Monday, February 15, 2010

Local Flavor by Morgan Mandel

While listening to Mark Everett this morning on WJJQ 92.5 FM Northwoods Radio streaming audio on the computer, I couldn't help but enjoy the station's local flavor. Although national and world news are mentioned, the emphasis is on what's happening near the station. That means I hear about births, deaths, accidents, fires, area events, grammar and high school sports, all as they relate to Tomahawk, WI. Snow is welcome in that area, where snowmobilers congregate and lake levels depend on it.

Here I am with Mark Everett last October, when the DH and I visited the statuion. Since we own a cottage in Arbor Vitae, not far from Tomahawk, I'm considered a local author. Mark will be interviewing me about Killer Career on WJJQ on May 6, at 9:35 am. You'll hear more about that later.

I was also listening to Don Wade and Roma this morning on WLS 890 AM. There, along with national and world news, I heard about Chicago area politics, a fire in Chicago where building codes are being investigated, labor disputes, murders, the debate about whether or not the Illinois Lieutenant Governor position should be eliminated because Illinois is way in debt, the CTA money crisis, and the Chicago Blackhawks, the professional hocky team. I didn't hear anything about grammar or high school sports teams.

I'm much more apt to hear about a deer accident on WJJQ than on WLS, but on WLS I'm more likely to hear about a protest march. Below zero in the winter is more likely to be reported as normal on WJJQ than on WLS, although the weather can hover near zero in the Chicago area. Both stations are mentioning the Olympics today, but on WJJQ they're asking people to register for a bus to go to a regional wrestling match. That's something I didn't hear and doubt if I'd ever hear on WLS.

Like the radio stations do, when writing, be sure to include local flavor so the reader can tell what part of the country or world your novel takes place. Do this by inserting references to items and events unique to that area so you can pull the reader into the setting.

Morgan Mandel


Dana Fredsti said...

Good point re: inserting local flavor! It's especially fun for readers who are from or familiar with the locale...

Dorothy said...

How exciting, Morgan!

Rebecca Camarena said...

Nice post, Morgan. I like the part about the local flavor tying it into your writing. Thanks for the tip.