Sunday, 20 March 2011

Talking Writer's Bottom with Jane Wenham-Jones

On Tuesday I had the pleasure of conducting a lovely interview with Jane Wenham-Jones, writer of One Glass is Never Enough, Perfect Alibis and writing guides Wannabe a Writer and Wannabe a Writer We've Heard Of.

I have carried out interviews before but, for convenience, these have always been by email meaning this was my first ever telephone interview and prior to it I was extremely nervous. My method for dealing with this was to put up post-it note prompts for how I can lead from questions, as well as post notes with 'calm, calm, calm' written on them, just incase I forgot.

Jane was lovely to talk to, very relaxed and pleasant, and this made the whole experience much easier and enjoyable. She gave thorough and insightful answers and took the courtesy to ask about my own writing.

Now, the biggest difference between an email interview and a telephone interview is the recording of it. Emails are easy, the answers are written by the interviewee and it is mainly a case of copying and pasting. With a telephone interview, unless you have a fancy recording device, it involves a lot of note-making, which is easier if you can write short-hand, which I can't. Jane was very helpful in this when she realised I was making notes and did offer to help me out via email if I struggle writing up from my notes.

I would suggest to anyone carrying out an interview via the above method to write up any notes immediately afterwards, it can be extremely difficult to read scribbled notes and once time as passed the interview will be more difficult to recall. I made a point of writing everything I could recall and had noted immediately after the interview and simply edited later.


Kate Kyle said...

Well done for managing your nervousness, Emma. I like your idea of post-it notes with 'calm' :)

If I am to have an important conversation over a phone I tend to write things down on a piece of paper, but then I'm so nervous I can't read my scribbles, so I've started typing it up and printing off with plenty of space to make notes during the conversation. But then, there is always a problem with reading my handwriting.

when and where will the interview with Jane be available?

CekaTB said...

I want to read the interview too, Wolfie! Well done for getting Jane to BE interviewed in the first place.

Emma B said...

Thanks Kate and Ceka. It goes live on Essential Writers tomorrow at