Writers have to imagine their audience most of the time. Sometimes you actually meet your readers at book signings and readings, workshops or other events, but most of the time they are an imagined audience.

I know that people find this blog and it’s safe to assume that a majority of them read some of what they find. A few will comment and a rarer few will email or contact me outside the blog.  I have actually become online friends (in that Facebook-redefined sense of the word) with several of this blog’s readers. I’m reading the galley of one person’s novel now. So, connections do happen.

If I was to publish a book, the ideal reader for me would be Michael Silverblatt.

Host: Michael Silverblatt

He is the host of Bookworm, a radio program on KCRW that is the best book show out there.

Any author would want Michael to be their reader. He is perceptive, sensitive, full of wonder, a child reader with the intelligence of a sage. If you are lucky enough to be his guest, then he has probably read everything you have written. He knows your book better than you do.

Michael is just a year older than me, so there might be some age sensibility I am feeling too. His theme song used to be the bookworm song from the Mickey Mouse Club TV show and I don’t think he ever lost that thrill of reading that many people lose as they lose their childhood.

If you are a serious reader, you’ll enjoy these in-depth interviews with writers of poetry & fiction.

The program has been on for more than twenty years, so the archive is large. A search finds more than a thousand results. I have been listening ever since I had an iPod and could download the podcast versions of the show. I have also turned to that archive to hear past shows.

I listen to writers I know and love – like poet Robert Hass or John Updike – but I also listen to writers I have never encountered, trusting that Michael will guide me wisely.

I also listen to programs about authors that I have tried to read and don’t quite understand, like David Foster Wallace. I listened to shows about him and with him in an effort to better understand where he was writing from and to get Michael’s perspective.

I am sure that many guests have learned things about their books from Michael.

You can find the show on iTunes and other places and you can access the podcast feed at kcrw.com.

The show also has a Facebook fan page and also a Facebook Book Club, if you want to get interactive with the content.

Michael Silverblatt  has said that he wants to be “a person of ferocious compassion instead of ferocious intellect.” He has succeeded. Perhaps his intellect is not “ferocious,” but it is intense and wonderfully deep.

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