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.
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