Unlike many authors, little Sheila is a ham. I enjoy doing booksigning parties, interviews and TV appearances. It probably has something to do with being the baby of the family and getting hooked on all that attention.
High on my list of favorite things to do is to visit A.M. Northwest, a local TV show out of Portland. Everyone involved with that show is wonderful, and I'm always excited when I can come up with an excuse to go on there.
And we writers do need an excuse. Once upon a time writers were celebrities, but not any more. It's not enough to call a TV show or radio station and say, "Hey, I want to come on and talk about my latest book and how I came up with the idea." At least that's the case if you write fiction. Non-fiction writers are a different story because they already have an interesting topic and an area of expertise.
So, if you're a fiction writer, you have to become an expert on something. For me, that's often tied to the holidays. I've done everything from easy Christmas goody recipes to craft ideas. (This latest appearance was my eighth.) This time we were talking about party ideas (three of which you can find on the Christmas Central page). If there's one thing I'm an expert on it's parties. I love to entertain - and I have my mom, who was the world's best hostess, to thank for that. She was so clever! I like to think I'm following in her footsteps.
How about you? Are you a holiday party animal? Want to do something special this holiday season? Try snowball caroling or having a swap party (yes, those ideas are on the Christmas Central page) or maybe throw a party for your teens and send them on a scavenger hunt to collect items for your local food bank. Or throw an old fashioned parlor game party. Oh, I could go on and on.
And I did on the show, for a whole six minutes, which is a nice long time for a guest segment. The time sure flew!
So, how does this TV thing work? Well, it helps to bring visual aids, so I had a ton to pack up - everything from cookies to decorations and a home made craft. The show shifts quickly from segment to segment, so we set up our little display table ahead of time. Then it was wheeled onto the set right before I went on. Minutes are carefully counted from behind the camera and the host is very aware of the ticking clock. A minute of chitchat and then it's, Put on your smile - the world is watching.
Helen Raptis, the show's host, is lovely to work with. Sadly, we never get much time to visit before the cameras start rolling. But that's the way it is in showbiz. You're on - quick! And then you're off - quick! And the show moves on to the next guest.
That famous fifteen minutes of fame? It's a lot less than fifteen minutes when you're a struggling writer. But hey, I still have hopes for DANCING WITH THE STARS.