10 things I’m learning from podcasting

Hey, peeps! Hope everybody is having a fab time!

As some of you know, I’ve been crazy busy over at Women and Words and other projects and with the Lesbian Talk Show podcasts over at Podbean. I co-host two. One, with my colleague at Women and Words Jove Belle, is a round-up of things going on at the WaW blog as well as whatever else we tie to that to chat about, and we often throw in news from the lesfic/LGBT+ publishing world about events, calls for submissions, and things like that.

The other (we just launched it!) is Lez Geek Out! which I co-host with fellow spec fic writer Lise MacTague (who I call L-Mac). That one’s Lise and I fangirling about TV shows, movies, comics, and whatever else we can find to fangirl about.

I’m relatively new to this whole podcasting thing, but hey, you won’t learn if you don’t try, right? I’m lucky in some ways, maybe, because I have a background as a radio DJ and I’ve done a lot of public speaking (I still do a lot of that), so I’m comfortable talking on a broadcast and in front of a live audience.

But there’s always something to learn, and here are some of the things that I’ve learned as I’ve ventured into this whole podcast thing. And if you’re a podcaster, please do share your tips below in the comments. If you’re a listener, what works for you and what doesn’t? Let me know! You can also join the Lesbian Talk Show chat group on Facebook, which has all the hosts from the podcasts at the Lesbian Talk Show on it, and we can be pretty irreverent, but we’d love to hear your thoughts, so please do join the group and join in.

1. Better time management. LOL In most cases. Lise and I are pretty good about keeping the Lez Geek Out! podcasts to around 20 minutes. Jove and I can get a little off-track, so we go anywhere from 30-45 minutes, though we’re trying not to. So I clearly have more to learn about time management. But we do end up staying on topic, so there’s that.

I also learned this from being a radio DJ, because when you’re broadcasting, you have a certain amount of time to talk if you’re doing certain things, so I got pretty good about getting to the point quickly and disseminating info in 30-second or 2-minute blocks. Podcasting may not have the immediacy of a live broadcast, but when you prepare for one, you get a sense of how long you have, and what to say and what not to say in order to keep the show moving and to hit that sweet spot time-wise. I’d argue that 30 minutes is probably ideal, but an hour isn’t bad if you and your co-host(s) have a good rapport.

2. Better organization. Again, this is kind of an LOL because sometimes it doesn’t always work out that way, but I tend to prepare materials prior to recording and I and my co-hosts will chat beforehand to determine where we want to go and how we want to address things. I realized that I needed to do this to make sure we stayed on track, and it’s a habit I actually picked up as a radio DJ, though podcasting works a little differently.

If you want to start your own podcast, it’s well worth your while to map out an outline ahead of time so you can stick to your topics and fit it into your time block. After a while, when you get more comfie with the environment, it’ll take you less time to prepare and you’ll have developed a rapport with your co-host. Or at least a stronger rapport, if you already worked in some capacity with that person.

3. How to herd cats. Mostly. I work with two very different co-hosts in the podcasts I do. One is someone I’ve known for a decade and we’ve started and maintained different projects together over the years. We know each other pretty well in some respects, and we know our strengths and weaknesses. She lets me be the bad cop in terms of reining her in to keep us on track, and I’ve learned how to apply that to myself, too, though sometimes we both slip. Heh.

The other person I work with is someone I haven’t known very long at all, but we chatted before deciding to do this podcast and decided that it would work. She’s pretty organized, and we talk about what we’re going to do and what our approach is going to be before each show, and we’re good at staying on topic and within our time frame. It’s a more organized approach than my other podcast, but that’s okay because it’s two different people, and I’m thus…

4. Learning to work better in this environment with others. I like that I do one podcast with someone I’ve been friends and colleagues with for a while and that the other is with someone I just recently met. It forces me to really think about my approaches and how to make adjustments to the approaches of the other person, and that’s a useful skill for any collaborative endeavor. Podcasting with a co-host is, after all, a team sport.

5. Expressing thoughts more clearly. Okay, it’s an ideal, people. 😀 But like my radio days, podcasting requires that you have a plan and that you figure out how to execute that plan within a time limit and how to stay mostly on topic. Some segues can be fun, and you’ll get a sense for figuring out when that’s happening and when you’re flying off the rails. Which is not to suggest I haven’t flown off the rails with my co-hosts, but I think I’ve gotten better about grabbing on as we’re flinging off and helping bring us back on track.

I’ve listened to podcasts that went on for an hour or more and the hosts started with a good topic but then didn’t execute and ended up rambling and not wrapping it up in a neat package. So I try to approach each podcast with this in mind, and I try to make clear statements about the direction and topics. Which hearkens back to organization and sometimes I don’t execute as cleanly as I’d like, but the more I do this, I hope the better I get.

6. Learning how to use new software and hardware platforms. This is a work in progress, friends. There’s lots of different software out there to do podcasting. So far, I’m trying to deal with Audacity, which is a free multi-track audio editing and recording program. Back in my radio days, I worked with a similar program and a bit with ProTools, which is a program for hardcore music production. As a radio DJ, I often recorded ad spots for airing, and I really didn’t need ProTools for that, but at the time, other programs weren’t as readily available.

I’m really appreciative, actually, when I learn cool new things like this, even though it can be really super frustrating at first. I’m fortunate at the moment right now because one of my colleagues uses Open Broadcaster software (opensource) and she gets everything done on her end when I Skype in for the recording and ships it off to the coordinator and founder at the Lesbian Talk Show. In the other case, my co-host and I use Audacity and the coordinator/founder edits them together. So I’m trying to learn more so that I can help out in the editing realm.

7. Building an audience. Developing a podcast audience is much different than developing one as a writer. Different products, after all. So I’m learning to think outside the usual boxes, and Sheena, the coordinator/founder over at the Lesbian Review Talk Show (who also podcasts) has been SO helpful in this regard, in terms of tracking numbers and helping us figure out what works and what doesn’t. She’s also constantly thinking about how to market and where, and constantly tweaking approaches.

8. Developing a thick skin. Granted, I’m a writer, so I’ve had to develop one of those anyway. But podcasting is a different medium, so I’m taking cues from listeners and Sheena about what’s working and what’s not and making adjustments. There will always be people who think I suck, and that I sound terrible and who might even hate-listen to me. I can’t do much about that, but if they have legit critiques about how to make myself sound better or articulate better, hey, I’m all ears! I want to get better at this, so any help you have, thanks!

9. Podcasting legalese. I’ve just begun scratching this surface, and it’s important that podcasters figure this stuff out, especially if you’re going to be bringing guests on (celebrity or otherwise). This means you need to think about publicity rights in terms of you and your guests, and commercial use (if applicable). But, knowledge like this is good to have anyway, especially if you’re a writer, because it gets you thinking about trademark and copyright and the like and encourages you to become more savvy about your contracts. 🙂 If you’re not a writer, it’s just good to be informed about how this stuff works if you’re podcasting.

Handy guide to podcasting legalese.

10. A whole new bucket of fun and community engagement! Podcasting has opened new avenues of creativity for me, and new ways of exploring both writing and fangirling (two passions of mine), and working with people in new ways. So though it is work, and I’m not getting paid for any of it, I love it, and it’s another way I can engage with community and with colleagues. And I am all about that.

So there you go. Stop by the Lesbian Talk Show over on Podbean to see what’s going on. There are a variety of podcasts available there, and one or more will probably strike your fancy. Also check out the LTS chat group Facebook page and come on and jump into the fray.

Get the app for at the App Store or Google Play.

Some podcasts that I listen to:

Spirits — boozy, biweekly podcast about myth, legends, and folklore. The hosts, Amanda and Julia, are knowledgeable and hilarious and will bring guests on.

Tales of the Black Badge — A podcast that deals with all things Wynonna Earp. The show, the fandom, the comic, the actors, the writers, the showrunners…you get the gist. Hosts Bonnie and Kevin are a lot of fun.

The Hunner — this one is pretty new. Only two episodes thus far, but it’s pure Clexa Trash from across the pond and I love me some Clexa Trash. Plus, the hosts are hilarious.

Throwing Shade (podcast and vid) — hosts Erin and Bryan (both comedians) take on politics, celebrity, and whatever else in their snarky, fun way.

Tagg Nation — queer news and views.

And if you’d like to find other LGBT+ podcasts try this list at Player FM.

Let me know what podcasts you’re into and why! Share some luv!

Happy Monday, all!

10 things I’m looking forward to in 2017

Hey, all!

So the Hootenanny over at the blog I co-admin, Women and Words, kept us crazy and busy, and I’m pretty sure we must’ve given away around 500 books. But I don’t even want to count for sure.

Also, in case you didn’t realize, I do a Fangirl Friday blog over there almost every Friday about what I’m fangirling over, so if that’s up your ally, give it a whirl. This past Friday’s was my thoughts about Carrie Fisher.

And in keeping with my fangirl obsessions, I’m also on Tumblr and I’m writing a Clexa fic at Archive of Our Own.

Anyway, I just want to say that for the most part, 2016 was full of serious suckage. So here, I’m listing 10 things I’m looking forward to in 2017, provided the new regime doesn’t shut down the Internet and start rounding people like me up (only partially kidding).

1. Wynonna Earp Season 2. OMG I can’t EVEN! SO EXCITED about this! Wynonna Earp provided balm to my broken Clexa heart in the wake of the bullshit that was S3 of The 100. Queer and POC rep! Possible March premiere of Wynonna Earp S2. More of my fangirling over it. By the way, shout-out to the Wynonna Earp fandom, which organized and was largely responsible for convincing the network (SyFy) to renew for a second season. Well done, my peeps. Well done.
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2. Killjoys Season 3. Killjoys, too, provided some balm to my little wounded heart in the wake of The 100 and yay, it was renewed for a third season. Ass-kicking women, great plots, space opera awesome-ness. Queer and POC rep. It’s well worth your time to check this series out. And here’s me fangirling over it.

3. Star Wars Episode VIII: This is the last Star Wars appearance of Carrie Fisher, if I’m not mistaken, and I’ll most likely cry when I see her on the screen, but damn, Star Wars. Thank GAWD for Star Wars in my life. It feeds my little space opera/spec fic/adventurous soul.

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4. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter – Yeah, whatever! I enjoy the Resident Evil movies because HELLO. Mila Jovovich kicking serious ass all over the screens as Alice, battling the evil corporate empire and various zombies and whatever the hell else she has to deal with. Woman power, y’all!

And yes, that is Guns n’ Roses playing. How can you not want to see this movie?

Notice my theme, here? Fangirling and escapism. If only I could have my own band of outlaws and take to space…

5. ClexaCon, Las Vegas, March: HOLY SHIT I am SO STOKED about this. ClexaCon is the inaugural con for queer women in media, named in honor of the iconic ship Clexa, from The 100. I will be attending as press (Women and Words) and I will be blogging and Tweeting about it and I may be moderating a panel. We shall see! If you’re interested, here’s an interview I did with some of the organizers.

6. Releasing a few more books/novellas. Okay, so, I’ve been kind of tight-lipped about what I’m up to in that regard, and I usually am (weird superstition), but I am going to be publishing a few things this year. So stay tuned. 🙂

7. Writing more fanfic: I dunno. I’m really enjoying this, so I may actually write some more this year. Probably Clexa, but you never know. And holy shit, I may actually do some AU Clexa. WTF? lol

8. Continued work building community: Some of you know that I and bunches of colleagues do lots of community-building through Women and Words and organizations like GCLS as well as through various other organizations, and I love doing it. I’m going to keep doing that — and I think we need it now more than ever.

9. Hopefully some more travel, provided the new regime doesn’t put travel restrictions on people it deems “unworthy” (again, only partially kidding…ugh). I would LUUUUUV to go to New Zealand and Australia, so if anybody in those countries feels like putting up a half-cracked weirdo American fangirl/author like myself, let me know! LOL

10. A super-secret project I can’t tell you about yet. Really looking forward to it, and you’ll be the first to know when it drops. 😀

Regardless, stay strong, my friends. Stick up for each other, speak out, and remember who you are. Much love for 2017.

Some reminder writing tip posts

Hey, all!

Damn. Been a while. But you can always find me over at Women and Words, on Twitter, or Facebook.

I’m working on several see-krit projects at the moment. A not see-krit project is the fanfic I’m doing over at Archive of Our Own. It’s a Clexa piece, and it’s over 180K words, now. Still going. Basically, I rebooted season 3. You’re welcome. 😀

Anyway! Here are some writing tips just for you, in a few different (oldies but goodies) blogs that I wrote. I still get requests for these, so here they are again:

On writing dialogue

On Point-of-view (POV)

On headhopping

“As you know, Bob…” (part of the writer’s adage, show-don’t-tell)

Participial Phrases

Get your write on!

Happy Tuesday.

On fangirling and writing fanfic

Hi, all!

I know. I’ve been neglecting all of you. But I have been writing a ton of Fangirl Friday blogs over at my other site, Women and Words, so if you wonder where the hell I am, check there. And the Twitterz, where I go by the cryptic handle @andimarquette.

Anyway, I’ve got a lot of things in the works right now. I recently published a short novel at Ylva — it’s a thriller with a little romantic undercurrent. Here’s the link, if you want to see more.

I’m working on some rewrites of my other stuff to get it back on the market…yeah. That’s been kind of a clusterfuck, and I apologize a jillion times over for that. Hopefully that will be remedied soon, but seriously. Clusterfuck. I can’t even with that. Sigh.

Plus, I have to admit, this election season has given me super angst. This whole fucking year has given me angst because of all the shitty-shit that’s gone down in a variety of quarters, which means I’ve sought escape in order to maintain my emotional and spiritual (and physical) health.

Along those lines, I’ve basically reclaimed my 37th childhood and decided to go fangirl for various things (see my posts at Women and Words) and seek solace with like-minded people. At least we can all fangirl together.

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BLOG HOP! If Looks Could Kill PLUS GIANT-ASS GIVEAWAY FOR REALZ

Hi, all! So here’s my slightly late hop on The Law Game blog hop.

AND! DO NOT FORGET to get in on the giveaway! Leave a comment at Women and Words on THIS LINK. We are giving away a SET OF ALL FIVE OF THESE BOOKS, ebook. FOR REALZ. GO SEE!

For those not in the know, The Law Game is a collection of novellas/novels that all share a common theme. They have to do with “law” in some way.

I’m the last stop! HA! The buck stops here! Okay, not really. I don’t know what the buck does on its off time, but it doesn’t linger too long around here.

Oh, you can catch the fab Jessie Chandler’s installment of the blog hop HERE. She posted Aug. 24th.

If Looks Could Kill

And, so you know the awesome, here are the other participants in this here cool series thingie by Ylva publishing.

And here’s what my contribution is all about:

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HEY! REVIEWERS WANTED!

Hey, peeps!

My latest book is a longish novella called If Looks Could Kill and it is due out in August, but ARCs are available NOW.

If you’re interested in receiving an ARC — an advanced reading copy — which means you need to write a review, too — NOW is the time to sign up.

You can do that by hitting THIS LINK.

If Looks Could Kill — The Law Game Book 5

 

If Looks Could Kill

Eleanor “Ellie” O’Donnell is part of a special investigative unit within the New York City Police Department. Her latest assignment has her tasked with uncovering the relationship between internationally known fashion mogul and all-around ice queen Marya Hampstead and a local Russian crime family. As legendary for her business acumen and beauty as her uncompromising and unapproachable personality, Marya Hampstead is not a woman to cross.

Unfortunately for Ellie, the only way she can get close enough to conduct her investigation is by pretending to be an aspiring designer who takes an internship at Hampstead’s company. Definitely out of her element, Ellie has to put all her acting and investigative skills to work as she delves into what at first seems a simple case of occasional public outings with a man whose family has ties Hampstead might not know about.

But when Marya’s father, an international businessman, shows up in New York, it becomes clear that something else is going on, and that there’s much more to Marya Hampstead than meets the eye. The question is, how much more and how deep is Ellie willing to go to find out?

In the fast-paced world of clothes, critics, and competition, Ellie uncovers a lot more than runway gossip, including secrets that will kill far more than a bad outfit.

Books in the Law Game Series

ONE: Requiem for Immortals, by Lee Winter
TWO: Archer Securities, by Jove Belle
THREE: Daughter of Baal, by Gill McKnight
FOUR: Evolution of an Art Thief, by Jessie Chandler
FIVE: If Looks Could Kill, by Andi Marquette

SO WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO IF YOU RECEIVE AN ARC?

I’m glad you asked! Here’s the deal.

  • ARCs are proof copies. So if you find any technical errors while you’re reading along (e.g. missing punctuation or an extra word), please let me know, and thanks!
  • ARCs are typically sent directly to your Kindle. That allows me to keep track of what I send to who. ARCs are fun to give out, but I have to manage them appropriately. So it’s oh, so helpful if you have a Kindle address, too.
  • Ideally, it would be so awesome for reviews to go up on Amazon on release day, so please shoot for that. Goodreads should be available before that, and you can leave a review there at any time.
  • Please be honest in your reviews. Hey, I dig 5-star reviews as much as the next author, but the last thing I want is for someone to feel obligated to do that just because she received an ARC.

So if this is something you’d like to get in on, SIGN UP HERE and THANKS!

There is a space for your Kindle address on that signup form, but if you don’t know it yet, or you don’t have one, you still get to sign up for ARCs. So go ahead and fill out the rest of it.

ARCs are typically sent directly to your Kindle, and it helps me out to do that. If you have a Kindle but you don’t know what your Kindle address is, hit THIS LINK. It walks you through finding it. You’ll also need to make sure I’m an approved contact. You will find the instructions about how to do that at that link. Trust me. It’s not as scary as it sounds. 🙂

Here’s my email address to add me to your approved contact list:
andimarquette AT gmail DOT com
(AT = @ and DOT=.)

So if you have a Kindle address and you know it, you can just add it on that sign-up form. If you don’t have one, that’s fine. Fill out the form anyway and I’ll get you hooked up.

Thanks a bunch, everyone!

Things I’m up to, including a forthcoming release and fanfic

Hiya, peeps!

Whew. So the Order Up blog tour wound down and we gave a bunch of copies away and hopefully introduced a bunch of you to some new authors.

Next week is crazy-time for a bunch of lesfic authors in the States, as we head to the GCLS conference. So I’ll be running around doing that. Tweeting and Facebooking and things, so if you’re unable to join us in person, well, you can still hang with us in spirit.

I also very quietly have been working on a long novella/short novel that is part of The Law Game series through Ylva Publshing.

Mine is If Looks Could Kill, and it’s Book 5. It’s due out in the next month or two. I’ll keep you posted.

If Looks Could Kill

Description:
Eleanor “Ellie” O’Donnell is part of a special investigative unit within the New York City Police Department. Her latest assignment has her tasked with uncovering the relationship between internationally known fashion mogul and all-around ice queen Marya Hampstead and a local Russian crime family. As legendary for her business acumen and beauty as her uncompromising and unapproachable personality, Marya Hampstead is not a woman to cross.

Unfortunately for Ellie, the only way she can get close enough to conduct her investigation is by pretending to be an aspiring designer who takes an internship at Hampstead’s company. Definitely out of her element, Ellie has to put all her acting and investigative skills to work as she delves into what at first seems a simple case of occasional public outings with a man whose family has ties Hampstead might not know about.

But when Marya’s father, an international businessman, shows up in New York, it becomes clear that something else is going on, and that there’s much more to Marya Hampstead than meets the eye. The question is, how much more and how deep is Ellie willing to go to find out?

In the fast-paced world of clothes, critics, and competition, Ellie uncovers a lot more than runway gossip, including secrets that will kill far more than a bad outfit.

Hope you’re interested in checking that out.

OH, and here’s a bit more news. You guys, I’ve just started posting my very first fanfic. I’m one of those obsessed with The 100. I’ve already blogged about the episode in season 3 that shall not be named here, and that is primarily what kicked me in the ass to actually do fanfic.

I have written fanfic in the past. Just not about TV shows and I’ve never posted it. I’ve used it as a writing exercise, to explore characterization and motives while playing in someone else’s world. Maybe that’s a weird form of cosplay. Heh.

At any rate, I am posting a Clexa fanfic, a chapter or two at a time, every week or 10 days or so, over at Archive of Our Own. The title of the work is “Grounded,” and I’m AndiLand or Andi Marquette over there, if you’re into Clexa fanfic.

How could you NOT fanfic this? I mean, for realz, yo!
How could you NOT fanfic this? I mean, for realz, yo!

All rightie. Happy weekending, everyone.

ORDER UP BLOG TOUR with N.R. Dunham!

Hey, all!

Like I said. I went crazy over here on my blog with various authors who have stories in the just-released anthology Order Up: A Menu of Lesbian Romance & Erotica, edited by yers truly and R.G. Emanuelle.

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Today, we are joined by N.R. Dunham, who will share with you some background about her story, “A Twist of France.” She’s also included an excerpt, so dive right in and get you some. 🙂

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ORDER UP blog tour! Excerpt by Emma Weimann!

DARLINGS! It’s outta control up in here on this site. OUTTA CONTROL. We had Rebekah Weatherspoon, Jaye Markham, and now we’re having Emma Weimann!

I freaking love having all these people hanging out with me. Today we’ve got Emma Weimann, who scored a Goldie for her first novel, Heart’s Surrender.

Here, however, she’s got a story in Order Up: A Menu of Lesbian Romance & Erotica.

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In “Something Salty, Something Sweet,” Emma tells the story of two women who have been together a while but still find and make time for each other.

So I’ll turn it over to her, now, and let her serve you some delicious-ness.

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