I've heard some authors say they get the most nervous when reading aloud from their books.
Not me. I love it. In fact, it's one of my favourite parts of giving a talk.
I suspect that even shows in this picture from the launch of my new book, The Justice Mirror -
On a practical level, I like giving a reading because it's one of the few parts of a talk when I know exactly what's coming next.
But from the mandatory more arty, wafty, writerly creative type angle, it's also about the only time you actually get a sense of how your scribblings are working.
This writing lark isn't like the theatre, when the actors can sense the impact of their work on the audience. Or art, when a creator can lurk around a gallery to see what people make of their efforts.
(And let's face it - who would want me next to them in bed, or looking over their shoulder on a train, watching while they read my book?!)
So a reading is a great gauge for an author of whether their words are enertaining/amusing/intriguing/scaring an audience.
Which makes it a very big moment in a talk. And yes, it involves putting yourself out there, testing yourself, taking a risk.
But for me, that's what this strange but wonderful thing called life is all about.