The many joys of writing this book is the excuse it has given me to knock on doors and write for new audiences. I’m thrilled to have made my Spectator debut. Not to mention the Daily Mail, ES magazine and the Yorkshire Post, and the serene Psychologies magazine — which also features my first podcast. With a few more things to come.
More frightening is finding yourself captured in others’ words. I think I have got off lightly, thanks to Kate Muir in The Times, and Toby Young (winning friends) in the Independent on Sunday, not to mention Monsieur Matt Rudd (see previous), and Kate Bernard’s interview in Tatler and Rose Bateman’s in the Resident.
Reviews are another matter again. A bubble with fear, I have been cheered by Glamour, Marie Claire, the Observer, Angel and North, and now Reader’s Digest, courtesy of A.N. Wilson, who kindly proclaims the book ‘a bit of fun by a young genius. The Art of Conversation … is a witty meditation upon all aspects of talk … if you give to a friend it will itself provokehours of amusing chat as you read out her jokes and her wisdom’.
This sort of thing makes playing three-way slapball on the Today programme so much easier…
Still, it was a surprise to find myself quoted around the world, a propos some headline-hunting research commissioned by the Post Office: namely, what is the perfect phone call. From the Mail to the Telegraph to the Express to yahoo, Zee, the Times of India, and The Indian… Then interviewed regarding this dubious recipe for conversational success by Fred MacAulay & Co on BBC Scotland, and again on Saturday night/Saturday morning, by George and Paul for a Sydney radio breakfast show, 2UE.
Not that I’m complaining. Although it’s a pity that it’s being claimed I think conversation is dead. Not yet. Rather, I want to celebrate it! So please, friends in chatrooms, have a read of the book, and see what you think, let me know. I’m talking about you in the student room and BBC news feed.
And please, this isn’t about harking back to the olden days. Rather, we should embrace the most sophisticated communication technology that has ever been — and keep flexing those conversational muscles. You’re barking up the wrong tree, Susan Jeffreys in the Independent.