So today, folks, we have a special guest, Etienne Gibbs, with Blog Talk Radio. He’ll be talking with us about his talk show, In the Author’s Corner with Etienne. The reason why this interview is here, on TJ Talks Writing, is because his show focuses on writers and writing related efforts.
So, give it up for, Etienne, everyone! Take it away, Mr. Gibbs.
After my book, It’s My Turn to Be the Hero, was published in April, 2012, I came to realize that I did not quite know enough about marketing my book successfully. I had more questions than answers. Subsequently, I felt that if I did, perhaps other authors did, too. So, I created the show exclusively for novice and aspiring authors.
I’ve created my talk show exclusively for authors of published books and those thinking about writing their first one. So, besides chatting with authors about the story behind their story or writing their book or becoming an author, I ask them to share tips, suggestions, or advice that would be of help to the novice and aspiring authors in our audience.
I’m sure you meet quite a few interesting people. Do you have any special training or credentials for this effort?
With technology as it is these days, no special training or credentials are needed or required to become an online talk show host and/or producer; however, having training and/or experience in public speaking, such as with Toastmasters International, or experience or training skills in communication and/or customer service will surely come in handy. Also, the host needs to be sensitive to the needs of his guests.
You’re right about the availability of information and knowledge. Despite what we see in the news, global society in general is rather savvy. How do you recruit participants for your shows?
Via my friends and followers on Facebook and other social media sites. Sometimes I get referrals from former guests.
What would you like potential guests to know about being on In the Author’s Corner with Etienne?
I ask my guests to come prepared to share a tip, a suggestion, or advice that could help the novice and aspiring authors in our audience. I also like to ask questions about their writing format, routine, and/or discipline.
I also like to joke with them by asking if their characters are in their heads, if they go with them everywhere they go, and if they speak to them in public. Most would ready admit that they interact with the characters in their head, but only at home or in the privacy of their car.
One lady author had a unique and creative answer that I was not expecting. She said,
“If people want to know who I’m talking to, I pull back my hair and show them the earplug in my ear. Then I tell them, ‘I’m listening to my favorite talk show.’ ”
I help my guests feel at ease with my sense of humor and telling them that they have access to my “Go to your room!” command. I tell my guests that I have been known to have a wacky sense of humor, but if it should become too wacky or on the edge, then they have the right and responsibility to tell me, “Go to your room!” Usually, they chuckle with the absurdity of this statement, but they get the message that they are in control.
You seem to have an easy rapport with your guests. That’s a positive. How long have you been doing radio shows?
Our Premiere episode of In the Author’s Corner with Etienne kicked off April 30th, 2012 at 6:00 PM (Eastern), but prior to that, I started my first online talk show, Staying Safe Online, to educate the public of the dangers, cybercrimes, and the cybercriminals of the Internet. That show kicked off June 8, 2008 and was terminated on November 2008 after I was laid off from my day job.
I’m sorry, about your day job. Your show was probably of great help to many of your visitors. Perhaps you’ll be able to bring it back. Now, do you write? What about?
I took a hiatus from writing; having too much fun and delight meeting and interviewing authors from around the world. When I return to writing, it would be in the genre of nonfictional, educational, Christian, and motivational to include parenting. I do have three other books I’m planning to release within the coming year.
You do have your fingers in a few pies. Good luck with the book releases. So, do you have children, a significant other, or pets?
Living as a bachelor in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands in the tiny wooden cottage of a house in which I grew up with my mother. My children are adults now with families of their own and are residing in Hanford, CA and Louisville, KY.
That’s interesting. I hope you retain fond memories of your earlier days in that house. What do you like to do to balance the demands your professional life places on you?
I like to tell people that “I live on the Internet” simply because I sometimes spend as many as 18-20 hours online. When I do have time, I love swimming and snorkeling in our tropical waters. I also love mountain-biking, but I left my mountain-bike back in the States when I returned home. I’m an outdoors sort of guy!
I used to scuba and miss it terribly. I envy you that. Where do you live?
In the city of Charlotte Amalie, on the island of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands just East of Puerto Rico.
I just go with the flow except for the one or two classes I teach as an adjunct instructor at my alma mater, the University of the Virgin Islands.
Now teaching is something that can be rewarding when done well. What’s your fave food, beverage, and/or restaurant?
As a West Indian by birth my favorite foods would be fish and local foods such as fungi, Kalalu, Peas and Rice, Red Peas Soup, coconut water. My favorite local beverages would homemade maubi, sorrel, passion fruit, and soursop. And of course all the local fresh fruits: genips, mangos, coconuts, tamarind, including ice cream made from them.
I like a person who likes good food. What do you like best about what you do?
I love having the opportunity to meet with and speak with authors from around the world. Of course, the discussion has to be in English because of my limited knowledge of foreign languages.
A facility with language can open up a whole new world, but it seems you’re doing quite well even if you’re not poly lingual. What do you like least about what you do?
What I like least about meeting and greeting authors from around the world? Oh, that’s easy to answer. It’s simply this: that I cannot transport myself to the exotic locations where my guests reside.
I hear you there! Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by any one, living or not, who is not afraid to be a pioneer, someone who leads the pack. I’m speaking about role models in all phases of life. In fact, I have a collection of people I admire on one of my Pinterest boards. If I may, I’d like to share the link with your readers. They are:
People I Admire
Many of them I have known personally. And
People Who Still Teach Us, although they have departed this earth.
If more people sought to emulate the good in others, the world would be a better place. Shifting gears a little, if I came to your home and looked inside the refrigerator, what would I find?
First of all, that won’t happen. Anyone with a West Indian, or more specifically with a Virgin Islands culture like mine, won’t allow any visitor to go into their refrigerator. Nor would any visitor want to do so. It would be considered rude and disrespectful.
I can tell horror stories about what’s in mine, so I doubt if someone stopped by and peeked in, they’d do it again. What’s your best quality?
My best quality is basically meeting and greeting people. As taught in graduate school of my Social Work classes, my best quality is in establishing rapport with people, especially when they are in crisis mode.
See, I thought that was one of your strengths. Your least favorable quality?
My least quality is my moments of procrastination. Although I know better, there are times when I tend to procrastinate.
Some people work best under the pressure of a quickly nearing deadline. Maybe you’re one of them. Why isn’t the number 11 pronounced as onety one?
I think that last question was something on the order of a quirkiness meter. Maybe yours is pegged? If you were stranded on a lonely beach, what are the five things that you would want to survive?
I would want to have 3 important people with me, a cutting tool to survive, and good weather.
Nicely done. Is there anything else you’d like the reader to know about yourself?
Yes, I’d like the reader to know and remember that we all have potential as described via this acronym: TASKS, where the T stands for Talents; the A for Abilities; the S for Skills; the K for Knowledge; and finally, the S for Specialization. Put the letters back together and we have the acronym, TASKS, to remind us of the elements we need to implement when we want to maximize our potential.
That is something to live by, Etienne. And with those final words of wisdom, we say good-bye to Etienne. Please be sure to comment below.
Interview by TJs Virtual Book Tours