Hello. My name is Susan. I am addicted to podcasts.
At first, my obsession with podcasts started with listening to a few book programs or maybe an episode of This American Life. But then someone told me about Serial…and that was it. I was hooked.
After binge listening to eight or nine episodes (yes…I came to it late), all I thought about was Serial—the people, the events, the accusations. But I also realized something else—something that allowed me to justify my addiction. I discovered that I was also listening to this podcast as a writer.
If you haven’t listened to Serial yet, you really should give it a try. The episodes are available online for free at Serialpodcast.org, and you can listen to them on your computer, if necessary. I downloaded them from iTunes so that I could have them with me on my drive to work each day. The episodes vary in length, but I have always been entertained and curious about what is coming next.
What I love most about Serial is that it is an excellent example of storytelling, and it only took me a few episodes to realize that I was learning all kinds of things about writing I started picking up on ideas about constructing characters, choosing point of view, the value of proper pacing, the complexities of plotting, and how to structure complex stories.
After I caught up with all of the episodes of Serial, I wanted more. I didn’t necessarily want more podcasts like Serial (because those are hard to find!), but I did want more podcasts for writers and/or about books. Talking about books, authors, publishing, and writing inspires me as an author, so if you think you might need a shot of inspiration, give some thought to listening to podcasts.
In my search, I found some great podcasts that are very well done and provide a lot of great discussion and information. Here are a few of the podcasts I now love as a reader and a writer...
[NOTE: Each of these can be found on iTunes.]
Books on the Nightstand: The website’s “About” section states that Books on the Nightstand “strive[s] to bring you great book recommendations, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the world of books, bookstores and publishing.” I really enjoy listening to the two hosts, and they have some really interesting episodes.
BookRiot Podcast: Another podcast heavy on book news and information.
BBC World Bookclub Podcasts: This is a great resource for author interviews and discussion of books. Many of the authors are literary fiction writers, but most are well-known names, and there is always a good bit of discussion about writing.
The Narrative Breakdown: This is probably my most favorite podcast for writers. The discussion is always lively, and you can get a lot of great advice about different aspects of the writing process.
Kobo Writing Life Podcast: Another excellent writing podcast. I've found great interviews (I loved listening to Rainbow Rowell, author of Eleanor and Park), and I hear lots of good information on here.
Again, this tiny list just scratches the surface, but they are a good place to start. If you have other suggestions, please leave them in the comments section! Happy listening!
Susan Sierra is a historical and contemporary romance writer. She loves books and old letters, adores her dog and family, and has a deep and committed love affair with coffee. She spent time as an undergraduate studying (having fun) in Mexico, went on to work for a large regional magazine as a copyeditor, and then decided that she hadn’t tortured herself enough in life...so she went to graduate school. After many years, she walked away with a PhD and an unhealthy relationship with Charles Dickens. She hopes to complete her first full-length novel in 2015.