If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

April Interview Schedule:
4/3 Connie Berry
4/10 Malice Domestic Anthology 14 Authors
4/17 David Burnsworth
3/24 Grace Topping

Saturday Guest Bloggers: 4/6 Edith Maxwell, 4/13 Ellen Butler

WWK Satuday Bloggers: 4/20 Margaret S. Hamilton, 4/27 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files

Congratulations to Shari Randall for her nomination for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Her book, Curses, Boiled Again was published by St. Martin's last year. Read the interviewabout the book here. Yay, Shari!

The Malice Domestic conference participants have nominated Annette Dashofy for an Agatha Award for her Zoe Chambers mystery Cry Wolf, published in 2018 by Henery Press. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Annette about Cry Wolf here. Will four nominations be the charm?

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: http://a.co/d/jdSBKdM

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder, which will be released April 30, is available for pre-order.

KM Rockwood's new short story, "Map to Oblivion," has been included the anthology Shhhh...Murder! edited by Andrew MacRae and published by Darkhouse Books. It was released on Sept. 12.

Warren Bull also has a story in Shhh...Murder! Look for "Elsinore Noir," Warren's short story, in this anthology.

Shari Randall's third Lobster Shack Mystery, Drawn and Buttered, was published February 26, 2019. Available for sale.


Monday, April 2, 2018

Interview Phobia

by Linda Rodriguez

This coming week, I'm scheduled to do an interview to publicize my new book of poetry. I've done a lot of interviews—on radio, television, and in newspapers and magazines—in my lifetime, both in recent years as a writer and in earlier years as an administrator at a large public university. Of course, as a writer, you always welcome a feature article or interview. It's the kind of publicity you can't buy—and usually can't just get whenever you want or need it.

Even with all my experience, however, I have nightmares about each of these interviews after I finish them. I always do with interviews anymore. I go into them promising myself I’ll be careful and remember the disaster I once encountered, but then I get involved in the conversation and tend to forget. After it’s over, I suddenly remember that I wasn’t careful, and I try to remember everything I said and how it can be twisted and misused against me. And there’s a good reason for my fear.

Before I got sick and had to leave my career of many years (which really opened the doors for my writing), I was the director of a university women’s center, one of the oldest and largest in the country. I often had to give radio, TV, and print interviews or was asked to write opinion pieces by newspapers and magazines on women’s issues. I had become sort of an old pro at it. One day the brand-new network TV station in town, Fox, called and asked for an interview the next day about pornography’s effects on women. I agreed and set about research to be able to give an up-to-date, informed opinion on the matter and to back it up with facts. (Fox hadn’t developed the reputation it now has. It was still flying under the radar at that point.)

The next day I was dressed in my nice red wool suit (better for TV), and the Fox reporter and I were sitting in my beautiful women’s center’s library with built-in walnut bookcases surrounding us while a cameraman filmed and recorded us. We talked for over an hour. To my surprise, the reporter was very knowledgeable about the issue and some of the latest research, and his questions were appropriate and insightful. He told me at the end that they would need to edit it down drastically, and I said, “Of course.”

When it appeared on the newscast a week later, it became clear that another reporter had wanted a junket to a porn-maker’s convention in Las Vegas, and that was what the whole thing was about. It ran ten minutes and was like an infomercial for porno films. I was the only woman in the segment who was over 30, fully clothed, and not surgically enhanced, and they gave me one line, which was not only ripped out of context, but edited, snipping the middle out of it, to make it sound like the dowdy, old feminazi had condemned all porn (which I hadn’t) and, by extension, all sex. Of all the many times I’d been on TV or radio or in the paper, this was the one the most people saw—my neighbors, my son’s gastroenterologist, my hairdresser, the checker at the grocery store, strangers everywhere I went. And then, because it was a highly rated segment, they replayed it six months later during sweeps and twice more the next year.

So I’ve learned the hard way to beware of interviews, especially those where we’re having intelligent, nuanced discussions. I know how my own words can be turned against me. I really don’t expect this upcoming interview to be horrible. Even when I did an interview about my second novel with the huge and sometimes controversial magazine, Cosmopolitan, I should have had confidence because the interview was done by a person I knew whose work I respected. But I have to admit I had some bad nights over that one. I’d remember some of the things we talked about and worry, “Oh no, think what he could do with that statement if he took it out of context.” And then, of course, there was the fact that it was Cosmo. Would this be another case of being made out to be the stodgy, old feminazi sandwiched in among the sexy girls?

Actually, I was sort of sandwiched between “The Joys of Hangover Sex” and “Hot Sex Tips,” but the Cosmo profile was very nice—and I’m grateful to have had that opportunity to connect with all those potential readers. Nothing was taken out of context, and the reporter did a lovely job. http://www.cosmopolitan.com/cosmo-latina/blog/author-linda-rodriguez-interview

But I never forget what it could have been. Fox-TV scarred me for life when it comes to interviews.

Have you had sad or maddening experiences with interviews or being misquoted or misrepresented somehow? How do you feel when someone wants an interview (other than a written Q and A where it’s so much easier to have some control)?

Linda Rodriguez's Dark Sister: Poems has just been released. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel, based on her popular workshop, and The World Is One Place: Native American Poets Visit the Middle East, an anthology she co-edited, were published to high praise in 2017. Every Family Doubt, her fourth mystery novel featuring Cherokee campus police chief, Skeet Bannion, will appear in August, 2018, and Revising the Character-Driven Novel will be published in November, 2018. Her three earlier Skeet novels—Every Hidden Fear, Every Broken Trust, and Every Last Secret—and her books of poetry—Skin Hunger and Heart's Migration—have received critical recognition and awards, such as St. Martin's Press/Malice Domestic Best First Novel, International Latino Book Award, Latina Book Club Best Book of 2014, Midwest Voices & Visions, Elvira Cordero Cisneros Award, Thorpe Menn Award, and Ragdale and Macondo fellowships. Her short story, “The Good Neighbor,” published in the anthology, Kansas City Noir, has been optioned for film.

Rodriguez is past chair of the AWP Indigenous Writer’s Caucus, past president of Border Crimes chapter of Sisters in Crime, founding board member of Latino Writers Collective and The Writers Place, and a member of International Thriller Writers, Wordcraft Circle of Native American Writers and Storytellers, and Kansas City Cherokee Community. Visit her at http://lindarodriguezwrites.blogspot.com


Kait said...

Oh, Linda, how awful! Easy to see how that could scar you.

Fortunately, I've not had anything so awful happen. I admit to preferring print or face to face interviews over radio. There is something comforting about visual cues, don't you think.

Jim Jackson said...

I haven’t had those opportunities, so haven’t been burned. However, in today’s news environment, it’s especially easy to see how someone can twist words to their own purpose.

Julie Tollefson said...

As someone on the other side of the table -- doing the interviews and writing the profiles -- I agonize over getting it right. I never want my interview subjects to regret talking to me!

E. B. Davis said...

Oh, I'm so sorry you had that horrible experience, Linda. Although we edit interviews here on WWK, I always allow the author final say. Print is better. I wouldn't even attempt a voice or in person interview. Words on the page--it's what we do!

Of course, you need to do those interviews, but I can't help but think that maybe you could assert yourself to control those interviews more. But there isn't a thing you can do about edits--so you know what to do--if you can't control it, forget it!

Linda Rodriguez said...

Kait, I actually like radio interviews--if I know the interviewer. That's mostly because I have a really good radio voice and the camera leaves me looking even fatter than I am. But I've done enough of either to be comfortable with them--until afterward when I worry about what the editor can do with what I've given them.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Jim, yes, and you wouldn't think they'd bother to do it with interviews that have nothing to do with partisan politics, but it happens.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Julie, I suspect this Fox interviewer was a pro like you. They had just come into the KC market and taken over a reputable station. It was all in the editing.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Elaine, actually, I've had very good luck with most interviews. That's what such a shame about it--one horrible experience can tar a whole field. I know how useful such things are in book promotion, so I try to keep my own fears out of the equation. But sometimes it's hard.

Gloria Alden said...

What a horrible experience, Linda. So far most of my interviews are at book clubs or other groups so it has all been positive. One of my nicest interviews was with a group of nuns in a library at Sisters of Notre Dame where I knew one of the many nuns who live there either still working or retired. I had donated all my books to them through Sister Mary Cora who used to be active at my church and still comes to visit our home bound bound parishioners. I once did a radio interview, too, and a local TV not local to me, but closer to the Sinc Chapter I'm in. They gave me a CD of the interview. I never watched it on my TV.

Margaret Turkevich said...

Awful. I'm so careful what I say and commit to in a public forum. But it's all in the editing, isn't it?

Warren Bull said...

Has the event made it into your writing yet?

Linda Rodriguez said...

Gloria, it's nice when you can keep it all with people you know.

Margaret, yes, we can be so careful, but they can do amazingly awful things with editing.

Warren, no, but my first Skeet novel had a situation where Skeet had been ambushed in the media that drew on it emotionally.

Grace Topping said...

How awful for you, Linda. I'm so sorry that happened to you. It goes to show you, like statistics, things can be skewed the direction the writer wants a story to go. The tragic thing is that peoples' reputation can suffer. That's why I think so many very good people don't go into politics.

KM Rockwood said...

And when I think of all the people I know who take Fox News as unbiased, gospel truth...

Glad yo didn't let the bad experience cripple you.

Shari Randall said...

Good grief, Linda! I'm so sorry that happened to you. Yet another example of the way deceitful, agenda-driven "news" stifles the truth.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Grace, it certainly would make a political career less than enticing, wouldn't it?

KM, it's funny to remember back then when Fox was brand-new and had just moved into our market, taking over another reputable station. We had no inkling then of what "news" could become.

Shari, yes, and it causes so much harm.