Who Are We?

“Helping Writers Write”

CC and I zoomed pass one hundred podcasts since we started “The Amateur Hour” in 2021, and we should reintroduce ourselves with a list of our popular podcasts.

Cassidy Carson and JT Hume are parents, grandparents, and independent writers who podcast, and we’ve got a few books between us. We’ve been a team for over forty years, and we learned things about writing and living together during our journey. Our advice and $5 will get you a Starbucks.

Writing: On top of our books, we have works in progress (WIPs): CC’s historical romance, and JT’s space epic. We wrote a book together that was so much fun, we’ll do it again after our individual WIPs. Check out our joint book and let us know if you like it.

Podcast: We podcast to share our experiences and ideas, but we really like to do is sit down and take a break with each other. That’s all. Nothing dramatic or lurid. Two people of a certain age with a history of chatting over coffee. Our podcast mission: “Helping Writers Write.”

These adventures are the meat of our podcasts. Here’s a short list of the many related topics for your listening convenience.

  • Elmore Leonard was a preeminent 20th Century writer, and he created “10 Rules for Good Writing.” We looped in Hemingway and a Marvel movie.
  • We had an on-the-air earthquake while we discussed the “nature vs. nurture” complexity of the “Flawed Protagonist.”
  • The Nature of Reality, and we employ the usual podcast tool of using familiar movies: “The Matrix” and “The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”

All this and dozens more for your daily commute. We hope you listen and send us feedback because we would love to hear from you.

As we always say, thanks in advance and love you lots!

Life After X

Episode 134: Twitter/X is implementing new amd onerous terms of service, so CC and I have “that” talk about social media. As very small business owners, we have concerns because we no longer believe in the reach and reliability of Twitter/X.

We have an active conversation about social media in general, which gives you a peek inside on how CC and I talk things over.

We also discuss Free Speech and the First Amendment, which is sometimes not the same thing.

We’re going to try out some new things to replace Twitter/X, so stay tuned to this space for more details.

Have a listen and TIA LYL!

Love Language

After a few “doom and gloom” episodes with the related drop-off in listenership, we announce the end of the podcast because we each discover a hill we will die on (kidding).

But seriously, folks, we dive into the Language of Love and the culture of a relationship, and how we as writers bring all of this to our works in progress. We’re talking about communication, gestures, and habits that are unique to each relationship.

We use real-life examples of our parents’ marriages as well as our own. We also cite Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, Georgette Heyer, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Have a listen and let us know what you think. TIA LYL!


CC watched TED Talks by author Elizabeth Gilbert of “Eat, Pray, Love” fame as a means to break through her writer’s block, and her videos inspired us to talk about the source of a writer’s inspiration. We knocked down a series of dominos and ended up with the question: Are some writers divinely inspired by God to write their works, or is creativity the result of the happenstance of physiological neurons and flashes of genius?

We included a “Philosophy of Religion” class, the Baha’i’ Faith, our conscience, and the one or many faces of God.

We also discussed old school driving lessons and our basement. This all makes sense (or not) if you have a listen. TIA LYL!

PS: Here are Ms. Gilbert’s TED Talks:
Your elusive creative genius
Success, failure and the drive to keep creating


Episode 131 is more free form than usual since we start with Labor Day, muddle around Burning Man, and end up talking at length about the Indiana Jones franchise.

Throughout this podcast was the sense and idea of nostalgia. The movie-going experience has changed much in our lifetimes, though we wouldn’t say it necessarily has evolved. We also acknowledge that we are not the target audience we used to be. Even so, we feel the impact of entertainment was lost as movies were moved from a dark room with one bright screen to home-centric entertainment systems (streaming services and video games).

Dunno if we can be “right or wrong” in something that is unique to all of our personal experiences, but we do have opinions from our chairs on the porch as we watch over our lawn.

We spoil Indiana Jones and discuss the challenges of the home of Burning Man (CC used to live out there).

What do you think? Have a listen and TIA LYL!

How We Feel

The endless saga of our flooded basement gives us fodder for this week’s podcast. Long story short: we’re sore.

We talk about how the natural process of aging and Life takes a physical toll on our quality of life, and how we as writers can use these experiences to shape our characters. We also discuss how we can learn more about conditions where we have no firsthand experience. Notable examples would be the use of scooters in supermarkets and childbirth.

We also touch on how the quality of our physical health can be directly related to our ecomomic status. We cite Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, and John Steinbeck.

Yeah, this podcast was not much of a picker-upper, but these are important discussions for creators who write about real life versus those writing for escapism.

Have a listen and let us know what you think. TIA LYL!

They Molded Us

Episode 129 is about the authors who inspired and shaped us as adults and writers, and who happen to be women.

How’s this for a murderer’s row:
Agatha Christie (left)
Louisa May Alcott (right)
Jane Austen
Georgette Heyer
Carolyn Keene
Anne McCaffery
Ann Rice
JK Rowling
Alice Walker
Harper Lee
Margaret Mitchell
Madeline L’Engle
Diana Gabaldon
Amy Tan
Audrey Niffenegger

So many more we could have mentioned.

We spoil “Murder on the Orient Express” and “Clue” (the movie).

We also discussed Hurricane Hillary, our feral cat, and the toxic wastedump known as our basement.

Lots of goodies for you. Have a listen and let us know what you think. TIA LYL!


Episode 128 is about that great beast called “screenwriting” and how it is a different, yet similar craft to writing a book. There’s the external visual representation versus the internal written word, but there’s also the complex collaboration, visuals, and the outside influences (re: the studios) that change the original product into what you see on the big and small screen. It’s a fascinating process.

We spoil:
Angels and Demons (pictured)
Star Wars

We update our EPA Superfund Site codenamed “our basement,” talk about our WIPs, and discuss our deer for what is probably the last time.

Have a listen and let us know what you think. TIA LYL!

Lightning in a Bottle

Is George Lucas good or lucky?

Episode 127 of our writers podcast is about writers who capture lightning in a bottle. They submit books and screenplays at just the right time which capture the imagination and take the country by storm. There’s lots of examples, starting with Mr. Lucas. Some folks would point to his pop cultural phenomenon of “Star Wars,” but we go to the 1973 classic called “⁠American Graffiti⁠.”

This movie almost singlehandedly brought the 1950s nostalgia craze to the forefront of the Seventies and beyond. The movie also had a direct impact on CC’s formative years.

We also include the usual updates about our WIPs, our basement (yuck) and the tenants, the deer.

Have a listen and let us know what you think. TIA! LYL!

Using an Epiphany

What’s going on with Episode 126 of our writers’ podcast? The better question is what isn’t going on with this podcast.

We start off with the premise that an epiphany is part of the writer’s toolchest, but it’s an unreliable tool. Yes, the initial idea of a book can be classified as one, but what happens after you start writing and developing characters and plot? We have ideas on how to create and use epiphanies in your writing.

There’s also a discussion on how long you should take to write a book. Spoiler: CC has been working on hers for over ten years and I started mine in 2022. They might appear in 2024.

Also the usual junk drawer updates:
Killing characters
Free book giveaway

We go from Stephen King to George R.R. Martin in this one, so have a listen and let us know what you think. TIA! LYL!

Image source

Yeah, We Went There, Too

Yeah, we joined mainstream and social media in debating Barbie in our podcast, but we went in a different direction with the history of gender-based books and roles.

We start in the mass market publishing in the beginning of the 20th Century (“dime store novels”) through the “Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew” type books of the Fifties. We work our way into Women’s Lib and ERA, and we talk about how the Barbie movie is portrayed in social media.

-Our WIPs
-Happy Birthday
-Deer Update
-WGA and the SAGAFTA strikes

As a bonus, three of our books will be free on Monday, July 24. Here’s that link. If you miss the giveaway, send me proof that you bought them and we’ll Venmo you the cost. We’d rather you read the books than worry about buying them.

Have a listen and let us know what you think. TIA! LYL!

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