Lynn Levy is a producer at Radiolab.
"Sometimes if you're interviewing an author they've already worked out the best way to tell the story. They've been through all the options in their head, they figured out what to omit and what to get rid of. And often times, even though they're not reading from the book, they'll literally be saying the words that they wrote down. Like you'll hear phrases from the book in what they're telling you. ... And it can be really seductive when you're interviewing these people because they're giving it to you. You're just like, well this is going to be very easy to edit. Thank you. The thing is when you actually do go to edit it it doesn't have anything. It doesn't have any tension, it doesn't have any pathos, it doesn't have any like... um... It doesn't have any um! It doesn't have any moments where you can hear somebody working things through. And I think one of the things that radio producers kind of know is that it's a better story if something happens. You want to go out in the field and something is going to happen and you are going to record it and that's going to make a better story. But that's even true about interviews. You want something to happen in the person who's talking while you're talking to them. You want them to figure something out or work something through or confront something, if possible. ... They think they know how the story goes and you have to convince them otherwise."