I haven't blogged for a little while - I've actually been getting on with some writing and rewriting - but was going to sit down yesterday and talk about the recent spate of submissions I have been sending. That post is still to come, but the day kinda got away from me. At midday I got a phone-call asking me if I would do a radio interview later in the afternoon.
The call came from my head of department at Edge Hill. They had been approached by Radio Lancashire who, prompted by the publication of Tony Blair's memoirs, wanted to talk to someone about Life Writing. Well, as that's the creative writing subject I teach for EH, they came to me. The idea was to give the listeners some ideas on the role of life writing - biographies and memoirs in particular - and also what they should think about if they were going to write their own.
I have never given a radio interview before and so was pretty nervous. It didn't help that it was going to be live rather than a pre-recorded interview, but I figured it was exactly the stuff that I know about, so I was happy to do it. The process was interesting.
First I spoke to the presenter of the programme, to introduce myself and he then proceeded to ask me what would be good questions for him to ask. We agreed them between us and I gave him some quick sketchy answers and that was that, I just had to wait for the radio station to ring me at about 5.15 to give the interview.
Butterflies took up residence in my stomach as the time approached, but the time was usefully spent refining what I was going to say. The flutters multiplied when the phone went and they asked me to wait another 20 mins. Finally, they called and I was patched through to the studio. I listened to about 5 minutes of the programme and then, with a rather over-the-top introduction, I was live.
It went pretty well. There were a few ums and ahs, and I changed tack at one point. I also managed to be really snobby at the end, but in the main I feel I got the information across in a concise and interesting way, answered all the questions as asked, and didn't sound too much of a prat. The interview finished, he thanked me, the line went dead, and that was that.
Thanks to the wonders of the web I was soon able to 'Listen Again' to the interview. I scrolled the slider through the programme to about the point where I thought I would be. A voice was talking and I presumed it was the item after me, but then I recognised some of the words and realised I was listening to myself. I didn't recognise my voice at all! Still, I listened back and was quite pleased with it. I sounded rather posh - a combination teaching/phone voice - and there was a trace of my father's tone in there, especially when he used to give interviews on radio or TV, but I sounded confident and like someone who knows what they're talking about. So that's not so bad, eh?
And that was that: my brush with fame. It was only 3 minutes, so if Andy Warhol's right then I still have another 12 minutes to have some other time. If it's like yesterday, I think I might just be looking forward to it.
The interview is available to listen to at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p009lpqp until 7th Sept. I'm on at about the 1 hour 37 mark. Let me know what you think, either of my performance or what I had to say. All feedback welcome.