Reflections on my Brief Radio Career

For two months I co-hosted a radio show, then Life decided I was getting too busy to do that and write my book, so I had to give it up.  Before that, like a few weeks before, I had been doing a show with a friend of mine at his university.  Essentially, I had no experience going in.  No big, not like I had much going into publishing, but I’m doing that too.  If you weren’t aware, the show was called Parayournormal and I was hosting along with Carolyn McCray.  Now shes hosts with Kelli McCracken who is doing a great job.  But enough about them, (Ha!) let’s get back to the me.

Basically the show featured author interviews every Monday night.  So four shows a month, I handled two and Carolyn handled two.  That amounts to five interviews I did.  I want to go over each one and rate MY performance.

Kait Nolan– She was Carolyn’s interview for the premier show, but because of internet problems, Carolyn couldn’t call in and I did the whole thing solo.  I only found this out when the show started and after blubbering through an intro, began interviewing Kait.  I had a few questions in my head, but was mostly unprepared and just thinking them up as I went.  Besides reading Forsaken by Shadow, thank goodness I was reading Kait’s blog and chatting with her on twitter.  It gave me plenty of material to work with.  This would’ve been a 3 out of 5, but since I did the whole thing on the fly AND it was my first interview, I’m giving myself an extra point.  4 out of 5 for Kait.

George H Sirois– George is a friend, so again, I had plenty to work with.  I had questions prepared, but this was like we were hanging out.  Plus George was very comfortable on the air.  All in all a good interview.  4 out of 5.

Susan Bischoff– Susan was my first nervous guest and because of how well my interview with George went, I thought I could handle things the same with Susan.  She answered all my questions perfectly, but they were all over the place.  I felt like I dropped the ball on how I presented Susan to the audience, but like I said, she did great.  I just know I could’ve done better for her.  3 out of 5.

Claire Farrell– Claire was also nervous, maybe more so than Susan.  Using what I learned from past interviews, I prepared much more and had a clear direction in my head.  I also had to do this one solo due to Carolyn being ill.  It ended up a being good thing because it forced me to apply everything I learned without anyone to lean on.  I was very happy with how I presented Claire.  5 out of 5.

M.T. Murphy– My last interview.  Once again due to unforeseen circumstances, Carolyn wasn’t part of the interview, but Kelli was there to share in the interviewing.  At this point I was very comfortable interviewing and even when we were disconnected, I was okay chatting with Kelli until M.T. called back.  5 out of 5.

I really enjoyed interviewing in this type of forum.  It was a lot more fun than sending questions through email and maybe one day I can do it again.  Some things I learned.

1. It pays to get to know the guest a bit before the interview.  I felt my job as an interviewer was to present my guest in a way that lets their best qualities shine.  For example, when I pre-interviewed Claire I found her to be a very strong woman.  In between writing, she has a large family to raise and also blazed her own trail with her education.  We did talk some specifics on her book, but it was important to me for the audience to see Claire as I did.  Wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t get to know her first.

2. Unless there are regular callers, doing a live show isn’t necessary.  Carolyn told me the show had a bunch of listeners, but they were shy.  Not a big deal, I sometimes feel like the president of that club, but part of a live show is interacting with the audience.  Without callers I feel it’s better to record the shows and post them.  We archived every show, so that was good.

3. It’s tough to do a show with someone you don’t know because it’s harder to develop a rapport.  I think that’s what builds an audience.  Not Carolyn’s fault.  With more time we could’ve done that.  I’d also want to go beyond interviews and prepare topics to talk about with my co-host or whatever guests I have on.  This also fosters interaction with the audience and makes the hosts of the show more personable.

Doing radio was a great way to challenge myself and after getting over my fears, was a lot of fun to do.  Very glad I did it.

So what about you?  Has there been anything you were afraid to do?  If you went after it, how did you conquer your fears?  And if you’re still scared, why is that?  What’s holding you back?

Info stuff- Follow my ROW80 progress every Wednesday and Sunday and be here Tuesdays and Thursdays for new posts on me, writing, superheroes, monsters, comics and any other geeky stuff on my mind.

5 comments on “Reflections on my Brief Radio Career

  1. I give you 5/5 for my interview too. You did a great job of making me feel comfortable and you really did know my book which was very sweet. And we all know I like to talk about myself so great questions too. 😛

    I am scarily bad at speaking to people I don’t know, particularly on the phone (big confession, that was the first time I had spoken on the phone in well over a year and my OH was absolutely convinced I wouldn’t even ring, never mind actually speak – I came very close to chickening out) and the whole international thing made it a bit more nerve-wracking so that was potentially my scariest experience in a long time but you made it very easy on me. So thank you, you really did an amazing job there. 😀 I’m sad you don’t have the time to interview anymore.

    If I ever get famous and need to be interviewed, I’m going to insist you do the job. 😉

    • Oh, I forgot your questions at the end of the post! Aside of being afraid to talk to people (socially awkward little freak that I am), I’ve always been terrified by the idea of people reading my stories. So I went and self-published some of them. ‘Cos I’m crazy like that. 🙂

      I’m still scared so I’m forcing myself to try new things this year, I entered the ABNA and may even submit a story or two if I work up the courage. I’m not looking for results, just making myself face up to potentially scary situations.

    • Thank you Claire. That makes me feel good. I’ll be honest, it’s totally possible to do an interview without reading the book, but that doesn’t make for the most interesting interview. You end up with a lot of stock questions where you probably won’t learn anything great about the guest.

      Network talk shows have teams of guys researching so the host has plenty to work with. I wish. For Susan, I googled her other interviews to avoid asking all the same questions. That kind of thing takes time and eventually it was getting in the way of my writing. I’ll never say never, so maybe one I can do it again.

      Go you on continuing to challenge yourself!

  2. I’m definitely terrified, but I’m not letting it stop me. I’ve sort of grown used to the fact that I am a very nervous and shy person. So while it sometimes pains me to do things, I still force myself to give it a try unless it’s just something that I really wouldn’t do or see no point in doing.

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