Imagine your audience naked and other advice

ColeNotDoleToday, I spoke on two radio shows about my coal and cake novel, Public Battles, Private Wars: on BBC Radio Leeds with Wes Butters and with Jeni Barnett on BBC Radio Sussex. Prior to this I had appeared on radio only once before to speak about my writing, and so despite chanting ‘I’m not nervous, I’m not’, I was. To quell the building heebies, I sent out a plea on Twitter and Facebook and true to form my wonderful friends, followers and supporters threw back a ruck of brilliant advice, which I’ll share here for any of you who might have to appear on radio or television to talk books. Most will apply to telly, though you might have to take more care about your appearance.

Before that I’d like to say, briefly, how much I enjoyed both interviews. I didn’t swear, I didn’t burp or make any totally stupid noises. I messed up a couple of times (you can find out how later if you fancy listening to the links below), but, you know what, it didn’t matter. The presenters were super lovely and skilled at putting me at my ease. Radio Sussex was easier. Perhaps because I had Leeds as a ‘warm up ‘ and perhaps because it was face to face with the gorgeous Jeni Barnett. Also, it was fab not having to worry about my slutty, chipped nail varnish and washed but unbrushed hair. I love the intimacy of radio, the feeling of a one-on-one chat. It’s a bit like a book in that way.

Anyway, here’s some of the best advice I received:

Imagine your audience are naked (Jess Davies)

Do the interview naked (Helen Wilkinson) – only recommended for telephone interviews from the comfort of your own home

Smile as you talk (Mark Radcliffe)

Don’t drink Coke or Tab or anything fizzy (Gill Hoffs)

Take your time when speaking (I forget – sorry)

Get a list of questions if you can (John Eliot)

Don’t focus too much on your book – engage with the conversation (Mark Radcliffe)

Relax (Mark Radcliffe)

And here are the listen again links:

Radio Leeds listen again – 1 hour, 34 seconds in: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01td4dh

Radio Sussex listen again – 2 hours, 17 seconds in: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01vqq25

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