Sunday, 29 January 2012

To Read or Not To Read?

I always remember hearing Alan Bennett saying that there's a difference between writing and being a writer. Being a writer is fun, he says and involves eating cake at WI meetings, being smiled at and talking about yourself. Writing is the hard bit.

For me, events and school visits are one of the best bits about 'being a writer.' So I'm always trying to keep my talks fresh and interesting. One of the things that I do find problematic is the reading. It's not my short-sightedness or any difficulty sounding out letters. At an event recently, I declared to the audience that I didn't do readings so much because that was their job. And I meant it. I think.

Recently, I went to a reading by a famous author and faithfully bought his book. When I came to the passage he read, I found it spoiled my enjoyment of that particular passage and of course, it was a good one. He wouldn't have chosen to read it aloud otherwise.

My stories have their roots in traditional songs and folk tales. More and more, I find myself telling the stories that inspired me. And before I get a telling-off from my publisher, I do talk about my books too!

So do you like to hear an author read at an event?