Ask Payne Lindsey his secret to making a good podcast, and he'll reply with just three words: "Everything takes forever."
Lindsey should know: he's the creator of two standout series: Up & Vanished, his compelling deep dive into the 2005 disappearance of Tara Grinstead; and Atlanta Monster, his lengthy investigation into the murky deaths of 25 Atlanta children between 1979 and 1981.
Both were hits: Up & Vanished topped 200 million downloads and best-of-the-year lists after its 2016 debut and allowed Lindsey to focus on podcasting full-time, resulting in the acclaimed series Atlanta Monster.
Neither a podcaster nor a journalist, Lindsey's investigative efforts were notable for his dogged approach to getting interviews, and his top-notch sound quality.
That explains his "everything takes forever" complaint.
"I think the best story in the world could be wasted if the quality of sound and production isn't high enough," Lindsey explains. "I like to spend a lot of time making my podcasts feel immersive, like the listener is along for the ride."
That ride continues, with a second season of Up & Vanished debuting this week. Lindsey, 30, admits he's feeling the pressure after season one ended with an arrest in Grinstead's previously cold case.
"When I started my podcast, it was an experiment. I wanted it to go somewhere, of course, but I had no idea the magnitude. I mean, who could have predicted that outcome?" he says.
"I feel the expectation. But I also feel positive about the story chosen for season two."
He's talking about Kristal Anne Reisinger, a mother-of-one who vanished in the small town of Crestone in 2016 and is the subject for Up and Vanished's second season.
Lindsey promises another compelling case, saying he chose it from hundreds of potential stories sent to him after the success of season one.
"I've [come] to know the friends and family, and they are extremely passionate about getting some answers," Lindsey says. "My team and I have already collected some pretty interesting information."
He was drawn to the case by the lack of media coverage Reisinger's disappearance has had, saying there are just "two articles online".
"It doesn't have a huge amount of exposure. Compared to Tara Grinstead's case, Kristal Reisinger's story has nothing ... The more people are listening and asking questions and creating a buzz, I think the more pressure it puts on the guilty parties. They have continued to live their life so far without any legal consequences, and that's not right."
The podcast isn't finished: Lindsey's inspired by the Serial-style of podcasting, in which the story is shaped by new information coming forward as his bi-weekly episodes air.
"It's hard to wrap up an entire story on a case like this before release - partially because it's so intricate, and partially because the story is still evolving," he says.
"I expect we'll learn some more crucial information after the first few episodes are released."
With season one being turned into a television series, it begs the question: is Lindsey taking advantage of a terrible situation for his podcast, or is he genuinely passionate about getting closure in the cases he's covering?
Lindsey says it's both.
"Obviously I'm not in law enforcement or the justice system. I don't even come from a journalism background. I am a storyteller at heart," he says.
"But I strongly believe that I can use this to help these cases move forward. I think sometimes you need to draw people in and find a way to make people really care.
"I do fulfill my desire to tell stories, but I'm hoping that this story ends with positive results for Kristal's family."
Three essential podcasts
The Habitat: Getting to Mars, it turns out, is only half the problem. Once we're there, developing suitable living conditions, sustainable food supplies, and reliable communication systems back home won't matter if the people we send there don't get along. The Habitat follows a dummy run: six participants who spent a year living in Mars-style conditions on a remote mountain of Hawaii, documenting everything through audio diaries. What Lynn Levy discovers is it's the little things - annoying habits, petty squabbles, bad guitar playing, and love affairs - that could bring a mission to Mars crashing to the ground.
Bikram: Is Bikram Choudhury the Harvey Weinstein of the yoga world? Through interviews with many current and former yoga studio owners, Julia Lowrie Henderson uncovers compelling evidence that he might be. Born in India, Choudhury arrived in America with a compelling rags-to-riches story and set about revolutionising the yoga world with hot yoga, an exercise form still popular today. But as one former disciple claims: "He did some great things. He did some horrific things." In the first long-form podcast from ESPN's 30 For 30 series, Henderson does an incredible job in covering both sides of Choudhury's story.
The Teacher's Pet: If you're a fan of true crime, one of the year's most compelling cases comes from Hedley Thomas. Her podcast, from The Australian, dives into the mysterious disappearance of Lyn Dawson 36 years ago and takes a sudden turn. Spoiler alert: Thomas uncovers some stunning revelations around systemic sexual abuse of Sydney high school students in the 1980s. Like Payne Lindsey's efforts, Thomas' podcasts have resulted in detectives reopening the case, interviewing new witnesses and investigating new leads. Journalism, then, at its finest.