Authors are often shy creatures. We choose a job that means we get to sit a room on our own (apart from our imaginary friend – AHEM – I mean characters) for hours, making stuff up. We might feel awkward around other people, as though they’re all part of a tribe that we don’t belong to. Sometimes (often) we don’t get out of our PJs all day. Anyway, you get the idea: some of us are not entirely safe to be let out among other humans. We’re likely to continuously suggest books to read when we are.
I am a fully paid up member of the Scruffy Author Club. So it came as a bit of shock to be invited onto Sky News a few weeks ago, to talk about ways to get kids reading. I had nothing to wear. I had NOTHING to wear on TV – all my pretty dresses have patterns, which is a big no-no on the screen. In a panic, I messaged my friend, Julie.
“Haven’t you got a green dress?” she asked when I’d sent her a photo of what I planned to wear. “It’s very nice – why don’t you wear that?”
I did have a green dress! The taxi came to pick me up at 7.15am on Bank Holiday Monday and I arrived at the Sky News studios nice and early. After a quick trip to make-up, I sat down in the Green Room (which wasn’t green) and chatted to the other guest (a classical singer called Jonathan who was on the news to talk about opera). One of the producers came to ask if I had any questions – then it was lights…camera…action! I was live on the set of Sky News.
I had four minutes to talk. The news presenters took turns to ask me questions and the time flew by. Before I knew it, I was being ushered off the set and back into a taxi to go home. I couldn’t remember anything I had said and spent the whole journey thinking I had made a total fool of myself. Then the lovely people at Sky sent a clip of my whole interview and I watched it through my fingers. And you know what? It wasn’t bad. You can watch it here and decide for yourself.
It was such a great experience – I’d love to do it again sometime. Maybe I’m not such a shy author after all…