Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Radio interviews

The challenge with some--but not all--radio interviews about the book is that the interviewer basically introduces me as the wacky guy who drives a grease powered car, and then starts the interview by saying something to the effect of, "Hey wacky guy who drives a grease powered car, say something wacky!" The people listening then say, "Oh, how funny. Listen to that wacky guy. I guess I already know how wacky he is, and he's admitting that he made it across the country in his car--so it looks like I don't need to read the book." It's then my job to steer the conversation toward the real message of Greasy Rider, about sustainability, and tease listeners with tidbits of information about Fort Knox, the Google headquarters, wind power in Minnesota, the Great Green Home, and all of the book's other investigations. If I don't, my radio conversation always stays put on the wacky adventure. Here's the piece that Vermont Public Radio ran today, for instance. It's a thoughtful interview, and I've always been a big fan of the interviewer. He asks some great questions, but it's clear he thinks Greasy Rider is solely about the cross-country trip--and in this case, I do a terrible job steering the conversation.

By the way, VPR is in the middle of its fall fundraising drive. If you live in Vermont, don't forget to contribute.