Today I had the radio interview with Shelagh Rogers and it went better than it ever has.

Usually I’m so nervous, and I was, even when I sat down in front of the microphone, at the seat pushed up to a round table. There were posters on the walls and a miniature model of the Rogers centre, home of my beloved Blue Jays, sitting on a little platform in the middle of the table. I decided it was a portent of sorts and I would try to hit a home run.

There were other little knicknacks on the platform as well. A fluffy thing, lots of fur, with some eyes. It was either pink or green, I can’t remember, and a little toy elephant that was marching to the right. Little trophies or good luck paraphernalia, I didn’t know and didn’t ask.

I sat at the round table all alone and could see the producers in a darker room on the other side of the window. But their images were marred by the glare of my own and I realized that the room I was in must be lighter.

I thought I should have the headphones on, but they hadn’t told me to wear them yet, so I just sat there looking at them.

The producer came in then and asked me to put them on and asked if I wanted anything. Remembering how dry my mouth can get, I asked for a cup of water, and took tiny little sips so I wouldn’t have to pee.

Sitting and waiting for set up just makes you more nervous: hearing them do all the technical stuff; knowing that they’re only asking you what you had for breakfast because they need to check sound levels; resisting the urge to go closer to the microphone in case they can’t hear you because the sound check was done at a certain distance from it and you can’t be varying it; and you can’t be talking louder or softer; just normal because that’s what they’re counting on. 

I’d brought a copy of the book and on a whim, opened it at a random page, and somehow, even with all that stuff around me, I got lost in the story for a few moments, and that just reaffirmed my faith in it. Then I put the book down and tried not to fiddle with it because the producer said any rustling of paper would definitely be heard.

I asked him if that meant tummy rumbles would be audible as well. He said, yes, but to just leave a pause after each of them so he could edit them out. He might have been joking.

Shelagh was delightful. She seemed genuinely happy to speak to me, like she wasn’t just being polite, but it’s always hard to tell. People in these situations are always so polite.

It’s a bit surreal to be interviewed in such a way. It reminds me of that scene in Notting Hill when Hugh Grant is offering Julia Roberts something to nibble or drink from his fridge. Surreal but nice.

It’s many a writer’s dream and ambition to be fussed over in such a way. To have people *get* what you wrote.

I mean you work so hard. For months you wrestle with words on a page thinking will they ever evoke what you see in your mind? And it gets to a point when you’ve read the sentences over and over and over again, and you’re sure they’re banal, they’re tripe, people will see right through them. But then you remind yourself that you’re coming at them from a position of familiarity, and doesn’t familiarity always breed contempt?

These readers are coming at them afresh, and remember what you felt when you had freshly written them. Remember how the words had moved you as you’d recorded them, rely on that, have faith in that, for that is more real than this niggling self-doubt.

And here was Shelagh Rogers really saying how much she had loved the story I had concocted. A story I thought was good but nevertheless it’s a story I couldn’t be sure anyone else in the world would like at all.

And the questions she asked! And the flow of the answers. I can’t help but think that I did pretty well. If it wasn’t a home run, it was at least a solid triple.

And even though the producer said at the end, “You talked a LOT!” He laughed then and added, “In a good way.” And I felt a lot better thinking wouldn’t you want a guest to talk a lot on radio?

It wasn’t just a few minutes interview either. Geez, it must have been at least half an hour!

It will air on Shelagh Rogers’ show The Next Chapter either April 4th or 5th, I can’t remember. The details flew out of my head.

And then later in the day, after the excitement had calmed down, a friend called to say how he’d taught the same book in his university course to budding educators and how 450 of his students had read it and loved it!

It was a good day.

One of those days that Rudyard Kipling talked about in that poem of his I so love to quote, If. Today I met with Triumph, and for now at least, he was no imposter.