Podcast Plus: Harmon Cooper and Jeff Hays interview

Season 3 of Talking Audiobooks is back and a lot has changed. For one thing we have a newly redesigned website which you can check out at the link provided. We also have a new app which you can use to listen to the podcast and register to join our community and to have your name automatically entered into every giveaway we make available.

Our first episode features a chat with LitRPG author Harmon Cooper and audiobook narrator Jeff Hays for an in depth chat about all things Proxima Galaxy and audiobook narration.


This interview was actually several months in the making. I was first approached by Jess the Audiobook Worm back in October to set something up. I had originally planned for the interview to be done in November for a December air date. Then my friend Melissa passed away and my enthusiasm for doing interviews kind of fell off.
Then we were scheduled to tape in December for our season 2 finale but that had to be postponed as well after Jeff had an unexpected issue to deal with the day we were meant to record.
So finally, we taped the interview on December 17 and decided it would be our first episode of the third season. That ended up being the best possible thing that we could have done for several reasons which I’m going to get into now.


Season 3 of Talking Audiobooks is bringing some changes to the show. Aside from the new website and app we have made some changes to the way the show will sound when you start listening to it, we created a new opening for the show this season. But there are other changes that won’t be as apparent when you listen but have made all the difference.


Thanks to the way the interview with Jeff and Harmon played out I have changed the way I am approaching interviews. In season 2, I would tape the interview a few days before the episode was meant to air. In season 3 I am taping interviews at least 2 weeks in advance of when they will air. This change is allowing us to do some things we couldn’t do before. For one, it is now easier for me to promote future episodes because once I have an interview recorded I can safely announce when it will air. There were several times in season 2 when I couldn’t tell my audience what would be on next week’s podcast because I didn’t know for sure. And one time I did advertise the next week’s episode, it had to be edited because the interview had to be rescheduled due to my own illness.


If you listen to this episode, at the end you’ll get a preview of my interview for next week with audiobook narrator Rich Miller. So now, not only can I tell you what will be on the next few episodes further in advance but we can play a clip to get you excited.
In the next few weeks, as I already mentioned, we’ll chat with narrator Rich Miller and following him will be an interview with narrator Ray Greenley and then on 2/9 you will hear my chat with Jocq of The Audio Flow.


The final reason this works better is that I am far less stressed out. Knowing several weeks in advance who I am going to interview and when has significantly reduced my anxiety going into an interview. I still get some anxiety because of the fact that it is naturally a part of who I am as a person and because I am now afraid of my skype recording software only recording my half of a conversation. But my enthusiasm for doing interviews is much higher and as a result we are scheduling a lot more of them this season. In fact, I have booked my interviews through the March 2 episode of the show. I still want to do a solo show from time to time but they don’t drive growth for the show nearly as much as an interview can unless it is something like our Thanksgiving show which we can’t do every week for obvious and maybe not so obvious reasons.


If things had worked out as originally planned and I had talked with Jeff and Harmon the day we were originally set to record, I probably wouldn’t have decided it was worthwhile to scheduling interviews so far in advance. What can I say? I am pretty stubborn about how I do things sometimes. I am a paradox in that I can be incredibly organized and disorganized all at the same time. Besides, had we recorded on our original date and not aired the episode the next month, we probably wouldn’t have gotten this…

and based on how much I have laughed at that myself, not having it would be sad.


This episode also represented a new beginning for me in another way. As you listen, you will learn that I have never read a LitRPG novel prior to preparing for this interview. When I listened to Fantasy Online: Hyperborea I was hooked right away. It even came to the point where I started talking with Jena about different games that she thought I might be interested in trying. Because after listening to this book I thought this was something I might wish to try.
That is as I have mentioned before, one of my favorite aspects of hosting this show. I get to listen to things I might not have listened to other wise and when I find something new I can gravitate more toward it in the future. I feel like I am a more well-rounded audiobook listener than I was back in April of last year before I agreed to take the hosting job.


I think this is a fantastic episode. It clocks in at 2 hours and 43 minutes with some seconds as an extra bonus. Interviews going forward won’t be quite this long but because we had an author and narrator chatting together about their work we could cover more ground. Plus, the interview is long because Harmon and Jeff gave such thorough and detailed answers to my question. I had so much fun talking with these guys and I think that comes through in the interview. We talked so long that we unanimously agreed to take a bathroom break about half way through. That part of the conversation didn’t make the final edit of the show but that’s why you read Podcast Plus.


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