Nunchuk skills, bow hunting skills, interviewing skills*

The big day is quickly approaching. It is 31 days until the U.S. release of DIE FOR ME, and a mere 26 until it is released in the U.K. And when I actually think about it, my brain explodes. So, to preserve my sanity—not to mention avoiding brain explosion clean-up time—I am trying to distract myself. Which isn’t too difficult at the moment.

Because in the last couple of months I have done 49 interviews. (And have a few more to work through on my “to do” list.) You wouldn’t think an interview would take much time. But you get to a question like, “What is on Kate’s bookshelf now, and what would be her nostalgic book picks from her childhood?” And then you find yourself going through your entire library and thinking book by book and what you should put on the list. Which is a teensy bit time consuming.

I know this is amazing practice, though. Because just under a year ago when I was shooting my author video and couldn’t even remember the name of my book (it had just been changed from SLEEPWALKING to DIE FOR ME), the questions I was asked really stumped me. I just hadn’t considered my book, the conception and writing of my book, and my life as an author from so many different angles.

Now, I’m ready. Ask me what inspired me to write DIE FOR ME, and I can blah blah blah at you for as short or as long as you wish, and tell the tale in a few different ways. Ask me when I knew I wanted to be a writer, and I can quote my poem printed in the school paper when I was in 1st grade. (Which starts, “There once was a turkey who lived on a farm.” I know. Genius. Pure unadulterated genius.)

Because I’ve looked these things up now. I’ve racked my memory and my files. And instead of being shut up in a dusty box in a forgotten corner of my mind, the answers are now living on the tip of my tongue. (Or the tips of my fingers, whichever format you prefer.)

I love learning. And acquiring new skills is one of the most satisfying things life has to offer, I feel. Whether it’s something major like learning to be a parent or minor like learning to stand up in front of a crowd of tourists and give a speech in French on 15th century architecture…without melting to the ground in a smoking heap of nerves.

I like to feel capable. Ready for anything. That’s why I memorized the entire Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette when I was a sixteen. I was getting ready to run (not walk…sprint) away from my situation in Birmingham, Alabama, as soon as legally possible. I knew I wanted to see the world, and with my sights set sky-high, I wanted to be ready for anything life could throw at me. I knew how to address an ambassador (a skill I have used) and what to give a nun as a present (a skill I have never used…but I’m prepared: cash, a television, or luggage).

There’s no Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Being an Author. Unfortunately. Or I would have memorized it too. Instead, I’m learning by watching others. And by plain old doing. By winging it. Learning by my mistakes is something I’m very good at. Especially the making mistakes part. And now, with this sparkly new challenge in front of me—being an author in the public eye—I’m faced with several new learning curves. But, thanks to the last few months, I can now happily say that interviewing is one skill I am on my way to achieving. Go ahead. Just ask me a question! ☺

*Title quote thanks to Napoleon Dynamite

3 Comments to Nunchuk skills, bow hunting skills, interviewing skills*

  1. by BethDazzled - On April 8, 2011

    Good for you Amy! 🙂

  2. by Etienne - On April 10, 2011

    How did you choose the names of your main characters and why?

  3. by amy - On April 10, 2011

    Now, Etienne – how did you find the one question that NO ONE has asked? And I was kidding about asking me a question. But I’ll answer that one next time I see you. Because that would take a long time to explain! 🙂

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