Monday, March 9, 2009
When Hats & Eyeglasses first came out, I dreaded doing readings. I was nervous and stiff, and felt that I had to start at the beginning, so I would read the first 8 or 11 pages. When people would laugh, I would pause, purse my lips, and look up like a demented school-marm. That did the trick--- they would stop laughing at once. I can't really explain it-- it was like I felt embarrassed to be laughing at my own jokes, like that made me seem conceited or stuck up.
Then I had the amazing good fortune to read with Laura Shaine Cunningham (Sleeping Arrangements, A Place in the Country). Laura has been reading from those books for over twenty years, and yet she reads as if she has never seen the material before and it is THE funniest thing she ever read. She throws her head back and guffaws, and the audience roars its approval. I marveled at her, and she explained that she is genuinely proud of her work and loves to share it.
So I practiced. I read different parts of Hats & Eyeglasses, and people didn't seem to mind that I wasn't starting on page 1. I tried reading the funny parts, and the parts that made people squirm. And now I LOVE doing readings. It's my favorite part of being an author. I like the questions at the end, and I love connecting with the audience.
Posted by Martha Frankel at 5:28 PM