Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Roll 'Em

Had great fun taping an interview for NBC's local affiliate WFLA in Tampa this morning. We were there for almost two hours to get an edited 4-minute interview, which will air on the August 25 "Daytime" show, 10 - 11 am.

The process is very interesting: A LOT of waiting around but when they're ready for you, it's blam, blam, blam, cameras whirling about, tech guys groping you to secure your lapel mic and amp in place, prompters rolling, hosts mugging for the cam. Then you wait some more and do it all over again.

I arrived at 10:15 at the downtown Tampa studio, which also houses The Tampa Tribune newspaper offices. A security guard escorted my husband Chuck and me back to a waiting room, where another author also scheduled for an interview that day sat nervously chatting with her friend. It turns out that lovely Lisa Black from Melbourne (just next door to Merritt Island, the setting for my novels The Distant Shore and Billowing Sails) is an inspirational mom writer as well. We hit it off, gabbing our fool heads off until a technician appeared to escort us back to the cavernous studio.

We waited in chairs backed against a wall, surrounded by monitors that allowed us to view the constant movement and chaos accompanying the shooting of a myriad of lead-in's and wrap-ups (by the three hosts) of pretaped segments, presumably airing today. They rotated among three sets and shot numerous takes due to tripping tongues or holey scripts, reading from hooded prompters located just above the numerous cameras situated to shoot different angles at almost every other sentence.

The host scheduled to interview me, Lindsey, slid over between takes and introduced herself and asked for a copy of Mom Needs Chocolate, which my publicist sent but had not arrived. My stomach dropped like a stone.

This is NOT a good thing. You always prefer your interviewer to have read your book before they discuss it with you on national television.

Since Lindsey didn't know one thing about my book, she had prepared questions based on a magazine article I had written, which really had very little to do with the book. She did manage to speed read at least one chapter of MNC between takes so that during the interview an hour later, she was able to squeeze in a few customized comments so that it turned out just fine.

One vain girlie side item: After debating for days over whether to wear the teal suit or the black pinstripe, I chose the teal, only to arrive and find the set slated for the interview sported wedgewood blue chairs. Oh well. There was nothing I could do but hope I didn't clash with my chair to the point that the viewer was reduced to squinting.