First off, thanks for the great response to the glossary post last week. I hope it helps a lot of you. We’ll be adding to it in the future. Let us know what you want to see at [email protected] or [email protected]
So it’s finally time to reveal my surprise. It’s not like huge, I didn’t sell a novel or anything, but I still think it’s pretty damn cool.
Let me preface this surprise by saying that in my almost year and a half of serious writing, I have never, EVER, not even once, read any of my own work in public. And it’s not because I chickened out, I’ve never even had the opportunity.
We can shoot that lack of opportunity in the head at Killercon 2013. I don’t know how and I don’t know why and I don’t care but I got offered a reading in Las Vegas. And I’m thankful as all hell. That’s right folks, the first time I, Kerry G.S. Lipp, will ever read my work aloud is going to (hopefully) be in front of some of the best in the business.
I’ve got a very interesting time slot. I think it’s 11:30am on Sunday, which is the last day of the convention and unless something changes, I also believe it’s the last reading of the convention. Talk about saving the best for last!
I don’t know what to make of that time slot. I’m guessing a lot of people will be gone by then, but I also bet a lot of people will still be there. That’s my audience. And the best part is that I get three days before my reading to make friends, make an impression and try and convince everyone who’s left over to come give me a spin. Or beg. Or knock them out cold with a club and tie them to chairs in the reading room. I sure hope I can trick a few into supporting my first reading gig. Time will tell.
I’ll read to an empty room, I don’t care. I’m just thrilled that I’ve earned/been given this opportunity. Hopefully I can convince at least one person to come sit in and record my first reading. I’d love to have it on youtube. Man that’d be something.
So now, on top of everything else I’m preparing for Killercon, which includes reading books by several of the attendees, writing more of my own stuff to take with me, preparing for pitch sessions etc., I get to add selecting a story to read and practicing reading aloud like a motherfucker.
After teaching public speaking at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio for a few years and freshman composition at Clark State for several more, I don’t really get nervous, but my audience is usually young college kids praying for a teacher that makes the material interesting. I’m pretty good at doing that and if my quarterly evaluations are any measure, I’ve borderline mastered catering toward that audience.
But, now, I’m relying on my own work to sell itself. I usually just wing it in the classroom and see what direction the material goes. I don’t like planning things. I like to think on my feet. But that’s teaching. This is reading.
This is a completely different audience and completely different material with zero opportunity to riff on something else if I stumble. I don’t think I will, I really do think the story is solid. Even if I do fall on my face, I’ll remember that the best comedians got booed off the stage when they started and Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school basketball team.
Fuck it, I’ll probably be so hungover by Sunday morning that the tiny bit of shame I still clutch to will be long gone anyway. And even if I totally fuck the dog, there’s booze everywhere and we’re screening Edward Lee’s The Bighead later that afternoon. I think I’ll survive.
I get either 20 or 30 minutes. I’m not sure yet. I’m 99% sure I’m reading a story called “Attention Whore” that will be coming out in the Monster issue over at Siren’s Call Publications sometime this month. I wish it was live at the time of posting this. I’d love to get some feedback from y’all. When it does go live I’ll post a link and you can let me know if you think it’d be a good story to read.
I’ve got the blessing from the fantastic staff at Siren’s Call. I told them I was going to Killercon and that I had a reading and that I was considering reading “Attention Whore.” Gloria and Julie both told me that they thought it would speak greatly to the audience in attendance and would be the perfect story to read to a room full of writers.
The story is short, about 1,700 words. If I get a half an hour, I’ll probably have a little time to read something else. Therein lies my dilemma. I’d really like to read some non-fiction, read: a HorrorTree blog post.
I think it would be powerful to read my response to getting accepted to DOA2 in front of the Blood Bound Books staff, and several writers with stories in that anthology, assuming they stick around and choose to attend my reading. Even if they aren’t there, I think it’d be a great way to promote myself as a person and not just a writer. A great way to showcase my passion for writing, my sense of humor and the thankfulness I have to BBB for giving me a shot. Seriously, I don’t think luck or not, I don’t think a better thing could’ve happened to me in those early stages. I owe a great deal to BBB and Kevin Bufton at Cruentus Libri.
We’ll see…. And I’ve never been more excited to SEE anything.
And what better way to end the reveal of this surprise than to tease another one. Something else crazy and stupid is coming up in September. I’m taking on another writing challenge. But this time I ain’t going it alone. Stop by next week to see who my partner in crime is, what the challenge is, and what sad and awful fate awaits the loser. Although if things go the way we want, there won’t really be a “loser.” It’s gonna be fun and I hope some of you will be inspired to join in this psychotic ride.
See ya next week.
Keep reading, keep writing, and keep it real,
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