Transcript for "Writing - with Annie Parnell"

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00:00.00 podcomm Hello I’m craig konine hi annie thanks as I say to everybody because I really mean it thanks for taking the time. It’s not easy to schedule to find a half an hour to spin up the software to beat with the microphones to make the thing work and get all the tech going. But.

00:00.20 Annie Parnell Um, oh hi I’m Annie parnell.

00:16.30 podcomm But love about this show is all the podcasters are usually down for a tech challenge. So Thanks for making it all happen. So many things to talk about. Ah so we have a little conversation beforehand and I agreed with what you said which is a good jumping off point would be how did you get here and we don’t mean in front of the microphone for craigs thing. We mean. How did you get into podcasting because you are not I’m going to say what most people are going to think of as a typical podcaster like the content you’re creating is um I don’t mean unusual in a bad way. Unique the content that you’re creating is very specifically Targeted. You have it very clear who it’s for. So How would you get to podcasting.

00:55.22 Annie Parnell Well let’s see the good place to start would would be tell people that I’m an indie author and I write romance but romance with a twist and what I mean is that I write.

01:05.23 podcomm Mmm.

01:13.40 Annie Parnell Historical romantic suspense with and the twist is that it has a feminist slant and that my women are but and as an indie author I have what’s called a launch team and the launch team reads my manuscripts before.

01:13.92 podcomm Oh.

01:32.50 Annie Parnell They get published and what happened was in my last book which was called trading kisses no I um, that was number 6 and I also have a novella and a free short story which your readers or I should say listeners.

01:37.72 podcomm And how many books are it because this is like you’re not newbie at this. How many books are there in the theres okay.

01:52.17 Annie Parnell Can go to my website which is anyparnell dot com and you can get a free download of my short story in any format that you want meaning moby pdf or epub so you can read it on anything. It’s only electronic unless you do the pdf. So what happened was 1 of the members of my launch team liked my work and it was the first time she was exposed to it and she said oh I’m going to go in and listen to the rest of your books and I went I got went fat chance and ah.

02:21.61 podcomm Right? Oh so sorry. Thank you for played. But.

02:29.60 Annie Parnell I know so in 1 moment I was elated in the next moment I crashed but well I know it was closer to crashing when I found out what the costs were in my.

02:33.66 podcomm Um, no, no in 1 moment you were related the next moment The to-do list got really big. Oh Oh to have somebody else Audio Yes yes, Yes, yes, yes, yes.

02:47.75 Annie Parnell And not only that but the production companies want to own you which drives me nuts. They want a piece of your.

02:51.92 podcomm Oh you’re kidding I don’t believe it the caution this is where Craig gets on his soapbox about hating on some of the podcast outlets but keep going indie author.

02:59.35 Annie Parnell Okay, well, the people who produce audiobooks seem to have the same approach and so I contacted a friend of mine who’s also an author. His name is Orlando a sanchez and his books are fabulous. If you’re into urban fantasy not romance.

03:04.53 podcomm M.

03:18.10 Annie Parnell Oh says he would never write a romance. But anyway they’re very funny and I asked him what was involved and he told me soup to nuts and all of a sudden The you know the cost was going up and up and up and I was thinking Holy crap. This is not going to work and.

03:18.29 podcomm Um.

03:34.76 podcomm And and.

03:37.61 Annie Parnell Then enters my daughter who said well she said more than a year ago mommy really need to do a podcast because people in her age range in her twenty s that’s their thing and so what I realized is I didn’t want to write about or talk about making the wrong.

03:47.89 podcomm Right.

03:54.18 podcomm Yeah, Meta right? You want to make a meta podcast about the process of writing a book or about yeah you’re like how do I pour the book into a podcast.

03:57.33 Annie Parnell Yeah. Yeah, and I was like yeah and so that or to coach people how to write who everybody wants to do a book and the thing was there is no magic wand and so I was like.

04:12.63 podcomm Yeah.

04:18.11 podcomm Damn it.

04:19.74 Annie Parnell No I’m not going to do that I’m not going to promise something I can’t deliver what it amounts to is putting your butt in the chair and doing the work and so I didn’t want to do that and so I went away and then when that woman said well I’m going to go read it. It was like being they came together.

04:35.39 podcomm Um.

04:38.89 Annie Parnell And then the third piece was the akimbo workshop which I’d been eyeing anyway and so I came full tilt into um the podcasting workshop knowing that I was an odd man out or a woman out. And every time we got assignments I kept having to torque them to be. You know something that I could use so that’s how I got here.

04:57.16 podcomm Um, yeah, yeah, just. But I think that’s the right? So I’ve seen a couple 2 or 3 four people go through those courses and that’s the right attitude when people go I don’t this this doesn’t work for what then it that doesn’t end well but when they go whoa. That’s interesting. Run it through my shredder now I’m taking the third and the seventh strip and we’re going to make so there’s definitely and I don’t know maybe maybe it comes out of the fabric of who you need to be to be an indie author but there’s something about the ah what can I get out of you know the thing that you’re faced with. To try and find the next hurdle or what’s the next you know where’s what’s the route through the ramp the brambles here. So just tell me a little bit about because I don’t get to talk about this that much with other podcasters talk about what you’re doing like people who can’t see but just on the side of the frame. What are you actually doing now with your books and and like how is it a podcast.

05:57.70 Annie Parnell Ah, well what I decided to do was since I couldn’t pay you know chunk up the cash for a professional. Yeah for a professional what I did was I Um I what I’m doing is recording my book.

06:05.25 podcomm Um, not enough Kidneys right.

06:15.20 podcomm M.

06:17.39 Annie Parnell My first ones and it was very difficult mentally to get to this point because I was thinking you can’t give anything away. This is your you know and it was really hard to wrap my head around it. Yes I am.

06:27.30 podcomm Ah, so so you’re literally reading the whole book I mean I know this but I’m unpacking it for you. You’re so you’re you’re like going to read the whole book. Okay.

06:34.61 Annie Parnell You know it’s okay I’m reading my book. Yeah, and it was very difficult to wrap my head around the fact that I was going to give some of my work away and enter Seth godin and his attitude about being generous and I am I’d say I was generous.

06:45.92 podcomm And.

06:52.79 Annie Parnell Except if you piss me off and then I’m not so generous but they are and so and so I started what I’m in chapter four the book I’m reading is called the Reluctant countess.

06:54.13 podcomm Well generous and doormat are 2 different things right? very important.

07:09.36 Annie Parnell And it’s actually the first book in my series which is the underlying theme with my series is a sisterhood and because what I believe is that in our culture since I’m in memorium that we’ve been taught to be adversarial. And that’s a mistake that what we need to look at is being sisters to 1 another and holding each other up and I personally found that to be true when I’m actually a cancer survivor so is my girlfriends who got me through to the other side. And so in their honor that became the underlying theme of my work and only the tweet here comes another twist I set the book not in modern times. But in the mid seventeen hundreds. So um, which is a very body time in History. So I can have some license that way I also believe that most things are written from a male point of view in terms of our historical view of with the world and why couldn’t those women have existed. You know is no not at all. So.

08:17.46 podcomm Um, because if they did they wouldn’t have been written in that’s for sure right? What that’s challenging. Skip I don’t know if I’d say alter history I would say increase the number of perspectives we have on history. But that’s just me.

08:24.10 Annie Parnell So I alter history I Guess you’d say and ah.

08:32.76 Annie Parnell Yes, so that’s what the book is about I introduced you to the idea of the sisterhood and the the woman who started it is eleanor barrett and she never wanted to be anything but um, an independent woman and that changes by the end of the story. But. Um, other things happen along the way she solves a mystery their suspense she figures out why these girls are missing little girls are going missing and eleanor figures it out. Not the men and then she puts her life on the line to Masquerade as a char woman anyway.

09:10.88 podcomm Complex narratives. Yes.

09:12.30 Annie Parnell My podcast is called yeah, my podcast is called um have I got a tale to tell and I’m figuring that’ll drop I’m at chapter four right now I’m shooting for Mid -december to drop 10 chapters and so people can.

09:26.28 podcomm Um.

09:30.50 Annie Parnell Binge listen to it or do it 1 a week and then there are 30 some odd chapters. Yes, in the first book yes

09:33.98 podcomm Ah, in the first book right? Okay, okay so there’s a whole bunch there to unpack. But I’m gonna so I’m gonna like so probably I’ll stick a pin in it and we’ll never make it back. You watch tell me about when you when you first saw. Um.

09:43.95 Annie Parnell All right.

09:52.41 podcomm You First caught a glimpse of what your what a podcast could be like when you first caught the glimpse of on the weight I could just what we would kind of call host on like this what like avenues did you see opening in new directions like as an author as a writer you know you’ve cut your teeth. You know I can do this. This is possible. That’s not Possible. What new things did did like come into view when you first got that glimpse.

10:14.23 Annie Parnell Oh this is funny because well first of all I got to personally play around with what in the businesses called Foley I I got to mess around with sound effects which was totally fun and um i. Could I wouldn’t ever consider myself I’ve worked in television and things like that but never in film and this gave me the opportunity to take my writing to another level because I could hear the audio and then I could add the sound effects instead of just doing it audio so that was 1 thing that was ah. I really love that and then the other thing was I remember through my childhood then adolescence and into young adulthood that we used to be able to go to indie bookstores and authors would be on book tour and so.

11:07.88 podcomm Back in the day do they are there bookstores anymore. Yes I Um I hear you.

11:11.50 Annie Parnell Dark days. Yes, yeah, well a few and I do patronize them and you could and I took my kids to um to hear some children’s authors talk and draw and there’s nothing quite as magical as hearing an author read their work.

11:28.70 podcomm Um, right? because there’s so much more in there. It’s not just the here are the words from the Robot voice. It’s like here is what this author and this is the really important part. Yeah.

11:30.86 Annie Parnell And so. Yeah, exactly and so all of a sudden the bar that was being held up for me in my mind by comparing myself to fully produced audiobooks changed Into. Oh. I’m going to give my listeners an opportunity to hear author on Mike and so you’re going to get to hear what I heard in my head when I heard the character talk you know I’m not making voices. But I do I know.

11:55.50 podcomm Um.

12:04.78 podcomm Or the umance of the scene. Yeah, oh damn it I was God was ah right.

12:11.62 Annie Parnell I haven’t gotten that far yet and um, but I do the in the inflections. The intent is stronger with me breeding than somebody who’s dramatically thinking they understand where I was going in a story and so. Those 2 things getting to play around with the Foley and also picturing because my setup is I stand up and I have I get to move my arms around um and and I’m acting it out and I’m doing all this. That’s exactly and I went and I had a friend of mine.

12:39.78 podcomm This is why you don’t yeah yeah, put the microphone on a boom right? So you don’t wipe it out with your arms.

12:49.69 Annie Parnell Who is a professional singer and songwriter come and look at my setup I have a music standover here. She said you need to make this fit you not bend over to get to your mic. She helped me do my setup and so yes, my arms are waving I’m you know she calls it. The.

12:52.50 podcomm V.

13:00.70 podcomm Um, yes, you need space.

13:08.95 podcomm Um, yeah, alas poetic I knew him? well right.

13:09.48 Annie Parnell Calls it The hamlet pose you know like ah yeah, so I’m like doing it all kind of freewheeling in front of the mic without anybody watching and hopefully it is transcending and getting.

13:20.80 podcomm Um.

13:28.49 Annie Parnell Imprinted on my audio. So.

13:28.86 podcomm Um, are you going to use the same Prelaunch team or a different or any is anybody like are you Prelaunch like you know you’re pre-launching the book. You’re oh you’re just going to cold drop the episodes and and like have a blanky and hope it goes well.

13:40.98 Annie Parnell Well not exactly I may I may give some people a listen. But what? um, some friends of mine I did my first of all I have a Facebook group a private Facebook group called the sisterhood and I’ve been promoting myself there I’ve been telling that in. Sense that I’m telling them what I’m up to and then I did when we did the trailers inside. Um the workshop I posted it and the feedback I got was almost worse than feedback when I actually. Give them books to read. It was like that doesn’t sound like you um you know ah I’m like I know I’m like I know I love gene wilder and it is but it was just I was like what the f are you talking about.

14:24.88 podcomm Um, really please please? What’s that there’s a gene wilder Meme Please tell me more about how I actually examine.

14:39.91 Annie Parnell You know it was like if you ever tried this and you know it was like um it was totally not encouraging. So I’m I’m fascinating between pre-release or having a launch team and doing just cold letting people know it’s out there and.

14:40.63 podcomm Yeah.

14:59.29 Annie Parnell You know, just letting the fur fly you know.

15:01.72 podcomm There’s also the question of I gotta believe if you like editing is not going to be easy like if you decide that there’s something wrong with the third piece that you record you can do the whole thing over you cannot just open the digital document and I mean I know’m not saying it’s easy, but you can’t just. Edit the tax and then hit save. it’s like no it’s it’s hard and especially with your foley.

15:18.12 Annie Parnell Well, the thing is that what I’ve been doing though is it takes longer. But I listen in short clips. So I can hear and the other thing I’ve given myself the grace to go. Okay, that’s not perfect and I’m and.

15:35.34 podcomm Who’s who said, like perfect is ah perfect is a place to hide I don’t if that’s from Seth or from stephen pressfield or that’s like a common I almost said trope. But that’s negative. It’s a common cautionary here lie you know dragons maybe dragons.

15:44.55 Annie Parnell Yeah, oh I I had 1 I cut too close yesterday and I was going oh I need to rerecord that whole section and there was part of me going? No no, no, just keep going just keep going I wouldn’t be at four if it wasn’t you know I’m about.

15:56.36 podcomm Now No I Just a little car. Let’s keep going.

16:04.11 Annie Parnell Ten minutes into the fourth chapter and I realized the actually the um the Facebook post I did today was all about um as you know I made a mistake with my audio after I took a download and I thought I had. When you deal with technology which is this is the marriage of technology and creativity and um, just all of these different parts of your brain trying to function together and that I thought I checked after I took the download that.

16:34.95 podcomm Yeah.

16:42.16 Annie Parnell Which Mike which input was there and it turned out I hadn’t checked the right box and that’s what why I couldn’t record and instead of um, hiding and saying okay nobody.

16:46.51 podcomm Um, yeah.

16:58.41 Annie Parnell Better find out about this because then I’ll be ruined or they will never listen I was like I just put it out there. You know I mean? yeah, no, it’s true.

17:00.86 podcomm Um, yeah, we got a support group for that. It’s called everybody. It meets at the bar. Yeah, which is a drew carey joke and but yes, no I so you posted that and it was like yeah you emailed me first and I’m just like whoa. You must really like be freaking out if you dream that I’m like oh you’re traveling. Okay and then it was. Yeah, but when you find that you figured it out on your own but everybody else was like. Did you try this. It was like a great sounding board experience. So.

17:24.70 Annie Parnell It was and the thing is if we don’t when 1 of the things that I’ve learned for myself is it’s human to make mistakes and why not share it because um I’m not perfect. But I invest so much of my time.

17:36.40 podcomm Pray.

17:43.65 Annie Parnell Trying to pretend that I am that it was a waste of time instead of that’s why I’m willing to put out audio that isn’t immaculate. You know exactly.

17:53.28 podcomm I Suppose imaculate as it might possibly be um, tangential side tip for those listening Craig’s pro tip wait if you ever do an interview with me 1 of the things I do is I say hit that mic that you think you’re talking to because a lot of times people hit. You know they go and you don’t hear it and I’m like. Ah, you’re not talking to what you think you’re talking to and they’re like oh shit, you know or like they tap on their computer and it’s real Loud. So I tell people this stuff isn’t made of egg cells just give them Yes, That’s the mic. Okay, don’t do it while you’re recording. But yes, um, and that’s a quick way to like double check that you’re talking about it. Um, let’s see oh so many things.

18:18.58 Annie Parnell Um.

18:30.61 podcomm Um, yeah yeah I don’t know anything else on the top of your mind like a couple minutes left that you’re like oh I wanted to talk about but we didn’t get there.

18:38.58 Annie Parnell Ah, let’s see.

18:47.36 Annie Parnell I think that well first of all I should let you know again that go to annie parnell dot com to get a free um short story. It’s called do no harm and that’s a precursor a n n I e.

18:53.95 podcomm Spell it.

18:59.51 podcomm How do how do you? How do you spell any Parnell A and.

19:07.25 Annie Parnell P a r n e l l period com c o m and yes and it’s all 1 word. There’s no spaces in between any per now do no harm and.

19:10.83 podcomm Calm. Yeah, the double L and the parnell was the point I was getting Okay, no no functuation and the short story is called the.

19:25.70 Annie Parnell The thing about it is I love to hear from people. So please if you hated it I might because I love that story and that ah that 1 is is 50 pages I haven’t looked at the word count lately.

19:27.36 podcomm Are you going to record it. Are you going to record it as an episode. Um, how many words how long is it.

19:43.55 Annie Parnell But it’s yes it is. It’s I think mine’s higher because I tend to do a lot of um what I call it, you get to a sense of the background and the ambiance. So it’s not although I tend to like to dwell in the world of.

19:43.63 podcomm That’s something that’s something like 10000 words or something like that.

19:55.44 podcomm A little more color.

20:02.60 podcomm Um.

20:03.14 Annie Parnell Dialogue because I think we reveal more that way and it’s more interesting to be engaged as ah as a reader. So I guess I could talk about the writing. Um I’ve been at it for a while I’ve been 10 plus years I did the.

20:08.52 podcomm Yeah, yeah, when when you get.

20:20.16 Annie Parnell Um, traditional thing I went to conferences, pitched agents and acquiring editors and got nowhere. Well I didn’t get the final would you sign on the dotted line I did get asked for partials or fulls and in the end. What I realized was I needed to choose myself because there wasn’t anybody out there who was going to take a chance on me and so if you’re out there thinking about it I’d say go for it. Um, yeah, and be willing to make mistakes. You’re gonna make them and don’t be don’t They’re not cringe worthy. They’re just they’re just mistakes and I’ve made plenty of them. Yes, and let’s see if there’s anything else I don’t think so.

21:02.19 podcomm Learn worthy man.

21:10.26 podcomm I guess good perfect any thanks as I said at the beginning thanks for taking the time it was a pleasure to get a chance to chat? we’ve done as I say we’ve done the hollywood square things countless times now. But it’s always fun to talk 1 on 1 without having to like wait your turn cool. Thanks so much.

21:25.20 Annie Parnell Thank you for the offer Bye craig.

21:30.40 podcomm Bye.