Monday, August 15, 2011

You Ought to Be In Pictures

Video interview…

When I read the e-mail from Ayelet, my publicist at Pocket, stating their intention of doing video interviews with authors during the RWA conference in NYC, my heart skipped a beat…and not in a good way. Deep in the recesses of my non-author alter ego came that horror of hearing my voice on tape for the first time back in grade school. Was that me? Was that nasal, slightly whiny sound what everyone heard whenever I spoke? I always imagined deep, pleasingly dulcet tones, not the ear-bleeding screech of The Nanny. The only thing I liked less than hearing my voice was seeing myself on camera (despite my stunning movie debut as “Bar Extra” that earned one of my IMDB accolades).

But, being a professional, I popped a Tums and replied that I’d be thrilled to take part in the 15-minutes of taping that would result in two minutes of digital fame.

Whew, I had specific questions to respond to:
  • If you could travel to any time period, what would it be?
  • Where were you when you got the news that your first book would be published?
  • What books do you like to read?
  • What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
  • Tell us about your book/series
Okay, I can do this!

Then I watched the sample video interview we’re given: Kathy Ireland. Nothing like taking cues from a professional model to make an ulcer flare. Yeah, that’s just how I’m going to look.

It’s the morning of my taping. I’ve already visited the offices of Simon & Schuster so I know where I’m going. I’ve got my bright colors (no black), and more than the usual amount of makeup, paying special attention to blush and lipstick (and still don’t look like Kathy Ireland). I’ve practiced my responses on my (un)willing roommates and feel comfortable with them. Time to go make magic.

The heat and humidity in NYC is already 90/90 (and it’s only 9:30 a.m.!). S&S is about 6 blocks away but to preserve my spackle of makeup, I opt for a cab. And promptly we’re stuck behind every delivery truck in the city backing up into narrow alleys. I’m nervously watching the clock. Finally, we get an opening and the cab shoots into light speed…with all the windows down. In an instant, I’m caught in a tremendous wind tunnel that has my perfectly coifed hair standing on end.

With no illusions that I’ll remotely approach the Kathy Ireland standard, I meet with Ayelet who is calming and cheerful, and with the cameraman and producer from Studio 4. I’m seated in a director’s chair under the lights between two cameras, and a mini mic is attached. I’m assured that we have 15 minutes, so if I want to start over at any time, things can easily be edited. Everyone is very relaxed and surprisingly, so am I (now that I don’t have that daunting Kathy Ireland thing hanging over my head). The producer prompts me with the questions and I run through them without a pause, done in four minutes. They stare at me rather amazed. Do I need to go over anything again? No, I’m assured, it’s perfect. All that fretting and palpating, and its over in four minutes.

The only thing MORE stressful is seeing the e-mail announcing that my video is up and available for viewing. Another Tums later and I’m ready to peek at it through my fingers. Argh, my necklace is crooked. Look at that taxi cab hair! What am I looking at up there on the ceiling and where exactly ARE my eyes? But that voice…deep, pleasantly dulcet tones that don’t channel Fran Drescher. All-in-all, not Kathy Ireland, but not bad for Nancy Gideon.

Enjoy my two minutes before the camera…but don’t expect me to watch it with you.

Simon & Schuster
Author's Point of View


  1. You looked great, Nancy! Love your necklace. Very nice. How lucky are you to have a video interview—very cool :)

  2. We are all our worst critic. I thought you did fine. Also liked what you had to say.