The brainstorm of this supplemental post for my V.E. Schwab interview was the sheer amount of people who said they could never interview their idol, or any author for that matter. I’m here to say, no it wasn’t perfect, but it’s a start.
I fangirled and was terrified and wanted to kick myself in the shin for sounding like an idiot, but I did it. I came armed with a can of coffee in my vest pocket and my hands shaking because I respected Victoria’s craft so much and had somehow managed to get a yes for this interview, otherwise I would have run far, far away.
If I had finished A Gathering of Shadows before the interview I would have drawn strength from Lila, but I was just Camille. I’ve changed blogs too many times to count because I couldn’t find something that stuck, that represented me, yet here I am. I am not a perfect blogger; I stumble, I fall, I get back up and try again. I have no clue how to run a website or format a post correctly, but I am passionate about living life like there’s always something on the horizon. Hence my hair-brained scheme when I thought— It would be fun to interview V.E. Schwab.
I was the editor-in-chief of my university yearbook, so I’d had to interview people before, but this was different. This I cared about. I’d put off interviewing authors at YallWest for years, because I wasn’t a big enough blogger, I couldn’t possibly interview someone I admired. Enter 2019: the year that may be my last YallWest for a few years. And something clicked. When the lineup was announced I fangirled so hard and decided something: I wasn’t going to let this opportunity slip by.
I asked a few authors (or rather their agents) about getting an interview. Victoria was the only one to respond, but she was my top pick, the one person I figured I wouldn’t ever possibly get a yes from. Call it fate, call it what you want but there are events in life where you just have to wonder what higher power is like— yes Camille, you didn’t think that was possible, lol.
If you’ve read the interviewthen you should know I wrote those questions in the media line at 6 am. Because my other list of questions was a mile long and made me panic. So I focused on what I wanted to hear from her, about craft, about worlds, about writing across age gaps (which is what I’m going to Graduate school for). But I never would have had that chance if I hadn’t looked fear in the eyes and said No, I’m taking this chance and exposing myself to the world because I cannot live standing still.
So I had a 10 am slot and it was the best damn thing I’ve ever done for myself and my blog— because I proved that I could do it. I fangirled and screamed inside and panicked but I also took solace in that and used it to fuel me. Fear is a flame that is health, so long as it doesn’t burn out of control. Thank you Lila Bard for that metaphor. But doing the interview was only one half of the endeavor. I still had to type it out.
It’s taken two plus weeks to get it on paper. Because I open that audio file and cringe at my voice. Funny enough, Victoria and I talked about our fear of our own voices before I hit play. Which just goes to show how little we know of ourselves: because guess what? You never actually hear your own voice except in your head. Ironic isn’t it? Over the course of listening and transposing the interview I noted every single time I made a mistake, every time I said “Okay. Yeah. Neat. Cool”, every time I’d inserted myself to claim a fallen space between words because I don’t like silence. I can say I hate that I sound congested, that I stumble over little things, that I laugh when I’m nervous; but hate is such strong word and I am simple human.
Why post this exposé on myself? Because maybe you’ll see that it’s not impossible to interview an idol, that maybe it’s worth the struggle to find the courage, the bravado, to take life and say “This is my Opportunity, I’m going for it.” Because at the end of the day, we’re all human. We have ticks and tells and silly nuanced things that we do, but it makes us individuals, it makes us special, it makes us magical. So no, this wasn’t just about interviewing an idol for me, but proving to myself that I will fall, I will struggle, that I can kick myself for saying something seemingly stupid, but I will grow from it and experience life on an adventure.
Instead of asking what are you running from, start asking, what are you running to. The answer may surprise you.