Friday, January 05, 2018

Fancy a listen to Lizzie Borden? She's podcasting (er, sort of)

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and the John D. and Catherine C. MacArthur Foundation
as well as listeners like you!

I wanted to compile in one place the various radio spots I did in support of The Murderer's Maid: a Lizzie Borden Novel. It seems there's a real trend towards podcasts now (I personally LOVED S-Town and am now circling back to the original Serial seasons. I've also enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History podcast).

I tried to talk about different things in each podcast with the hope that people would want to listen to more than one. Plus, it's more interesting for me when I'm not repeating the same material. However, each usually began with the "Lizzie Borden took an ax" rhyme, since it is the best summary of the case for those who haven't heard of it. So, without further ado, here are five to pick from, with a brief description of each.

with the incredible Beth Ruyak

INSIGHT WITH BETH RUYAK on Sacramento's Capitol Public Radio, an NPR affiliate
11:50 minutes
Wed., Nov. 15, 2017
This was such an honor to talk to Beth, a Sacramento anchor in the radio community. She is so gracious and warm and has wonderful questions and a great way of keeping a conversation moving. She had baked zucchini bread that was available to guests in the green room (!). There were several other guests on during the hour and we were all linked by talking about immigrants: my novel's Irish maid (during an era when the Irish were scorned—you can see a little taste of this in the movie Gangs of New York), Chinese immigrants in early Gold Rush California captured in a play, and Japanese-American interned during WWII, in a graphic novel. Three mediums to discuss three cultures. It was a fascinating show. I'm only linking to my segment but you can listen to the others by visiting the Insight site.

My big regret is that I didn't think to mention that Lizzie Borden had taught English to Chinese immigrant boys, and there is a scene of that in my novel. 

Beth's homemade zucchini bread in the Insight green room

Joey attended my reading at Avid Reader in Sacramento: what a sweetheart!
19 mins (recording continues after my interview ends)
Nov. 24, 2017
Joey's a great host, and so fun to talk to. She's also the organizer of a writers conference in Belize (the first ever!) so click here to learn more about that. Joey's an author too, and I've enjoyed getting to know her IRL.

Rick and I sat on my back deck and chatted with coffee. He's a great author and journalist who has compiled a book of interviews he's done with authors over the years.

We did two quick Bumpers:
1. "Did Lizzie Borden Do It?" 2:26 mins

2. "The Murderer's Maid" 1:22 mins

(He also had our longer interview transcribed. If you prefer to read rather than listen: click here.)

Tim and I talked about the Lizzie Borden house, today a B&B,
where he has done paranormal investigations
Saturday, November 25, 2017
My interview starts around 16:00. We spoke for about an hour.
This interview was unique in that Tim is already a huge Borden case fan and has been to the Lizzie Borden house many times to do paranormal studies. So there was no "let's catch up our listeners on who Lizzie Borden was" and we hit the ground running. He came up with some theories about the case I'd never thought of before, and I reminded him of something he'd forgotten: that the third floor bathroom, next to Bridget Sullivan's room in the attic, was once a bedroom. If you're a serious Lizzie Borden person, this is the one to listen to.
Caveat: we had a phone connection (I was not in the studio—we're on separate coasts) that was very wonky and sometimes I literally couldn't hear him. Then another host joined in and I thought she was "static" from another phone line. So apologies if I sound like a dingbat.

This was a live panel with Loren Rhoads, Dana Fredsti and me, moderated by Terry Bisson. We had a small audience and powerful recording equipment. They assured us they would edit the podcast afterwards, which of course made me eager to do something loony they'd have to edit out. As of this writing, the podcast hasn't been put up on the web yet. I'll circle back and add it as soon as it is.

I'm looking for more podcasts to listen to. I love ones where each episode delivers a new truth or unveils something—the major appeal of S-Town: every episode had a new, strong bit of information to reveal. Can you list your favorites in the comments below?

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