Saturday, 27 September 2008

Podcasting into the darkness

I appeared last night as a guest on the Litopia after Dark podcast, a weekly chat show on writing and writers hosted by (my) literary agent, Peter Cox of the Redhammer agency.

Featuring Peter, regulars Donna Ballman and Dave Bartram, and with children's writer Amanda Lees and myself as guests on this particular show, it's a mix of serious discussion and fun book-based games. Apparently it's listened to by 12,000 to 15,000 people (numbers doubling every quarter).

We had a great time - there were some technical glitches (I particularly liked when Peter had to re-record an intro along the lines of 'it may all go disastrously wrong but it hasn't yet') and at least two of us were well medicated for heavy colds, but we all had fun.

It's difficult to be clear about numbers listening - they're based on downloads/streaming numbers, but of course plenty of copies could be downloaded without ever being listened to. Even so, it suggests there are a fair number of people out there who are interested in writers and writing. Personally, when I've listened, I preferred the serious discussion to the games - apparently the games are the most popular bit in listener feedback, but I suspect that reflects the kind of person who gives feedback, not a good cross section of the audience. Don't get me wrong - I love playing the games, and think there's good entertainment in one where the guests have to pitch existing books in a new way, but I'm not sure about a 20 questions style guess the author/character game. Even so it's a podcast that's well worth picking up on.

Litopia After Dark is a companion to the five-days-a-week Litopia Daily podcast that Peter and his team put together. This also makes great listening for anyone interested in writing. Initially this was a trifle hit and miss, but now the team has settled into it I find it a really valuable addition to my coffee break and would be sad to be without it.

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