Writing And Working Together As A Creative Couple With Jeff Adams And Will Knauss

Is it possible to write together if you are partners in life as well as business? How can a community come together in the wake of difficulties? Plus, how podcasting can be an effective part of author marketing. All this and more in discussion with Jeff and Will from The Big Gay Fiction Podcast.

In the intro, Barnes and Noble are not paying full royalties for Feb (Draft2Digital), Amazon donates to UK booksellers [The Bookseller], E-book and audio sales proving ‘welcome ray of sunshine’ for publishers [The Bookseller], digital library borrows for ebooks and audiobooks are up [BBC], The Society of Authors reports that “members have been “pressured to renegotiate contracts or told that royalty payments will be paid late following the crisis” [The Bookseller], and the collected difficulties of traditional publishing [Kris Rusch]. 

Useful tutorials: 16 Ways to Market your Audiobooks, and 7 Steps to Turn What you Know into an Online Training Course. Plus, get 50% off my ebooks and audiobooks at Payhip.com/thecreativepenn and use discount coupon: QUARANTINE at checkout.


Do you need help with marketing, publicity or advertising? Find a curated list of vetted professionals at the Reedsy marketplace, along with free training on writing, self-publishing and book marketing. Check it out at: www.TheCreativePenn.com/reedsy

Jeff Adams and Will Knauss write gay romance and YA fiction. They have two podcasts, the Big Gay Fiction Podcast and the Big Gay Author Podcast. They are partners in life as well as business. [This is us hanging out in Orlando at Podcast Movement 2019!]

You can listen above or on your favorite podcast app or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and the full transcript below.

Show Notes

  • Rewriting books after getting the rights back from a trad publishing house
  • Taking a step back when the waters get choppy and looking at the bigger picture. Will’s solo show on dealing with burnout and moving on with optimism.
  • What’s working now when marketing romance novels
  • Challenges encountered when co-writing a book
  • Collaborating on a romance series – check out Jeff’s books here.
  • Recommended podcasts for writers
  • Benefits of podcasting for authors
  • The influence of audio on book sales

You can find Jeff and Will at JeffAndWill.com, BigGayFictionPodcast.com and on Twitter @BigGayFiction

Transcript of Interview with Jeff Adams and Will Knauss

Joanna: Jeff Adams and Will Knauss write gay romance and YA fiction. They have two podcasts, the ‘Big Gay Fiction Podcast’ and the ‘Big Gay Author Podcast.’ And they are also partners in life as well as business.

Welcome, guys.

Jeff: Hi. Thanks for having us here.

Will: Thanks.

Joanna: Tell us a bit more about how you both got into writing, starting with Jeff.

Jeff: I remember writing as far back as middle school. There was a literary journal that we were doing in the eighth grade. Somehow I got swept up into that and I thought the storytelling thing was really cool and that just kept going and even my degree is in journalism.

I even wrote as a journalist as well for like a decade or more after college, and I just always kept up with it. I started a small literary magazine with a college friend and that magazine he still produces to this day. And now I love to write and to tell the stories.

Will: For me, it’s more a love of storytelling in general. When I was growing up, I wanted it to be a lot of different stuff. I wanted to be a writer or an actor or an artist. And I think it all boiled down to storytelling in general.

I’m not one of those people who say I knew from the age of three I was born to be a writer, I’m not one of those people. But storytelling and all of its aspects are what really draw me to the profession and podcasting and writing in general.

Joanna: Isn’t there some kind of acting in your history as well?

Will: Yes. I acted a lot in high school, I was a drama nerd. And that played into my early 20s when both Jeff and I were doing community theater together. And we met doing a production and we started going out and the rest, as they say, is history.

Jeff: Twenty-five years later, here we are.

Joanna: Oh, my goodness, you don’t look old enough. For anyone just on the audio, there’ll be a picture for you to judge, but no, you two definitely don’t look that old.

When we hung out together, I remember you talking about the am-dram background, which is just fantastic.

Jeff, you started in traditional publishing with your writing and you have various hybrid projects. You’ve got the rights back from some of those earlier books and you’ve talked about rewriting them. I wanted to ask you about this because there’s a lot of people coming out of traditional publishing probably more now as we’re recording this during the coronavirus 2020.

What are you learning from this process of getting those books back and rewriting?

Jeff: It’s been really interesting and educational. As much as I’ve listened to your show over the years, it’s clear that I didn’t listen well enough in some cases to let myself get as entrenched with a publisher as I did.

Re-releasing some of the books, and we’ve already released some of the books earlier this year, was a great deep-dive back into self-publishing because previously I’d only released a couple of novellas as an indie publisher, but now taking these novels and some of them, what’s out right now, we’ve only done a light edit on them and put them back out.

I’ve also started to relook at how much I might actually be rewriting some of these things. I certainly, at least I hope, I feel like I’m a better writer now than I was eight years ago when these stories first came out. But while I was going to rewrite them originally and put them out with this publisher who I’m no longer dealing with at all, I’m now going back and going, is that my best business decision to rewrite them or should I just lightly edit them and put them back out?

I think for this particular trilogy, it’s a mix on the answer. Book two has never been my favorite, so I may do more in that book than the other two. But it’s really like how do I want to do this and what makes the most sense to put them back out into the audience? They were well-reviewed anyway.

Joanna: You mentioned being entrenched with the publisher there. When people come out of traditional publishing, I feel like there might be a self-esteem change as well. It’s not just technical change of uploading books in a different way.

Is there any sense that things are very different for you now as an indie?

Jeff: In a lot of ways, I feel much more empowered and I see how many things I assumed were happening that maybe weren’t. Just as in some of the stuff that I’ve re-released so far, the trajectory of money earned and what I see happening on the stores, I’m like, what was happening over there before?

Because I feel like I have more traction now as an indie. Now, of course, too, I worry a lot more about ROI, right? Have I paid the cover off, have I paid for whatever editing’s being done, have I paid off these elements and are these books now, are they a profit center or are they still trying to become a profit center and that kind of thing?

There’s a lot more to think about. I think I was better set up to understand that because I’d done a little bit of indie publishing plus, of course, knowing everything I gather from shows like yours that it wasn’t a total freak out.

I watched a lot of the people who left this publisher at the same time we did go, ‘Oh my God, I don’t know what to do because this is all I’ve ever done.’ Whereas we at least had a little bit of hybrid experience and even what we hadn’t experienced yet, we at least understood what to look for.

Joanna: That’s good, and we’ll come back to some of the business stuff in a minute.

Will, I want to talk about the romance community. You put out a solo show, a podcast just before Christmas, it was great and I’ll link to it in the show notes, about your frustration and burnout with the many difficulties going on in the romance and gay fiction writing community as well.

Now, it’s kind of been forgotten, the RWA thing has been forgotten, in the wake of coronavirus, there are a lot bigger things in the world. But, if people cast their mind back there was a lot of stuff going on, there are always issues in writers’ organizations and the writing life, this is not a perfect community.

Tell us about these feelings of hopelessness and how you moved forward because they’re actually quite relevant right now with what else is going on.

Will: The frustration and burnout that I was feeling at the end of 2019 feels practically quaint in the current situation. But let’s go in the way back machine and look at the end of 2019, which I felt had just turned into an absolute garbage dump of a year.

So much stuff was going on with the romance community and I was really angry and tired and frustrated and instead of like blowing up and doing a ranty pants rage post online, I decided to take a step back and think about what is most helpful to our community and especially the community that we interact with on our podcast.

I wrote a short little missive talking about my sadness and frustration at the current situation. Primarily what was going on in gay romance at the time is the difficulty with this particular publisher that we were dealing with. A lot of people were frankly getting screwed over in catastrophic ways.

And on top of that, there was all of the awful stuff that was going on with RWA. And one day I blew up and I told Jeff, it’s like I threw my hands up in the air and it’s like, ‘What is even the point anymore?’ I was so frustrated.

So I wrote this post, the cornerstone of it was the Maya Angelou quote, ‘When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.’ I use that as a jumping-off point talking about yes, there are some bad people doing bad things in the community right now but the majority of us love romance and the reason that we joined this community and we advocate for it so much, those reasons are still true. So the waters may be choppy right now, but they will become calm hopefully in the future.

That’s what that post was all about. There are some bad apples in the barrel but they’re not going to spoil the whole bunch because I do believe in the hope that romance as a genre in general, I do believe in the hope that it gives people, and what I’m working with some of the amazing people that we’ve had the chance to talk with and work with, in conjunction with our writing and with the podcast, it’s really incredible.

I was angry and pissed off and I worked through that a little bit at the end of 2019 but now we have a whole other set of different issues that I think all of us are trying to work through. None of us know how to do this, this is unprecedented times that we’re living in. So I think we’re all just trying to figure it out as we go.

Joanna: And just on that, the thing about there are some always some bad apples. I mean, the indie community in general, the KU scammers, we’ve got the so-called tsunami of crap and the people who just dump hundreds of crap books on the store and this type of thing.

It’s certainly not just romance that has its issues, but as you say, those of us who stand for quality and look after each other, that’s the important place to be.

So just a follow-up question, Will, so how is the romance community doing now? I would think in coronavirus I’ve certainly felt like, ‘Oh, let’s read some happy books,’ and, you know, are things looking good?

Has the community pulled together again?

Will: I think like any other genre, people are still trying to feel their way around what the current situation is going to be. Are readers reading right now? Some of them are reading more than ever, some of them are not.

I’ve personally had to take some time off from reading fiction just because that’s not where my mind has been at lately. So I think when it comes to the romance community, I think we’re all trying to figure this out.

Some of the podcasts that I’ve listened to and some of the people that I know online, I think they tend to fall into two different camps when it comes to writers, either you have stopped writing completely because your mind is preoccupied with the worldwide pandemic right now, as it should be if you’re dealing with health issues or money issues, keeping your family safe, that should, of course, be at the forefront of your mind.

So there are people who have stopped writing altogether, but on the opposite end of the spectrum, I know that there are some authors who have dived into writing like they never have before and they’re using this opportunity to escape into fiction.

What I’m finding is that there’s really no middle ground, no one is able to do business as usual, simply because the world isn’t that way. And we’re not going to know what business-as-usual is going to be probably for several weeks or several months.

Joanna: Jeff, talking of business-as-usual, you had a book launch a couple of weeks ago during, I guess, the first few weeks of lockdown there in the USA. Tell us about that because it was also working with four other authors.

Tell us about the challenges of launching.

Jeff: We launched the ‘Hockey Allies Bachelor Bid Romances.’

Joanna: Sounds good, by the way.

Jeff: It’s hard to say. Having said this on my own shows a few times and in some marketing videos, it’s like that is a hard thing to wrap your mouth around. It’s a shared universe where we all wrote books centered around the National Hockey League’s All-Star Game weekend, which happens at the end of January.

We brought all of our athletes together and at some point in each of the books, these athletes are going through the bachelor auction. My book, for example, the auction happens in the front of the story in the first act and then the romance happens from there, other books had it at the end, other books had it in the middle.

When we set up our release plan, we were releasing on April 7th, which would have been when the NHL started its Stanley Cup playoffs. So we were like, this is perfect, we’ll start at playoffs, we’ll take that and that’ll be our linchpin for marketing. No.

It turned into there’s no hockey on TV or being played so you can read some hockey players finding their romance. All things considered, at least for me…and I can’t speak for the other four authors because we really haven’t traded numbers yet. For me, it was a successful launch. It’s one of the most successful launches I’ve ever had. So I’m pleased with how the first week has looked in terms of how it released.

We certainly had engagement from readers in the various Facebook groups we were in doing our marketing pushes because a couple of the authors have very large reader groups because they write a lot of hockey romance. So, by and large, I’m happy.

We’ll see how the book plays over its first 30 days, its first quarter, and obviously, the long tail from there. But at least in this first bit, we seem to have done okay in getting our books out there and having people at least pick them up both sales and in Kindle Unlimited.

Joanna: What’s working best for you at the moment in terms of marketing with romance, because the romance writers are often ahead of the pack in terms of marketing? It sounds like if Facebook groups are still key, then that’s a return to old-school almost at the moment.

What’s working best for you at the moment in terms of marketing with romance?

Jeff: I think it really works in the case, especially for a couple of these authors that were the more senior ones in our group, RJ Scott and V.L. Locey. They have really honed their hockey romance audience into some pretty solid Facebook groups.

Being able to be in their groups and have them as part of this universe I think helped the propulsion of it more than if I would have dropped just a book of hockey romance without them or without them being the forefront of our group in terms of established authors. So that definitely I think played into it that.

People who read those books will now go read our books because of the shared universe, the crossing of characters between the books and everything like that. It certainly helped, at least in my opinion, getting the books out the door well.

Joanna: That collaboration is still really important.

Talking of collaboration, you guys have co-written a romance together, also hockey, The Hockey Player’s Heart, which has a really cute cover. I’m not into hockey, it’s not a thing we really do here in the U.K., but I was like, that’s so cute.

Will, tell us about the experience of co-writing together and any challenges.

Will: Well, as you know, Joanna, there are both the joys and sorrows when it comes to co-writing and we are certainly no exception. The book that you’re talking about, The Hockey Player’s Heart, came up a couple of years ago now, that’s one of the things that we have received the rights back and have re-released independently. We’re really happy with how that process has turned out.

But when it came to co-writing, I think Jeff and I made the, in hindsight, rather stupid assumption that simply because that we were ideal life partners and got along swimmingly that that meant we were going to be perfect co-writers as well.

And when it came to The Hockey Player’s Heart, I think we managed to avoid a lot of the speedbumps and potholes that you can encounter when you are co-writing a book. Just by sheer luck when we wrote that book together things seemed to work out and I think the end product has been well received, people have really liked that book. When we originally sold that book to a publisher, it was the idea that it would be a continuing series.

Once Hockey Player’s Heart was published, we started working on the second book and that’s when we hit a few of those bumps. We hit all of the bumps and we quickly realized that although we’re husbands and we love hanging out together all of the time, that we actually have two very different views on how to approach fiction and how to write fiction.

That all came to fruition with this second book, and it ended up being not publishable, the book just didn’t work. So the question is, is are we going to maybe co-write in the future? And that’s still up in the air, I don’t know. If we decided to do it again, we would have to like fundamentally reassess the process of doing that because boy howdy, it did not work for that book.

Joanna: Give me a specific example of where you differed in your opinions.

Will: I think when it came to the writing of the book, we sat down and we came up with the characters and the plotline. So we kind of came with a bullet point idea of what the book was going to be about and we gave that to Jeff, he was going to be our first draft guy.

When I got the book in hand, it wasn’t anything like I imagined it would be. We had very different ideas of who these people were and how their relationship was going to play out over the course of this romance.

In the attempt to edit that book, we just really couldn’t come to a consensus, it just didn’t hang together, it didn’t make sense. So moving forward in the future, I think really detailed communication and making sure we implicitly understand what we mean when we say this is the scene where they flirt together, is it cutesy or is it sexy?

We have very different ideas about what’s cutesy and what’s sexy, and I think that’s the problem that we mainly encountered with that book.

Jeff: Because for me, what I write in general, I have my plot, I do give myself the outline – this needs to happen, this thing, this thing, this thing. And then how I get from A to B in that scene isn’t on that outline, that’s the discovery writer part that kicks in.

My discovery writer went places that his did not. I think if we do it again, the key will be not producing the entire first draft but write a chapter, maybe two, and then say, is this right? Is it not? So that I’m not so far off in some other direction that it can’t be fixable.

And then however else we may choose to alter from there because I would like to co-write with him again and he certainly influences all my books because we’ll talk about plot a lot and how to fix things. He’s one of the reasons that there’s a fourth act in the current book is because he helped me figure it out along with Rachael Herron’s 90 Days to Done class, I’ll give her a plug too because I was in her class writing this book and that class plus him really helped hone that book.

Joanna: That is a good tip. Rachael has been on the show, a friend of the show and, of course, ‘The Writer’s Well,’ Rachael and J. Thorne’s podcast is fantastic as well. We’re all just podcast mates, aren’t we really?

Jeff: We are.

Joanna: So taking it out of fiction then into the business and the other tasks that go into being authors and writers and creatives;

How do you manage that as a partnership?

Will: I think Jeff does the majority of the heavy lifting, especially when it comes to the technical side of the business, whether that’s putting a book up on the various distributors or producing the various podcasts that we have.

I think where we’re definitely more collaborative is when it comes to idea generation and directions of where we want to go whether that’s with a plotline or with a particular episode of a podcast. I think that’s where we kind of share the joy.

Jeff: And even coming up with new ideas and tactics we may want to try in the business. And while he leaves the technical to me, I leave a lot of the business information gathering to him because he’ll gather. We have a set of podcasts that we listen to together, but he listens to a lot more, reads a lot more and he’ll come in and say, ‘I just heard this on this podcast,’ or, ‘I read this blog post over here and we should think about this.’

He’s taking in more information than I am and I think that helps influence the idea creation and helps keep us on the right track too because if I were trying to do this solely on my own, having a day job, writing books and trying to juggle everything else, I would definitely have stuff that falls through the cracks that he helps to make sure get surfaced and taken care of and at least considered.

Joanna: Will, we need to know, what are you listening to and what are you bringing into the mix?

What should the listeners be paying attention to?

Will: If there is a person who listens to too many podcasts and reads too many craft books, I think I would be in the running for…yeah, it’s far too many podcasts. We’ve already mentioned, Rachael Herron’s show, the one that she does with J. Thorne, a writer as well, all of the usual suspects, I think that have been around for a couple of years who have managed to build some authority in the area, especially when it comes to marketing and business aspects.

There are some really terrific romance writing podcasts that I had been listening to recently, one of them is…let me look at my phone real quick. I really have enjoyed ‘How Do You Write,’ of course, by Rachael Herron.

There’s a podcast that Claire Lydon does on My Lesbian Radio. The show is called ‘The Lesbian Book Club’ where she talks to authors about their specific books and their writing journeys, I really enjoy that. Claire is actually a very talented author, but she’s also a really terrific interviewer as well. So she talks to authors on that. So she also has a show called ‘Lesbians Who Write’ where she chats every week with another author. Hold on a second.

Jeff: This is where Dan gets to do some work to piece this back together again.

Will: Claire chats with T.B. Markinson every week and they dig into the lesbian fiction side of the romance genre and the business and how they approach it. So those are just a few that I enjoy listening to every week.

Joanna: You’re really deep into the romance and the gay romance genre, right? Which I think is really cool. I write all over the shop and I end up listening to podcasts on AI one week and then I’m listening to a lot of politics at the moment and I’ll listen to demonology podcasts.

What’s so funny is I don’t really feel like I have a genre home so much, as you guys are so embedded.

Do you feel like you are really embedded in the romance genre?

Jeff: I would say so. And it’s one of the strengths, I think, that the podcasts have actually given us over the years is we know so many people, we don’t just see authors at a con and say, ‘Hi, how’s it going?’ Because we’ve interviewed so many over the years, we’re able to go and have a craft discussion, we can ping somebody on Facebook, ‘Can we talk for a minute?’

Because we’ve got these questions and want to talk about these things. We’ve got such a network around us that I don’t think we would have had necessarily if it was only about writing books.

We know so many people and that’s part of why we started the ‘Author Podcast’ too was because the fiction show is really geared for readers. And the questions we ask there are really reader-centric. We might get a little into process a little bit because readers like that behind the scenes kind of thing.

But to get more on the business side with the ‘Author’ show, we’re able to now…everybody who comes on fiction, we ask five to seven questions after the fiction interview that are specific around business-like, what’s a big success? What’s a failure that you learned from? What’s your advice for somebody that starts out?

We benefit from that information, our audience benefits from it and it helps to expand our network of people we can reach out to and who also feel that they can come to us if they need help or guidance on something.

Joanna: Will one of the things that people wonder with podcasting, is the amount of time it takes worth it when we could be doing something else to make money with our books?

What do you feel is the benefit of podcasting for authors?

Will: Number one, don’t go into podcasting to make money because that’s frankly not going to happen for the vast majority of us. We have a Patreon for our show and since the very beginning, it has paid for some of the backend costs for producing the show.

We do things on a shoestring, when we say that it’s just the two of us, we literally mean it is literally just these two people right here talking to you right now. We are the only ones that put our hands on this particular show. So the costs are relatively low.

I think a question of why authors might want to podcast or create a podcast for themselves is that it’s a way to build a platform, to have authority in a specific area depending upon what niche your podcast covers. I think that’s part of the reason why we started ‘The Big Gay Fiction Podcast’ five years ago.

Not only is it something that we talk about on a regular basis anyway but it also builds authority and is in a platform too. So when we encounter people in the real world or online, people can go, ‘Oh, Jeff and Will, those are the podcast guys, they know what they’re talking about.’ And that’s literally what has happened at certain conventions. ‘Hey, it’s the podcast guys.’

I think building authority, building a platform is something that is intangible and it’s something that has an incredibly long tail. If you’re interested in starting a podcast or exploring what a podcast can do for your business, be prepared to work on it for a long time because you’re probably not going to see any sort of benefits or payoffs for many, many years.

For most people, if you’re curious about it, I say give it a shot but I think for most authors, you’re probably better off creating a more IP and writing the next book.

Jeff: You’ve really got to have your why solid. For us, not only did we want to talk about gay fiction, but if you like the books we’re talking about, you might like what we write too. And we certainly plug our books almost every episode as like an ad break that we’re pushing out something.

As an author…and it’s funny we were talking about this because we’re actually presenting…I guess we’re presenting a presentation, which sounds really weird to say, at a gay fiction writers’ author event this coming weekend about podcasting. And one of our big messages, if you’re going to start your own, is really think about the time.

The fiction show probably takes five hours a week to produce the hour show between the interviews and recording our stuff and putting it all together and putting it out there and making all the promotional stuff. I can write, if I’m in a good dictation flow, I can do about 1,200 words in an hour. So there’s, what is that math, like 7,000-something words that maybe I didn’t write because I’m working on the podcast.

As an author, you have to think about how many words are you not possibly producing while you’re doing a podcast? Or whatever that activity is, think about how that trades off because it might be harder to think as an author and a creative, it might be hard to put a dollar amount on your time, but as a writer, you could certainly put probably a word count on that time.

Joanna: It’s funny, isn’t it? And it’s hilarious because those of us who podcast, me included, always say, ‘Oh, you know, think twice about it because it takes a long time,’ and here’s us, you’ve got two shows, I’ve got two shows. It’s ridiculous.

Jeff: No one has as many as J. Thorn has.

Joanna: No, J. has uncountable numbers!

Let me ask you about audiobooks because, of course, we hung out in Podcast Movement when we were allowed to travel last year in 2019 in Orlando. Was that Orlando? It was, wasn’t it? Crocs in the lake and everything.

And then after that, of course, I came back and I wrote Audio For Authors and really thought about how podcasting sells audiobooks and have really got into it. My nonfiction audiobooks sell because people listen to the podcast.

Do you find that with your fiction, do you have that in audio? Are you doing more audio? Are you narrating your stories?

How are you selling more fiction audio through your audio podcast?

Jeff: So far, we’re not. I’ve got two super short audiobooks out there that were experiments working with other narrators. I do have a project that I’m working on to re-release my young adult thriller series with a narrator but that’s not gay romance either.

Unfortunately, the audiobook that we had was with the publisher that we left and that audiobook is just dead. But there is very much what you write in the book about the tie together of audio first and the podcasting for audio first and moving towards audiobooks just for that additional reason because there’s so many reasons to go audio.

We certainly see it where the more audiobooks you have, the better. And we’re seeing some authors really collaborate with their narrators in interesting ways to start to push forward even more audio.

There’s a narrator, Kurt Graves, who has done a lot of work with an author by the name of T. J. Klune. And Kurt has developed a podcast around the entire fandom that T.J. has known as the Klunatics and that has become its own podcast.

And so not only does that help drive potentially more overall book sales, gives their fandom a way to go, but it’s put Kurt’s voice out there and Kurt is one of the primary voices in T.J.’s world of books that it all just feeds on itself.

That podcast, it just debuted back in March. But I’m very interested to see how that trajectory of that kind of podcast pushes the book sales and pushes the audio because you’re hearing one of the narrators talk about that world on a weekly basis.

Joanna: I really want us to do more creative work with audio. Our idea of a podcast and our idea of an audiobook, these things need to be blown out and done. We need to do all kinds of things. As you say, indies can do audio dramas within the worlds or we can actually podcast an audiobook first in series, for example, or there’s so many things we can do that we’re not really doing.

And perhaps that’s because not many people have the skills, but partly podcasting is learning these skills, right?

Jeff: Exactly.

Joanna: I think there’s a lot more potential.

Jeff: I had a short story that was in my YA world that I actually…mainly because I wanted to see what it was like, I recorded the audio for it and it wasn’t like your short story collection, you didn’t try to do voices, you didn’t try to do a performance, I read the book.

That at least gave me more of an understanding. I totally get why a narrator may charge $300 a finished hour because that was a lot of time for an audio file that was just a tench over an hour.

Joanna: Definitely.

Jeff: I don’t have the stomach to do that my own.

Joanna: What about you, Will?

Will: I think in the future, like you said, exploring and blurring the lines between podcasting and audiobooks is something that we all need to at least think about and explore. I think how people interact with technology, especially voice, as we work through the worldwide pandemic, how everyone is going to consume content in the future, I think it’s going to open up a lot of different possibilities and readers and people who consume other types of content are going to be coming to podcasts and audiobooks when that was something that they had never really experienced before.

Something we were just talking about on one of our shows is that through this particular point in time, so many people for the very first time are FaceTiming and going on Zoom in order to talk with friends and family members, people who have never had any experience with this kind of technology before.

Once we get through the current COVID-19 situation, how is that use of technology going to inform how people interact with different kinds of content? I think it’s opening up some new possibilities, and the new norm is going to be very, very different in the coming months.

Jeff: Even storytelling may totally turn on its head because we’ve seen all these performers taking to Zoom and taking to Skype and taking to the different platforms to present work.

There was a benefit performance of a Terrence McNally play that happened. Four actors on, I don’t know if it was Skype or Zoom, but four actors were there and they were performing the play. It wasn’t just a reading, they were acting their parts.

You could see it in their faces and such and they all did it from home. There was a ‘Sesame Street’ thing that was on the other night that was Cookie Monster and Elmo and everybody FaceTiming to help children understand what was happening. So who knows what it could mean for performance and storytelling as everybody has been forced to embrace these technologies all of a sudden.

Joanna: That’s a good positive note to end on that there will be more ways of storytelling in this new world, which is fantastic.

Tell everybody where they can find you and your books and everything you guys do online.

Jeff: So many places to go. So my books, you can find it at jeffadamswrites.com. ‘Big Gay Fiction Podcast’ is, as you would imagine, biggayfictionpodcast.com, and that’s new episodes every Monday. And biggayauthorpodcast.com is new episodes every Saturday.

Will: And if you’re interested in keeping up with what I’m doing, you can go to willknauss.com. And as Jeff said, we have new episodes of our podcasts every single week, so check those out.

Joanna: Fantastic. Well, thanks so much for your time, guys, that was great.

Jeff: Perfect.

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Author: Joanna Penn

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  • April 26, 2020