I have no idea if this post will interest anyone at all, ever, but I thought it would be kind of cool to give a behind-the-scenes look at how this all works. This being the book, and the interviews, and the articles I write that appear elsewhere.
So first of all you write the book. I mean, just that tiny detail, right? It took me about two years from inception to having it published, smashing out chapters at coffee houses in between cuddling a newborn and swilling coffee.
Once the book came out, the real excitement started and the hustling began! When you write a book, you really hope that people – mostly people outside of your extended family – will read it. And you believe in your book – and the good it has the potential to do – so much so that you talk to pretty much anyone and everyone who is gracious enough to give you a platform to do so.
In the beginning, my book started with a blog tour. Fabulous writers from all over the internet read and reviewed my book. I am incredibly fortunate to have a fabulous publisher (Viva Editions) and a whole team of people who researched appropriate blogs, sent the books, and then provided me with links to posts as they went up.
This was incredibly nerve-wracking when it happened, because these were the first people to read the book and give honest reviews ( first people other than people who knew me, and thus were duty-bound to fawn over it, that is.)
Then in June, the interviews began. These interviews happen with all manner of incredible, charismatic, and engaging people who have radio shows, and podcasts airing from all over Canada and the United States.
I tell you, I had no idea how many incredible people were out there doing this. It takes so much passion and dedication to produce a weekly (or daily!) radio show – I am always blown away by the scope of this world that I was totally clueless about just a few short months ago.
So my fabulous publisher reaches out to these radio shows and podcasts, and then sends me requests from the ones that are interested in having me on. And then I ignore the requests, because right as I am reading the request email Olive dumps a bag of quinoa all over the floor, or Gus is going crazy needing to be let out rightthissecond (I think as he is an old dog now, his bladder isn’t what it once was), or I am halfway through the final coat of stain on my table and so I put it aside and promise to respond to it right after I finish whatever it is I am currently attending to.
And then seven hours later, in the fifteen seconds it takes me to fall asleep, I remember the request and how I haven’t yet responded to the request and I think to myself “CRAP!” and promise to respond first thing in the morning.
I do not respond first thing in the morning.
Because I am horrible, obviously. But also because Olive woke up early and it’s scream-city round here, with the wrong breakfast and the wrong clothes and NO DANCE, MUMMY! NO SING, MUMMY! SIT, MUMMY! PUT PHONE DOWN!
I then receive a gentle reminder request, from the lovely (and patient, have I mentioned patient) people from my publisher. I get the email and think, again, CRAP! Then I check the date and text Adam to see if he can be here to watch Olive (because an hour-long interview with a toddler? I mean…I can’t even finish a full sentence with a toddler.)
Adam does not reply to my text, because Adam never replies to my texts. But I feel like I have gotten the ball rolling. And when Adam comes home we make dinner and have a family dance party and do bath time and brushing teeth time and one-more-story-please-papa time.
Then in the fifteen seconds before I fall asleep, I remember again.
I won’t carry on with this, but needless to say, getting me to reply with a simple “This works!” to an interview request sometime takes an embarrassingly long time. (Thank you, Viva folks, for being so lovely and patient and never writing me an email in all-caps that says COME ON MADELEINE. GET IT TOGETHER!)
Then it’s interview day! Every night I check my planner to see what I have going on the next day, and if I have an interview I still to this day feel anxious right up until I say hello to the host, even though I’ve done dozens of them at this point. My mouth goes dry and my hands shake and I swallow a million times, and feel extremely awkward, and just generally think of all of the myriad ways I am about to humiliate myself on live radio that will live on in Internet archives forever.
I really enjoy the power of positive thinking, as you can see.
I try to remember to post the interview link on my Facebook page and my Twitter account for anyone who wants to tune in. I’m not always great at this but I am really trying to get better. My apologies if I spam you guys with this stuff, but so many people put so much effort into getting these shows together – and they really are fabulous, I’ve discovered a bunch that I listen to regularly now! – that it’s really important to me that I share them with you.
Sometimes they call me, sometimes I call them. I use my cell phone because we don’t have a landline, even though every single radio/podcast producer hates cell phones for interviews. But seriously, who has a landline anymore?
This is why sometimes my interviews are a bit crackly – I’m sorry! Last week I had to do one from my basement, because Olive was asleep and Adam wasn’t home and I couldn’t risk her hearing me and waking up during a two-hour interview. Thankfully it went well, with only one little crackly stretch, but I still feel bad about that.
The interviews are unpaid, I appear for the exquisite pleasure of talking to fascinating people from all over the continent about my little book, and getting the word out to all of their listeners about how fun and easy it is to become a hippie weirdo.
Before we go live, I chat with the host and go over the format of the show, when breaks will be, and sometimes they discuss which questions they will ask me, sometimes they don’t.
Then we talk! And it is always fabulous. I mean being asked to talk about my recipes and green-gift ideas and ways to shame your husband into eco-friendly habits? Yes, please!
As soon as I say hello, all of my fist-clenching anxiety is gone and I really enjoy myself – although I always worry about my connection. I can’t help it. Sometimes during the pre-show chitchat we find a spot where our connection is really good and then I spend the next 30 or 60 minutes rooted to that spot, terrified to move. One time I did an entire interview standing in the doorway of Olive’s room, because that’s where I got the best reception.
I am very good at staying still for extended periods of time now. I also have trained myself to do interviews without moving my head or gesticulating with my hands. It takes great discipline and I am basically a seventh-level ninja at this point.
After the interview is done and we go off the air, I usually chat with the host a bit more informally. We say our goodbyes, and I thank them profusely for having me. Then it’s done! It’s doooone! I do a happy dance, thank all the deities in the world that it went well, I go down and hug Olive, and post the link to it for anyone who might have missed it.
Then guaranteed, either my mom or Adam’s mom leaves a sweet comment saying “Great interview, Maddie!” on my Facebook post, and I always laugh, because what else could they say? I am waiting for the day when one of them remarks, “Well. You really made a mess of that one, Madeleine.” But really, how cute is it that these two moms of mine listen to every single one – even though I cover much of the same ground each time? They’re adorable.
And then, I get another request email. Ha! Circle of life, I tell you.
Thanks for bearing with me through this rambling post! It’s such a strange thing to be doing, and a few people have asked me how it works, so I have now illuminated all of you. Even those of you who never wanted to know in the first place.