Friday, November 25, 2016

Preparing for Interviews

For my book launch and debut weekends I had prepared scripts I out-and-out read aloud. Not exciting at all. But I was sure to get my message across. This was quite important for the Bishop Hill audience of friends and neighbors. I had to let them know the details of how I came up with my characters.
After those two party weekends, I let things slide a bit.

For the first author’s panel I was invited to participate in I had a page or two of notes to work from—not a prepared formal address. I would not want to hear a recording of that session. I heard myself go “um” a lot. I just couldn’t help myself.

I handled my questions well enough. I watched my fellow panelists quote and otherwise use their books to make their points about writing. It was a good lesson to pick up on.

I did better for my second author’s panel. Again I was with two other authors who were both well experienced and considerate. We didn’t have 15 minutes of introduction time to fill for this event—we went right to questions. One author made point after point for strong characters. This dovetailed into what I picked up later at the Children’s Literature Festival listening to Metivier and Prineas make their presentations.

A few weeks later I went to hear Teresa LaBella at the Bettendorf Public Library for the October Read Local. She had a polished Power Point presentation that emphasized the specific things that gave her inspiration for her stories. I had to remember my own moments of inspiration for future reference.

I had this much experience under my belt as I tried to prepare for my WVIK radio interview with Don Wooten and Roald Tweet.

Did I mention that it would be a LIVE recording? No editing.

I pretty much spent the weekend before my Monday interview calming myself as I looked for quotes to read from the book and just thinking about potential questions & answers. I wasn’t sure this mental preparation would work. But it did help to refresh my memory of some of the main points and themes of my novel. I knew I had to skip the dull parts of my previous readings.

Come Monday afternoon I sat at the WVIK employee break room table rehearsing the brief passage I would be reading if asked. Then the time came to walk into the studio and sit close to the microphone as Mr. Wooten adjusted the volume to boost my quiet voice. He twisted a few dials, found a new CD to record on, and said it was time to go.

Wooten and Tweet were off and running. They played the Scribble opening typewriter music that’s so familiar for me. They made all the necessary introductions of a standard show. And then I WAS UP.

From there on out I don’t remember the specifics of what I said. I talked. I talked a lot. I talked about everything that was on my mind and hoped for the best. I hoped I wouldn’t embarrass myself. I recall making them chuckle a couple of times. I’ve always considered a little humor a good thing. Most of all, I tried to be a good guest and answer as fully and completely as I was able to.

Then I left the building having to wait like everyone else to hear my spot when it aired on the scheduled Saturday at noon. However, due to a previous commitment, I missed hearing it that day. Fortunately, WVIK made it available for me and other people to hear in online.

Here is a link to hear it and judge for yourself how well I did:

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