All writers are nervous at the idea of public appearances but I think most get through the task unscathed and probably ‘perform’ brilliantly.
The weeks before my own launch I was a mess. It was an era of nail-removing, heart-attack invoking and sleep-deprived days and nights I'll never forget. I attracted shingles, swollen glands and nausea. (At least it gave me something else to think about). Anxiety attacks slapped me so often I was seriously bruised. I thought nobody would turn up then they would and there would be no books left and so it went on. I had no intention of reading from the book and when asked to prepare a ten minute ‘performance’, well, the frail membrane holding me together fully collapsed.
But on the night, something changed. I didn’t want to let people down. They were there for me. I chose a few scenes from the book, deciphering over whether to use the one swear word, the first word I might add, which I did (hey, at least people will remember it).
One glass of wine and a microphone and I can make any prime minister look like a rookie!
Well, maybe not, but it went okay. My voice didn’t shake. I just told myself, ‘hey, it’s published, it can’t be THAT BAD.’ I also remember a friend of mine who was an actor saying how she almost vomited before each performance but as soon as she was on the stage, the urge vanished.
The idea of promotion is daunting, but life is about challenges. And writing is about new experiences as much as it is about old ones. I think it’s worthwhile remembering too, that readers do desire to engage with writers.
I won’t deliver a diet tip, but rather a request. Because when the first photos emerge from your launch, after all those years of tapping away at a keyboard, you do fill out a tad. It may not be much, but the ironboard abs look more like the pile of washing sitting on top. So, can someone out there, please invent some way to work on the laptop while exercising. PLEASE!