A day celebrating everything book related…

Summary: From Zero to my Latest Hero…. By Janice Horton

When I was asked to speak at the Loveahappyending.com Summer Audience event in Tetbury, Gloucestershire on the 16th June, my initial reaction was to think ‘no way!’ This was simply because I had never done any public speaking before and I certainly didn’t think I could get up on stage before a room full of ticket paying readers and writers.

Just the thought of it filled me with dread – and besides – what on earth would I talk about?

But part of me was suggesting that perhaps this was something I should try to do and, although I live in a remote part of Scotland and I usually communicate with others in the writing world online, that it might be a good to get out and meet readers and other members of Loveahappyending.com?

I have received so much support over the past year from everyone involved with Loveahappyending.com, the innovative reader/writer project set up last year by Linn B Halton, that I really felt I should be giving something back and that saying no, just because I was afraid, might be the wrong thing to do.

I shared my dilemma with my son, who is currently reading English at University in Edinburgh. He often walks past esteemed writers like Neil Gaiman in the streets of Edinburgh around book festival time and likes to attend author talks. He urged me to accept the offer – explaining that ‘all authors need to get out there’ and that ‘hey, mum, you should be giggin’!’

So I did and the title of my ‘gig’ was ‘Zero to my Latest Hero’ – the story of my author journey.

On Saturday 16th June, in a room full of people in Tetbury, I got up on the stage and communicated in a much more personal way than I would ever think to do online in an interview or on a blog. I opened up my heart and spoke about what reading fiction really means to me and how it has impacted upon my life. I talked about how important books are to me and about how I started writing. How I went about querying publishers and how I got to be published traditionally. Then I shared my reasons for now choosing to publish independently with ebooks.

My writer journey has not been at all typical and some may have been surprised to hear my story. Some may have seen my books in the Amazon Kindle charts and made assumptions about how I got there – thinking I had just been ‘lucky’ or that it had all come ‘easily’ to me.

It was very scary being up there on that stage on Saturday, with a microphone in one hand and my notecards in the other but I hope I managed to get my message across. It was that if you truly value books and if you strive to be the best writer you can be; if you have lots of self-belief; and if you can maintain an almost naive sense of optimism – then success will come.

And don’t you just loveahappyending!

Janice Horton lives in Scotland and writes humorous contemporary romantic novels with a Scottish setting. When she’s not writing novels she writes lifestyle articles for national and international magazines and regional newspapers; she has also been involved in BBC Scotland’s ‘Write Here Write Now’ project.

Janice is a regular blogger and she also likes to Tweet and Facebook. Her first novel was published traditionally in paperback. Her subsequent novels ‘Bagpipes & Bullshot’ and ‘Reaching for the Stars’ are self-published as e-books and are both Amazon bestsellers.

Janice also presents The Review Chair as a regular monthly feature here on loveahappyending.com

Janice’s Blog: http://janicehortonwriter.blogspot.com/
Twitter A/c @JaniceHorton: http://bit.ly/sYTk6w
Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/nbaWed

Please leave a comment

  1. Melanie Says:

    Way to go, Janice! Whoop! And another gig this weekend, too.

    I see me smiling back from the Author Display, Linn!

  2. Sheryl Browne Says:

    Love it! Go, Janice! 🙂 x

  3. Stephanie Keyes Says:

    You are such a star! You don’t need to reach for them anymore!

  4. richard holmes Says:

    The voice of wisdom!

  5. Emma Calin (@EmmaCalin) Says:

    Wonderful event – obviously the result of much hard work by all involved. Well Done!

  6. Rosemary Gemmell Says:

    Having been in your company a few times, Janice, I just know your warmth, wisdom and humour will have wowed the audience at the conference. Well done for feeling the fear and doing it anyway – and it gets easier!

  7. Nicky Wells Says:

    Lovely post, and it was a wonderful event. Can’t believe I met all my writing family!!!

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