As many of you have noticed, I’ve been somewhat MIA from the blogging world over the last several months… posting only about 1 entry a month. Most of this comes from the fact that I entered a new phase of getting the word out there about my book, Soul Health: Aligning with Spirit for Radiant Living, by doing a radio launch/campaign. I’m working with a wonderful publicist in California, who has guided me throughout this process and plopped the information about the book out there in front of hundreds of radio shows, and thus, in front of millions of listeners. To date, I have completed over 60, with several more already scheduled. I’ve met some amazing people along the way and certainly learned my share about what to do and say while on the air as well as how to manage what happens behind the scenes.
To say I was a novice when I started would be an understatement. I don’t usually listen to blogtalks, podcasts, or other radio shows… simply because I don’t have the time. If I’m not seeing clients, writing an article, or working on my other books, I am generally outside, far away from any source of sound other than what comes from the trees, bushes, or lakes that surround me. So, when it came time to be interviewed by someone I’ve never met, let alone who may not have fully read the book, it was a bit anxiety-provoking.
I had 14 requests for interviews by the end of the first day of the radio launch—not too shabby, but also a bit overwhelming. Early on the second day I received a call from my publicist asking if I could do a 4:00 p.m. spot that afternoon… I told her I had clients scheduled and the crickets started chirping… silence. Clearly, the correct answer would have been, “sure, let me see what I can do”. And I did. Luckily, my client responded that the alternate time I offered was actually better for her as well, and I was set to be on the radio.
I realized quickly that it was a good thing the first interview happened so fast because it gave me little if no time to get nervous. This interview could be done over the phone, so I set myself up in my office, with water, a copy of the book, and tissue nearby. I kicked off my shoes and called in at the appointed time. Because this was to be recorded live, then archived for listeners to tune in later as well, I felt I had to nail this one. While on hold before the show started, I logged onto my smartphone to pull up the website for the blogtalk just to see what would happen as I went on the air. At the time, my volume was turned off—or so I thought—so I didn’t worry about any background sound as I began the interview. Much to my surprise, though, I had only turned the ringer volume off and neglected to eliminate the sound that arrived via media. So, as the interview started, my phone started squawking the music from the host’s prelude to her show and try as I might, I couldn’t turn off the phone! I fumbled with the phone, muffled it between my hands, thought about stuffing it under the cushion of my sofa in the office, then after realizing that wouldn’t have muted the phone enough, I finally resorted to ripping the back of the phone off to remove the battery. My phone went silent and I felt a sudden rush of relief.
Then I heard a computerized voice over the phone say “unmuted” as the radio host welcomed me onto the show. Much to my relief, I realized that my muffled wrestling to turn off my phone was muted all along. Anyone watching from the window would have thought my smartphone was a stun gun, with me jumping every time it made a sound until I removed its life source to quiet the unwanted sound.
The learning curve continued as several of the hosts wanted to interview me via Skype or Google +. Given that my ancient laptop didn’t even have a camera on it, I was relieved when my newly ordered one arrived about a week before the first Skype interview. I enlisted my office mate’s 21 year-old daughter to tutor me on Skype—much to her amusement. And much to my surprise, it was extremely easy. So much so that I had my brother create a Skype account so I could do a video call with my 83 year-old mother who lives 1500 miles away. (She was both astounded and excited that such technology existed!). The learning curve continued as I learned to use Google+ as another means of video calling/interviewing.
Then there are the late night interviews with stations from the west coast….. the 3-hour time difference is fine during the day, but when you have a host request an interview at 11:00 p.m. or later in your time zone it can be a bit of a challenge to sound awake and excited about anything other than laying your head down on your pillow.
I have done a few of these late night interviews and while I was most concerned that my dogs would play or bark in the background, these potential scenarios did not turn out to be the problem. Instead, a much more embarrassing situation arose during not one, but two of these long-distance talks. I decided that the best way to keep the pups quiet was to prepare them for bed and do the interviews from the comfort of my bedroom where the furry ones could retire for the night as well. I set myself up in the bed, pajamas on, phone in hand, book nearby. I made the call at the appointed time and was happily greeted by perky hosts whose bedtimes were right on time given that their Pacific Time Zone allowed them to do the show and still hit the sack at a realistic time. All was well. Until Chloe, my Australian Shepherd started snoring…. quite loudly, I must add. Because I was hooked into a landline, I couldn’t easily get up to quiet her and I had to resort to scooting myself down the bed so I could nudge her with my foot, all the while maintaining easy communication with the radio host. I can only imagine what snoring might have sounded like in the background… but the host didn’t mention a thing.
Then there was the interview I did with someone in New Jersey that was interrupted by an unfortunate coughing fit. I had just returned from a trip to Colorado to visit my mother and between the artificial, pressurized air on the plane and the arid climate in the west, I returned with a moderately uncomfortable and annoying sinus infection. I thought I had it under control until about 2/3 the way through an interview when I began to feel that little tickle in the back of my throat…. The one that alerts you to the oncoming uncontrollable coughing. You know the one… the type that you can’t talk unless it’s in an extremely strained voice. The host did an amazing job of just going with the flow… but I continue to learn that if anything can happen on a live radio show, it will.
I love to travel, and in the case of radio interviewing, I’ve now been all over the country within a matter of days and weeks. Seattle, L.A., Santa Barbara, Atlanta, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Colorado, Chicago and more.. . many times over and many more to come. Although I haven’t been stumped by any questions yet, I have felt challenged to remember exactly what I said in parts of the book as some radio hosts have asked me very specific questions, down to the page number. It’s all been a wonderful experience, complete with new connections and several invitations to meet in person if I’m ever in the neighborhood. Twice I’ve been asked to host a show of my own, and I’ve received several invitations to write articles for the host’s magazines.
All in all, this has been quite an adventure. My own consciousness—and self-consciousness at times!—has been raised about the power of the radio. When I wrote Soul Health, I committed to spreading the word as far as I could reach, and these radio shows have allowed me to do just that.
Will I ever be an expert? I don’t know. Will I ever be stumped by a question? Probably. Will I continue to enjoy the radio ride? Absolutely.
One never knows what they will learn as they embark on the radio journey… but what I do know is that it’s been yet another learning curve on the path to my own soul health. The further I get in this process, the more I know I’m supposed to continue to write. Which means… more radio shows. What’s next? T.V. maybe? We’ll see. For now, I’m perfectly and consciously content to be On The Air.