Last week was the first author event for my latest book, a speculative fiction novel, Sea of a Thousand Words. I had a great time talking about the process of writing a novel about the future in this era of such fast-paced changes in our world.
With important topics ranging from geo-political movements, artificial intelligence, climate change and gene drive technology–not to mention global cyber and drone warfare, I often found myself wondering if I’d get the book published before all this became history!
Quite fortuitously, I relied on the experts while writing Sea of a Thousand Words, and it’s largely due to these passionate, knowledgeable people who took time to educate this curious writer, that the book feels so genuine and realistic. I owe those folks a great deal. The amusing consistency of all my humble experts was their surprised reaction to being included in the acknowledgement section–they didn’t think their contributions were that big of a deal. If they only knew!
I spent a fair amount of my talk describing the process I went through to organize chapters and sequencing with an ensemble cast of characters in a timeline that at times, flashes back an entire decade. Bringing the storyboard and character scene-graphs really helped to illustrate how I dealt with these challenges. One of the participants noted afterward that my theater background was evident in the complex storyboarding. She may be right about that assessment.
The author’s original storyboard in color-coded chapters.
The question and answer portion of the event was rewarding, as there were some really thoughtful inquiries. Several questions made me consider my motivation and specific choices as to settings and decisions about a few characters. As I explained why I approached certain chapters the way I did, it clarified the themes even more–and made my approach to the subject matter much easier to describe. I’ll remember these points for my upcoming talks.
Author events are a unique public speaking venue for me–a former national speaker on childbirth related subjects. I never had a problem speaking in front of a large audience, but these days, I’ve found that it’s not always easy to speak about my writing. I suppose it’s the personal nature of my art that makes me a little more self conscious about presenting. However, the supportive people who attend these events are making my jitters disappear each time I stand at a podium.
Thanks for attending these readings and for buying my book.
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*Stay tuned for upcoming events (Most of which will happen in the fall when the audiobook is released). To request an author appearance at your book club or local library, please reply below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.