When I was 23 years old, I worked as a volunteer hosting a weekly women’s rhythm and blues show on the radio—and I fell in love with the medium of radio and the intimate sound of the human voice.
A year after I started my show, I crammed into a Volkswagen with some friends from the radio station and we drove 1000 miles to a public radio conference in the Rocky Mountains. And at the conference, we were shocked to discover all these people from Alaska Public Radio looking to hire people for real paid radio jobs.
I applied for a position as a radio news reporter in Ketchikan, Alaska—even though I’d never technically been a news reporter before. I had to fake my audition tape using a bogus news story—which I suppose showed I had the necessary skills to produce a compelling story. The news director must have liked what he heard because they flew me up to Alaska for an interview—for me, at 25, this was a mind-boggling coup—getting flown to an interview?
After hosting me for a week in glorious summertime Alaska, feeding me fresh salmon and halibut and taking me out fishing—they offered me the job. I jumped at the opportunity and moved up to Ketchikan where it rained 13 feet a year—more than twice the annual rainfall in Seattle. In my new island town, when there was a sunny day, the kids were let off school. That’s how rainy it was.
The $16,000 dollars a year they paid me felt like an incredible fortune.
I worked at KRBD for two years. The second year I parlayed my reporter job into a live daily talk show where I could interview anyone I wanted—the mayor, the city council, the town mortician—and I discovered how much I loved interviewing people. I was also really good at it. I was able to put people at ease and make them dig down and talk about the deepest things. I loved that talk show—it was called The Brown Bag Café. It was the definitely the best job I ever had.
I’ve loved interviewing people and being interviewed ever since.
So, it was natural for me to seek out podcasts as a primary way to promote The Burning Light of Two Stars. I’ve recorded many shows in the last six months, talking on a wide range of topics because The Burning Light of Two Stars touches on so many different themes. I’ve been on podcasts focused on aging, caring for elderly parents, death and dying, how to write a memoir, dealing with estranged relationships, mothers and daughters, the craft of storytelling, and more.
One of my very favorite podcasts was just released. I was a guest on Rachel Lankester’s show, Magnificent Midlife, and she is just a brilliant interviewer. I got to listen to the finished show last night as I was making dinner and the two of us had a lively, wonderful conversation. I highly recommend you take a listen—I love how relaxed and easy the two of us are together. That’s the secret of a good interview after all—it should sound like an intimate conversation that everyone else gets to listen in on.
And now you can, too! Turn it on when you’re making dinner—or doing errands—or taking the dog for a walk. Let me know what you think!
Listen to the full podcast by clicking here.
The Burning Light of Two Stars is available in paperback, eBook, and audiobook wherever books are sold. There are links here to buy signed copies, bulk copies, and to support independent bookstores with your purchase. You can also read the first five chapters for free.
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