Well, that didn’t go as planned; but it may have come out better. Don and I decided to book ourselves for the last interview of the year. Gaps in our schedules coincided, Coupeville Library was nice enough to let us use their meeting room, and the two of us sat down to talk about Don’s books and projects, and my books and projects. We did that, but the conversation drifted over to what life is like for authors in the shopping and selling season.
We also talked about the value of talking to other members of our writing community. Writing does not have to be a solo venture. Fellow writers can provide insights into how readers perceive a book. The author may have one intent, but readers may find something else that is not obvious to someone who wrote, edited, and repeatedly read the book before it was published. Bicycling books may appeal to RV owners. Travel books may appeal to people from countries that weren’t visited or even mentioned.
This podcast has become an unplanned, informal, yet possibly useful resource built from the contributions and interviews of dozens of members of Whidbey Island’s writing community. Book store owners can bring some reality to expectations. Librarians can point to overlooked resources for research or even funding. Writers from your genre undoubtedly have encountered surprises, the good ones the bad ones and the weird ones. Successful and failed campaigns are useful as long as we learn from them. And, of course, writers can support writers simply by listening to frustrations or understanding otherwise obscure celebrations. (You finally found the right font!)
Thanks to everyone who participates by listening, being interviewed, and sharing.
I hope you enjoy the podcast, and I hope your sales treat you well.
Just Keep Pedaling, a bicycle ride across America (one man’s failed attempt to lose weight, really) Twelve Months at Barclay Lake – from the wet side of Washington’s Cascades (party party) Twelve Months at Lake Valhalla – from the cold crest of the Cascades (frozen more than thawed) Twelve Months at Merritt Lake – from the dry side of the Cascades (with more than a whiff of smoke) Dream. Invest. Live. – personal finance for frugal folks (by request) Walking Thinking Drinking Across Scotland – but could’ve used more drinking Kettle Pot Cup – a light-hearted look at the way we really drink tea Firewatcher – book one of the Exodus/Genesis sci-fi series
Twelve Months at Cultus Bay Twelve Months at Deception Pass Twelve Months at Admiralty Head Twelve Months at Penn Cove Twelve Months at Double Bluff Twelve Months at Maxwelton Beach Twelve Months at Possession Beach Twelve Months at Possession Preserve Twelve Months at Dugualla Bay
Say the word ‘money’ and people either have their ears perk up or their eyes glaze over. How about if it is money for your projects? Sno-Isle Libraries’ Freeland Library has become one of the few homes for a database of grants, a source of people and organizations who want to fund people and organizations who have projects and ideas, but who don’t have the money they need. We were lucky enough to talk with Katrina Morse, an Adult Services Librarian who has the task of showing artists, creatives, and advocates how to use the Foundation Grants to Individuals (GTI) database. This is for individual people. Non-profits can benefit, too with the Foundation Directory Online. There are over 10,000 grantmakers on GTI, which is a good thing, but it is also why its best to have a guide like Katrina.
Believe it or not, if you have an idea there just might be someone out there who wants to fund people willing to work on that idea. Research a region? Organize a community? Develop a facility or resource? There’s no guarantee, but there is a possibility. Why say no to an idea until you’ve found out if someone has already said yes, at least to financing it?
Katrina did a great job of teaching Don and I about some aspect of the database tool then listening to us start playing with ideas. Could there be some way to travel to an area that’s going to be in your next book? Someone might care about that region, wherever it is. We’re hearing about writers seeking writers groups. That might be something to organize on more than a volunteer basis. Do we writers need a coworks or a sound studio or a meeting place? That might be handy, and maybe someone wants to encourage the arts in places that aren’t in ‘The Big City’. And maybe not. But maybe.
It is obvious that Katrina can get introduced to lots of passionate people, and funnel them to a source that is otherwise not readily available. This is something that has to be accessed onsite, a bit old-fashioned in that regard; but imagine what this service was like recently, when lots of it was bound and printed and only available by traveling to central locations like Seattle. To get access on Whidbey is a great improvement.
Listen in to what she has to say, and maybe contact her directly about how she can help. Imagine finding funding for organizing classes – or maybe even a writers conference. We won’t know until we ask.
Wait — WHAT — WOWI is 3 years old?!? Yeah — that’s right — 3 years ago Tom and I sat down and recorded our first Writing On Whidbey Island episode! I remember it fondly … a beach in Coupeville … with waves, and seagulls, and jets. This past Wednesday, Tom and I sat down — this time at a picnic table (we’re moving up!) — meeting for our 3 year anniversary show … with seagulls and near the water of Oak Harbor … with the potential for overhead jets … so, actually, not much has changed.
Oak Harbor’s newly remodeled Windjammer Park served as our backdrop. Our audience was a flock seagulls, while our special effects were ash and smoke that smelled like charming pipe-tobacco emanating from the southern Washington forest fire.
Tom and I discussed how the show has grown over 3 years, where it’s going, what we each have been up to in writing lately (*See Links Below*), and our upcoming From Inspiration To Publication workshop . This 1-day workshop will be co-presented in Coupeville WA October 15th 2022 by Tom and myself — See You There!
Tom has two new books recently published! Check out …
Don’t judge a book by its cover, except people do. Joe Menth has helped many of Whidbey’s writers by helping them fix their covers, polish the graphics inside, produce posters and cards and plenty of other marketing materials. Joe’s shop, Feather and Fox which is owned and operated by him and his wife, is in Langley, but if you follow local writers or local artists you’ve probably seen his work.
Writing On Whidbey Island is about the writing community, which previous episodes have shown to be about the support network that wraps around the writers. Librarians, booksellers, editors, publishers, etc. add to the unofficial community that already includes hundreds of writers, poets, and screenwriters. Some writers can do it all, but many of us call for help because we don’t have those skills, or are already so busy that hiring a professional for an hour can save a day’s (or a week’s) effort.
Joe talked with the two of us in a conversation that had to wander around what he does and what he’s asked to do because his skills are so varied. His skills are so varied that sometimes he has to be reminded of them. (Personal note: He’s helped me with at least ten books, so far. Insides, outsides, and marketing besides are demonstrations of more than hitting print.)
Welcome back to a virtual call because, as the pandemic has proved, sometimes the only way to get three busy schedules to align is by having everyone phone it in. Hopefully, you find the episode more engaging than that.
Tom and I recently decided to wrap up 2021 the same way we started WOWI — meeting together and talking about what’s up in writing as we know it! This may be our longest recording session yet — jam-packed with reflection and looking forward into 2022 and beyond.
Among other things, in this session we find out that Tom is working on a sci-fi novel with potential for being a series with sequels and spin-offs. He’s also bringing his book on tea to fruition — sure to be filled with local flavour!
As for me … I have 3 new recipe books nearly complete, publishing sometime in (Fall?) 2022. Just as soon as those are done, I already have 3 half-complete projects to move up from the back burner. Depending on how those go … I might publish 4 new titles in 2022. I’m also taking steps to become a professional audiobook narrator.
Enjoy! ~ Don
Honorable Mentions & Handy Weblinks From This Episode of WOWI
How to summarize a life that has passed through so much of the sports world, particularly Seattle’s? A post can’t contain it. Our podcast pulls in more. It would take a book, no, several books to begin – and he isn’t done, yet. Mike Gastineau was kind enough to talk to us about how he got started in broadcast sports radio, expanded into books, and even is an advisor on a screenplay.
Mike lives on Whidbey, and for many years he was the sports reporter for KJR. Reporting something new and interesting several times a day is an amazing accomplishment, and also great training for becoming a productive writer. So much for sitting and waiting for a muse to drop by. His deadlines had second hands sweeping past.
He has stories about the Huskies, the Sonics, and the Sounders, and he was willing to tell the stories behind those stories. Listen to his energy as he talks about things that enthuse him. Listen also to the difference between writing for broadcasts, which are ephemeral; and non-fiction books, which have more permanence.
His work is also a good example of being an expert, of not trying to know everything about everything, but knowing more than almost everyone about topics that have intense followings, fans. And he knows how to make it sound easy, engaging, and educational.
That’s a nice mix. Authors, librarians, booksellers, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, editing, and rare books. That diversity is one of the reasons the Whidbey Island writing community is broad and deep, able to support the members of the informal, unofficial, highly creative community. Personally, it is nice to see people returning to episode 1, to better understand our intent. And remember, a grade school class got the most traffic by a large margin. Forget the MBA. Maybe tune into 5th graders, instead.
Accidents happen and sometimes they turn out as happy accidents! A few months ago I responded to a comment online from a delightful lady in England — Claire Buss. She was looking for people who produce podcasts — I didn’t think that what Tom and I offer with WOWI was quite her thing, but it never hurts to try … right? To my surprise Clair sent me a personal message soon after, asking that Tom and I each fill out a written interview for her site PenToPrint.org. We took to our trusty keyboards and — not so long story made even shorter — have been featured this month.
Okay, we’ve been keeping this kind of quiet, but here it is … PODCAST
Tom Trimbath and I have started a PODCAST!
It’s TRUE — Tom and I have started a PODCAST. Take 1-part portable recording gear and add 2 guys energetic about writing, and mix with a look at all-things-writing as it pertains to Whidbey … and you get “Writing On Whidbey Island“* — or WOWI!
(*Present web location, subject to change)
Our show is new — presently we have about half-a-dozen recordings, each around 40 minutes long. Three of these have been interviews with Whidbey Island authors. Our show is not a hard Q&A, it’s a conversation about the topic we pick — a guest talking about their book, a bookstore owner discussing their approach to the book business, online marketing, you name it! This month Tom and I have 2 recordings tentatively scheduled — here’s what’s coming up!PODCAST
October 12th — Maribeth Crandell’s Latest Book
The 14Sep2019 copy of the Whidbey News-Times presented an article on Maribeth Crandell and her second book “Hiking Close to Home“. In her latest book, Maribeth presents all the hikes here on Whidbey Island. Her approach has included not only features of the hikes, which ones are wheelchair accessible, and also which ones you get reach using the local bus service — which is free by the way! That Saturday she was presenting her book at the Coupeville library — she and her book sounded interesting so I attended! Maribeth was passionate about her topic and full of character — and at the end of the presentation I invited her on WOWI. She will be holding another release party a few weeks following in Anacortes — if you’re local, don’t miss it! PODCAST
October 28th — 1st Year Publishing Lessons Learned
Our guest for our October 28th recording will be ….. ME! A week ago Tom pointed out that my first book “Make Your Own Darn Good Cookies” was published one year ago on Amazon. Since then I’ve presented my book, published the Amazon and Smashwords e-book versions, started my next book projects, and learned more than a few things I didn’t know before. Tom suggested that we discuss the experiences, lessons, and tips of a writer (me) the first year into being a self-published author. *Stammer*Stammer* … uh … now that I think about it, YEAH, there are things that I can share. I’m looking forward to talking with Tom about it and sharing with our listeners! PODCAST
Now, a few more things about WOWI
Tom and I live on opposite ends of Whidbey Island. For our WOWI podcast this is a blessing and a curse. The ‘curse‘ is that it is inconvenient to get together, so our recordings don’t take place on a regular schedule. The ‘blessing‘ is that we have to coordinate our schedules when we are going to be at the same end of the island. This helps us to meet with myriad authors, writers groups, bookstore owners, ETC here on Whidbey Island. We’ve worked this into the character of the show — recording in different places, featuring some of the audioscape of our beloved island in the background. So far we have recorded outdoors, and the weather is beginning to turn on us. We will soon be looking for indoor locations that will host us. If you are a business this may work to your favour because we always say where we are recording from — for the use of a warm room, a little bit of electricity, and perhaps a few other comforts, we will GLADLY plug your Whidbey Island business! PODCAST