October 20, 2010

Writer Interviews - Kimberley Payne

Many writers are now expected to take the lion’s share of work for their own publicity. This includes accepting radio and television interviews. Preparation is key.

Here are some writer’s helpful advice to prepare for an interview:

Patricia Paddey offers this advice, “Take the time in advance of the interview to write out a few talking points - that is, the main things you absolutely MUST get across in the interview in order to walk away from the experience feeling like it was a success. Memorize those talking points frontwards, backwards and forwards. Then, when doing the interview, should the interviewer ask you a question you can't answer, simply say, "I can't speak to THAT issue, but what I CAN tell you is ..." and then go on to address the talking points you are prepared to speak about. Works to deflect uncomfortable questions every time. And nobody ever seems to notice the deflection.”

As the Communications Director for two Anglican Renewal organizations, Ed Hird has been privileged to speak on most major Canadian TV and radio stations. He agrees with Patricia. “One of the keys is to have one's key talking points, and to graciously redirect the conversation back to those two or three key points.”

Ian Walker works in PR and Media accommodations. He tells his clients to “prepare using the 5 "wh's...who, what, why, where and when...if you organize your interview into those sections...you'll accomplish everything that you want to be "questioned" or have the interviewer learn more about you and your book or opinion and your interview will be a success.”

Elma Schemenauer offers another thought on interviews, “I think it's important to avoid little repetitive things one does that can get irritating or distracting, e.g. - repeating certain words, e.g. " definitely," "things of that nature," "in actual fact." - repetitive hand or facial gestures. - laughing often. I think it's perfectly OK to laugh during an interview or similar, but it's better not to do it repeatedly.”

What tips do you have for writers facing an interview?


  1. Thanks, Kimberley, for gathering those great tips and ideas together in one place.

    It's great to learn from those who have walked ahead!

  2. Body language is very important. Radio is okay, but if televised, then the interviewee needs to be very aware of untoward movement. 'Um, er..' and 'you know' and other punctuated
    transitional interjections, can be incredibly distracting. Good reminders, Kim. Thanks for the post. :)


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