Click Here for the recording if you missed and want to watch!
I sat down this morning to have a look – I left the sound on SUPER low so basically ended up lip reading (anyone else cringe when they hear themselves? I’m the worst) – and I still ended up watching with the biggest smile on my face. Last week was actually such fun! I was nervous before the event, as I usually am with anything where there is an audience. But the online part of it added an extra layer of nerves. What if I said stupid things and it was recorded forever? And online makes it harder to tell if what you are saying is interesting to the audience, it’s impossible to know if someone has fallen asleep in the front row. Yes, that happened to Pamela and me at the Franschhoek Literary Festival where we first met. It was my first as part of a panel discussion and Pamela saved the day. Nevermind the sleeping woman, Friday afternoon heat and stuffy venue, she had me and the rest of the room laughing. Last Tuesday was no different, Pamela made it so much fun that I forgot to be nervous and forgot that anyone else was watching!
Here’s the highlights package.
* Pamela asked a bunch of really interesting questions. More about this later.
* My internet wobbled, and Pamela was left talking to herself for about 3 minutes. Internet wobble meant my IT guy got involved and so my husband made a guest appearance. (er… yes, IT guy and husband are same same).
* I showed off my sparkly golden shoes. They are flats but this is Big news because I have been living in sneakers, running shoes and furry slippers for almost two years.
* Pamela had a surprise for me! She got favourites, Amy Heydenrych and Gail Schimmel (writers who really know what they’re doing), to join in mid-way and we all had a fat chat. So much so that I forgot it was a launch and treated it like a regular Zoom call. I might’ve said some embarrassing things about writing male characters, how much I love my children, and why it’s sometimes hard to talk to them. (I don’t really think that all men think about is ‘what’s for supper.’ It was a joke. Mostly!)
* Zach (Amy’s 4-year-old cutie-pie) made the sweetest appearance. I had to swallow hard since my kids feel like giants now and many days I still miss their toddler selves.
*I’m a rapid-eye-blinker and starer-into-the-middle-distance kind of speaker. Sorry!
Re Pamela’s questions, and the questions from Amy and Gail. So clever and all made me think quite hard. My answers make sense in places and I babble a bit in others, but I hope you’ll get the gist of it. If there’s anything you want me to say more about then drop me a note and I’ll get on it. Here’s a taster of what we talked about:
* About the process of writing being Dianne in 2020 & how it helped me mentally in that crazy year.
* About the stigma of ‘chick-lit’ and my books being labelled an ‘easy read’
* Why the men in my books are so badly behaved.
* How I feel about writing about difficult topics and characters that are so different from me. Am I appropriating other people’s experiences?
* Do the characters lead me or do they fit in with what I want?
* How much do I draw on my own background to create characters?
* How important is marketing for writers?
*Whether there will be a Being Shireen or a Being Anna.
*Which of my characters do I most identify with?
*About being identified as a ‘writer’?
*About the postcard I designed for my books with the message “Be You” and why this is so important to me. (Spoiler – it’s the link between all the books, and it’s my personal ‘note-to-self’. )
Soooo, my answers to their questions sometimes went on a bit and with some I wish I had been clearer, also I blink my eyes a lot when I’m nervous and or thinking it seems. But all in all it’s just me sitting in my room talking to my friends. And you know, that was pretty great.