It's a weird thing, being an author. For days and days, weeks and weeks, you're expected to sit in your box typing furiously* and conjuring up beautiful worlds and exciting adventures from mere words. A quiet, solitary occupation.
Then, once you and your book emerge blinking into the daylight, you are expected to do the complete opposite - and whore it around the magazines, newspapers, TV programmes etc, trying your damnedest to get some of that elusive publicity. You are even expected to TALK to audiences! In PUBLIC!!
For a long time, I had this huuuuuuuge fear of public speaking. In fact, I wrote a little thing about it here if you want to read about my dread of it. (Ahem just realised I never got round to writing Part 2, oops.) And then I took a deep, deep breath, bit the bullet and went for it, back in September with two school visits to promote my new children's books and a Lucy Diamond event in Dublin, where I had to speak to over 150 people, on a stage, with a microphone and everyything!
I didn't sleep properly for weeks beforehand and kept hoping I'd break my leg or something so that I didn't have to do it. I seriously considered wimping out of the whole thing and hiding under my duvet instead.
But I didn't. And do you know what? Once I actually got there each time, I bloody loved it. The school visits were great - really lovely speaking to all the kids and making them laugh (and selling them loads of books, yay!). And then in Dublin, my God, I just so loved being on that stage, speaking to a huge room full of people. I felt cool as a cucumber, really calm - no blushing or stammering or wetting myself with The Fear. I actually ENJOYED myself! (Honestly, if you had told me I'd feel that way, I would never have believe it, in a million years.) And best of all, I got to meet loads of great authors like Niamh Greene and Katie Fforde and Sinead Moriarty, and talk to loads of lovely Irish women who had come along for the day. It was fab.
So my next big event takes place this morning. Wait for it.... I'm going to talk to the Year 3s at my kids' school about 'my job'. Just let me at 'em....
PS Lovely new review of Any Way You Want Me here by the way!
* Or, of course, eating biscuits, playing Tetris and whinging about plot problems