two Syllable Men. He lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.