The things you forget to promote when you take a vacation…I was on a podcast episode last month! It was my honor to chat with Hadas of The Common Room Podcast during her Potterweek specials.


I love being a podcast guest. Podcasters often appear on one another’s shows, which is difficult for us here at No Extra Words because of our format, however Susan Vollenweider of the History Chicks was a previous contributor and I am looking at a way to add more podcaster voices to No Extra Words this fall, so stay tuned for that. But it was so much fun to talk with Hadas about the Dursleys and how they fit into the world of Harry Potter. So many layers.

It’s funny how self conscious we can get when our voices are out there. I think I have worked through all my hangups about how my voice sounds after a year of podcasting, but when I was listening to myself on the Common Room my focus became all the tiny mistakes I made about my Potter knowledge and the danger of losing my children’s book cred (shoot, I got that stuff about the letters wrong, and how on earth did I forget the name of Matilda?!) I was a children’s librarian for 10 years and am surrounded constantly by friends who love children’s books, so I found myself being extremely critical.

And then I remembered that it’s not a Master’s class or a trivia competition. It is a conversation. It is a chance to nerd out about something I love, and no one’s grading it.

We get into podcasting, both as listeners and producers, because we want to geek out on something. Hadas told me when she interviewed me that Harry Potter is how she came to podcasts in the first place: she liked the ones she found on Harry Potter. The ones that allowed her to dig deeper, and, better yet, connect with other Potterheads. Isn’t it ridiculously awesome that stuff like that exists, that whatever you’re into you can find someone else, a whole bunch even, who geek out on it too?

It’s scary to put your voice out there. It’s scary to appear on a podcast, or to launch one, or to write, or however you dip your toe into the conversation. But remember, you aren’t trying to reach an audience of everyone, or impress your co-workers and amaze your friends. You’re trying to reach the audience of one, the person in this moment who most needs to hear what you have to say.

So thanks to Hadas from The Common Room for allowing me to be part of what she’s creating, and here’s a challenge to all of you: don’t be afraid to speak your truths and step out of your comfort zone. Oh, yeah, and go catch all of Hadas’s Potterweek episodes, because if you’re a fan of Harry & Co., they are not to be missed.

Happy listening,