Reading and regressing

One of my favourite parts of doing a talk about the tvdetective books is when it comes time to read a sample to the audience.  I've been wondering a little why this may be, and hence today's musings.

The first thought that came to my chaotic mind was that it's a kind of regression thing, a draw back through the years to childhood, and memories of those safe and carefree days of laying in bed, being read to. 

Reading aloud to a group of people, you often see them relax in a manner which is rare in this pressured world of modern life. Eyes close, faces ease, minds wander far from their usual haunt of troubled lands...

In fact, to this day, one of the richest experiences of my life, simple though it is, has been reading to my daughter Niamh, in her childhood times.  It was the age of Harry Potter, and, being the dramatist type I am, I would put on voices for the characters.

When I thought Niamh was falling asleep, I'd wind up and go to put the book away, and invariably a little hand would emerge from the duvet, grab me, and the word "more" would be whispered into the twilight of the bedroom air.

Quick aside, you knew it was coming - that, of course, was way before she became the teenager of today, fixated on the latest music, fashions, the agonies of exams, and boys.  Boys!  Eek!  And there I go no further!

Anyway, back to this reading aloud thing, and there's one other sizeable reason I think I enjoy it so much.  I won't overdo the loneliness of being a writer (I can imagine the tears forming in your eyes now), but it is a curious experience. 

You sit in a little room and type away, often for many months, huff and puff, struggle and sweat (I can sense those tears of yours growing), but it's only when the book comes out and you see the reaction of readers that you start to get a sense whether all that effort was worthwhile.

Reading some of your work to an audience - sensing and experiencing their feelings - is the true test of that. And so always a memorable moment.

I mention all this now, because the kind folk of Chudleigh have asked me to do a reading as part of tonight's Book Fair.  So off I must go, to practice some inflexions, as it were.

The Fair is intended to be a good place to pick up some signed and dedicated books as Xmas presents.  There are plenty of authors coming along, aside from your humble servant of a scribbler, so if you're about and free, do consider popping along.  There are more details on the News and Events page -