It is funny how one thing can lead to another. I decided I should narrate my children’s books. So I did some research online. Read some books, watched some videos and bought myself some basic equipment.
Narrating is harder to do than one would think. In this type of recording, there can be no mistakes. Listening back to my first attempts was a real eye-opener – or should I say, ear-opener. I have slight sibilance – must be my crooked teeth – I breathe too loudly – make mouth clicks, and often have sloppy pronunciation. And as if this wasn’t bad enough, my voice sounds really weird.
As luck would have it, one of my grown-up daughters is a sound engineer. I know how cool is that! Next time you’re at a live show in London, look behind you. That blonde woman on the big sound desk might be my kid! Give her a wave!
Anyway, she was home for a few days and taught me some very basic sound editing and made me a patch for the ‘sss’ in my speaking. She also said it didn’t sound too bad. Encouraged, I finished the book and became more confident when speaking into a microphone and generally not making such a mess of it all. Also, I got used to listening to myself without wincing.
Once the book was finished, I had a new idea. Why not start a podcast? After all, I can now do some basic editing, and I have a bit of equipment – how hard could it be?
As it turned out, not too hard at all. The other daughter works in advertising and helped me with the logo – she made that little avatar of me. There are lots of helpful videos out there and all the podcast hosting platforms have how-to videos. It was just a case of sifting through it all and making some decisions.
And, of course, the big decision was what exactly to call the podcast and what its focus would be.
At first, I thought I would host a podcast featuring writers of fantasy. Mainly because this is what I write. However, when I looked into it, I realised how this would narrow everything from the guests to the subjects discussed. And although I write fantasy, I read everything and so looked for a broader, more encompassing idea. I wanted something inclusive – that all writers, whatever genre, could enjoy both as a guest or a listener, but it needed to have an angle. Then I realised images were that angle.
Let me explain.
These days every author needs many images to support their work on websites, across social media and paid advertising. Book covers are the thin end of the wedge. I would ask each writer about their book covers and advertising assets. Also, I would endeavour to get guests that are artists and book cover designers. The Words & Pictures Podcast was born.
So how has it gone?
So far, so good. I have had a broad and fascinating array of writers and artists. Everyone from the newly published to writers with over twenty books. Independent authors and traditionally published. Book illustrators and book cover designers and those who create adverts. It is great for meeting the many people I rub virtual shoulders with on social media on a daily basis. Chatting on the podcast to these creatives is massively interesting from the point of view of learning about their work and how they develop their ideas. At the end of each interview, I feel I know them but don’t take my word for it. Have a listen. Every one of them has something to share. I love it, and I hope you do too.
You can find the Words & Pictures Podcast on your favourite app, and you can ask your smart speaker. You’ll find links to it here, and if you would like to come and be a guest, email me through the contacts page. This podcast is for every writer, whatever stage you’re at.