I recently read out the opening chapter of my book at Noir@TheBar in Newcastle. The event is held every few months and this particular one was a fringe event of the Newcastle Noir festival, happening right now here in Newcastle.
Noir@TheBar Newcastle, organised by the brilliant Vic Watson and Jacky Collins, takes place downstairs in the Town Wall pub and the setting is suitably dark and dingy. I’ve been to a few and it’s always a great night – sitting in the dark having a nice glass of wine while people read you their grim and mysterious stories. What’s not to love?!
It was whilst buoyed up on this feeling (and possibly wine…) that I agreed to read myself. “Let’s do this!”, I thought, despite the fact I am terrified of public speaking and am terrible at it (by external review). Once when I had to give a work presentation, I accidentally burst into tears out of nowhere and it was massively embarrassing. Professional shame. True story.
So when the wine wore off, I started to get more nervous. By the night of the event I was absolutely bricking it. Dry mouth, sweaty palms, fluttery chest. All the hits.
There were 11 readers in total and finally my name came out of the hat and it was my turn. Aaaarrrrggghhhh! This time, though, it was actually fine. I got through it, I didn’t cry. I did feel like I was floating, my legs were wobbling and I don’t remember anything. But it happened and it wasn’t terrible, so that was quite something.