The Stellarnet Rebel release party was January 5 at Tir na nOg Irish Pub, the inspiration for “Aileen’s Pub” in the novel. We had live traditional Irish music from Kilcarragh, including songs mentioned in the book, and I gave away promotional swag — goodies from Carina Press, nagyx “soul stone” necklaces based on the book, stickers, chocolates, and autographed book cover cards. Annie Nice (the inspiration for Aileen herself) presented me with this really cool and terribly delicious cake.
It was my first public reading as an author. I’ve taught classes, given presentations, led workshops, emceed events, acted, sang, chaired meetings, and read other people’s books during storytimes for children, but this was the most nerve-racking thing I’ve ever had to do.
Almost as difficult as the reading itself was deciding what part of the book to read. I considered several excerpts. Some exciting, some funny, some set in Aileen’s Pub… but I couldn’t make up my mind. Being a thriller, it seemed like too many of the excerpts either had spoilers or involved some piece of information the reader would need to know from a previous chapter. Or the excerpts involved too many expletives. Granted, it was an Irish pub, so what word hasn’t been said there before? But it’s also a restaurant, and I didn’t want to offend any casual diners who might be within earshot.
I settled on the prologue, which was sufficiently short, dramatic, intriguing, and self-contained. And no questionable language.
As an author, how do you feel about public readings, and how do you decide what part(s) to read? As a reader, do you enjoy hearing an author read their work, and what parts do you want to hear?