My new Writer Unboxed column is live today. The topic: How to give a literary reading, which you probably gathered by the title of this blog post. Anyway, here's an excerpt:
Before the Reading
- Eat a healthy and delicious breakfast that morning.Choose wisely, as this is what you’ll be throwing up later due to your crippling stage fright.
- Set the stage. Arrive at the venue early and get a lay of the land. Check if there will be a microphone or lectern or what-have-you. Look for opportunities for cool visuals, such as a blown-up picture of your book cover, or a big poster of your face like in Citizen Kane. Queue up some entrance music. Walking up to the mic through misty clouds from your smoke machine to the tune of “Rock You Like a Hurricane” will let your audience know that a serious author is taking the stage.
- Choose the right piece to read. You’ll want something people can follow without you having to explain a bunch of backstory beforehand. The beginning of your book is a good choice. An exception to this rule is if you’re reading the first chapter of a sequel–to make sure people know what’s going on, be sure to read the climax of your previous book first.