The Red Room's topic for the week caught my interest. Reading in public is an interesting topic, especially for someone who writes non-fiction and whose first book was about Toy dogs. I once passed on a reading at a meeting of The National Writers' Union because I thought I wouldn't fit in. All those intellectual types in Cambridge (MA). My first book, "The Irrepressible Toy Dog" had a niche market and has had a following ever since its release more than a dozen years ago but back then I couldn't imagine. A colleague urged me to read. She planned to. She writes fiction.
What could I possibly read? Chapter Four: Housetraining? I mean, really. And so I sat as a member of the audience as an eclectic group of authors began to read. From one story to the next, one excerpt to the next, each sitting at a head table, taking turns down the row. And then came the last author. Yet another fiction writer. Erotic fiction. Explicit erotic fiction. I sat there thinking that I couldn't possibly be hearing what I was hearing. I'm no prude but this was, well, er, ummm. As the meeting ended and we left the building, my colleague turned to me and said just one thing, "You should have read the Housetraining chapter."
Since then I've done some reading at my signings but mostly I do Q & A after a talk. It works best for me. I enjoy it, the audience seems to enjoy it, and they buy books. I really like interacting with my readers but I'll never forget that first missed opportunity. And I really don't think I missed anything. Oh, and that first book - it was succesful enough to have led to an update, revision, expansion and a new title, "Small Dogs, Big Hearts."
Causes Darlene Arden Supports
The Marcia Polimer Abrams Fund for Canine Behavior Studies at the AKC Canine Health Foundation