This Podcast Needs a Title

The One with Peter and Erica

April 07, 2021 Peter Malone Elliott & Erica Davis Season 1 Episode 0
This Podcast Needs a Title
The One with Peter and Erica
Show Notes Transcript

Who are your co-hosts, and what do they do? In this introductory episode, Peter Malone Elliott and Erica Davis introduce themselves and talk about what and why they write, plus some stuff about what to expect from this podcast.

Erica Davis:

Hey, everyone. Welcome to This Podcast Needs a Title. That over there is Peter Malone Elliott.

Peter Malone Elliott:

And that is Erica Davis. And this is real talk about writing publishing and everything in between.

Erica Davis:

It's a podcast for writers about writers by writers.

Peter Malone Elliott:

We're going to help simplify the writing life by bringing on writers, agents, editors, and what the, Hey, maybe even you, and we're going to welcome questions via Twitter, @ThePodcastTitle, but we'll get to that later, mainly because, well, I don't really understand Twitter, but Erica does. So that's good.

Erica Davis:

Fair enough.

Peter Malone Elliott:

Yeah .

Erica Davis:

Each episode of this podcast needs a title is going to have some structured chaos and possibly some crying because for me, writing can be an emotional thing. Uh , the reasons I write maybe driven by emotions.

Peter Malone Elliott:

Yeah.

Erica Davis:

And that takes it out of you sometimes.

Peter Malone Elliott:

Sure. You know, whenever I open up Microsoft word, just a single tear just comes out of my, my right eye .

Erica Davis:

I don't believe you.

Peter Malone Elliott:

You don't have to, I can do it.

Erica Davis:

It's accurate.

Peter Malone Elliott:

So on that note, you're probably wondering who the heck we are and well, why pipeline, let us do a podcast. So we're going to tell you, Erica,

Erica Davis:

I love talking about myself.

Peter Malone Elliott:

Me too.

Erica Davis:

I hope that's true.

Peter Malone Elliott:

Well, I guess we're going to find out.

Erica Davis:

True story. Here we go. Peter, who are you and what do you do?

Peter Malone Elliott:

Well, thank you for that question. No, I I'm the director of operations at book pipeline. Uh, I help run the two contests that we have the adaptation contest and the unpublished contest. I circulate our winners and runners up to agents and editors and otherwise just run the day-to-day of the division. Um , so I do that by day. And then by night I'm a produced screenwriter and playwright. Who's working on their first novel.

Erica Davis:

Nice.

Peter Malone Elliott:

And most importantly, I'm a grandpa. I'm 72 year old man in a 27 year olds body doesn't understand social media and loves bourbon. Yup. bourbon, bourbon drink. And what do you do Recently? I was a developmental editor, a freelance, and as of about four and a half days ago, I am now a management executive with pipeline specifically. Applause. Thank you. Thank you. Pipeline media group, I think is our full , full title. Right . Um, and let's see, before that I coached adult learners through the writing process in a higher education. That was about a decade of my life, which I learned a lot and it turned out those skills in higher education were directly applicable to my friends who are also writing fiction. I can freely admit this. I am a much better developmental editor than I am a writer, and that's something I'm working on. I want to be at least good of a writer as I am an editor for other people. And that's, that's a goal. And , uh , more recently I apprenticed with the literary agency to see if that was my call to publishing because I was getting really curious about like the business and the legal side of how a book comes to acquisitions. And , um , I know I'm the type of person that would need a literary agent if one of the time comes because I could not see , I don't even negotiate at garage sales. I'm like, just tell me what you want for that, you know , sweet Valley twins book. I'll , I'll take it. I'm the worst Hagler next , uh, inquiring minds want to know what we write Peter,

Erica Davis:

The question, the end, all questions , uh , across all mediums, there , there are pretty much two boxes genre wise that I like the plan. Uh, typically I do period dramas and I do character-driven thrillers. Uh, every now and again, I'll sprinkle a little extra seasoning on top of that. Like I'll , I'll throw in a little bit of a horror on top of a thriller or a little bit of a dark comedy on top of a period drama. Um, the, the, the biggest example of this is probably how I came to pipeline to begin with before I got hired as a worker bee, I won their screenwriting contest with a script about the kidnapping of Frank Sinatra Jr. Which is a period drama. Obviously it was set in 1963, but it was, I told it through a darkly comedic lens because if you know anything about that true story, the kidnappers were to put it politely, inept and stone a lot of the time. So it just felt right to do it that way. Wow. Currently I'm working on a , uh , psychological suspense novel. So those are the boxes that I like to plan.

Peter Malone Elliott:

That's kind of cool. Thank you, Erica. How about you? What I write? Um, I've always loved reading middle grade horror, the goosebumps books , um, anything by anything by Mary Downing Han , um, what's the other guy's name for our listeners? She's looking at her bookshelf. Thank you. The creep over series. Any of that stuff? I just, I loved it. I was always reading advanced of the advance of my own grade level, but I plateaued when I hit like seventh grade, I just fell in love with that genre and it never ended. But recently , um, my attempts at mg horror have been shifting so organically into the young adult realm . Like I just, the characters, I want them to still be as immature as a seventh grader, much. Like I was at age 23, but my main character is more naturally feeling like a 23 year old, but she's still, you know, a titling idiot. What this titling word ? I don't know. She's still a fumbling naive idiot. And my story is her, you know, coming of rage story, if you will. Yeah . So anything with ghost crap, but always, always, always bounced with humor, which is a huge piece of how I get through life. Yeah. Just defense mechanisms and coping mechanisms of humor stuff. Yeah.

Erica Davis:

For horror . Do you , do you, do you like to do Gore or

Peter Malone Elliott:

No ? Oh, heavens. Now I am. Burrless horror. Yeah . Horror. And that comes from my experience with horror movies, which I do really enjoy except the body horror, the , the blood, the Gore it's either way too real. It's just either way too real or way too fake. And I have yet to see any middle ground. My one exception to that is cabin in the woods. Um ,

Erica Davis:

I've heard it's great. I haven't seen it.

Peter Malone Elliott:

Inquiring minds. Want to know why we right . Peter? What about you? Why do you ready ?

Erica Davis:

I've always known. I've wanted to write. My, my mother is a New York times bestselling novelist. So I've always known it's what I've wanted to do. It's been a matter of figuring out exactly what medium. Um, I started out in high school doing journalism. Um, despite my publishing background, you know, I grew up reading my mom's galleys and going to New York city with her when she was meeting her editors at Harper Collins. And I got a really good holistic education that way. Um , then I pivoted a little bit to focus on film and TV and play writing . Um, and I did that for my college years and a few years after that. Um, so, but now I'm currently working on a novel, like I said, so it's nice to be pivoting back to my , my publishing routes . Um, in terms of like, why I like to write, I'm going to say something really cheesy, just heavy on the,

Peter Malone Elliott:

Oh, I love Gouda. Go ahead. It's really good. Yeah. I

Erica Davis:

Come across as sometimes a cranky pessimistic guy, but at my heart, I believe that that humankind, I believe in the perfectability of humankind. And I think the best way that people can do that is through storytelling and through holding up a mirror to the dark crevices of our souls and exploring the , the grays of the human condition. And that's how we get better and grow as a species. And that's,

Peter Malone Elliott:

I think the

Erica Davis:

Most important thing we can do, and I think storytelling is the best way to do that.

Peter Malone Elliott:

Wow. Why do you, right ? Uh , my fifth grade teacher was an hat . The short story is I was always a mediocre student. Um , my two big sisters are very, very good students, always were, and that's hard to live up to. So I didn't even bother trying. I was just bored. I was lazy. And that was until we got this first creative writing assignment in fifth grade, she grades them and hands them back to us one at a time she posts mine face down on the desk and asks me who wrote this. And I'm like, laughing. I'm like I did. And she's like, no, who wrote this? Any potential for a love of writing , uh , was extinguished before I could even start until halfway through graduate school, I think. And just when the pressure was off, when there was no teachers breathing down my neck telling me what to write, how to write that's when I'm like, all right, let me just, my journal entry has got a little more creative. My theory was that my future grandchildren or great, great grand nieces, I want to give them something interesting to read. So I just sort of would flub in there. And then that got to be a little bigger, a little bigger. And then just, I started trying my hand at novels, which will never see the light of day. And I'm very proud of that. The conclusion there is everything I write is done exclusively to prove that teacher wrong. Speaking of the next question is, do we have, do either of us have any publications or close calls to publication? What about you? Well,

Erica Davis:

Right now I'm a publishing novice, but I'm hoping to change that with my first book, but , uh, I am a produced screenwriter in playwrights and through my day job at book pipeline, I'm constantly in communication with the agents and publishers. So I feel like I can, I can bring a little something, something through that perspective. Nice. Yeah. Erica, what about you? Any publications or close calls?

Peter Malone Elliott:

My current work in progress is probably my seventh formal manuscript, like where I actually saw it through to the end chapters and have gone through several revisions with it. The first six were absolutely just learning curve, teaching myself to write a book, I'm reading my favorite stuff. And just trying to mimic the patterns of speech, the patterns of chapter breaks, that kind of thing. But I've only ever gotten to the query stage with a nonfiction book proposal about how to quit graduate school with a plum , like how to , how to quit graduate school, like a champ. And , uh , I'm in, based on real life experience , uh, best decision I ever made, not specifically my master's degree, that one came through just fine, but the doctoral program, it was not a horrible experience. It just wasn't the right one for me. And to date, my biggest publishing flex has got to be writing about grief and fandom for Nerdist. Yeah.

Erica Davis:

Darn. I even know what Nerdist is and that's something. Thank you.

Peter Malone Elliott:

That's a lot of information. Wow. I like hearing about this though and talking about it.

Erica Davis:

Yeah. I mean, it's, it's, you know, especially in the times that we're in, although it looks like we're on the tail end of the pandemic, thankfully, but it's nice to feel like we're not in a vacuum, you know, it's , it's nice to have someone else to talk to it with similar interests and career goals and et cetera.

Peter Malone Elliott:

Honestly, that's 50% of why I'm doing this. This is, this is I'm lonely. It's boring. There's only so much I can say to my three dogs before they just keep ignoring me as, you know ,

Erica Davis:

My dog doesn't like me, except for, you know, I'm, I'm a vending machine. Let's , let's be honest. Vending machines need love to Peter. He says with a single tear coming down, his red eye. Yeah . Yeah. There's boxes behind

Peter Malone Elliott:

You that maybe there's tissue in a lot of them

Erica Davis:

On that cheery note. Erica , what can we expect in each episode?

Peter Malone Elliott:

Great question. Who knows is the short answer and that's pretty answering . That's pretty intentional on our part guys, Peter and I did spend a lot of time planning out ideas and themes for each episode. And basically what's going to happen is we're going to center our topic for that day on that guest and whatever they want to talk about.

Erica Davis:

We're also excited to open up to questions from you guys. You know, we, we, we would take questions from you ahead of the episode, recording on Twitter. You could ask whoever our guest is questions and we might be able to answer some of them directly. And, you know, w we want to include you as part of this. I mean, that's, that's the whole point of this is joining the writing community together, right? Yup . So in closing, I think we should also probably talk about our title.

Peter Malone Elliott:

I really do want to address this. I really do because much to my personal surprise, we have had zero questions about our title. I think one person on yesterday's hashtag pipeline authors chat did say, is that, do you guys really need to title? Here's an idea. And they had a nice idea. We like this one. We didn't really,

Erica Davis:

I feel good about any of them, but we came up with a few ones that were like, okay, this is all right. So we presented them to our pod father and pod mother, Matt Meritage, and Jeannie Bowerman shut up . And like the heavens opened up, Matt, I'm imagining this was over text, but I'm imagining he was standing on a Hill. And he wrote in all caps, this podcast needs a title

Peter Malone Elliott:

In fairness. We're still not sure if he was yelling at us or offering it as a title, but that it might've been both. That was the first and only title option that gave me that spark of joy. That felt it clicked into place Rica moment . It was the Eureka moment. Absolutely. Yeah.

Erica Davis:

And it's, you know, and we realize it's the more we thought about it. It's kind of perfect because you know, the , the essence of this show is two writers talking about writing and struggling to get something seemingly as simple as a title, you know, out there. And it's kind of ended up great.

Peter Malone Elliott:

There are no rules, but we're going to try each episode to figure out what works for different people

Erica Davis:

And shed light on a different aspect of the industry with the guest that is excelling in that area

Peter Malone Elliott:

Or trying the hardest , hardest if we're interviewing each other at some point true. But there's the rub. None of this is simple. And with that, we conclude episode zero. Yes. Oh, we did it. You did, but you mute it out. As you were screaming, your microphone cut you. Oh, that's crazy. It didn't like what I was doing. It just muted you Mike, you didn't like it. I get that reference. In episode . In episode one, we have a really special guest who is not only a pitch Wars mentee two times over , uh , but she may or may not have just received an offer of representation from a literary agent. And we'll be hearing more about that from her. Her name is huddle Avani, AKA at huddle writes on Twitter.

Erica Davis:

And if you guys have any questions, rants or raves about writing, or you want to learn more about us or pipeline, please visit pipeline artists.com and follow us on the Tweety bird at the podcast title

Peter Malone Elliott:

Tweety bird. Yeah. Is that too much? Yeah.