I met up with Ms. Gray the day before the interview itself to verify the time and location. Don’t worry, I wore something a little more professional to the interview itself.

I did something completely out of my comfort zone recently. I interviewed somebody and then wrote about the interview for GeekMom. It had nothing to do with meteorology or the Air Force — so it was pretty tough for me.

Because I had applied for media access to attend Dragon*Con last Labor Day weekend (i.e., a free four-day ticket!), I received an invitation to request interviews with up to three celebrity guests of my choosing.

There were a few rules, such as each media outlet (in my case, Wired.com’s GeekMom blog) having a limited number of guests with whom we could request access. I believe we could only interview five guests total, but each individual in the group could only request three. I don’t remember the specifics.

The other GeekMom at Dragon*Con with media access got interviews with Jane Espensen (writer and producer of such shows as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Torchwood and Once Upon a Time) and John Barrowman (star of Torchwood and guest star on BBC’s Doctor Who).

I looked at the guest list and decided to look for fellow geeky moms to interview. I found two that caught my attention: Erin Gray (of Buck Rogers and Silver Spoons) and Kathy Najimy (of Sister Act, Veronica’s Closet and the voice of Peggy Hill on King of the Hill). Both were involved with their acting careers while their children were young, and both actresses are strong outspoken women who support causes that empower women.

The afternoon before leaving for Dragon*Con, I received an email with a date/time/location for an interview Erin Gray. I never did hear back from Ms. Najimy.

I was pleased as punch, but also nervous! I had one evening — on top of packing for the long weekend — to figure out questions for Ms. Gray. I consulted fellow GeekMoms who were very helpful in providing questions. I also consulted the Dragon*Con Media Relations website that had some good tips about researching our subjects and coming up with effective questions.

Dave took the boys to the NASA Robotics Workshop that took place at the same time as the interview. I expected maybe 20 minutes tops for the interview!

But Ms. Gray gave GeekMom a whopping 50 minutes of her time and she had so much to say in response to each of the 6 questions I had asked (I had 9 questions prepared; I didn’t expect to get through more than 4). I used my iPhone Voice Memo app to record the entire interview. This was great because I could write about all the other topics while they were fresh in my mind, and when I was ready, I was able to replay the entire interview.

I went to Nebraska for some AF work in late September. In the evenings I could sit at the desk in my billeting (i.e., lodging) room and slowly transcribe the audio recordings.  It took all week to get everything transcribed!  When it was all done, it was over 6700 words transcribed!

After transcribing the words, I had an even more difficult task ahead of me.  How do I turn it into something people will want to read? I needed to tie together the answers to her questions into a coherent story, if you will.

I had no idea how to do this. I read several other interviews that had been done on GeekMom, plus I looked at interviews with celebrities in magazines for inspiration (such as an interview with Zoe Saldana in the September issue of Delta Airlines Sky magazine, available on my flight to and from Omaha).

I got advice from other GeekMom writers, they gave me an idea of what liberties I could take with the raw transcripts to make the storylines flow more smoothly.

It was still difficult. It took me 10 calendar days (not all at once, but I worked with it on most evenings) to put it all together. Then I proofread it, and then proofread it again…and again…and again.

Procrastinating on the post was a blessing in disguise, actually: my moving the publication of the post into October, we were able to tie in Ms. Gray’s involvement with October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month activities.

Anyway, I did my best with it, but not without a lot of soul searching and being near tears several times, wondering “What did I get myself into?”  I’m a meteorologist, not a journalist!

I was then met with another challenge — this interview write up quickly turned into the LONGEST post I’d ever done for GeekMom. So I asked the GeekMom editors for advice on whether to break up the post into multiple parts (which I had done with my writings about the Facebook Timeline and our Disney Cruise) or leave it in one piece but allow readers to page through.

I decided to leave the interview write up in one piece and it ended up at around 4900 words.  Definitely a record for my 20 months with GeekMom. My average post is between 1000-2000 words.

(If only I got paid per word…some writers can earn 50 cents to several dollars PER WORD!!! But that’s okay, I have a job already….).

I hope you enjoy it!