My First Solo Speaking Engagement

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Last night I spoke to the Kansas City Gay Men’s Book Club. It was my first speaking engagement before a book club and it was really exciting. Really moving. It was a terrific group of seven men who had read my book The Boy Who Came in from the Cold. They asked intelligent questions. None of those, “Where do you get your ideas?”

One of the two men, Ric, who co-founded the group asked why I set my stories in Kansas City and the local area instead of what readers might consider a more exciting cities: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles…. And if I based my characters on real people or did I make them up whole. I let them know that I got my idea to use KC the same reason Stephen King uses Maine. Because he knows Maine. Because I know Kansas City. And because I can show people just what a wonderful, classy, cultural, fun city Kansas City can be. And all my characters? Main ones are total creations. Secondary ones are sometimes based on real people…. Tributes.

I think I talked the legs off of their chairs but they didn’t seem to mind.

As the evening ended, all the members put the names of books they would like to read in a hat. The idea was to draw one and that be next month’s book. They had me reach into the hat as a person with no vested interest in which book would be picked. To my astonishment it was….

Do You Trust Me? I picked my own book! I was stupefied. I thought, Wait a minute. That’s my book. How could it be my book? But my book it was. And that’s what they’re reading.

All in all it was a very rewarding and much different than being on a panel with three or four other authors or doing a fifteen minute reading from one of my books. Yet another experience I never really expected or thought of when I wrote that first book.

I look forward to what ever else is waiting for me down this wonderful road…!

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