Sunday, November 06, 2016

THE NEXT YETI INTERVIEW...

BACK WITH THE BEARGRRRIAN GAZETTE...

Hello beasties!

Yes, it's another interview...

First up - I just posted a new podcast episode - here is all you need to know:

THE SHY LIFE PODCAST - 32: IT'S MY PARTY...

Here we are for EPISODE 32!!! This time Shy Yeti receives a slightly early birthday surprise from Yeti Uncle John and Dameus Twinklehorn. I'm sorry - but I can't tell you who our guests are this time, because it must be a surprise for you listeners too! Needless to say it's a hoot of a show! Thank you to my special guests! Please email me at shyyeti@yahoo.co.uk if you have any comments - you can even send me a sound-file and I'll include it on the show. The music is by Shy Yeti, Luca and Soundbible. This episode and all contents are Copyright Paul Chandler, 2016. Episode 32 was recorded between the 24th September and 26th October 2016. Mr Yeti will be on vacation next week - but expects to post another episode in about ten days time.  P.S. Happy (50th) birthday to Jay The Hauntcub on the day this episode is released!!

This episode can be downloaded on iTunes, Acast, Podbean and also from Soundcloud at the following link:


I'm about to head off to Venice - this very day, in fact - so I'll leave you with a new interview between me and the good fellows from The Beargrrrian Gazette... With a bit of luck I'll have something new for you in a week or so once I return from Italian shores! With my luck!

Enjoy the interview! More soon!

Take care!

Yeti hugs,

Paul xx

A ELEVENTH SLIGHTLY-OVER 60 SECOND CHAT WITH SHY YETI

Here is recent interview from Beargrrria’s top magazine for chat; THE GROWL GAZETTE. They know me there due partly to my dubious connection with Beargrrrian superstar, Charlie Grrr. This is the 11th time that they have interviewed me in recent years – they like to check up on me every six months or so. As usual I mainly discuss what I’m up to creatively - so here’s what they asked and what I said in reply; straight from the yeti’s mouth, as it were!!!

Q. Welcome Mr Yeti!

Hello… It’s absolutely fantabulous to be back!

Q. Please can you tell us about the books that you’ve published in the last few months?

A. Certainly. Well, we may have discussed some of them when we last spoke – but at the start of the year I published the first seasons of my two new script-series, HOT STUFF!! and KENSINGTON GORE and also my long-awaited (mainly by myself) collection, A YETI WAY OF THINKING. I’ve been enjoying performing poems from this book – so it’s good to finally have it out there, having worked on it for some time.

Q. What are your projects in terms of what you expect to be publishing next…

A. Well, I’m working on the final proofing of the second seasons of both HOT STUFF!! and KENSINGTON GORE. At the moment, however, I am actually prioritising the BEAST OF FRIENDS – MOVIE SCRIPT. I’d especially like to have this out around the time of my birthday in November. I began writing the script in Venice two years ago and am going back again this birthday - not only were those early scenes written there but the story is also set in Venice! It’s possible that I will take a proof copy of the book with me when I return – take photos with it there and then finally publish it in late November or early December… Now that I am also working on my podcast there is a good chance that the second season of HOT STUFF!! and KENSINGTON GORE will be held back until January or February 2017. I had been working on writing at night, but now most of my evenings are spent working on the latest podcast episodes.

Q. What new material are you currently working on?

A. Aside for the editing of those projects that I've already mentioned I am actually writing the first drafts of episodes for the 5th season of HOT STUFF!! and the 4th season of KENSINGTON GORE. I’m working on blog-posts and also on yeti scripts for my blog and I’ve also just started a new writing project with one of my oldest writing chums, Nick Goodman – but that is still untitled and in the very early stages. We are taking turns writing chapters - Nick has written two, so far - and I am just about to begin writing my third episode.

Q. Can you tell us about the Shy Yeti scripts that you've been working on and how that came about? Will you be releasing these scripts as a book at some stage?

A. This series of scripts really just started off as I was looking for something silly to write for my blog – but I enjoyed doing it so much that I wrote another and then another… The first script was just a sketch where Shy is asked to write a musical – coming up with increasingly bizarre ideas... Later scripts take a humorous look at libraries, noise pollution and acting amongst other subjects. After a while I decided to introduce a fictionalised version of real-life podcast master, Toppie Smellie and added a background series arc throughout a number of the scripts. I quickly decided that I’d like to put the scripts into a book. Originally it was going to be all the scripts that I did during 2016 – but as I have now added the story arc I will wait to put the book out when that element is concluded, sometime during 2017 now; there's no rush! It may be that I continue on after that and that there will eventually be enough for a second book – we shall see! I recently recorded the first few scripts for my podcast and am aiming to record them all eventually. I am glad to be able to add that Toppie himself has agreed to play his character in any script where he appears, should I reach that far in recording them.

Q. How did The Smellcast’s Toppie Smellie become involved with this project?

I’ve been a listener of THE SMELLCAST and the anarchic discussion show LOTSL for two or three years now and Toppie is involved in both. Over that time, due to shared interests, we got chatting about my series, SUTTON PARK and his series, PICKLE HOLLOW – not to mention our love of the series DARK SHADOWS (1966-1971) amongst other things. Toppie later invited me to be a guest on his show and as this went so well I was keen to get him on THE SHY LIFE PODCAST, around the same time that I decided (with his blessing) to include him in my Shy Yeti scripts! It just seemed a nice idea for Shy Yeti and Toppie Smellie to exist in the same universe as, in real life, we live so far away.

Q. Can you tell us some more about your new show, THE SHY LIFE PODCAST?

A. It’s called THE SHY LIFE PODCAST and I’ve released 32 episodes since late May. It was one of those ideas that suddenly just happened! It began as a vague idea that I’d like to do a podcast at some stage and then developed into something real and recorded once I started to look into how I could go about doing my own show. I decided that I’d like to do a show recorded both at home and on the move – with a mixture of interviews, sketches and poems - a show where I could change the format week by week and where it would be possible to record using my phone. Initially, I thought I’d spend the summer getting material together  - with the aim to release my first episodes in the autumn… Of course, in reality, it only took a day or two and I’d recorded enough for a short pilot episode – and decided to have a go at editing it. I released that and soon after, my first full episode also emerged; with both of them soon available on Soundcloud. It was only a few quick steps on before I had a logo sorted and the show was up on iTunes, as well – and I’ve not stopped since. So far we’ve had a mixture of silliness, star guests and locations – including recording overseas – and I’m very happy with how it’s progressing. Most of the guests have been friends of mine – or fellow podcasters or poets – discussing the things we have in common or things that they are particularly enthusiastic about. I’ve recorded at poetry shows – on buses and trains – whilst also pottering about on my way to somewhere else – I’ve also made sure to include plenty of my stories and poems. In October I did my first live show - which I hope to do at 4pm (EDT) / 9pm (GMT) on the third Sunday of every month - with my second live show due in a couple of weeks. I’ve listened to quite a lot of podcasts in the last few years and I think I’m safe in saying that, for better or worse, there aren’t many podcasts quite like THE SHY LIFE PODCAST; but I think this is a good thing!

Q. Why choose to go down the podcast route rather than doing more videos? Do you see this as a long-term project?

A. I suppose the best reason for podcasting is to say – because I’m very much into podcasts at the moment and have interacted (and become friends) with many podcasters in recent months and so this seems to be the right time to be seeing how I fit into the world of podcasting myself. I think the interviews, the reading of my work and the personal diary side of the show (including my cat’s nagging) certainly works best in an audio format; you can also present a far longer show as a podcast than you probably ever would with a youtube video and it's quite a different experience swapping visual for audio. I like that it’s something that people might listen to on their commute to work or whilst doing something else - as this is one of the reasons I first started listening to podcasts myself.

The audio format has also allowed me to include clips from ancient episodes of Sutton Park – vaguely filling in the context and then allowing the daft ad-libs to speak for themselves. I am currently going through the process of converting the old tapes to digital and this means that in the future I will be able to put more clips on Youtube, but it is nice to use this archive footage on the podcast too. Once again, I think I'm pretty safe in saying that there's nothing out there quite like Sutton Park!! (3200 episodes +!!)

I would definitely like to add that I do, most definitely, see this as a long term project – I’m not too worried about how long it takes to build an audience, but it’s been good to see the numbers creeping up month by month – although I know from having done all those Youtube videos that it is not always easy to understand how these figures work - fluctuating quite wildly at times. Still, it’s fun to see new people discovering the podcast and to see new download figures for the older episodes, as listeners decide that they would like to begin at the beginning.

Looking back, I'm pretty proud of all my Youtube / Vimeo videos that I made and I’m using a lot of the lessons learnt whilst making those when I’m working on my podcast. Many podcasts are recorded in one sitting, with maybe minimal editing – whilst mine is often made up from a number of shorter sketches or segments recorded at different times, rather like those videos, in a way.

Inspired by these older videos I have been making some super-short videos clips – maybe a minute long and perfect for social media – that promote certain episodes of the show, especially the ones where I have filmed overseas or there is a special occasion. It is nice to still have a chance to use video as a way of promoting the show – but I can't see myself ever really progressing to vblogs as I know from my own experience that I really don’t have time to watch video podcasts – podcasts are perfect for me whilst I am doing something else – commuting or shelving books or the like, but everybody has a different experience to tell.

The more I listen to podcasts the more I have realised how many different varieties there are and how some of these varieties may blend to create slightly new hybrids. I don’t tend to listen to big budget shows - although with some good editing it's amazing how polished some smaller podcasts can sound. Of course, sound quality is really one of the major selling points, with doing something original and different being a close second. I also follow a few podcasts that focus on horror films – many of them pretty obscure films and you simply don’t get “big budget” podcasts that discuss these films – they are perfect for well-versed fans to discuss. I also listen to a number of topical or personal diary shows – sometimes these are separate or sometimes they merge together.

Whether rightly or wrongly I would say that my show is a mixture of all the different styles of show – diary, on location, discussion – of all manner of topics; it’s whatever I want it to be that week! Sure, we do talk a lot about me, but we also discuss films and music and some of our interviews cover quite serious subjects. I still love the fact that I record with my phone and can just take it out and start recording at a moment’s notice – in a way that might be harder to do if I was working with video or with more sound equipment. It’s also fun to be focussing on different guests each episode (or even “being” the guest on more than one occasion!) I’m not saying that I’ll never complete another Youtube video, but for now it’s all about the podcast.

Q. You have also appeared on a number of other podcasts? How did that come about?

A. Well, so far I’ve only really featured on two or three podcasts – the most prominent of these being Toppie Smellie’s THE SMELLCAST where initially I sent a few sound files for inclusion, having been a listener for eighteen months or so and having chatted to Toppie online about shared interests. This eventually led to me being interviewed by Toppie back in the Spring – an interview that appeared over two SMELLCAST episodes during July 2016, (numbers 414-415). I’m most genuine when I say that it was quite an honour to be interviewed by a fellow creative who I respect; it means a great deal and because we share common ground and so that makes for a good interview, I think. We ended up talking again for THE SHY LIFE PODCAST in late July and those chats appeared on episode 15 and 16… I also recorded spots for the Halloween episode at that time and then we chatted again for some special shows in late September / early October 2016. Other than THE SMELLCAST I’ve also guested on LOTSL (Life On The Shit List) – another of my favourite shows. I was due to be a guest back in April – but technology got the better of me – so I’m very glad that second time around we were luckier and all came out well! Other than these shows I have also recorded messages or called in to POD IS MY CO-PILOT, BIG FATTY ONLINE, VERA SPEAKS… FOR REAL! and the recently retired GREETINGS FROM NOWHERE. In addition to this I have been sending a series of messages to Tim and James from the TASTES LIKE BURNING podcast. These messages were extremely silly and involved an alien kidnapping and some characters who ended up transferring over to my own show! It was especially nice that something so off the cuff has developed into another element of my own show!

Q. And you’ve also been making music?

A. Yes – on Garageband, mainly using and mixing together different loops that are available on that app… I’ve used an older version of Garageband on an old Mac that I inherited and recorded my two poetry albums that way – but I’ve never experimented with actual music to such an extent. My experience changed a few months back because my new iPhone has Garageband on it and so I was able to sit on the train and just play about with the loops and combine them until I had my very own instrumentals. Initially I was posting them on my Soundcloud account for fun – but it was soon after that I began including them on my podcast and this gave me a reason to make even more of them. It certainly helps that any music that one makes this way is copyright free for use on such projects. I was even recently commissioned to write a tune for my friend Lisa and Trowby’s new podcast, ROUND THE ARCHIVES as they were looking for some end title music! I loved doing that and also being in control of what music goes into my own show. In addition I also played piano in a recently recorded episode of THE SHY LIFE PODCAST – an instrument that I used to play as a child! For better or for worse, my piano playing will probably appear in some episodes towards the end of the year.

Q. You have also been back on hospital radio since we last chatted…

A. Yes, indeed – I made my return back in July – it was my first visit in over 4 years; how time flies! I also went back again at the start of October and read my poems alongside another writer, Nathan A Jones. The first time I was able to do a behind-the-scenes episode for the podcast and it’s been one of my highest rated episodes of the year. The second time I included our readings in an edition of the podcast where I was having a very busy weekend. I'm hoping to go back again, probably along with Nathan, in December.

Q. Are there any other projects that you expect to still be released this year?

A. My thoughts on this have changed a bit since earlier in the year – originally I was planning on releasing three new script-books before the end of the year – THE BEAST OF FRIENDS special and the second seasons of KENSINGTON GORE and HOT STUFF!! Now, THE BEAST SPECIAL will definitely be out towards the end of November; as it’s effectively ready, but as I’m returning to Venice in November – which is where the story is set – I want to add a few photos from that trip before it is published. The 2nd seasons will now probably be out in January – which means that I can take my time with those other two over the next month or two; they’re well over half-way done, so early 2017 is certainly doable. This all works out quite well – because I had planned on releasing the Yeti Scripts in early 2017 – but now this has also been put back as I have decided to add extra scripts. With a bit of luck 2017 will also see a collection of writings from my blog and possibly even the third seasons of GORE and HOT STUFF!!

Q. Is there any news on new Mouse Of Commons projects?

A. Not at the moment, I’m afraid – but there are definitely still between two or three books that I want to release once I have time to finish them… I have been working on these projects this year on and off in spare moments – but not enough that I expect anything to be released during 2016. Maybe I’ll write something mousey for my Christmas piece this year; it wouldn’t be the first time that I have done so and it would be nice to revisit those characters. I’ve certainly missed them!

Q. Will there be any further poetry projects?

A. The major one is a compilation of my writings from my blog over the last couple of years - although I’ve not written many poems at all lately, more short prose pieces. I have also considered repackaging my best of collections – combining SHY YETI RULES OKAY and SHY YETI STILL RULES OKAY and then adding any new pieces that I may have written since that second collection, which I think worthy of inclusion. In 2017 it’s 25 years since I first started writing poetry and I think that a renewed collection would be a nice way of celebrating that. I’m also considering tweaking my older collections POEMS TO MAKE BEARS GROWL and RHYMES BEARS STEAL PIES FOR which are having their tenth birthdays – although there isn’t much that can be done to improve these that would make it worth doing a special edition for – and at the moment I’m also pretty happy with the look of all of my poetry collections, released since 2006.

Q. How did your show go at the Poetry Café back in July?

A. Very well – it was a nice crowd – not a big crowd, but then that space doesn’t really lend itself to a mob, especially in the summer! The twenty plus people we had there is just about perfect or else it starts to become uncomfortably cramped, not to mention stuffy. A couple of my friends travelled all the way up from Salisbury and I also had the pleasure to share the evening with my long-time poet side-kick, John Smallshaw and also Rich Harris, reading live for only the second time. What was also fun was that I recorded an episode of the podcast during the evening, which became episode 9 of THE SHY LIFE PODCAST.

In addition to this Rich and I chatted again for episode 12 and I also managed to attend one of John Smallshaw’s open mic nights at St Barnabas’ in mid-to-late August! That was a really great evening and it most certainly made up for The Poetry Café not being available for the rest of 2016 due to renovations. There was time for me to read for about 20 minutes and I could have read more had I not had to head home (I was going to Luxembourg the following morning!) I mainly read from my books, A YETI WAY OF THINKING and POEMS TO MAKE BEARS GROWL and I'm hoping to be free for another of his open-mike nights in 2017.

Q. Would we be right in saying that your blog is still going strong?

A. Absolutely! In fact I’ve recently posted my 400th post! There have been times during 2016 that I have posted twice weekly – this mostly happens when I’ve got a book about to be released – so I’m posting about the new book and then posting something new in my second post of the week. I am also especially pleased that my blog is a pretty comprehensive record of every live show I have ever done and I am working towards more posts that pull together the information providing elements of the blog itself. It’s been a great base for me to stretch my creative legs over the last two years too – becoming the main place for me to share new short pieces of writing. I makes me very happy to reflect on the fact that 2017 is the 15th anniversary of SHY YETI'S SHY PLACE, (although it originally went by another title as I wasn't Shy Yeti as early as 2002).

Q. Where were your most recent trips to and do you have any plans for later in the year or early 2017?

A. Well, I went to Nice at the end of January, when I was still slow on my feet and then I went to Amsterdam in early June – although that trip was hampered by me being sick after a couple of days; that said, I was still able to record a podcast episode. Since then I’ve had two other trips – both in August – one to a holiday home in Kent and another to Luxembourg. In Kent I got a lot of time to myself, which was bliss – time to write and record episodes of the podcast… I did some particularly fun shows whilst I was there – as I found a way to combine ghost stories with reading my poems. The ideal situation! In Luxembourg I recorded more of a travelogue – although also managed to mix fact with a little fiction… I have one last adventure to come in 2016 – my birthday trip in November, when Calum and I will return to Venice… As yet I have no definite plans for 2017, although I wouldn’t mind a trip back to the States for either family reasons, podcasting reasons or both!

Q. Exciting news! Thank you for talking to us, Mr Yeti. See you again in the New Year!

A. It will be a pleasure as always! Thank you, as always, for your continued support!

This post and all contents are Copyright Paul Chandler 2016.

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