Ironic though it may be for a professional questioner, I've been reflecting on the pros and cons of being subjected to a public question time.
I'm happy to report I had a splendid week, doing a couple of writing events, both of which were hugely enjoyable (many thanks to the Maynard School (such bright and spirited young ladies), and the kind people of Sidmouth (so thoughtful and perceptive). At both events, everyone was so very warm and welcoming).
In fact, let's go straight in and scare you at the outset, with a shot of me "in action" in Sidmouth -
What's been exercising me was the quality, and mind-stretching nature, of some of the questions I was asked at the end of both talks.
In Sidmouth, for example - "Do you write for yourself, or your audience?" At the Maynard - "What drives you to write?"
Question time is the one part of an event you just can't plan for or predict, and that - according to other authors - makes it either worrying, or delightful, according to your view.
To me, happily, it's the latter - I love being forced to think on my feet and react. It keeps the old brain active.
It also forces you to reflect on what you do, explore thoughts you otherwise may not have done, and most importantly - to learn. Which has to be a good thing.
It's all part of the journey thing of writing - how much you discover about the art itself, but also about yourself. Which, for me, is a great part of the joy.
And no, I'm not answering the questions which were posed (aren't cliffhangers and teases another big part of being an author? You'll just have to come along to an event sometime to find out for yourself.)
Questions are also a great way for the audience to feel a real part of a talk. I'm always sad / uncomfortable when I hear other authors saying "No time for questions..." or "'Just a couple of minutes for questions..."
After all, isn't entertaining and fulfilling the audience what we're supposed to be about?
Right, now that mini rant's done with, finally for this blog... a first. I love breaking new ground, that's another part of the creative thing, isn't it?
So I shall finish my musings with a photo - again from Sidmouth - on the theme of what can sometimes be the only way to calm down after a public questioning session -