Behind the Podcast

Over the past few years, podcasts have been popping up like Starbucks restaurants! In truth, the idea has always appealed to me, given I used to make up stories while speaking into a cassette recorder, like my dad did before me. Because of my speech impediment, however, I didn’t think it would be a suitable avenue for me.

Then came my fellow author, TG Wolff. A couple of months after we participated in a virtual panel last year, she invited me to submit a short story to be considered for her podcast, Mysteries to Die For.

The whodunnit had to center around a vehicle of some sort, so I immediately began brainstorming. I wanted to choose something off the beaten path, in an effort to stand out. Being an avid golf cart driver, that was a tempting notion, but I steered a different direction.

I remembered a shuttle my family rode during a couple of vacations in Orlando Airport. Since my series of mysteries novels, The Unde(a)feated Detective Series, is set in the city, I used this as an ample opportunity to bridge the second book, Brother of Interest, and its follow-up, Accidental Allies, coming out later this year. Thus, “A Shuttle to Trouble” entered the station! To my delight, she accepted the proposal I sent her, telling me to have fun with it, and that’s exactly what I did.

But, you may wonder, what’s the inside scoop on the creation of the Mysteries to Die For series? TG Wolff herself is here to answer that!        

“Welcome to Mysteries to Die For”: That’s the way we start our show…but it’s not the way it started. What did a 50-year-old civil engineer / writer / mother and a 16-year-old student / musician / son know about podcasting? Nothing. But we did it anyway.

I am TG Wolff and I write mysteries. Shortly after my book, Widow’s Run, was released, I was hanging out in our piano / computer / everything else room where Jack was playing around with basslines on the piano. His fingers grooved up and down the keyboard and I thought…I can read to that!

Jack was game. He took his baseline, flattened the major key because apparently, “I have a minor voice,” and we found a rate that sounded pretty cool. So, what next?

Let’s do it live! And so we did. In 2019, at Centuries and Sleuths Bookstore in Chicagoland. The audience was small, but they got into it. It was olde time radio-y. Jack and I had fun doing it so, after much over thinking, we decided to launch a podcast.

The first season is WIDOW’S RUN. Each episode was a chapter. Compared to now? Those episodes are pretty bad. We didn’t know what we were doing. I tried doing different voices for each character. Bad idea. Our microphones weren’t the best quality. We were getting by with free software. We were learning.

Seasons 2 and 3, I wrote adaptations of publicly available mysteries. From Poe’s 1841 “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” to the 1925 Earl Derr Bigge’s 1st Charlie Chan “The House Without a Key”, Jack and I brought the earliest mysteries to today’s audience in 8,000 words or less.

With Season 4, we went in our current direction, inviting authors to write new mysteries for our listeners and readers and, of course, Jack, to try to solve. “A Word Before Dying” was themed around on the last word spoken before death. Season 5 “Move It or Lose It”, which is dropping now, is themed around vehicles of all kinds. We are in the middle of planning for Season 6 “Things that Go Jack in the Night.” It’s the most unusual collection of mysteries you’ll ever hear…or read. Think jackalopes, jack-in-the-boxes, and lumberjacks. And we have more ideas brewing that will keep mystery lovers entertained.

Karina and I first met virtually during a COVID modified Ohioana Book Festival. Jack and I are very happy to count Karina among our authors for this season and to have her detective, Minka Avery, solve a mystery to die for.

About “A Shuttle to Trouble”

​Minka Avery and her family have just come off a relaxing Jamaican getaway…followed by an exhausting flight. The source of their exasperation? Lloyd Wells, a fellow passenger who drives everyone crazy with his incessant demands.

The grumpy man finds a friend in Minka’s husband, Wes, and accompanies him for the entire journey. Just when they expect to break free of him, he dies on the airport shuttle, poisoned by exposure to coconut, his dreaded allergen. 

With a tram full of suspects, can Minka use her sleuth’s instincts to crack the coconut wide open before the killer can fly away?    

“A Shuttle to Trouble” begins streaming TOMORROW at 1:30PM EDT on!

Also available in the accompanying anthology, Move it or Lose it.

3 thoughts on “Behind the Podcast

  1. Thank you for sharing your inspiration for Minka’s short, Karina. I love learning the little nuggets that turn in gems. I hope your readers enjoy Minka’s latest case as much as I did. Brava!

    Liked by 1 person

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