Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Good vibrations

A few weeks ago Marlow FM radio station invited me onto its Book Club programme to chat about my novel, A Sister for Margot. Other than producing the odd burst of audio for BBC News Online, this was my first time behind the microphone. For a few minutes, basking in the afterglow of my adrenalin rush, I felt convinced I had joined the ranks of Jane Garvey and Kirsty Young


Unlike Radio 4, Marlow FM is tucked away on the banks of the River Thames, amidst wooden chalets and a welter of outdoor pursuits. Avoiding a trailer full of canoes, I tip-toed through the mud and into the studio building, where a large sign instructed me to remove my boots. As luck would have it, I had cracked open a new pair of 60 denier tights that morning. Thankfully I was able to tread the studio boards with pride (my toes respectably shod). 



You can listen to this recording to hear how the interview went: 



  • Copyright Marlow Ltd  2012
  • By kind permission of Marlow FM  LTD

At the end of the programme, co-presenters Chrissy Hayes and Clare Bones chose A Sister for Margot to be Marlow FM's Book of the Month. Tune in online Friday 1 March at 9.30am to hear what they thought of it!



This much I've learnt about radio broadcasting:
  • Get as close to the mic as you can without eating it. Frantic handwaving from Chrissy at the beginning of the interview indicated I hadn't taken her quite literally enough.
  • Forget about maintaining eye contact. With your mouth up against the mic, there is no neck-room for turning to look at anyone. It made me realise how the art of conversation relies upon gauging your companion's facial expression, which leads me onto my next point...
  • Don't ramble. My lengthy answer about what inspired me to write the book was in danger of killing the interactive vibe!
Thanks to Vanessa Woolley of Marlow FM 97.5 who arranged the programme and provided the clip for me to post on my blog. Marlow FM is a community radio station in Buckinghamshire, staffed by volunteers.