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After recapping the past week in writing, the guys discuss the podcasts they believe authors should listen to routinely. The shows include: The Creative Penn, The Writer’s Well, The Career Author Podcast, How Do You Write?, Lesbians Who Write, The Lesbian Book Club, Smart Podcast Trashy Books, The Self Publishing Show, The Misfits Guide to Indie Romance and Top to BOTM.

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Show Notes

Here are the things we talk about in this episode. Please note, these links include affiliate links for which we may make a small commission at no extra cost to you should you make a purchase.

Show Transcript

Jeff: Welcome to the “Big Gay Author Podcast” the show that invites you to follow along as two writers attempt to make the transition from part-time to full-time authors of gay fiction. I’m your host Jeff Adams and with me is my fellow writer and husband Will Knauss.

Will: Hello everyone. Today is September 14th of 2019 and we are so glad that you could join us. Today we’ll be discussing podcasts for authors. But before we get to that, let’s talk about our week

Jeff: Yes, so this week I wrote for the first time in a long time and it really felt awesome. I have a 6,000 word goal per week as I go through the 90 Days to Done class which will happen over about 13 weeks because of a vacation that’s built in there. We actually have 95 days to done. I had a couple days I didn’t write this week because I was sorting out some plot points and things. I still came back strong and pulled off a little over seven thousand words this week. So, really excited about the first week and writing the first part of the meet cute between my guys.

It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it.

Will: Congratulations, by the way. 7,000 words. That’s nothing to sneeze at.

Jeff: Well, no, it’s not because I thought for a while I was going to come under it because I did skip those days. There’s an advantage though when you actually have a couple days off in the week. I’m going to be off on Monday as well, so I’ll see if I could start the week super-strong on words as well.

Will: Really quickly. We want to thank Amy Tasukada for leaving a comment.

Jeff: Yes. She did. She left some information related to rebranding and branding in general and shouted out a class that Damon Suede and Heidi Cullinan called Find your Game Face. It’s part of the RWA archives. So if you’re an RWA member, you can get that class,

There’s also a book and it might be time for me to read it as I look at my branding scenarios. Thank you Amy for putting that onto my list. She also asked me about the verbs that I’ve been working on to go with my characters and I’m still noodling on those just a little bit. I’ll probably talk about my verb choices in a later episode coming up so.

Jeff: That was my week.

Will: Fantastic. Glad to hear that you got so much done.

Jeff: It was a good week. I felt very positive about it.

So we’re gonna talk about one of our favorite things to talk about: podcasts.

Will: If you’re listening to this show, we assume that you are probably partaking of other podcasts as well. Even though we only have a handful of episodes here on the “Big Gay Author Podcast,” I know we’ve mentioned other shows before and I thought it would be a good idea to talk a little bit about the shows that we listen to on a regular basis. These form the base of our knowledge about the industry and we think they will be helpful for you as well.

Now a lot of these that we’re going to be talking about you probably have already heard of. If not, I hope that you will give them a try.

The first one we want to mention is, of course, “The Creative Penn” podcast hosted by Joanna Penn. This is a long-running show. Joanna has been podcasting for 10 years now. Probably longer than anyone else in this space and she has so much knowledge and so experience to share every single week. This is a show that focuses primarily– I was going to say independent publishing but that’s not true–she focuses on all aspects of publishing each week.

She opens the show with a little bit of news about herself and update on some technical things that are going out in the world, her futurist segment as she likes to call it. Then she interviews either an author or influencer in the writing arena.

Jeff: I really love Joanna’s show. I think this is probably the most long-running show that we’ve had in our library of podcasts. There are shows that come in and go out, but Joanna has been consistent for us for at least five or six years at this point. She finds people to interview that even if I don’t write their genre or think it’s going to be interesting for some reason that there’s always information that is extremely relevant to some aspect of the author business.

She’s very Savvy in the guests that she get and I love the future a segments its. It’s why she went to podcast movement to learn something a little different. It’s why she’s been paying attention to Ai, and she’s really got her pulse. I think on what is coming and will impact writers and creatives in the next not like 10 or 20 years out, but it even in the next like three to five.

Will: I take comfort in the fact that Joanna does these futurist segments. Some people listen to them and are overwhelmed. I take comfort in them because Joanna is the one paying attention to them and she will let us know if we need to worry about it.

Jeff: Yeah, and she’ll boil it down to what the authors need to know.

Which is really excellent and I’m glad she continues to do that. I know there have been people hoping she’ll do a podcast on it and I’m certainly in that court. I would love if she did a podcast specifically for futurist stuff.

Will: Yeah, another show that we listened to on a weekly basis is “The Writer’s Well.” This show is hosted by Racahel Herron and J. Thorn. This is a super relaxed chat format each week. Rachel and Jay update you on what’s been going on in their life and then they take turns asking each other a single question. They spend the rest of the episode explaining their thoughts on a particular topic. Once a month they have a wellness question that specifically focuses on either mental health or physical health for a writer.

I enjoy this show an awful lot. We’ve been listening to it almost since the very very beginning. Rachael and J have such delightful chemistry. When you listen to their show your let’s just sort of dropping on a conversation between two old friends. They’re utterly delightful.

Jeff: That’s really what it is. We listen to a lot of our podcast during lunch. And this one is like we show up to lunch with Rachael and J on Wednesday and get to listen to them talk about relevant things. It’s really great. Their questions are insightful because they’re both know indie publishing and Rachel has big five publishing experience as well.

They’ve both made the transition from part-time to full-time writer and it’s really insightful. I really love their questions that they tend to ask and it’s a nice format from other podcasts.

Will: What’s really nice is that the show has changed and involved as they have. When the show first began it was called something completely different and the focus was primarily on J’s transition to becoming a full-time author. He was the newbie at the game and Rachel sort of imparted her wisdom since she’d been in the industry for a few years longer than he had at that point. It’s been an enjoyable experience to learn and grow along with them.

And you are certainly enjoying hanging out with Rachel once a week taking her 90 Days to Done class.

Jeff: I am. It’s been really good to have that extra bit of Rachael time and extra bit of Rachael knowledge happening each week.

Will: The next podcast is called “The Career Author Podcast,” which is aptly named. The hosts of this show are J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon. This is the second show that J does every week and he sits down and talks with his co-author buddy Zach. It’s a similar format to “The Writer’s Well” where talk about what they’ve been doing with their week and then they focus on a single subject of interest to writers, primarily independent writers. They give their thoughts as someone who is a writing team and who’ve been so incredibly prolific and successful not only in writing but in putting on events.

For those who aren’t familiar with the two of them, they’ve done a lot of different specialized events. They did something a couple years ago called Authors on a Train where they got their friends together and they wrote a book on a train going to New Orleans. They’ve done other specialized events all over the country. They did one that was focused on “Night of the Living Dead” when there was an anniversary for that movie not too long ago.

So they’re really they’re fun. They have a unique, special, informed view point. I think the show is well worth listening to in fact, we are going to go hang out with Zach and J next year. They’re throwing the Career Author Summit. That’s coming up in May. This is another one of their events that they enjoy throwing. Unfortunately right now all the spots for the Career Author summit are full. We jumped on that the second that they announced it because the list of presenters is pretty phenomenal.

So we’re really excited about that and looking forward to seeing them and all the other deep thinkers and influencers in the author podcasting space.

Jeff: The thing I like about Career Author that makes it different from the others is not only are J and Zack co-authors, they’re also business partners. They run a publishing company. They run these events together. It’s interesting that you not only get their point of view on where they’ve had successes and failures as authors, but you get this broader picture of the successes and failures in this business that they own together. They take the track that you can’t just be an author but you need to have these other income streams.

Jay and Zack are experimental and so there’s a lot of information about this worked, this didn’t, this is why it screwed up and oh, this is why we will never do this again. It’s a very interesting perspective from folks who are expanding beyond being authors into more of the entrepreneurial space.

Will: The next show is called “How Do You Write?” This is the second show hosted by Rachael Herron. We listen every single week and this is a much more traditional interview format. She gives a super quick update of what she’s been up to and then she jumps into an author interview discussing their successes, failures and their processes.

So that’s always an enjoyable and informative half hour every week. Rachael has a very light, very personable style when she’s on the microphone. She’s a joy to listen to. I really like the work that she does when it comes to podcasts.

Jeff: This show stands out for me because she’s always asking the same questions so as you listen over time, you build up this information from an array of authors writing in an array of genres who have differing perspectives on their process or how they deal with certain scenarios when they come up in the writing. It’s very interesting. I usually get good process tips out of this show.

Will: Rachael also has excellent taste. We happen to have been guests on “How Do You Write?” at one point. That was a lot of fun.

Jeff: We’ll link to that in the show notes if you want to go back in our history. We talked about our experience as husbands and co-authors because it was back around the time that “Hockey Player’s Heart” came out.

Will: Another show I want to mention is called “The Lesbians Who Write.” This is a show hosted by Clare Lydon and TB Markinson. If you’re focused solely on gay fiction, you may not have heard of Clare or TB but they are two very successful independent authors in the les fic space.

Every week they get together and it’s a chat format, which is something I enjoy listening to. They discuss their successes and their failures and then they focus on one single aspect of the writing life, whether it has to do with process or craft or marketing. They pick one specific topic each week and run with it. I really enjoy listening to Clare and TB. They’re kind of like siblings. They enjoy being around each other, but they also kind of like rib one another and give each other a hard time. It’s really funny and very charming . They’ve got a lot of smart, good information to impart.

Jeff: You listen to this one sometimes without me but every time I do listen it’s that banter and the close relationship they have that makes this podcast such a joy to listen to.

Will: And a plus is also that Claire’s British. If you have a British host of a podcast, that immediately puts you in the top tier.

Jeff: Do we need to get a British co-host to hang out with us?

Will: It certainly wouldn’t hurt.

Another show that Clare does is called “The Lesbian Book Club.” This is a monthly show she does and it is a straight-up interview format. She talks to successful les fic authors.

I listen to this show primarily because I love Clare and I think she’s actually an excellent interviewer. It also keeps me up to date with what is going on in the rest of the LGBTQ fiction world. I certainly don’t read particularly widely–if you listen to the “Big Gay Fiction Podcast” you know that for sure–so I enjoy listening to her interviews every month.

This is a show that is a little bit difficult to find because it is part of the Lesbian Lounge. Search for Lesbian Lounge or My Lesbian Radio and you’ll be able to find it that way.

Shall we keep going, guys? I know this is an awful lot of stuff that we’re throwing at you. If you’re interested in any of the shows that we’re talking about simply go to the shownotes page for this episode. Jeff will have them all listed.

Jeff: Yes, I certainly will make it easy for you to find any of these.

Will: Another show I want to mention is called “Smart Podcast Trashy Books that’s hosted every week by Sarah Wendell. She is the mad genius behind Smart Bitches Trashy Books, the venerable website that has been reviewing romance books for I don’t even know how long, a decade or more. Sarah is another one of those podcasters who’s been in the game for a very long time and her expertise certainly shows. She is an excellent interviewer. She’s very charming and very funny. She puts her subjects at ease almost immediately. I enjoy all of her interviews. At least once a month, she chats with some of the reviewers on her team from the website and they just talk about books. Sometimes they talk about utterly completely random things. It’s always hilarious.

Jeff: I love what Sarah does with her show. She kind of like, what we try to do on the “Fiction” show and I think we do it because we learned it from Sarah, branches out from talking only to authors. She’s had some brilliant episodes about archiving romance and preserving the history of romance. Shows like that i think really help set her apart. That gives her audience a little more insight into the context of romance and the role it plays in culture.

Will: Definitely. They look at more of the romance genre as a whole. So if you’re interested in that we highly recommend you check out “Smart Podcast Trashy Books.”

Something that focuses on the author journey is the “Self-Publishing Show” with Mark Dawson and James Blatch. This is probably the most British of all of the writing podcasts out there. Mark Dawson is an incredibly successful thriller writer and he has a side business teaching author’s how to market.

We’ve learned a lot from him and bought several of his courses over the years. The “Self-Publishing Show” is a traditional interview format show. They talk to various authors in different genres about their successes and their failures. A lot of times they talk to authors who have gone through the courses.

Jeff: Aside from those author interviews, which are really good, insightful and full of knowledge. You’ve also got co-host James who has been going through his own self publishing journey working on his debut novel. So in the upfront you get where he’s at in that process, which has been fasting to listen to over these years.

Will: One last writer podcast that I want to quickly mention is called “The Misfits Guide to Indie Romance.” This is hosted by Adrian Bell and each week. She and her co-host chat and banter about their lives and what it’s like to be an independent author in the romance genre.

This show has like several of the others we’ve already spoken about has a specific topic. I find them charming and informative. So that’s one that I recommend and to wrap things up.

I want to mention one other reader focused podcast and that is “Top to BOTM” hosted by Jess and Markie. This is a wonderful show that we never miss an episode. They have a unique format in that they release an episode at the top of each month and at the bottom of each month. Their show’s title is also an acronym that stands for Book of the Month. At the beginning of month, they talk about what they’ve been up to, what they’ve been reading and they tell you what the book of the month they’ll be focusing on. At the end of the month, the last Monday, they discuss that book and usually they’ll have it interview with the author as well.

Jeff: It’s been really fun, to hear this podcast as it started up there only a couple years ago. They’ve really established themselves nicely with this book of the month format. Occasionally, you also get Markie discuss her author career because she writes under the name of Maz Maddox. It’s been fun to hear her talk about that periodically on the show as well.

Will: I don’t know. This might be hubris talking but I kind of like to think of them as the sister show to “Big Gay Fiction Podcast” because they focus on readers and they also touch on a lot of different subgenres and a lot of authors that we are simply not able to get to.

There are a lot of amazing books and a lot of amazing writers out there. There’s no way that we’re ever going to get to every single author that deserves to be heard. So I’m really glad that they’re doing what they’re doing. And I’m so glad that we get to hear from them twice every month.

Okay, guys, I that was an awful lot. I’m looking at my list. I think that was 10 podcasts. That’s not even everything that we listen to.

Jeff: Will’s top 10.

Will: There are a whole lot more. Maybe we’ll have another episode coming soon and we’ll explore some of the other things that we listen to on a consistent basis.

Okay, guys, I think that’ll do it for now. If you’d like links to anything we discussed this week simply go to the shownotes page for episode 11 at On the shownotes page you’ll also find the links to our individual websites and social media including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Jeff: And speaking of Twitter you can follow us @BigGayAuthor where will share things during the week the catch our attention. Plus if you want to give us feedback on the show, have suggestions on topics or anything else, you can tweet us or leave comments on the shownotes page. Speaking of comments for this week. It’d be great to hear if you have other podcasts that you listen to that might be separate from our list because we always love to find a new podcast. And, of course, be sure to subscribe to the show so you never miss an episode. We are available anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Will: To close out this week, I would like to end with a quote from producer and writer Steven Canals. He is one of the executive producers on the show “Pose.” Those of you who have been listening to the “Big Gay Fiction Podcast” for any length of time know that Jeff and I absolutely adore the show so very much. Last year in an interview with “Entertainment Weekly” magazine Steven had this to say: “If you want your community to be viewed in a positive light, then put that positivity out there. Infuse the work with the joy that you want to see.”

When I when I read the article the very first time I was immediately struck by what Steven had to say and I could not possibly agree with it more. And, boy, does the world need positivity right now.

So my question for you is what positivity and joy are you going to put out in the world? And what are you going to create in the next seven days?

Thank you guys for listening. We hope you’ll join us again next week. Until then keep writing.