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. 🙂