My publicist, my friends, and people who interviewed me on the radio have been telling me for years that I have a good voice. If I’m going to be a public figure, and all writers are public figures, I should use what I’ve got, right?
My concept has been a podcast, called Storytime, where I read classic short stories that are out of copyright, or stories of friends who give me permission to read them. I will learn a lot about writing short stories myself, will keep these wonderful classics alive, and if people like them, who knows what will happen. I might make some money, might be invited to read somewhere.
I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, and a couple of years ago claimed a channel on Youtube, without having any idea what to do with it. I should have been thinking iTunes, not Youtube, but I was such a rube.
A friend owns a music studio, and he offered to record a test story. What resulted was a swamp of mouth noises that needed his custom created program to remove. Having narrated my own audiobook for Daring to Date Again, I knew how tedious and time-consuming editing out those mouth noises would be.
I don’t need studio quality recordings—I’m just reading people a story. My friend knew just about everything about recording, but he said didn’t know much about how to set up a podcast. I needed a logo, intro/outro music, how to distribute the episodes, where to send them, and what podcast host was best for my purposes. I didn’t want a free host because you get what you pay for. I spent several hours on Youtube refreshing my familiarity with Adobe Audition, but was that the best recording and editing program?
Then my friends Stearns and Michael came to dinner and told me about their friend’s podcast. She records everywhere—her latest was recorded on her cellphone as she walked around New York. With their encouragement, I sent out bulletins asking for help getting started. A very nice man from Boston called me. He does podcasts about blockchain. He gave me some of the information I needed, and I thought it was very nice of him to call just to help me.
A friend recommended KDIA Productions, a brother-sister team in the town where I live, Hoboken, and after an enthusiastic phone call, they came to see me. I wanted them to see my home because that will be where the podcasts will be created. While I was recording Daring to Date Again, my engineer, Roy, started at the sound of every passing truck. But if my grandmother were reading a story to me I wouldn’t care about a random noise.
The next night, down the hall they came, Karinah—even her thousands of curls were smiling—and her sincere and well informed brother Krispy. They might be pushing thirty, the perfect people to guide me into a podcast. They keep referring to people and things I have never heard of, but that’s just what I need. In a year or so, I’ll be fluent.
I just learned that not only the manuscript copyright, but also the translation copyright have to have ended to read stories in another language, so I’ll have to either translate some of my favorite deMaupassant stories myself or stick to English. Old translations use stilted language which might have suited the tone of the story 75 years ago, but sound out of date now.
STORYTIME will be debuting pretty soon, within a month, I’d say. I’m starting with Mark Twain, and will then move onto some longer pieces: Henry James, Joseph Conrad, oh, it’s going to be fun.