I experienced a complete 360 in terms of my second author presentation. The reason?
A captive audience.
Nothing like a library filled with grade 9 and 10 English and Art students (forced to attend an author talk) to warm any writer’s heart. ;) All kidding aside, the kids were awesome. Sure, there were a few glazed eyes and blank expressions, but an author talk isn’t going to thrill everyone.
Most kids were engaged, laughed at my corny jokes, and most importantly - we talked reading. We talked writing. It was beyond cool.
I tried to keep my presentation unpredictable. I started out by performing a tune I wrote (sang/played guitar), accompanied by one of the school’s staff, a personal friend and budding lead guitar player. I then compared songwriting to fiction writing – verse being like a chapter, chorus being the book’s over all theme, bridge being the unexpected plot twists that take the reader in a new direction.
I outlined my writing process, the meandering and difficult steps to getting a publisher, edits, revisions. And the fun stuff like galleys and cover art.
I finished by showing the unofficial first draft of my booktrailer (waiting for permission to use a specific tune). The trailer was created by the amazingly talented, Madison, at M2 Productions. The kids seemed to dig it. Some of the teachers are thinking of working a booktrailer into an English assignment. How cool is that? A few students talked to me about their own writing – gave me their “pitch” although they didn’t know that's what they were doing…lol…they really wowed me.
Here are some of the wonderful questions they asked:
1. Do you want your book to be a movie?
2. How do you stay motivated to write?
3. Did you ever want to give up writing? [Okay, can you tell I spoke a lot about edits and rejection being a massive part of writing?]
4. Where did you get the idea for your book?
5. Why did you use a pen name?
6. Are your characters based on real people?
7. When will your book be out?
8. Do you have advice for someone wanting to be a writer?
9. Does being a librarian help you with being a writer? [Talk about thoughtful questions!]
10. Why do you write paranormal stories?
11. Are you rich?
And my all time favourite:
12. Was it hard to learn the Dewey Decimal System? [OMG…this was too funny. Dewey Rules!]
Hopefully my limited experiences with author talks will help others about to embark on their own book promotions. Moral of the story? Stay casual, don’t try to be cool – just be cool – be yourself.
Questions for Aprilynne Pike!
7 years ago