Here at the Fictional Café, you will only find fiction podcasts. These are original productions, whereas a lot of podcasts you listen to are likely to be rebroadcasts of radio shows, or portions thereof. And they are primarily nonfiction, for example almost anything you hear from NPR [no disparagement intended].
Creating a podcast is a collaborative process. Someone with a good voice must be enlisted or hired to read the novel. He or she is going to read the novel at least three times while making the recording. We’re very fortunate to have Leonard Mailloux reading my two novels, he of the mellifluous voice who understands how to read the nuances in.
Next, there must be an engineer to take the raw digital recording and polish it up like a shining apple. This means taking out tiny background noises, pops, tics, ahems, and the fire engine racing by Len’s house. This work falls to our sound engineer Stephen Croft, known to our listeners as Walking Crow, who works on average nine hours per chapter to give us the finished podcast from his New Hampshire mountain retreat. There are various tweaks to balance and equalize the sound, as well as adjusting the volume for constancy, adding music when it occurs in the text, and finally appending the intro and outro recording. The intro and outro music and voiceover are by Oliver Chu, a grad student and outstanding jazz pianist and composer, who has a danged nice announcer voice, too.
All our files are digital and transferred via Dropbox. Once everybody has done their part, I get to listen to each chapter at least two more times before posting them on FC.
Finally, we have a working relationship with Podiobooks.com, another labor-of-love site like our own headed by Evo Terra, where my completed podcast novels find a new life once we’ve posted all 24 chapters [yes, Wild Blue Yonder and Madrone are both the same length – within a few hundred words, 24 chapters – although I never expected or intended that to happen. It just did.]. You can find the entire WBY podcast here. Madrone, now over halfway podcasted, will be completed in January, 2016.
Podcasting is, at long last, developing a real following. Starting in 2016, your baristas here at FC plan to introduce you Coffee Club members to a lot of interesting and professionally produced fiction podcasts, one a month.