The funny thing is, although I was so nervous beforehand I turned those nerves into adrenaline and let them fuel me. It helped that I had texts from a few friends coming through as I was waiting to be interviewed. I knew I had support and if I was going to trip on my words or go mute, all those friends who were listening would be cringing and turning red along with me. Luckily I think it went just fine. Next up was the signing.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been compiling a list of all my promo links and one of my favourites is the radio interview I did with local DJ Ronnie McGhie at Irvine Beat FM back in September 2014. My first book signing was planned for the following day. Things didn’t quite work out as planned.
On the Sunday before the radio interview, my son fell ill. Nothing serious – just a tummy bug – but it lasted until the Thursday. Caring for him while he was unwell left me tired with very little time to prepare. That, coupled with the referendum happening in Scotland, meant I was totally unprepared and extremely nervous as the interview approached. My husband was heavily involved in campaigning in our area and my mother has been unwell for the last couple of months so I was on my own during that week, doing what I could to rehearse and organise in between mopping up projectile vomit. Oh, the glamour of being an author!
The day of the interview came and the mood was sombre in my house. You can tell my family didn’t get the result we had hoped for in the referendum but like I always say, the show must go on. So, having been up all night and feeling a bit sick myself by that point, I made my way to the studio for the interview, via the beach. I had to go somewhere to chill out for a while first and get in the right head-space. I’m so glad I did.
When I was at secondary school, they often made us stand up in front of class to give speeches or engage in debates of some sort. It’s funny, I can’t even remember what they were about. However, I digress. I was so painfully shy back then that I used to cry off sick and go to the rest room so I didn’t have to do it. Yes, it affected my grades but I was willing to lose my straight 1 status just to get out of speaking in public. So it’s funny that I’ve chosen a career that put me right in the spotlight in such a way. Being an author means you are constantly putting yourself in a vulnerable position. You’re open to criticism as well as praise and the rise of social media has contributed to the opportunities readers have to tell you exactly what their opinion is of you and your work. The only thing more public than writing books and promoting on radio and at signings is possibly being in the performing arts. That’s why even agreeing to the interview in the first place felt like a huge step forward for me.
The Irvine Beat studios are top notch. From the outside it just looks like any other building in an industrial estate but inside it’s everything I expected a radio station to be and so much more. The staff I met were lovely and Ronnie McGhie who interviewed me was just fantastic. He really put me at ease and he asked some questions that made me stop and think! He’s a real charmer and you couldn’t meet a friendlier or more professional person. Ronnie is a former colleague of my Dad’s from his Glaxo Smith Kline days and while my Dad chose a low-key winding down to retirement job after leaving the plant, Ronnie, being a few years younger with longer to go until he retires, wanted to build on the career he had built up in his youth in the media. If you want to read more about Ronnie you can check out the guest blog he wrote on my old website back in April 2013, republished in March 2018.
If you want to hear the interview here’s the link to it. I haven’t listened to it myself at all in the four years since it was recorded. That would just be weird! I was listening to the first thirty seconds and as soon as I heard my own voice I shut down the browser. It’s interesting to hear what people you chat to online think about your voice because they’ve obviously never heard it before. The word “sweet” was used a couple of times and someone actually said I sound innocent, which tickled me. I had friends listening from all over the world: Greece, USA, Canada, Finland, Turkey, France… it was really a lovely surprise to have all that support.