Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Life & Style - Personality of the Week


Here's the link to my first online interview that came out today in Life & Style, lifeandstyle.com.my. Eight questions are asked and the answers are kept short, and I tried to make sure each one is quotable. They did a nice job with this, using a black backdrop, and putting my two book covers side by side. Notice the titles of the book are reflected upside down on the table for a cool effect!

I'm sure there's a way to copy and paste this website page into the blog, but every way I tried it seemed to backfire and created additional problems, forcing me to shut down the computer a couple of times. Then there's the possible matter of copyright infringement, so I thought it's best to leave it as it is. By the way, not a bad follow-up to yesterday's post on "Getting known through the media or anyway that you can".

And as a follow up to that, just want to add that when you’re being interviewed, keep a reminder list of what to include, in case you forget, like your website address or book titles or key points that you want to make. I also keep some reminders to cut down on what you have to say because usually there's space requirement and if they have to cut it themselves, they may cut out the wrong stuff, and leave the lesser important stuff, or they may overlook a good quote and choose instead a poor one. This was great advice that I received from Daphne Lee of the Star when she asked several opened ended questions and I had a field day answering them. I'm glad she did a great job editing it! Also, I remind myself not to be flippant with any of my answers. It might be my gut reaction, or something off the top of my head, or I'm merely having fun, but being flippant rarely helps you in the long run and you may miss an opportunity with some further probing to come up with something rather poignant, even quotable. In fact, try to make everything you say, quotable, so if they randomly choose a quote you can live with it!

Of course this is hard to do when you get a phone interview, so now I prefer email interviews. They may take far too much time (several hours!), but the writer in me will make sure all the answers are good, error free, by going over them again and again, plus it's going to be pretty hard to misquote me, and I can feel comfortable with the interview and stick it on my website under the media section. On phone and face-to-face interviews, I have to keep my fingers crossed and hopefully sigh in relief once I see it in print. But in most cases, I cringe, and some important facts invariably come out wrong, or worse the interview with some horrible or totally wrong quotes serves no purpose and I can’t even use it, a missed opportunity!

*Update, the 20th anniversary of Lovers and Strangers Revisited

**Here's the link to my website, to MPH online for orders for all three of my books, including my latest, Spirit of Malaysia and for Trois autres Malaisie.

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