If anyone is still listening, first of all, I appreciate that you didn’t unsubscribe. Secondly, I do feel I should provide a bit of an explanation for my sudden abandonment of the podcast for anyone who might have wondered.
The short answer is actually good news: in October of 2020, right around the time I was planning to release some Halloween episodes–more on that later–my novel started getting some real attention from some of the agents I had submitted it to, and one of them made an offer to represent me, and getting the book in shape for submission to publishers immediately became the focus of all of my creative energy. Then, in early 2021, Tor Nightfire and I agreed to a book deal. Needless to say, it’s been an eventful stretch of time–all other, larger events happening beyond my little world notwithstanding–and I’ve been busy. I enjoyed this podcast, but it had to be set aside while I pursue my dream of being a full-time novelist.
That’s the relative short of it. For a bit more of an explanation, though, I did release an episode in October 2020 as part of what I planned to be a series of “Halloween specials.” It was sort of an offshoot of the “daily horror history” idea I briefly had and failed to maintain on my blog once upon a time. I’d put in a lot of work to put together a spreadsheet containing anniversaries of horror film and book releases, television series debuts, birthdays of major figures in the genre, even important dates in the production and development of certain works of horror, at least the ones that I could find. For the podcast, each week in October I had planned to release an episode that covered all the notable anniversaries of the upcoming week and made recommendations on what to watch to commemorate these occasions. The plan changed because, frankly, I hated the first episode and took it down within a day or two.
I just wasn’t happy with the quality of it. I didn’t execute the idea behind it very well, and when I listened back to it and compared it to how the normal episodes of the podcast had improved from episode one to episode ten, I was a little embarrassed by it. It came off as sloppy and a little lazy, despite the fact that I’d spent maybe more time on its research than any of the other episodes. Poor execution killed all that work, though, so I killed the episode.
Now, on one hand, at that point, I had kind of broken my momentum with the pod–which was already a stop-start affair–and on the other hand my fiction was simultaneously finding more success than it ever had. In previous years I’ve sold stories and had some published, but 2020–a calamitous year for humanity as a whole–was my best year as an author by a longshot. I had my first two professional level short story sales. I made the preliminary ballot for a Stoker Award. I placed a story in the popular No Sleep podcast. I won second place in a contest with the magazine On the Premises and in doing so finally found a home for one of my favorite stories which had come close to being sold numerous times, but was always too much of a crime story to be horror, but too weird to be a crime story, and thus always ended up getting passed. And then, to top it all off, I found an agent who believed in my novel, things progressed from there, and here I am, signed with a major publisher.
Besides all that, I also still kept my day job, which I’m very happy and fortunate to have while so many other people lost theirs. Still, even with all of that going on, Healthy Fears has been in the back of my mind all this time. I still have a lot of episode topics and ideas that I want to get to, and I’ve finally gotten to a point with the rewrites on the book, and the short stories I’ve continued working on, and the next book that I’ve already got a start on, and at least looking into writing a play to submit to a local theatre–just feeling more inspired than ever to be prolific as an author–but I finally feel like I have enough creative energy to spare to return to the podcast. I’m also far enough removed now from the embarrassment of my Halloween 2020 episode that the mild crisis of podcasting confidence I suffered in the aftermath of that no longer has me doubting myself.
So Healthy Fears is coming back for a second season. And I’m doing it right this time. It’s all planned out. A twenty episode season with weekly releases, followed by a bit of a hiatus, before returning for four weeks in October, and then finally wrapping the year with a Christmas special. It’s all mapped out, every episode topic picked and marked on my calendar. I entered season one kind of feeling like I needed to be able to adjust on the fly with the world in 2020 feeling so hectic. I didn’t want to release an episode that’ was timed poorly based on the latest horrible happening. Things aren’t exactly super stable at the time of writing this, but I’m more confident in my approach, based on the limited but supportive reception I received, and I’m certain that I’ll be appropriately tactful and thoughtful with each episode’s subject.
So, with all of that said, welcome to season 2 of the Healthy Fears podcast, and thanks again for sticking with it. Or, if you’re here for the first time, thanks for giving it a shot. The first episode of season 2 is coming out on February 15, right on time to help us turn the page from Valentine’s Day, and I’m looking forward to bringing it back to any and all interested listeners.