Panic Over a Podcast


(The cute French bulldog pic is especially for Anne, my colleague and great buddy).

When I received an email inviting me to take part in writer Paul Cuddihy’s series of ‘Read All About It’ podcasts, my first reaction was one of confusion. Why was he asking me? It might help explain why to know that Paul is the brother-in-law of my friend Helen (she’s known as big ‘H’ in comparison to me, wee ‘H’ but in height only, I’m much wider!) so maybe he was desperate for willing victims and was scouring his list of connections.

I thanked him for the invite, said I was flattered but really and truly I didn’t believe that anyone would be in the least bit interested (self-esteem issues, who me?) in my answers to the five questions he set each of his guests. And yet, he replied that he definitely did want me to share my thoughts on my reading likes and dislikes and genuinely did want me to agree to take part. This led to my second reaction.


I have never done a podcast in my life.

I HATE the sound of my own voice (surely I sound more sophisticated than that???)

downloadAnd then there was the endless list of ‘What ifs?’

What if I make an arse of myself and stutter and stumble over the questions?

What if my answers are boring and stupid?

What if I make a mistake?

What if I talk gibberish?

And what if?…

There seemed like a lot of ‘What ifs?’ to panic about.

But, fighting off my inner critic (again!!!), I agreed to do it.

images (1)Here are a couple of reasons: my hubby encouraged me to “put myself out there”, and in the spirit of my last blog post, ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’, I wanted (some might say perversely) to challenge myself…

The ‘grow a pair’ decision meant I met up with Paul and put myself in the firing line (completely the wrong phrase relating to a man who welcomed me, put me at ease and listened as if I had something worth saying) to answer the following five questions:-

1. Favourite book from childhood

2. Favourite book from school/university/teenage years

3. A book you’d recommend to anyone

4. A book you couldn’t be paid to read again

5. The last book you read or are currently reading

After listening to the podcast, I cringed as much as I’d expected. I still HATE the sound of my own voice and I’d no idea that I used the expression, “Absolutely” or “Exactly” so often. It would make a good competition to count the number of times I repeat the same words (please don’t, there’s no prize on offer!) and I really don’t want the embarrassment of knowing the total.

If you want to endure my answers, click on the link.  Or a smarter move would be to click on this link to find out more about Paul’s new book and buy it here Read All About It.

Have you ever done a podcast? How would you answer Paul’s questions?




10 thoughts on “Panic Over a Podcast

  1. Hi Helen! Love the pic – thank you! It is just like Moomin! Looking forward to listening to the podcast. I can identify with the ‘absolutely’ issue – it’s a problem I suffer from too when doing the very occasional education podcast… Well done for ‘putting yourself about a bit’ again 😉 xx

  2. Hi Helen! It’s daunting isn’t it but your voice sounds very strong & positive. (I’ve done 2 podcasts – including one on Skype – 3 radio interviews plus a video documentary and I can cringe every time I hear /see myself) But it’s good practice for when you hit the big time – and for giving presentations (which you do anyway though it’s different talking about your ‘baby’! . As your hubby says you’ve got to put yourself out there! Looking forward to the arrival of the ‘baby! x

    • Hi Marie, It is indeed scary but as you say, it’s a great opportunity for me to have a go in case I ever need to do any book publicity. And thanks for your faith in my ‘baby’. Hopefully one day the dream will become a reality… 🙂 x

  3. Relating to this so much, Helen! Did a podcast for Hodder a few weeks ago and was terrified, a bit giggly, and convinced I would come across as a first class dipstick. Actually, it was OK. I wasn’t confident but then I’d not done it before so I don’t think anybody expected too much. I have listened to it once or twice, and I do cringe!

    Those are good questions. My answers are:

    1. What Katy Did (or half a dozen other books I particularly loved as a kid, hard to pick just one)
    2. Jane Eyre
    3. Birdsong
    4. Gone Girl (Don’t want to be rude, I just really disliked it, I know others love it. Bit of a Marmite book!)
    5. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

    • Hi Louise, I listened to your podcast and really enjoyed it. It was lovely to put a voice to the face and I thought you came across really well. It is scary though but hopefully we’ll both gain more confidence with more practice. Thanks too for answering the 5 questions. I’ve read 3/5 of your choices. Birdsong is on my tbr list and I don’t fancy Gone Girl either – doesn’t appeal to me at all despite others loving it.

  4. Well done you! I haven’t managed to get the podcast to work yet but I’m sure you sound great, I think you’ve got an excellent voice so I can’t imagine you didn’t come across well. Good job on the boundary-pushing around your comfort zone, inspires me to keep moving forward 🙂 x

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