Tuesday, June 26, 2007

In fairness, I was a bit grumpy going in...

My friend Caroline was interviewed on BBC radio yesterday about her new book, In Search of Adam, with which most of you are already familiar. If not, click the link above and go find out more. I was curious to hear how she had done with the nerve-wracking interview process, and she had expressed concerns on her blog about how she would fare.

Due to a glitch with the BBC website (or possibly just because I'm on a Mac) I was unable to fast forward through the broadcast, so I ended up listening to approximately 2 hours of streaming broadcast from Manchester's morning show, complete with traffic updates, news, and a slew of other interviews before Caroline finally came on. That's more radio than I've listened to in years.

I was pretty sure I had the right broadcast because the host (Heather Stott) mentioned periodically that there was going to be an interview at some point with a woman who had been discovered and awarded a book deal through a "cyber-scout." While I knew that this was obviously a hook for the press when dealing with Caroline's book, I hoped that she would prove a little more knowledgeable in the actual interview.

My dismay and apprehension deepened somewhat as I listened, as the chatty radio personality interviewed another author early on in her program, and clearly had never so much as glanced at the books the woman had written. She seemed more interested in whether the author ever followed people through bookstores to find out if they were buying her books.

Finally, Caroline came on, and Ms. Stott waded into the interview about how she had been discovered through her blog, and how magical and wonderful that seemed to be. I felt terrible for Caroline when the host revealed that she was completely unaware that the book was already out, waiting in bookstores for her listeners to purchase.

Had she (or anyone on the staff for the show) done any research at all?

For all her nervousness beforehand, Caroline came off as cool and confident. Her book has some pretty dark themes (although I should confess to being one of apparently very few of the bloggers I know who have not yet read it—I plan to read it very soon) which were somewhat incongruent with the perky morning program, but she managed to intergrate these things pretty easily into the conversation. She even managed a preliminary plug for her next book.

I suppose I just wanted to blog about this because I was proud of Caroline, and because I was angry with the interviewer (possibly irrationally, as radio is not something I tend to enjoy) for not having prepared other than the "author discovered through blogging" angle. I've been interviewed on the radio before, and once choked so badly that all of my remarks about a play I was in were edited out of a segment on NPR except for one moderately intelligent bit. I know how strange it can feel for one who is unaccustomed to such a thing, and I thought she handled herself gracefully.

1 comment:

Caroline said...

Thank you sweetie. It means a lot.

I was ushered into the studio, no briefing and then I was on air. I think that the upsetting thing is that the novel had been sent to them a few weeks before. It is probably in a recycling bin somewhere. The joys of PR!

Thanks so much for listening and I hope ISoA arrives with you in the next few days.