So tonight I had a completely surreal authorly experience: I recorded an interview to go on the end of the All Unquiet Things audio book. It was my first in-person interview–I’ve done blog interviews, but nothing that didn’t involve writing down the answers to my questions and editing them until they sounded just as interesting and funny as I imagine that I am.

This was totally different. I had the questions in advance, and I made the somewhat off-the-cuff decision to write down answers, just in case I forgot to say anything. There’s this thing that happens to me when people ask me questions I’m not ready for: I panic, and then blank. This happens to me LITERALLY every time someone asks me, “So what good books have you read lately?” “Er…[Think, brain, think! You read all the time, how can you not know the answer to this very simple question, you moron?!] the new Dan Brown book was good?” Brilliant. Five stars, Jarzab. Way to go.

Let me just tell you: IT WAS A REALLY GOOD THING THAT I DID THIS. Otherwise, I would have been “um”-ing and “uh”-ing and giggling nervously throughout the entire thing, which I sort of did anyway.

My apologies in advance for not taking pictures. I meant to snap a few of the studio with my iPhone, but, shock of all shocks, I completely blanked and forgot. So you’ll have to use your imaginations.

So I left work right at five (first time ever, what what!) and hopped on an uptown train to the studio where we’d be recording the interview. I was late, of course, because I always forget how long it takes to walk two avenues.

(Side bar: I’ve had two experiences in the last week when I’ve been walking between two avenues (both times between 7th and 8th Aves), bopping along to my iPod, not paying attention, and then I’ll look up and go, “Did I pass 8th Ave? It feels like I’ve been walking forever!” and I’ll be, like, 3/4 of the way between 7th and 8th Aves. IT TAKES THAT LONG. So long that I zone out walking what is technically one block. Outrageous, New York. Simply outrageous.)

Anyway, I got there at 5:35 PM and went upstairs to meet my lovely audio editor, Rebecca. She is so lovely. Always friendly and sweet to me. I was in her office on Tuesday when we decided to do the interview today and I asked her, sort of casually, if she’d be there when we recorded, hoping she’d say yes, because I knew I’d be a nervous wreck and that seeing a familiar face would make me calmer. Not CALM, mind you–calmer. Because I’m always a nervous wreck.

Okay, so anyway, I get there and see Rebecca, and she introduced me to Dan, the producer, who was also incredibly nice and warm! I’ve gotten really lucky with all the people at Random House–they’re such a delight to work with, so charming and smart and easy to talk to. I immediately announced, “I’M SO NERVOUS!” because I’m a spaz like that, and they were both like, “It’s fine, you’ll be fine, this is going to be great!” I didn’t believe them, but, okay, it’s going to be great.

So they sit me down in a soundproof booth, which is so weird because you can see the people outside the booth through a plexiglass window and they’re obviously talking to each other but you’re in a cocoon of silence, and have me talk about my day so that they can get the sound levels correct. Then Dan started asking me the questions. It actually didn’t take very long–maybe twenty minutes? I don’t know, I’m not great with time, and I didn’t look at a clock. They told me I did really well, which is funny, because I felt like I sounded scripted and awkward, but they assured me it was not so and I trust them because they do this all the time. If I did sound scripted and awkward, they would’ve had me rerecord, right? Let’s go with that.

Afterward, Rebecca, Dan and I sat around jawing about books for a long time. I felt bad for taking up so much of their evenings, since business hours were definitely over, and also we were hogging a studio so that the people who run the studio couldn’t get out of there, but it was so nice to chat about books with people who know books. And, I know, my life is full of people who know books with whom I talk about books, but it’s exciting to meet new, very interesting people who know books. I, of course, was full of Jarzab Opinionz, which I know I should curb a little, but I can’t seem to. Still, they seemed fairly amused by me.

Overall, it was a great experience. I hope you guys like the interview, because I think the things I talk about are interesting to readers (or, at least, they would be interesting to me if it was some other author talking about the same things). Thanks Rebecca and Dan!

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