I was invited to speak on Meridian FM, which was very exciting (and rather terrifying!) I’ve never been on the radio before, so had no idea what to expect.
I arrived about half an hour too early, because I was stressing about being late or not being able to park anywhere. I ended up going for a walk, so it was lucky the weather was warm. Then I went inside.
Meridian FM is based at the Jubilee Centre in East Grinstead, which is a large building (with a big carpark) in an industrial estate. The downstairs rooms are used for a playgroup and community events. I was told to go up to the first floor. At the top of the stairs was a door, with signs warning me to be quiet if the red light was lit as they would be on air. How exciting is that!
I then went in to an extremely hot room (they seriously need some air conditioning) and I waited until Samantha Day, whose show I was speaking on, was ready. One of the local journalists, who knew I would be there, popped in too, to take a photo. (So I was glad I had worn some make-up, I nearly hadn’t bothered as it was the radio and no one would be able to see me!)
I sat on a chair, facing a big orange mic. Samantha did a sound check, telling me to move nearer and nearer. I told her I was a teacher, I could speak as loud as she wanted – she said to speak up a bit! On the desk was a whole lot of equipment – computers, sound desk type stuff, wires. The other side sat Samantha, and a student doing work-experience. They wore headphones, and Samantha controlled the volume, played music etc in between interviewing me. She was very good at her job. There was a lot going on all at once – I arrived as she was finishing with other guests, she was interviewing, putting on music, directing us, welcoming me and saying goodbye to them, all at once. No one else was up there. When she hasn’t got guests, it must be a weirdly lonely job. Strange to be talking to 8,000 listeners in a room entirely on your own.
My interview was fine (big relief). I had sent Samantha some information about psychopaths, and she had formed questions from this. To be honest, I had forgotten what I’d sent her, and probably wandered ‘off script’ a bit, but it didn’t seem to matter. I can waffle about psychopaths for hours. I could see her while we talked, so I managed to forget other people were listening, and it was really just a chat between the two of us.
My daughter had sent a whole lot of instructions about what not to say – “Jokes about Nanny won’t be funny”, and I managed to not do anything wrong. Husband had suggested a few jokes in case I got stuck – but none were at all suitable, so I didn’t repeat any of those. I also resisted the temptation to do the whole interview in a foreign accent, and managed to not swear. So all in all, a success.
Of course, the main purpose for me was to promote JOANNA and the book launch. Samantha was brilliant here, and asked me right at the beginning to explain where and when the launch was, so I could forget about that and just chat about psychopaths. Hopefully it will encourage some interest in the book. I was able to explain how psychopaths think differently, their brain doesn’t process information and respond in the same way as most people’s. I then told her that I had written JOANNA partly in the first person, showing the reader how Joanna viewed the world. The rest of the book shows how other people are affected by Joanna, what it was like to parent her, live with her, work with her. As the reader hears from other people, they realise that Joanna lied to them in the first part of the book, that her view of the world is not an accurate one.
I do hope it will lead to some sales. I am back in East Grinstead on 8th April, to do a book signing at the bookshop there. Hopefully people will come. So far, everyone has been very interested in the book – I think psychopathy is a hugely interesting subject, and people seem fascinated by it. I will let you know what happens next.
Thank you for reading.
JOANNA is available from bookshops and Amazon.
Published by The Cobweb Press
ISBN : 978-0-9954632-2-6
Available from bookshops (if it’s not in stock, they can order it).