And That's Why We Drink - The Interview

We interview Hosts Em and Christine, about their true crime paranormal podcast, And That's Why We Drink. How they built it, who they are as friends and their new book!

And That's Why We Drink - The Interview
It's a podcast

By Contributing Writer: Keelin - Mentally? A Magpie. Blog

Have you ever moved to a new place without anyone? Maybe you moved because of your partner’s job, or you just wanted to start a new life. It’s scary, and it’s hard. Luckily, in this modern world, we can find out that someone we once kind of knew has ended up in the same place. We can reach out, maybe grab a coffee.

Sometimes we can start a podcast with this person, on a whim- because Why Not? In 2017 this was the decision of Christine Schiefer and Em Schulz. Host of the true-crime paranormal podcast, And That’s Why We Drink.

Christine & Em

While Em is the one who said “let’s start a podcast” it was easier said than done. Luckily, their partner in audio had come from an education in broadcast journalism, Christine laid a structural foundation from the start. Able to jump into audio editing, and having been a teenager on the internet-  production and “guerrilla stealth marketing” hit the ground running.

What did Em contribute, then? If Christine was doing production and marketing? Being raised by a chatty mother, and having been a part of a fraternity led to Em having something around 450 friends. That’s just a few people they could throw this podcast at.  Did they think they would get past ten episodes? Let alone to over 200?

Not exactly. It wasn’t an easy road either.

While starting up and settling in the podcast seemed to be a natural profession for these two- the full reality of their endeavor was taking them on a ride. Em, having been a screen printer at one point- took on making merchandise for their ever-growing audience. Christine mailed out what shirts she could on her lunch break.

Not just that, but it seemed like their listeners weren’t just their moms.  They also weren’t from Em’s ever-larger circles of friends. No, they had strangers messaging them. People were finding it organically, listening, and liking it.  And That’s Why We Drink ascended from ten degrees of separation to the international market (hey there, Lisa from Norway!).

This was their life. Promotions came in $40 and what might be free tampons a few times a year. Then more. There were ad voiceovers, moderating Facebook pages, and eventually even a Patreon. Em and Christine began to drown in the ever chaotic hustle of what we might now see as a start-up.

What do start-ups do when they get too big for their core team? They hire. So they hired Eva. First an assistant and now a producer that needs her own assistant, the ATWWD team hit the mark with her- and a milestone. They were now responsible for someone else’s career, and few things are more powerful than accountability and fear.

They had a business. One that led them to a tour. A tour in which they learned a lot about themselves, boundaries, and paying taxes in multiple states. Would you ever want to send a text to your friend and business partner that you may have committed a federal crime?

Luckily Em and Christine did not go to jail, and ATWWD still stands. It wasn’t easy though. They definitely had their ups and downs and for some reason their fair share of human teeth. Christine and Em had to learn how to navigate the business world and the world of live entertainment on the go. Listeners noticed, but so did ATWWD.

What was achieved is not easy. It is true this team is a great one, understanding of each other’s needs and based on a friendship of mutual respect. They have remained flexible, but hardworking. They have to, especially with Christine’s moving across the country and adding to her family. As a long-time listener and in the short conversation we had, I know that this is a team based on mutual respect and joy for what they do.

The team is currently at the tail end of their most recent tour and staring down their next milestone. The publishing of their first book- A Haunted Road Atlas. While it was a long-term goal of the podcast, it still is a new world publishing a book. Especially on a timeline that includes a newborn.

Reserve your copy today

Again, ATWWD hit a jackpot with their publisher. A team that understood the podcast style and allowed that to shine through. A Haunted Road Atlas isn’t a traditional book- it’s a travel guide. Em and Christine take us on an ink and paper tour of the United States- to the places whose ghosts whisper the reasons we drink.

Everyone has a favorite creepy story, and when you talk about them for a living you tend to have a few. Em details their favorite being the Cecil Hotel which is “chock-full of ghosts” and “pretty notoriously haunted”. The thing about Em’s stories is that they are repetitive, but the Cecil Hotel gave Em more than “you could hear footsteps”.

The somewhat murder full history of New Orleans gave Christine a lot to work with, plus it’s one of her favorite places in the world. Between alligator tours, impulsive tattoos, and the general vibe of the city Christine could talk about New Orleans for chapters on chapters.

My favorite thing to ask about though isn’t quite what people find to be their favorite pieces, but the most surprising. Christine did admit that the original outline of the travel book would have had over 700 pages. While many places that were interesting just couldn’t fit, they did manage to fit in Sedamsville - a town within Cincinnati. Both Christine and Em were shocked by the spooky story they found right around the corner from Christine.

Excited to see what the stories end up being? A Haunted Road Atlas releases May 31st. Pre-order from your favorite indie bookstore or wherever you get your books.

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