The nerves are kicking in - Tara Lyons

Earlier in the year I, foolishly some might say, raised my hand to join an author event next month. Back then, mid-writing my work in progress, July felt like a million miles away. Well, it wasn’t, obviously, and the countdown is now against me.

What’s wrong with attending an author event, you might ask? For me, loads. Especially when you’re fourth in line to stand up and read a chapter from your book. Some writers relish in this time and it comes naturally to them to read aloud the words they silently typed on their keyboard. To share a moment with your readers, when they hear your voice and are given the opportunity to ask you questions about the book, or your writing journey. All of this fills me with dread.

It takes me back to my first year of university and a creative writing module I was studying. Part of our final grade, I think twenty or thirty per cent of it, was marked on each of us standing in front of the class (no more than twenty people, I’d guess) and read aloud a piece of our creative writing. It scared me, but I thought, I hardly knew anyone in the class, I can be anyone I want to be; not that terrified girl of public speaking pre-university. I let the nerves bubble away in the background, practiced reading my piece of writing in the mirror and that fateful morning I walked into campus. My fingers lingered over the door handle and my skin burnt with panic. No one was around, everyone already being in the classroom, so I backed away. I walked down the stairs and back to my halls of residence. I completely understood I was throwing valuable marks away, but my feet were stubborn and lead the way home without a second thought.

The fear of public speaking has stayed with me. So, the idea of joining eleven other Bloodhound Books authors in a few weekends, to read the prologue of one of my books, comes with mixed feelings. I’m much other now and have faced a lot in life that my eighteen-year-old self wouldn’t understand. I’m a mother and want to set a good example. I’m an author and people have not only bought my book, but also the tickets to come to the event – they want to hear me read. These are the positive thoughts I’m allowing to swim around my head, while trying to push the teenager full of fear who’s trying to wade forward with the nerves. I’m hoping the couple of alcoholic beverages I have before the event will knock her back in her place.

So please, think of me on Saturday 1 July and keep your fingers crossed that this time I do open the door and walk through. 

Tara is a crime/psychological thriller author from London, UK. Turning 30 in 2015 propelled her to fulfil her lifelong dream of becoming a writer. In the Shadows is Tara's debut solo novel published in March 2016. She co-wrote The Caller and Web of Deceit: A DI Sally Parker novella with New York Times bestselling author, M.A Comley. In August 2016 Tara signed a two-book contract with Bloodhound Books. The second book in the DI Hamilton series, No Safe Home, was published in January 2017.

To find out more, visit her Amazon and Facebook pages by clicking the links below:


Chris Longmuir said…
You'll be fine Tara. All of us have nerves before we go to speak at an event. Some of my events I read from my new book which is fairly easy, others I talk about writing, my books, my publishing journey and I do these off the top of my head, it's more spontaneous that way. Too much preparation makes for a stilted performance. But you will find the nerves will be with you until you take your turn and stand up to speak, and that's when the adrenaline kicks in and banishes the nerves. The adrenaline will give you a buzz and you'll forget the nerves were ever there. Good luck.
Bill Kirton said…
I bet that, while you think the feeling once it's all over will only be relief, it'll also have a huge dose of surprised pleasure at how enjoyable it was and a confidence that you can do it again. My only advice would be to do without the alcohol. I've done a fair bit of reading and performing sketches and songs and even small amounts of alcohol affect one's timing and delivery. Good luck. You'll be fine.
Fran B said…
The two-edged sword of that adrenaline fight-or-flight response. Harnessing the fight and overcoming the flight is no mean task. The compensation for succeeding is being able to look back with satisfaction and feel you not only 'did it' but that it went well, people liked/responded to it and you have another notch on your marketing belt. Go for it! And tell us how it went in your next blog.
Ann Evans said…
As a fellow Bloodhound author you'll be fine and I'm sure you'll have a lovely time. People love being read to - even adults! Have a few practices beforehand, and go for it!
Unknown said…
Thanks for all the support, tips and advice. I'll be sure to report back next month and let you know if I made it to the mic or not...

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