Friday, March 6, 2015

Being Interviewed (Part 9 of 12)

5. Be nice, even if your host isn't. Rarely have I had a confrontational interviewer, but it happens. One time the host switched to a book I had ghostwritten for someone, read one brief paragraph, and asked. "Do you really believe that?"

"It's her book," I said. "She believes it. My role as a ghostwriter is to be convinced that the author believes." Quite intentionally, I didn't state my position because I didn't want to argue.

Another time, a radio host pulled one sentence out of context and kept asking, "Did you really mean that?" At first, I had no idea where he found the question, so I asked him to read it in the paragraph from which he had taken it.

He did and hammered away at me. Finally, just to get him to stop, I said, "If I were a more reflective author, I'd probably say it better."

That satisfied him and I didn't have to tell him what an ungracious host he was.

6. You are an authority, even if you don't feel like one. Once your book is published, that's how hosts and listeners perceive you. Respond with courtesy and be as tactful as possible.

7. Don't be afraid to say, "I don't know." A few times interviewers have asked me what I call squirrely questions. That means they pulled out a question I hadn't thought about or (usually) doesn't make sense to me. "I don't know," I say.

Even though I'm a professional and an authority on that topic, it doesn't mean I know everything. Listeners and hosts seem to respect me when I give that simple answer.

And often a question comes up about God's actions (or inaction). I don't have to explain God and I don't have to know. I say I don't know or, "God is so much wiser than I am. You'll have to ask him."

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