My short story collection is nearing publication, the date set, only a few short months away. So how do I handle publicity? Signings? Speaking engagements?
My publisher, a rather savvy author in his own “write,” downplays the value of readings at such meet-ups, and I think I agree. I long ago recognized that, as author readings drone on, I tend to tune them out. It’s a rare writer who can read his/her own work with enough drama to keep your attention from wandering. Thus, in the past, I’ve kept readings I’ve done short.
What, then, do I talk about? I don’t know about you writers out there, but my stories are a crazy-quilt of fictionalized instances from my own life. I used to look at my span of years as a long series of foibles meant to assert my presence. But it’s these moments, as you flail away, trying to keep your balance between being considered a laughingstock and someone who has achieved something noteworthy, that enrich your life. It’s that enrichment that gives you something to write about. And something to talk about at writer events.