Friday, August 20, 2010

Tic, Tock, Tic, Tock

It's 12:00 p.m. and I finally have everything ready for my 1:05 p.m. radio broadcast on John Austin's Book Club program from WTAN, Clearwater, Florida. It has taken weeks to prepare for this 30-minute interview. The future of my new novel, Evil in the Mirror, could ride on my performance.

I had listened to every past interview I could find and studied what made an author sound good, and more importantly, what made them sound bad. I listened intently to John Austin's questions on each and every podcast because he refused to send me the questions in advanced. He didn't want the interview to sound like a info commercial. Crap, better that than me having a panic attack and forgetting my own name, let alone the names of the characters in the book.

I carefully laid out typed cheat-sheets with the book's life history, along with mine, on the desk in front of my computer. All the sentences where triple spaced so I wouldn't get confused. I highlighted anything and everything that might be important to the interview. Each page was almost completely yellow.

At 12:30 p.m., I put the four dogs in their crates along with ample treats to keep them quiet. I pushed our evil parrot's cage into the master bath and closed the door. I taped warning signs on the front and rear doors that read: "IF YOU KNOCK ON THIS DOOR YOU WILL DIE!"

When I returned to my office, it was 12:45 p.m. I closed the door and listened for sounds. Our chihuahua Annie was still barking as usual, but I doubled her meds to calm her down. I could still hear Pickles screeching and wondered if I should have given him some of Annie's Prozac too.

It was now 12:50 p.m. as I sat down for the phone call that would start my first radio interview ever. I watched the computer clock refuse to move forward, but I could hear the wall clock go tick, tock, tick, tock....I now knew how the condemned felt while waiting for the sound of the Guillotine release just before they lost their heads! The way I felt was a sure sign I would lose mine.

Why won't that phone ring? Oh, my God, what if it doesn't ring? What if I miss the call? What if I dove off a bridge with no bungee? What if aliens landed? STOP! Quit worrying, Mitt. How bad could it be?

I just about croaked when the phone rang. I was so busy worrying that I forgot about the call. The minute the producer said hello and asked how I was doing, things calmed down and I immediately started a familiar line of BS with John Austin. Like Mom always said, "If bullshit were money, you could retire now and take care of you parents!"

Seems she was right,


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