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
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
So we asked Seth Harwood and Shannon Clute give a description
of their podcasts, and their ideas about podcasting and
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
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.
Return to Summer 2007 Table of Contents
2007 SPINETINGLER Magazine - All rights reserved