|Interview with Mark Slade, writer and
publisher of Dark Dreams Podcast
By D.W. Jones
I first heard of Mark Slade when he started contributing his writing to our
magazine. He told me about his venture, Dark Dreams Podcast and I was
interested. When I checked it out, I though it was great. It was great to
hear fiction lifted off the page and spoken as if you were sitting around a
campfire in the middle of the woods. Now I invite you to get to know Mark
Slade and his podcast a little better and hope you check out his website
DWJ: What made you decide to start a podcast?
Mark: Well the other podcasts kept rejecting my stories and I would listen to them
and think: so, what’s wrong with my stories? Nothing compared to the ones they
were using. So a friend of mine, Domenic Cassiola had the idea we would do our
own podcast and read our own stories. I got in contact with other writer friends,
some big-name writers through facebook and it grew from there. Also, Seth
Harwood was doing podcast of his novels and ended up getting published.
DWJ: How long did it take to get it up and running?
Mark: Literally, just a day. I use Spreaker which is a free hosting site, set up a
blog through blogger. So on Thanksgiving night, I put up the first episode.
DWJ: How many people does it take to run the podcast and website?
Mark: One. Just me. I’d like to have someone else help, but it might be easier
with decisions. I’m the only one who has to argue with.
DWJ: How do you decide which submissions you have on your podcast?
Mark: Really I don’t think I have ever rejected anyone. I’d like to get more
submissions, but I just don’t get any. So to keep it going I ask writers to send
something if they are interested. I haven’t had too many turn me down, I’ve had a
lot just not answer. Joe Lansdale and Chet Williamson and G. Wayne Miller have
been great friends to podcast. And E.S. Wynn! The “VOICE”, has been the best
friend Dark Dreams could have. I’ve also had some other great writers on the
program. Tom Monteleoni, Tim Powers…
DWJ: On your website, you have artwork accompany a particular podcast.
Is this an important part of giving a visual to the podcast?
Mark: Oh definitely. Sometimes I can’t find a piece to fit, so I just find the most
horrible image I can find. Something to get attention.
DWJ: Several stories are read by E.S. Wynn. It is an unique voice and
lends to the creepy feel of the podcast. Is that Wynn's actual voice or has
it been enhanced?
Mark: Yes it is! Hell of a voice. He also narrates my other podcast, Blackout
City, a noir SF series about a P.I. in an alternate 1960’s Frank Larnerd and I
created. Earl is also a publisher and has writer 47 books. Very talented writer.
The man is the David Bowie of writing, so multi-talented. I’m in awe of him. So
many talented people I’ve come across. And really I owe Domenic so much. He
got me into the whole podcast, audiobooks…hell, he got me back into writing. I
really would love to have him as a writing partner, and that might happen soon.
DWJ: Do you prefer to do the readings yourself or have the writers read
their own work?
Mark: Oh, no. I’d rather have others do the narrations. I hate my voice and
when I started this, a big name writer had loads of bad things to say about the
podcast, sub-par writing and writers---and my accent annoyed him. So I took it to
heart and avoid narrating.
DWJ: What do you recommend to writers who may want to have their
work on a podcast?
Mark: Well, I’m easy. Just send the stories to me. But I guess make sure you
know what type of podcast you’re sending it to. I’m more traditional Horror, SF,
Fantasy, dark stories. Others—like the extreme. Kind of like knowing what type of
mag you’re submitting.
DWJ: What is coming up next for you and the podcast?
Mark: I’ve got some fantastic writers, Jack Dann, Peter Straub, Brad Strickland. I
want Dennis Etchison but he won’t answer my Facebook messages. So I take that
as a no. And I want the KING OF WRITERS: Ray Bradbury. I just don’t know who