On THE RIDE again: (3) How not to appear on screen

I am trying to begin beating the promotional drum for Punch, which after all isn’t out until October, so I need to think creatively: how can I weave Punch into what I am already doing?


Before Xpo
Outside Eden Court, the main venue for XpoNorth


There is a cautionary tale of failure here. Bear with me.

Take the fantastic opportunity that was XpoNorth this last week.  I was invited to be on one of the panels, discussing publishing and writing in the Highlands and Islands – a great honour, considering I’d been in the audience for similar events for years – always looking yearningly at the performers and wondering what it must be like living the dream as a published author. And now I was on the other side.

It was exciting, and there was a huge buzz about Eden Court. I attended a very helpful event on breaking into screen writing, after which I had only a few minutes until my XpoNorth Live interview – a television station set up to give trainees a taste of production. It all seemed very professional.

Panel Gill
The fantastic panel I was honoured to be part of: from left, Keara Donnachie (Sandstone Press), Gill Tasker (Publishing Scotland), Anne Glennie (Cranachan), me (with the scarf in question) and Helen Sedgwick (author)


Now, I’d given this a little thought. Blue is an ok colour on me, and I had a lovely blue scarf – that should go ok with a plain blue top. You probably won’t see the bottom half, so I put on comfy jeans and headed out. I’ve never been one for much make-up. I didn’t even really think about it. Shame on me!XpoTV

I arrived on set and took my seat – not just one camera, no: several, including one which slid sideways to pan across the scene – my jeans and my plain top were going to be in plain view! As well as all that was in them. Deep breath!

What followed can only be described as an undignified wrestle between me, my top, my scarf and the microphone, which had to be threaded through from the inside. ‘Be easier if you took the scarf off,’ the friendly man suggested. ‘I’ll keep it for you.’

Watch HERE if you can bear it.

And so it came to pass that I sat answering questions from the perfectly made up, glam interviewer – me in a plain blue t-shirt, with no make-up on, shiny faced and looking as if I’d made no effort whatsoever. And you know what else? I didn’t mention Punch once!

My lovely SCBWI group online said lots of lovely things after I wailed to them about this, and I know, I know, I know… they are right. There was a little coherence in what I said, and mostly, what came out of my mouth consisted of words and sentences vaguely related to the question.

But in the unlikely event that you are ever asked to appear on camera, take it from me:

  • Have your bucket of make-up ready
  • Don’t even think about wearing a scarf, and most importantly…


3 thoughts on “On THE RIDE again: (3) How not to appear on screen

  1. Liebe Barabara,

    ich wunderschön du schreiben, dich selbst auf die Schippe, andere unterhalten zum Nachdenken anregen kannst…. ich genieße deine Mails immer sehr. Wie bewunderswert, was du alles organisierst …. ein zweites Buch rausbringst….. toll!!! Da komme ich mir ganz langweilig vor!!! Nur Familie und Job, aber immerhin den Englisch-LK mit großer Begeisterung…!!!!! Ich hätte bestimmt mein Makeup dabei gehabt 😉, wäre aber niemals zu einer Veranstaltung eingeladen worden!!! Also alles gut, man kann nicht Alles …..

    Ganz liebe Grüße und auf ein baldiges Wiedersehen in Deutschland???? Deine Steffi😘



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