DR. MEL'S MESSAGE - From my novels to my other projects, no telling what you will read. This is the only place you will get to read about how I developed a screenplay into a novel and what is the driving force. I will talk about many things from films to books to acting to producing. It really will depend on where my mind takes me. I hope you will join me on this journey.
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Visit https://www.hollyshannon.com for equipment and service providers listed in the book. Because it is my job to ensure you get everything you need to succeed.
Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew
up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the
I grew up in Connecticut and now live in Washington, DC. I moved
to this new home during the pandemic and an election! I also lived out of a hotel
for 3 months till we found a place to live. It was an electrifying experience and
I’m glad for the experience to be honest. I usually describe myself as a Swiss
Army Knife in business and marketing. My background started in 5-star hospitality
and planning events. I pivoted to jewelry design when I was home with my son. And
now I’m a Producer, Host, and Author. But more than anything, I’m a mom, a wife,
a sister, a friend, and a dog mom! I believe in family above all else. These past
two years brought that home to me. I try not to overlook that. I’m a lifelong learner
if you couldn’t tell. I’m interested in so many things and hope that my passion
to learn will never fade. I feel like books are mini-masterminds. I’m humbled by
the innovation that has been birthed during this time. It’s been interesting to
interview people and learn about the things they have created, improvised through
What inspired you to author your book?
I was inspired to write this book because I’m insanely curious
about many topics. I wanted the ability to launch other podcasts without having
to go back to YouTube University and ﬁgure it all out again!
I would also add that when I launched my podcast, Culture Factor,
I had zero experience in audio editing, interviewing and the software platforms
necessary to publish your show for the world to hear on Apple Podcasts, Spotify,
Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?
The book cover was interesting to me. I had found something
in Canva that represented the play/pause button. I thought it would be cheeky to
insert my face in the play button. I thought this would imply that I will help you
press play on your new show.
Who has been the most significant influence on you
personally and as a writer?
I’m not sure that I had a speciﬁc person or inﬂuence to decide
to write a book. I was co-producing the podcast, Culture Factor. When our relationship
was dissolving, I needed to replicate my success in launching another show if this
one did not survive. I would say fear and my love of podcasting collided at this
point and became the inﬂuence behind writing this book. I did get the writing bug
though, it’s possible there will be other books. At the moment, I’m learning
about NFTS, blockchain and cryptocurrency, so perhaps there is another guidebook
in the future!
What were the struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to
get this book written?
All said, my obstacles in writing Zero To Podcast would be time
and location. We had moved during the pandemic to a new state. We were living out
of a hotel and I was in the lobby writing this book everyday for 3 months! I felt
this ﬁre to ﬁnish it in a short time frame so that I could launch a new show for
the new year if need be. Thankfully, I did not have to do that. But when I was done
writing it, I felt I needed to share it with the world. It was a step-by-step guide
that no other books offered. I could not ﬁnd them when I was learning. Zero To Podcast
saves future producers this waste of time.
Tell your readers about your book.
Zero To Podcast is the deﬁnitive guide to get your voice on iTunes
and Spotify. It will get you from start to ﬁnish, in a short timeframe. It makes
it possible with little or no money and with no podcasting experience. It does not
matter if you are technically challenged or technically proﬁcient. It gets to the
point with no ﬁller. It’s about 60 pages with a journal attached to keep your show
notes all in one place.
Who is your target audience, and why?
If you listen to podcasts, you’ll hear a huge diversity of voices.
It welcomes everyone and there is no barrier to entry. I believe that women have
a hard time being heard and I know my book will allow them to share their voice
globally with no one stopping them. I believe everyone should own their own microphone.
I say this because I don’t think I ever had or have a target audience!
If you were going to give one reason for anyone looking at
your book to read, why should they buy it?
I would suggest my book over others because I wrote it using
the skills of a beginner. I had no audio engineering background, no
interviewing experience. Many books are written now on the subject, but by people
that have been in the industry a long time.
What is missing are the ﬁne details from the beginner mindset
and skill set. Zero To Podcast has all of the steps so you don’t have to guess or
invest extra time researching for the answers. You will be a podcaster when you
ﬁnish this book.
What do you consider your greatest success in life?
I have been fortunate to have several successes as a serial entrepreneur.
So perhaps the underlying trait is my tenacity, perseverance, and grit in the face
of challenges. But hands down, my greatest success is my son. I’m hopeful that he
has seen some of these traits in action and will use them too.
What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in
I think the one thing that sets me apart from other writers in
this space is the beginner mindset and skill set I mentioned. There are some similar
books published, but if you are learning audio editing by someone who has done it
for ten years, it is likely the nuances and details will get lost in translation.
As a newbie, I had to learn and practice the steps, I share those in the book. I
think that my lack of experience allowed me to walk people through and not skip
anything that a seasoned podcaster might forget to share.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
I don’t think I had writer’s block in this instance. I think
I had such a ﬁre under me that it ﬂowed quickly out of me. I also had my notes from
launching my ﬁrst podcast, so I had the framework.
What one piece of advice do you have for new authors.
I think my one piece of advice is the same one I have for podcasters,
share your ideas and voice with the world. Whether you use a microphone or a pen
or a computer, there is an audience that will resonate with your story. And to that
end, a podcast is a great way to market your book and build a community. But I suppose
that is another article!
Tell your readers anything else you want to share.
My last comment is that podcasting is a democratized platform.
What I mean by this is that there are no barriers to entry. You do not need permission
to share your voice and ideas with the world. This medium provides you with a global
footprint. My show, Culture Factor, is on every podcast App from Apple to Spotify
to iHeart to Pandora and is heard in over 89 countries. Keep in mind, it is a great
branding tool for authors too!