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Running your own business can be a lonely pursuit. Much like writing, which many lucky people are able to maintain as a healthy business, you can spend hours at the keyboard nursing cup after cup of coffee, often with only the cat for company.

After a while without at least another voice to listen to if not converse with, ideas can start to merge into one discombobulating tangle or worse, begin to recede altogether and then you’re lost in the forest of your own bewilderment.

One of the things I enjoy doing which helps me stay focused and creative when designing book covers is listening to podcasts. Podcasts are unintrusive, entertaining, often inspiring and provide no visual distraction to disturb your concentration.

Here are just a few of the podcasts I have listened to of which I am happy to recommend here. Each is available on iTunes.

The Folklore Podcast

The Folklore Podcast, presented by Folklorist, Mark Norman, is a fortnightly podcast in which each episode is devoted to a particular folkloric topic. Mark provides an insightful explanation of each theme often including information of historic significance when interpreting tales which fall into the categories of folklore, myths and legends. Furthermore, I defy you to listen to the show’s haunting theme music, played with considerable skill on the Hurdy Gurdy, without your hair standing slightly on end.

New Episode Frequency: Fortnightly



Lore, by Aaron Mahnke has become very popular, and for good reason. If you enjoy folklore, urban legends and the supernatural Lore won’t disappoint. In each themed, well-researched episode, Aaron relays the facts, conjecture and horror behind some of America’s ‘true’ ghost stories in vivid detail. Aaron’s style of presentation and a memorable use of atmospheric music instantly sets Lore apart from other similar concepts. An anthology style TV show based on the Lore podcast is now also available to Amazon Prime customers.

New Episode Frequency: Fortnightly


Welcome to Nightvale

One of the most well known podcasts on this list. Welcome to Nightvale chronicles the goings-on in the eponymous fictional(?) town as presented in serialised radio station format by Nightvale’s own charismatic DJ, Cecil. If you enjoy the idea of a town where horrifying, supernatural and yet darkly comic things happen every day, sometimes two or even three times before breakfast, then Nightvale is the destination for you. All hail the Glow Cloud!

New Episode Frequency: Weekly


No Such Thing As A Fish

No Such Thing As A Fish is a podcast produced by the team behind the BBC show, QI. Each week, four of the researchers who compile the facts for each edition of the QI TV show get together to share with each other the favourite random, often wildly bizarre fact they have each uncovered within the previous seven days. This generally results in broad, highly comical discussion along some quite esoteric tangents as the team pull the proverbial stuffing out of each fact in turn.

New Episode Frequency: Weekly


The Worried Writer Podcast

I am fairly new to this podcast, having happily stumbled across it whilst searching for something new to listen to. The Worried Writer Podcast, devised by Novelist, Sarah Painter, has a mission to help writers overcome self-doubt, procrastination and fear. In each episode Sarah interviews an established author through reflective discussion about the creative barriers they encountered when writing, barriers which are often common to other writers, and crucially how each author set to overcoming each creative psychological obstacle, Sarah’s down to Earth, conversational approach is perfectly suited to the kind of motivational coaching that the podcast provides.

New Episode Frequency: Regular


The Infinite Monkey Cage

Ostensibly, The Infinite Monkey Cage is the BBC Radio 4 show of the same name repackaged into a downloadable podcast. Presented by Professor Brian Cox and Comedian, Robin Ince, each edition of The Infinite Monkey Cage explores a tricky scientific topic in a light-hearted panel show format. The two regular presenters are joined each week by a panel of two scientific experts specific to the topic of the week and a guest comedian. Topics covered include everything from dark matter to the existence of ghosts.

New Episode Frequency: Weekly

Do you listen to any podcasts that should be on this list? If so leave them in the comments below and I will check them out.

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