Thursday, June 10, 2010

Reading Jitters?

I’m so excited for my first post on this blog! Thanks to Mona and everyone who helped put this together!

A question for you writers out there for today.

So, because I live in New Jersey, I was lucky to be able to attend the Lady Jane Salon reading this past week. Let me tell you—the club where the reading was held, Madame X, was a romance writer’s dream. Rich red lighting, shabby-ish red velvet furniture, big Victorian lamps with black fringe (and red light bulbs, of course). It was like Fangtasia (woot! to fellow True Blood fans!)—but NYC style.

I heard and met some fabulous writers, Maya Rodale, Andrea Pickens, and Elizabeth Mahon reading for Amanda McCabe.

For the most part, reading a romance novel has always been such a private pleasure for me. When I’m reading silently, I can adore and embrace the wonderful cheese and gratuity of some romances however I please. I make no secret of loving romance for its grandiose passion and unselfconscious style.

But Lady Jane turns all of that private pleasure thing on its head. Hearing someone read (perform) a romance is a much different thing than reading silently and alone!

I’ll be honest, I’d be lying if I said I didn't want to giggle--giggle, as in, like a school girl—at some of the racier camp that I love so much. It was so great hearing how other people interpret those wonderful “come hither” lines and flirtations. Some part of me got to relish her inner twelve year old in public, and it was fabulous!

So here’s the question part. So far in my (newish) career (my last two books with GCP, my two forthcoming ones with Berkley), I’ve managed to avoid reading my own work aloud. I give talks and lectures, sit on panels—all easier than reading my own work in my own voice.

Apparently I’m not the only one who gets reading shy. Rumor has it that Eloisa James is also a bit skittish about reading her work aloud.

What’s your take on this? Do you feel shy to read your own work to a crowd? Or do you love it? What’s your secret?

Also, because I can’t resist myself, True Blood starts this weekend. Is anyone else pumped?!?


Lisa Dale

PS - A quick note: Along with rallying the nerd-troops in support of libraries everywhere, I’m giving away a copy of Robyn DeHart’s wonderful historical romance Seduce Me over on my blog today. Drop in to win!

PSS - I normally wouldn't put my face on a blog post like this, but I was stumped as to what pict would be appropriate to use! face it is.


Carolyn Hughey said...

Hi Lisa, great post. I have a tendency to read rather quickly which means I invariably skip over words, so I'm not sure I'd want to read aloud.

That said, if that's what it took to sell more books at a signing, you can be sure I'd be doing it. :-)

Mona Risk said...

Lisa, thank you for posting your lovely smile. Lucky girl, I wish I could have attended that reading with you.

I read my first book TO LOVE A HERO aloud. Heck, I was so in love with my hero. But for my other 4 books, I let the computer read it out loud on Adobe. It really helps catching repetitious and missing words. Also it helps making sure the dialogue flows well and the narratives are not too long. I highly recommend that feature in VIEW then READ LOUD.

Anonymous said...

Lisa, I can't wait for True Blood either!!!!!

I don't think I would ever do a reading. I have just learned to speak in public, I can't imagine adding reading my own writing to that .

Glad you put your very lovely picture there.

Joanne said...

First, gorgeous picture. It's interesting what you posted about Eloisa James. I saw an interview with Johnny Depp recently, and he said he never watches his movies after he's done filming.

And, Lady Jane Salon sounds like quite an interesting place.

Lisa Dale said...

@Carolyn, good point. I guess one can't be picky!

@Mona, I had no idea the computer could to that! Thanks for the tip!

@Jill, I think I lean the same way as you about reading my own work in public--but it certainly would be helpful if I could get good at it!
Yay True Blood fans!

@Joanne, that makes sense. I think if I ever had a book made into a movie, I'd watch it (unlike Depp). I don't think I could resist!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I have never been to a reading, didn't know they existed. I think I'd be nervous to hear someone reading my stories outloud. One of the memories of hearing a book read on discs was Lynn Redgrave reading a Kathleen Woodiwiss story with her English accent. When she lowered it to read the hero's voice it sounded so weird, but during a sex scene I nearly would drive off the road chuckling. I think that is why I wouldn't want to hear my story read outloud.

BTW, your photo is adorable! :)

Lisa Dale said...

Paisley - I'm right there with you. I read a romance on CD once (Joanna Lindsey?) and when the male reader read the heroine's voice, I did chuckle too! So silly!

Thank you guys so much for commenting on this post. I really appreciate it!

Helen Scott Taylor said...

Lisa, I have never had the opportunity to read my work aloud. I wouldn't mind doing so, although I wouldn't want to read a love scene out loud. The thought makes me cringe.