Tuesday 19 March 2013

Be Seeing You...

Recently, I've been lucky enough to do my first few author events. Public speaking isn't entirely new for me, as I've given many talks at trade shows and conferences, but those were all focused on my day-job making games and apps. A small gathering in a library or bookshop is much more intense.

It's all about the audience. Even if it's a smaller crowd, there's a much stronger connection between reader and author, than between industry professionals at a business-to-business event. It's about engaging with people who actually want to be there, rather than employees who've been required to attend, and you get a wonderful sense that what you're saying really matters.

Then of course, there's the subject matter. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy designing apps, and I really care about representing my company and its products. But no matter how exciting the project or technology, it's still just business. Books are personal.

As a writer, you put so much of yourself into your novel, and reveal so much of yourself through the shape of the story. When you sit down and chat with people who've taken the time to read your book, you're sitting down with people who've shared a very personal journey with you. If that sounds daunting, well, yes it can be. But it's also incredibly exciting.

The opportunity to discuss a story with others brings it out of your imagination and into the shared consciousness of the readers. It's no longer just a series of chapters, it's an experience (albeit a fictional one) that exists with a life of its own. As an author, I can think of no greater thrill, and no greater privilege.

So I'm looking forward to doing more events - from cosy gatherings in local libraries, to CrimeFest in Bristol - chatting about writing and listening to readers. If you have the chance, do come along and say hello. Nothing would please me more.