BETWEEN THE PAGES: FINDING MY VOICE – Tackling a New Genre

Welcome to the limited series return of BETWEEN THE PAGES, running Mondays and Wednesdays now through mid-December 2020! Dubbed BETWEEN THE PAGES: FINDING MY VOICE, follow Shannon’s journey as she learned and grew to become more of a public speaker, and how she’s still learning today! Today is Installment 22,  “Tackling a New Genre”.

As I mentioned in an earlier installment, I’d started writing in the New Pulp genre. I’d also befriended a couple local authors who were both part of the New Pulp movement, and crossed over into the mystery genre. Through them I heard about an organization called Sisters in Crime, and joined the Los Angeles chapter. There, I found out they had a Speakers Bureau and quickly got in touch to find out what would be involved.

I became booked as a last minute speaker for a luncheon held as a fundraiser in the San Gabriel Valley. Everyone else on the panel had written multiple novels, while all I had was a few short stories. Not to mention, I’d been stuck in the restroom and they started without me. What an embarrassment! By the end of the day, I felt appreciation for what the others did but didn’t feel ready to be behind the microphone with them.

My early interest did, however, catch the attention of certain people. It turned out that the whole board was up for re-election and I was approached to consider being on the board as Speakers Bureau Director. In other words, I would book the other authors at events and make the arrangements. I thought it would be a good way to learn, so I agreed. However, I quickly found I could not juggle that and my day job well and needed to step aside. Fortunately, it was just about that time that the group realized they needed someone to maintain the website as a regular board position; this being a need that better fit my skills and schedule, I transitioned to help with the website for the remainder of my term as a member at large and then was re-elected into the group’s first Webmaven position as laid out in newly revised bylaws.

You might think after all that, it would be the end of public speaking for me. In some ways it has; I haven’t spoken in person at an event since I moderated a panel last year since no one else was available, though I worked as Webmaven on the board by then.

However, I still remained doing podcasts, something that had a long gap after Catch Da Craze, but would pick up steam in 2015 and continue to this day.

More about it in the next installment.