Sunday, May 18, 2008

writers and reader festival

The Writers and Readers festival has been on in Auckland and I didn't go to one single thing. I don't write adult fiction and I don't really read much of it either (although I think Audrey Niffeneger's The Time Travellers Wife is one of the ten all time most perfect books ever written) so I'm generally not too fussed. I wouldn't have minded going to hear Bernard Beckett speak. He launched his book Genesis in Australia at the CBCA conference I attended in Melbourne, May 2-4 and he was a fantastic speaker and didn't really talk for long enough. I also wanted to go to the discussion on the 'slushpile' titled 0.5% on the weekend but didn't have a minder for the children. I did get some feedback from a friend who attended though and it sounded very interesting. Confirms what I thought too - an agent is not essential to get published in New Zealand and it is easier to get published then to get an agent. I believe it is a very different story overseas.

On the weekend (NZ Herald Saturday May 17)I read an interview with writer Mo Hayder, one of the speakers at the festival in which she said "I think it's sad the way the world has changed so that writers have to be part personality and part writer. I think its an absolute tragedy." As a shy person who dislikes public speaking I have to agree with her. Surely its about the writing. It seems unfair to have to be a good public speaker if i want a writing career. On the other hand I want to help my books get into the hands of readers and if a little self promotion helps me do this i would be silly not to? It is tricky though as i don't have any natural skills in self-promotion. I'm still learning.

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