Books have been on the radio for a long time. Often they are read through with music played to indicate scene breaks. My favourite novel, The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey, was broadcast like this. (It is repeated every so often on Radio 4 Extra so so listen out for it. It’s a cracking story and the music is wonderful).
And of course books make for good adaptations – the right sound effects and music and no expensive sets or location costs! Radio has many advantages over TV here.
Authors of course welcome the chance to discuss their books. The problem though is it is the big name authors who get on to Radio 4 etc so other writers need to focus on alternatives. With the ready availability of podcasting as well now, there’s another avenue for writers to explore whether they set up their own or are guests on them. Oh and don’t underestimate the hard work that goes into running a podcast or preparing well to be a guest on one!
FROM VIDEO TO RADIO
I mentioned in last week’s post I’d made a video for the Waterloo Arts Festival (hope to share it after the event in June) but this past week has also seen a new development for me – being on the radio.
I had seen Chat and Spin Radio mentioned a few times by writing friends in their Facebook posts etc., but Richard Hardie flagged it up to me specifically.
Since being on air, I’ve emailed writing friends of mine and I know some are looking forward to going on the show themselves. Richard has done likewise as some of his Author Reach writers, including Shani Struthers and Francesca Tyer, have either been on or are due to go on the show by the time you read this post.
This confirms one of the things I love best about the writing world – there is a LOT of mutual support out there! There is truth in the saying “what goes around comes around” but it is also true that in supporting other writers, there will come a time when they may well help you (and it is a good thing to do anyway as we all know how hard it is to get work out there in the first place yet alone in marketing it!).
INTERNET RADIO – CHAT AND SPIN RADIO
There are more stations available now than you might imagine. Internet radio is increasing. Not only are the main stations ensuring they can be heard online, there are other stations which are for the internet only.
Richard Hardie of Leap of Faith and Trouble With Swords fame and I were both recently interviewed on internet radio station Chat and Spin Radio. Internet radio is new to me but it was good fun to take part in this and I hope it is something that crops up again. The huge advantage of internet radio is its literal global reach.
The format was a simple one (and the best formats generally are). The music (1980s hits) is interspersed by short interviews by authors introducing themselves and their books. We also get to say where people can get them from and have a short chat with the presenter.
Preparation is key for so much in writing and I found that was the case here too. The nice thing here was while I prepared too much material, it is something I can use on another occasion and it helped boost my confidence and qualm my nerves knowing I had something to hand.
Now I’m sure I can speak for Richard as well here when I say I thought the format of music and short interviews is a great idea. Every author is facing the same problem at the moment. So many of the ways we would usually use to promote our books are difficult to achieve right now. There are no book events. It’s not as if we can go anywhere to sell them either! (Richard and debut Authors Reach writer, Francesca Tyer, were very fortunate to be able to hold events just before the lockdown came in).
So a chance to talk on radio about what we do and our works was very welcome and I hope Chat and Spin Radio continues with this.
RICHARD HARDIE INTERVIEW
Richard’s interview was on Sunday 17th May and the link to it is here. He comes in at the 1 hour, 16 minutes mark (starting time was 7.18 pm). The links once you click on them do play immediately but you can fast forward. (Rewind is not an option though. You need to come out of the link and go back in again).
ALLISON SYMES INTERVIEW
My interview was on Tuesday, 19th May and the link to it is here. I come in at about the 27 minutes mark
Appropriately for a flash fiction writer, I wasn’t on for long but these things are best kept short and sweet!
Writing friends and Scottish crime writers, Val Penny and Wendy H Jones, both of whom have appeared on CFT posts before, also took part on Chat and Spin Radio.
Richard and I hope just getting our names and the titles of our books out there will help increase sales but there is much to be said for spreading awareness of what we do.
Was I nervous about going on air? Yes.
Do I think it a good idea for writers to go outside their comfort zone every so often? Yes.
Because you won’t discover new skills and new forms of writing if you don’t. Talking about your writing is part of the job. You need to come across as talking about it naturally and that takes practice and a lot of prep work. (The first person you must convince you are a serious writer is yourself! Seeing talking about what you do as part of that job is essential because it is as nobody else can do it for you. Who else knows your stories as well as you do?).
A big thanks to Mike Sedgwick for his thought about having an ending in mind for radio interviews. I would add what I found useful was having plenty of non-alcoholic drink earlier in the evening to ensure I did not have a dry throat. (Much as I love prosecco, alcohol is known to have a drying effect on the throat. It also has effects on the head of course! Best to save the wine for after your interview).
The interview was good fun to do. A big thank you to Ian Johnson and Ron Clark for what they are doing on Chat and Spin Radio.
Read blog posts by Allison Symes published on Chandler’s Ford Today.
Never miss out on another blog post. Subscribe here:
Subscribe to Blog via Email