Hi again everyone! It’s time to have something really interesting to talk about! On June 4th I found an interesting email in my mailbox from a person by the name of Zack Peterson. It turns out that Zack is a reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and he stumbled upon my book, Behind These Eyes: One Agoraphobic’s Journey To A Meaningful Life online and was interested in doing and interview with me! It really caught me off guard, but I have to admit I was both apprehensive as well as flattered. He gave me his phone number and asked me to give him a call. I did just that.
During our phone conversation I found Zack to be a gentle-spoken, kind, curious and interesting young man. He put me at ease almost immediately. He explained to me that he thought that a story about my life might be of great interest to his readers and asked me to consider working with him to bring the project to fruition. I was unaware of all that this project might entail, but agreed to try to work with him since it is very important to me to try to bring new awareness to the general public about what it is like to live as an agoraphobic. Zack seemed very pleased and said he’d call me in a few days and that he’d order and read my book. Up until that point he had only read the available chapters that he found on either amazon.com or my website at: http://eaisaksen.com.
My next phone conversation with Zack was on June 9th. We spoke at great length about my daily life living with agoraphobia. He was taking notes as we spoke. I was impressed at the questions he came up with to ask me. He shared a little about his life, including that he too enjoyed writing poetry. I was really beginning to like this guy. He was honest with me when he told me that there was no guarantee that even after a lot of work, the article might not get published. It was all up to the editors. He thought we had a good shot though! Zack and I spoke one more time on June 23rd before he came to my house for a face-to-face interview.
On June 24th Zack arrived, on time, at my home. At my door was a young man, casually dressed, sporting his reporter ID on his belt. I thought he might have a camera with him, but all he arrived with just his pen, pad and cell phone. We ended up talking over 3 1/2 hours! I gave him the tour of my home and told him everything I could think of about how it is to live my life with the challenge I have. At one point he shared a poem he had written….. it was so lovely, and very much “Zack Before he left Zack told me that he’d like to see me a few more times!! I could not understand why, but he explained that he really needed to see me live my life. He wants to see things like me cutting my own hair, cutting my lawn etc. It’s confusing, but I am trying to trust that he needs to do this in order to really get a feel for the story. I am feeling so overwhelmed from the medical people who have been here and now Zack, but I really want to see if somehow this will make a difference! I did suggest to him that using SKype might help and he agreed. YIPEE! At least that should cut down on some of the in-person visits. It feels like I will be doing my own version of a reality show about agoraphobia!! Oh, and btw, Zack gave me a call on Tuesday (July 1st) to say he got the “go ahead” from his editor to proceed with the story! Wish me luck. I’ll keep you updated!
Zack Peterson, Tampa Bay Times….