I had a fitful sleep. Tossed. Turned. Folded the pillows, hugged them, threw them. It's tough sleeping in a strange bed in a strange city. It's tough, that is, until the alarm clock goes off. At that point, all I can think about is hitting the snooze.
I was up, showered and in the hotel lobby by seven. Too nervous to eat, I poured a cup of coffee and laced it with five bags of sugar and cream. The biscuits, sausage, scrambled eggs, pancakes, muffins and bacon all looked and smelled awesome. Eating before an interview, or even a book signing, is something I stopped doing long, long ago. Silly reasons, really. First, I always fear a piece of food will be wedged between my teeth and everyone will know about it but me. And the second reason, throwing up. I think I am a calm person, and talk easily, can strike up conversations with strangers without a problem, but on a full stomach -- that might make for a different story all together.
Anyway, the ride to LeSea Studio was great. I had the same driver. We picked up our conversation right where we'd left off. We talked about South Bend history, my writing, and his son who is currently serving in the Marines in Afghanistan and dreams of, when he returns, writing novels for a living. So as he let me off at the LeSea front door, I gave him a business card and said to have his son contact me when he returned.
Once I checked in with the receptionist at LeSea, I was led to the infamous "green room". It looked like a studio apartment. Sofas, chairs, dining room table, refrigerator, bathroom and --this is what set it apart from a studio apartment --a make up mirror. I helped myself to a bottled water and sat on the sofa and read the local newspaper, thankful I passed on breakfast. My stomach fluttered, flopped and flipped the longer I waited.
After reading the entire paper, the receptionist brought someone else into the green room. Larry Julian. He's a non-fiction author who was also going to be interviewed on the show. With about fifteen minutes left to kill, the two of us talked. We covered topics ranging from our writing, books, and where we lived, to Indiana, the show and keeping in touch. It was good not to be alone in the trenches. (A little too over dramatic? Uh-huh. Thought so).
Regardless. The hosts of the show appeared one by one, along with a producer and the man who applied make-up (to us all). A round of introductions were made and right after I wished everyone wore name tags, because I couldn't remember a single name. (For those of you who know me, you know nerves has nothing to do with it. I just am really--I mean really--bad at remembering names).
We followed the assistant producer, a very friendly, helpful man, to the studio where The Harvest Show is shot. It may have been colder in the studio than it was outside. Two of the three cameramen wore winter coats, hats, scarves and gloves. Think I'm kidding? I'm not. The tip of my nose went numb while watching the show, and a new worry came to mind. Forget food in my teeth, or blowing chunks --those fears were put to rest when I skipped breakfast. No. Now I was worried about dripping ... well, snot.
Larry Julian was to be interviewed first. He's a professional speaker. Does speaking engagements across the states on a regular basis. I watched him answer questions with such natural, flawless talent, I couldn't help but wish I'd gone first. Mr. Julian, poised and confident, was going to be one tough interview to follow.
When Julian's interview ended, and the show went to commercial, he came over. He looked nervous, as if talking with the hosts had been terribly difficult for him. Which shocked me. I told him how good he'd done, and he said he was going to stick around and watch my interview. Very supportive. I appreciated that. And then he asked if he could pray for me, seeing as my nervous were clearly getting the best of me. We prayed, and I felt a bit relieved. A bit.
(Want more about my trip to Indiana and interview on The Harvest Show ... tune in tomorrow for the next installment, The Harvest Show Part III).