On Sunday I attended a reading at The Loft.
The series is called the Second Story Reading Series and it pairs a new MG or YA author with an established author. Each reads from their works and then they answer a some questions from the audience. The idea is that a reader will come to hear one author and then be introduced to a new author.
This time the authors were Anne Ursu and Kelly Barnhill.
Kelly read from her book The Mostly True Story of Jack
I haven't read this book and I made the mistake of not buying it on my way in. The first chapter totally had me on the edge of my seat. The MC, Jack, has to spend his summer in Iowa. I'm from Iowa so when she started talking about Jack spending his summer in Iowa I kicked myself for not buying it on the way in. The beginning of this book has that sort of scary suspense that makes me want to keep reading.
Anne Ursu read from her latest book Breadcrumbs
About a year ago Anne critiqued my PB manuscript at a Minnesota SCBWI conference. She was super helpful and her advice really helped once I applied it to my story. I haven't had a chance to read this book yet either but I purchased it on my way in. She read from the first chapter and then a chapter where Jack meets the Ice Queen. I can't wait to read it.
This was a wonderful event. My only mistake was not buying both the books on the way in. I haven't been able to go to a lot of SCBWI events lately because of my work schedule but readings like this have been really great to help me feel more connected to writing.
As I was watching these wonderful authors speak I began thinking about the public speaking aspect of being an author. I think because standing standing up in front of people and talking is one of my big fears. Many of us spend time building a platform, tweeting, blogging and collecting followers but how do you add the public speaking piece in? Do you take theater and improv classes? Sing karaoke without liquid courage? Join a local Toastmasters group?