Friday, October 11, 2013

Music and Authors Together

Recently I was introduced to a classic rock music station, 92.6 The Blitz.  It's a station dedicated to the indie arts of authors, musicians and filmmakers. 

After listening a few times, it wasn't hard to see that the station's host, Tom Slick, is a natural.  He is enthusiastic and funny, and his voice is absolutely perfect for radio.  There were a lot of advertisements about books.  I was definitely interested.  This was unlike any station I had ever heard before, good music, learning about new authors and their books, good times.  Tom is very quick to respond to his listeners.  He takes song requests, gives shout outs and if you message him on either Facebook or Twitter, he responds within minutes even while on air.  I guess he can multitask pretty well, which is a little odd considering he's a guy ...
So Tom Slick is really Thomas Amo, and he's an author himself.  There is a story behind this writer and his unique radio station and how he's combined it all:
"I went into the theatre when I was 14 years old, and by 17, I was with a professional company and acting for a living, not making much but getting paid none the less. Through the years, I joined several other theatre companies and fell in love with comedy, British comedy, in particular. Audiences loved British farces, but most theatres are very agenda driven, so back in the real world where I had to eventually get other backup employment, I worked as a death investigator for the coroner's office.  For Christmas one year, they took us for our Christmas bonus to see a show at a dinner theatre.  It was the worst show ever.  However, I thought to myself...I could do this as I had a dinner theatre background, so I began planning.  In January, 1997, I gave notice, and in April, 1997 began rehearsals for our first show.  I found a venue, and on May 3, 1997, I opened Smiler's Comedy Playhouse.  For the next decade, I produced 66 shows, directing, acting, writing plays that audiences loved.  We were a huge hit, but the economy changed and eventually we had to let it go.  Easiest money I ever made in my life.
I took a year off and then began writing novels again, so in 2010, got into the indie publishing game praying to be the next Amanda Hocking but never could get the exposure needed outside of the bumps on ENT or Pixel of Ink.  Then this year I began to think, how could I promote my work and help others? Blogs, Twitter, FB, none of these things seem to be really working...FB groups.  It's mostly all authors and not readers! I've been the guest on several blog talk radio shows, and I thought what if I could create a radio station that would feature indies only?  How could I make it different from blog talk shows? Then I thought, if I could play classic rock 60s, 70s, 80s and make it like when radio was DJ, sound bites and songs,while promoting indies, would people tune in?

So I did my research for making sure I could legally broadcast the music and be covered for royalties.  I launched a station via on Independence Day, July 4th! Now 3 months later, my 30 minute show has turned into a 3 hour show and advertisers have come to me and indies are also finding the station.  We are still very small.  Our listener capacity is 500 right now, but the fact that we get business advertisement proves that it's not just authors listening! I thought it would be fun to put together a show where indies could get featured, interviews, etc., shout their news for free and help out while at the same time maybe promote my own work."  - Thomas Amo

Here's where you can listen in to 92.6 The Blitz.  If your a reader, you can find out about all kinds of interesting novels, new releases and author events.  If you're an author, you can get advertisement for your novels.  Check out pricing for ads.  They're very affordable (I know from personal experience).  Listen in.  You might find a fun, new addiction in The Blitz:  92.6 The Blitz - Monday - Friday 9 AM - Noon PDT

Here are some fun pictures Tom shared:

Here's a shot of film director Rob Reiner (A Few Good Men) and I on the set of "The Sure Thing" staring John Cusack. This was March, 1984.
Myself with actress Janet Leigh (Jamie Lee Curtis's mom) Psycho. Met at a dinner party, 1985.
Fun one...myself and my boyhood crush, Exorcist actress Linda Blair...we were both in the same show at the same time in different theaters. The show was called "Run For Your Wife" she was in the American version and I was in the British version. She was so thrilled to talk to someone about something not Exorcist related.


Need some stalker links for Thomas Amo because he is a super awesome author and radio host?
Here you go:
 Twitter:  @AuthorThomasAmo and @926TheBlitz
Go tune into 92.6 The Blitz and say hello to Thomas Amo.  He's created something truly unique in the indie industry with this station.


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