I went to a party a few weeks ago. It was a surprise party for someone’s birthday, but it was three weeks after their actual birthday, which meant it was really a surprise. It was also the type of party where I knew most, but not all of the people there, so throughout the night many an introduction was made.
I'm generally awkward when meeting new people (I'm terrible with faces and names), but for some reason the thing that threw me the most was being introduced as “This is Ali, she's got a novel coming out.” Why would that throw me? Well, after someone says a thing like that, a polite response would be: “So, what's your book about?”
"Well... it's a continuation of my first book, which is set in a future where the Earth's been mostly destroyed - oh, and all the humans are dead, but there are humanoid beings called Elementals who can have power over one of six elements due to their EDNA make-up..."
"Well... it's a continuation of my first book, but you don’t necessarily have to read the first one - but you can if you want to..."
"Well... I don't want to call it a ‘Chosen One’ narrative..., but it's kind of that, but times two, 'cause there are these two characters..."
"Well... it's about Kendra, who finds out that she's got a great destiny, but then there's another person, Kit, who's also got a destiny, but her story was the plot of book one..."
So, yeah. That was the night I realized that I wasn’t very good at describing my own book. Sure, I'd written a blurb for the back of the book, I'd managed to write a few lines for a teaser, and yet when asked to tell someone about the story face-to-face, my mind went urgleblargh...
Thinking back, it makes sense to me that my brain would suddenly glitch, considering how much of that world resides inside it. When asked about my novel, I find it difficult to focus – do I set up the world? Do I set up the mythology? What about the 99 years of unrest? How much information did I need to give to properly explain the story? I was so preoccupied by the forest that I couldn’t see the trees.
After that party, I made it my goal - nay, my MISSION - to learn how to talk about my books without getting tripped over my own thoughts. It was time to stop being bogged down by details! All I needed to do was hook them with the plot - the actual book would fill in the rest! I merely needed to speak such eloquent and enticing words that anyone who heard them would rush out and buy a copy immediately! (Or, at least they'd hopefully be interested.)
And even if I didn’t come up with a speech of impressive grandeur, it would at least be leaps and bounds better than 'urgleblargh'.
What did I finally come up with?: “Well, it’s sci-fi/fantasy, set in the distant future, and it’s about a young woman, Kendra, who learns that she has a notorious lineage. She’s expected to keep up the family ambitions, but as she learns more about her world she comes to realize that in order to succeed sometimes you have to walk your own path.”
(and if that got you interested, you can buy the ebook HERE!)