Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Risen Queen is out and I'm about!

After spending the last few months honing my ability to talk about The Wounded Guardian, I'm about to put it all to the test when I go out to talk about The Risen Queen this weekend.
After answering just about every question imaginable about The Wounded Guardian, my inspirations, my motivation and how I came to write, I have suddenly realised I am back to square one with those who want to know about book two ... what do people want to know? How do I sum it up for those who may not have read book one yet?
Still, after the weekend I have planned for myself, I think I'll be learning quickly!
For those disappointed their local store is not on the list - don't panic. I'll be back to Parramatta, Liverpool and Campbelltown next year, while the Macquarie Centre, Penrith, Rouse Hill and Warringah are also on the list of places I'll be hitting around February.
Plus, for anyone in the area, I'll be at Angus and Robertson Batemans Bay on Saturday January 17 from 10am-12pm. Yes, even on my holiday I'll be slotting in a store appearance!
So - the weekend's action is as follows:
Sunday December 20: A+R Kotara from 10.30am-12.30pm, Borders Tuggerah from 2pm-4pm
Monday December 21: A+R Maitland from 9.30am-11.30am, A+R Newcastle Mall from 12pm-2pm
Tuesday December 22: (this is the big day, so all times could be a little fluid!) Leading Edge Books Lakehaven from 10am-11.30am, A+R Erina from 12pm-1.30pm, All Good Books Gosford from 2pm-3pm and Book Bazaar from 3.30pm-4.30pm
Wednesday December 23: Borders Hornsby 5pm-6.30pm
After that, I think I'll collapse...
Hope to see as many people as possible along the way though!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Don't be afraid of your readers

I had just finished another enjoyable store appearance at Dymocks Parramatta on December 6, and was talking to the co-owner, when he said something fascinating, to the effect of that I seemed to have the hang of talking to people about books, whereas too many authors are afraid of readers.
Now this store has regular author appearances, so he was obviously speaking from experience, but nevertheless I found it intriguing.
I mean, surely authors love readers?
I have been averaging three store appearances a month for a while now, where I'm just out the front of a book store, chatting to people walking past, starting a conversation and then selling a few books. With The Risen Queen out in about a week's time, I have increased that and will be going crazy in the last few days before Christmas!
Over two hours I'm averaging about 20 sales, although speaking to more than 50 people in that time. It's great to talk to these people, to hear what they like to read - and an honour when they decide to buy The Wounded Guardian.
Even if people don't like fantasy, or don't like the idea of The Wounded Guardian, they have wished me all the best, congratulated me on getting published and generally been lovely to speak to.
But, on reflection, it is confronting.
I have got past the hesitation, the trepidation at hailing random passersby and talking to them about my book.
But I can see how some people would be reluctant to put themselves out there like that.
You are going to get knockbacks. You are going to get sneers and snorts of derision - particularly if you ask tattooed teenage boys if they like reading.
Still, if there is one thing I have learned from these appearances, from Newcastle to the Central Coast to Sydney, people LOVE reading and, even more, love talking to authors, even fantasy authors they have never heard of before.
Get past the initial barrier and you will be rewarded in spades.
Putting your book out there, putting yourself out there, is massively confronting.
But it is also massively energising.
There's no reason to be afraid of readers ... but every reason to embrace them.
To all those I have spoken to at various book stores, thank you.