When I first wrote a book review for ABC Radio National’s Book Show I didn’t realise I’d have to read on air. I almost pulled out when the producer told me over the phone that they liked the review and wanted to know which day I was free to record. I thought ABC staff read the copy, not amateurs like me. ‘Can’t I just write reviews and leave it at that?’ I asked the producer. ‘This is radio,’ she sighed. ‘We need sound.’
So in I went. And the producer turned out to be kind and smart. She taught me to slow down my speech, enunciate, sit up straight, project, and keep my pecker up at the end of a sentence rather than letting it drift off. She told me to have fun while I read, then explained that banging the microphone and rustling pages wouldn’t in any way amp-up the fun we could have.
I worked for the Book Show for four years, up until the end of 2011 when they closed down the program. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work for the wonderful Ramona Koval, and her equally wonderful producers Rhiannon Brown, Erica Vowles and Sarah L’Estrange. Here are a few of the reviews I’ve done for them, without sound.