Sunday, July 12, 2009
Every Author Needs A Few Props
This may sound hokey, but it's true. If you are a presenting author, you need to have some props. This holds true for school and library presentations, book festival exhibitors, and even larger speaking engagements. We've all been to many events where the speaker, dressed in "business attire" takes the mike. You can often feel the drowsiness begin to creep into the room. Not so if he or she is carrying (or wearing) something unusual. For example, if your mystery takes place in Venice, wear a gondolier hat and a striped shirt. If your story takes place in a lighthouse, bring along a model of a lighthouse and maybe even a pile of shells. Long after your audience has forgotten your face, they will still remember the crazy hat you were wearing or the mismatched socks, or the glittery treasure chest or the strange Australian musical instrument.
This is especially true for children's authors. The props can be simple. "Gimmicky" is always good. The fairies in my books carry assorted items with them in their travels, so I always bring along my treasure chest filled with items that are identical to theirs. Kids become involved in the stories and pay closer attention while I read, always watching to see what I will pull out of the treasure chest next. Even the grown-ups in the room become entranced.
Don't be afraid to shine. People will love it. It's only embarrassing when you look in the mirror!