Wednesday, August 19, 2009

TV Time

Writers are urged to self-promote whenever they can. I've heard it over and over at writers conferences and read the same in many articles geared toward those who write for publication. It makes sense, doesn't it? How are you going to make a name for yourself unless you promote yourself? How are editors going to recognize your name unless you promote yourself?

That's one of the reasons I've started this blog. And it's also the reason I'm going to appear on a TV show this afternoon to read two of my stories from an anthology on teachers. Anthology editors send press releases to TV and radio stations in the general area where their authors live, but it's up to the individual TV or radio personalities to approach the author with an opportunity to appear. I've been most fortunate in that respect. Ralph Hipp, news anchor at WIBW in Topeka, Kansas invited me to be on his 4 p.m. news show one afternoon almost two years ago. He interviewed me about my work in two Chicken Soup for the Soul books. One about Tea and one on Chocolate. Ralph read excerpts from my stories. Several months later, he invited me to come back and read a Mothers Day story from another Chicken Soup for the Soul book on Moms. This was followed by a visit several weeks later to read a story from a book on Fathers and Sons.

A couple days after the Mother's Day story was read on air, a woman called me to tell me she'd lost her own mother recently. The story I'd read dealt with the first Mother's Day after my mother had passed away, and the woman wanted to thank me for helping her deal with the same. She said, "After hearing your story, I think I can get through this first Mother's Day very well, and I wanted to thank you." To know I'd touched someone with my words meant a great deal to me. It's what writing is all about--sharing your words with others.

I have enjoyed reading the stories on TV. Ralph Hipp is very good at putting his guests at ease , so there has been no sweaty palms or palpitations of the heart prior to or during the appearances. It's been interesting and an educating experience to witness a live TV show, to learn how it's done, how the teleprompter helps those delivering the news. My husband, Ken, has gone with me each time, and he and I were both surprised at how few people it takes to put on a professional looking news program. Many behind the scenes people did a lot of work prior to showtime, but the actual show requires the cameraperson and one other plus the news anchor and weather and sports people.

On today's show, I'll read "The Promise" and "To Touch A Child" which are both stories in an anthology released in April of 2009. The book is HCI The Ultimate Teacher. Some of the Chicken Soup for the Soul editors have been producing the Ultimate series. Unlike the Chicken Soup books, these include lovely color photographs and also a section written by experts on whatever subject the book is promoting. The first story is about an experience I had with a college professor who offered me a way out of a frustrating situation, and the second one concerns a very special teacher from my fifth and sixth grade years. It's a pretty painless way to promote both the book and me.

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