Thursday, January 13, 2011


Micro_hI’ve had two interviews in the space of a week, and I’m headed to a conference next month to speak on a panel---so I thought that a post on interviews might be timely. :)

Radio—I’ve done a couple of radio interviews. I had a great interview with Sheila Redling from WKEE yesterday…and she’s a writer, herself, so all the better!

For some reason, I seem only to be able to do radio interviews when the children are home. :) Yesterday was a snow day because of icy conditions. Here’s a tip for parents who do interviews while the kids are home: explain everything. Explain that a radio interview means that the phone will ring and they don’t need to get it, that they only need to interrupt you if it’s a true emergency (and clarify what a true emergency is), and explain that if the dog starts unexpectedly barking, to put her outside in the back yard. Trust me. It’s better to be over-prepared. Put a sticky note on your closed door to remind them you’re on the radio/on the phone…they’ll forget. They were very good yesterday. I’ve had problems in the past, though. :)

Other tips for radio:

  • Use your land line and don’t use your speaker phone or a headset.
  • Turn call-waiting off
  • Know the station’s call letters and use them in the interview.
  • Make sure you know the demographic for the station.
  • Have water nearby.
  • Jot down your interviewer’s name and use it. Silence your cell phone.
  • Make notes for yourself—even with your website info in case you suddenly draw a complete blank under pressure.
  • Be prepared to sum up your book in a couple of sentences.
  • Know how long the interview will last so your answers won’t be too long or too short.
  • Emailed Interviews

    Most of the interviews that I do are emailed interviews…which, of course, I love. Easy peasy for writers to do email interviews. And they turn out so well!

    Telephone Interviews with Newspapers

    I’ve done a couple of phone interviews for the newspaper and those make me a little anxious because they usually don’t submit the questions in advance…and because I don’t like being on the phone. And because sometimes news people (not all news people…maybe just the reporters that I happen to have dealt with) are a little more challenging to talk to. I’ve found, though, that you can be really thoughtful :) and, when you get the interview request from a newspaper, you can offer to provide them with questions or with ideas for questions. You’re only thinking of them, naturally. The reporters are frequently short on time and are grateful for the help…and I’m grateful to prepare in advance.

    My radio interview is going to be playing Friday on WKEE 100.5 at 8:35 and 8:50 EST and as soon as it uploads on their website as a podcast, I’ll link to it. :)

    My Skype interview for Joanna Penn’s new Mystery TV show is here and I talk about writing mysteries (and you can see a summary of the interview below the video player.) As a note to women writers out there—y’all, I wore a ton of makeup (enough for my husband to blink at me when he came in from work and wonder who the heck I was), but you can’t even tell. So definitely make up more.

    I’ll add the proviso that it’s difficult for me to see and hear myself on video and audio, but I take comfort in the fact that so many of you said that you didn’t like to see or hear yourselves, either! There’s room for improvement for me, but thank goodness for video and audio editing.

    Tomorrow I’ll post a little on panels and preparing for those. I lumped everything together in this one post and it was too long, so I’ll tackle that topic tomorrow. :)

    Anyone with any additional tips for interviews? Which type of format do you like best?