Andy Warhol once said that in future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes. In my case, it was only five – although it felt like fifty!
Yes, Friday 13th March was my radio debut: Author of the Week on BBC 3 Counties Radio – The Afternoon Show with Lorna Milton. (My daughter, who has the attention span of a teenage gnat, thought I was on the national radio station BBC 3 – bless!)
Listen to the interview here (I’m 2 hours and 10 minutes into the show).
It was also Comic Relief Red Nose Day, so I turned up sporting a fetching little Sainsbury’s number which I had the presence of mind to remove before I went on air. Otherwise I’d have sounded uncannily like Janice from Friends (without the accent).
I got to the studios in Luton in good time. Mind, even I had no problem finding a building with what looked like a spaceship on its roof. I announced myself at the intercom – lo and behold, the front door opened automatically and a voice directed me up the stairs to Reception, where I sat in splendid isolation for 15 minutes listening to – believe it or not – The Afternoon Show with Lorna Milton. Then – at last – a friendly human called Coral appeared and took me down to The Studio Next To Lorna’s.
Staring through the window at Lorna, I realised that there was no escape. I also realised that I felt underprepared. All I knew for certain was that she was going to ask me about myself and my book and that I could read an excerpt (max. 1 page). I’d rehearsed answers to some specific questions, but would they come up?
Fortunately, I’d had excellent advice on handling radio interviews from Melanie at the Romantic Novelists’ Association. So, when I was summoned into The Actual Studio for a quick briefing with Lorna and heard The Actual Questions she was going to ask, I didn’t panic! I went into that interview smiling, Melanie, I really did! (Apparently, even though no one can see it, a smile comes across in your voice.)
The next five minutes were a bit like having a check-up at the dentist’s: I opened my mouth at the right moments and it didn’t hurt – but, boy, was I glad when it was over! Lorna was very good, very professional, and everything seemed to go smoothly. I even managed to mention my next two local book signing events.
I’d just like to say a big thank you to all those who sent me positive vibes beforehand and congratulations afterwards – it definitely helped.