where the writers are
BlogRadio and Other Realizations

The Internet continues to amaze me.  Not only do I remain impressed how many visitors I get to this page in Red Room, even though I haven't told my friends or students about it yet (I'm still in the summer mode), but also I just learned about BlogRadio.  If you have dreams of being a radio show host or announcer, no longer do you have to go to the Columbia School of Broadcasting; you don't even need a radio station to hire you.  You can broadcast on the Internet. 

Perhaps I've been asleep at the switch and you know of this phenomenon already, but I didn't come to experience this until a BlogRadio personality, Jordana Ryan, e-mailed me, asking me to appear on her show, Anything Goes.  She also happens to be a romance author whose stories appear in the collection, Meant to Be. 

The interview came yesterday.  She said to call her at a few minutes of 11 a.m.  I assumed that's when she had space or a recording engineer, and we'd chat for perhaps an hour, and she'd edit it down.

I called at the right time.  I figured it was her house or recording studio.  The phone rang, and a computerized voice came on: "You will be live in four minutes, twenty-three seconds."

Live?  "Hello, hello?" I said. "Jordana, are you there?"

"You will be live in four minutes, thirteen seconds."

Yikes! I thought.  Live?  And I won't hear from her until we're on the air?  What was I supposed to do?  In moments, though, Jordana came on to say that yes, it'll be live, and once the forty-five minute interview was over, it could be podcast, too.  She said the forty-five minutes goes quickly, and just to be natural. 

"You will be live in five seconds, four, three..."  And then Jordana gave an introduction to me.  The questions were interesting and involving, asking about my new book, Months and Seasons, about the publishing process, as well as about writing.  She was right--the time went quickly, and she was a great host.  You can hear it at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Jordana-Ryan/2008/08/22/Chris-Meeks.

So now I'm waves on people's speakers.

Yesterday, a written interview by reviewer Mayra Calvani also appeared in two places, BlogCritics magazine, and The Dark Phantom Review.  You can access that at http://thedarkphantom.wordpress.com/2008/08/23/interview-with-short-story-author-christopher-meeks/

When I started as a writer, I had never expected to plunge into marketing. I was nervous in front of people, so all I thought I had to do was write stories.  In my mind, only celebrities wanted to be on the Tonight Show.  If you were a celebrity like comedian Bob Hope, writer Truman Copote, or singer Robert Goulet, that's how you rubbed elbows--in front of people.  I didn't realize they had a film to hawk or new book or album to promote.  That was just a coincidence. 

No, that was marketing.

Now the Internet is where authors go.  Our lives are in pixels as well as audio.  I once told another author about this process that, "I don't see John Irving blogging or creating newsletters and what have you."

He said, "If John Irving started today, he'd do it."

I'm learning.  What I like about blogging and interviews is what I like about teaching: it's helping people learn faster than I did.  The trick is to balance the blogging and interviews with the writing of books, which remains my favorite part.  I've also learned a lot about the publishing industry, too, but I'll save that for another blog.

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Who Knew?

I didn't, and now I do.  Jordana!  Call me!

Thanks, Chris.


Jessica Barksdale Inclan www.jessicabarksdaleinclan.com

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Lots of Space to Fill


Those who are serious BlogRadio hosts have much airtime to fill.  My guess is the clever ones will find Red Room and ask their favorite authors.

Authors with particularly popular books, such as Steve Erickson with his latest, "Zeroville," a Hollywood tale that's a cross between "Day of the Locust" and "Being There," did every interview that was asked of him for a few weeks, most of them real broadcast and real print interviews, and then he couldn't do it anymore.  As BlogRadio becomes more and more popular, more authors will be in this position.  Authors will have to sort out the great interviewers from those new ones who have little interviewing technique or experience.

What I like about the literary websites and now literary BlogRadio is that more and more people find books exciting.