I was slated to be interviewed alongside Nicole Louise Reid for The Trend (a radio program of WNIN, the local NPR station for Evansville, Indiana). Micah Schweizer is the host, and it was apparent based on the numerous plaques and awards lining the hallway to the studio that the man is accomplished. I would be in the hands of a professional.
This was my first radio interview EVER and to say I was nervous would be a dramatic understatement. All morning in the hotel room, while my husband and son went and got breakfast (and my husband kindly brought me a bagel and coffee–really, the man is a saint, I swear), I rehearsed and practiced my answers in front of a mirror to questions that I thought Micah might ask. He had given me a little heads-up a week before. We had done a brief phone interview where he went over the parameters of the show, as well as indicating a couple of the questions he would ask. But again, he mentioned that it was live and he wanted it to be natural–like a conversation–so I was sure questions would come up that I would need to answer quickly.
I was very glad that my first time was with another author, and an author I admire and like personally. She handled herself with grace, and she was a pro. I learned a thing or two from her. All in all, the interview went very well, and you can listen to it here. We are about 25:40 in. Micah was also very friendly and easy to talk to, which made the entire process less stressful.
An interesting tidbit: where the studio (as well as the PBS station) is located is in an historic building, which used to be a mansion owned by the Carpenter family. Word has it that it is haunted. As we were getting a tour before the show, Amanda, the grants manager, was telling us that she’d experienced some off-kilter things while she had been there. Her office is located in what used to be the old smoking room, and she said every now and then, she would get whiffs of cigar smoke in her office. She also had on her camera a picture that a local ghostfinders team had taken of an apparition fleeting the hallway. It was sick, so sick. And when we went into the conference room, which held the late Mr. Carpenter’s portrait, I felt chills. Apparently his ghost haunts the place because somehow (I forget the exact details) they either lost or sold the buildings (the mansion and adjacent library) to the city, and they want it to be transferred back to the family. Eerie! I was happy that no odd incidents happened, though my husband told me that my son was acting a little strangely around one of the elevators.
PRO: I was very thankful that I had prepared ahead of time. I answered the questions well and without repeating myself too much or saying things like “um” or “like”, etc. I also liked how my sense of humor found its way into the interview. I don’t ever want to appear stuffy or a drone, and I’m really a lighthearted person if you meet me in person. Depending on the situation, I can be the clown or the reserved person. It really depends, but I was happy that I had loosened up to the point where I was making the host laugh. At one point in the interview, he asked me what it felt like to be calling myself a writer. I said I felt I was a “rockstar.” It got chuckles, as did my answer to the question of research, indicating that my book had a variety of sources which kind of “vomited” into the book. Micah asked how long the book took to write, and remarked that five years was a rather long expulsion. Those things were not scripted, and I liked how my personality came through.
CONS: One of the biggest things I learned from listening to Nicole was that I need to take my time in answering. I was so afraid to talk for too long and hit the music, or that Micah would have to cut me off, that I kept my answers brief. What made Nicole’s responses so interesting was that she gave herself the opportunity to meander a little, and we got to see insight into her thought process. I need to allow myself to relax a little more, and take the questions as if they are being asked by a friend. Lesson learned for radio interview #2.
During this time, I received my second book review by David S. Atkinson at InDigest Magazine. He calls the book “absolutely marvelous” [blushing]. You can read the review here. In my mind, he really grasped the effect I was going for with Siddhartha’s hollowness. It’s such a floating feeling (no pun intended in regards to Mr. Carpenter, haha) when people get your work.