Friday, February 1, 2008

Being an Author

Some people become writers because it's a nice private job where no one can look at you. I'm that sort of writer. I hide from cameras of any kind. Radio is a medium I approve of heartily. Deep inside, I superstitiously believe that each photograph steals a little bit of your soul.

Video, of course, is even worse.

So I spent this afternoon with some lovely people from Penguin Books Australia, trying to pretend that none of the above is true and that I wasn't agonisingly self conscious. Oh, I might be a writer, but being an Author is all a bit, well, traumatic. I am very happy for people to read what I write, but I'd rather they didn't look at me. On the other hand, in order to read what I write, they usually have to buy the book first; and in this modern world, away from the goose quills and smudgy type of Grubb St, that means Sales and Marketing.

Some videoed bits are for an upcoming Australian-based website that Penguin is making for the Pellinor books. Another bit was for the sales team at Penguin. I did my best: I tried to pretend that I'm the sort of person for whom the camera is a friend. But I'm just not.

The lovely people who coached me through it all with great charm and patience said I did fine. I hope they're right. I am now conceiving a plan: I have to become so famous that I need never stand in front of a camera again. Then I can just be a "famously reclusive" author, rather than just unknown. Or promising. Or whatever I am at present.

In the meantime, I'll let you all know about the website once it appears, no doubt when the new editions of the Pellinor books come out in Australia. One of the things I videoed was a reading of an extract from the new opening of The Singing, which might interest some of you...