Monday, November 7, 2016

Coming to you live...

I did a radio interview about  Evolution Revolution: Simple Machines on last Thursday, Nov. 3 for WEOL out of Elyria, Ohio, for the Morning Show hosted by Craig Adams and Bruce Van Dryke. I've done radio interviews before but it's still a little disconcerting hearing yourself on radio or tv if you're not in the business. Listen and let's compare notes:


These are my thoughts:

1. Do I really sound like that? The voice I hear is so much lower. This could explain why my kids screech when I sing. Or they could just be pesky kids. Wonder if they know how their  voice sounds.

2. I wish I hadn't said "um" as often. No excuses, I've had public speaking classes, I've done numerous presentations and talks for NJ SCBWI and at author events. (But it was 8:10 in the morning and maybe I should have gone to bed at 6 pm instead of 11:30 pm. I'm on a I-don't-have-to-get-up-with-the-kids-schedule anymore).

3. I couldn't eat or drink a cup of tea before the interview. I have digestive issues so I have to take medication and wait a full hour before putting anything in my stomach. Yes! I could have gotten up earlier and taken care of this. Totally my fault. Or I could blame it on the medication for making me wait so darn long.

4. It went so quick! I had tons of funny anecdotes and life experiences I wanted to share. I had to prioritize and a) answer the question from the host, b) keep it short and pithy, and c) try to get in pertinent information like where to get the book and my website address. For a person who likes to chat, this was an exercise in restraint!

5. Even though I've done this before, my hands were still a bit shaky right before I called in. Nerves? Possibly. You can't really prepare for these events. Hunger? A little bit. Like my brain, it takes a while for my stomach to wake up and I think it was rumbling awakd during the interview. Caffeine withdrawal? Another possibility. Didn't get that cup of tea until afterwards. Well, after the interview, a load of laundry, making my bed and doing the dishes. You can fit a lot of stuff into an hour when you're waiting to eat.

So what did you think? Throw away being an author to be a radio host? (I didn't think so either.) But here's some tips I'll leave with you:

1. Make sure you're rested and fed (not stuffed) before the interview. Don't eat anything that will make you burp (like soda), cough (like dry chips), or sniffle (like hot sauce).

2. Make a list of the things that have to get into the interview: website/blog address, where to buy the book, the age range of the book, a 2-3 sentence long synopsis (without spoilers!). Interview hosts may have this covered, but if they don't, you have to get it in. Most of this advice came to me from my publicist, Rebecca Grose of SoCal Public Relations.

3. Don't try for something you're not. If you're not British, don't do a faux accent to push the book. I'm generally funny, but my first answer didn't come off so well: Q: how many books are planned in the series? A: If I got a huge contract, I'd publish more... Nope. Didn't work. Guess I'm funnier in person where I can make goofy faces. Keep it conversational.

4. Don't be one of those people who hog all the air time. One of the things I think I did well with was waiting until the host finished speaking, I tried not to interrupt or ramble. Some people (and most of you know who you are....) just go on and on. When you do that in conversation or on author panels, I shut down. Check my nail polish. Practice signing my name for the movie deal. It's probably why I don't listen to audio books- the same speaker never stops.

5. Be prompt, courteous, pleasant-voiced, and above all, remember that interviewers are doing YOU a favor, so no attitude and say thank you!

I'll be here, writing while waiting for that call for my books to be adapted to the silver screen...


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