Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Speaking Engagements--With Pictures, Not Pictures, Reading Aloud, and Cool Boots

I have put off posting about my recent speaking engagements because I was waiting for an article to come out in a local newspaper so I'd have the link to share along with my update. But that article is still not out (these things can take time) and I really want to tell ya'll about it.

There were two speaking engagements:

The first presentation was at one of the local libraries (yes, I said "one of"--I have several to choose from) and there were ten attendees. One of them was the librarian, of course, four were friends from writers groups, one was a friend from my homeschool group, one was the daughter of an old friend from way back (kindergarten, to be specific), one was the reporter who is writing the story I mentioned, and the other two were random strangers.

It was actually a good mix. And while it resulted in only a few book sales (all anthologies bought by the homeschool friend) because half the people in the room *already own* Finding Angel, and the rest were there for various reasons other than buying books, it was good practice for me. I've not done a lot of public speaking, and I was glad to start small (but also glad it wasn't just people I know :P).

I made these boards to take with me:

The one on the left shows many of the anthologies I'm in, the one in the middle tells about Finding Angel and, well, me :). And the one on the right...okay, my daughter made that. She's very proud of her mommy! You can also see some folders set out with artwork and printouts of stories for people to browse.

And here is me sitting at the table, um...not actually selling books, but looking as if I am....

I do have a few pics people sent me, which they took while I was speaking. They are much appreciated, but no, I'm not posting them here. Imagine that photo of you. You know the one--where you are talking. You know exactly what I am saying. Also, pictures of someone standing taken by someone sitting come out with the focus at waist level. Call me vain, I don't care. Pictures of me where my waistline is the most prominent part do not get posted online, especially when combined with "talking face." Sorry folks. I'll gladly crop some down to the bottom third and you can see how long my legs are. I was, in fact, wearing some really cool boots.

The second presentation was at a writer friend's house. Jan is, to say the least, very enthusiastic about my writing. One of those incredible people who just always wants to do for others, and she's good at getting other people excited about things.

She invited a bunch of friends of hers, and girls from her neighborhood. Again, we ended up with ten attendees, but other than Jan I knew no one. Five of the attendees were teen girls. They were awesome. We had a blast! I talked about my writing, and about Finding Angel, and I read them passages. One of the girls even asked me to read a "scary story" so I chose my flash fiction piece "Cat Call" from the anthology There Was a Crooked House. 

The night ended with me selling several copies of Finding Angel AND several anthologies.

Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures. Sigh. I know....

But hey--I was focusing on the guests. We were having so much fun living the event, we weren't thinking of recording it. I think that is a good thing!

The coolest part was that I realized I really enjoy reading my writing aloud in this kind of setting. I even overheard one of the girls comment to her friend about how good I was at it. Man, that made me smile :). I guess all those hours and hours and hours of reading out loud to my kids paid off in more than one way!

(Imagine the link for the article here. Yeah, I know, not quite the same. Maybe next time?)


Jeff Chapman said...

Wow, sounds great, Kat. Glad these turned out so well. I hope you sold a lot of Crooked House anthologies. ; )

Sheryl said...

Good job, and great photo of you! Congratulations.

Kat Heckenbach said...

Actually, Jeff, to be honest, I don't even have a copy of Crooked House for myself! Much less any to sell. But, I did sell several other anthos, and I WILL be buying some Crooked House (and other Pill Hill anthos I'm in) to take to other speaking engagements.

Truthfully, I was a kinda surprised by the request for a scary story...

And thanks, Sheryl!

Krysti said...

Congratulations, Kat!

I'm glad you had an appreciative audience both times!

Kat Heckenbach said...

Thanks, Krysti. Yes, it was really nice. The teen girls were just awesome.

Kessie said...

Sounds great! You're getting your name out there, a handful of people at a time.

Kat Heckenbach said...

Yep, Kessie. It may not be the big-time, but it's fun. A learning experience. I've gotten advice from other authors to "start small" and I agree.