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  • Writer's pictureMark Meier

Author Interviews

One of the things I’ve noticed over and over in local radio is this: most authors are horrible interviews on-air. Perhaps it’s the show host in many cases, but I’ve heard hundreds, and most stink on ice. Even Orson Scott Card (FABULOUS author, BTW) was less than impressive. Maybe it was because he’d been forced into the interview. But at least I got to talk with him. The national programs must screen their interview prospects a bit, because about half of the ones I hear on our radio station are pretty good. Still, there’s too many that come across flat, uninteresting, and don’t really make me want to go out and buy their book. I understand the written word is their specialty, and public speaking isn’t what they want to do, but you’d think someone who is motivated to energize people into forking over some cash for a book would make a bit more of an effort. Truth be told, even this blog series with more than a dozen different authors was a bit of a shock. Here you have a written format – that’s in your wheelhouse – and many can’t even bother to answer the questions provided weeks ahead of time. Some answers I received were terse, one or two word answers. Not exactly what I expected. Perhaps if the shoe were on my foot I’d be as bland and uninteresting. I tend to think I’d be a bit more animated than Card was when I spoke with him. Speaking daily on the radio, though, might make me a different animal. For authors reading this, practice a bit. Make yourself sound more interesting, even if you’re convinced you’re boring. Non-authors, keep in mind the person you follow is human, too. Give ‘em a break, and evaluate them on their writing, not on how they come across during interviews. Keep watching, though. Someday I might be the lump-on-the-log interview on national TV. If you see that, feel free to give me a hard time. “Nice flat interview, Mark!” If I do a good job, it’s because I’ve had practice, and listened to a lot of examples.

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