Welcome to my blog where I will post commentary on issues ranging from fiction to public policy. Tucked away in the Idea Boxes are “how to” tips on a variety of projects that have become part of our family’s culture over the years. I hope you’ll find some useful ideas there. My blog will take you through the fantastic journey of writing and publishing fiction, as well as commentary on politics, cultural trends, book reviews and family.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Writing Books and Speaking Out

Even though many authors are drawn to the solitary business of writing because they prefer the written word to social intercourse, one of the by-products of releasing a book is that people expect you to show up and talk about it.

I’m thinking about public speaking because I have a reading at Kepler’s Bookstore tonight, wondering how this foray into writing has led me right back to the place I thought I was escaping.

I did a lot of public speaking during my career as a lawyer and the unreliable voice caused by a neurological disorder called spasmodic dysphonia was a big factor in my decision to retire.  The journey from being a retired attorney who still had something to say to writing a novel was not as big a leap of faith as you might imagine.

Because today’s book publishing industry is in such turmoil and disarray, the risk of your book dying on the vine is bigger than ever.  At the same time, the opportunity for a book to gain traction is wide open to anybody and everybody, as the power of the Internet, ebooks and new channels of distribution are increasingly democratizing the book business.

In today’s San Francisco Chronicle, the Director of UCSF’s Anxiety Disorders Program Tracy Foose talked about some of the positive aspects of anxiety, a human survival gene that is “highly preserved across species” because it gives us the energy and heightened awareness to outperform in the face of perceived danger.

I plan to leverage that performance gene tonight in hopes of reaching new readers who will find pleasure and hopefully something of meaning to carry away with them after reading One Summer in Arkansas.