In less than a week, I’ll travel with my beautiful wife to Austin, Texas to meet up with some of my fellow authors at Affinity e-Book Press, as well as some other amazing authors at the 8th Annual Lonestar Lesfic Festival. Like some other readers, I’m doing my own fan girl squeal. Here’s the line-up in case you haven’t heard: Radclyffe, Barbara Wright, Mavis Applewater, Ali Vali, Ali Spooner, Lacey Schmidt, Carsen Taite, Julie Cannon, Renee MacKenzie, Del Robertson, D Jackson Leigh, JM Dragon, Erin O’Reilly, Laydin Michaels, Melissa Brayden, Stacy Reynolds, MJ Williamz, Karis Walsh, Taylor James, Robin Alexander, and Carrie Carr (these authors are in no particular order).
Link to Lonestar Lesfic Website
Last year I was a Con Virgin at the GCLS Conference in New Orleans. Since I was a brand, spanking (no, not that kind of spanking) new author—completely wet behind the ears, I did not sign up to sit on any panels or do any readings. After all who’d want to hear from the likes of me?
I was so honored that Lonestar invited me to participate and when asked, I offered to do whatever they needed. Initially they signed me up for a panel titled, “Hidden Themes in Lesbian Fiction.” Right after lunch, I’m scheduled to do a reading. Post lunch time slots—yeah that’s a good time to put someone to sleep—maybe I can tell a really good bedtime story. Wink wink.
A few weeks ago, I got an e-mail from the organizer stating that some last minute emergencies created openings in the schedule and was I willing to help out. “Sure,” I promptly e-mailed back. So now I’m scheduled for the, “Talk Show: Getting To Know You.”
For those of you who know me, I often provide too much information (TMI—see my earlier blog). Nothing and I mean nothing is sacred, much to the chagrin of my very private wife. Thus, I can do that talk show in my sleep.
What has me shaking in my boots is the reading. I am convinced I’ll sound like a blubbering idiot and what passage do I chose? This is where you need to scroll down to the end of this blog and type in that little comment box all your helpful suggestions. Be specific please!
The other panel is also causing a fair amount of angst. Are they expecting me to spew a bunch of profound statements, versus my normal amount of verbal diarrhea? Did they see something worthy in my books and thought I was leaving hidden messages? What are they looking for?
Here’s what I plan to do….I’m going to keep my big mouth shut until another more intelligent and prolific author chimes in and then I’ll nod my head, agree, and try to pluck something out of my works that sounds remotely interesting. Once again, I am instructing you to scroll on down and take a few moments to provide your insightful feedback regarding what you’ve picked up from one of my books related to “hidden themes.” Please. Pretty please with yummy sticky sugar on top. I’m hoping that I inadvertently wrote something that someone interpreted as profound. I’ll just smile and nod and pretend that it was entirely by design. Maybe my mentor, Erin O’Reilly will bale me out. She’s on the same panel.
Of course I could be completely imagining everything and they did some random drawing to determine who they put on what panel and the obtuse nature of “Hidden Themes” is just the luck of the draw.
For those of you who haven’t read my books and can’t help me out, quick hurry up and get on it so you can provide me with some essential pointers to keep me from fainting on the spot and making a total a#$ out of myself.
Affinity Author Page Amazon Author Page
10 thoughts on “SOS…I need help….”
Annette, You are going to ROCK this! For the interviews just bring up some of the fantastic things you have said during some of your “grilling weekends”. Ask your wife to be there…She can give you “the look” if you get TMIish. As for readings, almost any scene from your works will do. if it is too tough….put ideas on slips of paper and pick one and go with it. Sorry, I won’t be able to be there, but I know you’re going to be great.
I’m new and pretty unknown yet Annette so I’m not sure how much I will help. But, I can tell you what I have been told in these critical situations where some or many of your “Sheroe’s” are around and you know you have nothing to say that is worth their sage and Saavy…
(picture a huge grinning face full of laughter): “Relax Annette! Have fun! Laugh! They may wear different types of pants then you, but, we all put them on the same way! (Beautiful laughter) C’mom my friend let’s go kick some butt! Remember have fun and laugh!”- Sandra Moran to me the second day of GCLS 2015.
I say that to you with all sincerity and love Annette. After all, why is it that you write and are around these awesome women colleagues in the first place? Yes, I said colleagues! Go have some fun! Be yourself! That’s what others want to see anyways. I think it’s pretty good advice from Ms. Sandra. It helps me every time I have to speak in front of people.
I hope you have fun and just be you Annette.
Annette: I met you at GCLS NO and had dinner with you and good looking, nice wife. SImple comment to you SOS……RELAX, BRING SHORTS AND LONG PANTS …TEXAS TEMP CHANGES WITHOUT WARNING SOMETIMES……..WE LOVE ANNETTE…..JUST BE ANNETTE……YOURSELF.
Once you say the first word…all you well organized thoughts / plans will disappear. That is how it happens with me.
WIshing you both safe travels.
Thanks so much Sheri…Jody just asked me what we should bring regarding clothes, so that was very timely of you to respond! I think I’ll do the three deep breaths trick and hope it works!
You will be brilliant…plus you are on one with D Jackson Leigh as Moderator….she is awesome you will be fine….😊
Thanks Fran. I’ve not met D Jackson Leigh, but of course have read her books!
First thing – hi. (Sorry it’s taken me some time to respond to your SOS, but it was a big family weekend here.) Next, I feel your pain/worry and I hope/fear to be in the same situation myself someday. I’ll be attending the Lone Star LesFic Festival (for the second time), but still as a reader since my debut novel will not be published until September. Last year I was a mere hopeful – talking to different publishers and editors and trying to determine if my book could have a chance – so I’ll be seeing things with a somewhat different perspective this year. But here are some things that I’d like to share with you:
The main thing you should know is that no one there is a critic – or at least I never met one. The majority of the attendees are readers and they (we) are absolutely thrilled to meet authors and hear whatever they have to say about their work. I think you can rest easy that as much or as little as you choose to add on any topic will be well received. I agree that letting someone else go first and then building on their remarks is a wise choice, especially until you feel that you’ve got your feet under you. But it can also be interesting to add a different view, if that’s what you have. Whatever the case, make it authentic. We’re all subjected to a fair amount of falseness in our world, which is one of the reasons why I think Lesfic has really taken off. Even if it’s paranormal or fantasy (which I know your work is not), when readers can find characters they identify with, they’re happy. The same is true for hearing from those who write.
With that in mind, for your reading you should pick a part of your work that resonates with you. You know that you’ll probably have to give some back story for those who haven’t read it, and you want to read something that will make your listeners who haven’t read it want to pick it up immediately! (No pressure.) Perhaps your editor can suggest a particular passage or if you have a beta reader, you might ask her. I’ve heard that you want to strike a balance between reading narrative and dialogue. I’ve never done a reading, but I imagine that what I would have to work on when doing dialogue would be getting the voices right for the different characters. In any case, if it’s like playing music, you just have to practice until it’s almost second nature. Read to your pets. Read to your plants. Read to your wife, your friends, the patio furniture. I think the more comfortable you are, the easier it will be for your audience to relax and get into the story, rather than worrying about your ability to read it.
My last thoughts are on your “Hidden Themes” topic. How “hidden” do you think they need to be? I’m asking because I’ve read Locked Inside and a few things come to me right away as potential topics – how we communicate (verbal and non-verbal), misunderstandings and assumptions we make about others (and ourselves?), the parts each of us keeps locked away and what it takes to open us up, different kinds of coming out (to ourselves, to family, to friends, to love interests), etc.
I hope I haven’t offended you by prattling on, but you sounded a little panicky in your post, so these are just some things that came to my mind. I’m sure you have plenty of your own ideas and probably want to include some of your other books as well, so rest assured it will not hurt my feelings if you totally disregard any or all of this. Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to meet at the Fest, and I hope you get to enjoy your time in Austin. It really is a fun town. I don’t know what your expectations of Texas are, but as a native I can tell you that many of us wish our whole state was more like Austin.
Thank you Jaycie so much for taking the time to give advice. I’m collecting it all and will probably print out several options and then decide when I get there. I might do a very short audience participation to help me determine which passage to read! I look forward to meeting you there and congrats to getting published it is a very exciting time!