Radio & Podcast Interviews

Here are some interviews I’ve done recently about DIY Magic.

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Coast to Coast Interview

Here is the interview I did on Coast to Coast a.m. Unfortunately I don’t know if you can listen to it unless you subscribe to their podcast as a “Coast Insider”. In which case you probably already heard this!

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Pathways Radio

Here is the interview I did on the Pathways program with Paul O’brien. This was a good conversation because this guy has been doing this show for 30 years! And his specialty is Divination (I-Ching and Tarot mainly) so we had a lot to talk about.

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PDX Darlings

Here is a fun podcast I did with my friend, fellow Portland author Martha Grover. This podcast is brand new and it feels like a conversation between friends as much as an interview, so check it out!

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Words & Pictures

Here is a short and fun one I did on KBOO for Words and Pictures. This was live and my headphones weren’t working in the studio . . . so I ended up laughing a lot and jumping into the conversation at weird moments because I couldn’t hear and because I’m a dork. Still it’s a fun listen.

(I also did an interview on Turning of the Wheel with Chris Flisher, but I can’t find a link to that specific show.)

I enjoy doing live radio, I love the spontaneity and looseness of it! I am actively looking for other podcast, radio shows, etc. to do. So if you are are interested in booking me for a show just email : r.anthonyalvarado AT gmail.com

Let’s talk!

Comics conventions VS Author Readings

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Here is a quick update on how things are going this week: fantastic!

DIY Magic is currently a “hot new release” on Amazon. It is a the #1 new release in creativity right now. Which has me celebrating this morning by drinking extra coffee. (What, no champagne, just extra coffee? Yeah, pretty exciting. Hey, I’m getting old.)

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Yes, it feels good to be “number one”.

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So that’s cool. Even more fun for me has been connecting with readers at events. I learned something really surprising this weekend: comics artists get to connect with fans in a way more personal and approachable way than authors do. Let me explain. I did two events this past weekend. One was a reading at Elliot Bay up in Seattle. It’s a fantastic bookstore and it was an honor to read there. The other event : I sort of piggybacked my way into Lineworks NW. An independent comics convention here in Portland. I just sat at a table, with a stack of my books and chatted with folks. (Also I had some beer and pizza—something you can’t really do during an author reading without looking like a weird slob.) Pretty low key, and I felt like I got a much more real & human connection at the comics event than my own reading!

The thing is most authors just do readings, that’s just what you do. You get up in front of a microphone and read a chapter or two and maybe do a Q&A afterwards. And most comics artists don’t do readings they do “tabling”. (I think that’s what it’s called.)

Obviously this has as much to do with the nature of the two mediums as anything. It is easy for an author to read their stuff out loud. With comics you need to be able to see the pictures so a reading doesn’t make sense.

Here is my point: the author/audience relationship, just by the way readings happen, put the author on a pedestal (literally) and make it harder to connect. When you are tabling at a convention it feels way more democratic, you’re not up on a stage with a microphone, you’re just chatting to people across the table. It feels like comics artists have a more level relationship with their fans simply because of the way the events are handled!

I’m noting this because I know that a lot of fans of this blog are writers and creators themselves. And it is important to think about how we connect with our audience. I think in this case us writers might be able to learn a thing or two from our comics cousins about community, communication, and connection.

The 1 hour internet diet

Technique

The 1 hour internet diet: spending one hour a day on the internet tops. Simple as that. Actually set an egg timer to go for one hour, and check all of your email, etc. whatever it is you got to do. When the hour is up you are done for the day!

Result

A simpler, less cluttered, more real life.

In the flurry of activity following my book release I suddenly found myself with plenty of excuses to check up on things online. I would bounce around from website to website: how is my book doing on Amazon, on twitter, on facebook etc. It seemed that there was a cycle of apps, websites, and feeds that was just long enough that as soon as I finished checking it I could start again.

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After a week of this I began to feel sick and tired of it, I was spinning my wheels, hitting the refresh button on my rankings pages—living in an virtual world. How much of the time I spent on-line was actually accomplishing anything, and how much was just idle, masturbatory, and repetitive waste?

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The fact of the matter is I shouldn’t have to need the internet—being on there is not really a necessary part of my job description, and more importantly I don’t think it brings me much joy. It fills time, in the same way that staring at a TV does, but all in all I don’t think it brings me as much pleasure and fulfillment as say dancing, or going on a hike, or curling up with a good book.

I decided to go on an internet diet: one hour max on the interwebs daily. Depending on your view that might seem like a crazy idea, or maybe it seems like a pretty obvious goal. But I suspect that for many of us we spend more than an hour of time idly surfing the web. If you are curious about what it is like to cut back to a healthier amount of online consumption read-on. I will blog the next week of my internet diet:

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Day 1

So I have set a timer for exactly one hour. Once it dings I have to go off-line for the rest of the day! It is kind of amusing, giving me a sort of Mission Impossible feeling at first. I sit down, and what, I have to get all of my inter-netting (Including writing this blog) done in 60 minutes GO! So I answered a couple of emails, and then clicked through my social media, Facebook, Twitter etc. And the funny thing . . . was I realized OKAY all of that only took 10 minutes or so. Huh, that’s weird. Am I already done for the day?

What I’m realizing is that when I spend all day tied to my laptop (a lot of that is research, looking up various ideas, books, blogs etc.) I often use the internet as a way to take a break. I mindless return to the same pages, telling myself I am being productive, when really there isn’t any new info there! All of this to say that cutting my online time down to an hour a day is suddenly looking like it’s not only possible but an hour might even be more time than I need. The less you engage in an unfulfilling the habit, the less appealing it seems. I have experienced the same phenomena with trying to eat healthy—after a few weeks of eating right, junk food just becomes less and less appetizing and veggies start to look like  . . . well, bacon and ice cream if you know what I mean.

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You have the power & you don’t need “experts”

Hey guys!

DIY Magic has been out for a week now and it has been a lot of fun watching people react to it. To be honest a part of me wondered if DIY Magic would leave people baffled and mystified—”a real book about magic, what does that mean?” But to my delight people seem to be really connecting with the book and are super excited to read it.

The response from Coast to Coast a.m. listeners has been huge: DIY Magic debuted on the Amazon.com creativity best sellers list and has hung out there all week. Friends who are fans of C2C have been coming up to me all week and telling me what they thought of the show. One friend told me “What I liked about your interview on Coast is that you really empowered people. So many guests get on and just want to talk down to people because they are the “experts””.

I told him that is exactly what I was trying to communicate! This is stuff you can try for yourself, we don’t need to let the “experts” have all the fun. In preparation for my talk I had taped a giant note to my kitchen wall by the phone, it read:

GIVE
PEOPLE
THE POWER!

That is what it’s all about—the experience that the reader is going to have when they try these different techniques out.

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The best part about having a book out though has definitely been getting to connect with readers in real life! After working on these strange and whimsical ideas pretty much just sitting alone at my desk of a cafe month after month, it feels amazing to get the work out into the world. There was a fantastic turn out for my reading at Powell’s City of Books and I feel like this book is going to make a positive impact in people’s lives, it seems to have connected with folks and is finding its way into the hands of readers who “get it”.

I’ll be doing some more radio appearances soon, and eventually I’ll get some of those linked up here so if you missed them you can check em’ out. In the meantime consider signing up for my monthly newsletter. And if you live in the Seattle area come say hi at Elliot Bay Books this Saturday!

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