Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Interviewing the Interviewer

A Chat with Irrepressible Radio Host Barry Eva


Dora Machado

Thinking about going on the radio to promote your book? Well then, you really want to hear from Barry Eva.

With almost seven hundred shows under his belt, Barry Eva is the host of the popular Web radio show A Book and A Chat. Born in Barnet, Hertfordshire, England, he came to the United States in 2000. 

Barry is also the bestselling author of the YA Novel, Across the Pond, which currently has more than 100 reviews on Amazon. He has also written song parodies and short romance stories, many of which are included in The Bathroom Book of Romance: Book 1.

I recently had a chance to go on Barry's show when he interviewed me on my latest fantasy release, The Curse Giver.  I was a little nervous going in, but once I started talking with him, all my fears vanished. Barry has a gift for putting authors at ease. He had me laughing in no time. 

We ended up talking about all sorts of things, including my books. Between his elegant British accent and my not-so-elegant Spanish accent, we had a ball. So, in this first segment of my two-part interview with Barry, he tells us why authors should promote their books on the radio and how he keeps it fun and fresh on the air.  

Welcome, Barry. How did you make the move from writer to radio host? Or was it the other way around? And how did you end up hosting "A Book and a Chat"?

Back in February 2009, after appearing on a few radio shows with my own YA novel, Across the Pond, and with experience of running a couple of local TV shows narrating stories from my romance book as well as filming local karaoke, I thought: Why not try your own radio show? Loving a good old "chin wag," as we say in England, I thought it might be good fun. Little did I know just how much!

You do have a lot of fun on your show! But I'm sure you realize that many authors—especially first timers—are intimidated about doing radio interviews. Why should they do the interviews and how can radio help an author's promotion efforts?

I know a lot of authors are a little scared, something I try to alleviate. Even in my e-mail I send out to guests I put this note:  "The format is like a couple of friends chatting over a cup of tea or coffee, so don't worry, it's very lighthearted and friendly."

Appearing on Internet radio shows is a way to get your name and that of your book to a worldwide audience. There are many radio shows around the blogosphere. You have to remember that, like blogs—and unlike personal book signing visits—once the show is done it is then available for people to listen to again and again all around the world. I still have people checking on shows I recorded 3 or 4 years ago.

 Wow. That's tremendous and lasting publicity for any author and very good to know. Let me ask you: How do you choose the authors you want to interview?

I really do not choose the authors. It is very rare that I turn anybody away, covering all ages and subjects. I also make sure that there is a lot of time for debut authors. Every so often, I do a special like a month on male YA authors or on bullying, where I do invite authors directly. However, normally, I see what comes along.

I have had some very famous guests on the show during these last two years, from Emmy award–winners such as Louise Shaffer—to authors such as Steve Berry who have 72 million copies in print throughout the world. I love to involve the YA bloggers—as I call them, the "Sham Wow" of YA literature, as they soak everything up. I have made it a point to include bloggers as guests on the show as well as many debut authors. After all, they might be debut authors today but they could be the stars of tomorrow. The Class of 2K10, 2K11, 2K12 and now 2K13 YA debut authors are always great to have on the show, and it's been fun to follow their rise to "fame and fortune" (okay, we can dream).

Of course we can dream! What about the questions you ask? Is it an organic, ask-as-you-go interview or do you research each author and prepare specific questions for him or her?

There are some authors and publicists that actually send you questions to ask. I can't do it. It's not that formal of a show. I always spend about 30-45 minutes before the show finding out about my guest, looking around the Internet, seeing if there are any tasty tidbits I can use on the show. The format tends to follow much the same format; often we might digress from the actually subject but as long as the main topics, i.e. "author books, latest book, up and coming work," are covered, it all adds to the show.

British wit aside, after more than 700 shows, how do you manage to put your guests at ease and keep the show fresh and fun?

Not quite 700, that will be in December. There are a few drawbacks in having what sometimes has been five shows a week. The jokes and anecdotes tend to repeat themselves, but I always try and make the chat flow and I love to laugh, as anybody who has listened will tell you. Many guests are what can only be described as "scared" when they first call in and we chat before the show starts, but as I say to them, it's honestly just a chat over a cup of tea (in my case, English PG Tips), and so many have told me afterwards how much they enjoyed the easygoing format and style, that they were completely at ease.

You are a writer yourself, the author of Across the Pond and The Bathroom Book of Romance.  How does your writing influence your hosting style and the questions you ask?

I can of course relate to what the guest is saying about the issues and help in getting the book and knowledge about you and your book "out there." Also, I can just pass on my own experiences but also those of many folk who have been on the show before.

Thank you so much for talking to us, Barry. We'll continue this conversation next Wednesday. Barry will be back on the blog, to talk about how authors can make the most out of their radio interview. Don't miss it!

See you next Tuesday, November 12th! 


Barry Eva (Storyheart)
Author of "Across the Pond" and "The Bathroom Book of Romance"
Book Site:
Radio Host of "A Book and a Chat"
Radio Blog:
Blog Talk Radio Show:
Owner of "Across The Pond LLC"
Amazon Reviews:


Dora Machado is the award-winning author of the epic fantasy Stonewiser series and her newest novel, The Curse Giver, available from Twilight Times Books. She grew up in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a fascination for writing and a taste for Merengue. After a lifetime of straddling such compelling but different worlds, fantasy is a natural fit to her stories. She lives in Florida with her husband and three very opinionated cats.

To learn more about Dora Machado and her novels, visit her website at or contact her at
For a free excerpt of The Curse Giver, visit  http://twilighttimesbooks.comthingsTheCurseGiver_ch1.html.


Cheryl said...

Barry is an excellent host and I would recommend him to anyone looking to promote their book. I've been on his show a few times, and he definitely makes you feel at ease.

Unknown said...

I couldn't agree more, Cheryl!