Last week when I saw The Lady's Slipper on the book table right at the front of a Motorway service station I could hardly believe I had written it. It is actually great to have ceased to worry about it because I am so busy with another. I stood there, a little dumbfounded, looking at all the other wonderful books on the table with it, thinking, "Wow, did I write that?"
But back to the Radio Interview. Fortunately, on Radio nobody can see you, so I didn't have to stress about what to wear or what I looked like. I arrived early of course - I'm one of those people who is early for everything and would rather be 20 minutes early than 1 minute late. I had my reading glasses and hastily-scribbled crib sheets in hand, and was taken up to the studio which seems to be a tiny cupboard of a place in a vast concrete building.
The feeling beforehand was a little like going in for one of those language aural exams at school where you know they are going to ask you lots of questions, and you are terrified you might not understand the question, let alone know the answer.
Several well meaning friends had warned me not to say "errm...."! (Sorry, folks)
The interview was conducted remotely - my interviewer was in Carlisle, and I was in Kendal, but I was met by the cheerful Suzie in Kendal who let me in, and wrestled with the technology which was playing up by flashing green lights when it shouldn't and refusing to connect us. Anyway, seeing my pile of notes she gave me this lovely advice before I went on air:
Don't worry. It's their job to make you look good and to keep the interview rolling. They will have researched you and supply you with questions which they know you will have interesting answers for. So relax. You won't need your pieces of paper.
The machinery was still refusing to function so we ended up doing the fifteen minute interview by telephone, but Suzie was right. Being on the phone actually made it easier, like chatting with a friend. Belinda asked interesting questions not just about the book but about other aspects of my writing life and I never once looked at the papers. And it was refreshing to chat about some different aspects, not just "what's the book about?"
I enjoyed it a lot and you can hear it the fifteen minute interview with Belinda Artingstoll on Listen Again here. Scroll almost to the end of her programme and you will find it, just after "Forever in Blue Jeans!"