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05 | Baby's first in-person readings!

Achievement unlocked

I’ve been lucky enough to have done several readings and participated in panels since The Quiet is Loud was published. However, because my book was published during the pandemic, these readings were entirely virtual - until this month.

At the beginning of October, I joined Terri Favro and Jason Smith to read at the Canzine Festival of Zines and Independent Print Culture. I used to make zines myself and even had a table at Canzine about 20 years ago with my friend, the writer Teri Vlassopoulos. So it was really quite a special thing for me to attend this year as an author.

A couple of weeks later, I had a lot of fun at the Quarantine Review’s Re:Launch Reading Series, where I read with Catherine Bush, JJ Dupuis, and AG Pasquella. All of us had books published during the pandemic, and it was really lovely for the Quarantine Review to give us another shot at in-person book launches.

I really love the Quarantine Review, by the way. It’s run by the most wonderful people and collectively they’ve always been a huge supporter of mine. I’ve also had work appear in two of their issues, plus a podcast interview with the aforementioned Teri Vlassopoulos. So this month’s reading was another very special moment for me.

Before this month I hadn’t realized how used to virtual events I’d become. I was comfortable with certain assumptions, like always having my book within reach, and always knowing how my own tech setup worked. It was really quite something to unlearn those assumptions and get used to new ways of doing things - as well as new in-person anxieties: What if I forget my book? What if there’s mic feedback? Do I really own either casual jeans and t-shirts or too-fancy dresses and nothing in between?! But I did okay, if I do say so myself!

PS, what I’ve been reading:

I’m happy to report that my post-novel-draft slump has relaxed its hold on my concentration, and I can focus on a book again. Though to be fair, my choice of book was somewhat calculated. It’s the third book in Robin Hobb’s Rain Wilds Chronicles series: City of Dragons. Robin Hobb is one of my favourite authors and a major influence on my writing in general, as well as specifically on my new novel. I have yet to read a book of hers and not be immediately pulled in. I knew that I’d be able to focus and read normally.

And so far, I’m also happy to report that reading an influential author so soon after finishing writing a novel didn’t send me into a weird tailspin! When The Quiet is Loud was a few months away from publication I read Kazuo Ishiguro’s latest book. Ishiguro is another major literary inspiration and HOO BOY did I convince myself I sucked and always would suck as I was reading Klara and the Sun. I’m still reading City of Dragons so anything could happen, but so far I’m pleased that it’s smooth sailing.

Fingers crossed!

Thanks for reading,
- Sg.

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