Observations about My Author Talks

January 17, 2013

As a novelist, newly published last February, l was obliged to launch into the speaker business to promote my book. That was okay, in fact it was terrific.  What could be more fun than talking about a project on which several years were devoted? Well, there is another answer: Writing another book. And another. And another. But still, speaking to an audience is sensational.

Amusingly, I found that many people love to attend author talks without ever intending to buy a book.  Some of these people don’t even read books.  But apparently, authors will deliver a good bit of the story in front of the microphone.

Along with the non-readers, the attendees who do read books (but are not necessarily interested in the genre (thrillers, science fiction, erotica, literary fiction, whatever) are always curious about the lifestyle of the author.  Someone invariably asks, “When do you do your writing?”  They want to know about the peculiar habits of this peculiar person who is a writer.   After all, writers are a breed that can fascinate themselves by sitting alone in a room writing–for hours, for years.

Speaking for myself, I feel that an author has obligations to her audience. These people are giving her their time and come with a certain expectancy level. She has a responsibility to connect with them and bring them along into a new place and a new experience.

This week, I received my first invitation to be the keynote speaker at a fund-raising luncheon.  The guests paid hefty money for the event. They came with their expectancies,  I with my obligations.