It's not just for the pure entertainment value, or for the education I might get out of it. It's this whole big karmic cosmic golden rule kind of payback optimism. That person speaking into the microphone (or just talking loud enough to hear in a small room) is doing something that I want to do. That's a published author. I want to be that. I'll go to these events, and in turn I hope that people will show up to my events in the future.
I'm going to buy a book if I can for the same reason.
Despite all kinds of phobias (I can't answer the phone or make a call easily) and anxieties (don't get me started) I am okay with being the person behind the mic facing a crowd. Sure I get the butterflies; anybody would. But I can do it. I think a lifetime of having a turn doing a scripture reading or sharing a personal story at church has a lot to do with it. Living with a recording studio helps. I just don't have microphone fear.
On top of that, I read out loud, every night, for 14 years. I can do it.
I've done it. Last November I read a short story at my writers group book launch.
So, I sat at the back row of the library community room, straining my neck to see Jane Urquhart as she deadpanned a few humourous anecdotes, joked about her stories, and threatened that she'd already picked out the first person in the room to ask her a question.
I haven't read any of her books yet, but I've read many interviews in the book section of the newspaper. She's a multiple award winning author. She's become ubiquitous in this country.
Her voice was as warm and rich as I imagined it would be. She's an excellent reader. I could let my eyes go out of focus and imagine the little girl living in the big house, sneaking through the shadows to get a look at the mysterious teenage orphan girl hired to clean the kitchen. The images formed in my brain and became very real to me.
Time to put one of her novels on my To Be Read shelf.