It’s tomorrow. May 2 is my first reading. Before the event, quite a while before, I contemplated with awe, trepidation, and smugness the prospect of standing before (hopefully) a group of more than 3 people and giving a reading. From my very own book!
But then the day approached. How many pages comprise 15 minutes? Timed at home, read with conviction, delivered with élan, and at a measured pace, all is well. Now panic raises its ugly head. When I’m nervous my rate of speech approaches a speed that rivals a NASCAR winner.
I know that my good friend and fellow author, Maggie Petru, will wave a metaphorical chequered flag if I exceed my allotted time by an embarrassing margin. She will also give me a “slow down” hand signal. All wonderful in theory, but along with the babblespeak, nervousness also inhibits my ability to see and hear.
And what visual aids should I take? There is a fine line between one or two objects of interest and a suitcase of goodies.
You will notice that I’ve yet to mention selecting the passage to be read. If it’s too far into the book, it might not make sense. I would have to reveal too much of the plot to give the audience context.
And just how many books should I have on hand? Too many would be presumptuous, wouldn’t it? Too few, an undervaluing of my work. A carton of books rests quietly in the car: the quandary is how many to bring into the room.
Check this site for a report on yet another new experience for a first-time novelist!