Wednesday, February 12, 2014

On The Road: With NPR

First things first, I'm over at Heroes & Heartbreakers with another scrumptiously angsty Delicious Despair post talking about To Tempt A Viking by Michelle Willingham.

Because, you know, we all need more emotionally tortured hunky Vikings in our lives.

Head on over and read all about it.

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So yeah, it's this past Monday.  As in, two days ago.  And I get this random e-mail from some guy claiming to be a producer for On Point with Tom Ashbrook, a nationally syndicated radio program for NPR (National Public Radio for you folks outside the States).  First thing I did was Google him.  Because, dude, you should see some of the e-mail I get.  Anyway, it seemed legit and all I could think about was my two NPR-lovin' sisters. 

They wanted to talk to someone who was a blogger/critic and someone must have had the brilliant idea of "hey, maybe a librarian!" - and they got me.  Because apparently when you Google "librarian" and "romance novels" - Wendy is what you get stuck with.

Arrangements were made.  Paperwork was filled out (because for my employer it ain't worth doing if you don't have paperwork to fill out) and I hauled myself to the local college radio station, where I would be joining the program "live."

Yes, live.

I've never done anything in radio, and it was a really cool experience.  Of course Wendy + public speaker = crap shoot (on the best days), but I think I did an OK job and hopefully I represented the genre and it's readership well. 

You can listen to a podcast of the program here - and yes, I know, they put the dreaded "BR" word in the title.  But never fear, author Angela Knight, who was also featured on the program, does a great job of addressing that wee lil' issue.

14 comments:

Amber said...

Great job, Wendy! Honestly, I think they only put BR in there because it made for great alliteration.

Ani Gonzalez said...

Fabulous job! I love your radio voice.

azteclady said...

I'm linking the SHIT out of this, right now.

And don't we love, absolutely love, how it's big news to so many people that romance is the biggest seller of books, everywhere, all the time?

Where have all these people been the past thirty odd years?

azteclady said...

Okay--two more comments as I've listened to it a few more times:

Angela Knight's point: if it weren't for the "mockable" language of romance, there would be no money to publish "literary" books

Jesse Barron: the fact that literary folk *coughNPR'shostcough* use words like "mockable" to refer to romance novel language speaks more of his problems/anxiety than about the intrinsic value of said language

Picture me cheering.

Angela Knight said...

Wendy -- I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed listening to your intelligent and spirited defense of romance and romance readers. You did a great job, and you came off really well. It was a pleasure being on the show with you and Jesse, who has been so kind to my work. (And yes, the "mockable" thing stung a bit when Tom kinda made fun of my prose. But I do NOT write imagining the comments of the New York Times book reviewer, or I would never finish a damn thing.)

Jennifer said...

Just finished listening to the interview. Well done both Wendy and Angela - it was an intelligent discussion about romance novels and the romance community, despite the interviewer.

azteclady said...

To be honest, a lot of the host's comments/language spoke of profound ignorance tinged with prejudice/superiority complex. When speaking with/to a hostile audience, it's very difficult to come out well--both you and Wendy did an outstanding job, and I loved Jesse Barron's take because he has no dog in this fight, yet he *gets* it.

Wendy said...

Amber: Also, let's face it - the BR word is an attention grabber. At least here they let Angela talk about the label and dispel some misconceptions. I'm actually a reader who doesn't mind the BR label - so long as it's used correctly. Which it very rarely is. It describes a certain moment in time for the genre, and even then I wouldn't label all those romances of the 1980s as BRs - because all of them weren't.

Wendy said...

Thank you Ani! I was using what Mom calls my "librarian voice." LOL

Wendy said...

AL: I found Barron very interesting, since what I read of his article in Harper's didn't impress me terribly. But on the interview I think he did a wonderful job, came across as very thoughtful about the genre when, let's face it, he doesn't have a long standing history with.

Wendy said...

Angela: It was so great to have this experience with you, and I knew you would be wonderful. I loved your comments when Tom asked you about if you "think about readers when you write." I wanted to jump in and say, "No, or else she's never get anything written!" You can't please all the people all the time - I think authors are best served when they sit down and just write the best book/story they can at that moment, at that time in their lives. Because dang, I love readers - and I'm including myself in this comment here - but we're kinda nutty sometimes LOL

Wendy said...

Jennifer: I was relieved when I found out I was going to be on the show with Angela - who I knew would do a wonderful job.

Angela Knight said...

Wendy -- Thank you for the wonderful compliment! As I said, I thought you and Jesse were fabulous. On actually listening to the show, I think Tom was being pretty even-handed in that he was trying to say what he thought his NPR audience would be thinking, as far as asking about porn and 50 Shades, etc. As a former reporter, I often had to ask questions I knew were borderline offensive or even a hair stupid, because I knew what counted was what the interview subject said and thought, and I had to draw them out. I'm glad he gave us the chance to defend erotic romance from the folks who kinda sneer at it. Though every time he used the phrase "bodice rippers," I gritted my teeth. It was a great opportunity to be on his show, and I really appreciated it.

Angela Knight said...

The taste of romance readers is SO varied, there's no way to write for everyone. You can tell that from the reviews I get on Amazon. Some people absolutely LOVE my stuff, and some people give it one star and call it the worst smut they've ever read. I hate to admit it, but I rather like it when somebody gives me a review like that, because I know because other readers perk up their ears and go, "Sex? Did you say there's too much sex?" LOL!