(Here is part 1 of my epic adventure for those who missed it: http://jasonfischer.com.au/?p=136)
So after returning to the Author Services building turning in our 24-hour stories, John Goodwin (President of Galaxy Press) dropped by to give our class a bit of a talk about media, self-promotion, and interviewing skills. This was really invaluable stuff – I’ve done other writing courses/camps/retreats before, and not once has anyone ever told me about how to conduct myself in an interview situation. Here’s a great example: If someone says to you “so, what’s your story about?” can you neatly summarise your tale in thirty seconds or so? Pretty much every time I’ve been asked this question, I come out with “there’s this guy, you see, and he lives in this land where so-and-so happens, and he has the ability to so-and-so, and then…” by which time the other person has a glazed look in their eyes and you’ve officially lost their interest.
Now change this into an interview setting with the media. You’ve got thirty seconds to sell yourself and your new product, to an interviewer who is probably not interested in the genre and who will unconsciously attempt to derail the conversation to more familiar territory. We were taught how to be concise, how to present ourselves, how to stick to the topic and answer the question we really want to answer (much as politicians do in interviews).
We were put into practice with our “twins” (person you’re sat next to for the workshop), and did dry-runs of our interviewing skills until we were blue in the face. This was invaluable, as later on we first prize winners did film and radio interviews, and all the contestants did film and taped interviews with the folks from Author Services after the awards ceremony. At some stage a filmed interview with us will appear at neverendingpanel.com, and we each did a spot for XM Radio. I’m sure glad we had a bit of practice first!
All books published by WOTF winners are kept in a very cool library, and I too have a book here! It’s the skinny one next to The Jane Austen Book Club.