In case of book launch…

So, as April (and The Moon King) approaches, the pre-launch ducks continue to be put in rows. This weekend’s task was Choosing A Reading Passage. In case, you know, an occasion should arise where a reading might be called for (and there might, there might…I’m working on it).

This is a new challenge for me. When it comes to short stories, you usually pick a story that fills the time allotted to you (if you intend to do readings frequently, you write a bunch of shorts specifically for this purpose). But when it comes to a novel, it’s a different story: you have to read from the book and there’s no way you can read the whole thing. So you leaf through the text, picking out scenes which you imagine might work, and that’s when the questions start:

Is that bit too short? Is it too long?

Does it work out of context? Will I have to spend more time setting it up than just reading it?

Does it give away too much?

Is it engaging? Is ANY of it engaging? What does it say about the opening of the book that I never once considered just reading from the start?

Does it read well?

What do these words even mean?

After a couple of hours of this, the conclusions I came to are: it’s best to pick something from the first third of the book, otherwise there’s too much to explain; the best passages are annoyingly spoilerific; the funny bits don’t work out of context and some of these words really aren’t too bad after all.

So, I think I’ve got what I need. It’s safely marked, practised and placed in a box with the words: In Case Of Book Launch Break Glass on it.


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