Just pre-launch she's been having a very busy time...
Over to Barbara:
I’m doing my first presentation on writing today. My audience will be students of the Stetson University Lifelong Learning program in Celebration, Florida. Its mission is to provide residents of the community and nearby areas “…an educational place for intellectual discussion while interacting with other mature adults in a social environment.” Whoa! Am I up to that? Count me in for the “social environment” part. But “intellectual discussion” and “mature adults”? Gonna hafta work on that part.
Actually, I’m delighted to have an opportunity to talk to a group of my peers about my passion, writing. Am I nervous? Well, yes, but mainly that I’ve put together too much information for the time period and I won’t get to finish it. Worse yet, I’ll race through my presentation and not do justice to the writing of romance novels.
The timing could have been better, I admit. My second book, And He Cooks Too, for The Wild Rose Press, officially launches this Friday, March 22. The bulk of my time should be devoted to promotion right now. And I could have skipped volunteering to host my book club’s monthly meeting two nights ago, although the effort helped me attack my spring cleaning as well as successfully try out a new dessert recipe.
But as I’m discovering as a newly-published romance novelist, Life happens. You either make yourself crazy tying yourself in knots fighting it or you go with the flow, realize you can’t do everything and focus on the priorities.
Like today’s commitment. Although I know I can handle last-minute, emergency situations if required, I’d rather plan ahead and be prepared. That’s why I started putting my thoughts together about today’s “lecture” weeks ago. PowerPoint is an incredible tool for doing that, not just for visually presenting those thoughts to a large group but also for organizing those thoughts. It helps, though, to do a basic outline first – main topics and perhaps a few sub-topics. Then translate them to PowerPoint slides.
The hardest part was deciding what aspects of writing this audience might want to hear about. Once I decided the focus of my presentation, the rest fell into place. I’m comparing today’s talk to a wine tasting, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and maybe just enough fun stuff to get “buzzed” about the topic. I’m including some general information about the romance fiction industry, a smattering of the elements of romance novel writing and finishing by describing my own publishing journey.
Then and only then did I allow myself the “fun” of deciding the theme and layout of my slides. From past experience, I knew once I got to this aspect of the presentation, I could easily get lost in the details of color, font, insertions, animation, etc. As it turned out, I stuck with a fairly basic layout, although I am using a dark purple for the header and, in selective places, a deep rose for font color. I resisted the urge to use little hearts for bullet points. A little “cutesy” goes a long way, and it’s important to me that the romance fiction industry receives the respect it deserves.
So, all that remains is to pack my computer and giveaways and head out. Wish me well. Oh, did I mention I justified a new pair of shoes for this experience?
That sounds like the lead up to a fantastic experience, Barbara. I hope all goes really well with it!
Here's the blurb and a little excerpt for us to enjoyfrom 'And He Cooks Too':
Three men, three lies. One thought it was for her own good, one did it for his own good, and the third nearly destroyed her career. Blacklisted by the city's finest restaurants, Chef Reese Dunbar must now put the resuscitation of her battered reputation in the hands of yet another man. The television experience Nick Coltrane's cooking show offers is her best option for restoring her name and becoming the Big Apple's super chef. But after giving her body and heart to him, her trust is put to the test when she discovers that Nick has lied about the real reason he brought her on board, and worse yet, Nick can't cook.
"I checked you out before I accepted this job."
"You knew?" he asked, his voice catching.
She gave him a Mona Lisa type smile. "I do my research, Nick."
The spicy beef dish he'd just consumed seemed to congeal in his stomach. Had she checked out his cooking credentials also?
"I can see you on the stage." She laughed. "Maybe more than behind the stove."
Lady, you don't know how right you are. "Ah, well, cooking's my new love."
"Where did you do your training? The Internet didn't mention that."
Great. She had him. The only way he could think of to deflect this conversation was to play dumb. "Huh?"
She leaned in, revealing more decolletage. "Cooking school. Which one did you attend?"
He struggled to come up with a response, but his mind was elsewhere. Mesmerized, he watched as she played a finger around the rim of her margarita glass, picking up stray salt particles. How was a guy supposed to think up a plausible story to explain his origins when his brain was otherwise engaged?
She touched her fingertip to her lips. Nick couldn't speak. His eyes locked on her lips as other parts of his anatomy were unlocked. Was she coming on to him?
|Photo by Leslie Sloan|
Contact Information for Barbara Barrett
My best wishes for a great release of your new novel, Barbara!