Today it’s my great pleasure to welcome author, the narrator of The Chosen series audiobooks, producer of my podcasts, and friend– John Mierau. I HIGHLY suggest you pick John’s brain in the comment section about using podcasts to promote yourself and your works. He’s quite the expert!
You can find MY podcasts (that John has produced and narrated some short stories):
Or on iTunes by searching Denise Grover Swank. The podcasts are FREE.
Author: John Mierau
Lastest work: Subversion: Enemy Lines
So John, tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’m a husband, father and dog-walker living in the wilds of Ontario
Canada between Toronto and the US Border. I’m also a narrator and
audio producer for other creators. I love collaborating with other
creators, and host guest posts, interviews and roundtable discussions
Above all, I’m an author of science fiction and fantasy.
My latest book is SUBVERSION: Enemy Lines, Book 1 and my latest short
story collection is WALK THE FIRE. ‘Walk’ is a shared world anthology
in a universe of my own creation, featuring fiction by 8 top indie
authors and myself.
When did you create your first podcast?
I created my first podcast in 2009.
In a past life I was an IT guy working for the makers of the
BlackBerry. This involved a 2-hr plus commute in either direction,
before Audible.com was as big as it is now, and sheer desperation
(combined with my geeky proclivities) led me to discover podcasting.
That first podcast, also called ‘SERVING WORLDS’, was an anthology of
my own shortish fiction, ranging from flash fiction to near-novella
length. I followed this up with a serialization of an early draft of
the first few volumes of my ENEMY LINES book series, and have moved on
to produce four more novellas for free distribution by podcast.
What led you to do this?
I caught on to podcasting before it even made a name for itself, just
as the first podcast novels were being released by Scott Sigler, Tee
Morris and Mark Jeffrey. Now there are hundreds of novels, many of
which are available at podiobooks.com for free.
Remember, this was before ebooks and successful widespread
monetization of ebooks with the Kindle, and now Barnes and Noble and
Kobo. and more. It was unique and easily available content by many
authors’ target audience of readers.
A saying attributed to Canadian SF author Cory Doctorow is, ‘the enemy
of a new author is not piracy, it’s obscurity’. Podcasting is a unique
way to excite your audiences and provide a valuable offering that can
excite readers to buy your work.
The attrractions to me are the deadline, the audience that stays with
you from project to project, and transfers to supporting your ebook
and print offerings, and the rush of performance!
I think of podcasting as a hybrid of social media, author promotion
and valuable entertainment all wrapped up in one fun package.
How many books have you written? Are they all science fiction?
I’ve written six novels in the ENEMY LINES series. Books 2-4 will be
released once a month until January on Amazon and other platforms. I’m
releasing 2 other novels in bite-sized novella formats: ASUNDER (the
War Between Worlds series), TOOLS & MEANS (the Destroyers series).
I’ve written half a dozen other 30-50,000 word novellas. The novellas
are both science fiction and fantasy (including demons, vampires, ley
lines and dragons!) but all my novels to date are firmly in the SF
What is your current project?
WALK THE FIRE is a shared world SF anthology, featuring stories
written by myself and 8 other indie authors, in a universe of my
creation: a future where a tiny fraction of humanity -the Ferrymen-
can walk through very special fires, and guide the rest of us to
another city, the moon ,a space ship…or another galaxy.
In ‘Walk’, there are no gods and aliens, no faster than light travel,
just people. The stories in this collection start before the Europeans
came to North America, and extend into the far future. Each author
tackles a different aspect of what this future world must be like,
when resources and information are steps away, and mankind has
expanded into all the corners of our galaxy and beyond.
What inspires you when you are writing?
People. Always people! Any magic system, urban legend or science
fiction conceit are just tools to tell a story about people, once you
free the reader (or listener) from the blinders of their every day
life. It lets us look at the world without preconceived notions. It
has to entertain, but hopefully it can also shake up our world and our
thought processes a little bit, too.
When you aren’t writing or recording, what are some of your other hobbies?
I have twin 4 year old girls. They have a brother turning 6 just
before Hallowe’en. What is this ‘hobby’ you speak of? Well, okay,
maybe I squeeze in one (grin).
If writing is my passion, and recording and producing audio is a joy
and an alternate revenue stream -I’m privileged to record novels for
sale on Audible.com for several authors, Serving Worlds dot com is my
Serving Worlds is where I get to podcast or post text interviews and
guest posts from writers like Robert J. Sawyer, David Brin or Hugh
Howey. You can check out those other voices here:
Who are some of your favorite authors? Did you have a favorite book as a child?
I’m one of those weird folks who don’t have a favorite color, or book,
or author. I like Jenga: the way things stack up tell you more about a
person than any one of the blocks that makes them.
If I had to pick a formative experience, I’d have to say Tanya Huff
influenced me greatly, being a fellow Canadian author. She writes
complex relationships in her fantasy and SF, and plays with gender and
sexuality in the way people in real life do, instead of sticking with
Later, in college I discovered Robert B. Parker, whose gift for
dialogue and morally shaded characters has also stayed with me.
Okay, now let’s try This or That
Ah, well…. ‘this’ implies something in front of me, something I
have. I’m always going to reach for THAT, given half a chance (grin).
Computer or T.V.
Computer. We’ve cut the cord at our house: the only TV we watch is
bought and downloaded or from streaming services. Online offerings are
pretty strong, and cutting the cord only hard to do if you’re a big
sports nut these days, which I am not.
Sandals, Sneakers or barefoot
Remember, I’m Canadian. Winter is not the fun. But summertime, a good
pair of Birkenstock sandals makes me feel the peace, love and granola!
Christmas or Halloween
While I like the block of time the family can spend together at
Christmas, as an atheist, not to mention general weirdo-writer, I’ll
go with Halloween!
Call or Text
Text. Or, as Denise can attest to, tweets and DM’s! (Denise: This is true!)
Taco or Burrito
This is where I should make a clever joke about the semiotics of
wrapping your content together inside the warmth and protection of
soft, safe layer.
But instead I’ll tell your readers to go out and take a bite out of
life, a big chomp that cracks through that hard taco shell and leaves
a mess on their plate!