Three Fredericton-area theatre artists have teamed up to create the Bring Your Own Book (BYOB) Podcast.
Kelly McAllister, Nikki Vigneault, and Tilly Jackson
This podcast started because we three cohosts, Kelly McAllister, Nikki Vigneault, and Tilly Jackson, have been friends for a few years now, and we all share a love of books. Kelly and Nikki both read a lot when they were younger, but their university studies and subsequent professions focused more on scripts and manuals than novels. Tilly has been a lifelong bibliophile, studying novels in university and continuing to read whatever she can get her hands on. Over the last year or so, we have all been reading voraciously.
It was Nikki’s idea to start a bookish podcast, which made perfect sense because of the many times we would get together, have a few glasses of wine, and talk animatedly about the books we love. “I had been thinking about doing a podcast or something else that had bookish content for a long time,” says Nikki, “and everything clicked into place when Kelly, Tilly, and I became friends. Growing up I was always searching for people to talk about my favourite books with, so I know there are a lot of other people out there that are feeling the same way, and I hope through this podcast we will be able to connect with and bring joy to other book lovers.”
We all also have a background in theatre and are natural performers, so our discussions are often entertaining and full of laughter. “My hope,” says Kelly, “is that listeners will feel like they’re sitting across from us with their own drink; like they’re hanging out with some of their best friends, something I think we’re all missing right now.”
Each of us has a distinct reading style, including differences in our preferred book genres and opinions. As Tilly says: “One thing I learned through the recording process is that, while as friends the three of us have many similarities (we’re around the same age, we all love to read, we all work in theatre), we each see things through different lenses. We don’t always agree on what we like about a book, or if we like it at all, but that only makes our discussions richer, more interesting, more honest. I am a big fan of textual analysis and in-depth conversations about books and am happy to be putting my degree in English Literature to use!”
As far as podcast production goes, it’s definitely been a learning curve for all of us. Kelly had some experience with voice work, Nikki had some knowledge of editing, and Tilly had previously been involved in a live performance podcast with Hot Garbage Comedy. The recording process has had its ups and downs, but there are a lot of great resources online that have helped us along the way.
The format of each episode is pretty straightforward; there will be two episodes a month, each focusing on a specific book. We’ll be alternating between young adult (YA) and adult fiction. The episodes will start with a brief introduction to the book and some spoiler-free first impressions, and we’ll also introduce the themed drink that we’ve chosen to pair with the book. Then we’ll move into a more thorough discussion of each book, including all our feelings and opinions and sometimes spirited debates on characters and plot points. Each episode will close with the first sentence of the next episode’s book, to give our listeners a sneak peek into the next episode.
Our podcast launches on January 14th, so if any of the above piques your interest, we’d love to have you join the BYOB book club and subscribe!
Coming soon to Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts