There is some debate over the benefits of being traditionally published. And when I chose that route, it was for specific goals, all of which I’ve succeeded in obtaining, and yet as with any endeavor there are unexpected surprises. One of those was that people have been asking me to speak at conventions, libraries, and other functions.
One woman was almost giddy when I said yes to talking at her library, then stopped and softly mentioned. “How much do you charge? We don’t have a lot of money to spend.”
I had to cover the phone so she didn’t hear me laughing. When I composed myself I promptly demanded as my fee, the loftily sum of one bottle of water, but if that was too much I could bring my own. She didn't seem to believe me at first, then mentioned that the session was usually forty-five minutes and asked if I could talk that long. I explained the problem was usually getting me to shut up.
This sort of "celebrity status" invitations didn’t used to happen, and never spontaneously. Now I get calls from the strangest of places asking if I would be so kind as to grace them with my presence. And it was no big deal until I was contacted by Helen Hester-Ossa. She wanted me to come talk at her library too, another forty-five minute chat followed by a Q&A session. Only Helen doesn’t work at the local county branch where they have children’s readings in the morning and adult education classes in the evenings.
Helen works at the Library Of Congress.
That little place down at 101 Independence Avenue, with the cupola capped dome that looks about the size of the capitol building. The one with the over abundance of marble that houses more books than the library at Alexandria. In fact, the largest most prestigious library in the world.
Helen had seen an article about me in the Fairfax County Times (another unexpected development) and after visiting this website thought I would be a great choice for guest speaker in their Science Fiction/Fantasy forum.
The topic I’m to speak on is: “Traditional Heroic Fantasy vs Current Trends Toward the Gritty & Dark.” The whole thing being sponsored by the library of Congress Professional Association, part of the What If…Science Fiction and Fantasy Forum.
It will be held at the Pickford Theater, Library of Congress, Madison Building (LM-302), 101 Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20559 at Noon tomorrow, February 16th.
I’m no formal speaker. I know even less about talking publically than I do about writing, but I’ll give it a shot. Hopefully people will ask questions I know the answers to, or at least be forgiving of a man who spends most of his time locked in a small room.
I was asked to speak at the Library of Congress.