Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My First Public Reading

The Saskatchewan Romance Writers were invited to read from their published works or works in progress at the Regina Public Library (RPL) on Tuesday night. Four of us took up the challenge. It was my first time attending a reading never mind reading at one.

We invited family and friends and were very surprised when the RPL promotion posters did their job and a couple dozen people showed up to listen. JJ, my eleven year old, was the official photographer for the night.

The reading, formally entitled Romancing the Word: An Evening with Saskatchewan Romance Writers was held in the RPL theatre. The staff had coffee and juice waiting for everyone and our own Annette brought heart-shaped sugar cookies to set the mood. Karyn contributed white coverings for the two tables we sat at when we weren't actively reading. Karyn also provided a gorgeous bowl of roses to enhance the ambience. We started about 7:05 pm and were allotted 15 mins each to read.

First up was Susan Eason who read one of her published short stories. She writes contemporary romance.

Next, Karyn Good read the beginning of her Romantic Suspense, Common Ground.

I read the beginning of my Historical Inspirational Romance, Emma's Outlaw.


And Annette Bower read 2 of her Women's Fiction short stories.


We checked the time when Annette finished and it was 8 pm. Perfect timing. Annette opened the floor to questions while we sat at the front, a microphone on each table. I felt like I was at an official press conference. The many questions about our writing, the genres, writing groups, etc, kept us busy for the final half hour.

All of the above photo credits go to JJ Draper.

Not sure who took this last photo but thank you. You did a fine job.


  1. You definitely have courage, Anita. I don't think I could have done that.

  2. wow Anita
    it sounds like the evening went great. i think i'd be a nervous wreck to actually do a reading of something i've been working on. hooray for you!!!!

    did you get some good questions or commentary about your work? a half hour of Q & A sounds like you made a connection with the people who showed up to listen.

    YAY authors!

  3. oh, i almost forgot.

    great pictures too. looks like son is as good with the camera as his mom is.

  4. Thanks, Anita, for writing this up and posting pictures. Like I said on a comment over on The Prairies, I wish I could have been there to hear you all speak and cheer you on!

    Bravo. That takes a lot of courage :)

  5. Great job, Anita (and your fellow writers/readers)!

    I'm sure you all feel energised now that you have actually done a reading. I have heard Annette read (at a launch of the Society at St. Peter's), but would love to hear the rest of you. And I'm sure you did both yourselves and the SRW proud in the panel part of the evening.


  6. Hey Cap'n. Courage is a funny thing, though. Sometimes when you think you can't do something, you find out you can. I was so shy in school, I wouldn't even go sharpen my pencil in case someone looked at me. I didn't want to do anything to draw attention to myself. I basically slipped through school like a shadow.

    Then, the first time I had to speak in public, I bombed. Completely, utterly hopeless. Red-faced and shaking so bad I couldn't drink my water for 20 mins after sitting down.

    At the library reading, the only thing that made me nervous was that I'm overweight and had to sit in front of everyone for the whole time.

    So, what made the difference between those 2 times?

    Over the years I've found when I speak on a subject close to my heart - like at a writing event or in church - my confidence in the topic gives me strength. I don't volunteer for events which don't interest me. And if I'm 'chosen' to speak on something and can't get out of it, I research and practice.

    I have to admit, the times I've flubbed my lines during church plays or other events are the times I haven't spent time learning them in the first place.

    Sorry, don't mean to preach to you but I know where you are because I've been there myself. It's what you do about it that counts.

    It's so nice to see you back, Cap'n. I hope my words are an encouragement and not a detterent.

  7. Hey Deb - if you read one of your winning eHarl challenge entries, then I wouldn't see why you'd be nervous - at least about your writing. Clothes, etc are a different matter entirely for me. Heh.

    Now if it was something personal, or like the 4 books Vince won't let anyone read (yesterday's Prairie chick post) then it would be a different matter.

    I guess what I'm saying is that if it's something you want to get in print, like my Emma's Outlaw, then why wouldn't you promote it? At a reading, you get immediate feedback. You can see their faces if they're 'into' it or sleeping. I liked that.

    It was actually the first time my MIL and SIL heard one of my stories so they went away with a deeper understanding of what I 'do' when I'm alone all day. :)

    Thanks for mentioning JJ. I think he did a terrific job, too.

  8. HOOOW fun! And thanks for preserving it for posterity!

    I've attended book signings, talks, discussions, you name its, but never a reading!!!

  9. You're welcome, Janet.

    It would have been wonderful if you had joined us but you were there in spirit so that was okay, too.

  10. Hey there Hazel, I did feel energized after. Not sure about the others but they were smiling when we left. :)

    I hope we did the SRW proud except I think I hogged the mic. You know me... can't shut me up when I get on a topic I love.

  11. Patti - you haven't? Well go and volunteer at your local library. I'm sure they'd love to hear you read one of your books.

    I never thought about it but when I was asked, I just knew it was something I wanted to experience.

  12. Hi Anita:

    I just heard today that we had 40 people at the reading. We did the SRW proud.
    I agree with you Anita, when we get an opportunity to promote our work, we should, even if it only for fame and two passes to the theatre.
    I didn't think you hogged the mic, you had knowledge that people were interested in, and you shared it.


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