The Oral History Podcast: An Introduction

The Oral History Podcast: An Introduction


This is Norman Reedus in that movie The Conspirator. This has nothing to do with the podcast.


Back in January, my fellow YA author and friend Christa Desir and I decided to produce a podcast. We had these long conversations about sex and YA books and our lives and thought it would be fun to share our thoughts with everyone else.

So, The Oral History Podcast was born.

It’s a simple concept. We pick a topic, discuss our own personal histories with respect to that topic, and then recommend YA books that we think handle that topic well.

Our first topic was “Girl Talk.” We discussed the kinds of ways our friends talked to each other about sex & romance when we were back in high school and then recommended six YA books that address female friendship and conversation.

We did three episodes on our own, with technical help from the excellent Sara Zarr, whose “This Creative Life” podcast was a big inspiration. Then podcast fan & editor Andrew Karre offered to be our technical advisor and producer, so the sound quality and format are much improved after the third episode, I’m pleased to say. I record my portion in his attic office, because he has better equipment, and this involves me kicking him out of his own lovely space for an hour or so. Then Christa records her portion in Chicago, where she also has great equipment thanks to her tech-loving husband. Then Andrew pastes it all together, erasing our pauses and ums and uhs.

Also: Thanks, Sara! Thanks, Andrew! Thanks, Julio!

In just seven episodes, we’ve discussed more than 50 books (you can find all titles here), as well as live-tweeted & commented on the premiere of the 50 Shades of Grey movie, and tackled First Sex, Oral Sex, Kissing & Masturbation. We also hosted a special Valentine’s Day LadyHead Flash Fiction blog hop, which was born of a Twitter conversation tagged #WriteLadyHeadRight. You can find those stories here.

It’s been a great learning experience from the technical side (uploading mp3 files properly, blog formatting, submitting to iTunes) and the author side (discovering and promoting books we love). Mainly it’s just been a lot of fun.

We’re going on hiatus for the summer, though we have a couple of things planned, including Favorite Scene Close Reads, as well as plans for our One Star Review Merch shop that we hope to unveil this fall. A sample, modeled by Christa:



So: if you love podcasts, sex talk and/or YA fiction, take the summer to catch up with us! You can subscribe to us in iTunes or listen directly on the website where we keep our show notes. We are always open to listener feedback too! Please let us know what you think here.



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