Our Conversation with C.M. Alexander

C.M. Alexander is a rookie to the Women in Horror Month Celebration.  Her podcast is called: Derry Public Radio

What’s your show about?

Derry Public Radio is a bi-weekly Stephen King book club podcast. Each hour-long episode offers an in-depth analysis of Stephen King’s books and their film adaptations. The three co-hosts engage in lively discussion of King’s work, offering perspectives that range from the comfortably familiar to the frighteningly fanatic. We balance horror, comedy, and serious discussion, a unique perspective you only get when mixing two comedians and a social worker!

Pre- and post-production done by me, C.M. Alexander. Social media management by Joshua Kahn. News intros written by Benjamin Graham.

What are some of your favorite episodes?

My favorite episodes are Misery, parts 1-3. I love these the most for two reasons: 1. Of all the horror I’ve read, I somehow never read Misery and I was delighted to find something “new” to adore and obsess over. 2. We had so much fun recording these episodes. I found myself sympathizing with the antagonist, who is a powerful (albeit mentally unstable) woman with a startling capacity for infusing tenderness with brutality that I’ll never forget.

How well do you think horror is represented in the podcast world?

While there are a lot of great horror podcasts out there, I think we’d all benefit from much, much more! Once I exhaust available episodes, I struggle sometimes to find another podcast to listen to.

What about women-led podcasts? In your experience, are they common or rare in horror?

I believe them to be rare, although I’d be delighted to be told I’m wrong. There are plenty of women-led crime podcasts, but I’ve struggled to find women-led horror podcasts. More than half our listeners are women, so the interest must be there!

What podcast/podcaster influenced you to begin podcasting and why?

How Did This Get Made, Mission Log, Adventure Zone, Small Town Murder, Lore. I have so many that inspired me because I started listening to podcasts when I got a new job with a long commute. Then I kept listening when I got home and started making dinner. Then I KEPT listening while in the shower and getting ready for bed. Pretty soon I’d listened to all the episodes and needed to find more podcasts. I found something inspiring in helpful in each of the podcasts listed above. I loved the chemistry between the co-hosts of HDTGM, the consistency and professionalism of Mission Log, the heart and creativity of Adventure Zone, the vulnerability and dedication of Small Town Murder, and the terror and astounding quality of Lore. All of these things I felt, I wanted to be someone who made other people feel some of these things too.

Inspire someone who is just starting out in the podcast world.

Many people feel confident in their ability to talk about a topic they enjoy in an engaging manner but become intimidated by the idea of cost, tech skills, or connections. All those things certainly make life easier but there is a way to account for each of them. If you don’t have a studio in your home with sound panels and nice equipment, don’t worry. There are affordable mics that do an adequate job, and blankets and some creative wall décor can go a long way toward helping your space sound better. As far as tech, you can find videos for every recording and editing question you could possibly have. If you just don’t have the organization or attention skills needed for that, it’s okay! Find someone who does and partner with them – we all bring something wonderful to the table. Worried you aren’t famous or don’t have any connections? I sincerely believed that our first episode would get 6 listens…and that would be because we begged our parents to listen. We’re still new and we’ve already had over 5,000 listens. That’s not a lot yet, but it’s about 4,994 more than I ever expected. Beyond that I believe that consistency can take you a long way. People like knowing that every episode is a set length and that they can look forward to certain things each episode. Make those things creative to help your podcast stand out from the others. Ours is our fake news intro that ties into whatever book we’re covering. We also aim for a high and consistent quality every episode. I recommend recording yourself talking for a couple of minutes and listening back to it. You’ll hear the crutch words you (and we all) use, and any speech patterns that may be distracting. Have you ever had to listen to someone say “um” or “uh” a lot? Or take such long pauses between words that you think something happened to your internet connection? When you go to hit record on your first episode, be mindful of those things. It’ll save you a lot of time editing! Bottom line – Don’t worry, you got this!

What’s your favorite experience as a woman horror podcaster so far?

I started off with no recording or editing experience whatsoever and I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I succumbed to the stereotypical female/male role and initially asked my husband to record and edit our podcast. Before we even hit play, I realized that there was no reason I couldn’t do it and that was that. I taught myself how to record and edit in Logic, and I researched the basics of sound engineering and figured out how to arrange my space to make the most of it. Every time I hit the record button, I sit down to edit, I listen back to one of our episodes, every time I tell someone about Derry Public Radio, I feel immense pride.

What do you have coming up?

We are about to launch our Patreon page. We love what we do and our amazing fans so much that we’re going all out and offering a lot of awesome merchandise and additional content for our subscribers.

Any other plugs you need to get in there?

I was in a movie! And I apologize in advance for my lack of experience.