The podcast where TWO passions become ONE!
May 7, 2023

Episode 35. Author Dane Cobain

Dane Cobain (High Wycombe, UK) is a published author, freelance writer and (occasional) poet and musician with a passion for language and learning. When he’s not working on his next release, he can be found reading and reviewing books while trying not...

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Dane Cobain (High Wycombe, UK) is a published author, freelance writer and (occasional) poet and musician with a passion for language and learning. When he’s not working on his next release, he can be found reading and reviewing books while trying not to be distracted by Wikipedia.

His releases include No Rest for the Wicked (supernatural thriller), Eyes Like Lighthouses, When the Boats Come Home (poetry), (literary fiction), Social Paranoia (non-fiction), Come On Up to the House (horror), Subject Verb Object (anthology), Driven (crime/detective), The Tower Hill Terror (crime/detective), Meat (horror), Scarlet Sins (short stories), The Lexicologist’s Handbook (non-fiction) and The Leipfold Files (crime/detective).

His short stories have also been anthologised in Local Haunts (ed. R. Saint Clare), We’re Not Home (ed. Cam Wolfe), Served Cold (ed. R. Saint Clare and Steve Donoghue) and Eccentric Circles (ed. Cynthia Brackett-Vincent).

See my Interview on Dane's Show The Art Show HERE

Get your Copy of Meat HERE

More about Dane Cobain

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What's going on guys, just a quick programming note. The interview you're about to hear, I shot a little while ago. You will hear Dane and myself converse about me possibly being a guest on his show. That did happen about five months ago. I was on his show titled The Art Show. I was episode number 141. You will find the link to that episode in the show notes. I hope you guys go check it out. Food.

we all must eat it to survive. Some eat meat, some do not. However, is there a horror story that can be told about meat and where our food comes from? Join me as I talk to author, Dane Cobain, on this episode of True Crime in Authors.

Welcome to True Crime and Authors Podcast, where we bring two passions together. The show that gives new meaning to the old adage, truth is stranger than fiction. Here's your host, David McClam. What's going on everybody and welcome to another episode of True Crime and Authors. Of course, I'm your man, David McClam. Hey, if you guys haven't done so already, make sure you follow us on all of our social media outlets.

You can find them one link to a link tree in the show notes and description, and that'll get you all of the links you need for the podcast. All right, guys, well, if you are following your calendars or been following the show, you know it is yet a time again for me to interview another author. I have a good one for you today. Let me tell you who we are talking to. He is a published author, freelance writer.

an occasional poet and musician with a passion for language and learning. When he's not working on his next release, he can be found reading and reviewing books while trying not to be distracted by Wikipedia. His love of words grew from an early age, whether he was rewriting the lyrics to pop songs or teaching his elder siblings, maths and computer science students at university, how to execute commands in MS-DOS, all before he hit double digits.

He started writing at 14 and progressed from lyrics and music to journals, short stories and poetry before writing the first draft of an early novel, Walson Lectures. He studied creative writing at London's Roehampton University, earning a two to one bachelor's degree before starting a career as a social media marketer. His short stories have also been anthologized in local hunts, or our St. Clair, We're Not Home.

Cam Wolfe served cold, R. St. Clair and Steve Donahue, and the Centric Circles, Cynthia Brackett-Vincent. He is the author of Meat, and coming to us all the way from the UK, let's welcome Dane Cobain. Dane, how you doing today? Hi, I'm all right, Cheers. How are things with you? Things are going well. I thank you for joining me. I know UK time right now is about after 9 p.m. there. Yeah, it's all right. I'm at-

I'm a night owl so 9pm for me is a lot better than 9am so I'm happy and I've got coffee as well. Yeah coffee is everybody's best friend. So you're from the UK, do I say this right? Hi Wycombe is that it? Hi Wycombe. Hi Wycombe okay. Well our condolences on the Queen, we know that she recently passed. She was a huge influence to us here in America as well.

So that loss was greatly felt across the nation and the world. Um, so let's talk a little bit about you. So you're interesting. You started writing things, rewriting lyrics to pop songs before you were even 10. Yeah. Tell us a little bit about that. How'd you get into that? Well, my dad, uh, my dad was a musician, so I grew up going to see him, uh, play gigs, so he, he wasn't like a big mainstream musician or anything like that. Um, but he played in a sort of fifties and sixties rock and roll band.

and they would go and play in sort of just pubs. It was funny actually, it would always be like the same setup. So they'd normally play bingo as well. So it'd be like the band would play for an hour.

then there would be like a break and the people would play bingo and then the band would come back on and yeah they were doing all like the old rock and roll songs so a lot of Beatles, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly all of that kind of stuff and so I was always sort of surrounded by music when I was young and yeah for whatever reason I started writing basically it was quite often things like Michael Jackson songs it was whatever pop song was in you know was on the radio all the time

and I just wrote my own lyrics and would go around singing those and I took it quite seriously. I had a little notebook that I would carry around and yeah, I used to do that when I was anywhere between about five and eight. I also did some of my own songs as well, which I still have recordings of and they're all about a minute long because at the time obviously I was a kid, so I didn't really know what I was doing. I didn't know what a song was, how long it was supposed to be.

But that's what led me into writing. So again, I always loved music. And then when I was about 13, 14, I started learning to play guitar. And then I was playing cover songs, you know, a lot of like three chord songs and all of this stuff. And then I started writing my own songs. And then it was from there, it was a very easy transition from writing song lyrics to writing poems. And then I sort of went from poems to short stories and eventually a novel, I suppose.

So I find it interesting too, just so our younger Ordis members who probably know what MS-DOS is, all these little fancy icons you guys see on your phones and on computers now, that was not how it was. You had to execute commands and actually type things into the computer to make things work. So how did you get into that at that young of an age? Well, that was literally just because, you know, we didn't have a huge amount of money when I was growing up. So my first computer, I mean, so I was born in 1989, which was

the same year that the World Wide Web was invented. The internet had been around for a long time before that. But yeah, so the first operating systems I remember was like Windows 95 was probably the main one. I remember I had Windows 3.1 as well. But yeah, I just got given an old computer that nobody was using and it had no operating system on it. And so my dad just taught me the basics of using MS-DOS and there were a few old MS-DOS games.

Like games like I remember like commander keen that was one that used to used to have it and then there was a lot Of like simple like asteroid style games and stuff. But yeah, my half brother and half sister. They're both The one is ten years older than me and one's 11 years older than me So again when I was sort of eight nine years old they were at university and they were studying Computing my brother now works for IBM. Yeah, they were like learning at university how to program in DOS

and they were coming home and I'd be like showing them how to make like a batch file because batch files were your friend because That was basically you could preset all of the you know lines of code that you wanted it to do So you didn't have to type it in every time you could just it's kind of like creating a shortcut on a on a modern Computer, you know So that was like I remember teaching them how to do that and we used to play a lot of these old MS-DOS games. Um, it was a lot of fun. I still actually have like a lot of nostalgia for those. There's one called Hugo's house of horrors

And there's like a trilogy of these games. And it's one of those games where I think you can use the arrow keys to walk around, but then you have to type in, you know, open door, pick up telephone or whatever it is. And I was watching somebody play through that on YouTube a couple of months ago, actually just again, it kind of gave me that nostalgic feeling of those, those games I used to play back before there with, you know, PlayStation fours and all of that stuff. Yeah. It's kind of funny cause we were just watching, uh, my family and I was watching big yesterday with Tom Hanks in the game that he plays.

in that movie is a DOS based game and I'm probably dating myself, but my favorite DOS based game that Apple is now bringing back was Oregon Trail. So I'm a little bit older than you, not much, a little bit, but yeah, Oregon Trail was my game back then. I was never any good at that. So you know the classic, you have just died of dysentery.

That was all I ever got. Like, and I had, just cause I didn't, I was too young, so I didn't know how to play it properly. So I just died every time. So it used to kind of infuriate me. And I remember as well, you used to pick up those, you'd get like a CD or whatever with a hundred DOS games. I mean, I even remember having like some floppy disks where there was, you know, floppy disk and there's 15 DOS games on it or whatever. A lot of fun. So how does it feel to have some of your short stories?

Anthologize means they're getting read by a lot of people. How did that feel? Yeah, I mean it's interesting. So I've actually worked on an anthology myself as the editor and for that I just brought together a bunch of people that I knew who uh, wrote in various capacities So some of them are pretty much full-time authors. Some of them were first-timers and that was an absolute nightmare. It was one of the

I'm glad I did it, but I will never do an anthology again, because I always say like working with writers, it's like herding cats. Sorry, my Google home's just going off in the background. Um, but yeah, so working, actually editing an anthology is difficult and very time consuming. Contributing to them is a different kettle of fish. It's a lot of fun. So there are, you mentioned the four that I'm in. So, well, we'll start with eccentric circles, which is that's put out by Encircle Publications.

and they published my lightfolds series of sort of cosy, quirky, cosy mysteries. And that one was interesting because I didn't even know I was in it. So they announced that this thing was coming out and yeah, they basically told me the same day that they released it to the public that this book was coming out.

because I'd written a short story collection that was published by them. I've got some reminders for Dave. My reminders are going crazy, but... So they announced that my short story was going to be in this and it was before my actual collection came out that they published. But that one was really nice because it was no work, no extra work for me, so I just appeared in this anthology with a story that I'd already written.

The other three they're all done There's a community on YouTube that I belong to called booktube There's actually a sign in the background of the shot where I'm on camera and so booktube is like the YouTube community that specifically talks about books and there's a lot of book reviews and You do tag videos and we'll do like wrap-ups where we talk about everything we read each month And there are a bunch of other writers that I know through that and so a few of those kind of banded together

specifically within the horror community and decided to put out some anthologies. So they were getting other YouTubers. So every author that's in those collections is a YouTuber. All of the money goes to, all of the profits go to charity. Yeah, they'd give us a theme. So Local Haunts was the first one that I did. So they said the theme there was sort of ghost stories set in your part of the world. So I did a bit of research and had a look around at High Wickham. So I was like, what ghost stories are there here?

there were two different, well, yeah, kind of two different ghost stories that existed. And I just sort of fictionalized those. I kind of blended them together and added a few elements and wrote something up there. And it was just really a lot of fun to have a bit of purpose, I suppose, to be writing something specifically for inclusion in an anthology. I don't know. It was kind of freeing in a way. It was especially because it was like shorter fiction as well. So normally, if I've written short stories in the past, it's been with the goal of bringing them all together into one overall collection.

So it was nice just to have like a one-off short story I'm writing. Didn't even know if they'd accept it in the anthologies or not. And in fact, they have just published a fourth anthology, which I'm not in. And I think the theme for that was, it was like, it was monsters. And I don't really do monster horror. My horror is very grounded in people. Mine's like, you know, the evil that man does to other men, you know? So.

So I probably wasn't best fitted for that one anyway. But yeah, the anthology has been a ton of fun to work on. And as you say, I think I think when you go on Amazon and look at like the sales rankings, I think local haunts in particular outsells any of my individual books. And mine was the first story in it as well, which was nice. So I'm the first one that people read. So you're one of the few authors I've talked to that actually write against multiple genres. Just to name a few, No Rest for the Wicked is a supernatural thriller.

When the Boots Came Home is poetry, you have social paranoia, which is nonfiction, meat, which we will be talking about in this section, which is horror, you even have the Tower Hill Terror, which is a crime detective book. How do you keep all of those genres separated from one another? Well, so it's funny. So kind of how it works with me is...

I don't really do what I should do, which is to write to market. So I don't look at the market and go, oh, you know, young adult fantasy selling really well. I'll write a young adult fantasy. I kind of approach it the other way around. I'm like, I've got a story idea and I write it and then I worry about what genre it is afterwards. So in some ways, kind of as you were saying this, in some ways, some of them have elements of other genres in them. So I'm sure like the Tower Hill Terror has little bits of kind of horror to it. But yeah, I think.

From a writing point of view, it's not too bad. The actual real challenge is from a marketing point of view. And currently some of the work that I do, I'm working kind of as a coach to some authors who are kind of trying to set themselves up as like a writing business essentially. And the advice I always give to those and which is kind of consistent with what the other coaches say is, you know, if you're gonna do multiple genres, use multiple pen names.

So really that's what I should have done for each genre. I should have had a different pen name. It's just when I started out, I didn't know that and I've kind of left it too late by this point. I don't know. And also it stops me from getting bored and like I'm as a reader, I read a bit of everything. So that's why I kind of like to write a bit of everything as well. Although I think it mostly it's the kind of the, again, the sort of crying cozy mystery style and the horror. Those are probably the two genres that I'm mostly known for.

Now when it comes to doing the double pen names, I'm glad you brought it up because I have a question for you around that. I'll talk to an author that does that, right? She writes a whore on her real name or I'm sorry, whore up under a pen name. And then she writes romantic up underneath her real name. I've talked to another author who said that she wouldn't do that at all because she felt like that, that would actually take away from her audience that if she's writing even in a different genre and change names, people may not connect that.

Do you feel the same way that if you would have switched to a different pen name to write, say horror versus poetry, that would have threw your fan base off a little bit? It sort of depends. There are pros and cons to it. So the big pro is that you're not kind of diluting your messaging. So if I've got people who follow me on social media for my horror, and I'm talking about my new kind of cozy mystery, they're not going to be too interested. So everything that I do gets diluted a little bit. And the big drawback is you have to establish that audience.

again from scratch essentially. So what I do with especially with things like my mailing list where I can, I can like segment it so I have on my mailing list I kind of have it split up to okay these people have signed up to hear more about horror, these have signed up to hear more about mystery so I can be a bit more sort of targeted in the stuff that I send them. It does work either way I think the general best practice that most people have settled on is to use the pen names for different genres.

The exception is if it's similar. So I work with a client who has written a book about It's like the true stories of various art heists And they're now going to get into writing like a sort of a crime caper fiction novel about art heists And in that case it makes sense to use the same name even though it is two different genres Because it would make sense that you know that person has those two different interests

as long as they market it clearly and make sure that they know this one's fiction, this one's non-fiction. So yeah, it's a tough one. I think it's one of those that every author has to decide for themselves. And like I say, in some ways, because before I even thought of it as an option, I'd already published across a bunch of different genres. I'd almost made the choice for me. So it makes my marketing more difficult, but it makes my life a little bit easier, I suppose. So let's talk a little bit about your book, Meat.

So to kind of get the audience in the mindset of this, I'm gonna go ahead and read your synopsis to the story. Veterinarian Tom Copeland takes a job at a factory farm called Sunnyvale after a scandal at his suburban practice. His job is to keep the animals alive for long enough to get them to slaughter. But there are rumors of a strange creature living beneath the complex, accidents waiting to happen on brutal production lines, and the threat of zoonotic disease from the pigs, sheep.

cows, chickens, and fish that the complex houses. Suddenly disaster rocks Sunnyvale and cleaners, butchers, security guards, and clerical staff alike must come together under the ruthless leadership of CEO John McDonald. Together they'll learn what happens when there's a sudden change to the food chain. What made you come up with this story? Yeah, so it's one of those I've noticed with the horror that I read.

The horror authors quite often take something that people in general already are afraid of or at the very least find unpleasant and then they magnify it So for example, like James Herbert did the rats and nobody likes rats Stephen King does this all the time in fact, like, you know with it It's clowns and actually he's now responsible for a new generation of people being afraid of clowns even there was bird box recently, which was the one where people had to blindfold themselves and it's because

nobody likes to not be able to see where they're going. It just puts us on edge and makes us uncomfortable. So I was trying to think, you know, what kind of situation just would people not wanna be in. And I landed on factory farms. I think like, I mean, at the time I was vegetarian, I'm now vegan, which is because of all of the research that I did as well. But I figured, you know, even meat eaters, nobody thinks factory farms are nice places.

You know, even the most committed carnival would rather eat meat that's come from a small Like, you know locally owned farm where the animals have got good living conditions So that's kind of where I sat on I settled on that as the kind of location for it a lot of the characters sort of sprung up almost by themselves and Yeah, I just did a ton of research. So I read a load of books. I watched some documentaries I watched like a lot of the undercover footage that activists take and all of this stuff

And I kind of, I used Margaret Atwood as a bit of inspiration. So what she did when she wrote the Handmaid's Tale, she's been criticized in that because people have said, well, this would never happen. And her response to that is everything that happens in the Handmaid's Tale has happened somewhere in the world. Granted, they haven't all happened together and they haven't all happened in America, but all of the individual things are all based on something that really happened. So I wanted to do the same thing. I wanted to make sure that like anything

horrible that happens is all kind of grounded in, you know, that's happening somewhere in the world. And then obviously use a bit of artistic license. I actually, it was funny because at the time I was writing it, it was just, it was kind of just after the UK had voted for Brexit and it was pre pandemic. But I used the whole Brexit thing because at the time it was unclear what was going to happen to a lot of regulations because we were governed by EU. And then with us leaving the EU, it meant, okay, so

A lot of the regulations that cover farming, for example, we were bound by EU regulations and because we've been in that for 40 years, we'd never passed any independent stuff in the UK, which meant that leaving the EU suddenly means that all of these dodgy practices, they're suddenly legally allowed again. So I did that and then, funnily enough, the concept of it is then this strange disease spreads. And again, I wrote this pre-pandemic and I was finishing my editing just as sort of COVID was kicking in.

So it was kind of strange timing. But again, it's one of those things like with the pandemic and it, you know, basically people have known for a while that the next pandemic is likely to come from large numbers of animals being forced together. Cause that's just historically how it's happened. It's the same with how like Spanish flu came and in 1918 or whatever. And so to me, I was like, well, a factory farm makes logical sense for that to be where that would happen. You know, so I sort of took that and then built on it and then made my own.

horrible disease and that was kind of my starting point and went from there. Here at True Crime and Authors, I read a lot of books. Every author that you've heard me interview and everyone that you will hear me interview, I've either read one of their books or I'm in the process of reading one. So how do I keep up with all of the books that I read? Well, that is where the show's sponsor, Cats Creation 614 comes into play.

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And for those who are listeners of this show, you will get a special 10% discount when you use the code TRUCRIMETEN. Catch Creations, best handmade planners, journals, and printables in the business. Check it out now. So your book on Goodreads, this one, Meet, still carries a very high rating. You still carry a 4.34. I ran across a comment.

that was left by Emily Coffee and commentary. And it made me laugh because she started off by saying, a gory fight for survival that will inspire you to start packing salads for lunch. Have you gotten any emails from people that said due to the research, because she gave you credit for all the research. She said that made your book so good is that you did real research and then you spun this into this story. Have you had people actually write you and say, hey man, look, I've changed vegetarian now because of what I read in your book?

I don't know if I've had anything specific like that. I mean, I kind of hope so, but also I think I say somewhere in there or Anyway, the way I see it is like it's almost not necessarily my goal My goal is kind of to give people the information and for them to decide for themselves And so I've had comments for example from people saying It's made me think more about where my food comes from which to me that's kind of what I want them to do

And you should do that as well, whether we're talking about meat or whether we're talking about vegetables, you know, like you should... Everybody should kind of know where their food comes from. It's something we sort of take for granted these days. So I think those are the most meaningful comments I've had. And also, one thing that I'm pretty happy with is so far I've not had anybody say that it came across as preachy, which is again what I didn't want to do. I wanted to provide that kind of that information and then for people to take it as they will, you know.

and a few people have said the opposite, that it didn't come across as preachy. I'm pretty happy with that. It was kind of difficult to do. But again, I think it's the same as with any horror, again, if you're writing about something that people are afraid of, like if you're writing, I don't know, let's say something about heights, everybody's afraid of heights, for example, and if you spin that into a story, you kind of don't want to actually be leaving people with a message that is, you should be afraid of heights.

You kind of just want to leave them with the both sides of the argument of like, this is why heights are scary, but this is why actually maybe, you know, not so much. So, so that's kind of what, what I was going for. I will definitely say I am a meat eater. Uh, I pretty much eat more chicken than anything now. That's because I've been married to my wife now for 20 years and she was a vegetarian. You know, she started saying, you know, all that red meat is not good for you. So of course I started looking into that. And I think as I got older and especially the pandemic hit,

Yeah, I started looking at packaging. I started looking at where my chicken's coming from, where the eggs are coming from, are they free range, are they all cage? So it does play a lot into us that are meat eaters the same now, especially when the pandemic hit you like, Hey, maybe I got to be a little bit more careful than usual. And then your book is very eye opening to that. You've done research that a lot of us who are meat eaters don't do. A lot of us that are meat eaters don't want to do. I used to have a friend that worked at a hot dog packing plant for Oscar Meyer.

And he's like, man, if I told you everything that went to hot dogs, you would stop beating them. I'm like, well, don't tell me. So I totally feel you're coming from on that. Yeah. And I was going to say again, like it's not, it's one of those things where, as long as people have got that, that information and you're actually again, with, with chicken, chicken is like probably the, the, the less, the, the most lesser of all of the evils. So as you say, like red meat tends to be quite bad process. Me any form of processed meat is pretty bad.

But even like environmentally as well like chicken is the least bad one if that makes sense because they tend to be more efficient at converting like grain into proteins and all of that stuff. But funny enough, so I have a good friend who's a writer and he lives in the US. Can't remember which state now, but he lives in what's pretty much like used to be a mine and it's like he now owns the land and he does a lot of hunting. And the other thing he does, he grows a lot of his own vegetables as well and.

He does a lot of like pickling and all of this stuff. But me and him have this kind of interesting respect for each other because he's like very anti factory farming as well. And he kind of understands where I come from that. And I understand where he comes from in terms of like his hunting and stuff. It's like, well, at least you know what I mean, at least you're getting them from the wild where they are living in a natural state. And he makes sure he uses like every part of the animal and all of this stuff. So it's funny how we both kind of approach it from very opposite angles. But we both kind of.

We can both meet in that middle ground, you know? Right, right, I totally agree, totally agree. So now you're hooking up with Genius Books. You're gonna republish Meet, I believe sometime around the June of 2023. How did you come to hook up with Genius Books and why did you pick Meet to be one of the books that you wanted to republish?

Well, Meat is kind of, it's what I consider, I guess, like my magnum opus, I guess. It's my longest book. It's the one that I put the most research and most time into. And probably the one I'm proudest of, the one I want to reach the most people with. So and the way that I approach publishing, I have what's like, it's called like a hybrid approach. So some of my stuff is self-published. My cozy mysteries are out there in circle.

I have No Rest For The Wicked, my first book that's out through Dragon Moon Press. And I like this approach of working with different publishers because they can all bring their own marketing to it. I kind of push some marketing back to them. It's kind of an ecosystem in which everybody wins and you don't have to kind of go it alone. So I actually have a virtual assistant. Shout out to Orgy. She's my virtual assistant. And what she mostly has been doing for me is she reaches out to bloggers. So she'll find people.

who are reading similar kinds of books and she'll reach out to them and we'll offer them kind of e-copies, I send out a few physical copies. And so she's been doing that, but one of the things I got her to do was to find a bunch of publishers who might be interested in Meet. She found a list of about 50, 60 of them. I think out of those, I only reached out to about a dozen, maybe, because again, it's making sure that they would be a good fit. One of them is actually a press that one of my friends runs and Meet wouldn't be a good fit for them, but I actually have in mind a project I eventually want to...

kind of work on and pitch to him at a later date. And yeah, so I was just kind of going through the different publishers' websites, looking at the kinds of books they published, looking at the kinds of authors they reached out to Genius. And then, yeah, then we hopped on a call and we just sort of got on really well. So we sort of been taking it from there really. As you say, it's still pretty early days. So we've got like the tentative release date. We're currently working on a new cover design for it.

Hopefully things like the editing won't need too much because I do have an editor I work with anyway. So it has already been edited. They'll have like another pass at it. They had a few suggestions, which were quite good as well. So there might be a few bits of added material and things like that. The other thing they said is they would be really interested in seeing it turn into a series, which is something I hadn't thought of, but there is definitely the potential there. I think it's whether I have the energy to do it again.

Well, from what I know about them, I know you're kind of in early stages with them. I kind of am too. They reached out to me after they found out I was doing a interview with LaDonna Humphrey. She's the author of the girl I never knew who killed Melissa Webb. And we took off from there and they said, we have all these authors. So I've been working with Stephen and Leah now for about a couple of months. Uh, and it's been great. And everybody I've talked to, I've asked that question. They said, you know, they wouldn't, they didn't feel like they were pigeonholed.

They wouldn't trying to change anything. And what they did is they tried to push their authors into greater areas. So like in your case, they feel like me could become a series. From the book, I feel like it could become a series too, right? Because of the way your book is written, is written really well, you kind of like get to the end, you're like, is that it? Can we get some more? So I think you guys will have a good relationship. If the relationship turns out the way that you wanted to,

Will you be releasing any other books of one of the Genius Books label? Yeah, I mean, so the way I'm kind of seeing it with them at the moment is we're gonna do Meat. We'll get Meat out and then we'll see what's next. So whether again, whether I do work on a sequel to it, I have a couple of other horror projects they might be interested in. So we'll kind of see how it goes. But yeah, as you were saying, like, they've really got a lot of experience between them as well. And yeah, they're just really nice people. They have some really good books on their list as well.

And so I've probably known them for about as long as you have, I would say. And I had Stephen actually on my show and we had a really interesting chat there. I've read his book, The Hungry, which he wrote with, can't remember the guy's surname, Harry something, Harry Shannon. He wrote with Harry Shannon. And that was really interesting because that's like a zombie book and meat has bits of zombie to it. So yeah, it was, and that was also a series as well. But that's probably the first thing that I do really when I

You know, when I reach out to presses with any of the publishers I've worked with, normally I'll start by having a look at what's on their website, look at some of their books and I'll reach out to them. And then if things are going well and we are looking at working together, that's when I'll then I'll usually pick out some of their flagship books. So I'll kind of see which one are they promoting the heaviest and then I'm going to get a copy of that and read it and see what I think. And yeah, yeah, Stephen's book didn't disappoint. And again, as I say, there's about five in that series, so I need to finish that at some point. But, you know.

Too many books too little time. So that's a great segue into speaking of your show For you guys that don't know not only his Dane and author. It's very busy He's also a radio show host who runs his own show called the art show Won't you tell the artists a little bit about the art show what it's about and where they can hear it at So it's funny. It's it's it all started out. So we have a local radio station here in high work and called Wickham sound

and it goes out kind of over the airwaves and then also online and all of that stuff and Somebody I know funny enough. She's also a vegan. She's been vegan for about 30 years So she remembers before there were Beyond Burgers and all of you know, all of this really delicious vegan food but yeah, she used to run a radio called Planet Claire and She used to have me on once a month and I'd literally talk to her about the books that I'd read over the previous month

And it kind of grew out from there really. You know, she was saying that she always looks forward to having me on the show. And she sort of asked me if I'd ever thought about my own show. And I said, no, not really. But then, yes, I went in into the radio station, met some of the other people there, did a bit of training. And I was due to start doing it live from the studio. And the first week of my first show was when we had our first COVID lockdown in March 2020. So it was literally, I think we went into lockdown about three days before I was supposed to do my first show.

So we pushed back the launch by a week and I just did it from home. The studio has now since we opened, but I just do it from home anyway, because it's kind of evolved. So it's all, it's all pre-recorded as opposed to live. And it's kind of a hybrid between a radio show and a podcast. So I also put it up on iTunes and Spotify and things like that. Um, I do it via video. So then the video goes up on my YouTube channel.

And yeah, I have a different guest on each week or most weeks. I talk to, I try and focus on people in the local area, but I mean, we're only at, I think we've got about a hundred thousand people in the town. So it's a decent sized town, but after a while you start to run out of people. So, so then I've talked to a lot of, you know, international people, anybody involved in the arts, really. So we've had from, we've had a lot of musicians. We've had a lot of writers.

But then we've had also things like we've had one guy who does sound at live music events. We've had a dance group. Yeah, just sort of bringing the different people in, play a bit of unsigned music and it's a lot of fun. But yeah, that started, as I say, March 2020 and it's just continued. So I'm still doing it, you know? And yeah, and it actually really benefits me the fact that it is all prerecorded because, as you say, I do a lot of things, so I get very busy. And so it helps that I can...

You know, when I have a quiet period, I can do a few shows in advance and that sort of thing, or I can dedicate a week to interviewing 10 people and then that's guests for 10 weeks sorted, you know? Well, as you know, my show is pre-recorded and I know you totally understand this, but if it was not for one, the sheer amount of authors that I just have just for my first season, if I wasn't pre-recording those, there's no way I can keep a weekly schedule. Um, plus you have to go into editing and all of that stuff.

So pre-recorded shows is I think one of the best ways to go. My hats go off to people like Joe Rogan, who does this live all the time. You can't cut anything out when it's live. If it's live, it's live. So for those of us like yourself and myself, it is easier to have a pre-recorded show. We can get those episodes out in a timely manner to people who's expecting those once a week or a month or after we release those. So I totally feel you on that.

So congratulations on the show, man. Welcome to, you know, we're both in the same genre. So that's awesome. Well, as I was saying, hopefully you'll pop by and be on my show one time soon as well. Yeah, man, anytime you want me there, let me know. We'll definitely make that happen. That'd be great. And I appreciate the opportunity. So in closing, what would you like to say? Well, first of all, what would you like people to get out of meat when they're eating it? I think as I say, it's to just think more about where their food comes from.

You know, if they want to reduce kind of meat consumption, that's great. If not, at least if you're just thinking about where it comes from, I think that's a big sort of step up. The other thing that I tried to kind of cover in it as well, so... Because it's not just... I mean, as you say, like things like red meat aren't very good for you. There are the three angles. So there's like the animal welfare angle, which is how I kind of approached it, because I just have always loved animals.

It tends to be better for you and it's also a lot better for the environment. And again, this comes to any food that you eat. So I think the environment is quite a good one to think about. So avocados, for example, are actually terrible for the environment because they tend to be shipped, especially for us here in the UK. They're shipped across the world to us. And then like things like almonds, for example, a lot of the world's almonds are grown in California. And that's why there's quite often like droughts in parts of California because they're using all of the water to water the almonds.

So even like for me, for example, being vegan, I don't drink milk, but I try and drink oat milk because I know that requires the least amount of water to make compared to almond milk or soy milk or whatever else it is. So I just think it's it's always good if people think a little bit more about that and not just their food as well, other products. So things like like makeup products, for example, even cars. I mean, the classic one is people talking about computer chips. You know, you see a lot of people say like there's child labor used to get computer chips that go into their smartphones.

And to know that it's not, you know, you can't be perfect as well. So, um, and I think that's the big thing. Like you don't have to be vegan. There's a stat where if, if every, I think it's if every American did meat free Monday, it would have the same equivalent of impact of taking about 30 million cars off the road, um, just from the reduced emissions. So it's one of those things again, you can't be perfect. There's always going to be. You know, something that you, that you, you know, I have a smartphone for example, and I don't obviously don't condone child labor, but.

Also, you kind of need a smartphone to sort of live in the modern age. So it's just doing your best, I suppose. And I think a lot, especially since the pandemic, a lot of people have been doing that. I've seen a lot of people grow in their own food as well. I've been trying to grow my own food in my garden here. It turns out to be quite difficult. So it's fun, but it's difficult, you know. But yeah, I think that's my take home message is to just to think a little bit more about, I guess, consumption as a whole, you know, what impact are you having on the world around you through the products you consume?

Is there anything you'd like to say to all of your readers and fans out there? Just, you know, thanks. Thanks for everyone for their support. Really. Um, you know, I have a lot of nice comments come through on things like social media, uh, the reviews in particular, I always appreciate those. And I've been trying to kind of, uh, drum this into people more recently. All reviews are good. So, you know, if, if somebody reads one of my books and doesn't enjoy it, I would still rather they left the negative review or a mediocre review, the no review at all, because again, it's.

for a start reviews are for other readers rather than for the authors. And yeah, there's actually been studies into that as well. You know, if I only have five star reviews on all of my books, people are just gonna think I've just paid a bunch of people to leave five star reviews. You know, the occasional negative review makes it seem more realistic. And at the end of the day, you know, that's kind of what I want. I want honest feedback, whether people enjoy it or not. But yeah, I just love to hear from people. So don't be afraid to reach out and say hello.

Well, Dane, I thank you for joining me today. Meet is definitely a good book. I look forward to reading some of your other books here because they all look and sound awesome. And I look forward to seeing the things that you do in the future, especially with Genius Books. So thank you for coming on today. Thanks for having me.

Alright guys, so there you have it. That was Dane Cobain. He's the author of Meat. You can find Meat right now if you want to read it before 2023 over on Amazon. If you are a member of Amazon Prime, which is not Prime, I can't think of the name of the book club now, but I'm in it. Go ahead and download that book for free and read it there.

Let's make sure we give him a review. He does live and dies by those reviews. And let's make sure we taking care of Dane the best that we can. All right, guys. So once again, I hope you guys are being good out there. Be safe. Thank you for joining me and always remember these things. Always stay humble. A little love and compassion goes a long way. And this is the podcast where two passions become one.

We'll catch you guys in the next one.

Cover art and logo designed by Dazzling Underscore Ray from Fiverr. Sound mixing and editing by David McClam. Intro script by Sophie Wild from Fiverr. And I'm the voice guy, your imaging guy from Fiverr. See you next time on True Crime and Authors.


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Dane Cobain


Dane Cobain (High Wycombe, UK) is a published author, freelance writer and (occasional) poet and musician with a passion for language and learning. When he’s not working on his next release, he can be found reading and reviewing books while trying not to be distracted by Wikipedia.

His releases include No Rest for the Wicked (supernatural thriller), Eyes Like Lighthouses When the Boats Come Home (poetry) (literary fiction), Social Paranoia (non-fiction), Come On Up to the House (horror), Subject Verb Object (anthology), Driven (crime/detective), The Tower Hill Terror (crime/detective), Meat (horror), Scarlet Sins (short stories), The Lexicologist’s Handbook (non-fiction) and The Leipfold Files (crime/detective).

His short stories have also been anthologised in Local Haunts (ed. R. Saint Clare), We’re Not Home (ed. Cam Wolfe), Served Cold (ed. R. Saint Clare and Steve Donoghue) and Eccentric Circles (ed. Cynthia Brackett-Vincent).