Color me excited. Over the weekend, C-SPAN broadcast a story about my book, Adventures in Yellowstone, on Book TV. You can watch it on their 2013 Cities Tour Page. You’ll need to scroll down to find my segment. If you’d rather, you can view it on YouTube.
I’m impressed with the power of appearing on national television. By mid-afternoon Sunday, Amazon ranked Adventures just over 12,500. That may not sound like much, but it put my book ahead of Ivan Doig’s new novel, Sweet Thunder. I don’t expect my position to hold, but it sure is nice to be ranked ahead of an established author like Doig, if only for a while.
It all began about a month ago. I was working at my desk when the phone rang.
“I’m Tiffany Rocque, an associate producer for C-SPAN,” said the voice on the line. “We’d like to interview you about your book, Adventures in Yellowstone.”
“Yeah, right,” I thought, but something told me to resist the temptation to hang up.
Tiffany explained that she was coming to Billings as part of C-SPAN’s 2013 Cities Tour and spending a day in Bozeman to interview authors for Book TV. I pretended I knew what she was talking about and said I’d be glad to participate. We exchanged phone numbers and email addresses and set September 11 as the date for the interview.
As soon as we hung up, I googled “Tiffany Rocque.” Sure enough, there was a C-SPAN producer by that name, so I began searching the C-SPAN webpage for Book TV programs. I discovered the network posts Cities Tour segments on YouTube and watched several of them until I was confident that I knew what to expect.
A few days before the interview, I asked my friend, Margie Peterson, if she would interview me for a practice session. Margie and I work together as volunteers at the Pioneer Museum of Bozeman so I knew she would do a good job of posing questions.
We met at a coffee shop, talked about what to expect, and Margie began pitching questions. I found I could answer most of Margie’s questions and could gracefully get around others when I didn’t know the answers. The practice session was very helpful and I owe Margie big time.
A couple of days before the interview, Tiffany, who was always a consummate professional, called to set up an exact time and location for the interview. We decided on 11 a.m. at the Pioneer Museum of Bozeman because it’s where I did a lot of my research for Adventures in Yellowstone and it could provide interesting backdrops for the interview.
On the appointed day, I met Tiffany and we wandered about the museum looking for a good place for the shoot. She chose a display case filled with antique cameras like those photographers would have used in the Nineteenth Century to take pictures in Yellowstone Park.
Tiffany began setting up her equipment and told me to choose stories to read from my book. I wished she had told me to do that sooner, but it gave me something to do to calm my nerves while she set up cables, lights, and microphones.
When she was ready, Tiffany sat me in a chair and told me to count to ten. After the sound check, she asked “When was Yellowstone Park established?” and we were rolling.
The interview lasted about 40 minutes with me describing the adventures of early travelers to Yellowstone Park and reading excerpts from my book. I stumbled a few times, but Tiffany just smiled. told me to go on and pitched another question.
After Tiffany packed up her equipment, we went to the Pioneer Museum Research Center. There Rachel Phillips, the Research Director, helped us with a computer search of the museum’s collection of 20,000 photographs. Tiffany chose several photos to illustrate my segment and other stories she was working on.
While I walked Tiffany to her van, I asked if she could edit out my mistakes.
She smiled and said, “If you look good, I look good.”
I think we both look great.
You can watch the Adventures in Yellowstone segment on:
You can read blog posts of some of the stories mentioned in the segment.
- Osborne Russell’s describes seeing a geyser for the first time.
- Jack Bean helps Colonel Picket get his first bear.
- Eleanor Corthell takes her seven children to Yellowstone Park.
- Emma Cowan watches Indians shoot her husband.
- George Cowan crawls twelve miles after discovering he has been shot.
And course, you should buy your own copy of Adventures in Yellowstone.