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  • [Reality Check] - Two Tips for a Better Podcast Interview by Catharine Bramkamp
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[Reality Check] - Two Tips for a Better Podcast Interview by Catharine Bramkamp
Written by
Zetta Brown
June 2015
Written by
Zetta Brown
June 2015

First she gave you tips about scheduling podcast guests.

Then she gave you advice on what NOT to do with your podcast guests.

Now, here is the third and final installment of Catharine Bramkamp's valuable advice for podcasting.



“Stop Asking the Same Old Questions”: Two tips for a Better Podcast Interview
By Catharine Bramkamp, Producer – Newbie Writers Podcast

You’ve experienced that dead space on the air. You ask a question and your guest pauses, for a very long, excruciating minute. Don’t just cue the cricket soundtrack, be prepared for those dips and silences in the conversation. You can edit them out post production or you can implement a couple of ideas to guarantee a smooth broadcast. Here’s how to help your guest help you.  

Rule #1 Avoid the obvious

I have walked out of author interviews. Not because the author wasn’t marvelous, often she was, but what drives me screaming from the room are lame questions. At a recent book signing,  Natalie Goldberg (nataliegoldberg.com)

prefaced her question and answer period with the plea, “And don’t ask me what color pen I use to write.”

I know why Goldberg is asked about her pen: we think there must be some kind of magic to good writing, and if using a green flair tip pen will magically guarantee publication, heck yes, we will order a case of pens right now.

Don’t ask about their magic pen, ask the author, “Where do you find the magic?”

Don’t ask a guest where do they get their ideas, ask about their larceny record. All artists steal. Where did you find your inspiration, from whom?

Don’t ask how they were published. You’ll get a lame answer that includes the phrase, “I was really lucky.”  Instead ask them if publication made them younger and/or thinner.  

Review your guest’s web site, read their book, and from that information find details that intrigues you. Go deep.  

Rule 2# Set up your guest to win

Craft a welcome letter to send to every guest. We send our guests a list of instructions as well as the technical requirements necessary to appear on the show.

An example of the greeting

Thank you for agreeing to be a guest on our podcast—Newbie Writer’s Podcast.(www.NewbieWriters.com). You can hear the podcast on our site NewbieWriters.com or on iTunes.

The show is fun, loose and unpredictable. Damien is the Newbie and I’m the writer. We create conversations with our guests for the first 40 minutes focusing on what a newbie writer should know, what will help a writer, and of course, what advice you specifically want to give writers. We finish the show with the regular features of writing prompt, word of the week, and tortured sentences. 

Charles McFall of Success Freaks http://www.successfreaks.com liked the invitation so much, he stole it for his own show. You are welcome to steal it for yours.

Guests are wonderful, and I love that our podcast gives me the opportunity to learn more about my favorite subject. Let your passion lead you to new and interesting people. Learn from them. A good guest on a podcast can benefit both you, your guest, and your listeners. In a New Media world, we can create true win/win/win scenarios.

How great is that?


Catharine Bramkamp is the writer part of Newbie Writers Podcast  (www.NewbieWriters.com) that focuses on newer writers and their concerns. She is a successful writing coach and author of a dozen books. Check out www.YourBookStartsHere.com for her current books. She and her husband have successfully parented two boys past the age of self-destruction and into the age of annoying two-word text missives.


©2015. Zetta Brown. All Rights Reserved. Zetta is an editor and the author of several published short stories and the erotic romance novel Messalina: Devourer of Men. She provides editing services through JimandZetta.com.

Got a [REALITY CHECK] about the publishing life to share? If you would like to be a guest on my blog, please friend me on She Writes with a message! :)

If you like this post, then stop by Zetta’s Desk for editing tips and follow “Zetta’s Reference Desk” where she features a writing reference book every week. Don’t miss this week’s featured reference!

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