It's always somewhat terrifying to stand - or in this case sit - in front of an audience and read from one's own book.
It feels like getting undressed very slowly under a glaring spotlight and being forced to do a can-can, and hoping nobody throws up or leaves the room.
And this is especially true if the book is supposed to be FUNNY.
Because if there is no sound of laughter, it's the loudest silent *NUL POINTS!* a writer can ever (not) hear.
Thankfully, this weekend at the Durham Book Festival the Town Hall was filled with titters and giggles, and, dare I say it, even some bellylaughs, as Lifeshambles got its second public outing, and stripped to its lacy bra and knickers.
Joining me for the talk were also Carolyn Jess-Cooke [in the middle, above] whose poems about motherhood were utterly MESMERISING, and Kate Long, the hugely successful author of The Bad Mothers' Handbook among many others, who talked about her writing inspirations, and experiences of being a mother who writes.
The talk ended up being a lovely, unexpectedly intimate one, about the pressures women writers can be under when they feel pigeon-holed into the Pink Swirly Girly Chick-Lit bracket, and how hard it is to break out of.
Incredible, really, how much this STILL happens! Because, of course, women will only read books if the cover looks like a pink meringue on a Hen Weekend.
I feel a Huff Post blog coming on....watch this space.
Meanwhile, a HUGE THANK YOU to all of you who have pledged for Lifeshambles so far.
You have warmed the cockliest cockles of my heart.
In return I shall give you my words - but no bras or knickers, unless you pledge a LOT - and, I HOPE, I will make you laugh, and feel generally better about...everything. Or nearly everything.
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