Radio interviews are fun. I really enjoy them. They’re a stress-free way to get your name in front of lots of people without actually having to talk in front of them – all you have to do is talk to one person. The magic of radio takes care of the rest.
It doesn’t matter whether your hair looks like worms or your eyes are squinty because of the pollen count. Nobody will know!
Local radio stations seem happy to welcome authors for what they call ‘magazine programmes’ (rather than hard news). As part of my promotion of All That Mullarkey I’ve been able to arrange two interviews with BBC local radio stations – BBC Radio Northampton because it’s the county in which I live and BBC Radio Cambridgeshire because that’s where All That Mullarkey is set.
I arranged the BBC Radio Cambridgeshire interviews via the wonders of the Internet. I found the station, searched around for magazine programmes, went on the ‘Contact us’ page and filled in a submission form, explaining that I was an author promoting my new book, All That Mullarkey, and that although I lived in Northants, the book was set in and around Peterborough, gave a few details of the genre of the book and my writing bio and asked whether they had any opportunities for interview. And I mentioned the programme for which I thought it would be particularly suitable, Sue Dougan’s afternoon show.
In a day I had a welcoming email in response saying yes, lovely, do come on. They arranged for me to be in the Peterborough studio, which is closer to my home than Cambridge, where I spoke to Sue, who was in Cambridge. Realising that this was how things were going to be arranged, I went onto Facebook the night before to ask for tips! I’d never been interviewed remotely. I had some helpful advice from the lovely Julie Cohen and others, which helped to settle me. Any left over worry about chatting to somebody I couldn’t see vanished when a lady called Heather sat me in a chair and gave me earphones and I was talking to Sue before I realised what was happening.
The pleasure in radio interviews such as this is that they are not hostile. Nobody is trying to trip you up or prove you wrong and the presenters are chosen for their ability to chat and their personable natures. It was a cinch, like chatting with a friend.
I had been asked for a bio beforehand and had also signposted my website and this blog and Sue Dougan was well prepared with questions not just about my books but the way I went about my career and, also, about the brilliant Romantic Novelists’ Association, and how it has helped me.
She gave me every opportunity to plug All That Mullarkey, Starting Over, Love Writing and even the anthology I worked on for the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Loves Me, Loves Me Not. Presenters know that authors need and want to promote, when they are interviewed. Bless them.
BBC Radio Northampton was even easier to approach because I’ve been on with previous books, so I had the email address of the production assistant concerned. I just emailed and said that I’ve got another book out and would love to be back on Bernie’s show to talk about it. She’s promised me a slot in the next three weeks.
So if you think that local radio interviews might be useful for you – go for it!