Authors often get roped into doing readings of their work in front of audiences. It typically happens in bookstores during launches, but the pressure to perform can sneak up on us at other times.
I’ve never really understood it. We’re writers. We spend countless hours sitting alone in a room, usually thinking, sometimes typing, and rarely speaking to anyone. Few of us are very outgoing, none of us are really performers.
Yet we’re still expected, from time to time, to get up in front of a bunch of other human beings and read these words we’ve written off a page in a book or a sheet in a manuscript.
More often than not, we do a shitty job.
Yeah, yeah, I know. Some authors are good at it. So good, in fact, they read their whole damn novel for the audiobook edition. But most of us suck at it. We stumble over our own words like we’ve never seen them before, we forget to breathe while we’re reading aloud, and we often end up sounding like illiterate boobs who never made it through a junior-high English class.
Despite my better judgement, I did a reading on live radio yesterday. I don’t know how it panned out. I didn’t listen to the show. I don’t really want to know. I barely want to link to it, but I will.
This latest episode of Cinema Smackdown was utterly self-serving. I was promoting the release of Epitaph: The Necromancer Thanatography Book Two, and we used it as a segue to talk about unsexy vampires throughout movie history. The section of the book I read was about vampires—how they’re perceived by pop culture versus how they really are. It was one of the first things I wrote for this new novel, and it’s a passage I still hold dear.
You can listen to the complete broadcast version of the episode in the CJLO archives. That’s where you’ll get the clean, crisp sound at the expense of having to listen to the news and advertisements.
Alternatively, you can watch the raw studio feed from my YouTube channel that is only as good as an old flip camera can manage, but includes some of the behind-the-scenes chatter that is rarely fit for broadcast.