Last Friday I travelled to The Lemonade Factory in Battersea to be filmed for a short piece to feature on my publisher's website and Youtube page.
For those of you who read about my previous escapade driving around London for over an hour after misreading some directions, you may be surprised/delighted/stunned to hear that I achieved a perfect arrival this time. Phew!
Steve, MD of Maverick Arts Publishing, gave some direction as to what I needed to say for each shot......
...and then we were off.
Talking was fine, walking was fine, holding up the books was fine.....but doing all three together?
I had a great time. I believe I am now making up for a childhood where I hardly said 'Boo!' to the proverbial goose. I can talk for England once you get me on a favourite topic...and hopefully getting children to enjoy their reading is top of my list. I was happy to chat about Book Trust and their work and my favourite books as a child, though who knows whether these sections will make it into the finished product. Nearly an hour of filming will be whittled down to a couple of minutes.
I did feel a bit self-conscious and somehow reticent about putting myself forward as 'a children's author'. It still feels new and rather grand to me. It made me think back to a subject I wrote about in a previous blog (18/11/2012), where I related the seismic change in an author's role during the last decade.
The author is now a brand and can no longer live a life of total obscurity should they so wish. They are The Selling Point and required to be ready at all times to meet their audience.
I'm not saying this is necessarily a bad thing - I love to go into schools and attend festivals to meet with readers. It's just there doesn't seem to be a choice these days.
But has my publisher found one way of easing the load?
Maverick have always stated they want to build 'a family' of authors, so we all know a bit about each other and feel at home. As one of their writers I certainly feel welcomed into 'the family'. (Does that sound a bit Italian?)
The idea behind these films is to allow the readers to see a little of what each writer is all about - their likes, aims, interests etc. To allow them to get a feel for what makes each of us tick, as well as vital information about the books, of course!
Perhaps this online presence will save us a little time. Perhaps it might reach a wider audience without us having to leave our home and lose precious writing time. Perhaps more people will 'meet' us here than would see us at events anyway. Only time will tell if it does ease the load.
I know I enjoyed my day in London and can't wait to see the finished result - a while yet I'm told. No doubt I'll groan volubly at the silly faces I'm pulling when I do get to see it - as ever!