Podcast Gives Author a Voice for Koalas

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Reaching a wider audience in an effort to raise funds for the Australian Wildlife Hospital.

Thanks to author KS Augustin's Web resource, Radio Free Bliss (http://radiofreebliss.ksaugustin.com/), author Lee Barwood is now able to reach a wider audience in her efforts to raise funds for the Australian Wildlife Hospital. SF/F and romance author Augustin's website features a popular podcast page, Radio Free Bliss, for which she interviews authors monthly. Barwood, the highlighted interview for the month of May, is the latest author to join the company of writers whose insights and works are featured.

Listeners can now tune in on iPods or through downloads to hear Barwood talk about her work on Klassic Koalas: Ancient Aboriginal Tales in New Retellings (http://www.koalajo.com), as well as her other writings, the plight of the environment, and her fascination with koalas. They'll also learn how the Australian Wildlife Hospital, the beneficiary of each sale of Barwood's book, grew from a small avocado packing shed to a size requiring a new, earth-friendly structure. Ground was broken last year and the project is due to be completed this year, with a much larger facility, state-of-the-art equipment, and room to accommodate the ever-growing number of animal patients brought in each day for care to help them survive disease or catastrophic injury.

Augustin, who has spent considerable time in Australia, has some hopeful news for those concerned with the plight of the koala and other natural wonders from Down Under as she points out that those on local committees are pretty savvy about the animals and land they are charged with protecting. She also takes the opportunity during the interview to urge her listeners living in Australia to contact those committees with their concerns on behalf of local wildlife and habitat.

Augustin's program, not subject to the time boundaries of conventional radio or TV interviews, is archived at the site. She also offers a feature called "Bliss Alumni," which offers readers a link to click so that they can sample some of the work of the authors Augustin talks with. Listeners can find not one, but two samples of Barwood's writing on Bliss Alumni now that the link has gone live (as of May 1): a chapter from A Dream of Drowned Hollow and a story from Klassic Koalas: Ancient Aboriginal Tales in New Retellings.

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JOANNE EHRICH