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A Happy Medium...

…and luckily not rare. I was delighted to be on the radio again last week, courtesy of Marlow FM. Mary Flavelle and Geoff Motley were as welcoming as ever on their ‘Good Morning Marlow’ show. I am truly grateful for the fact that they have supported my writing career for some time now, offering me several opportunities to discuss my work with them.

Geoff is also a well-known and supremely talented cartoonist the picture accompanying this blog was drawn by him. The title of that imaginary book-cover is very appropriate, because being live on the radio is exactly that a journey to a new dimension. Okay, yes, I’ve been on a few times now, so the nerves are less than the first occasion, but still, it’s the possibility of a faux-pas, live on air, that adds excitement to the occasion.

Many people will not believe this, but actually, I’m not overflowing with confidence. However, I am passionate about my writing, so once we’re rolling on the radio, I believe in what I’m saying and can talk for England! It’s no wonder that, during the latest broadcast, Mary said the time flies when we’re on air that’s me not knowing when to shut up!

There’s an element of paradox when writers talk live about their work. Creating a novel is a long old road, from the spark of the idea, down meandering paths and dead-ends through to the journey’s end.  It’s also an intensely private process in so many ways, and always a work of love. After that, one needs to find a way to market it; to capture the public imagination. That involves somehow managing to summarise in a few words all the peaks and troughs of that journey, providing insight into things over which one sometimes had no control! That distillation process is a challenge; one that Mary and Geoff turn into a lot of fun. I really appreciate that they have followed my progress with such interest.

What’s brilliant about the radio, as a medium, is that it is such a personal interaction. Where better to delve into what I described above as a work of love? Plus, the person talking is not the only one opening up. However, the fact that you are a voice is absolutely key – the listener is taking words on board and allowing you into their imagination; to conjure images for them. When you think about it, it’s very personal it’s between you and them.

In so many ways, that makes it similar to the reader/writer relationship. How often have you been disappointed with a film version of a favourite book? The film was for everyone; the book was for you. You pictured a character and then you saw a movie version in which, as far as you’re concerned, they got it all wrong. This is one reason why, unless it is absolutely key to the plot say, it’s important that someone is tall, has red hair, or looks like Gandalf I don’t go into much detail on a character’s appearance in my novels. I let the reader create that world for themselves.

So, my thanks again to Marlow FM and other radio stations who have given me the opportunity to talk. I guess literally and metaphorically, we write to be heard.




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