The Secret Radio Interviews No One Knows About
I thought I had a radio interview today (for Book of the Dumb 2); turns out I had three. They came at one hour intervals, not unlike Scrooge’s three ghostly visitors, although at the end of the third interview, I was not imbued with the Christmas spirit, nor did I throw open the window to toss coins down to the clever boy in the street so that he could purchase the fattest goose in London for Bob Cratchit. Although I suppose it would have been interesting if I had.
The one I was waiting for was the one in the middle, which was for a station in Connecticut. But after fielding an interview from San Antonio (which unless plate tectonics have done something truly remarkable, is not in Connecticut), I decided that I should probably check the schedule my publicity person had sent me. It didn’t list the Connecticut interview, but did list the San Antonio one and one in Quebec. And yet, at the appointed time, the ghost of Connecticut radio stations did indeed appear. Truly an exciting and talkative day here in the Scalzi home.
I didn’t mind. I don’t think it comes as any surprise to anyone who reads this site that I wouldn’t have a problem cheerfully blathering on about one of my books, and as far as publicity goes, radio is dead easy, especially when you do it on the phone. The people you’re talking to are trained to eat up dead air, so they’re ready to jump in and cover your ass even if you’re flailing about. Also, they tend to ask the same sort of questions no matter who they are; after you’ve done a couple, you tend to be ready with some set patter, so it goes better for everyone. And of course, since it’s radio, and you’re on the phone, it’s not like you have to get dolled up or anything. You could do the interview in your bathrobe — or less — and I have. In all, a congenial way to shill your wares.
I have noticed that radio interviews come in two sizes: Bite-sized and economy-sized, and a good rule of thumb for radio interviews is that the later in they day they come, the longer they will be. All my morning interviews are short lil’ things — I’m meant to be a five-minute curiosity for the Morning Zoo or whatever they call themselves in that market. My afternoon and evening interviews, on the other hand, go on and on — my final interview today, done at 7:30pm, went for a half-hour. Naturally, the author that complains about having a half hour to discuss his book on the radio is an author that needs to be taken over to the East River and pushed right in. Be that as it may, in cases like that it helps that there’s more than one book in the series; there’s more to talk about.
My schedule has me doing six more radio interviews through St. Patrick’s Day, which if today is any indication, means I may have as many as eighteen interviews between now and then. Bring ’em on.