This month, we’re blogging about what librarians, teachers, booksellers, and pretty much anyone in the vicinity can expect from our visit.
On a good day? Cupcakes.
Seriously, you can expect ME ... along with books, bookmarks, and other author swag.
I haven’t yet brought a guitar, but that very concept is currently being discussed in connection with a possible book event with another author who (like me) is also a songwriter. But it would definitely have to be for the right crowd.
|Book cupcakes at a Barbara Vey Reader Weekend|
I’m an extrovert, which is rare for a writer, and not even remotely shy. I’m not the type to shove myself in anyone’s face, though, because it’s not my style. I can speak on pretty much any topic, sometimes even knowledgeably. (Sometimes not, but then whatever I say will be pretty funny.) I’m not a stand-up comic and don’t aspire to be, but I’m pretty funny if I’m in the mood, and I’m often in the mood.
I love Q&A’s, especially when the Q’s come from kids and teens. Kids and teens don’t get a pinched look on their face when asking why I write about the things I do. Although my books err on the “sweet” side, I think they’re realistic, and real life isn’t as neat and tidy as some parents of kid and teen readers want it to be, and I don’t pretend. Even though I write fiction.
Pinched Face: “Did your character really have to say ‘rat’s ass’? Do the sisters really have to talk about BOYS and the possibility of having SEX some day?”
Me: “They really do, because it’s true to their personality. Kids and teens are THINKING these things, and books are a safe space to explore those thoughts.”
Yeah. Kids and teens don’t ask questions like that.
I’m happy to read excerpts from my books, but most readers prefer Q&A’s. They can read on their own, but they can’t easily ask me questions and get answers unless we’re both in the same room. I think Q&A’s are a better use of the reader’s time, but hey: up to you. (You can also ask me questions on Goodreads, though, or via my website or my author email address. Go for it.)
The best book events feature at least a couple of authors, along with readers (some of whom might be future authors) who want to join in an open exchange of thoughts: about books, about anything they like. My book events provide a safe space for that, even when a few pinched looks on a few parents’ faces threaten that safe space. I simply don’t let them.
But cupcakes are good, too.
Mary Strand is the author of Pride, Prejudice, and Push-Up Bras and three other novels in the Bennet Sisters YA series. You can find out more about her at marystrand.com.