20 Questions with Your Favorite Author Podcast: 100 Episodes and Counting

At the end of 2020, we were stuck at home (just like everyone else). While our introverted nature relished the experience, the marketing plan for our publishing business went out the window. Unable to go to conventions to reach readers, a creative solution presented itself. Why not start a podcast where we introduce our speculative fiction authors to an eager audience also stuck at home bored? The readers will get previews of our books so they’ll know the incredible worlds and characters ready for them to explore and the authors will have a chance to connect with fans. It was a win-win.

That’s how 20 Questions with your Favorite Author was born.

Now how would we bring this concept to life? Some good friends of ours in the Legion of Dorks community recorded their podcast live on Twitch. (Yes, that platform created to watch other people play video games. But it’s so much more than that including cooking channels, music performances, and talk shows covering the gambot of possibilities. You should check it out.) So we thought, why not record this podcast live and then push it out as an audio podcast? And that’s what we did. To not lose the opportunity for a third audience, we posted the VODs to our YouTube channel for those who like to be entertained through that medium.

So we had a concept and we had the basic technical aspects worked out. The next step involved conning people to guest. Sorry, we mean, booking the talent. At the beginning, we had three contracted authors, only two of which had published books under our logo. As much as we adored our authors, that wouldn’t be a very entertaining show asking twenty questions of the same authors on repeat until we signed someone new. Luckily, we at Cursed Dragon Ship love hanging out with writers and we’d gathered a healthy number we could call friends after years of conventions. So we pulled out our virtual Rolodex and started begging people to come on our show.

Since we asked fun questions, not the typical boring ones that authors had answered repeatedly, guests had a great time and started recommending their friends as guests. Before we knew it, we were booked every Tuesday for months in advance. Our loyal audience won a plethora of fantasy, horror, and science fiction books for attending the live streams. While the crowd who listened later or watched the VODs on YouTube were introduced to authors they might never have met until they found their next favorite series.

Plus, the guests produced something to share with their existing fans. Where else had they had the opportunity to share whether they preferred steak prepared on the grill or in a cast iron pan or when they decided to put those crazy voices in their head on paper?

Before we knew it, we celebrated our 100th episode at Superstars Writing Seminar. We asked over twenty authors–some who had been on the show and some who were newbies–five questions each. The result was delightful madness. Don’t believe me? Check it out:

Some fun statistics:

  • Guest with most appearances: Mark Stallings at five.
  • Most favorite ice cream: mint chocolate chip with vanilla coming in at a close second.
  • Zombies can climb according to over half of our guests.
  • Almost none of the authors want to meet one of their characters because they’ve done horrible things to them in their novels.
  • Authors hate washing dishes and folding laundry, almost universally.

We now have eighteen authors who publish with Cursed Dragon Ship Publishing, each of which make an appearance every time one they launch a new book. (Interesting note, we also have five freelance editors and three freelance cover artists who make our books the high quality masterpieces they are.) But that still leaves lots of room for our friends to come on and tell us gripping stories of bear spray and celebrity crushes and food mishaps.

We hope you’ll join us next Tuesday at 8 p.m. Central when we interview another fascinating writer on Twitch. You never know. You might meet your next favorite author.