In years past I have been a participant on a couple of different author panels centered around a theme. I've really enjoyed these opportunities. Typically we're introduced and then given a series of questions by a moderator. After these panels, we're moved out to the signing area where people can purchase our books. They try and schedule authors who have been published during the year, so this year I did not really qualify. With the release of The Portland House in January of 2018, I hope to be back as a participant again next year.
This year, they are starting a new event where authors go into area schools and talk to students about the writing process, publication, inspirations we might have and answer questions. I will be going with another AllWriters student Colleen Glatzel. She graduated from Waukesha South, the school we'll be going to. Of course, both of my kids graduated from South, so it will be even more relevant for me to be speaking to these young men and women.
I've never done this kind of thing and so I'm not sure what to expect. I've taken questions from the audience at readings, but this is more than that. We are left to kind of wing it I am told, so that makes it easy. One thing is sure, I really enjoy being in a learning environment, so I am really looking forward to being around kids that are there to learn (and a few that likely could care less).
One person on Facebook even went so far as to say it will be interesting who my colleague and I inspire during our talk.I guess I don't give myself enough credit to say that I could inspire anybody. But writers tend to do that to themselves. I'm just kind of making it up as I go.
My writing instructor began a critique of one of my recent sets of pages and wrote something like,
"Let me begin by congratulating you on your fourth book. That is quite an accomplishment for a guy who started this class just wanting to write stories for his family."
Again, I guess I never thought about it that way. I've stood on the shoulders of my writing colleague giants to get here and maybe I can even help a student who is thinking they'd like to start writing.