Podcast Plus: A Pair of Chats with Rich Miller

This week’s Podcast Plus is a bit late but it covers episode 3.02 which is my chat with audiobook narrator Rich Miller. This comes on the heels of My appearance on his podcast, The Audiobook Speakeasy, last Sunday/Monday. It is the crossover event of 2018 at least so far. I mean, how many other crossover events have their been this year?

It wasn’t too long after I started hosting Talking Audiobooks that I got an email from Rich. He told me all about this podcast project he was working on and his timeframe for getting it launched. He asked if I would be willing to come on the show at some point and I happily agreed. I don’t think I had been hosting Talking Audiobooks for two months at that point. And when he asked me to be on his show in the future, I extended an invitation to come on our podcast as well. At the time I thought I would have Rich on closer to when he was ready to announce his podcast that way he could plug the launch if he wanted but that’s not how it worked out.

When Rich emailed me again last December, he gave me some options for interview dates. I am pretty flexible so we settled on January 4. Well, it just so happened that I was already planning season 3, we had our first episode in the can but I hadn’t scheduled any other interviews. So I asked Rich if he’d be willing to come on our show around the same time I was on his. That way we could use one episode to promote the other. He was interested and I asked if he wanted his interview with me to air before or after my interview of him and he picked before. So that is how I ended up on the Audiobook Speakeasy on Jan. 21 and he was on Talking Audiobooks on the 26th.

I really enjoyed both of my chats with Rich and the chance to get to know him a bit better. I have enjoyed my interactions with everyone I have interviewed, this is true but I felt really comfortable answering his questions one night and asking him my own questions the next night.
When Rich asked me to come on his show, I knew the first question would be what was I drinking tonight? I really wanted my answer to be my favorite combination of Captain Morgan and Dr. Pepper. Unfortunately, I had exactly none of the things necessary to make that drink on hand. So I had hot chocolate because quite frankly…it was cold that week. But if Rich ever has me on again I promise to have a more appropriate drink. I mean, I guess I don’t know how often hot chocolate was on the menu at a speakeasy
but I’m thinking there were probably drinks more common.

When I was researching Rich to prepare my own questions, I noticed that a lot of his catalog was comprised of books that promote an atheist worldview. This interested me because I had a feeling there was a story behind it. When I was talking to Rich about the topics we discussed and I brought that up as one of them he assured me that it was an interesting story and after hearing his answer, I would agree.
Some people might be surprised I went that direction at all considering my own faith is not a secret and in fact, I documented it all right here. The truth is that I never really gave any consideration to avoiding the topic. I could have thought of other questions to ask and it would have been a good interview but the fact was I wanted that story.

I am not going to pretend that the podcast doesn’t reflect my own personal tastes. When I play excerpts of new releases that caught my ear, that is my taste coming through. When I pick excerpts for a theme show that is my personal taste coming through. Even picking the topics for those theme shows is a reflection of my taste. Since I book almost every interview myself, who I talk to and when is a reflection of my personal taste. So obviously, the podcast gives you a pretty good idea of the things I personally like to listen to and even the type of guest I want to have on.
But the key is that I do try to tell my listeners what my biases are. My listeners know I love Star Wars and they also know that even I am aware of how often that can come up on the show. I try to let the listeners know what books I have listened to, which ones I own but haven’t heard yet, which ones are on my wish list or which ones I thought fit a theme pretty well. So not everything that gets played on the show is a recipient of my personal endorsement, especially if it a new release. I don’t get advanced copy so those are things I want to hear but that’s no guarantee that I will enjoy theme when I finally do. I know my tastes pretty well that I am not often disappointed but it does sometimes happen.
I don’t talk a lot about Romance on the show despite the fact it is a very popular genre. I acknowledge this as a weakness and that’s why I think I avoid getting criticized for it. I acknowledge it as true and promise to do a better job and so far I think I have made progress in that regard but I feel like I can always do a better job because I feel like I can always do a better show.

So if I let my personal beliefs get in the way of asking a certain question I am exerting more of my personal beliefs on the show. And in this instance we would have lost out on a pretty good story that is instructive for anyone in the audiobook narration game. The lesson of Rich’s story which I won’t repeat here because I would prefer you listen to him tell it himself since I can’t be nearly as thorough could apply to anyone including Christian audiobook narrators. The essence of his point is that he pursued things he was interested in and reached out to people and made them aware of who he was, what he did and what he was interested in narrating. If you’re an audiobook narrator who happens to be a big fan of pro wrestling as an example, there’s no reason you couldn’t take the lesson of Rich’s story, apply it to your own interest in pro wrestling and be off to the races.

So that’s a look at this week’s episode. I really enjoyed it and am sure I will chat again with Rich in the future, either again for his podcast, ours or both. And thanks to this entry I hope you all have a better idea of what I think about when I consider content for each episode as well as the general tone of the show.

If you listen to the episode, near the end you will hear a clip of my interview with audiobook narrator Ray Greenley and you can hear the full interview this Friday. I’ll talk more about that one in the next Podcast Plus.