Wild Speculation; A Podcast
Who is the man behind the Wild Speculation podcast?
I am Andrew Reising, a husband to a wonderful teacher and father to two amazing kids. I was a bartender before I was laid off due to Covid. I have lived in Toledo for over nine years now.
When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in fiction writing?
I have wanted to be a writer of one sort or another since high school. I have left incomplete and abandoned screenplays, novels, graphic novel scripts, and even musicals in my wake. Finally, a little over two years ago, I actually completed the first draft of a novel.
As a follow up, what made you take it in the direction of producing a podcast?
As I was writing the first draft of my novel, I realized that I did not have the skill and expertise to polish it up enough that agents and publishers would be interested in it. I started taking online writing classes, watching lectures and video essays on writing, and writing short stories.
I thought my stories were good enough that people would want to read them, but not necessarily good enough that people would want to pay for them. This is how I got the idea for the podcast. It was a way to publish and put my stories out there for people to experience for free, but in a way that made clear that effort was put into them.
What have been your biggest challenges along the way?
The first big challenge has been the recording itself. I do not have a place to record, so I record when things are quietest: in the middle of the night. This means slamming energy drinks at 1 am, trying not to let my exhaustion bleed into my voice, and hoping that I don’t miss anything that is unusable, because I will need to stay up another night to re-record anything.
The second challenge, and one I haven’t yet overcome is getting the episodes out with regularity. Both seasons, I had big hopes about putting out an episode every two weeks. And both seasons started that way. But both ended with month-long gaps between episodes.
We’ve all heard of the stereotype of the starving artist. How do you feel about it, and have you ever considered yourself a starving artist?
I am extremely privileged to have an amazing wife who is the primary breadwinner for my family. This enables me to pursue my not-yet-lucrative writing career without having to starve.
But I have a lot of respect for the hustle of artists who are finding ways to pursue their art without having the help I get.
How do you stay hungry for more projects, more new ideas, etc.?
I am a firm believer that fiction is best when it is dialectic, so when I write, it is always in response to something. It may be other fiction (in any form: books, movies, shows, etc.), or it could be something I hear about in the news or read about history.
So, as a more direct answer to your question, I stay hungry because I desire to be a part of the conversation that is society.
What is your favorite part about producing Wild Speculation?
Growing up, I was a theater kid. I loved performing. But I haven’t done that since college. The podcast is a way for me to get a little of that back.
What is your least favorite part about producing Wild Speculation?
As I mentioned above, the only time I can record without having to worry about being interrupted by outside noise is in the middle of the night. I would much rather not be time-restricted like that.
Do you have any routines or rituals to get yourself in the creative flow?
For writing, I check all my social media notifications and get that out of the way. While I do that, I think about what I am planning on writing. Then I start writing. I usually can get a few hundred words in at minimum. After those first few hundred, it becomes clear whether or not I am able to lock in that day. If I am, the next 1-3K words usually come a lot easier than the first few hundred.
For recording, I just start. I usually throw out my first couple of starts on an episode. Like with writing, once I hit a groove, everything goes a lot smoother.
Who/what is your muse? What are some of the inspirations behind your work?
Like I mentioned above, anything and everything!
The story Too Little, Too Late (season 1, episode 7) was a response to learning that the Amazon rainforest is on the verge of collapse, and that our current climate change models don’t factor in the disappearance of the Earth’s largest terrestrial carbon sink.
The story The Wheel of Death (season 2, episode 6) came to me after hearing about a man serving a life sentence whose heart had stopped, and the paramedics revived him, despite him having a do-not-resuscitate order. He tried to claim that, since his heart had stopped, his life sentence should be considered served. The judge threw out that case, but I considered what it might mean if the guy had won the case. I then drew upon what I knew about prison rodeos and for-profit prisons to consider how they might exploit such a thing.
If someone wanted to check out your work, where can they find you?
My author website is writerreising.com. I intermittently blog there, and it has a link to Wild Speculation.
You can find Wild Speculation directly at wildspeculation.buzzsprout.com, or on any major podcast hosting platform.
Can you describe your work in 100 words or less?
Wild Speculation is a speculative fiction anthology podcast in which I explore the many genres and subgenres of speculative fiction, as well as diverse styles, structures, tones, and other elements of writing, through original short stories. It is a place where you can experience my (and, hopefully in the future, others’) works in a dramatic audio presentation.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Thoughtful, deliberate, curious
What is your favorite episode and why?
It is difficult to pick a favorite, as the stories are intentionally so diverse in tone, genre, and style. That being said, I think “The Collector” is probably my best work so far in the podcast.
Do you have plans to do future seasons? If so, when can we expect to listen to them?
Yes! I am working on a rewrite of my novel at the moment, but sometime in the next few months, I plan to start writing stories for season 3. Look for the new season to premiere probably sometime in May or June 2021.
Is there anything else you’d like to share that we might not have covered?
I hinted at this above, but my goal, should Wild Speculation ever become profitable, is to open it up to submissions and feature other people’s stories in it as well! But I won’t be doing that until Wild Speculation brings in enough to cover my editor’s fees, podcast hosting fees, and pay those other authors for their stories.