Today Randy and I will be on the road, dodging likkered-up drivers full of turkey, while heading south to Little Rock for a second book signing. This signing will be at the Panera Bread Company on Cantrell. This Panera is slightly different than the one we have in Fayetteville. The one here is pleasantly cozy, only so big, with just enough parking if some of us carpool. The Panera on Cantrell in Little Rock is larger. This Panera flanks a bodaciously big parking lot. This Panera actually has a bronze statue and fountain out front.
This Panera, on its lunch rush, has been known to have a line of hopeful diners extending all the way from the cash registers to the parking lot . . . All waiting for their turn to order.
I will be there from 11 am until 2 pm on Black Friday tomorrow.
However, earlier that morning I will be at KUAR (89 FM) being interviewed by Ann Nicholson. I have no idea what to expect. Will it be live? Or will I be recorded and used as a filler between more interesting shows? Will my interview be aired that week? Will it even be aired before Armaggedon? Will I have to wear those big headphones? Will I have a cough button to push when I need to snort? Will my alarm even go off that morning?
All of these are unknowns that I could worry about . . . But won’t. The best I can do is just be prepared. Which brings up another imponderable . . . Just how do I do that? After all, it is Ann Nicholson interviewing me.
Since 1985, Ann Nicholson has produced and hosted the weekly fine arts magazine Arts Scene on KLRE and KUAR. Born in India, the daughter of a British Army Officer, and educated in India, Kashmir, Scotland, and England, Nicholson immigrated to Canada in 1958 and then to the United States in 1962. She received a double BA degree in music education and music history from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, then continued her graduate education in Musicology at the University of Kentucky.
Ann was also the recipient of the 2003 Aha! Cultural Spirit Award, in recognition of her years of work supporting the arts community in Arkansas.
So . . . Do I practice a thick hick accent to offset her own really cool British one?
Or, what if I have to go to the bathroom while hooked up to the sound stuff in the booth? Should I play it safe and take diuretics the night before?
So many things can go wrong in the midst of everything going right. I might go blank when she asks me the most asked question: ” So tell us . . . What is your book about? ”
I don’t know why, but that question erases every thought in my brain. For some reason, out of sight – out of mind. Once a book is through the publication process, I shove it all to some dim recess in my brain like I’m repressing a trauma. Plots jumble, and for the life of me, I can’t recall who did what. Is this the book where Bella ends up on a runaway horse? Or is it the one where she sits on a mummy? Or was that me when I lived in Florida? Wait . . . do I like vanilla? Just who am I? Does anybody have a mirror? Maybe I should take the book in the booth with me. Then I can merely read the back of the cover.
Just how does one prepare? I can’t. I don’t even know what I will be doing. I am expecting to have fun, however. Of course, I might just pass out and simplify everything.
I just hope that Ann Nicholson isn’t expecting scintillating. . . perhaps she isn’t. She has already talked to me on the phone.
And read the book.