Book Nook with Israel Jones

Vick Mickunas WYSO

by Ed Davis on January 12, 2015

Halloween Surprise 

Last fall I launched my new novel The Psalms of Israel Jones and was extremely fortunate to receive an invitation from Vick Mickunas to appear on WYSO radio’s “The Book Nook.” The interview has now been archived and is available at http://wyso.org/post/book-nook-psalms-israel-jones-ed-davis.

Meeting the media has in the past unnerved me:  there’s something different between a live performance with the audience present versus the pressurized intimacy of interviewer and interviewee isolated in a small room. However, when Vick interviewed me on a cold, rainy October 31, there was nothing at all frightful about the experience. In fact, I was awed by how smoothly it went.

The Host with the Most 

Vick really put me at ease. I’ve been told that he can hold his own with argumentative and controversial authors, but the best words I can find to describe the nearly thirty minutes he generously gave me are “laid-back” and “knowledgeable.”

Writers often bemoan the fact that an interviewer hasn’t read their book and simply wing it with overly-broad questions like “What’s is about?” or “What’s the title mean?” Not Vick.  He had read my novel and it showed.

Doing His Homework

Vick tossed me plenty of easy pitches at first and gave me lots of room to bat them back to him before tightening up. It was evident he’d studied my background as well as my book, since he knew I’d been a rock and roller in high school and was raised with a religious background. I felt as if I were talking to an interested listener.

Although Vick used no notes, he was never at a loss for words, showing how well he prepares. He’s also great with follow-up questions, showing he’s a good listener and is willing to probe deeper, making it a real not fake conversation. The times I’ve listened to Book Nook in my car, I felt as if I were right there in the studio.

Furthermore, Vick didn’t dominate the conversation at all but did get his licks in, showing he “got” my book, comparing, for example, the cult who follow Israel in IJ to Deadheads. And he never threw me a single curve ball.

Local Treasure

No wonder Vick has interviewed literally hundreds of writers. And no wonder there was an anguished outcry from listeners years ago when, following a management shakeup, he was briefly bumped from the air. He’s a local treasure, providing a real community service and doubtless does it more for love than money. As anyone can tell from the Book Nook as well as his Sunday book reviews in the Dayton Daily News “Life and Arts” section, he loves books of all types and tries to see the best in those he chooses to review.

Be Patient, Understanding

If you’re a writer—or know a writer—who’d like to be considered for the Book Nook, published books can be mailed to Vick at P.O. Box 3, Yellow Springs, OH 45387 for consideration. (He doesn’t review galleys.) Although I’d sent him my previous two novels to consider, it wasn’t until the publication of Israel Jones by West Virginia University Press that I received an invitation. He’s probably inundated with books, requiring him to be extremely selective.

Personally, I’m grateful I wasn’t on Book Nook sooner, since I was a bit more media-savvy by the time I was eventually asked. I now realize Vick’s the gold standard to which other interviewers may not compare. And I guess that’s okay. Any attention is good attention, as they say, when it comes to media. I’ll hope and pray that’s true.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Michelle Whitley Turner January 14, 2015 at 10:53 pm

Wonderful news, Ed! I’m going to listen to it shortly as my reward for finishing a project. 🙂

It’s hard for me to imagine you having a difficult time talking to anyone since you speak so eloquently for all of your characters and as yourself whenever I’ve been around you.

I feel sure that you relaxed in the interview, though; everything I’ve ever read or heard from Mr. Mickunas has been welcoming to the reader and I imagine to the interviewee as well. 🙂

Off to listen! 🙂

Congratulations again, Ed!

Michelle

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: