People who write books that are published – aka ‘authors’ – usually have to work hard to spread the word about their books. It is hard work, performing in front of an audience whose members may or may not have read the current book.
Thankfully, I’ve never been in this situation because I’ve never written a book although I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words for magazines. One day that may change.
There are four main reasons I go to author talks:
** to hear the stories. Not necessarily the stories in the promoted book, but the stories that swirl around in the author’s life and influence the way they live and what they write – to hear the stories behind the stories.
** to hear the dialogue between the audience and the author. I’m not interested in questions about writing habits and tips but more about those that tease out (perhaps) unexplored directions in the book’s narrative.
** to support the author. Although some are accomplished speakers, others are not. I like to think having a few smiling faces in the audience may help relax the author.
** to talk about books with other people who enjoy reading.
Yesterday, I heard Christine Sykes discuss her book Gough and me: my journey from Cabramatta to China and beyond. The talk was arranged by the Friends of our local library and it was fascinating (with a scrumptious morning tea presented afterwards). I’m so glad the Friends are back organising author talks since covid restrictions have been eased.
I haven’t read Christine’s book yet but this talk was enough to make me curious about the detail it contains. Definitely on my list!
I’m interested to know whether you enjoy attending author talks and what you gain from them. Comments are open!