PG Wodehouse hit the nail on the head: a reporter wants to interview one of his characters in Bachelor’s Anonymous. ‘I hate talking about myself,’ wails the diffident hero.
‘I dare say,’ ripostes the reporter, ‘but you’ve got to when you’re being interviewed.’
Ditto when you’ve agreed to deliver a talk to a group of readers.
And there’s the rub: Susan and I have spent our working lives in the wings, encouraging people to talk to us rather than spouting about ourselves.
It takes a bit of a mental shift to switch from being the person asking the questions to the person giving all the answers.
It’s getting easier as we do more author talks and we’re lucky that we’ve known each long enough to bounce off each other.
But, behind the scenes, there are several nervous conversations.
Pre-talk preparation begins about three days before the scheduled date when we agree readings and the general outline for the event.
We check again the next day – because we’re great double-checkers – but also to confirm who’s going to pick up who? And what time do we need to set off?
And the day before the event, the most important conversation of all: ‘What are you wearing?’
Partly, this is because it’s important to be colour co-ordinated but also because wearing the wrong thing is just wrong.
Oh, to be a man, and to open the wardrobe door and wear whatever happens to be clean and neatly pressed.
But, thank heavens for the lovely Burley Community Library users, they made us feel so welcome and comfortable on Saturday when we launched a new series of author talks.
We had a great time chatting with them about how we write, how we found our lovely editor Kate Foster, and what we’ve learned about indie publishing.
Thank you Burley readers for being interested in what we had to say, your thought-provoking questions and your encouragement.
Hope to see you all again soon.
By Sue Featherstone.