Saturday, December 05, 2009


Alanna Klapp interviewed me for The Writing Show. You can download and listen from this link. There's an iTunes button over there as well if you prefer to get the podcast that way.

Many thanks to Alanna and Paula B. for putting this together. I had a great time.


Chris said...

Helluva interview. Light on salaciousness (boo!) heavy on information (yay!).

Gillian said...

Congrats. The link doesn't work for me.

Cosmic Navel Lint said...

I think you handled yourself very measuredly and with grace against a questioner (you couldn't with any accuracy call her an interviewer) who simply read questions off a prepared sheet, and didn't really attempt to tie-in anything you were talking about to any flow or theme.

Indeed, where none existed, you gave any and all range to that exchange, Erin, well done!

dean said...

You have such a cute lil' mid-american accent. Whenever I listen to your voice I can hear the incisive intelligence.

Jenny Kane said...

I appreciate being introduced to authors through the Writing Show, and today was no exception. I'm looking forward to reading each letter of Harvey & Eck as it unfolds into a complete novel.

I find great inspiration in your choice to leave your career to pursue your passion.

And I must say, I completely disagree with Cosmic. Interviewer Alanna Klapp asked insightful, sincere questions. I enjoyed listening to both of you, and I left the interview with a genuine curiosity about your book.

Thank you Erin & Alanna!!

Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Jenny, you're at perfect liberty to judge the interview as you see fit; all I'm saying is that, from a European perspective, Alanna came off as amateur, ill-prepared and poorly briefed - and the very definition of staccato in her sometimes monotone delivery and questioning.

OK, the interview was conducted over the phone and not face-to-face, but still, for an interviewer to add so little to an exchange with an author does her own reputation no good whatsoever - her requirement and courtesy to the author to be prepared notwithstanding.

Alanna said...

This is Alanna from The Writing Show. I want to thank everyone for listening, and thanks to Erin for doing this interview!

Cosmic Navel Lint, I thank you for listening as well. I appreciate and value your opinion, however, for my own reputation, I feel I must address a few things.

First of all, this is my fourth interview for The Writing Show. If I sound like an amateur to you, it's because I am. We're all amateurs at whatever it is we do at the beginning of our careers, and the only way we get better is through practice. I'm working to improve my delivery with each interview I complete.

However, I was not ill-prepared. I spend many hours reading the author's material, researching, and preparing what I hope are thoughtful and intelligent questions about writing. I take a minimum of a month to prepare for the interviews, to really absorb the author's work (I also work a full-time day job so this is all done on the side of that). Once I have the questions, I send them to the author about a week in advance. I do have a prepared sheet with me when I do the interview, and the author also knows the questions in advance. I try very hard not to read the questions verbatim from my sheet, and again, this is something I am working on.

Also, the final version you are hearing of the podcast is heavily edited. All of the shows are. They are recorded first, edited, and then posted online. I know it sounds like I am merely firing questions to Erin one after another, but that's not how the original interview took place. I comment and add to the exhange after each answer, but these comments are edited out to make the interview cleaner and also for length. I have no control over the editing whatsoever, and I think Paula B, the producer and host of the show, does a wonderful job editing.

As far as theme of the interview is concerned, The Writing Show provides information and inspiration for writers. That is the theme. I further divided the interview into three parts:

1. Questions about Erin's novel, Harvey & Eck, including a short reading of aforementioned novel

2. Questions about Erin's nonfiction work

3. Questions about Erin's writing life

While inspiration is subjective to each individual who listens to the podcast (although I think you'll all agree with me when I say Erin is very inspiring), information about writing is provided in the form of Erin's insightful answers to my carefully crafted questions.

Again, Cosmic, I value your opinion, and I do not think your comments are without merit. I would hope that you would give a girl from Ohio who is trying her best to make a go at a writing career a little bit of slack. Thanks again for listening, and thanks again to you, Erin, for making this possible! I had a great time doing this interview!

Erin O'Brien said...

I'll reiterate Alanna's thanks to all who listen and also to those who spend time with my musings.

As I said in the post, I'm grateful to both Alanna and Paula for their efforts in preparation and editing/publishing.

dean said...

Alanna, I don't think you have to defend yourself. It's true, you didn't sound like someone who'd been doing interviews a long time. Part of it is that your voice sounds very young. However, I thought you did a credible job - better than I could have done.

Alanna said...

Thanks Dean, I appreciate that! I acually wasn't going to defend myself until I read the word "ill-prepared." I know I'm no Terry Gross, but one thing I always am is prepared. I enjoy taking the time to read and study a writer's body of work, and then to have the privilege to ask the writer questions about the work and the process.

Thanks for saying I sound young, I'll take that as a complement! While I'm no spring chicken, I'd still like to think of myself as young!

And rather than amateur, I'd rather say "professional-in-training," or maybe "young professional-in-training," yeah, I think I like the sound of that best. ;-)

Above all else, these interviews are not about me, they are about the writer and the writer's work. This is about Erin, not me, and I thank everyone again for listening!

Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Hey Alanna,

You're right: I was way too harsh in my off-the-cuff critique; I spoke without knowing you or your circumstances; for which I roundly apologise.

Looks like you've got a great gig going - you get to do something you love, and with other writers - win/win.

All the very best in all your endeavours!

Take care,


Alanna Klapp said...

Hi Bren!

Thanks for your apology and your nice comments, they are greatly appreciated! No hard feelings, this led me to your blog, and you to mine, so nothing but good came of this!

It is a gig I greatly enjoy, and hope to get better with each interview! Stay tuned!!

All the very best to you in your endeavours, too!

Cosmic Navel Lint said...

And by the looks of the schedule on your blog, your current workload dance-sheet is pretty well full!

Good luck with it - and prosper!

Bren x

Alanna Klapp said...

It's fun to dance, Bren! Thanks again! You too! =)