Please join us in welcoming Lorie Lewis Ham, magazine publisher, mystery author, and podcaster! We were delighted to have the opportunity to ask some questions about the fascinating world of Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast…
How did you get into podcasting?
I have enjoyed listening to podcasts for a long time. Several years ago I had a dream to create a web series but it was just too large of a challenge at the time and too expensive, so I set that aside. Then it hit me a few years ago that I could do something along those lines in a podcast form, and then the idea grew from there. I am the publisher of Kings River Life and we review mysteries and local theatre—so I got the idea of putting those things together.
What is your process?
First we find stories or first chapters that seem like they would lend themselves well to being “read” in a podcast. Next we start auditioning local actors. We wanted to use actors because we wanted more than just readings, we wanted them to be performed. Once the story is cast, we start the process of rehearsals. The actor sends me practices and I send back director’s notes and we go back and forth until we know we have it down. Before Covid we then recorded in person, but we had to get creative over the past year.
We have an announcer who records the openings and closings (he is a family friend, local actor, and is well known in this area for his voice work).
The final part is the editing. I lucked out and that happens to be what my husband does for a living. He takes all the pieces and puts them together.
What are some of the challenges and/or successes you’ve experienced along the way?
In the beginning, I was a little nervous about putting on the “director’s” cap. I had never really done anything like that before even though I have reviewed theatre, and had kids involved in theatre for years. It was a little intimidating those first few episodes and I have learned a whole new respect for anyone who directs any form of theatre.
But the biggest challenge has been figuring out how to make this keep working during the pandemic. Actors started recording in their homes—sometimes in closets to help with any sound issues. The same program I used to record before (Audacity which is free) each one of them downloads, unless they already have something else that works. Then I shipped a microphone to one of our actors and it has been safely handed from actor to actor ever since. A few of the actors have taken it upon themselves to buy one of their own, and a couple of others that didn’t live close enough I sent microphones to as well. It’s been an added expense, but it has kept us going.
What are some of the best or most surprising experiences you’ve had related to your podcast work?
The best thing is each time a podcast is finished and I upload it. I am just so proud of the job everyone has done it making it happen. From the great stories provided by the writers, to the hard work each actor has done to bring the stories to life, to the editing done behind the scenes.
What advice would you give to new or aspiring podcasters?
Do it because you want to do it, just like with writing. Don’t do it because you think it will make you rich and famous. And just like writing, before you get started learn everything you can about it, and listen to a lot of other podcasts.
What advice would you give to authors who would like to connect with podcasters?
Most podcasts out there that involve books are either review podcasts or they interview authors, and most of them are always looking for new books and new authors to interview. Don’t be afraid to contact them and ask if they are interested in your book, and talking to you. Mysteryrat’s Maze is booked through the end of 2022, and many others may be too, but hey you can always use the exposure whenever it happens. And if they say no, at least you tried. If you never asked then it would never happen.
Why should people listen to Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast?
If you love mysteries like I do you should listen. Our actors bring these wonderful stories to life. Not only will you hopefully enjoy listening, but you may find new authors and new books to enjoy. And hey it’s kind of like free audiobooks!
Lorie Lewis Ham is the publisher of Kings River Life Magazine, and a mystery author herself. You can learn about her upcoming book on her website. She is also the producer of the mystery podcast Mysteryrat’s Maze. Episodes consist of mystery short stories, and first chapters of mystery novels, read and brought to life by local actors. To listen to the episodes, and subscribe to the podcast, you can go to mysteryratsmaze.podbean.com, and find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and more. Featured authors include Cleo Coyle, Elaine Viets, Jeri Westerson, Dennis Palumbo, Kate Carlisle, and many more!
Mysteryrat’s Maze: https://mysteryratsmaze.podbean.com/
Kings River Life: https://KingsRiverLife.com
Lorie’s author website: https://www.mysteryrat.com/