All posts by Melanie

Public Speaking – yay or nay?

Do you cringe at the thought of public speaking? A lot of people do. Me, not so much. Stick a microphone in my hand and let me rattle on about something I’m passionate about, and you might have a hard time getting me stopped.

I recently spoke to a seniors’ group. I started with my first trip to Scotland in 1993. The intention being to discover my roots. But along the way, I discovered a few more things… a spooky mansion top of the list. I love reading about ghosts and hauntings so seeing this hulking ruin and hearing my cousin (who I’d met earlier that day for the first time) say, “Ooh that place is filled with lots of ghosties” was fodder for the future.

Couple that with the portrait of my grandfather with his first wife, presumably on their wedding day, that fueled the fire. Did I expect a novel to come out of it? Not at the time. Seven years later, a novelette was born, entitled Sarah’s Gift.

After that, I took a creative writing course and expanded my Sarah into a novel. Many re-writes later, it was suitable for submissions to publishing houses. I signed my contract in 2011 and after many more revisions, A Shadow in the Past released in the summer of 2012.

public speaking
Me in action…

I also spoke about my collection of short stories and the storefront writing contest I participated in and how the story from it became the title short in my collection.

public speaking
Reading the blurb of my current WIP (work in progress)

I read the current back cover blurb for my work in progress. A long-lived WIP. How when I started writing it a number of years ago, the actual event that was part of my storyline happened – and more than once! That was enough to make me put that project on hold for quite a while. But, it never really went on hold 100%. I gleaned information from the newspapers, websites and anything else I could find that would aid in the research for the book.

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Reading an excerpt

I read a short excerpt from my debut novel, A Shadow in the Past, and by then my ‘fifteen minutes of fame’ were over.

Afterwards, I spoke to people on a one-to-one basis at my display. The photo below shows the storyboard I had on stage more clearly.

public speaking
with my display

And how about those tartan boots?