“Let’s go through and do a sound check,” the eight simple words which caused me to become a little hot under the collar. You see, I’d been on camera before, as part of video creation at my place of work, however this time it was LIVE.
When involved with digital media up until this point, I’d always needed several takes to get it right and I felt comfortable knowing that stopping and restarting was a clause that we could exercise whenever needed. In fact, I’m pretty sure I have my own blooper reel containing all sorts of delirious laughter and expletives.
Only during a live broadcast, there was no such safety net.
Learn Live UK offer a digital education platform that can be streamed direct to the classroom, so students and teachers can tune in and have access to unique learning opportunities for free. There are a wide range of topics covered, from health to construction, and of course – reading and literacy, leading us to the reason I found myself in front of a camera lens on World Book Day 2020.
I’d made contact last year about working together, only certain circumstances meant that it wasn’t to be. So imagine my delight when Vicky, one of the many friendly and helpful members of the Learn Live team, called me to invite me down for a special World Book Day broadcast.
I was to be part of a triple bill, with my Meet the Author interview being aired at 1:30pm to viewers up and down the country.
And now, at 1:25pm going through the sound check and all the other behind the scenes requirements with Abby, I felt those familiar nerves begin to jangle, questioning myself with a big dose of imposter syndrome.
The team were so supportive though, guiding me through the structure, what would be happening at what stage, where to look and also, perhaps most significantly, the types of questions that would be asked, which instantly put me at ease.
At this stage, amidst channeling my inner Andi Peters, I also reminded myself of my dad’s age old advice spanning back to my early years, advice which I now offer to other people, if called upon, who may be faced with a daunting experience – just be yourself.
Then came the NASA-esque countdown from 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… blast off, and away we went. And what a fun, thrilling and enlightening 20 minutes or so it was!
I was first interviewed by the host, Jen, who took me through some really interesting questions ranging from my writing influence, through to how I got into my [other] career as a Youth Worker.
Following the short interview, I then did a live reading from my book, which just felt absolutely amazing, surreal even. I chose the first 3 pages of The Disappearance of Timothy Dawson, as I believe it sets an intriguing context for what’s to come. The words “slow down” were buzzing around my head on repeat, but it seemed to go without hiccup.
After the reading came my favourite part of all, questions submitted via the live chat facility from viewers spanning from Darlington down to Dover. Young readers asking about tips for budding writers or full classes requesting a shout out, which happened to be the rock-star cherry, on top of this wonderful, unique experience, enabling me to add live interview broadcast to my ever growing CV in the world of writing.
Huge thank you to the team at Learn Live, what a super way to spend World Book Day 2020. I’m really looking forward to working together again in the future, perhaps when my upcoming release is unleashed upon the world: The Rise of The Chemist, the second book in The Granville Series.
Stay tuned for more updates coming shortly, including a cover reveal and a release date to be announced soon.
Ciao for now,