Today I have a special guest post for my blog, the first of many to follow from Terri Morgan the author of Playing The Genetic Lottery, which I reviewed some time ago here's the link to the Review
Many writers, myself included, will tell you that writing is a lonely profession. I spent countless hours alone with my thoughts and my computer while I was writing my novel, Playing the Genetic Lottery. I didn't even tell anybody, except for my husband, that I was even working on a novel until it was more than halfway done. So now that the book is out, it's been especially gratifying for me to get out of my office, and meet with people who have read, or are planning to read my book.
I've given about half a dozen talks about my book to service clubs and community groups since I released the paperback version in late May. Those talks have been enjoyable for me, and have helped me overcome my fears about public speaking. That practice really paid off last week when I gave my first author's talk at my local bookstore.
I've been shopping at the Capitola Book Cafe, which is about a mile from my home, for years, and have attended dozens of author events at the store. So it was a big thrill for me when the event coordinator put me on their calendar. I was a little surprised, however, when I started getting nervous a couple of weeks before hand. My nerves kicked in when I went to the bookstore to drop off some promotional materials. I wandered over to the part of the store where the events are held and was overwhelmed by how big the room appeared. I tried not to think about that while I was figuring out what I was going to say, and what chapter I was going to read aloud. Despite constant reassurance from my friends, I still had butterflies in my stomach when I headed over to the bookstore for my big event.
The butterflies disappeared even before I was scheduled to talk. A woman who was carrying my book wandered over, introduced herself and we began chatting about the bookstore, the local community, and, yes, my novel. Before I knew it, the event coordinator was introducing me to the audience, and I started talking. The audience was great; they laughed at my jokes, didn't laugh when I was trying to be serious, and listened attentively. Best of all, many of them had comments or questions for me after I finished reading.
Since my novel is about schizophrenia, a disease that impacts one out of every 100 people, I've discovered that it's a subject that many people find interesting. The bookstore audience was no exception. People started asking questions, about writing as well as mental illness, and quickly a dialogue started up. Several people shared their experiences with family members who had been afflicted by the disease, and provided me with information I hadn't known, despite the hundreds of hours of research I did before writing the book.
The audience gave me a round of applause at the end, which was flattering. But I felt like I should have been applauding them. Without readers, writers wouldn't have an audience. And I hope other writers enjoy their readers as much as I do.
Terri Morgan is the author of Playing the Genetic Lottery. For more information, check out her website at http://terrimorgan.net.