A quick overview of the types of books and authors that fit into the guiding format of the podcast…
The sheer volume of books that are traditionally published each year is enormous. If self-published volumes are added into the mix, the numbers swell by over 350%. Simply put, I can’t interview every worthy author whose work comes across my desk. If I’m lucky, I’ll get to interview 50 authors each year about 50 new releases (as well as their past work). As a result, sometimes I say no, even to very well-written, highly-regarded books.
There is a wide variety of genres and approaches to the craft. Some genres interest me and some don’t. The podcast is built around the genres that interest me and the storyline of a particular book that I’m compelled to explore. If I’m not jazzed about a book, I won’t bring the same energy to the interview and that’s not fair to the author who has poured their time, energy, heart, and soul into the work. Sometimes I say no, not because I have anything against the author or the book, but because no is the best response for all parties.
If I’m lucky, I’ll get to interview 50 authors each year about 50 new releases (as well as their past work). I try to break this number down into quarterly increments and have certain buckets that I target for each period. Thrillers are my primary interest (#ThrillMe!), but Crime/Police Procedurals go hand-in-hand with the genre, along with Mysteries and Cozy Mysteries. Out of 13 potential “adventures” over any 3 month period, I try to secure 8 interviews with established Thriller Authors, meaning they have 4 or more books in print. The remaining 5 adventures are set aside for Police Procedurals, Mystery, and Cozy Mystery. I am open to working in 1 Science Fiction or Fantasy author each quarter, as well as 1 debut author. In these instances, my interest runs parallel to the book buzz.
I have a handful of things that I’m just not interested in exploring; among them: Memoirs, Romance Novels, Horror, Violence or Sexually driven content. If a story is built around explicit violence or driven by the the sexual relationships of the characters (regardless the orientation), my interest falls off the cliff. I know this may sound a bit contradictory, as many Thrillers and Crime Procedurals include violent masterminds and serial killers, but I’m of the Alfred Hitchcock perspective – implicit trumps explicit every single time. Let the reader’s mind bring the details to the scene. I’m not interested in reading about (or talking about) a sliced open body cavity and intestines strewn across the bloody pages like party streamers. Likewise, I’m not interested in detailed sexual content or a story that crashes under its own weight if the sexual activity of the characters is pulled from the story.
Public Display of Imagination interviews are not the typical author interviews (whatever that means). To be honest, I’ve not spent a lot of time listening to other interviews, because the goal was to develop a format that felt natural for me, as the host. I want each interview to sound like a free flowing conversation between two people, with the heart of the story serving as a launch point for the discussion. Each “adventure” is recorded in 3 segments of about 15-17 minutes in length (audio only). The focus of the first segment is latest release from the author and all talking points are taken from information that can be found online in the standard book summary. Segment two takes a closer look at the development of key characters and the inspiration behind their development. The third section will bring additional work from the author into the conversation, as well as their approach to the craft, their background as a writer, and one or two imaginative scenarios that allow the author to get creative on the fly. By the time we reach the end of the conversation, I want the audience to have a good feel for the person behind the pen and a strong desire to become more intimately acquainted with their work.
There’s an old saying – “Know your audience.” In this case, that might be phrased more accurately if it read, “Know my audience.” Getting familiar with the Public Display of Imagination podcast is really the only way you’re going to have a good feel as to what author and what book is a good fit for the show and ultimately – the audience. The show is available through several podcast listening options (see links below) and we only produce 1 hour each week. Pick a listening option and give the show a listen. I’ll be happy to have you as a regular listener and you’ll benefit by becoming better acquainted with the show. Let’s build a good, working relationship and introduce readers to their next favorite author.
Although we are unable to schedule interviews with every author, we are always appreciative of ARC’s that are sent our way and have undertaken efforts to start a Book Review Service. The goal will be to respond to any book that is sent our with a Public Display of Imagination book blurb and a quick assessment as to our interest in pursuing an interview date with the author. We will make every attempt to respond via email within 10 business days from the time the ARC is received. The mailing address is: Mark DeWayne Combs / Public Display of Imagination / 463063 State Rd 200 Unit #1473 / Yulee, FL 32097