Monthly Archives: August 2013

Colleen Oakley, novelist/freelance writer


Finally, a female guest, and it’s a good one. Colleen Oakley is a novelist, former editor for Marie Claire and freelance writer who’s penned pieces for the New York Times and Ladies Home Journal. We’re trying something a little different today. Since Oakley is at the beginning of the process for writing her third novel (and hopefully the second to be published), we’re going to check back in with her occasionally during the next year or so as she describes the highs and lows of writing 100,000 words that might or might not be publishable one day.

In the first installment of the Colleen series, she introduces herself, and we chat about why she’s comfortable writing about her sex life, whether she tries to be funny in her prose, what it’s like to write for women’s magazines and how she reacted to receiving a death threat. Plus, why does she write so damn much about eating pancakes and why she does she geek out so hard about perfect analogies?

If you have interest in how somebody writes a novel, Oakley is the one who can answer that query.

For those who want to read Oakley’s work – and some of what we talk about in the podcast – here’s her New York Times piece on An Agnostics Guide to Marriage and her Marie Claire feature on participating in a 30-day sex detox.

Here’s some of what we talked about (and some we didn’t).


Michael Schottey, Bleacher Report


The impetus for this podcast was the recent decision by my former colleague Mike Freeman to take a job with Bleacher Report, and Michael Schottey was the guy who could explain that move and where the website is going. In our chat, we talk about whether the perception of B/R simply being a free content mill will ever change, whether website aggregators and content-providers can have a symbiotic relationship, and why his site doesn’t want its writers breaking news. Plus, we discuss his original goal of becoming a Lutheran pastor and why Schottey feels like God is OK with his ultimate decision to write about sports.

Here’s some of what we talked about (and some we didn’t).


Greg Bedard,


With the recent launch of Peter King’s new NFL-centric website,, we sat down with Greg Bedard, formerly of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and the Boston Globe, to discuss the idea behind the site and its future goals. In our chat, we discussed why a Little League team from south Florida was so important to Bedard’s career, whether writing game stories for national websites is worth it, and how misguided predictions can live on forever. Plus, we have an in-depth discussion about his use of film work that allows him to be better-educated about football, and we talk about why Nick Saban would dare throw f-bombs Bedard’s way.

Here’s one of the spreadsheets Bedard uses when he watches film:


And here’s the rundown of what we talked about (and some of what we didn’t).


Ben Montgomery/Tampa Bay Times, enterprise writer


Montgomery is an interesting character, and we had a fascinating in-depth conversation about his craft and about how we can improve the newspaper industry. In our chat, we discussed his approach to covering the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin trial, why he live-tweeted his father’s wake and funeral, and how he originally wanted to run his grandfather’s farm.

A quick homework assignment. We discussed two of his stories in depth, so before you press play, if you’re so inclined, read these pieces: 1) How most of the witnesses to the Martin shooting were actually watching TV during the struggle with Zimmerman, and 2) Montgomery’s return to his home state of Oklahoma after the mammoth tornado in May 2013.

Seriously, if you want an enlightening discussion about how to write the hell out of some stories, let Montgomery’s soothing tone educate you.

In case you were wondering about the song Montgomery talks about, here’s Steve Earl’s “Someday.”

And here’s the rundown of what did (and didn’t) talk about.