It has been a long time since I’ve had the time and availability to do a phone interview for Talk Nerdy With Us (well, aside from one Skype interview with someone in Australia, whose lunch time coincided with my just-before-bed time). It felt kind of nice to do an interview again, even if the conversation didn’t last very long.
I need to work on that. Other writers talk about interviews that run over an hour long, or becoming buddies with the person they interviewed to the point where they exchange emails or phone numbers to keep in touch.
I don’t get that. Despite my best efforts to keep a conversation going, I just run out of things to say. I’m not great at small talk, and I get shy and awkward even over the phone. Not that I’m too shy to actually talk with an actor or musician, but I just feel like I don’t have anything important to say. Talked about the weather? Okay. Asked my questions? Okay. Now we can chat about…what? What else is there? If they’re not into nerdy things like I am, I don’t know how to relate.
Hiking and traveling? I don’t do those much. (Okay, hiking never.) Music? I like to listen to it, but I can’t play any instruments or even sing on key.
There was one interview where I had a good conversation with my interviewee, but that was because we had common interests. Pair me with someone who likes Doctor Who or Star Wars or something and we’ll do great. Pair me with someone who’s into working out and venturing into the great outdoors, and I clam up. I can’t relate to that.
So how do I get these long, friendly interviews? What do I have to do to get that? I simply don’t know. They say the “secret” is to just treat it like a conversation, but guess what–I’m a terrible conversationalist. Normally, I hate talking on the phone. I’ll test or direct message any time, but put me on the phone and I don’t know what to say. It’s rather pathetic, really.
Maybe next time will be different. I may not have had the longest interview today, but I felt comfortable talking with the actor (even though I didn’t have anything in common with him to keep the conversation going), so I guess that’s a start.
Not much of one… but a start.