Special Feature

INTRODUCTION TO CRIME FICTION PODCASTING: A DISCUSSION WITH SHANNON CLUTE AND SETH HARWOOD

By K. Robert Einarson


One of the mandates of Spinetingler Magazine is to discuss and promote new or emerging technologies that are influencing how fiction and film and the discussion of fiction and film are presented to an audience.

The World Wide Web was one of these technologies. Online magazines, review sites and even blogs allow a very broad discussion of books, authors and industry news and trends. This kind of discussion was not even possible or even imaginable twenty years ago. Now the idea of having real time access to an author or being able to discuss a book with several hundred other people around the world is so common place, we don’t even consider it novel any more.

The next evolution for our industry is the emergence of podcasting.

For anyone who is unfamiliar with what a podcast is, here is an excellent definition from the Wikipedia:

“A podcast is a collection of files (usually audio and video) residing at a unique web feed address. People can "subscribe" to this feed by submitting the feed address to an aggregator (like iTunes- software that runs on the consumer's computer). When new "episodes" become available in the podcast they will be automatically downloaded to that user's computer. Unlike radio or streaming content on the web, podcasts are not real-time. The material is pre-recorded and users can check out the material at their leisure, offline.”

To discuss this technology and the potential it offers, we have chosen two outstanding podcasts to feature.

The first featured podcast is from the author of the popular “Jack Palms” series, Seth Harwood. His acclaimed first novel “Jack Wakes Up” built a loyal readership and his second “Jack Palms II, This Is Life.” Is becoming one of the most talked audio book out there. Did we mention “Jack Wakes Up” was the first noir podcast novel?

The second featured podcast is actually three podcasts from the team of Shannon Clute and Richard Edwards.

In “Out of the Past, Investigating Film Noir”, Clute and Edwards have crafted in a fascinating podcast that is part DVD commentary, part academic analysis and part movie buff discussion. A must for any viewer who wants to understand the roots of some of their favorite movies.

With “Behind the Black Mask”, Clute and Edwards take interview a range of authors and use their backgrounds to provide a more than just the garden-variety questions to the interview.

Their wide knowledge of film and novels make their interviews a must for any reader to better understand the process their favorite author uses.

The final podcast “Noircast Specials”, they explore different themes in this occasional feature. In the two episodes to date, they featured a roundtable discussion with the director, playwright, and lead actors of The Stolen Chair Theatre Company's off-Broadway play "Kill Me Like You Mean It." in the first episode and featured interviews with the creators of three alternative noir publications: Tee Morris, founder of podiobooks and author of the fantasy-hardboiled podiobook "Billibub Baddings and the Case of the Singing Sword;" Kevin Burton Smith, creator of the superlative "Thrilling Detective" website and ezine and Seth Harwood, author of the podiobook "Jack Wakes Up" in the second episode.

So we asked Seth Harwood and Shannon Clute give a description of their podcasts, and their ideas about podcasting and its future.

I never miss any of the podcasts from these talented people. I recommend that you check out these podcast which are the benchmark that all other podcasts in this genre are measured against.

PODCASTING FAQ

Q: How do I get these great podcasts?

A: There are a few ways to find these podcasts. The first and easiest way is to subscribe. Both are available from iTunes and once you subscribe, each new episode is automatically downloaded to your computer for your listening pleasure.

But if you are more of the manual download kind of person, visit their websites at:

Out of the Past / Behind the Black Mask: http://www.noircast.net/
Seth Harwood: http://www.sethharwood.com/Podcasts.html

Q: Is there a charge for these outstanding broadcasts?


A: Like they say, the best things in life are free. But if you want to help offset their costs, both of these sites accept donations.




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