Author of The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire, etc.

C.M. Mayo < Digital Media < Podcasts <

I am C.M. Mayo, literary journalist and novelist, author of several books on Mexico, host of the podcast series Marfa Mondays, and the long-standing lit-blog, Madam Mayo. On occasion, I also write poetry and translate Mexican fiction and poetry. Through my works, I bring readers avid to learn more about Mexico and the world to richer levels of understanding and an awakened sense of wonder and curiosity. I invite you to visit my website, www.cmmayo.com

Conversations with Other Writers, I interview other writers I am curious to learn more about, and whose work I admire and celebrate.

So far: Rosemary Sullivan, author of Villa Bel-Air, a true history of WWII which reads like a zany thriller; Solveig Eggerz, author of Seal Woman, a poetic novel of Iceland; Sara Mansfield Taber, author of the memoir, Born Under an Assumed Name; Edward Swift, artist, novelist, and author of the memoir My Grandfather's Finger; Michael K. Schuessler, Mexican literature expert and biographer extraordinaire; novelist and essayist Sergio Troncoso; visionary founder of Literal Magazine Mexican writer and poet Rose Mary Salum; and M.M. McAllen about her magnificent narrative history of Mexico's Second Empire, Maximilian and Carlota.
Podcasts ranging from 20 minutes to a little over an hour. What's a podcast? Basically, it's an audio file you can listen to / download on-line. All my podcasts are free. That may change, but probably not.
Whenever the literary spirits move me and the planets align. Right now that's about once a year. When can you listen in? Anytime! For updates, I invite you to subscribe to my free newsletter which includes not only new podcasts but workshop news, news about my books, best from the blogs, and more.

On the Conversations with Other Writers webpage, as well as my Podcasts on Creative Writing page and main Podcasts page. The hosting service is podomatic.com. An RSS feed goes to iTunes, to which you can subscribe for free.

As for the interviews themselves, some take place via Skype, connecting us wherever we happen to be (Mexico City? Alexandria, Virginia?) while others are recorded in person. The interview with Edward Swift was recorded in his studio in San Miguel de Allende, for example, and another, with Michael K. Schuessler, was recorded in a Mexico City bookstore. In sum, it varies.
Nutshell answer: Because I can and it's fun.

Medium answer: Journalists interviewing authors about their new books is a conventional form; I want to do something different: talk to literary writers as a fellow artist about their works, whether new or old, and explore their lives and their process. In sum, I consider these an intellectual and spiritual exercise for me as a writer.

Yadda yadda answer: I believe that through narrative we become more human; truth is beauty; exploration is infinite. When you listen in to one of my podcasts, you're coming along for the ride. These podcasts, like all art, to some degree, are a gift,
* in this case, from me to you, just as the writers I interview are giving me—and through me to you— the gift of their perceptions, stories, and advice. It is my hope that in this way our community— the community of those who care passionately about good writing— be enriched.

*Read more about this idea in Lewis Hyde's The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World.
I record the conversation using an ecamm Skype recorder on my MacBookPro or, if recording in person, the dictation app on my iPhone. I then load the mp3 file of the interview onto Apple's Garage Band program, and edit from there. Music is royalty free clips from Garage Band or purchased from sites such as www.uniquetracks.com and www.musicbakery.com, and the voiceovers are from various vendors on www.fiverr.com. When the whole enchilada is out of the oven, I upload it to the hosting service, podomatic.com.

P.S. Want to learn how to do this yourself? The ebook based on my one day workshop at the Writer's Center, Podcasting for Writers & Other Creative Entrepreneurs, is now available from Dancing Chiva in a Kindle edition. Click on the cover to visit the ebook's website and get your copy as a Kindle or an iBook edition.