I hope you all like the headline. I think it ought to rate well on search engines. See how technological I’ve become?
The coming week will see the unveiling of my new podcast. I’ll be podcasting as The Man of Twists and Turns, which is the title of my own blog (and the identifier Homer gave to his eponymous hero in The Odyssey.) It represents a new stage in my vigorous efforts to promote my work on the internet and the latest step in the slow creep of technology into my writing life.
Quite slow, in fact. Because I thought I’d start podcasting last week. But I couldn’t get the soundcard to work. Or perhaps it was the microphone, or the mic cord. It could have been the internal soundcard on my computer. Well, look, I’m a novelist; if I had been au fait with such technological things in the first place I’d have been a…I don’t know what, but I’m quite sure I wouldn’t have been a novelist. Oh, yes, rich. I’d have been rich.
Still, everything works now. All I have to do is figure out exactly how the audio editing program on my computer works and then… I’ll bring you my dulcet tones, cast into the pod. If that’s your thing. Otherwise you can read what I write on my blog, or what I post on Facebook or Twitter. Or you can read me…here on Reality Check.
So what’ll be on the podcast?
The first “show” will be me introducing and reading my new Arab Spring short story in which my detective character Omar Yussef goes to Damascus for a reunion and finds himself caught up in the current freedom demonstrations. It’s my immediate response to events in the Arab world – more immediate than spending a year writing a whole novel and then waiting another year for the publisher to put it on the shelves.
I’ll follow that with a chapter a week from each of my novels, introduced by me with some talk about the themes of the book and how I came to write them. I do quite a dramatic reading with my faux Shakespearean-actor voice, so I hope these’ll be a good listen.
These initial ones will give me a chance to master the technology … alone. Because after that I shall be podcasting with guests. I wouldn’t want to inflict on myself the embarrassment of saying (as might be inevitable), “Ah, could we go back and do those last couple of questions again, because I pressed the wrong button and I erased them. Or maybe I pressed the effects button which makes you sound like Cher singing ‘Do You Believe in Life After Love?’”
At that point I shall be interviewing other writers – I plan on starting with my fellow Reality Checkers, CGM, Barbara and Margie (who are learning about this for the first time as they read this; sorry, but the internet and technology moves fast, guys…)
I shall chat with them about their work and their lives. Then I shall invite them to engage in The Man of Twists and Turns’ regular end of show feature (I’m told by those who podcast that listeners like regular features.) The feature is going to be a variation on an old BBC show in which an author or some celebrity was asked to name one of two books he/she’d be allowed to take to a desert island (the other book was always the Complete Shakespeare.)
I’ve updated the concept to this: Guantanamo Bay Books. You, the guest, get to take two books to your cell in Guantanamo Bay. One is the unmissable Deception Point, sorry that should be Decision Point, by George W. Bush. The other is a book of your choice.
So what would your Guantanamo Bay Book be?
And if you have other ideas for regular features on my podcast, write them into the comments section of this blog. I might even name the segment after you.