Last Saturday I gave my first reading in Kytelers’ Inn, in Kilkenny. I had prepared some readings from my book The Stone, and a few words about each one, but really I had only a loose idea of what I was going to say. I find that such talks are really best when I have only a general idea of my speech, as that way it sounds much more conversant and pleasant than a prepared speech.
The talk itself hadn’t been very well advertised, but nevertheless the room filled up quite quickly by 4.30pm. It was really only in the last five minutes I found myself nervous, as is usually the case for me. I looked over my notes, double checked the book sections again and gave the nod to start.
The majority of the crowd were American, eager to learn even the smallest of details regarding Alice Kyteler. That means I have a crowd that wants to be entertained as well as receive facts. Irish audiences would have a different priority, in that they would hope to attend a lecture, or structured talk, about Alice. I’m not sure that I impressed everyone, if that was the case. I would have chatted away about Alice and her early life, given the details of the trial, and then read from the novel at points that illustrated what I was trying to say. That worked well but I’m not sure that I’ve hit the right balance of being informative as well and entertaining. I’ll need to sit down and work out a proper planned speech, one that allows me to include or exclude information as necessary. It might just see me up at five am to do it, however, but hey, what can you do?
I’ve seven dates now booked down in Kytelers, which is good and positive and an enjoyable thing to do. I’ve heard back from most, but not all of my readers for the novella, and it is all I can do to pick up the phone and be a total ass and make the others hurry up for God’s sake and get BACK TO ME WHAT IS TAKING SO LONG! But I won’t, because that would be bad. Ahem. And I’m never bad, when I can be good. Or something.
So if any of you have any kind/wise/logical words to throw my way, leave a comment or send an email. Do, gwan. GWAN!