My first official gig as an author

So, today was my first official appearance as an “author”.

I had the privilege of chatting with 100 Year 7 students at Redland Bay State School about books and writing as part of their Book Week celebrations.

To say I was a nervous going in is an understatement.

I’ve never been overly comfortable about public speaking (and yes, people who know me find that hard to believe, because I’m far from a shy retiring wallflower), so I was definitely out of my comfort zone.

But I really want to be able to do things like this – participate in festivals and visit schools if/when opportunities arise – so I resisted the urge to wimp out.

Thanks to Mr Weller (aka Teale Weller, my good friend, who’s been nagging me to chat to his students for a while now), I was able to settle my nerves after about 10 or so minutes … and ended up having an incredibly rewarding experience.

I talked about why I love reading, my favourite books and authors, and gave some insight into my journey to getting a publishing deal. We also talked about my journalism career. (Q&As are definitely the way to go!)

The kids were great. They asked lots of cool questions and it was obvious there were some avid readers – and budding writers – in the group.

We talked a bit about Shadows, but the session wasn’t really about plugging my book (particularly because it’s not really appropriate for 12-year-olds, although I hope some of them pick it up in a few years); it was just about the importance of books, reading and literacy.

By the end of the 45 minute session, I was actually having fun, because – for the first time – I was talking about the things I’m most passionate about: reading novels and writing stories.

It was a great experience. And now, I’m not quite so freaked out by the idea of standing in front of people with a microphone (provided I don’t have to sing).

So, to the students of Redland Bay State School Year 7 (and their very cool teachers): thank you. 🙂


  1. paulaweston says:

    That’s great AMA! Thanks for the feedback.

    One of the books I recommended in the session for older boys/teens was The Underdog by Australian writer Markus Zusak (which has two follow-ups, Fighting Ruben Wolf and When Dogs Cry). They are all quite short novels, very Australian, and an excellent read. Your son might enjoy them if he’s looking for something new to read. (I enjoyed them too!)

    Thanks again for your comment. 🙂

  2. AMA says:

    Hi Paula
    Just a thank you for your session, my eldest was one of the year 7s you spoke to & his interest in reading has definitely resurfaced again. Anything that helps their interest in reading is always welcomed!

  3. paulaweston says:

    Ha! Who can get over being told “You can’t sing!” when they’re seventeen? But what we lacked in talent, we made up with enthusiasm! 🙂

  4. Place says:

    Yay for book week! Glad you and the kids had an awesome time.
    This year’s theme is ‘One World – Many Stories’- cool huh?
    As for not having to sing, am sure that Kerri from high school will correct you on that one, although, to be fair, we did not have a microphone and there wasn’t much of an audience!

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About Me

I’m the author of the Rephaim series and The Undercurrent.

For my day job, I’m a writer-journalist-professional communicator, where my writing involves a lot less profanity.

I grew up in regional South Australia and now live in the Scenic Rim with my husband and a retired greyhound.

If you’re interested in how I came to land a publishing deal, you can read the short version in this post from August 2011. There’s a longer version (in a guest post) here.

Paula Weston

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