Podcasting is fun. Who knew?

I’ve been thinking about podcasting for many months. I haven’t done anything about it until recently because I’ve been so busy with other things, and I wasn’t up for another learning curve.

That all changed when I attended Jenny Blake’s 3-hour webinar, The (HE)art of Podcasting. She demonstrated everything, from equipment to software to the life of an episode. What really clinched it for me, however, was the Descript software. There are a few oddities about it, but it’s basically very easy. It transcribes your audio and you edit right in the transcription, so no figuring out where the waves are. (Although the wave form is there.) It was easy to add music and do fades etc. as well. And the microphone I’ve got for now cost me all of $17.

That’s the technical stuff that made me decide to get started. But to do a podcast, you have to have a reason. You have to have an idea.

My idea: Podcasting about historical fiction

I listen to podcasts, especially book podcasts. I love gaining insights from others about writing and marketing. Hearing authors talk about their books is one of my favorite pastimes. The trouble is that all the podcasts I could find generally interviewed the select group of authors with books coming out through the Big 5. I’ve yet to find an interview with a historical novelist on any of them.

So, I decided I needed to create my own podcast. Ta-da!

Introducing It’s Just Historical, a podcast devoted to writing, reading, and publishing historical fiction

I wasn’t sure whether anyone would be interested in this at first. I did my first “test” episode with the lovely Linda Cardillo, author of Love That Moves the Sun. The quality wasn’t great, because we were both wrestling with unreliable Internet connections over Zoom (thank you, Comcast…not). The connection was better for my second podcast, with Michelle Cameron, author of Beyond the Ghetto Gates. (Read my interview with her here!)

I’ve fixed the Internet issues I was having so the quality of recording is better now, and yesterday, I interviewed my dear friend and historical novelist Stephanie Cowell. I’ll edit that session and put it up next Friday, June 24.

I have five more recordings scheduled with some of my favorite authors of historical fiction. Some have books that have come out recently, others don’t. That’s a purposeful decision on my part.

You don’t have to be a debut historical novelist or have a book coming out soon or recently out to be on my podcast.

The book world is a bit of a nightmare to navigate. Publishers give a novel three months maximum to be promoted, and if it doesn’t catch on, they drop their efforts. This isn’t because they wouldn’t want to push everything they publish forever. It’s basic economic reality.

However, authors don’t stop being interesting or worth talking to just because their last book was published years ago, or their next book is still being written and may not come out for another few years—if ever. At least, not for me. And if I’ve read a book and loved it, it won’t matter to me whether it was self-published, hybrid published, or had a massive contract with the Big 5. We all know that there are many wonderful books that just don’t find their audience by traditional means.

What I do insist on is that the author has published at least one book I’ve read and think is good. That may seem like a low bar, but I’m a very tough critic!

The best part of it all, though, is I have a legitimate excuse to talk to my favorite authors about anything I want. That, in essence, is why it’s so fun.

So, I invite you to subscribe to my podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. It will soon be on Google, Pandora, and Stitcher as well. And you can always go to the It’s Just Historical Web site and listen there.

Hope you like it!


  1. Michelle Cox says:

    Hi, Susanne!

    I just finished listening to your interview of fellow SWP sister, Michelle Cameron. Great job! I’d love to be on your show if you are currently booking guests.

    I write the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series, which is a mystery/romance series set in the 1930s Chicago. It has been described as “Downton Abbey meets Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.” Book 5 – A Child Lost – released on April 28, 2020 with She Writes Press.

    The series has been very positively reviewed by Booklist (starred), Library Journal (starred), Kirkus, Foreword, and Publishers Weekly. Likewise, it has been praised as a top read by PopSugar, Elle, Buzzfeed, Brit&Co, Culturalist, Redbook, Booktr, and Bustle, among others, and has accumulated over 40 awards to date.

    Here’s a brief summary:

    The Henrietta and Inspector Howard series, set against the backdrop of an era often overlooked in American history—the time between the two World Wars—weaves together the stories of the wealthy Howards and the impoverished Von Harmons, two Chicago families that have more in common than they initially think. Despite the somewhat light-hearted mysteries and the evolving romances between characters, the series is solid historical fiction, taking a closer look at some of the more pertinent issues of the day—disproportionate wealth; the plight of all women, regardless of their place in society; homosexuality; rampant crime; and the diminishing social moirés of a world lost—the general crumbling away of the “old order” in both America and Europe beyond. Rich in imagery and smart, original dialogue, the series has won over forty international awards and perfectly paints the era in which the last of the summer roses were in bloom.

    I have been on numerous radio shows and podcasts, including WGN’s After Hours with Rick Kogan, Thrive LOUD with Lou Diamond, and Publishers Weekly Litcast with Lenny Picker. I was also a guest with Rebecca Makkai on PBS’s The Interview Show.

    I would love a chance to talk with both of YOU and your listeners about the series, the true story behind the series, publishing with an all-women’s press – just about anything!

    I’d be happy to send you some copies of my books and/or my press kit for more information about me.

    Thanks so much!

    • Susanne says:

      Hi Michelle,
      It would be fabulous to have you on the podcast! I’d be grateful to get a copy of at least one of your books. I’ll email you to discuss details. I had so much fun talking to Michelle. I’ve missed my “tribe” of historical novelists during this pandemic, and started this podcast to feed my own needs as much as anything. I’m glad people are listening to it!

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