As a speaker at the Lakefly Literary Conference in Oshkosh, I had the grand privilege of educating myself as a writer and speaker on May 10 and 11, 2013. Please enjoy a few of the tidbits I took home with me.
From the Keynote by Mort Castle
“Why do I write horror? Because my name is Mort Castle. Why do I write horror? I heard Stephen King is doing well.” Horror can be defined by perspective. If I fall its horror; if you do, it’s comedy. Horror is a combination of sadness and longing, horror is found in a face. It rises from the mundane, is based on what is. “We don’t need a vampire to chase us.” Horror is all around us. Castle’s recommendation to write what we read really struck a chord with me. I’ve been putting off the commitment of writing a novel. But I don’t read novels. I read nonfiction. Duh!
Book ‘Em: How to “Wow” your Audience at Book Signings and Author Visits
Jane Wypizinski did a great job involving the audience in her discussion and encouraged the authors in the room to do the same. She reminded the group that their audience often wants to be like them. Topics of interest might include tips on how you’ve found time or inspiration, how you know if you’re succeeding, who evaluates your work, and how to handle criticism.
Cross Training: How to Develop your Skills, Art, and Voice
Lynn Kuhns’ extended metaphor on cross-training resonated as I’m a triathlete (at least a wannabe triathlete). Journalistic writing focus on interviewing skills, the Ws (who, what, when, where, why) and good quotes. Persuasive/marketing answers arguments. Fiction requires good characters, plot, and conflict. Poetry is about the rhythm and sounds. Writing outside of your usual style/genre may strengthen your skills.
From the Keynote by James Strauss
James gave a “reality check” for many in the audience. People don’t want to read your work. The ones who do want it, want what sells (not necessarily what’s good). And they don’t want to pay you for it. His recommendations? Do good work and be confrontational. Raise your own expectations. Seek out mentors, remind them that they owe you, and get them to do you a favor.
Book Camp is being organized for 5/18-5/24/14 at Cedar Valley in West Bend.
Terra L. Fletcher
518 S. Union Street
Shawano, WI 54166