Recently, I had a wonderful interview with author Brunonia Barry, author of The Lace Reader. I’ve given a lot of telephone interviews since I’ve become a writer, but I haven’t given many for the blog. And, I realized shortly before my interview with Brunonia, I’d never before interviewed an author for WU by phone. My phone interviews for WU can be counted on one hand, actually–NaNo’s Chris Baty; Harry Potter publisher, Barry Cunningham; and screenwriting & story structure gurus #1, Michael Hauge, and #2, Blake Snyder. These were all great interviews–definitely some of my favorites.
But how cool is it to get on the phone and talk shop with a fabu author? Brunonia and I chatted for over two hours about her amazing book, craft issues, the muse, getting up in front of a crowd to talk about your work, book clubs and more. We enjoyed veering off track a few times, too. We’d both seen and loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s inspiring speech on creativity, and decided that we both believed in daemons/geniuses. We talked coffee, tea and chocolate. It was a perfect interview.
Until the end. Well, after the end.
I’d been recording the entire thing, and in a bonehead move that could only have been inspired by my current frenzied state, thanks in most to Odyssey of the Mind (competition this weekend), I didn’t set the recorder up correctly. None of our conversation taped. None of it.
Did I want to shoot myself? Yes. It was an awful revelation. Seriously, sometimes I wonder if my neurons are misfiring or if they’ve just lost the ability to fire.
I sent her an email. Should I recreate our interview? Paraphrase? Wait until after her deadline in June to try again? Call the whole thing off? Heck no, she said; let’s redo it soon.
And we talked, again, for two-and-a-half hours. You’d think we’d have gotten it all out of our systems the first go-round, but honestly I enjoyed our talk just as much the second time around. And, yes, the recorder worked properly this time. I triple checked.
There’s something invigorating about talking shop with another writer, being able to settle in and realize you’re with one of your kind–another who’s willing to sit for endless hours and tap into something unnameable, to dredge a story out of it and then go through the laborious process of perfecting its shape. I have writer friends whom I meet with occasionally for shop talk–and retreats!–and I always leave those meetings feeling invigorated.
Writing is such a lonely profession, save for all those made-up people. I’m sure that’s why it’s so rewarding to take time to veer off the solitary pathway every now and then, settle in with a cuppa conversation, and realize you’re not really alone.
How do you stay connected with other writers?
Psst, if you haven’t seen Elizabeth Gilbert’s speech on creativity, get yourself a cuppa something now and prepare for a treat. (Thanks to Michelle O’Neil for pointing this out to me in the first place.) Write on, all.
Photo by Deviant Art’s ~Ferruti