Thursday, January 15, 2009

Magical Mystery Tour

The economy seems to stink for everyone but bankruptcy lawyers.  Writers whose books are circulating among publishers fear that no contract is forthcoming.  Those who are delivering a manuscript to fulfill a contract fear that it's their last one or that the advance on the next one will plummet.  I'd guess all this means that some of us will miss Sleuthfest, Left Coast Crime, ThrillerFest, Bouchercon, and the other fantastic writers' conferences that are on the 2009 calendar.  Nothing can compare with kvetching about agents or publishers or reviewers with a bunch of authorial friends in a cozy bar in the wee hours.  But.... the ostensible reason we go these conferences is to listen to other writers and learn (or steal) from them.  The bigger the name the better.

Well, I want to offer an alternative to those who are not going to be winging off to Florida, Hawaii, New York, or Indianapolis for conferences this year.  iTunes.  Interviews with authors of the crime fiction ilk abound there.  Just in the past few weeks I have listened to Robert Harris, Daniel Silva, Lisa Scottoline, Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly, Andrew Gross, Jacqueline Winspear, and Steve Berry on B&N's Meet the Writers.  I caught Lee Child expounding with Nancy Pearl on Book Lust.  Mary Higgins Clark showed up on the NPR Books Podcast on New Year's Eve.  Long-time Washington Post Editor Leonard Downie discussed his new thriller on his alma mater's book podcast.  Rochelle Krich gave up some of her writing secrets on XM Radio's Writers on Writing as did Robert Crais, George Pelecanos, Brad Meltzer, Alan Furst, Anne Perry, and Janet Evanovich.  A treasure trove!

You can listen to these fabulous scribes on your PC, iPod, or cellphone anytime, anywhere.  If you've got iTunes already, you are set.  Just do a search by authors' name or on "Meet the Writers," "Book Lust," "NBR Books," "Washington Post Book World," or "Writers on Writin" in the iTunes Store.  If you don't have iTunes, click here and download it to your PC or Mac.  Then search as above.  You can set up your own virtual writers' conference with a not-too-shabby cast.

Oh, yeah.  You weren't going to see these folks at a conference because of the economy.  What about paying for all these podcast downloads?  Good news.  They are FREE!  Off you go on your no-cost 2009 lousy economy magical mystery tour.




7 comments:

Cricket McRae said...

Great idea, Keith. I often listen to Meet the Writers on my I-pod when I'm exercising (makes me feel virtuous and at the same justifies spending time on either one when I feel like I should be writing). But I haven't checked out NPR Books or Book Lust. Thanks for the heads up!

Keith Raffel said...

Cricket, Don't miss Writers on Writing either! I often listen on my iPod when I wake up in the middle of the night. Doesn't disturb my wife.

G.M. Malliet said...

Keith. I would be happy if I could just answer my cell phone without accidentally hanging up on the caller. Seriously. I can just about find my way around a PC but the podcast thing defeats me.

I do love YouTube now but I was probably the last person in America to discover it.

Keith Raffel said...

Gin, Go to the link and make sure you have iTunes on your PC. Then if you do know about YouTube try this for an explanation of how to get free Podcasts from them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpPHc5x0HG4

Paul Lamb said...

Indianapolis, really?

G.M. Malliet said...

You know what strikes me about this economy? The way it has sent all the reporters scrambling for a Thesaurus, looking up synonyms for "catastrophic."

Keith Raffel said...

Paul, yup. Bouchercon is in Indianapolis this year.