Daniel Thompson is a college student who created and hosted one of my favorite podcasts ever. Sadly, The Very Serious Writing Show was a casualty of a busy fall semester, but the 64 episodes are still available to download on Soundcloud.
The Very Serious Writing Show was a fun and inspirational podcast by writers, for writers. Daniel interviewed writers at all skill levels about all things writing. His enthusiasm for writing is contagious, and his guests were encouraging and educational.
When I decided to start interviewing writers for my website, Daniel was one of the first people I contacted. As you might expect from the host of The Very Serious Writing Show, it was a very, very serious discussion.
What led you to start the Very Serious Writing Show in the first place?
Kay, so, once upon a time, I worked at my local radio station, making commercials and running the soundboard. Great gig, so much fun, learned a ton, but there was lot of creative freedomm, you know? I remember one time they let me impersonate the Crocodile Hunter to advertise the Annual Rattlesnake festival, but other than that, I had kinda tight restrictions. People didn’t want out-there advertisements; they felt like that was risky, so after a while, it was just too shut in. And it was a country music station. So that was . . . good? Anyway, I left there to move to a new town, and wanted to keep doing radio-type work. I had a buddy who asked me if I’d be interested in doing some sort of writing-related podcast for his website, and it was just kinda perfect timing. Kingdom Pen Radio was born. And then died, quite shortly afterwards really, and metamorphosed into The Very Serious Writing Show, a loosey goosey author interview podcast. And it was fun, oh it was fun.
What have you been doing since the show went in hiatus in the fall?
Well John, I became the prophet of Nicolas Cage. I cut out 2 thousand images of that beautiful man, and gave them out to residents in my dorm, who proceeded to plaster Nicolas Cage’s glorious image on every floor, in every building, and in every bathroom on campus. This went on all semester long; it was the internet in real life. And it was truly beautiful.
If an aspiring writer discovered your show today, what episodes would you recommend they hear first?
Why, YOUR EPISODE OF COURSE! *cough* Or, I mean, you know, whatever. You know, it’s crazy, I don’t actually have a favorite episode. At least not for the sake of the show itself. My favorite episodes personally are the ones where I got to interview the guys who were basically my childhood heroes. Wayne Thomas Batson, Bill Myers, Katie Weiland. Those people were such inspirations to me, especially Wayne and Bill, that you can read their work and see bits of my own personality derived from them. That’s how much I loved their writing; they’re the guys who taught me to love fiction, to love reading, and to love writing as a result. So, if I had to point to one and go, “Yarp, that’s the one,” I’d say the Wayne Thomas Batson two-parter or Bill Myer’s episode. I’d like to think though that anyone could jump in anywhere with whoever they wanted to hear from and enjoy themselves.
Have you discovered any new writers since the show ended you wished you had on?
Well, that would require me to be reading fiction commonly and I’m afraid that has not been my pleasure. There were some people I had reached out to though that I really wish had gotten back to me. Orson Scott Card, Ava DuVernay, and Frank Peretti all had better things to be doing with their time than gracing my humble podcast, and I don’t blame them. I feel blessed to have spoken to the men and women I have, and to have shared little pieces of their persons with everyone else. But if you’re asking me who we should be reading right now, I honestly don’t know. I’ll take any suggestions I get! I’ve kinda been eyeing Terry Pratchett for a while now . . .
What are your career/creative goals for the next few years?
I’m going to be graduating college in a little over a year, and then I’m off to grad school, and a PhD school after that. I’m going to become a COLLEGE PROFESSOR. Which, as I see it, is kinda like having a daily live interactive podcast about several different things, and that sounds really fantastic to me. And it lets me keep pursuing other fun things! I’ve got lots of commercial video work I’m playing with right now, a vintage fashion blog/instagram I’m doing photography for (@beautifuldayforvintage, if you wanna see [not to plug, it’s legit if you wanna see. Vintage fashion is terribly specific, and very different from writing, and from wrestling, come to thing of it, so, you know, emit if you like, s’all good with me, whatever]), and possibly one of the more challenging projects I’ve ever worked on: my wedding day. And as always, I’ve got lots of random project carp rolling around, but all that’s yet to be seen.
Now for the real hard question: how is your dystopian comedy coming along?
That’s a bad question, a very-not-good question, you’re a terrible interviewer, how dare you even ask that, I am very offended, GOODBYE.
Translation: Dead in the water. Which taught me a very interesting lesson about telling people about things you want to work on and dealing with their positive responses to it. Turns out, I was too satisfied telling everyone about my wonderful idea that they all wanted to read, and then when I tried to write it, it was TERRIBLE. Which, all stories are terrible when they started out. But I had expectations. So what started out as a chill, relax-yoself pet writing project turned into an absolute car crash. NOTE TO SELF: Don’t tell anyone about anything you’re working on UNLESS they don’t think you can pull it off. It’s far more motivating to try to prove people wrong than to prove them right.
Maybe I need to do a podcast episode on this subject. Hmm.
Discover the Very Serious Writing Show for yourself on Soundcloud!