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  • Writer's picturejstanion1890

Diving in......

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

I was offered the opportunity to participate in an interview with Ms. Jovelyn Richards of "Cover to Cover" on KPFA radio out of San Francisco this past Tuesday night. To say the least, I looked forward to the opportunity with both enthusiasm and trepidation. It was my first ever radio interview. I'm a farm girl from Seneca who loves horses. She's a "somebody" in the grand scheme of things, not just well known but well respected in the field of writing and performing arts.

Here's a portion of her bio from the Writefully Yours Perfomance Academy which she founded:

"Jovelyn Richards wears many multi-colored scarves as a writer, director, comedian, and international improvisational performance artist living in Honolulu, HI. Jovelyn’s work has premiered in the selected venues of NOLA Fringe, The Marsh (SF), Afro Solo (SF), SF Fringe, La Peña Cultural Center (Berkeley, CA), Los Angeles Women’s Theater Festival, the National Black Theatre Festival (North Carolina), Oakland Comedy, and Central Eastern University (Budapest, HU)."

Without having read anything about her, I already knew she was a commanding persona, someone who inspires those in her circle to rise to her expectations. My mother's 93rd birthday was the day before this interview. My brother came down from New York to join the celebration. It wasn't until the last minute of confirming reservations and pulling the details of our trip to Mom's together that I realized several of the messages about this interview had been lost in my "Promotional" email box.

Less than an hour before the interview, I was in town, in the rain, trying to get the headlights of my car repaired before the holidays began. Suddenly, an email popped up in which she requested my bio, was going for a walk and expected it to be on her desk when she returned. It was clear she expected her request to be met. No excuses. Heart pounding and fingers fumbling, I found an email bio I had sent a few weeks earlier to a lady's club and forwarded it to myself and then on to Ms. Richards. I wished I could have written one more suited to her radio audience, but all I could do at that point was pray it got there in time and that I made it home to receive the call for the interview.

I did. Barely.

When the phone rang, I almost jumped out of my skin. A quiet voice on the other end of the line said, "This is KPFA radio. When you hear the next voice, you'll be LIVE!!!"

Struggling to inhale deeply, something that usually calms my nerves, I found myself gasping for air instead, swallowing hard and hoping my voice wouldn't come out too muffled to understand. Seconds later, I heard a voice that was rich, resonant and deep....a voice of experience and sincere involvement in the moment. The voice was also peaceful and calming as she invited me to share my feelings about my book.

It was clear Ms. Richards had done her research. She had visited my website and even read some of my blog posts. She commented kindly on them, revealing her own interest in the book cover that has garnered the most number of views on my page and hinted there might be a fellow horse-lover beneath all the glamour and travel. She invited me to read a passage from my book and asked a number of insightful questions, agreeing that sometimes the only word for what has been loosed on the world is "evil, pure evil."

The call ended as Ms. Richards thanked me for sharing my thoughts before she transitioned to her closing comments about the show and the station. It was quite an experience to dive into the world of interviews with someone so welcoming, so kind and so completely unexpected.

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