The Timelines Anthology launch took place on October 19th at the John Rylands library.
The place is simply magical. It was a first for many of us to be reading our story out loud in front of an audience. And I believe the atmospheric rooms were perfect to set the scene of historical stories.
I will not go into details of the day, as there is a really god one on the Manchester Children’s book Festival blog.
Instead I will talk about my personal experience reading my own story.
I was really nervous before, so I seeked advice from an actress friend. And the key, she said, was just enjoy reading my story. She said: ” If you are enjoying yourself, and having a good time, everybody will.”
And I believe this is a really good advice.
Of course, it is easier said than done. I started, like everyone else, to talk a little about my story, to set the scene so to speak. Now this was really short on my part, as I had not thought about that at all. This is a mistake I will not make ever again. Then I tried to look at the audience, and I believe this is important to let the audience know the story you are about to read is for each and one of them. This is something I got out of studying fairy tales stories. A story teller before starting with “once upon a time” always looks at the audience, just to make sure they are with him, ready to embark on this journey. I am not sure I completely succeeded as it is actually very difficult to be looking at everyone in the eyes.
Then I just read a little of my story, trying to enjoy it as much as I could. I did voices, deciding it would not be ridiculous, and even if it was, I enjoyed it.
Then before I knew it, it was over.
So my advice for any one who will have to read their story will be:
Take your time, as you know your story by heart, but it is a first for the audience.
The audience has to come hear you. They are not there to judge you, so share your love of story telling with them.
Here are a few pictures to give you an idea of the launch.
Sherry Ashworth warming up the audience
N.M.Browne, Alison Padley-Wood, Anna Mainwaring and Kim Hutson in the John Rylands rooms:
And on a completely self-centered level, here is a picture of me signing my first ever book. You can tell I am rather chuffed.
The book will be available on Amazon at the end of the month.