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  • Writer's pictureggcarroll


I have a few author readings coming up for Drop Dead Red, my new mystery. For me, they are more than a little nerve racking but also exciting. It has been almost four years since I stood in front of a

group of people and talked about my books. I started to outline what I wanted to say, but then decided that I needed some expert advice. So I asked some San Francisco Bay Area writers, many from the Sisters in Crime (SinC) Northern California Chapter what tips they could give me. I am passing their ideas along for you to use at your next reading.


“Be sure to thank the library and the book store before you start. Maybe say a sentence or two about where you got the idea for the novel, and then read a chapter…A lot of audiences like to ask questions after.” Molly Giles, award-winning short fiction author, Rough Translations, Creek Walk.

“I’ve taken to being interviewed by a friend. I supply the questions or they can make them up. I include a short reading and time for Q & A from the audience. Interviews tend to be livelier.” Ellen Kirschman, Ph.D. The Fifth Reflection.

“Remind them if this book has continuing leading characters. Describe them briefly. If you have any storyline that is being continued, remind them what happened before.” Rita Lakin, Getting Old is Murder,: The Only Women in the Room.

“I try to read something with a little action in it and end with a cliffhanger. If you are good at doing 'voices', try scenes between characters. The audience loves hearing different voices come out of the mouth of the author.” Heather Haven, the Alavarez Family Mysteries.

“My advice would be to keep the "reading" portion short so there's plenty of time to talk about whatever the given audience seems most interested in. And the one item I always try to remember to bring to events is an email newsletter sign-up sheet, so attendees can sign up for my email newsletter rather than forgetting about it later.” Gigi Pandian, Accidental Alchemist Mysteries,


FYI: I like the interview idea since it takes pressure off of me, the speaker, but it is too late to arrange that. Instead I am going to write down the questions I would ask me if I was the interviewer and go from there.

If you want to add a few thoughts about what you always include in an author reading, post them on the bottom of the blog. I will add them to the list and post again on the topic. (I'm not sure the FB add a comment section works on phones or tablets. I'll see if I can fix that.)

Another FYI: If you are in Marin County, Ca, hope you can stop by one of my readings.

Sunday, Jan. 14, 2pm - San Rafael Public Library. I am delighted to be kicking off the San Rafael Library's Mystery Series. I will be reading from Drop Dead Red, talking about writing and answering your questions. Books are for sale.

Sunday, Jan. 21, 4pm - Book Passage Bookstore & Cafe, Corte Madera. I am reading from Drop Dead Red and answering your questions. Books are for sale.Sunday,

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