Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Franschhoek Literary Festival Book Week for Young Readers 2014

So ... I have a love-hate relationship with public speaking. On the one hand, it kinda terrifies me to stand up in front of people and talk. On the other hand, I love speaking about books and writing and publishing and getting people interested and excited about the whole process. So when someone contacted me about presenting at the Franschhoek Literary Festival's youth program, the Book Week for Young Readers (now in its third year), one half of my brain went, Aaaah! Freak out! Public speaking! And the other half went, That's so cool! I have to do it! How awesome that they even invited me in the first place!

It was a beautiful day to be in Franschhoek, and what a beautiful setting for a school! Bridge House, the school that is serving as the organisational hub for the Book Week for Young Readers this week, has a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains.

The program is very well organised. I was met at Bridge House by the lady who first contacted me, given a goodie bag of awesome stuff (who doesn't love free stuff? Especially when it includes a bottle of wine!), and introduced to my volunteer, a wonderful woman who had, by some odd coincidence, bought The Faerie Guardian last week not having a clue that I was the author she'd be assisting today! She drove me into the town to Franschhoek High for my first talk (where she served as my photographer ;-) ), and then drove me back to Bridge House for my second talk.

Speaking to Grade 10s at Franschhoek High

I had about two hours to hang out at Bridge House before my second talk, so I got the chance to chat to some cool authors, illustrators, and people who work in the publishing industry. I also ended up talking to several authors who were interested to know more about the self-publishing process. (YAY! In a country where self-publishing hasn't yet taken off like it has in the US, it's SO EXCITING to find other authors (who've been traditionally published) who want to know more about self-publishing.) Then it was on to talk #2 ...

Showing off the bestseller status of The Faerie Guardian to Grade 8s at Bridge House ;-)

At the end of talk #2, I was presented with my second bottle of wine (yay! More wine! Note to self: this is what happens when you give talks at schools nestled amongst vineyards ... ;-) )

Cool goodie bag ;-)

More wine!

I'm looking forward to visiting the main part of the festival (which runs from Friday to Sunday) on Friday morning and listening to Savannah Lotz and Sarah Lotz (watch this AWESOME trailer for Deadlands here, and read my review of Deadlands here), Louis Greenberg, and Charlie Human :-)


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

What a great place for a talk! Sounds like you were a big hit. And I'd do school talks if I got bottles of wine.

Mark Murata said...

If you get nervous about public speaking, it means you're thinking about yourself. The key is to concentrate on the importance of the message, and how much the audience deserves to hear about (story, the writing process, the publishing business, etc.)
If you concentrate on these things, you wont' have time to think about yourself.

Cathy Keaton said...

I can't give public speeches at all! Too nervous. You amaze me with being able to do all these things that would totally freak me out! Glad you had a good time. :)

Shah Wharton said...

Oh I do love a vineyard (and wine) and what a yummy place to go to school. Go you for feeling the fear and doing it anyway!

PS: Adore the cover reveals :D


Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats on getting invited. Sounds like you had a great experience.

SA Larsenッ said...

How exciting! You looked amazing up there. I've spoken at schools and to individual classes. I've even given a few middle grade writing workshops. But I've never been front-and-center at a festival. Good for you!

Sue Holmes said...

Well done! Enjoy the wine:)