Episode 52: Happy Holidays Episode, with Patricia McLinn

Host Patricia McLinn offers her readers seasons greetings and wraps up the first year of the Authors Love Readers podcast, talking about the unexpected benefit of providing good advice for aspiring writers and why lining up author interviews is sometimes like herding cats. She also urges readers to send to her questions they’d like her to ask future guest authors, and she looks forward to next year.

And to those new to Patricia’s author world, that’s her rescue dog Kalli in the Santa hat. If you keep up with Patricia on her twice-monthly readers newsletter or Facebook page, you’ll see more photos and news about the charismatic collie, along with book updates and special deals.

In Patricia’s words: “I would love to have more reader questions. I am your designated question-asker … but I want to know what questions you all would like to have answered. Not to mention, you’ve come up with some fabulous questions. … It points out the variations among the authors and it shows how individual each of us is.” [6:40]

You can find Patricia at her:

Thank you so much for listening. We hope you enjoyed the podcast enough to want to support us for future episodes. You can do that with as little as $1 a month — that’s only 25 cents per episode! What a deal! — by pledging at Patreon. It’s vital to Authors Love Readers to have your support. Thank you!

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Thanks to DialogMusik for the instrumentals that accompany this podcast.

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Transcript: Happy Holidays Episode

Patricia McLinn [00:00] Hi, welcome to this week’s Authors Love Readers podcast, where we delve into the stories behind the stories. We’re asking authors questions. Some of them fun, some of them serious, and from their answers, you’re going to learn things you never knew about the people who write the stories you love. My name is Patricia McLinn. I’m your host and designated question asker. Now let’s start the show.

Happy Holidays all you Authors Love Readers podcasts listeners. It’s my pleasure to wish you the very best at this time of the year. Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate. Happy New Year to everyone. And I hope whatever holidays you’re celebrating, it brings you joy and you can find joy in multiple places.

[00:59] I love the holidays that I don’t necessarily personally celebrate. I love seeing the lights and the pleasure and all that good stuff. So I hope you will, too. This is also going to be a mini kind of wrap up. We have come through the first year of the Authors Love Readers podcast. It started in the beginning of January of 2018.

And of course, that brings contemplation of what has happened in the past year, and where we’re going from here. So I want to wrap up the first year, a little bit. And one of the things as a longtime journalist, one of my favorite questions of people was what surprised them about whatever I’m interviewing them about. Surprising how many people don’t know what surprised them, but when they did, when they stopped and thought about it, a lot of the, a lot of times the answer was really revealing and, and dug deep. So, uh, I hope that does this a little bit.

[01:59] What are the things that surprised me about doing the Authors Love Readers podcast is that I want it to be, and it is focused to readers. What readers would want to know from authors if they had an opportunity to sit down with them and chat. But what I’ve seen too, is that so much is really valuable for aspiring writers. So if you have any interest in writing, I highly recommend that you go back and listen to the episodes. There are gems in there. And that was a complete bonus as far as, as far as I was concerned, I didn’t know that was going to happen. And I’ve been delighted by it.

The other thing it tells aspiring writers is the huge variation. Although I knew this, it still surprised me to an extent. It certainly fascinates me the different ways that authors approach writing and the rare times where we actually do something similar. We follow the same path. It’s an endless education, both in how people operate and of course in the writing.

[03:13] So for aspiring writers, it should be very supportive and feel like whatever way is working for them is the way to go forward. And there always are opportunities to try different approaches and different methods. But in the meantime, what’s working for you is fine. You are valid and that, all that matters is that you’re getting the words down on the page and then trying to make them better.

Another thing that surprised me, greatly surprised me, was the, I know people have talked about that the,sometimes working with authors, it’s like trying to herd cats. And I was president of Novelists, Inc., which you’ve all heard about numerous times, way back in 2007. And I experienced some of that at both as president and the various stints on the board, but not like I have with Authors Love Readers podcasts, they are worse than herding cats.

[04:18] And I want to say these are not the people that you’re hearing on the podcast, the ones you’re hearing on the podcast are the good cats. They’re the ones who show up at the time that they selected and don’t leave me hanging. The reasonable and responsible ones. I just am flummoxed by, by folks. It’s given me a little more empathy actually for like doctor’s offices who call and remind you over and over and over that you have an appointment.

And it always irked me because I was like, I’m a grownup. I know what my appointment is. Stop bugging me. Well, now I’m seeing the other side of it. I, on the other hand, I don’t want to be that person. Reminding and reminding and reminding people. That’s not my job. That’s not my, my, um, skills, uh, strafe. I just don’t want to do it.

[05:13] So that has been an interesting, an interesting aspect of this over the past 52 weeks. I want to say I started, um, Authors Love Readers podcast with a group of people I knew very well and had great attendance from them because they knew I would get them if they didn’t show up at the right time. Um, the flip side of that, I also knew that if I messed up the technology, they were my good friends and they not only had to forgive me, but they had to redo the show.

So as a, as the year has gone on, I’ve ventured a little bit more into people, I don’t know, quite as well, which has been interesting and learning about them and getting to know them better. I’ve enjoyed that greatly. Uh, it’s a little, uh, um, little more trepidation. I think for me, both in the, trying to get them signed up and then in asking the questions and making sure that the show goes well, but the imbalance it’s been terrific.

[06:17] And again, I want to emphasize if you’ve heard the person’s interview on Authors Love Readers podcast, they are not one of the straying cats. They are the good person, good people. And the other ones aren’t bad people. They’re just not as reliable, I guess. Okay. Another thing that really has surprised me is that we haven’t had more reader questions.

I would love to have more reader questions. That’s what this is for. I’m, I am your designated question asker. I can always come up with questions, but I want to know what questions you all would like to have answered. Not to mention you’ve come up with some fabulous questions. And I love having that continuity of the questions that come from the readers, because it points up the variations among the authors and it shows how individual each of us is.

[07:15] And I want to ask what you want to ask, because I love hearing their, the author’s answers. So please send us some questions. So you can just do it at podcast@authorslovereaders.com or you can find the, the contact also through the website, www.authorslovereaders.com

That’s been the year in Authors Love Readers podcast. I’d be curious also to know from you all, whether you have interest in the solo shows that I’ve done. I will tell you the truth, most of those happened because an author didn’t show and they were supposed to show. So, um, I sort of punted, and I enjoyed doing them, but I would like to know if that’s what you all want or whether you just have like, to have me skip those shows.

[08:08] Sometimes there’s news to tell you about the publishing world. A lot of times there’s not, there’s news, but it’s not stuff that I think you’d be interested in, you know, and in any business, there’s a lot of behind the scenes stuff that is of great interest to those of us active in it, but, you know, it’s, it’s paint drying to other people.

So, uh, but I can talk about bigger, you know, the bigger trends and news, and I could talk about, well, continuing to do the author translate what, what, some of the terms and ideas that come up in the interviews, you know what we’re talking about. And I could also talk about, you know, more individual things I’ve done, uh, various times I’ve done a column called word watch on word usage. I could talk about some of those things.

[09:00] If you wanted, I could talk more about my work, mostly in the past. I know as you know, from, if you’ve listened to some of the interviews, I don’t talk too much about what’s coming up, because if I talk about a story, my little brain goes, Okay, that one’s told let’s go play with something else.

So I have to be very careful about that, but there are things that I could talk about. For instance, now that I’m here, I will say I started this year, I started an eBook store where I can sell my books directly to readers through my website. And I’ve found that to be a fascinating process. And I hope the readers might be interested in that too. So maybe we could talk about that at some point. But I want you all to let me know what you’re interested in. So again, email me.

[09:53] Looking to next year, to year two for Authors Love Readers podcast. I’m not totally committed to this, but I think we’re going to have some schedule changes. And the effect of that will be to spread the episodes out a little more. And that comes back to authors being like herding really bad cats, feral cats. The fewer authors that I interview, the less herding that’s required.

And while I want the, the author interviews to remain the core of the show. We may spread it out a little more and have some weeks where we don’t have episodes. It takes a lot of time to do the interviews. I love talking to the authors in case you can’t tell, it’s like, you know, it’s like sitting around the bar and chatting at a conference about how they work and what they’re doing and why they do it that way. And did they always do it that way or did they start from something else and who are they and where do they come from?

[10:52] So yeah, you can tell I like that. Uh, I can’t think of a single episode where it wasn’t fun and that I didn’t learn something. The other side of it is it consumes a big chunk of my time. And I never have enough time. That’s like a lot of us.

I was writing my Christmas cards and I wrote to somebody and said that because of my dog’s, um, adventures in surgery this year, as those of you who follow me on Facebook are aware, or, or on my newsletter, that I was really behind. And I got a little, little note back. She said, You say you’re behind every year. Well, I am behind every year, every month, every week, most days, but sometimes it’s worse than others. So yes, the podcast does put me behind, but it, it brings me things too. So I’m trying to find a balance there.

[11:54] And it’s not only, I know, you know, that we talk longer than the allotted time. Because we have these combo episodes that we’ve put together from extra bits, we’ve had to cut out so that they, you weren’t listening to a two-hour interview, but I will tell you we also chat before and after. And so it becomes quite a commitment of my time Whose fault is that? I don’t know, couldn’t possibly be mine. Right?

So there is time, time is, is a big factor. Spreading the, the episodes that will also make it somewhat more affordable. As I’ve said to folks before, I’m supporting the podcast. What I spend on editing and hosting and recording fees. Plus the hours for my assistant, who does the show notes and puts, puts the episodes up on my website and, you know, keeps kind of keeps the wheels turning in that way.

[12:53] It’s all money that I can’t then spend on my book business, which is my core business. My income. You know, and it got to keep Kalli in treats. So not to mention, you know, the, the basics of heat, and electricity, and all that good stuff. It also means that I’m not putting as much money back into building my book business, um, whether that’s through advertising or, you know, fluffing up and renewing the presentations through new covers and reformatting or spiffing up my website.

I need to balance how I’m spending my time and my money in doing the podcasts. Unfortunately, right now, it’s doing the podcast versus supporting my core business. I hate that it’s versus I wish they could be mutually beneficial. So that’s the goal. I, I come back to, uh, you know, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the folks who have who’ve donated through Patreon, who they’re showing that support with a small monthly donation.

[14:01] It means so much. It’s great encouragement, and I would love if each of you would consider that. I am surprised, frankly, at how much it means to me. And I think it is because it’s the affirmation, They liked me, they really liked me. And that holds true also for ratings and reviews, which I hugely appreciate, and if you all would take the time to do that, that would be fabulous because that also then draws in more listeners, and it shows you a lot of this.

So that’s really wonderful. If you’re not familiar, then I keep going back and forth between Patreon and patrion. It should be patrion because I’m Pat, but it should be Patreon because of patron. So I will just alternate whenever I feel like it. If you’re not familiar with it, it is a platform where creators ask for support for their creation, and I’m doing it strictly for the podcasts.

[15:00] This is not for me as an author. The only way I’m supported as an author is through the sales of my book. You sign up for how much you want to give a month and that amount is taken from your credit card each month. And it can be as little a, have a dollar or two dollars a month. You can give more if you wanted to. I don’t know what I, what I do if somebody gave the max. I would just probably fall over in a faint.

But it’s very easy. I support several podcasts myself that way, it’s not difficult to stop donating. So don’t worry about one of those things where you get caught up and you can’t ever escape. It’s not like that at all. It’s also easy to up your donation, as I also know. So that would be wonderful.

[15:48] What else I would like from you folks in 2019 is to know what you would like to ask the authors that are interviewed. So do please send in those questions. And what would you like to hear from me? I would like to know that too. This episode is going to be, um, kind of the only one during the holidays, we will pick up the regular or schedule on Wednesday, January the ninth, with a new interview and episode.

Cause I wanted to give Dylan, the editor, and Kay, my assistant, a little time off from these duties. Poor Kay has a lot of other duties that she’s not getting totally off of. Cause got to keep the wheels going on the bus. Right? But we would love to hear from you, authorslovereaders.com. The email is podcast@authorslovereaders.com

[16:44] I hope you’ve enjoyed this year. I hope you’ve learned things as I have, different things, and I’d love to hear what you have learned. I wish you, the coming year of wonderful reading and satisfying reading and, you know, I can’t wish you any better than saying, May you have as many treats in your life as my dog Kalli gets. Cause you will be in clover.

So Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas. I’m a little late for Happy Hanukkah, but I’ll say it Happy Hanukkah, very Happy New Year to you. To all of us. Here we go. Let’s make 2019 terrific.

[17:37] That’s the show for this week. Hope you enjoyed it. And thank you for joining Authors Love Readers podcast. Remember, you can always find out more about our guest authors in the show notes, and you can find out more about me at www.patriciamclinn.com. You can also send in questions to be asked of future authors at podcast@authorslovereaders.com

Until next week. Wishing you lots of happy reading. Bye.


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