Sunday, April 12, 2009

Books are right up there with the air we breathe...

A large proportion of my time over the last few days has been spent either helping my daughters prepare for their trip to the US, buying items for them to take, or worrying whether a)they have everything they need and b) that they are ready for every eventuality once there. I am exhausted and stressed. They are part of a large group with plenty of adult chaperones and the trip is pretty well organised but there are plenty of lists to be ticked and advice to give and of course they are my children and therefore extremely precious to me. Somehow i did not get enough chocolate for my needs this long weekend despite it being Easter. All I got was closed offices, and no mail deliveries for four whole days. My favourite distraction is always writing and everything that that entails (bugging the agent just back from Bologna and London, bugging the editor, the publisher, my writer friends and anyone else remotely connected with getting my words into print) but these things are not available over long weekends made of public holidays. So all I've had is housework and fretwork.

To compound things, the day after my daughters depart I have an author talk. No matter how much I enjoy these there is always stress involved and a fair amount of mental preparation and worry. This all has to be got through before the visit because children can smell fear a mile away and have no qualms about making you squirm. Speaking to school groups (or similar) is a completely different beast to book tours and signings - with school groups (or similar)your audience does not necessarily want to be there or hear about your books, your writings or you. None of this 'preaching to the converted' here. You have to win them over, entertain them and make them think books are better than playstation, television, and youtube. I have a bit more experience now and have a few tricks up my sleeve and down my jumper. And ultimately I have my firm belief that books are right up there with the air we breathe in terms of their importance and value. I will be keeping the faith and hope I manage to get a few converts.

No comments: