Arrived ridiculously early Easter Monday morning for my interview on BBC Asian Network. White City was like a ghost town but I found a Costa Coffee and spent an hour gathering myself, checking through my notes and managing a mild panic attack.
Straying out of one's comfort zone has a tendency to induce those sorts of responses in me.
Frankly the last few months have all been a series of mild panic attacks (including one catastrophic public appearance) so I've probably gone a bit overboard with the breathing exercises, the endorphine-inducing runs and the constant interview practise. But you know what? Once the initial shock of a new school/radio station/festival/book fair/whatever is over, it's great fun. Incredibly ego-centric fun.
So, finally collected from reception by Bill, the producer. Shown up to the studio where the talent, Raj and Pablo, are on one side of the window, and I'm sitting with the producer and his team on the other. It's so much like Frasier it's uncanny. Okay, the facilities are up to date with tv screens overhead and a ticker-tape thingie with 'latest news' and it's all buzzing.
Then I got called in, introduced, and it began.
I've attached the link here, so go to Nihal and check out my performance. I'm on from about 1 hour 17 mins into the show.
Finished? Next stop, Woman's Hour!
Raj and Pablo were great hosts and what's more had read the book. My semi-sensible answers are because they totally put me at ease throughout the entire thing. Only the Bette Midler question really threw me.
I did bring up Project X, which is my new book. It's still at very early stages but I've got the villains in place and the hero making mischief. It's about a 12 year old boy, Ash, and one day he'll be as bad-ass as Billi. Right now he's a miserable little git who's about to get involved in something way over his head. I'm sticking to the guiding principle of action stories: MAKE IT WORSE!
But that's still some months down the line. I'm getting really excited about it but forcing myself to keep my big mouth shut until I've got something solid. But I will give you the title.
THE AGE OF KALI.
It's going to be insane.