Yesterday I had my first reading for my new novel, Shirts and Skins, at Glad Day Bookshop in Toronto.
I have to admit that I was nervous. I’m not what you call a performer; I never really enjoyed being the centre of attention (see all my anxiety over my wedding in the Gay Groom archives). And hoping to do a good job for those who were kind enough to come, I practiced my reading a number of times during the week preceding the reading.
Nothing worse than a writer tripping over his own words.
Before the reading, I picked up some cheese and crackers and wine for those who braved the (almost unbearable) heat and made the trip to the third floor bookstore on Yonge Street. I almost felt guilty having dragged them out on such a hot day. It was great to finally see some folks I’ve only conversed with through Facebook and Twitter, friends from the University of Toronto, and it was also a thrill to see some folks from my old neighbourhood in Hamilton (thanks, Angie!). I have been a tad worried about how my book would be perceived by others who also grew up in the east end of “Steel Town”.
Luckily my fellow Hamiltonians have, thus far, embraced the book.
And it went off without a hitch.
I began by signing some books – a few of them were even mine! I was pretty nervous so if I misspelled my name in anyone’s book I apologize.
And it turns out that readings are fun!
It was difficult to decide what part of the book to read but I began reading from the beginning of my novel. The audience did seem to enjoy my reading – as I do not recall anyone walking out. After the reading I spent a few minutes taking questions. Questions asked were about social class, the writing process, getting published, etc..
That was a lot of fun.
Even more fun was being told (as I was being introduced) that Shirts and Skins is the 2nd best-selling book at Glad Day for the month. What a great surprise! So a special thanks to everyone who has bought the book.
Tomorrow I will be doing an interview with a book reviewer for Fab Magazine, a LGBT magazine out of Toronto who had come out to my reading as well. So keep a lookout for it.
So thanks again to all who attended. I can’t tell you have much I appreciate it!
We’ll have do it again in a couple of years when my next book comes out.
Jeffrey, The Gay Groom