Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My First Local Author Event!

In only a week I'll be participating in a book talk event at my local library. The staff of the Mahanoy City Public Library has graciously invited me to meet with local high school students to talk about my writing on Wednesday May 8, 2013. (You can view the event at Facebook and Goodreads--and please spread the word if you are in the area!)

I've been going over several ideas of what to present at the book talk. Although I've been seeing my work published for nearly five years (I had to count it on my fingers twice because I can't believe it started that long ago) I still feel like a noob sometimes. I use it to my advantage, though, because as long as I feel like I'm new to this thing, I'll be eager to learn, to explore, and to improve my craft.

I suppose that is the message I want to convey at my book talk. As an indie writer who has published both with small presses and on my own, I want to share my enthusiasm for getting my work out of my notebooks and into the hands of editors. I want kids to know that writing and publishing isn't a far-off dream, or an unattainable goal.

Publishing and all its satisfaction is absolutely attainable for the writer who perseveres. It's a message I often share in my articles at the Query Tracker Blog. Persevere.

I hope to share my experiences with teens who may be considering following the path to publication someday--and I'll let them know that "someday" may very well be "now". All they need is encouragement, informative resources, and dedication to working on getting better with each new piece they write.

Plus, I get to show off my new author banner. :) I might even have new books to bring along, if I'm lucky.

Does anyone else remember their first author appearance--either as an author or a guest? I'd love to hear your thoughts on what works...and what doesn't. (As for me, I'm bringing a lot of gum to hand out to people to actively participate. Bribery with candy always works.)


  1. One thing I'd say is that your message applies more generally too, and it may be worth making that point, since not all the kids will necessarily have writing or publication in their minds.

    Oh, and have lots of Q&A.

  2. That's great advice, fact, that was the same thing my friend Rosemary told me: lots of Q&A! It was a relief to hear because, while I have no problems talking for an hour, I'm not sure kids want to listen for an hour. :)

  3. Hi, Ash. I've done about four or five of these in my little neck of the woods. They all seemed to go well. I'm not too worried about public speaking. I went with minimal excerpt reading and more just opening up and sharing about me and how I got here. I started when I was already in my late thirties, so I love preaching about how dreams still come true - especially with young people.
    Wishing you the very best with your event. Will there be photos later? *begs*


  4. Thanks for the encouragement, James! I'm looking forward to meeting with the high school group. Hopefully I can get someone to go along to do pictures and I will post.

    Like you, I started in my late thirties...hopefully, though, they won't wait as long. We missed out on a lot, didn't we?


I'd love to hear from you!