Photo by Kayleigh Thesenvitz

Student releases Olympics themed podcast

Haynes has produced three podcasts and written three novels.

TU student Jesse Haynes has made strides with three young adult novels and three wildly successful podcasts. Now he’s bringing a fourth podcast to life — one that focuses on the Olympics.

Haynes is no stranger to sports writing. A passion for sports and success in high school athletics bled into his academic life and eventually led to a sports writing position at the “Skiatook Journal” and sports stringer work with the “Tulsa World.”

The upcoming podcast will likely be titled “The History of Olympic Politics.” Its focus is just that.

“I’m starting with a history of the Olympics for episode one, then I’ll dive off into the different political factors affecting the Olympics, from race, to business, to government, to amateurism and more,” Haynes explains.

Haynes says that the best part of his work on the show is the guests he’s worked with. The show features interviews with academics, including one of the world’s leading Olympic historians, past gold medalists and hopeful future Olympians. All of the featured guests will share their perspective on the interplay between politics and the Olympics.

The show is mainly history-based, but Haynes thinks that the currently ongoing Olympics have their own political elements.

“Look at the unity of North and South Korea in 2018. In fact, I am beginning to think it’s impossible to separate the Olympics from politics. The former couldn’t survive without the latter,” he says.

Haynes’ upcoming podcast is part of a Media Studies independent study project — he is a class of 2019 Media Studies major with minors in Creative Writing and Digital Humanities. He first began making his own podcasts after becoming an avid podcast listener.

He recorded his first show, “Cryptid Creatures,” with a $30 microphone on the floor of his closet. The show is a nonfiction show that explores the science and myth behind various cryptids.

The success of “Cryptid Creatures” led to the creation of “The Others,” an audio drama about a man stranded on an island crawling with paranormal monsters, and “The Mazie Meadows Morning Show,” a series of “live broadcasts” from a small town full of strange creatures.

The two podcasts have been downloaded over one million times and both made it into the Top 50 on iTunes. With over two million podcasts hosted on the website, this is no small feat.

Haynes says he’s “a one-man production team. From writing the scripts to layering the sound effects and producing the final product, I do all of that.” He does, however, rely on the help of friends and TU affiliates to contribute to voice acting.

“TU was really good to me,” he adds. “They provided me with a good deal of equipment that made ‘The Others’ and ‘The Mazie Meadows Morning Show’ possible.”

Aside from his work in podcasting, Haynes is also a published author. He’s written three young adult novels: Creepers (2014) and Creepers 2 (2016), which follow two brothers seeking a cure to a virus that has turned most of humanity into zombie-like creatures, and Special (2017), the story of an unlikely friendship between a boy with Down Syndrome and a cheerleader.

Though he loves podcasting, “Novel writing is still my favorite,” Haynes says. “Novel writing is a lot more conducive to building submersive worlds, which is something I absolutely love to do.”

Along with the upcoming Olympics podcast, Haynes will bring “Cryptid Creatures” and the “Mazie Meadows Morning Show” back from hiatus on March 1. He also just signed on with Roadrunner Press and plans to release three more novels over the next two years.

Post Author: Hannah Kloppenburg