[Audio] Interview with Mitch Albom – 2014-02-20

As I promised in a previous post, here’s the audio of my interview (almost in its entirety) with Mitch Albom last February 20th.

I was in a panel with 2 reporters from other websites. We were the last batch of interviewers, scheduled just before Mitch had to leave for a live appearance in a TV program, so we didn’t have a lot of time. And I had a very different set of questions for the article that I conceptualized compared to the other ladies, so the topics are noticeably…all over the place (and so fluffeh!) ^_^

At times like these, though, you just roll with the punches. We did get some good answers from Mitch, who was very accommodating and open. This was during the second straight day of his media blitz, and he must have been tired and jetlagged, but he never really showed it.


 
Highlights:

  • His charity project for typhoon-devastated school libraries.
  • The book that resonated with him when he was young: “The Royal Road to Romance (1925)” by Richard Halliburton
  • A glimpse into his creative process
  • Anecdotes about his travels around the world
  • The inspiration for “The First Phone Call From Heaven”
  • How his uncle inspired “The Five People You Meet In Heaven”
  • A glimpse into his “Happy” playlist…and he actually whipped out his tablet to let us listen to some songs!
  • His next project.

The article I eventually wrote about Mitch Albom has been published here —
Mitch Albom: ‘Giving is living’ and the healing power of stories

Meeting Peter Lerangis (with bonus panda bears)

…also sub-titled “In Which I Squee Deep Inside Because I Did Not Freeze Like A Starstruck Fangirl”.

Authors are my rock stars.

Or maybe I’m only saying that because I’ve never met a real rock star or haven’t really fangirled over one. We’ll see. But right now, that is my truth: Authors are my rock stars.

And so whenever I meet one, even those who I’ve already conversed with a lot online (Mina V. Esguerra, Kate Evangelista), I get starstruck. I get nervous before the interview and always forget to ask or say something even when I’ve written all my questions and comments down.

My worst starstruck experience remains to be meeting Neil Gaiman, during which I was shaking the whole time as he signed my book, I shook his hand, and we posed for a photo. It’s a good thing I already wrote my name down on a Post-It and did not have to spell it out for him because I’m pretty sure I would’ve misspelled my own name. And I have no memory of what I said to him or what he said to me. I might have said something weird and unintelligible, so maybe not remembering is a good thing.

I got to interview Peter Lerangis last May 4th. He’s one of my favorite authors in “The 39 Clues” series, and I have a lot of feels for his particular installment, “The Sword Thief”, so I dreaded having another starstruck episode.

I got to the venue later than I should have because of the traffic due to a random rain shower (it happens; it’s more fun in the Philippines!), so my interview was moved to after the signing event. I was a bit panicky throughout the entire program because many of the questions on my list were already asked by either the fans or Ms. Xandra of National Book Store. In the end, I was left with about 4 or 5 questions, which should have added to my starstruck anxiety.

Peter Lerangis with Ms. Xandra Ramos Padilla of National Book Store

Peter Lerangis with Ms. Xandra Ramos Padilla of National Book Store

When I finally met him, though, I responded very well to his friendly and welcoming demeanor, and he immediately put me at ease. And I think I lost most of my nervousness during the program because he’s just so jolly and witty and hilarious.

Our short chat went well. We got to talk a little more about “Seven Wonders” and ghostwriting. I got my books signed–all 3.25 of his “The 39 Clues”, and “Seven Wonders”. I think my panda sticky tabs (you can see their ears peeking out the side of the book) amused him because he actually wrote a message for them. 😛 I had to reassure him that the reason there were only a couple of pandas in the latter half of the book is because I got caught up in the action, and not because I fell asleep and found it too boring to merit some more pandas.

signed 7 wonders

My copies of The 39 Clues, signed by Peter Lerangis

My copies of The 39 Clues, signed by Peter Lerangis

Because he’s such a chocoholic (like me!), I gave him one of my favorite chocolate bars: Alfie’s Bacon Bar. He was so surprised, and I could only smile because that was my exact same reaction when my friend Leia told me that such a thing exists.

About those pandas…

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