Who IS that person wearing make-up, hair done, sounding all author-like? Well, my friends that would be me. Talking about my book. Eeeek! How weird is life?! Some of you may have spied it over on the Simon and Schuster website, but now it’s on youtube I can finally upload it here. (Why not earlier? Because, ahem, I am a technology dunce…)
Exclusive to this website right here and you, my friends, I am going to share a little bit about the experience of shooting it. For starters, it was shot in New York City at Simon and Schuster Headquarters. The Simon and Schuster offices are ginormous. There is a picture of them, here. I had that sick-to-the-pit-of-my-stomach, little-country-mouse-comes-to-the-big-city kind of feeling looking up at them. Simon and Schuster is written above the big glass doors in Gotham City fashion. I didn’t take a photo because I was frozen with anxiety and excitement, but Debbie Ohi did, so you can get the idea . Thanks Debbie
I knew I was going to be interviewed so I threw on a tonne of makeup, remembering that the makeup artist for my wedding told me that you need to wear twice as much makeup as you normally do for any kind of camera. I’m glad I did because woah, my skin looks weirdly flawless in the video! I swear it is not normally like that. The other thing I did, again totally out of character, was get my hair professionally blow-dried. I mean, I can use a straightner, I can wield a mascara brush, I can (sometimes) draw with an eyeliner but I am absolutely hopeless with a hairdryer. So I decided to spoil myself and get it done properly for the grand sum of $30. It was so worth it. Look at it! It’s actually swishy. That’s not normal either. [Funny side note: the hairdresser asked me how I wanted it. I went into writerly blathering which included words like "unstructured" and "flowing". After long blank stares I pointed at the nearest magazine. It had a photo of Kate Middleton on it. Think I must have been the 100th person that week who'd pointed to that photo.]
So, with a bellyful of nerves, I went to meet the woman I’d been chatting to for weeks, my editor, Whitney Frick. Whitney is an impressive person. A friend recently told me that most people you meet are unimpressive. I thought it was a pretty pessimistic statement. He should meet Whitney Frick. She’s warm, kind, funny and very smart. She is good at her job. She loves her job. And you can tell. Because she’s engaged, effervescent and 110% passionate about books, writing and publishing. By the way, she won the inaugral Larry Ashmead award for being a crazy-good, emerging and promising book editor. Brag, brag.
After one of those chats that make you believe in Anne of Green Gable’s “kindred spirits” Whitney and I headed to the studio to shoot the interview. Yes, Simon and Schuster have a custom-built studio for such things. It’s pitch black, fitted with standing lights that should be in a football studio not a tiny windowless room, and two cameras operated by a camera operator each, one that points at your face, another that points at your profile. Cool, I thought. I’m not feeling nervous at all now (BIG LIE).
Whitney asked questions while I had to respond looking into the camera, rather than looking at Whitney. I found this really challenging because I’ve been raised to look a person in the eye when spoken to. My voice sounded strange and formal. I got all hot and anxious but tried to pretend I was cool and calm. I repeated myself. I felt like I was floating out of my body. I bungled words. Not to worry, Whitney assured me, they would edit it. Thank GOODNESS. Soon enough, it was over and we were back to chatting like old friends and planning where to go for a glass of wine. I could breathe again.
So the video above is the end result. It’s heavily edited and super-short, which is just fine with me. Even if seeing myself is very strange, watching it reminds me of that incredible day. From standing at the glass doors of my publisher, in New York, feeling like I ought to pinch myself to meeting sweet, supportive and like-minded people who want my book to succeed as much as I do. It was all such a thrill I just had to share the whole story with you not just the video interview. So now you know the story behind it and why my hair looks so…fancy.