Friday, September 10, 2010

Speed Dating for Authors

Can you think of anything worse? Although I've never had to do speed-dating of any sort, one of my friends ended up having a very awkward ten minutes with an ex-boyfriend when she came face to face with him during one session. Oh, the torture.

This weekend I'll find out if the author version is just as painful. Thanks to a free ticket from a friend (yay EDN!), I'll be attending the Indie Alliance Weekend at the legendary Foyles in Charing Cross. On Sunday morning, I'll be speed dating Max Schaefer (Children of the Sun), Alex Preston (This Bleeding City), Jean Baggott (Girl on the Wall), and Aifric Campbell (The Semantics of Murder).

Small problem. I don't know anything about any of them! So. I'll do a bit of research this afternoon, but maybe you can help me out. (Please? There's a cupcake in it for you!)

What would you ask an indie author, if you had the chance? Anything in particular you'd like to know? What colour wine they drink? If they wear knickers whilst writing?

Happy Friday!

Thank you to: The Misadventures in Candyland; Lindy Lou Mac; The Goddess of Blah; Jolene and Jackee who have just signed up for my Blogsplash! And big thanks to L Diane, Mel and Cassandra who've given me a shout-out on their blogs today! See the full list of Blogsplashers and sign up here.

60 comments:

  1. I'd ask about the knickers, definitely. ;)

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  2. Be careful with the knickers questions - you know how writers love to show not tell!

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  3. Talli, the minute you mention knickers in any piece of writing, thats all anybody reads, have fun!!

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  4. Giggling at Words A Day's comment.

    Your speed dating sounds intriguing, though a little nerve-wracking too. Can't wait to hear all about it.

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  5. Author speed dating...hmmm I'd be nervous. Good luck

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  6. the knickers question seems to be a winner, tell them your followers want to know.
    I'd ask them abt marketing

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  7. I'd probably ask them if they all still have a day-job, or if writing is their full time job. Or the knickers thing, if I could keep a straight-face (doubtful!)

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  8. People, get off the knickers! I knew I shouldn't have mentioned them. :) I can be bolshy but not THAT bolshy!

    Marketing and day-job is a good place to start!

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  9. People, get off the knickers! I knew I shouldn't have mentioned them. :) I can be bolshy but not THAT bolshy!

    Marketing and day-job is a good place to start!

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  10. Ask them why they are there. Best of luck. Looking forward to all the scoop on the event.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

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  11. Ooh Ooh *puts hand up* Please ask them if they have a blankie! I'm serious - I want to know.

    Happy Friday!!! xx

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  12. Great comments here. Some people are fast on the draw. I'm not one of them. I'd have to think...and think. Alas, I can think of nothing.

    Good luck!

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  13. I'd ask them how they handled their 'fame'. Reason is, I once asked a Norwegian about a popular interview he'd done (that hub and I had heard about) and he went on and on and on with the answer, basking in being asked, forever buds.

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  14. I would have no idea what to ask them and I've been momentarily distracted with Vicki's first comment and all the comments that trickled afterwards.

    Honestly now all I'm picturing is walking into this place and seeing everyone in only their knickers... talk about a nightmare. Then again maybe not... depends who's there I suppose.

    (Time to pull mind out of gutter)

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  15. Wow!! What an event!!

    Er..."What star sign are you"? "Jaffa cake. Cake or Biscuit?" "Do you like marmite?".

    Yikes!!!! How scary!!! GOOD LUCK Talli!!!! Whatever, I hope you have a BRILLIANT time!

    Take care
    x

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  16. Just ask them about where to properly use a semicolon. That's always fun : ) And THEN ask them about their knickers.

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  17. I say this because semicolons are the bane of my existance : )~ And I like to see other people suffer.

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  18. I don't know any of them but for Aifric Campbell, you can ask.

    "You have had many jobs in your life time: dog racer, au pair, lecturer at a university, investment banker, student of psychotherapy. Does that background come across in your novels?"

    CD

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  19. i'd ask them if they liked chocolate. if they answered no, i'd walk away. no sense in speaking with someone who has no taste.

    JUST KIDDING!

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  20. Think of questions you would like to be asked. Then ask those questions.

    Alternatively, think of writing-related areas where you're currently struggling, and ask for advice.

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  21. Speed-dating for authors sounds fun. I can hardly wait to hear your account of this adventure. Good luck, Talli.

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  22. I'd ask them how they got published. Everyone goes a different route, especially indie authors.

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  23. OH lol, Words A Day made my day with that remark!

    Wow have fun Talli. Sorry can't think of a question for you to ask. Oh, I know, I know! What topping do they like on a cup cake, and have they ever heard of Glynis Smy...LOL

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  24. Wow what a great idea--I'd ask what helped the most in their writing career?

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  25. Great questions, everyone - I like the chocolate one, and Glynis'!

    Thank you! :)

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  26. I'd ask them if they had only one piece of advice to give a fellow writer what would it be. And I'd be prepared to answer the same. Why not? The joy of speed dating of any sort is that artifice is out the window. Your friend should have asked her ex 'what was the most troublesome part of our relationship? What was the best?'
    just saying...

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  27. I'd ask them how they handled their 'fame'. Reason is, I once asked a Norwegian about a popular interview he'd done (that hub and I had heard about) and he went on and on and on with the answer, basking in being asked, forever buds. Honestly now all I'm picturing is walking into this place and seeing everyone in only their knickers... talk about a nightmare. Then again maybe not... depends who's there I suppose. I'd probably ask them if they all still have a day-job, or if writing is their full time job. Or the knickers thing, if I could keep a straight-face (doubtful!)

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  28. I'd ask them how they handled their 'fame'. Reason is, I once asked a Norwegian about a popular interview he'd done (that hub and I had heard about) and he went on and on and on with the answer, basking in being asked, forever buds. Honestly now all I'm picturing is walking into this place and seeing everyone in only their knickers... talk about a nightmare. Then again maybe not... depends who's there I suppose. I'd probably ask them if they all still have a day-job, or if writing is their full time job. Or the knickers thing, if I could keep a straight-face (doubtful!)

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  29. I'd ask them how their lives have changed for better or worse after being pubbed.

    And their favorite boozy drink and do they need to get smashed to write or do they prefer caffeine?

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  30. Talli, you lost all control with the knickers remark. Tired, inquiring minds want to know. Poor girl!
    Knickers picture is clouding my brain. Sorry.
    Good luck and be sure to keep us posted.

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  31. Talli,
    You are the #1 cupcake briber! :)

    That's funny to read about the exes meeting at a speed-dating event.
    Cool that you get to go to Foyles.

    You should have a great time there.
    I would ask an indie author about his or her hobbies. Or what genre they're most comfortable writing in? Have they written in other genres or considered it? What was their 1st writing assignment? & what do they think of the Kindle & do they own 1?

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  32. I once asked a guy in a kilt if me was actually wearing underwear. The answer was no. Only he felt the need to show not tell.

    The joke was on him, though. We were both in the same program at university. He always went bright red whenever he saw me after that . . . not that he had anything to be embarrassed about. ;)

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  33. How to make money while maintaining indie coolness??

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  34. Yeah, please tell me the blunders to avoid!

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  35. Oi! Sounds PAINFUL to me. I'm so bad at small talk! I hope it's actually fun... is there at least liberal alcohol involved? I want to meet all my BLOGGER friends... but people I've never interacted with? Not even if they are super famous... seriously.

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  36. Speed dating and author--I just did this the first of August. I was coupled with Wayne Osmond (of the famous singing Osmond Brothers). Of course, everyone wanted to talk to Wayne about his book, but he graciously let me pitch mine first. We had three minutes each. We visited 16 tables where we pitched to book sellers from across the country.

    Talk about fun and exhausting at the same time.

    I hope you enjoy it.

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  37. I think I'd be intimidated and slightly terrified - talking with strangers one on one is scary!

    Best/worst kind of questions are always good.

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  38. I'd ask: 'what's the most important thing you've learned during your time in publishing?'

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  39. Go with the knickers. They will never forget you!

    If you decide the author may not remember you for the right reasons maybe you could ask them about their favorite books. It sounds lame, I know, but when I really like an author I always want to know what they love to read.

    Is that weird?

    No weirder than asking about knickers. But knickers is funnier. So maybe you should stick with that.

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  40. The knickers question is a must; they'll never forget you! LOL.

    Unfortunately, I've never read any of those authors. But what a great idea!

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  41. Haha for a while there i was like great i get to know when Talli did speed dating lol. Okay I would ask if they role play with other people when writing like a scene in a film to visualize their character in that role. And yes i would shoot for the knicker question as well :) xo

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  42. "Do you wear knickers whilst writing?" That would sound very funny coming out of an American's mouth!

    Sorry I missed this post. You're probably already there.

    Come back and report the details!

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  43. I think I'd ask what they are reading now. I know-so boring and CBC like but I'd want to know!

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  44. Hi Talli .. I'm sure you've sussed out their background by now .. so you'll be rolling along - knickers or not.

    One question you could ask .. is it their real name? Do they write other genres? ..

    and about the weather ..

    & on and on .. enjoy the day though - that's the important thing .. & don't look at your watch?!

    Enjoy .. Hilary

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  45. Author speed dating sounds like fun. Maybe if you just ask them "what's bugging you?" they'll come out with an entertaining rant that will give you an insight into what makes them tick.

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  46. Good luck with the "speed dating" for authors! Can't wait to hear about it!

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  47. I'd probably ask them where they think publishing is going - mostly because everyone has such a different view of the industry and most writers have an opinion, so it would at least get a dialogue started. Whether you could stop it again is another story.

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  48. author speed dating! That sounds interesting. I wish they had something like that around here. Maybe you could ask them how they market/publicize their books? Or maybe you could ask them if they're into social networking (blogging, Twitter) too?

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  49. Oooh, that sounds like great fun. Hope you had a good time.

    XX

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  50. What a totally fantastic idea. Oh sometimes I do wish I lived in London (just a little bit though). I'm looking forward to reading your 'after' post.

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  51. How much time do they devote to editing?

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  52. whoa, sounds like an awesome event. No idea what I'd ask, though haha.... so good luck to you ma'am!

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  53. Ha, ha... knickers... such a great word. We USers (Americans) need to use that one more!

    If I were you I'd ask about book promo. There's so much to learn!

    Also, unrelated, just wanted you to know I left you a shout out today. Good luck with the blogsplash!

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  54. well I'm a little late, so I'll just wait to hear how it went!

    Oh, and really, your friend and her ex--yikes!

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  55. I would ask an Indie author if they felt, in retrospect, if self-publishing would have been a better decision than going with an Indie publisher. Hopefully the Indie publisher is doing something to promote the book and not just sitting back taking a large share of proceeds.

    Stephen Tremp

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  56. Talli, that dating scenario is too good to waste, do you want to write it, or can I? (please!!!). Definitely m&b modern heat.
    As for the questions, I'd love to know who they sell to - is indi a genre, and if so who publishes it?

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  57. Sally - it's yours!

    Thank you for all the questions! It was a great event - unfortunately, not a lot of time for industry related questions. But good to chit-chat with the authors.

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  58. It's kinda exciting actually. Speed dating sounds interesting.

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Coffee and wine for all!