Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The unmitigated joys of writing a book talk...

Hi everyone,

Long time no write...well, not on The Ink Splat at least, which is good in a way, because it means I've been getting lots of writing done elsewhere, which after all is my raison d'etre.

I have now completed six and a bit chapters of the sequel to Spiral;The Finding. It's going like the clappers, after a hiatus of almost two years between this book and the first, while I worked on another unaffiliated book (watch this space!), but it feels really good to get involved with the MacBain sisters again. To hear them speaking to me as they once did. It seems a strange thing to say, but it feels as if I know them. Whenever I sit down to write, I silently tap into them, and say "Take me where ever you want." And they do. They speak to me so clearly, that in fact, me being of a spiritual bent, sometimes on a dark night, I wonder if their voices didn't come from me....

Slight creepiness aside, however, I am giving a book talk at my local library about the first Spiral novel on 5th September. I have prepared what I want to say about the book, decided on an extract to read, prepared for a few potential questions that might be asked, and rehearsed it a few times of times....but I'm still absolutely terrified. For three reasons;

1.) It's public speaking. 'Nuff said. 
2.) It's the first time I've ever given a talk about a book of mine. To anyone. I know it's only a book group at a local library, but it's still laying yourself bare to comment and criticism, which is always scary.
3.)What if I get some self-important nutter ("I've read all the Richard and Judy book club books, therefore I am ever so erudite", you know the type...) who asks me some waffly question I can't answer?! It never looks good, not being able to answer a question about your own book....

Oh well, I suppose I've done everything I can do...I can't prepare for every possible question on the planet when I don't know what's going to be asked. I have found, however, through the writing of the talk, that it is actually harder to describe the book's message in speech, than it is to show it in your creative prose. That old adage "show, don't tell", which every writer worth their salt tries to follow, has never actually been a problem for me. I can paint a picture with written words really well. (Toot, toot.) However, ask me to talk about said picture, and I'll go and hide under my duvet.

It's a hurdle that has to be jumped though. As a self-published author, we all know we're supposed to be able to talk about our own books, etc etc.....I only hope it's something that gets easier with practice!

In other news: I am gearing up for autumn and the sending of me lovely wee man to school (trying not to dance a jig here, it's only afternoons...) and looking forward to the leaves turning. I love autumn, it's my absolute favourite season! My birthday, little man's birthday, Hallowe'en, Bonfire Night, and all the anticipation of Christmas to come. No other time of year makes me want to huddle up at my computer, start-of-the-new-school-year style, with all my new stationary and a pumpkin spice latte, in a preppy jumper, and get cracking. 

I know, I am regressing to my university days. It's quite sad. 

By the way, I actually wore thigh-socks, like the ones in Clueless.....

That's all for now, folks...stay tuned :)