A couple of weeks ago I was filled with a mixture of excitement and dread.
Excitement that I’d be speaking at the Books & Breakfast Event at the Sheraton in Montreal. And dread that I’d be speaking at the Books & Breakfast Event at the Sheraton in Montreal.
The Books & Breakfast series, organized by Paragraphe Bookstore in Montreal and co-sponsored by the Montreal Gazette, raises funds to support literacy. Those who attend are served a hot breakfast in a hotel ballroom and then have a chance to listen to several authors discuss their most recent book and buy a signed copy afterwards.
As one of the guest authors, I admit, the thought of having to stand on a stage in front of a podium and microphone in a large hotel room filled with 150 plus people was more than just a bit intimidating.
At least it was for me.
But I’m learning that not every writer hates the thought of public speaking. Some not only enjoy it, but many are also excellent performers when it comes to sharing or discussing their work in front of a large crowd.
Of course, my turn at the podium had to follow two very accomplished and established writers, including the winner of the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, David Gilmour.
I had worried I’d be so consumed with nervousness just before having to make my own presentation that I wouldn’t be able to really appreciate the writers who spoke before me, but I was wrong. David Gilmour is not only an incredible writer, he also happens to be really funny and had me laughing out loud, like the rest of the room.
Up next was David A. Wilson, another hugely accomplished writer whose most recent book is a second volume on Thomas D’Arcy McGee. He ended his 15 minutes at the podium with a hauntingly beautiful piece he played on the flute.
It hadn’t escaped my notice, as I approached the podium with my type written notes clutched in my sweaty hands, that neither of them had needed any notes or cue cards, either. Fortunately it was a friendly and receptive crowd that listened as I spoke about how my book came about.
Even if I didn’t have anything funny to say or musical talents to share.