During a recent interview for my latest book Kaydie, I was reminded of a time when the interviewing process didn’t run so smoothly…
When I first began my career as a writer, I started by writing magazine articles. By doing so, I was then able to stay home with my daughters and supplement our income, plus gain valuable work experience.
One afternoon several years ago, I was preparing to interview a prominent professional for a major magazine article. My daughters, Sunshine and Doodle, were toddlers then, and the concept of working from home as a writer was an adventure in itself. “Now girls, Mommy has a very important phone call to make. Can you sit nicely and quietly and watch Angelina Ballerina on the TV for a few minutes and after I’m finished, we’ll go to the playground and Mommy will go down the slide and play on the swings with you.”
My girls nodded and we made our routine pinky promise. I then reached for my phone. Two minutes and I would be dialing my most important source. The entire phone interview wouldn’t take longer than 20 minutes at the most, and knowing that Angelina Ballerina was my girls’ favorite video, things should run quite smoothly…or so I thought.
A few minutes later, I was on the phone and writing down answers to my questions. The source was a pleasant man with so much knowledge that I could have written a dozen articles just based on his expertise alone. The phone connection was good, I was keeping up with what taking notes, and Sunshine and Doodle were sitting quietly watching Angelina Ballerina.
I glanced down to write an answer to one of my interview questions, when from out of nowhere, two-year-old Doodle sprang from the playroom, her short stubby legs sashaying around in typical “polka” fashion. She danced in circles in the living room, giggling. It wasn’t the dancing, giggling, or the joyful grin on her face that alarmed me. No, it was the loud and continous eeeeeee-aawwwww, eeeeeee-aawwwww sound of the toy accordian in her hand as she played what she called “bootiful music, Mama!”
I gasped. “No, no, sweetie,” I mouthed.
Doodle smiled and continued her presentation of “How to Make Mommy Panic in One Easy Step.”
“Mrs. Zeller?” My source asked, “Are you there? I am hearing some interference.”
“Um, yes, sorry about that,” I said. I wondered to myself how to tell my source that the interference was a child’s accordian and still maintain my professionalism.
“I think we have a bad connection,” my source said.
I nodded and thought to myself, well, he was about 2,500 miles away, so it could be a bad connection…
I love stories like this when my girls were several years younger. They add to the adventure of being a writer and create memories we all laugh about now.
Join me next time for a more recent humorous episode involving the hazards of wildlife while conducting interviews. Until then, have a wonderful week!