Interview with Lynne M. Thomas (SF Squeecast)

My guest today is Lynne M. Thomas. Lynne is the moderator for the two-time Hugo Award-winning SF Squeecast podcast. The SF Squeecast is a periodic SFnal podcast of vague positivity featuring regulars Elizabeth Bear, Paul Cornell, Seanan McGuire, Lynne & Michael Damian Thomas, and Catherynne M. Valente plus many special guests as produced by David McHone-Chase. Lynne is the co-publisher and co-editor-in-chief of Uncanny Magazine and is a regular on the Verity! podcast.

SCy-Fy: How do you go about putting a show together, Lynne?

LMT: The first step is trying to find a time for all of us to record together. We’re extremely busy, so it’s rare for all of the regulars to appear on the same episode – the only regular on every episode is one of the Thomases as moderator. Once we have at least 3 regulars, we collectively decide on a person to invite as our special guest.

Once we have the line-up for that episode, we discuss different possible topics. This is a recent change in format for the third year of the podcast – the previous iteration had everybody coming up with an SFnal thing to squee about for the episode in a show-and-tell format.

Once we have a topic, it’s just a matter of doing the panel over Skype. The contributors are all very experienced panelists, and we’re used to each other at this point. Typically we have a conversation for about an hour, which I record over Skype.

SCy-Fy: What do you think will be the major challenges for podcasts in future?

LMT: The major challenge for all podcasts is finding their audience. As more and more people start podcasts, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle.

SCy-Fy: What advice would you give anyone presenting a podcast?

LMT: My advice is get good equipment, find a great producer, and prepare for whatever you’re doing. Sound quality matters just as much as content preparation.

There’s no point in being rip-roaringly funny or insightful if no one can hear it.

SCy-Fy: What is the best resource you make use of?

LMT: The podcasting community. It’s a very supportive group of people who are always willing to answer questions and give advice. In our case, the Doctor Who podcasting community was particularly helpful.

SCy-Fy: Things that have kept you going in hard times?

LMT: The friendship and camaraderie that we have with each other on the SF Squeecast.

SCy-Fy: Any controversy so far?

LMT: We’ve dodged any major controversies. There was minor grumbling by some people about adding the Best Fancast Hugo category, but that wasn’t directed at us. We didn’t initiate the category’s existence. We were, however, thrilled to be recognized for our work.

SCy-Fy: The most popular show you’ve presented? Your personal favourite?

LMT: Our most popular show in terms of downloads was when George R.R. Martin was our guest.

Our personal favourite was the live episode recorded at Chicon. It was the same day we won our first Hugo Award. We were all recording together in person for the very first time, and our special guest was our dear friend, the late and very missed Jay Lake. The crowd was great, and we had a ton of nervous energy.

SCy-Fy: What have been the best books and TV shows you have read or seen recently?

LMT: Right now Michael and I are watching Babylon 5 for the first time. We’re understanding why its fans are so passionate.

The best book I recently read was The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison.

SCy-Fy: Which forthcoming books, films and TV shows are you most looking forward to reading or watching?

LMT: I’m always looking forward to a new season of Doctor Who.

I’m very excited to read Of Noble Family by Mary Robinette Kowal, and I’ve had Jaime Lee Moyer’s A Barricade in Hell waiting for me on my TBR list for a while.

We’re also excited to see The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

SCy-Fy: Anything to add, Lynne?

LMT: Thank you so much for asking me to participate!

SCy-Fy: It has been a pleasure.

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