Monday, April 10, 2017

How It Went

In my last post, I told you about my upcoming author forum, at which I was one of the five featured authors/speakers. Today, I thought I might tell you how it went because I know you're just dying to know.


So, I had planned to talk about inspiration—places where I have found it, and how it helped to shape my one, lonely, little novel. And I practiced my talk a few times beforehand in hopes that I would more or less memorize it and be able to deliver it somewhat smoothly. I did the same thing before my first talk, but I practice-delivered that speech a lot more. This time, I just lacked the time. And the focus. (I am living for Book Three right now. Which may or may not be a good thing.)

Anyway, there were eleven people in the audience (not including the other authors), and I was scheduled to speak fourth. By the time my turn came around, a few people had left, but there were still a lot more people than the no one to whom I had been practicing all week long.

So I get up there and begin talking. In my practice runs, my talk went approximately twelve minutes. It was supposed to last around fifteen, so I figured twelve was good because it would allow for a few minutes of me getting off track and rambling about some completely unrelated subject. (Not that I ever do that.) In my practice runs, I had proper transitions and pace and...other things I can't think of at the moment.

In actuality, I didn't deliver the talk anywhere close to how I had wanted to do it. I blew every transition and dumped an entire section. I have no idea for how long I actually spoke, but I'm pretty convinced I sounded a lot more like the Micro Machine Guy than I should have. In the event that you do not know to whom I am referring, I refer you to this video:




On one of those completely unrelated side notes in which I never indulge, if you've never heard the Micro Machine Guy's album "Ten Classics In Ten Minutes", you should really look it up. It's funny as hell. (His real name is John Moschitta, by the way, but I am an 80's child, so to me, he will forever be the Micro Machine Man.)

Getting back on topic...

But other than the aforementioned issues, I guess the talk went...not entirely horribly. People laughed. Possibly because I said a funny thing, but given how the rest of it went, I can't be too sure.

And then came the question and answer period.

Some of you know how this went because you saw it on Twitter, or even on this blog, because look—there it is on the left, but things went fine until this happened:

Audience Member: What's your book about?
Me:
Me:
Me:
Me:
Me:
Audience Member: Hello?

I. Couldn't. Answer. The. Question.

One of the other authors (who had read my book) had to answer for me. (And did so very well, might I add. I should really just hire her to be my official spokesperson.)

Such a proud, proud moment.


(Note to self: Next time, practice answering questions, too...)

But despite all of that, I did manage to sell a book, which was one more than I had expected to sell, and there was even talk of having me on yet another panel. I suspect they were either just being polite, or super desperate. Or maybe the certain comic relief provided by a walking human disaster is just too good to pass up?

Time will time, I suppose.



So, this will probably end up being my last post until May. You know, because I really need a break from blogging. And because there's some travel in my not-too-distant future, and I just won't be around. But have a great week, and rest of the month.

Thanks for stopping by—see y'all in May.

27 comments:

  1. You did it and that's what counts. And I am sure they were laughing with you, not at you. :)

    Do you remember or did anyone record what the author said in describing your book? Maybe you can use that in the future?

    Safe travels!

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    1. I honestly don't remember, and as far as I know, there were no recordings. Maybe one day I could work up the courage to ask her what she said, and then take copious notes. Or record her saying it, then play that clip whenever I get that question? :)

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  2. I get thrown by people asking what my books are about too. It should be the easiest question in the world (like answering a question about your child or partner) and yet it makes you stumble, second-guess, wonder why anyone would want to read it in the first place!!

    Definitely practice for next time :-)

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    1. I could answer all the other questions. It's just that one that's a real stumper. But yeah, I see much practicing in my future.

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  3. I get thrown by questions, too, especially the "what is your book about?" question. Agh. I start rambling about the genre, the idea that started it, and I struggle to actually say anything about the characters or the plot. I had a bookstore owner tell someone at a signing what my book was about, as I sat there and stuttered.

    I hope you have an awesome vacation and time away!

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    1. Yeah, I pointed to the author who had thrown the lifeline and said, "What she said." I'll just have to bring her with me everywhere I go from now on. :)

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  4. I find it so difficult to answer when people ask about my books IRL too. I just want to say "I'll email you." I do so much better with email! I remember Micro Machine guy. Heh. That's some talent if you can do that.

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    1. My first impulse is always to answer, "What book? I didn't write a book. I don't know what you're talking about."

      I should try the email thing instead.

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  5. You survived!

    I've always had a quick summary memorized for that question, and for my latest I could spout it off. Older books, I would falter a moment, trying to remember.

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    1. I did survive. That is true.

      And I only have one book. I really should be able to remember what it's about. There is definitely some summary memorizing in my future.

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  6. I'm sure you make people laugh. I've learned to practice answering THE question after being caught just like you.

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    1. It really feels like something I should have an answer for. :)

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  7. At least you did it! That's still a great accomplishment! I get tongue-tied when people ask me what my book is about, so I'd probably be the same way if I was asked in that situation.

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    1. It's funny how so many writers are the same way.

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  8. Well, my book's about words...they're in a particular order in order to convey meaning...

    I'm sure you did better than you think, though :)

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    1. Still a better answer than what I said!

      I was assured afterward that I had done well, and hadn't come across as nervous at all, but I really do question the validity of that. :)

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  9. The problem with preparing for questions is figuring out what questions are going to be asked. Because what you think they're going to ask is not what they're going to ask. (Here's where I would insert the story of a 20 min presentation I gave in college should go. I did not see any of those questions coming.)

    Congrats on making it through. It gets easier the more you do it.

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    1. I practiced answered questions before my first talk, and no one asked any of the questions I had come up with. So I agree that most questions you can't plan for, but the 'what's your book about' question is a classic—and something I really should be able to answer. So that one I will practice. Over and over and over again.

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  10. I'm so proud of you for going and participating. Believe it or not, but you are way ahead of us that have never attended such an event, or had to talk about our books in front of a crowd. So I think you did brilliant. I know for a fact I wouldn't have had the guts to even show up. Go M.J!

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  11. That sounds about how I would react if I was in your shoes and asked about my book. But hey, you survived. Enjoy your break.

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  12. A freeze-up like that can happen to anyone. I hope you won't let it stop you from getting out there for other events. And it didn't kill you, so it must have made you stronger, right?

    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

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  13. Authorly hugs. I had a similar experience with a phone interview for a local newspaper years ago. I had even practiced answering the obvious questions, but when the paper came out, I sounded like a repetitive blathering idiot. Ugh. We learn and grow and do better next time, right? :)
    Discarded Darlings - Jean Davis, Speculative Fiction Writer, A to Z: Editing Fiction

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  14. Oh, gosh, the dreaded "what's your book about" question. I never know how to answer that for my own projects, either. Glad you managed to get a sale, at the very least!

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  15. I HATE when people ask me what my book's about because it's about so many things. Such a hard question to answer.

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  16. LOL! I wish you could have been one of people in the audience, and not you, because you probably did WAY better than you thought. And I totally hear you. I freeze any time someone asks me that question. Thankfully I've memorized a quick, 3 word solution that give the feel of the book, but not the premise. I really need to memorize my 90 word blurb so I can give it on the fly. Right?! Oh the joys of being an author.

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  17. congratulations! you did it again!
    the more you do, the easier it gets. and I like panels that guide you with questions, those are much easier than doing a talk.
    now i'm preparing to speak to an auditorium of 200 8th graders - talk about a lamb led to slaughter! i'm not sure if it's good that I know most of them or not... i haven't practiced nearly enough! i need to some more. my poor son is tired of listening, guess i'll try the dog next. we'll see how it goes and i'll report back too

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