Talking about writing — that’s what James Kelly does every week as the host of the web-radio show Aspects of Writing (amfm247.com). According to Kelly, some 2.5 million people tune in to hear him and his guests talk about the art, craft, and business of the written word. Writers who’ve appeared on the show include such local names as Amanda Skenandore, Marty Allen, Brian Rouff, Paul Atreides (and me). Aimed at writers of every developmental level, the show’s topics have included writers’ groups, the ups and downs of collaboration, genre writing, self-publishing, script-writing, and more. (Past episodes are archived at aspectsofwriting.com or on Kelly’s YouTube channel.)
What makes Aspects of Writing special?
The people. You get to talk to every person from every walk of life, every background possible, rich or poor, every ethnicity, the novice to the accomplished. That's what I love about it, the diversity in that show. Every time I do my show I learn something. Every time.
How does one earn a spot on your show?
If you're an author or writer, you've earned a spot.
English is my worst subject. When my first novel came out, the people I was surrounded by were very educated. They were constantly telling me, “You'll never be a writer because you don't have the credentials.” But, in my opinion, it's about creativity. Just because of the degree doesn't mean you know more. I struggled so hard because I had to fight all those demons.
Whoever's on my show, if they have a concept or an idea, then they can write it. On my website it says, “If you can dream it, you can write it.” And I really do believe that.
What most motivates you to do what you do?
The biggest motivator is my other half. I was going to give up on the show when KLAV (the AM station on which Aspects of Writing first aired) switched to an all-Hispanic network. But then I decided, “I’ll produce it myself,” because I was passionate about the writing. And he encouraged me. “Just buy the equipment you need. Go out there and see if you can find a network that will take you.” On KLAV I had what we believe was about 4,800 listeners. And today it’s grown into about two and a half million. So, I’m kinda glad I had the encouragement from my other half.
You have an event coming up.
We’re doing a lecture series, November 3, on writing and publishing. Go to the website to learn more about that under the events section. It’s a five-panel discussion (topics to include “purpose and passion,” editing, marketing, and publishing options).
Anyone who attends our seminars, they will also attend (a group book-launch) for free. We have this theme, where it’s a picnic. You don’t go up and buy a hamburger. Every time you buy a book, you get a coupon that’s good for a burger, good for a Coke, or whatever. The idea behind that is that you encourage people to buy more than one book.
What is your favorite show topic?
Why you became a writer. Those things are fascinating to me. Everyone has a reason for coming to the table as a writer.