Krista’s Fav Podcasts for Writers (And Readers)

Whether it is genre or literary, excellent fiction is rooted in the real world. In order for you, the reader, to take that leap of faith from the concrete to the virtual worlds of our stories, we, the writers, must first earn your trust that our stories have a foundation in truth, even when they take place in alien or imaginary places. So how do we find those kernels of truth?

Research. Lots of research.

One of my favorite research methods is listening to podcasts—usually in my car, while running my daily errands. (Today that proved impossible when the forecast for snow exceeded expectations so Rosie and I had the day off.)

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Here are a few of my favorite podcasts paired with book recommendations.

WORKING (Slate)

Get the inside skinny on many usual and unusual professions with these podcast episodes. Titles include: How Does a Forensic Anthropologist Work? How Does an Animal Behavior Specialist Work? How Does a Club Doorman Work? Sometimes the only way for a writer to get inside the head of a character working in an unfamiliar profession is to listen to real people talk about what they do for a living, why they do it, and how it is meaningful to them. After all, it’s not the profession that makes a character compelling, it’s the character’s passion for that profession.

The Janitor’s Boy and Rising Tides

STUFF YOU MISSED IN HISTORY CLASS

Compelling romantic suspense is grounded it in real world events. As a chemistry major, I have to admit that I either forgot or missed a great deal of what I was taught in high school history class. Luckily for me, this podcast offers a range of interesting historical facts to enrich plots as well as intriguing tidbits such as Who Was the Real Professor Moriarty? I had no idea that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character was inspired by the real life criminal mastermind Adam Worth.

All the Light We Cannot See and The Final Problem, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

THE BLACK TAPES

This podcast is too scary for me, but if you like your mystery/suspense wrapped in spooky/scary…

The Bazaar of Bad Dream and The Dead Play On

READING LIVES

Writers are also avid readers. Listening to these podcast episodes gives me the opportunity to learn from writers I probably will never have the good fortune to meet, let alone engage in conversation. For instance, did you know… Iconic romance author Beverly Jenkins does not write during the NFL playoffs. She once binge-read Harlan Coben’s Bolitar series on her kindle. And she was featured in a 5-page spread in the 1995 Valentine’s Day edition of People magazine written by reporter Nancy Drew.

Night Hawk and Deal Breaker (Myron Bolitar)  and The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew)

Do you have a favorite podcast? Add to my list…please!

 

About Krista Hall

Author of RWA Golden Heart ® Award for BROKEN PLACES

Posted on February 16, 2016, in book recommendations, Krista Hall, Writing Craft and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Such a great list, Krista! I love podcasts too. Unfortunately I used to listen to them in the car, but now that the kids are teens who don’t yet drive, I tend to use that time to talk to them.
    But I can’t wait to check some of these out. I love learning new things!
    And it was so great to see you on Saturday. 🙂

    • Without a doubt, driving teens from place to place is the best time to talk to them. I loved that period when my kids weren’t yet drivers. Fantastic to catch up with you on Saturday!

  2. What a treasure trove of information, Krista. I always learn so much from your posts. I’m not familiar with any of these, yet, but I’m planning to listen to all of them when I get a chance.

    I personally love the Big Broadcast on WAMU (http://wamu.org/programs/the_big_broadcast) which plays old radio shows from bygone years. Hope you and the readers enjoy it as much as I do!

    • I’m going to have to check out the Big Broadcast. Sounds fun. Thanks, Diana! I’m glad I had the chance to see you on Saturday before you headed off to your writers’ panel.

  3. I’ve never listened to a podcast and here you’ve presented two to me which look very interesting. Thank you so much. Enjoy the snow. We’ve 85F and it’s like summer. (Hey, just rubbing it in, a wee bit!)

  4. I’ve never listened to podcasts, although I’ve thought about it off and on. Your post has encouraged me to give it a try. Thanks, Krista.

    • Larissa, you’ll be amazed by how many podcasts there are for subscribers. I’ve heard that Howard Stern does these really interesting (and not shock-jocky) interviews. I’ve been meaning to check out a few episodes, but there is only so much time in the day…Have fun exploring!

  5. Great suggestions here, Krista! I’m definitely adding the first two to my list. The ones I’ve been listening to lately aren’t really writing related, but I used to enjoy the Stuff You Should Know podcast. The only thing I regret about not having a commute is that I don’t have as much time to listen anymore. 😉

  6. These are great suggestions. Krista, I have never listened to a podcast. Time I came into the 21st century.

  7. Sold! I’d never even considered listening to podcasts as research. That’d be so much easier than blindly searching Google hoping the keywords will narrow the overwhelming lists. I positively dread it!

    I know you said to download the podcast app, but is there then a search for…being club doorman? Like, if I wanted to learn all there is about long board surfing- can I just type that into the search and see if someone like Kelly Slater has a podcast?

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