Although I’m looking at a variety of sources for my book (e.g. articles, lyrics, performances, other biographies), my project relies heavily on interviews that I conduct. A lot of Prince’s family, friends and associates are private and/or famous and busy like Prince. As a result, I’ve learned to accept that it may take weeks or even months for me to get a response.
For example, if I’m remembering correctly, I sent Prince’s former press agent, Howard Bloom, a message last spring, and he reached out to me a couple months later in the summer. I just so happened to be in Brooklyn at the time, and I was able to hop on the subway for an amazing interview with him!
On the other hand, it didn’t take long for pre-Revolution band member Gayle Chapman and the Rolling Stone journalists to get back to me and agree to an interview. I love when that happens, and I am very grateful!
Prince’s early Revolution band member Dez Dickerson also responded to me right away, but I never received a definite answer from him about doing an interview. I’ve been in touch with Larry Graham’s management for about a year and a half now, and I’m still trying to make something happen.
I am happy to say that last week, I interviewed C.J., a Star Tribune columnist, about her experience covering Prince. It was very easy to get in touch with her (more on that next week). Also, a MAJOR source for my book agreed to chat with me, but I’m waiting for the source’s schedule to open up. I never like to reveal the name until after the interview, because plans fall through sometimes, but keep your fingers crossed for me!
So, you just never know what will happen when you take on a biography like this. You try not to get your hopes up, but you keep thinking positive, and move forward. There’s nothing like the thrill of getting that “Sure, I’ll talk to you” message, even if it’s six months later.
Happy Memorial Day!