I made it to the Expo yesterday. Though less prepared and more harried than I had wanted to be. I had ordered t-shirts to sell along with my books, but they did not arrive in time, despite the express delivery and promise of being delivered earlier in the week (I still don’t have them). Also, the night before the Expo, I nicked myself while cleaning a kitchen knife (I’m ok, folks!), which ate into the time I had left to pack and practice. In the morning, with very little time left to get to my destination, I wanted a bite of something and stopped to get a donut, a blueberry muffin (to cancel out the donut), and a coffee. But once I got through the door of the Expo, I was told I could help myself to donuts and coffee! Just my luck.
I did give a talk. I don’t like public speaking, because I’m shy/introverted, so I’m not (yet) very good at it. But I want to improve, so I challenge myself to do these things.
Each author was allotted ten minutes. When I wrote mine out, it covered over three pages which I didn’t think would fill up the time. But after reading the draft out aloud, the speech ran long. I cut back. And when I delivered it at the Expo, I had time to spare. That’s because nervousness overtook me and I spoke faster that I had wanted, which hadn’t happen to me before. Usually, once I get going I can I can pace myself appropriately. I also need to work on projecting my voice (I had no microphone).
I spoke on how we all have questions, and that writers often take our questions and explore them through our stories. Then I talked about specific questions that I have had after reading vampire stories over the decades. Questions such as: what if a decent person was turned into a vampire–could they still be good? Why do vampires bleed blood? Inexplicably, this never made sense to me, which is why my vampires have ichor instead. Also, if you learned that vampires were real, how would that affect your (non-)faith–would it confirm your view or challenge it?
These questions and many more are what I sussed out in my first novel, Shadows Within, and will in the upcoming sequels in The Shadowless series.
As with any book event, I most enjoy meeting fellow writers, such as my table neighbor Carol Smith, and new readers. At the Expo, it was great to see friendly faces and catch up on what they’re up to.