Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How to Have a Great TV Interview

A guest post by Mary Denman
Jack & Kimberly, Your Carolina

Last Friday, I headed to a local TV studio called Your Carolina to watch Edie Melson be interviewed about her latest book, Winning the War at Home.  And what I saw is worthy of review.

The first thing Edie did right was to develop a press kit about her book and then distribute it to the local media stations. As a result of that, she was scheduled for a very popular show called Your Carolina. 

Secondly, Edie knew her material. Yes, she had written the book, but she knew what was important to communicate – that this book is a resource for others who are going through the difficulty of sending a loved one off to war. She’s been there so she spoke with love, conviction and authority.

Edie Melson on air
Something else she did right was to arrive early. I know because she picked me up first at 9:00 a.m. and we were downtown and in the studio by 9:30 – thirty minutes before the show started. She was relaxed and had plenty of time to mike up before she went on air.

Next, Edie dressed well for the interview. Edie always dresses nicely but she chose her clothes carefully. She wore varying shades of gray which is a good color combination for her, but would also look good on air. Had she worn stripes or neon colors, the attention might have been on her clothes instead of what she had to say.

Edie with Jack & Kimberly
Then, when she finally got in front of the camera, she sat a little forward on the sofa and focused on the co-hosts, Jack and Kimberly. The rest was a natural exchange between them and she appeared calm and collected.

It was a great interview and you can watch it here.

So, whether or not you have an interview scheduled, you can still learn from Edie. Promoting your book doesn’t have to be as self-focused as you think. Edie’s heart is to help encourage others. Not book sales. As she reaches out to help others, the book sales follow.

Edie, Jack & Kimberly on the big screen
Finally, she went out of her comfort zone. Go to the dentist or be on TV? I bet most of you would pick the dentist. But Edie got in front of the camera and shared a message of hope. I bet you could do that too. And that's how we’re truly successful. In blessing others. 

Mary Denman is a writer who also loves photography. Or a photographer who loves writing. As a freelance writer, Mary has had articles published in various forms ranging from Focus on the Family publications to magazines to devotions to op-ed pieces. She has also completed her first novel and started her second. She's a member of several professional writing organizations including ACFW, My Book Therapy, and Word Weavers. 
As a professional photographer, Mary has had photos published in both print literature and online. Her shots have been used by businesses and by fellow authors alike. Her philosophy is to catch a moment that reflects God’s beauty and creativity, whether in nature, in life or in the face of her subjects. And as a writer herself, she understands what authors need in a headshot. Mary blends the two mediums of writing and photography on her blog.
Married for 24 years to husband Todd, they have home schooled their five children with their eldest in college. 


  1. Great post, Mary. Edie did a fabulous job during the interview. No surprise there!

  2. Great interview! So relaxed and professional. Like Cathy said, no big surprise :)

  3. Whoo Hoo, way to go! Thanks for those important tips, too.

  4. Mary, thanks for the post and for including a link to the interview. And Edie, your time in front of the camera was informative about your book, as well as Blue Star Mothers. I was so impressed with how calm and collected you were! Great job, Mary and Edie.

  5. Good post on how to prepare for an interview, something many people (including me) are VERY nervous to do.

    You did a great job Edie. Clearly professional and you came off at ease too.

  6. Great post with good advice, Mary! Edie, you were awesome!

  7. This is a heart-warming guest post, Mary. I enjoyed watching the TV interview. Living in the San Diego area for the past 22+ years, I see military families daily. Many struggle when loved ones are deployed.

    This is great advice for handling interviews properly. Thanks.

  8. Thanks Cathy. Edie did do a fabulous job!

  9. Good job reporting on our energizer bunny who writes, speaks and teaches... and all well at that!

  10. Yes Susan, Edie did a great job! She made it look easy.

  11. Karen and Kim, You never know when you might end up in front of the camera! Edie's a great model!

  12. Ellen, glad to pass on some good info to you!

  13. Vonda and Marcia, Edie did show how to do an interview with calm and grace. She does do it all!

  14. Michael, glad the post helped. I'm sure it is hard to watch families in the military without the support groups. And having watched Edie go through two deployments, I can attest to the fact that she handled them with grace and trust in God.

  15. This was awesome! Thanks so much, Mary. Wow! Edie was amazing. We learn so much by watching.

    We owe so much to our military and their families. What a wonderful way to offer support.

  16. Great job, Edie and Mary. You are both an inspiration to me. Hope I have to use your advice SOON!