Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Writer Types: A New Crime Fiction Podcast

by Holly West

Have you heard? There's a new podcast in town. This month, crime fiction writers Eric Beetner and S.W. Lauden debuted Writer Types, a podcast devoted to crime and mystery fiction. You can listen to the first episode here:

As you can see (hear?), episode one pulls together an all-star line-up: Megan Abbott (YOU WILL KNOW ME), Lou Berney (THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE), Steph Post (LIGHTWOOD), with appearances by Eric Campbell of Down & Out Books and many more. I've been told that episode two is also shaping up to be a strong one, though given its creators, this is no surprise. But I'll let Eric and Steve tell you about it.

HW: Both of you already do quite a bit of promotion/advocating for the crime fiction community. Not to mention busy writing schedules and families. So whose bright idea was it to add a podcast and why?

SWL: This is what happens when Eric and I are cooped up in a car together all day! We were driving down to a book signing at Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego and started talking about podcasts we like (when we weren't listening to Eric's super obscure music collection). It doesn't take much to get Eric and I brainstorming. We pretty much had the basic outline for Writer Types by the time we got back to LA that night.

EB: Steve and I have had a great rapport since we first met and I'll go almost anywhere he asks. (SWL: "Almost?") During our drive we both slowly came to realize with his background in journalism and mine in TV we could do a podcast that was different from others out there. We wanted ours to be more like a radio show with multiple guests and short segments. From there it came together quickly and at every turn we've agreed on how we should approach each little decision. It's a true collaboration.

HW: I've listened to the first episode and I'm impressed with your balance of well-and-lesser known authors and books. Do you plan to expand the podcast to include other genres or other crime-related topics (film, TV, etc)?

EB: I'd love to include screenwriters down the road. We really are open to everything. Obviously the first few are going to pull from our own contacts, but like you said up top both Steve and I have been around and involved with dozens of other writers whether it's through me hosting Noir at the Bar or Steve's blog interviews, so we could go a whole lot of episodes just on people we can reach out to easily and quickly, which is nice. And as well all know, crime fiction people are the nicest around so everyone has been nothing but supportive.

SWL: I agree with Eric. The podcast is so new that really anything is possible. The hope is to create a fast-paced show with lots of different voices every episode—all revolving around crime and mystery fiction. We got really lucky with our guest list for the first episode, but the second episode is shaping up to be just as amazing.

HW: Obviously many of your guests call in their interviews. But what about you guys? Are you holed up in a room together producing this podcast?

EB: As much as we can we want to be in the same room. It gives it a different vibe. If we can't be, we're still live with each other via a video link. So when we did all the interviews for episode one we were together. For some of our host segments we were video linked but each in our own homes. Technology! Beyond that, we don't want to give away too many trade secrets. Important thing to know is that yes, we both wore pants the whole time. I can't verify the same for all guests.

HW: I liked the inclusion of Eric Campbell from Down & Out Books, but I'm a writer. It made me wonder who you consider to be your main audience? Readers? Writers? Both?

SWL: That's an interesting question that we've definitely wrestled with. Really, this is supposed to be a podcast for the crime/mystery community as a whole. We're hoping there's something there for readers AND writers, but it'll definitely take some trial and error to figure out what works and what doesn't.

EB: This was a topic of much discussion. We try to think of readers first, writers second. I think one industry professional per episode will still be interesting to readers. Everyone likes a peek behind the curtain of a world they love. So we want to appeal to both but we don't want readers to ever feel like we're just sitting around talking shop. We won't ever ask our authors too much about process or technical stuff about writing. We want it always to be fun as well as informational.

HW: What are your goals for the podcast?

EB: To make the kind of show we'd want to listen to. It's the same approach I take to my writing. I write a book I'd want to read. But for us working in the industry-ish or at least knowing about production, and our time as musicians and working in studios, we knew what we wanted and set about making that a reality. Beyond that, we want to give authors we love a platform to talk about their writing. Want to give voice to some under-the-radar authors. Everyone we interview are all people we like talking to and want to know more about, you just get to listen in but we know enough to know we have to add a little something to make it interesting to listen in to.

SWL: I've said this many times before, but the crime/mystery community is the closest thing I've found to the rock universe I came out of. Sure, we're all trying to promote our own books, but in the end we have this amazing opportunity to support each other in a difficult pursuit. If this podcast helps connect a few authors with a few new readers, and vice versa, than I think we will have succeeded. I just want to keep having interesting conversations along the way and meeting passionate people. Also, I've apparently become a hippie.

EB: Yeah, I keep hearing all about this punk rock past of yours. All I see is a devoted father in his Harry Potter hats with a respectable 9-to-5 and a reputation in the crime fiction community as being a super nice, very supportive guy. Sellout! Wait, I just described myself too. Steve, what have we become?!?!

SWL: Our parents, Eric. We've become our parents.

Find the Writer Types podcast here:


Dana King said...

I listened the first or second day tr was live. All the interviews were well done and interesting. I learned stuff and I'm already a bit of an insider, as a Down & Out author published by Eric Campbell myself. The opening monologue needs work, though. And the band.

Art Taylor said...

Love this interview! Looking forward to checking out the podcast!

totally not me said...

nice. beats that DSD podcast they did years ago. that was mostly talk about doctor who and rutgers

Claire Booth said...

How fantastic! I can't wait to listen to the podcast. Thanks for letting us know about it, Holly.

Holly West said...

Glad I could introduce this podcast to a few people. I'm looking forward to seeing how Writer Types develops.