Today, I launch episode #1 of The Book Room audio podcast.
I've secured a podcasting channel through PodBean.com, and (hopefully) managed to set up a subscription service through that site and iTunes. Have a listen to the first episode, and please subscribe so that each new episode comes directly to you. As you can see above, I've also commissioned a pro-style podcast thumbnail image for the show, and paid the artists involved (my sons) appropriately.
The Book Room #1: Chris Chambers
My first guest in The Book Room is Toronto poet and magazine-guy Chris Chambers. Mr. Chambers has two books to his credit, Wild Mouse (Pedlar Press, 1998) which was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award, and Lake Where No One Swims (Pedlar Press, 1999). Legend has it there's another book of poems on the way, and I've even heard whispered rumours of a novel in progress.
Chambers was a natural choice as my first guest. When I think back on my own career writing and publishing in small magazines, reading my work to audiences in bars, applying for grants, not getting grants, applying again... Chambers is always somewhere in the picture. The two of us even went on poetry tour once, hitting several of the better reading series around Ontario, driving many hundreds of kilometers, visiting the graves of other Canadian poets, sleeping on floors and couches.
What many folks might not know about Chris Chambers is that he has a wicked wrist shot in road hockey, and that his employment history is filled with work that has supported and encouraged others in writing and publishing. Chambers was an anchor at Book City on Bloor Street in Toronto for at least a decade, and now travels the country as the primary distributor of small Canadian cultural magazines (for Magazines Canada). If you write fiction or poetry in Canada, Chris Chambers has likely held your writing in his loving hands.
I hope you enjoy the podcast. You can go to it at my PodBean site here, or (hopefully) just listen to it directly on the player below. On my PodBean site, you can also subscribe to the Book Room directly through PodBean or by using iTunes. Just look for the appropriate link or logo on the right side of the post. Oh, and here's the link to the RSS feed. I think it sounds best through headphones, but I leave that to you.
I have put this thing together entirely myself on my old Mac laptop, using a Blue Yeti microphone (so sexy) and Audacity, a free audio recording and editing software. It was a hell of a lot more work than I could have imagined when I started. Sound and music folks will likely catch all the rough edits, and for those I apologize. I'm learning as I'm going, and I commend the folks at Audacity for a great program and very helpful technical manual.
The music on the pod is Kalimba from the album Ninja Tuna by Mr. Scruff. If it sounds familiar, that's because it has likely been used on many podcast first episodes. Kalimba is a bit of public domain music offered free with Microsoft licences. I love the energy and vibe, and the obvious convenience of it being available on my PC, but I'm uncomfortable sticking with it. In future, I intend to commission an original "theme" for the show, and I will pay the artist. I've already opened up talks with a musician in my office. Stay tuned. The voice clips at the beginning are person-on-the-street interviews I conducted myself. The puma growling sounds are from Mordecai. Please do not disturb.