Arelene Radasky: How I do it!

Arlene Radasky is the author of The Fox as well as short stories and poetry. She is also a proud grandmother of new baby boy!

General Writing Questions

1. Before you begin writing, do you script out the general outline of plot and characters, or do you let these situations evolve as you write?
Before writing I do not outline. I “see” the story in my head, and then write it. The written scene evolves around the scene in my head.

2. I’ve heard repetitively that writers should deal with writing as any other job. Do you have a scheduled or structured writing routine? Please detail.
Writing for me is not a job. I do not need nor wish to create a money stream from it.(Although, I would not refuse any $$!) It is much more a love, a need to follow the thoughts in my head. I am new to this so I am still experimenting. My life is in a state of change right now, so the bit of regular writing time is not available as easily, but I hope to create a niche for it soon. However, when a thought strikes me for a short story or a poem, I can get it done very quickly. It is the researched novel that is time consuming.

3. What is your writing environment like? (cats, music, computer etc.) How has this evolved/changed?
I write in a comfortable chair and in a comfortable room surrounded by cats and coffee. I do have a laptop and at times, especially when working on my novel, I take my computer out on my front porch where I can see the mountains, or in my car to the beach and watch the waves.

4. Do you write anything, or have you, that is solely for yourself? (no intention of sharing with a large audience)
I wrote a notebook filled with my thoughts and what was happening around me when my father was killed in a car accident. I have not shared that with anyone. I also have notebooks filled with events around the disasters I worked on when I was with the Red Cross. I have not shared those.

5. How has social media played a role in your writing?
Social media has been important in my writing. I was a member of a writers’ forum while writing The Fox and enjoyed the support, critiques and support. I suppose I would have found that available, especially through my local library, however, to be able to do critiques and respond to them on my own time was valuable to me. Now, the media is my connection to the huge writing and recording community of the world.

Podcasting Questions

1. What type of OS do you prefer? Linux? Mac? Win? What are your machine’s specs?
I have recorded everything I in GarageBand on a MacBookPro, now with 500 Gs of memory as recording takes up so space until done.

2. Would you please describe your current studio? How has this changed? (What did you start with?)
Studio? LOL I worked in a corner of a bedroom with beds around me and carpet on the floor. I am thinking of making a screen of cardboard lined with egg-crate foam, but have as yet to do it.

3. If you were able to build your dream studio, what would it include? Be as specific as you wish.
Since I am a rank amateur, I would have to have some else design and build a dream studio.

4. Other than a computer, what piece of HARDWARE would you recommend to a new podcaster?
I recommend a good USB mic, mine is a Blue Snowball.

5. What have you had to learn for yourself that you wish someone could have warned you about?
I use levelator. I know some pros hate it, but for me, it works. I wish I known how to use it in the beginning. I also wish I had rerecorded the first 5 chapters before I released them, but it the product was not horrible so even though I did rerecord and release them, I was not too embarrassed by the first attempt.

6. What would you consider a “beginner’s mistake” you’ve either experienced or hear others making?
Editing while recording is very easy in GarageBand. I was able to go back and record over my mistakes. I have talked to those using Audacity and it is not as easy. I hear left in mistakes and duplicated sentences, at times even swear words left in because they were not identified in the editing process. One author has told me that she snaps her fingers or makes a cluck with her tongue to make a spiked wave so she can find her mistakes. Others don’t do this. I smile at the mistakes but there are some books with several in each chapter or episode and it gets old.

7. How much time does it take, once you have all the elements, for YOU to put together a 30 minute podcast? (please describe your production technique)For a 30 min, straight read recording, no sound effects ++ To set up the mic, music stand to hold my material and computer, to get the program ready to use, record for about 60 to 90 mins., listen through and make corrections two times, turn into AIFF and levelate, add intros and music, listen, turn into mp3 and listen one more time, takes about 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

Casting Questions

I have done only a bit of one or two short stories, casted. I also put a short promo together. Whew, talk about time consuming and intense! I have to decide what read sounds the best where, find it and then insert it. Add 2 hours on to the process, at least for a short story!  I do like the outcome, however. So far I have kept the outtakes along with the stories. However, they also take up memory space.

General Questions

1. If someone approached you with THEIR book, and asked you to podcast it for them for a fee, what would you consider a reasonable rate per episode? (The way YOU do it)
How much to charge for doing a podcast for someone else? Whew, that is tough. It takes so much time that I would be severely limited in the time I would have for my projects. I do volunteer to do recording for free for some shorts but I don’t know if I would do a novel for someone. I would have to think deeply about the fee and why I would even think of doing it.

2. Do you podcast as part of a larger plan, or because getting your content out in some manner IS your plan?
Getting my story out and read/listened to was and is the larger plan. I started by distributing it for free on sites that allowed free PDFs and then ventured into recording. Podiobooks.com is the vehicle that allowed me access the listening audience.   I always plan on writing and recording my content and there are many ways to get it out to the world in these forms.

3. What is the nicest compliment you’ve been paid or what keeps you coming back?
I have two that stand out in the flood of compliments. I get them often. The first is that the reader/listener cried and the second is that my research shows and is accurate.  I get many more compliments but my heart beats a bit faster with these.

4. How important are numbers of downloads/subscribers to you? Do you keep track?
I do keep track of how many downloads I have. I think it is a bit of a pat on the back. I know many others are doing it to attract offers from publishers, however, since my book is free in most places, I do it for myself. And I like to know where it is being seen.

5. How important are reviews left on Podiobooks/iTunes/other venues to you?
Reviews are the authors pat on the back or a kick in the butt, which ever way they go. We all like to know our work is being enjoyed and need to know if there is a problem. Reviews are very important to me.

6. If not answered previously, how do you read your manuscript while recording (hard copy, teleprompter, etc)?
I have a music stand to prop my large-font printed pages on to read from and stop recording as I move or drop a page.

Comment Pages

There are 4 Comments to "Arelene Radasky: How I do it!"

  • Jeff Hite says:

    So much good information. Arlene is a friend of mine so I knew some of these things, but it was nice to see them written out. It is good to know that there are people out there that write without a plan like I do, and have been successful doing it. It gives me hope. thank you Odin and Arlene for such a wonderful interview. I learn more every time I read one of these.

  • This is amazing to see again. Most of it is still true, too! LOL
    Thanks so much Odin! And Like Jeff said, there are great bits of information in each one of these interviews. Great teaching tools!

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