So, the small PR machine has been working a bit. Radio appearances – very cool; book signings – also very cool; written interviews -OK, no wait, what? This was a new one to me and I had no idea how difficult they were. It would be a bit of a struggle.
Person-to-person interviews are, I think, easier to do. Essentially, you gather your thoughts together, remember time and dates and names, be polite and friendly and for God’s sake, don’t swear. That’s pretty much it. If you’re not being grilled by 60 Minutes, you should come out of it rather unscathed.
But a written interview? Who came up with that 21st century version of Torquemadian delights? This is a relatively new twist on PR because of the internet. I am in no way complaining or disparaging this. Not at all. I’m merely stating that it is a lot more stressful for me. With the exponential growth of bloggers and the increasing number of book reviewers plying their craft online, the written interview has moved forward in importance.
It goes something like this: you get a request for an interview. Great! But it’s for a written interview. It comes with a set of questions which by and large you would not have any trouble answering in a one-on-one session. However, it’s asking for you to commit your answers to paper or the ethernet in this case. It will then in turn be re-purposed into another’s blog. You may be asking yourself at this time, “And this is difficult?” Yes, it is.
If it’s only one interview, no sweat. When there are multiple interviews requested, you’d like to make each seem fresh and original. Again, this is not a complaint. It is the question of how does one achieve that freshness time and time again without sounding canned. Each interview is different, yet the information I have to share is essentially the same. I suppose this is normal, but I haven’t found an easy solution yet.
With each new interview, I sit down and try to write the best response possible. In a spoken interview, so much can be said though inflection of voice, laughter, pauses, etc. Not so with the written interview. I must be far more thoughtful and deliberate as to what I write. Each answer must be honest and as insightful as possible. My goal with these is to make the reader feel as if they are speaking directly with me and this is the first time I’ve spoken about this. It is not an easy task and one I take very seriously.
Musicians talk about playing some of their most famous tunes repeatedly. Some of them find new ways to present them, others resent having to play them over and over again. I prefer that first approach. Arn? Narn. is a serious book and at the very least, I owe it that kind of respect.