Golden Keyes Parsons here in Central Texas wondering if the cold weather of this winter will end anytime soon. We have had several cycles of freezing degree nights swinging to 80's during the day. I don't ever remember the weather fluctuations being this varied and long lasting before.
Sometimes when beginning to speak, one might wonder what topic to choose. Actually being a writer who speaks offers more material than one who is simply a speaker. I find that when I speak to groups as a writer they have many questions and they are basically the same questions every time. So here's a basic outline for Writers Who Speak:
1. How you got started writing. Think of a question, a shocking statement you can make, a statistic to start off, then just tell how you started writing. It's your story! You are the expert, so go with it. I usually start with the statement, "I have a confession to make. I used to look down my nose at fiction writers." The audience is all ears from that point on.
2. How you got published. Share your story of how you got published. Every author's story is different and people are interested in the process.
3. How you come up with your stories. Again, every writer has a story to tell about how they came up with the story of their novel. Or why you named a certain character what you did or maybe who your antagonist was modeled after. Share one of your weird author stories with your audience. One of my fun stories to share is how I named the hero in my Civil War novel, His Steadfast Love. I had named him "Robert," but I had a dream about him wherein he "told" me his name was "Kent." I got up the next morning and changed all the "Roberts" to "Kents!" The audiences love it!
4. What you like the best and the least about being an author. Be honest about your victories and your struggles in the field of being a published author.
5. What's next? What are you working on now? People who come to hear an author speak want to know what you are currently working on.
Don't panic when asked to speak for an event. Talk about what you know. Remember, you're the expert!
My newest release, Hidden Faces: Portraits of Nameless Women in the Gospels, just came out this week. Visit my website to order.