"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Get up and say something!

Quick blog today, kids. I just wanted to turn everybody on to Barry Eisler's latest forum topic, How to Give a Great Talk.

For those of you who don't know Barry (that'd be, maybe, ten people in the whole world?), he wrote six thrillers about a Japanese-American assassin, John Rain, one of which has been recently made into a movie, Rain Fall. His latest book, Fault Line, is a departure from the series, and is getting good reviews. It's on my list of books to read (I'll get to it, Barry, I swear).

I met Barry at the 2007 Southern California Writer's Conference in San Diego. His talk on Friday night was informative, confident, and fun. The fact that he was also good-looking led many of the women at the conference to refer to him as Barry McDreamy for the weekend.

Okay, that could have just been me and my friend, Pam. But the rest of them were thinking it. I know this because I was about ten minutes late to his workshop the next day and opened the door to a packed house – packed with women. Good thing Pam saved me a seat.

Barry gives a great talk, and in his forum, he explains how he does it. This is important information to authors today. The shy author is at a disadvantage in our competitive world, especially when there are 200,000 books published every year. Go walk into a bookstore, any bookstore, and take a look around. How many books do you see? How is anyone going to find yours?

We need to learn to step away from the computer, go out to events and shake hands, introduce ourselves and our books, and speak to groups. Even if you don't think public speaking is your "thing", if you think you have nothing to say, blah-blah-blah, you still need to do it, in order to let more people know who you are. Why?


Let Barry tell you all about it.


N A Sharpe said...

I like Barry. I've only met him online, but he is very dynamic. I wish they'd release the movie in English though...sigh. Oh well, I have the book :) I'll check your links to see what he has to say on the forum...for some reason I always forget to go to his forum. (Note to self:bookmark the forum!!)

Off to check the links!

Nancy, from Just a Thought…

Karen Walker said...

Thanks. I'm one of the ten. I'll check it and him out.

The Practical Preserver said...

Ok. That leaves 8.

Galen Kindley said...

I followed a tweet you sent the other day to his site and found it pretty informative. In fact, I even bookmarked it. He seems like an interesting guy with a wide background. CIA, attorney, etc. Pretty cool. My enthusiasm stops at swooning though. Grin.
Best Regards, Galen.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

He has a lot of good advice. I think I'll check back often. Would love to be able to attend one of his talks in person someday.

Jane Kennedy Sutton

Alexis Grant said...

Love the profile shot of you on the sidebar! Really makes the whole blog feel more personal.

I've heard quite a few authors complain that they're "writers, not public speakers." But it sounds like writers in today's age have to do both!

Anonymous said...

When researching assassins, I came across Barry Eisler and his character John Rain. His books are high on my To Do List to read as I will need to delve deeper into the mind and life of assassins for future books.

It’s a challenge to develop numerous fight scenes that do not come across as repetitious to the reader.

I have almost a dozen fight and actions scenes for my book Breakthrough, and I had to spend literally months writing these scenes as I wanted each one to differ from all the rest, at least to a large degree.

- Steve Tremp

Ali said...

That post of Barry's is very informative! And you're on to something with that Barry McDreamy bit. *grin*

Btw, this is Ali (http://blue--summer.xanga.com). I'm going to bookmark your blog in return. I was extremely pleased to see that you have quarter horses. I grew up with horses. :-)

Mary Cunningham said...

I also saw a link on Twitter and checked it out.

Very informative! Thanks for reposting the link.



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