Behind the scenes of a podcast with Sarah Meckler-Tate

I’m sure all of us have either listened to a podcast or at least know of them. In case you are unfamiliar with what a podcast is here’s a quick rundown. It’s a series of spoken, audio episodes, often focused on a particular topic or theme, like cycling or startups. You can subscribe to the show with an app on your phone and listen to episodes whenever you like on your headphones, in the car or through speakers. Simply put, a podcast is talk radio, but on demand.

Here’s a question for you, what happens behind the scenes? How does it all come together? How or why does someone get into this gig? To shed some light on these questions Sarah Meckler-Tate shares with us a little bit about her Podcast GMSC Book Review Podcast.

Sarah Meckler-Tate grew up in Montana, the youngest child in a family of readers (her dad is a retired librarian and her mom tends to read at least a book a day). Sarah got her bachelor’s degree at the University of Montana in Missoula and her Master’s at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley and has lived in a variety of places and contexts, having moved 27 times since starting college. She now lives in Elk Grove, CA with her husband, 2 Chihuahuas and 3 bearded dragons. Sarah has been hosting the GSMC Book Review Podcast since it started about a year and a half ago and absolutely loves interviewing authors and hearing their stories. She also loves how it has given her the opportunity to read a lot of books that she might not have read otherwise.


I had the privilege of being interviewed on her awesome station, she is totally relaxed and easy to talk with. Our time just flew by before we knew it, we were having to say our goodbyes. If you like to hear our you can visit the link here. CLICK ME!!

Can you tell us a little about your podcast? 

The GSMC Book Review Podcast started as a podcast for me to talk about and review books that I had read, whether recently or in the past.  It has evolved a bit since the beginning as I am now doing more author interviews and fewer episodes of just me talking about books.  My goal with the interviews is to get author’s works out to my listeners.  I’m not some intense, hard-hitting journalist who wants to ask the really tough question or uncover some deep, dark secret.  I want to talk to the author about their lives and their writing, and I want to present both them and their books in the best light possible so they will gain more readers. 


Thankfully I haven’t yet read a book that I didn’t like, nor have I interviewed anyone that was awful to talk to, but my hope is that even with difficult books or authors I will be able to highlight what is positive about the book, because of course there is an audience for every genre.  Just because I might not find a book to my specific taste doesn’t mean it’s not going to appeal to a wide variety of other people.

What prompted you to start the podcast?

My husband, actually.  He is the CEO of the GSMC Podcast Network and when he was developing shows he asked me if I wanted to do a book review podcast because he knows how much I love books.  I thought he was crazy as I’d never done anything like this, but once I thought about it I decided it sounded fun.  And it has been fun. 


I love interviewing authors, learning a little about them, and hearing their stories of writing.  I sometimes joke that most people get excited about actors or athletes, but I geek out when it comes to authors.  I swear after every interview my husband asks how it went and my answer is always, “it was so much fun! S/he is so interesting!” 


I am in awe of the creativity of authors and their ability to put words on paper and create something beautiful and memorable.  I’m also in awe of their persistence, because I’ve heard so many of their stories about how difficult it can be to get published.  It takes a strong person to go through that kind of rejection and still put something amazing out into the world.

Are there any specific podcast interviews you would like to share with us?

Oh my goodness, all of them!  Since that’s probably overkill, I’ll just give you one:  My first interview was done in 2 parts and was with one of my best friends, Camille Griep.  I have known Cami for over 20 years, so to have her as my first guest was really a blessing because I didn’t have to be worried I was going to screw up with a complete stranger.  I could screw up with Cami and she would just laugh along with me.   Plus, she has written two really good books, so I was also glad that I could help her promote them in some small way. Here are the links to those episodes:


What is your favorite type of interview to conduct? 

Again, all of them!  I have had fun with each and every interview I’ve done so far.  Seriously, I’m just a dorky book nerd.

Do you have particular genera of books you prefer to host?

I’m really fortunate in that in doing this podcast I have gotten to read genres I don’t always gravitate toward on my own.  I read a lot of romance, fantasy, memoirs, Young Adult, and Historical Fiction.  I interviewed Curtis C. Chen several months ago about his Kangaroo series, which is Science Fiction.  I love watching Science Fiction but don’t usually like reading it because I get bogged down in all of the technical jargon.  Kangaroo is so much fun, though, and Curtis makes the science accessible without dumbing it down.  I’ve also read more mystery and suspense in the past year than I normally would, which has been great.  I haven’t even had to sleep with the light on!  The only genre I’m not sure I could do is horror.  I’m a total wimp, and I just don’t like the gore and the creepiness and the things that give me nightmares.

What is your editing process like? Do you have help from anyone?

I do the editing myself.  Thankfully we have a very user-friendly system in our studio.  I know there is more that I could do in terms of editing, and I learn something new each time I do it, but I am by no means a professional sound editor. 


My process involves a lot of procrastinating.  Not because I don’t like editing, but because editing means I have to listen to myself.  Through headphones.  I’ve gotten a lot less cringe-y about it, but there are still plenty of moments when I hear something I’ve said and say aloud to the empty studio, “you are SUCH a dork!” 



Which writers inspire you?

Shel Silverstein, JK Rowling, Anne Lamott, Roald Dahl, EL Konigsburg.  And not to be too cheesy or corny sounding, but all of the authors that I interview.  They inspire me with their stories, their determination, their humor, and the fact that they are following their dreams of writing.


What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

It used to be Ben and Jerry’s Dublin Mudslide, but they stopped making it.  Pretty much anything chocolate, or chocolate and peanut butter.


It’s been so great talking with you Sarah, one last question before you go. What is your favorite cuisine? 

Does chocolate count?  I love sushi, my family’s lefse, and I’ve rarely met a soup I didn’t like.


If you would like to learn more about Sarah, or listen to some of her awesome episodes and even discover some new authors be sure to check out the links listed below. If you have any questions or comments for Sarah, please leave a comment below.








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