Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Unaccustomed as I am ...

Being a writer has its advantages - it's possibly the only job you can do in your pyjamas, in bed, surrounded by toast crumbs, if you want. I only confess to the pyjamas. Occasionally.  While you're producing the books, no one cares what you look like. But then there comes that moment when the book is done and out there and members of the public are meant to be parting with hard cash to read it - and you have to start promoting it.  And that often involves the exact opposite of the pyjamas and toast crumbs - you have to speak,  in public.

I'm lucky that I had an English teacher who believed that writing and giving speeches was one of the things she needed to teach us - agony at the time, but useful since - and I've always had jobs where I've had to get up and talk, and I think I'm also a bit of a frustrated actress too - but even so, making an appearance, talking to readers, is still an event.

This is on my mind as I'm appearing at the Cardiff Library Crime and Coffee Festival this weekend. I'm part of a panel with two other local crime writers, Derec Jones and Phil Rowlands, so we can share the load, and I think it will be fun, once we get going, but it still needs a deep steadying breath before anything starts.

I have to say that the thing I like best about doing public appearances is the questions from readers. It's interesting to know what interests them, and also to hear what other writers have to say about their writing process. Sometimes there is a question that really makes you think, and if the audience have read some of your work and ask about that, it's a real bonus.

All that is in store on Friday. I'm looking forward to it, I think.

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