~ Interview by Melina Kantor
I was so excited when I found out that Jennifer Fusco was going to host her own radio show about the romance genre. I was even more excited by her impressive lineup of guests. A chance to hear my favorite authors talk about their books every week? What could be better?
Read on to learn more about Jennifer and Romance is on the Air.
Q. Please tell us a little about Authors on the Air and the recent addition of your new show, Romance is on the Air.
A. Hi, Thanks for having me. Authors on the Air Global Radio Network is a wonderful organization run by authors and people who LOVE books. They have over one million listeners worldwide.
It all started when I met the owner/producer, Pam Stack, and pitched her several of my authors (from my publicity services business) over the summer of 2013. She accepted a few of my clients and interviewed them. Over time, we struck up a friendly conversation where I mentioned I was moving to south Florida. She also lives there. We decided
to meet for breakfast.
At that meeting, she brought with her the original host of the romance show. We had a great time and I left that meeting hopeful that more of my publicity clients could be featured on the air. A few months later I followed up with Pam. She told me the host I had met wasn’t going to be able to do the show after all and that was that. About an hour later, I called her back. I said, “Why don’t you let me do it?”
I think I took her off guard. She thought it over and some time went by. Then, a few weeks later, I interviewed with her formally and was offered a position as a host.
Q. What kind of work goes into producing the show? What do you enjoy about it? What are some of the challenges you face?
A. Producing the show is probably the easiest part ;). That’s really the paperwork portion of what goes into a show. I love reading someone’s work then contacting them and asking to interview them. I’ve done that with Rosemary Harris and Lyndsey Brookes. Both of them were blown away to be asked, and I, in turn, was blown away because they accepted.
I guess if there are any challenges it’s with asking the right questions, making sure that the show flows and there are no lags, or that it’s not dull. Then, since my shows are live, I’m always worried about technical issues, sound quality, and what to do if, God forbid, there are no callers.
Q. You have a very strong background in marketing. In your opinion, how can radio shows and podcasts benefit authors in a way other media, such as blogs, can’t?
A. Radio shows and podcasts allow the author and reader another connection point. Live shows, like mine, allow for the reader to call in and ask the author questions. They get an unlimited amount of time to discuss their questions with the author. Is it different from blogs? Not really, but I think it’s a more personal connection when you can talk to someone live than reading a response.
Q. As a new feature of the show, listeners are able to call in and speak directly to authors. What are some popular types of questions? What are listeners eager to learn about their favorite authors?
A. So far, I’ve had one live show, Kelsey Browning. We had about eight calls, and it was great. Callers asked her what she planned to work on next, when some of her other books were releasing, but the best part was to hear her speak with readers who she’d only been able to communicate with in writing and it was the first time they were able to connect live. Building that connection is what the show is all about.
Q. When guests on your show, what topics should authors be sure to bring up? Are they any topics they should stay away from?
A. I always make sure and tell my guests they need to tell people where to find them. They need to make sure they give out their website, and social media information. I tell them to stay away from writer focused topics. This show is for the readers. They want to get to know the author. To that end, I try to “block” the show with a personal/book publicity/personal topic rotation.
I don’t want to discuss topics that only we writers care about like industry, agents, royalties and advances, marketing, etc. This show is for the readers. Let’s talk about the fun stuff!
Q. What do you think is the appeal of contemporary romance? How does it differ from other romance subgenres?
A. Contemporary romance is timeless. It is relatable and real. It will never go out of style. How many times have we romance writers watched Casablanca, Gone with the Wind or Pretty Woman? A good contemporary romance story never dies.
I love the subgenres though, especially paranormal.
Q. You are one of the busiest people I know. You run your own business, you have a family, you recently moved to a new state and are in the process of having a house built, you write, you’re about to start a new job working for Gannett Publishing Services, publisher of the USA Today, and now you host a radio show. What is your most important piece of advice for writers struggling with time management?
A. There is time for everything you want to do, and it’s up to you to find it. My schedule looks like a big grid of what I need to do when, having consistency in my schedule helps, too. For example, the radio show is every Tuesday night at 8PM Eastern. No changes, no exceptions. I put my kid to bed, and then it’s off to do the show. I work my commitments into my life.
Also, knowing what help you need and getting it is important. I got to a point in 2012 where I need to hire help for Market or Die Author Services. I roped my friend Melanie Meadors into working with me. We’re a team and she’s been with me ever since. Just this month, I hired my second person at Market or Die. I needed administrative help. My friend Jessica Sheehan was the perfect person for that role.
Q. Do you have any future plans for the show or your writing that you’d like to share with us?
On the writing front, I’ve completed a nonfiction book proposal and turned it into my agent, Nicole Resciniti. The book is designed to be a comprehensive marketing and book publicity guide.
For fiction, I have a contemporary romance I’m about 40k words into, and still trying to figure out. 😉
As for the radio show, I’m really excited about the next few months. I’ve booked guests like (Eloisa James, AM Madden, Cynthia D’Alba and Tawny Weber) until April, but I’m always on the lookout for more.
If you’d like to be a guest on ROMANCE IS ON THE AIR please send me an e-mail at: email@example.com
Thank you so much, Jennifer! And now for a special treat, here’s a taste of the show!
Jennifer Fusco is the author of the Amazon.com bestselling series, MARKET OR DIE, marketing books for writers.
A three time winner of the Advertising Excellence Award, Jennifer has launched successful national print and digital ad campaigns. She has served as a member of the (ANA) Association of National Advertisers and believes brand building is a key to professional success.
Due to the overwhelming response Market or Die received from writers, Ms. Fusco launched a publicity services business, Market or Die Author Services, LLC.
In her writing life, Ms. Fusco is a member of RWA’s PRO network and serves as the past president of the Connecticut Romance Writers. She has completed two romance manuscripts and is a monthly contributor to the Romance Writers of America’s RWR Report. Born in North Carolina, Jennifer currently lives in Florida with her husband and young son.
She is represented by Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency.