I have begun the process of promoting my book. This process does not come naturally to me.
In the parlance of the Meyers Briggs, I am what is known as an INTJ. Introverted, intuitive, thinker, judger. Not a natural for a book tour, I am more comfortable at home, alone and writing, than in a roomful of strangers shaking hands and selling myself.
I gave my first radio interview on Valentine’s Day. Milt Rosenberg invited me onto his show on WGN, 720 AM. The show airs from 11PM until midnight. It did not help that I’m a morning person. I should have napped before going on the air, I should have read my book, I should have read some Freud, or Jung, or even listened to old episodes of Dr. Ruth. Instead I played Bedazzled and had no idea what I was getting into. I had watched and listened to some of his interviews. But even if I’d been prepared, I would not have been prepared.
My book is not Valentine material. No Cupid’s arrows shoot forth from my prose. On the contrary, reading my book may inspire a life of solitude, or perhaps it more accurately reflects a life of solitude. It might promote chastity, or increase enrollment at convents and seminaries. At best, the book presents the underbelly of dating in middle age.
Milt was a charming host, a practiced interviewer, and is a professional psychologist by training. Unlike the marketing people for the publisher, he saw straight through the humorist in me to the serious writer beneath, and that was the person that interested him. He also tried to fix me up. On the air. I’m afraid I came off as inarticulate (which I am not usually, but can be under pressure), slow (ditto), boring (yup), and not the sharp-tongued, scary person who wrote the insightful book he really seemed to like. I wish I could have a do-over.
The best part about his interview, from my standpoint, was that he—unlike the marketing materials and many of the reviews—got the point that loss and a near-death experience are life-changers that make people (like me) act out, prevent them from seeing their obvious patterns of behavior, cause them to grasp for help from the wrong things and the wrong people. He got it straight off. I liked that about him. I’m not certain that radio is the proper medium to get that point across, or that the podcast gave any indication of his insight, but he is excellent at what he does. Our time together was not a laugh-fest.
I do know this: I was a pathetic interviewee. And I was totally unprepared to answer the call-in questions.
But I did get a couple of nice emails from men who checked out my website, bought the book, read it, and sent me pictures of themselves. Despite my bumbling inarticulateness, Milt had managed to make me sound datable, albeit death-obsessed. As he quoted both Freud and Jung to me and spoke French on the phone, I found myself wishing that Milt himself were thirty years younger.