Monday, October 8, 2018

20 Tips for Writers & Radio Interviews

Edie here. Today I'm thrilled to have my friend and fellow author, Peggy Sue Wells on The Write Conversation. Although her post today is technically a guest post, with her expertise, I've persuaded her to become a regular part of our blogging team. Be sure to give her a warm welcome, and note that her book, Homeless for the Holidays is available as a 99cnt ebook today!

20 Tips for Writers & Radio Interviews
by PeggySue Wells @PeggySueWells

You've heard of surprise parties? Well, I became the surprise producer for award-winning WBCL's Mid-Morning.

For a couple decades, the hosts of the one-hour talk show kindly invited me on the program each time my books released. Then they invited me to host a quarterly show to encourage single parents. I'd been around the studio often enough that someone must have thought I worked there and gave me a desk and an official title. Then people started handing me projects to do, mail to open, and authors to schedule. They taught me how to run the studio board. When the program host set a vase of flowers and a package of dark Ghirardelli chocolates on my desk, I stayed.

Having been on the author-being-interviewed side of the mic and on the producer-booking-featured-authors side, here’s a view of what radio hosts—at least for the programs I produced—appreciate when choosing authors to talk about their books.

20 Tips for Writers & Radio Interviews

  1. Send a review copy. 
  2. Give the producer time to review the book. After a couple weeks, follow-up to see if there is interest. 
  3. Do not take it personally if the answer is ‘not this time and thank you for thinking of us.’ There are a myriad reasons why a book is passed on and most have little to do with the author or the book.
  4. Suggest fresh topics related to your project. Media focuses less on what words are written on which page, and more on building a conversation around the topic. For instance, talking about my book with June Hunt, Bonding With Your Child Through Boundaries, June and I answered parenting questions from listeners and gave away copies of the book. 
  5. Schedule interviews when your book is available to the public. Otherwise, by the time the book releases, listeners have forgotten about it.
  6. Double check time zones to be on time for your interview. 
  7. At best, the host may skim sections, but radio hosts rarely have time to read the books they talk about. Be prepared, know what your book says, and carry the conversation. I have an interview copy of each of my books, with highlighted pivotal statements, and a sheet of talking points at the ready.
  8. During the interview, tell the listeners what is most important to know about your book. Don’t wait for the host to ask the right question because they may not know the right question to ask. 
  9. Focus on take-home value for the listener. Your interview is not about you, but about what you offer the reader/listener. How does your book benefit the reader?
  10. Have key phrases that listeners can associate with you and your title. Talking about Rediscovering Your Happily Ever After,I say, “Whatever is over your head is under His feet.” And “What appears impossible is actually HIMpossible.” For Bonding With Your Child Through Boundaries, I remind, “External boundaries develop internal character.” “Take a piece of paradise with you,” is a phrase I use talking about my novel, Chasing Sunrise. 
  11. Talk with your strong, clear voice that you use to teach or speak. 
  12. Keep your background free of noise like dogs barking. Do not use the speaker option on your phone but talk directly into the cell phone.
  13. Don’t be on your treadmill while on your phone talking on the radio. Yes, we’ve had an interview do it. You get to choose how the radio host and listeners remember you – legendary as a fantastic interview that offered fresh and inspiring insights, or as the author whose heavy breathing was distracting.
  14. Share stories. Stories connect with the hearts of listeners.
  15. Pre-interview, promote your upcoming guest appearance and the radio on your social media.
  16. Post-interview, include the link to the interview on your social media.
  17. Be professional, gracious, and humble.
  18. Keep your media host posted on your new projects.
  19. Provide two copies of your book to use as giveaways for listeners during the interview. 
  20. Continue to promote the link to the interview after the program aired.
Writing is a team sport. We help one another. Pray for your media hosts. Pray for your readers. Pray that God guides your writing and provides His chosen opportunities to share about your work.


Writing is a team sport, author @PeggySueWells shares her years of experience in radio with these 20 tips on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Christmas is coming, and Jack Baker’s finances, friends, and future are as gone as last year’s holiday. One year ago, Jack Baker had it all—a beautiful family, a lucrative career, and a generous bonus to spend on the annual Baker family Christmas extravaganza. Now the Bakers are homeless and clueless about what to do next. Amidst the holiday traditions and trappings, one family learns what is truly important when they lose all they have, and and they still have everything.

Writer, speaker, producer, radio co-host, and mom, PeggySue Wells is the bestselling author of a couple dozen books including an audio finalist. Her brand new 2018 titles are Homeless for the Holidays, and Chasing Sunrise(releasing November 16). As a gift to her readers, Homeless for the Holidays ebook is available for 99 cents on October 8.

Say hello to PeggySue at her website,


  1. Welcome, Peggy! All the tips were helpful, but I especially appreciated #9. From beginning to end, it's always about the reader. And the dark Ghirardelli chocolates, of course. :)

  2. Welcome to The Write Conversation Ms. Peggy Sue. And THANK YOU for these great tips on author interviews. Many are "common sense" things to remember, but I'm guilty of not always applying common sense. Will be saving these as a checklist for my next interview. God's blessings ma'am.

  3. Peggy Sue--Wow, what a helpful list! A copy of this is going into my files. And I agree with Cathy above, that your tip #9 is probably the most important. At least that's what an agent told me at a writer's conference last summer.

    Many thanks!

  4. P.S. --Just read your bio and realized you're a fellow Hoosier. Although i don't live in Indiana now, I grew up in that wonderful state. Lucky you!

  5. Useful tips. Thanks for explaining it so precisely.

  6. Thank you so much for your tips. I hope to be able to do an interview on the new book I'm writing on quilting.

  7. Welcome Peggy. Congratulations on your book release. Thanks for the tips. I hope I get to use them some day.