Today's panel turned out rather well, I think. My criteria for judging this was that I didn't keel over dead at any point — always a positive. Additionally, I didn't sit up there unable to talk or think of anything to say, and nor did I sound like a total blithering idiot when I did talk.
I can't say I sounded at all knowledgeable, particularly in comparison to Ian Irvine and Richard Harland, with whom I was sharing the panel and who both know more about the publishing industry in their sleep than I could ever hope to master even if I never slept again. Still, I take my miracles where I can find them, these days, and today's miracle (apart from surviving a public appearance intact) was the arrival of the taxi to get me to the airport. Things looked very dicey for a while there, especially when no less than two cab companies vehemently tried to convince me I was making up the address, that no such place as the NSW Writers' Centre exists, ever existed, or will ever exist. (Clearly, taxi companies have a supply of melange at their disposal, which they are just as clearly not sharing with their drivers, who never seem to know the way anywhere. Or maybe that's just my luck.)
Most of the audience were writers of one sort or another, and it was a very strange experience to be sitting on the panel instead of sitting in their midst — to be answering the question of how to land a publishing contract instead of asking it. It was utterly surreal to be one of the people being asked for advice on the craft of writing. It's not all that long ago I was sitting in Brisbane, attending Clarion, scribbling down every snippet of wisdom that penetrated the fog of my sleep-deprived brain. And yet today complete strangers asked me to sign a copy of my book for them. Do they not know I know nothing?
To anyone who does wander across my website after hearing me talk today about the Friday Pitch, you can find the details at Allen & Unwin — Friday Pitch. Good luck!