June 7th, 2009

Canadaman

Stormy's Debut Performance

You'll be relieved to know that last night's reading at Glad Day went swimmingly. No one was more surprised than me!

Attendees congratulated me on being interesting and funny. People couldn't believe I'd never read before. (In fact, I've never spoken in public before other than the occasional panel at a fannish convention.) I had practiced a lot, and also listened to a lot of professionally recorded audio books, so I didn't just read... I performed! 
 
I even did well with the Q&A session. At first nobody asked me anything, but then one fellow started asking about slash and I got a lot of questions after that: What's fanfiction? What's slash? What's e-publishing? I did get the "how do you write about sex between men?" question, but I had prepared. And fellow reader/organizer Jeff Round added that he'd been at a Master Class panel at the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival</a></a> in New Orleans a few weeks ago. People were talking about the new phenomenon of all these women writing gay fiction and did the speaker know of any women who wrote men well? "Storm Grant", he'd replied. Yay! (I was probably not the only one named, but Jeff was too tactful to say I was one of dozens.)
 
There were about 35 people there for the readings. Less than April, but that was okay. A smaller crowd was just fine for my first public appearance. I sold a few books and was asked to sign most of them. The store owner asked me to leave a few more behind because he was almost out of his current stock. erastes's and alex_beecroft's books were front and centre on Glad Day's shelves, face out. Go, us!

I also mingled, chatting with a number of people. For some reason I felt very comfortable just walking up to people and talking; usually that sort of thing is nerve racking and I just don't do it. Other than the singer, I was the only woman there, so just me, my husband, and around 35 gay men.

I had the honor of meeting journalist Micheal Rowe, the reporter that just broke the story on the Huffington Post about the radio talk show that mocked transgendered children. He said he'd seen me around and remembered me from Ad Astra, the Toronto sci-fi convention held each spring. I remember him because he always dresses in business casual, even when others are in Klingon attire. Perhaps that's why he noticed me, too.

I met another charming journalist who went out of his way to put me at ease, named James Dubro. He has written a number true-crime novels and currently writes for Toronto's gay newspaper, Xtra.

Now that I have one successful reading under my belt, I think I'll be less nervous. The only thing I did wrong was I completely forgot to use the mic, but that was okay because I can project my voice very well. It's probably from years of bad-dog ownership. ;-D

Next up: 
~ A reading/signing at Indigo bookstore (Yonge & Eglinton), Thursday June 25, noon to 2:00.
~ I volunteered to work the MLR Press booth at Pride on June 27/28. I believe Pat Brown will be joining Laura Baumbach, Judi and me.
~ I'm reading at a the Seven Night Club in London, Ontario, on June 30. I get to road trip down with Jeff Round and finally meet Caro Soles.
(http://www.booktour.com/author/storm_grant)

Then I'm taking an unpaid leave from mid-July to Labour Day. I can't wait to give writing full time a test drive!