Crime Fiction Podcasts

By E.A. Aymar

Podcasts have become a wonderful resource for writers. They often provide terrific tips on craft, introduce readers to a private side of their favorite writers, and serve as a great marketing resource for authors.

But approaching this platform is often daunting, particularly for debut authors. If you’re a first-time writer, chances are the host of the show hasn’t heard of you and, typically, you don’t have a lot of interview experience. Your promotional reach is likely limited, which brings into question what kind of audience you’ll bring. And, of course, there’s the horror of listening to your voice afterward.

But don’t be daunted! The hosts I’ve spoken to are actively looking for new, unique voices in crime fiction, and there’s a certain charm that being a debut author brings. So we’ve compiled a list of the best crime fiction-related podcasts today, along with some thoughts from their hosts and links to their shows. Doubtless we forgot to include one or two (or many). If we did, feel free to post a podcast you’d like to see included in the comments below and we’ll add it to the list. Crime fiction only, please.

To learn more about a podcast, click on its cover image.

(By the way, the folks at LitReactor recently put out a podcast list. It steers away from crime fiction, but it still has some good ear candy. Check it out HERE.)

 

 

Hosted by Mark Billingham

Can you provide a 2-3 sentence description of your podcast?

A Stab In The Dark looks at crime drama on the page AND on the screen, talking to writers, actors, directors – from the cosiest of novels and TV shows to the very darkest. We highlight the latest trends and discuss the most interesting themes. We bring in the biggest names and we let them talk…

What’s the best way for a debut author to appear on your podcast?

Though we may occasionally feature debut authors if we are reporting from a festival and have talked to relatively new writers, we have thus far focused mainly on the biggest names in crime drama. Michael Connelly, Val McDermid, Patricia Cornwell etc. That said, we welcome approaches from anyone who writes or produces crime drama. So drop our producer Paul Hirons (@Son_Of_Ray) a line on Twitter using the hashtag #astabinthedark

What advice would you give someone before an interview?

There’s not too much that needs to be done, because it’s all about having a relaxed and informal discussion. We edit afterwards anyway, so there’s not too much an interviewee can do wrong. Don’t turn up drunk!

What do you consider to be the unique feature separating your podcast from others?

I’m a crime writer who used to be an actor, so I’m comfortable talking to almost anyone from the world of books or TV. We try to produce a show that will appeal to long-time fans of the genre, fans of the person I’m talking to or first time listeners.

Hosted by Pam Stack

 Can you provide a 2-3 sentence description of your podcast?

Authors on the Air is an international internet radio talk show whose mission is to connect writers and their books with readers and listeners.  The format is casual, relaxed and personality driven. Interviews are LIVE and we encourage callers to the show.  I interview in multiple fiction genres.

What’s the best way for a debut author to appear on your podcast?

If a debut author wants to be a guest, we request that they send their name, Amazon author page and contact information to info@authorsontheair. Be patient! We get a lot of requests.  

What advice would you give someone before an interview?

Author guests always want a heads up on what we will talk about on the radio.  I don’t know!  It’s organic and all about the writer.  Relax, have a cocktail, run around the block, but keep in mind that this is supposed to be fun.

What do you consider to be the unique feature separating your podcast from others?

What makes Authors on the Air so special is the fact that I will interview a debut indie author and a well known, very well established international best-selling author in exactly the same manner. If you’ve written a good book, I want my listeners to hear about it.

Hosted by Jay Stringer and Chantelle Aimee Osman

Can you provide a 2-3 sentence description of your podcast?

No, then we would lose the element of surprise.

Crime Friction is the chance to hear what writers talk about when they’re not trying to sell you anything. Each episode will see Chantelle Aimée Osman and Jay Stringer, along with guests from the world of crime fiction, setting the world straight. Are they sick of hearing about Chandler? Do they think peanuts are overrated? Who would win in a fight between the legume and the comic strip? Are they still really cut up that Dr. Samuel Beckett never made it home? There will also be live-streamed cage fights to determine once and for all whether the pen really is mightier than the sword.

What’s the best way for a debut author to appear on your podcast?

Listen, all I’m saying is, bribery makes the world go round. We’re reasonable people. Our prices are low. Alternatively, if they want to be all ethical about it (losers), they could email us directly at CrimeFriction@gmail.com. Coincidentally, that’s also where you can send us money via PayPal.

What advice would you give someone before an interview?

Relax and have fun. And by fun we generally mean stimulants. Pre-gaming is always suggested. We just ask an author to have a few strange (and strong) opinions and be themselves. As hosts, it’s our job to look after the guests, and make them look good. 

What do you consider to be the unique feature separating your podcast from others?

We’re not really looking to do traditional interviews or promote books. We want to have fun conversations, and to make the listener feel as if they’ve pulled up a chair at the bar to hear what authors really talk about. We’re looking for jokes, for interesting observations, and for some really strange talking points. Think Carson meets Hunter S. Thompson on a road trip to Disneyland.

(Ed. Note: Read our interview with Chantelle Aimée Osman HERE.)

Hosted by Lee and Eddie

Can you provide a 2-3 sentence description of your podcast?

Crime Time Podcast is a weekly podcast discussing Crime, Thriller, Horror, and Mystery Fiction. Join Lee and Eddie as they try to answer the age-old question, whodunnit? 

 What’s the best way for a debut author to appear on your podcast?

We can be contacted via email at crimetimepodcast@gmail.com

The best method would be to send us a copy of your book (with a short blurb), and let us know you would be keen to do an interview if we like the book. We don’t want to make new authors look or feel bad so we don’t interview if we aren’t 100% on board with your work! 

What advice would you give someone before an interview?

We don’t do heavy interviews, we prefer to keep things light and fun. We want to make you sound good, so just relax and have fun!

What do you consider to be the unique feature separating your podcast from others?

The genres we cover can be really heavy, so we try to keep things fun in the spirit of enjoying literature! Our listeners generally say they enjoy our fun, down to earth style of talking about books. Think of us as the book club that you don’t need to leave the house to join!

Hosted by Jenny Milchman

Can you provide a 2-3 sentence description of your podcast?

Inside Thrill Radio stars “tomorrow’s big authors today”. Drawing from ITW’s Debut Authors Program, and featuring our blockbuster members as special guests, we bring new books to readers and offer inside peeks at the publishing industry. Steve Berry, Lee Child, and John Lescroart have all appeared alongside brand new authors.

What’s the best way for a debut author to appear on your podcast?

Our Inside Thrill Radio show coordinator, John Connell, can be contacted via the online Discussion Forum once someone is a member of the Debut Authors Program.

What advice would you give someone before an interview?

Relax! Really, I wouldn’t say anything besides that. What’s going to happen on the Inside Thrill is that a writer gets to discuss his or her favorite topic, the thing that makes his or her spouse or family member or best friend groan and say, “Are we talking about the book again?” Only on the Inside Thrill, everybody wants to listen!

What do you consider to be the unique feature separating your podcast from others?

The fact that in addition to featuring great books, we also delve deep into the publishing scene, and how to make it in this industry. It’s useful for emerging writers and newer authors, fascinating for industry devotees–and fans get peeks into their favorite authors’ lives.

Hosted by J. David Osborne

Can you provide a 2-3 sentence description of your podcast?

The JDO show is loose conversation between me and a writer I like. I operate on the philosophy that writers by and large have boring lives, but are intensely interesting people. So we throw out the standard “childhood to artist timeline” and just shoot the shit, which leads to a bit of comedy and a bit of insight.

What’s the best way for a debut author to appear on your podcast?

I pick my guests mainly based on either A) how interested I am in their work or B) how well I know them personally or C) some combination thereof. There have been a few instances where friends I trust recommend a guest, but that’s not typically the case. I would say just asking is a pretty solid way to go about it, whether it’s on Facebook or through e-mail, whatever works. I’m chill.

What advice would you give someone before an interview?

Relax. Some episodes I’ve done have started off with fifteen minute discussions about dogs. Sometimes we just make each other laugh. Sometimes we get deep. It’s all about vibing on the same energy, and I’m mostly relaxed, so if you chill out and have a beer or something we’ll get on just fine.

What do you consider to be the unique feature separating your podcast from others?

Its complete unprofessionalism and DIY nature. I’m uninterested in polish, outside of general listenability. I have a philosophy that the best way to sell people on your book is to sell them on yourself, and so I specifically set out to have the show mimic a casual bar conversation. Promoting is discouraged, but we still kind of do it. Mostly I’d say that The JDO Show isn’t an interview show, really. That makes it different.

Skid Row Chatter

Hosted by Tom Pitts

Can you provide a 2-3 sentence description of your podcast?

Focusing on the grittier side of writers and writing, SRC has hosted everyone from Ed Kurtz to Max Alan Collins, from Joe Lansdale to Les Edgerton. With gossip and gripes, we try to let our guests speak candidly about the process, their art, and the state of their medium. When it works, the show is part confessional, part lectern, and part locker-room.

What’s the best way for a debut author to appear on your podcast?

Reach out. The old fashioned art of who-you-know begins with the simple act of introducing yourself. 

What advice would you give someone before an interview?

Listen to the question, and wait a half-beat before answering. My advice to interviewers would be the same. It’s something I fail at. I often cut off my guests. 

What do you consider to be the unique feature separating your podcast from others?

The dirt. We’re not afraid to get messy. I’ve been to some rotten places and seen some terrible things, so let’s not beat around the bush. 

 

Hosted by Steven James

Can you provide a 2-3 sentence description of your podcast?

We interview expert storytellers on the secrets to great storytelling. Some of our past guests include international bestselling authors Steve Berry, Jeffery Deaver, Sue Grafton, Robert Dugoni, and MJ Rose. Many of these are authors, some are filmmakers, some are solo performers, but all have a passion for sharing stories of excellence. 

What’s the best way for a debut author to appear on your podcast?

Contact us at info@stevenjames.net. If we’re unfamiliar with your work, we would probably need an ARC or copy of your latest book to consider it. 

What advice would you give someone before an interview?

Relax—the best interviews always come through when someone stops trying to perform or do their “shtick.” It’s helpful to have a few personal or humorous stories in mind that relate to your life as an author, but it’s not necessary to rehearse them. For our podcast, consider your writing process and how you shape your stories; our listeners are always interested in technique. 

What do you consider to be the unique feature separating your podcast from others?

We feature one guest in-depth and really try to climb into the specifics on how they shape and tell stories. Listeners, think of this as a chance to spend forty-five minutes with a skilled author listening to secrets on the craft. We focus more on “how” authors write their works than “why.”

Hosted by John Raab

Can you provide a 2-3 sentence description of your podcast?

Suspense Radio has several shows, so we have something for everyone. From author interviews, book news, behind the scenes into the industry, experts in their field (CSI, FBI, etc), reviews and so much more. If you are looking for something to read, you will find what you need here.  As for writers you will find several advice and tips to make you a better writer. 

What’s the best way for a debut author to appear on your podcast?

Email me at editor@suspensemagazine.com  Write me a very short, very short query about your book. Basically if I find it interesting I’ll put you on. 

What advice would you give someone before an interview?

You write in the suspense / mystery / thriller / horror genre so DON’T BE BORING! Many times fans will think your personal personality is how you write. So if you get on the radio and stumble through, or don’t make your writing sound interesting, do you really think someone will buy it? Also, please and I can’t stress this enough, know what you write. Know the genre you write. Know your target audience. Very important. 

What do you consider to be the unique feature separating your podcast from others?

You never know what you will get.  I interviewed Laurell K. Hamilton on my show and all we did was talk about sex. I’m going to tell you something that’s a secret, so readers keep to yourself. I don’t script my interviews. I never write questions out before hand. I find interviews like that very boring. I let the interview flow in any direction it goes. I want the conversation to be like to people at a bar just talking. Interviews that are scripted are lazy interviewers. 

Hosted by Alex Dolan

Can you provide a 2-3 sentence description of your podcast?

Thrill Seekers scours the globe for the rarest and most exotic specimens of thriller authors. It’s hosted by fellow writer Alex Dolan (me). I douse myself in the pheromones of thriller writers and wait for hours, sometimes days in the wild to catch these spectacular creatures and bring them to you. It airs every other Tuesday as part of the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network, with 3 million worldwide listeners. Click HERE for an episode guide or subscribe to the podcast.

What’s the best way for a debut author to appear on your podcast?

Reach out to me HERE, or find me on Facebook. I’m genuinely interested in finding new authors, so please feel free to connect. If I think your book might be a good fit for the show, I’ll probably ask for a review copy. If I don’t ask for a review copy or an interview, it’s likely because I only broadcast twice a month, and tend to fill up my schedule a few months in advance.

What advice would you give someone before an interview?

Easy on the hard sales. In my limited experience, people are less likely to buy your book if you pound them over the head with how great it is and how many awards you’ve won. Interviews are important because they let readers get to know you as a person. Just have a fun, interesting conversation, and readers can read the accolades on their own and decide if this is something they might want to read. They’ll probably be more interested in reading it if you sound interesting yourself.

What do you consider to be the unique feature separating your podcast from others?

Ideally, the show should be fun and playful. People are interesting, and writers are some of the most interesting people around, with some of the sharpest minds and keenest wits. If I do my job right, I should be able to show you a glimpse of the people behind your favorite books, in a way that helps you understand how they tick, and hopefully inspires your own reading and writing.

 Hosted by Erik Arneson

Can you provide a 2-3 sentence description of your podcast?

Title 18: Word Crimes features short fiction read by professional radio types — specifically, the amazing Scott Detrow and Mary Wilson — and, occasionally, by me or another author.

What’s the best way for a debut author to appear on your podcast?

We record relatively few episodes, and we tend to focus on stories by authors with at least one published book. Recent episodes have featured some real heavyweights, including Lawrence Block and James Grady. We’ve also recently featured Merry Jones, Jon McGoran, Johnny Shaw, and Duane Swierczynski.

But back to your question… The best way for a debut author to appear would probably be to offer to read their own story. We’re certainly open to authors reading their own work, if the audio quality is strong and the reading itself is strong. We want crime fiction, broadly defined — it’s pretty easy to see what we like if you examine our back catalog. I can be reached through my website HERE

What advice would you give someone before an interview?

Our podcast features occasional interviews, but only when I’m out and about and can rope another author into it. I think interviews are best when they feel like an actual conversation. Be relaxed. If you feel tense, the interview will come across as stilted.

What do you consider to be the unique feature separating your podcast from others?

Scott Detrow and Mary Wilson! They’re both outstanding, and I’m very lucky to work with them on Word Crimes.

Hosted by Eric Beetner and S.W. Lauden

Can you provide a 2-3 sentence description of your podcast?

Writer Types is a crime fiction variety show. We have author interviews with best sellers and indie authors, book reviews, short fiction, industry professionals and more. It is fast-paced and irreverent with something for every crime and mystery fan.

What’s the best way for a debut author to appear on your podcast?

The best way is to get to know Eric and Steve. Find us, contact us. We produce the show ourselves, book all the guests and we’ve had amazing responses from top talent like Sara Paretsky, Megan Abbott, Reed Farrel Coleman and more but we always like to keep a slot open for an up and coming author to reach a new audience. As with any podcast/interview/blog etc. it helps if we know your work so sending along an ARC of a new book will let us know if the author is right for the show. It’s no guarantee since we try to keep the show tight and under 40 minutes so we only have space for so many. But we also do shorter segments like our Unpanel for which which we are always on the lookout for newer authors.

What advice would you give someone before an interview?

For our interviews? Lighten up. We try to have fun and the more we’re all laughing the better. Authors tend to get asked the same questions over and over so if we can mix it up and throw a few curveballs in there, we like to do it. We try to be as conversational as we can, we’re always self-deprecating, and nothing puts a button on a great interview like a big laugh.

What do you consider to be the unique feature separating your podcast from others?

We wanted to make something more akin to a radio show. It is heavily edited, segments are short, the voices varied. We have regular contributors alongside our special guests, our short fiction segment, different styles of interviews. I don’t know of another crime and mystery podcast that is doing it the way we are and so far the listener response has been really positive. We try to cram a lot in each episode and we are always coming up with more ideas for new segments and new ways to make a fresh, lively show to entertain everyone from casual readers to veteran authors.

Thanks to everyone for contributing! Remember, if there’s a crime fiction podcast we forgot to include, leave a note in the comments.

E.A. Aymar‘s latest thriller is You’re As Good As Dead. He also writes a monthly column for the Washington Independent Review of Books, and is the Managing Editor of The Thrill Begins. His short fiction and non-fiction have appeared in a number of top crime fiction publications. Aymar is also involved in a collaboration with DJ Alkimist, a NY and DC-based DJ, where his stories are set to her music. For more information about that project, visit www.eaalkimist.com.

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  1. Terri Coop

    I’ll be making my debut on Authors on the Air in June. I can’t wait and there are a couple on this list I wasn’t familiar with, I will definitely be checking them out.

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