Interview with North Manchester Radio

On Saturday 17th October I took part in a radio interview with Hannah Kate from North Manchester Radio: http://northmanchester.fm/. Hannah hosts a regular show at 2pm on Saturday afternoons called ‘Hannah’s Bookshelf’. During the show she discusses books, creative writing and publishing. Her guests include local authors as well as others involved in the book world such as publishers and librarians. Hannah has had some interesting and esteemed guests so I was honoured to take part in the show.

The show lasted two hours and you can listen to the recording or perhaps just catch snippets by following the link: Hannah’s Bookshelf.

Fig 1

Hannah (left) and me (right)

We met an hour before the show was scheduled to start so that Hannah could set everything up and find out a bit of background information about me. This was in addition to the information that she had already gleaned from my website. Hannah was very professional in her approach, which helped to put me at ease.

Initially I was nervous at the prospect of talking about my work for two hours but it’s amazing how the time flies when you find someone else who shares your passion for books. The format of the show is an informal chat in ten minute segments with one or two tracks played in between each segment. For the first ten to fifteen minutes of the show Hannah talks about a book she has recently read and announces any literary events that are taking place locally. Then, after a track it’s time to introduce her guest.

Fig 2

Sharing a joke

It was daunting at first knowing that thousands of people were listening to my every word, cough and splutter but Hannah is an experienced interviewer and she soon helped to settle me down. One of the things I tend to do when I am nervous is waffle, go off at a tangent and completely forget the question that was asked in the first place but Hannah skilfully kept me on track.

During the course of the two hours we covered the background to my writing career from the time that I decided to swap credit control for writing right through to the publication of my novels and short story book. We also discussed my writing influences, my reasons for writing the type of material I write and my typical writing day.

Hannah also includes a fun session in the latter half of her show where she asks her guests which three books they would choose to save in the event of an apocalypse. I won’t include my selections here but they’re all included in the audio recording if you would like to check them out.

Fig 3

Chatting about books

It was interesting to see how a radio show works. The host has to be careful to get the timings right and I followed Hannah’s lead to make sure I didn’t get too carried away with my responses and muck up the schedule. It was a fun afternoon and a real pleasure to meet the lovely Hannah Kate.

As well as hosting ‘Hannah’s Bookshelf’ Hannah wears many other hats. She is a published author and editor whose work has appeared in anthologies and national magazines, and she runs a small press and events company. Hannah is also an academic lecturer, researcher and writer. You can find out more about this talented lady by visiting her website at: http://hannahkate.net/.

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My First Radio Interview

I have avoided radio interviews up to now as public speaking isn’t really my thing. However, deep down I realise that, as part of the publicity for my books, it is something that I will have to confront eventually – just not quite yet. Press interviews, on the other hand, I’m quite comfortable with, having done quite a few to publicise both books. I’ve also been on the other side of things, conducting many interviews in order to write case studies and magazine features on behalf of clients.

Although my books have been featured in a number of parenting magazines, websites and blogs, they haven’t been covered by local press until now. When I approached the Tameside Reporter they replied asking if I would also do an interview for the local radio – ‘Oh dear, the day of reckoning has arrived,’ I thought. I was then told that the interview would take place in my home and recorded with snippets of it being used for radio. This put my mind at ease knowing that I wouldn’t have to speak live on the radio.

When the day of the interview arrived I wasn’t particularly nervous, because I knew it wasn’t going out live. However, the minute the microphone was placed inches from my mouth I immediately Microphonebroke out in a sweat. The microphone was so near to me that I felt as though not only my voice would be picked up but also every sharp intake of breath, clearing of the throat, cough, mumble, fidget and maybe even the sound of my thudding heart – or so it seemed. It was a good experience though as it forced me to ‘get over myself’ and concentrate on the matter in hand. So I tried to focus on the interview and forget the presence of the microphone, although it wasn’t easy as the menacing little machine was positioned in the forefront of my field of vision, looming threateningly between me and the reporter.

On the day when the news item went out I cringed as I listened to myself talking about my book (I actually hate the sound of my own voice). As proud as I am of my Manchester roots, I don’t think the Mancunian accent is the most appealing in the world. Anyway, my piece went out at the end of the news every hour from 14:00 till 18:00. They used a couple of quotes from the interview and rotated them in two sets. I have to say that the second set sounded better than the first where I was a little repetitive. All in all though, it wasn’t too bad for a first time. You can catch the item on the Tameside Radio listen again feature by selecting 4/2/14 then listening to the news at any time between 14:00 and 18:00; my piece is at the end of the local news items.

The day after I’d listened to my piece on the radio I dashed out to buy this week’s Tameside Reporter so that I could read the accompanying feature. I quickly flicked through the newspaper twice before concluding that the item wasn’t being featured. ‘Oh no,’ I thought, ‘Was I really that bad?’ Curiously I scanned the front page to see what type of stories make the local press. And there it was, in small letters at the end of the feature headings, ‘Next week – local author’s kids’ party book release.’ So, next week will see me rushing out for my local newspaper once again.

Great Places for Kids’ Parties (UK) is available to purchase in both a digital and print version from Amazon.
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