Since the dawn of the medium, the mantra has been podcast your passion.  As a result, many thousands of podcasts have been launched by content creators eager to share the excitement they have for their work, hobbies and other interests and distractions.  That’s how I got my start and that’s how I’ve maintained my momentum and interest in producing audio and video content for the web.  This has worked very well for me.

It’s only recently that I’ve realized podcasting has actually propelled my hobbies and interests to new heights.  It’s motivated me to experiment with new production styles and explore new possibilities.  In fact, in immersing mself in the pursuit of new ideas, I find that I’ve become a strong advocate for the subject of my podcasts.  That means taking on new challenges

Last week, Andrea and I and our two daughters piled in to a car for a six-day, whirlwind roadtrip which served double-duty as a family vacation and a chance to gather video and audio recordings with some of the biggest names and exciting new talent in the children’s book community for our Just One More Book!! podcast.  We had the priviledge of being the guests of Lane Smith and Molly Leach for two nights during which we had the chance to interview Lane about his illustration process and the artists and illustrators that have influenced him the most.  When we weren’t holding microphones and video cameras, we went on a hike with Lane to a small cabin on their property, ate meals with Lane and Molly (including an amazing meal prepared by Molly and served on a beautifully decorated table) and watched some videos of Lane’s books and the movie School of Rock.

We stopped at the Dr. Seuss Memorial Gardens in Springfield, MA on our way to Northampton where we had the priviledge of spending three nights at the home of Jennifer and Richard Michelson.  Jennifer and Richard were also amazingly gracious, helping us find our way around town, joining us for meals and having us in their home for a fantastic dinner on Saturday night.

Our Northampton schedule was packed and included studio visits, painting, computer drawing, interviewing, museum visiting and socializing with too many children’s book creator names to be mentioned here (click here for a summary of the things we did and people we hung out with).

Back to passion… it’ll take a few weeks to go through the 25 hours of audio and 13 hours of video recordings, and the 1,183 photographs we took while on our road trip. In the meantime, we’ve uploaded a small number of photos as a teaser of the content yet to come.

Our trip has inspired me to think beyond the work we’ve done, beyond the ideas we’ve considered and beyond the limits of promoting children’s book that I’d imagined — all because of our podcast and how it’s amplified our passion.

Thank you very much to everyone we encountered on our trip.  We had the most amazing time with the most gracious, supportive and talented group of people we have ever met.