Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tips for a Radio Interview

What I'm reading: In Plain Sight, by C.J. Box; Alibi in High Heels, by Gemma Halliday (Nook)

Tonight I'm headed into new territory. I had a request for a web radio interview, and I accepted. My first reaction when I got the confirmation was panic. Had I really agreed to do this? The show is scheduled for three hours. THREE? Now, talking doesn't usually bother me, but I do tend to ramble blather, and I don't think my verbal meanderings would interest listeners for that long.

Fortunately, follow up emails revealed that there are a whole bunch of authors who will share that time block, with each given a featured half hour. That seems more reasonable.

Since I've never done a phone-in interview before, I thought it might be wise to plan ahead. Stammering and hemming and hawing probably won't make a good impression.

Elaine, the interviewer and host, sent some very useful instructions, including reminders that the station will pick up background sounds. Not smart to be chatting while washing dishes (but Hubster does that), doing laundry, or dealing with pets and vocal children demanding attention. Luckily, we don't have any of the latter, and simply closing the door to my office should keep things quiet. The other critical point is to turn off the sound on the computer, because it'll create nothing but confusion.

I remember calling in to a radio talk show long ago. There's a several second delay between when you speak and when it hits the air. If you've ever tried talking while hearing your words played back a few seconds later…well, it can't be done.

Once the technical aspects are covered, the next most important thing to do is look over the questions the interviewer provided, and make sure I have at least the starting point for answers written down. My brain will go blank otherwise.

And, speaking of blanked-out brains. I'm going to have the titles of all my books written down, too. Nothing like not remembering what you've written (and one of her questions was, "how many books have you written?" and I had to stop and think—and check my own website to make sure I wasn't missing any.)

I'll also jot down the tag line for each book, and the names of the characters, just to help me keep things straight. Upcoming releases. The URL for my website. A plug for my newsletter.

It's a call-in show, so there's another thing to worry about. What if nobody calls in? I know it's the host's job to keep things going, but I'm sure they'd rather have me fielding questions from listeners rather than having to fill the time slot with … filler.

The last interview question is, "anything else about yourself you would like to get out there?"

So, tell me. What do you want to know about me? What do you think listeners might be interested in?

The radio show runs from 8-11 PM Eastern Time. My slot is 9:30 – 10:00 (which is 7:30 – 8:00 Mountain time, where I live, so I might not be asleep.)

You can find the show at Scroll down and click on Blog Talk Radio.

The call-in number is on the site.

It would be great to hear from you!

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Stacey said...

I've done 2 blog talk radio interviews, and the thing to make sure to get in at the end is where listeners can find/how to purchase your books. One of my interviewers asked the question, but the other did not and I had to jump in to mention my website and how to purchase my books. Very important if you want to sell books. lol Good luck.

Terry Odell said...

Thanks, Stacey. Have that in my notes!

Carole Price said...

Terry, I love how you're so willing to share tips on most everything about writing. My cousin's hubby works at a radio station in Santa Cruz, CA and wants to interview me when my first book is out in August. This would be shortly before I do a book signing in SC. I'm not worried yet, but I sure will panic as the time draws closer.

Terry Odell said...

Carole, happy to leave some breadcrumbs along the publication pathways. Good luck with your release.

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