Podcast fiction tips from one of the genre’s top creators

The writer behind three of the most popular audio dramas now available tells us how to move audiences using nothing more than dialog and sound.

INTERVIEW WITH WRITER K. A. STATZ
by B. DeCesare

I had the chance to talk with K. A. Statz, co-founder of Fool & Scholar Productions and writer for the podcasts The White Vault, Liberty, and Vast Horizon. 

The White Vault is a horror audio drama that focuses on the disappearance of a research team at Svalbard, a frigid wasteland where secrets resting beneath the ice for millennia are more chilling than the unforgiving environment of the Arctic Circle. The “found footage” style podcast boasts a talented and diverse cast of characters and voice actors and uses dialogue and sound to create a terrifying story.

1. TELL US A BIT ABOUT WHAT INSPIRED THE WHITE VAULT.

In 2016, Travis (Vengroff) and I went on a trip to Iceland during the winter. I was just out of university, so the only time we could really afford to go was in the winter off-season. So, we packed for snow and ice, and off we went. It was spectacular: black sand beaches, steaming saunas, fields of volcanic rock, and entire mountains of ice that spread on past the horizon.

It was also where I came to realize how harsh and neutral nature could be. All that ice and snow, those impossibly strong dark waves that could pull you out to sea like you were nothing, everything could harm you. It didn’t want to or need to, it just could. I loved it. This gave me the idea for a much different story, but over time as I worked on building something out of those ideas, it took on some supernatural elements and eventually became the story of The White Vault as it exists today.

 

2. IN A PREVIOUS Q&A SHORT, YOU MENTIONED THAT YOU WERE DRAWN TO AUDIO FICTION BECAUSE OF ITS EFFICIENCY AND HOW ENJOYABLE THE PROCESS WAS. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ASPECTS OF CREATING CONTENT FOR AUDIO FICTION? 

It’s accessible. Anyone, anywhere, at any time can write a script and make a podcast. It’s this open-door to podcasting that has allowed so many great stories come into being. But, from the writing perspective, I enjoy the freedom I have to craft worlds and horrors. I create my script, but listeners do a lot of the work in their ‘Theatre of the Mind’. The creature someone creates in their mind’s eye will always be more terrifying to them than anything I describe.

3. CONVERSELY, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES…? 

Read it all at morbidlybeautiful.com