Friday, April 16, 2010

Coming Out of Her Shell



Please help me welcome romance author Anne Marie Novark. Anne Marie is a Texas girl, born and raised. Romance is her passion. She loves to read and write about men and women falling in love, overcoming life’s obstacles, and living happily ever after. She writes spicy contemporary novels, usually involving a cowboy or two, as well as Regency historicals. You can visit Anne Marie at www.annemarienovark.com. Her most recent release is Chasing the Moonlight. You can buy the digital copy here, and the paperback copy here or here.


1. Do you consider yourself shy/introverted?
Yes, I’ve always been on the shy side and very introverted, although as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come out of my shell just a little. And I have found if I ACT like I’m not shy, I sometimes can trick myself into being more outgoing as the occasion warrants.

For example, at my local RWA Chapter meetings when I was on the board (coerced, no less), our president told us we had to meet and greet new members and visitors. This was difficult, but by acting out the part, going forward and making myself be friendly, I forgot my shyness and met some really neat people.

2. In what ways does this or has this hindered you as a writer?
When it comes to pitching a new novel to an editor or chatting up my latest book, it has hindered me a lot. I get all tongue-tied and nervous and stressed. Not good for promoting myself or my book.

3. In what ways does this or has this helped you as a writer?
Being shy and introverted, I tend to sit back and observe. I learn a lot from other writers who can talk glibly about their books. I also get many ideas for characters and plots by listening to people.

4. Are you shy/introverted one on one or in crowds or both?
Crowds are my nemesis (nemeses?). One on one, I’m pretty good unless it’s an editor and I’m pitching. In a crowd, I get flustered and want to melt away into it.


5. What's your biggest fear/obstacle as a shy writer? Tell me why. And tell me if you've tried to face this fear and what were the results?
Speaking in front of crowds scares the bejeebers out of me. I’m not very eloquent, I stumble over my words, my mouth can’t keep up with my brain and I’m all over the place when explaining my plots, books or anything, for that matter.

That’s the reason I love the Internet! With the power of the backspace and delete keys, I’m able to compose fluent articulate sentences and look like I know what I’m talking about, instead of coming off as a jabbering idiot.

But I must say this has not kept me from speaking at writers’ conferences and presenting workshops to my local RWA Chapter or holding book signings. Sometimes, you gotta do, what you gotta do. 


6. Tell me about a time recently that you stepped outside your comfort zone as a shy person, whether in your writing or personal life.
Last year, I was asked to give a workshop for a small writers’ conference. They were paying a nice fee, waiving the conference registration, and feeding me lunch. The opportunity to promote my new book and network with other writers was just too good to pass up. I gathered my courage, wrote a one-hour workshop on writing romance, and practiced, practiced, practiced.

Standing in front of the room before all of those people, my heart pounded and I broke out in a cold sweat. But they were writers wanting to learn and I jumped right in and did it! I admitted I was nervous, and they were supportive and encouraged me to forget my shyness. It turned out great and gave me confidence to do it again later in the year. It still scares me, but I do it anyway. I feel like it’s made me a stronger person and as Calvin’s dad (Calvin and Hobbes) says: It builds character.

17 comments:

  1. Becky,

    Thanks so much for having me here today. I'll be checking in throughout the day.

    I have a book signing this morning and I'll be back to tell you all about it. Another opportunity to step out of my comfort zone!!!

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  2. AnneMarie, we are sooo alike. LOL. But I don't have a beehive in my backyard! My uncle's colony was in a glass box set in his guest-room window. We really got nervous sleeping in that room! :)

    I need to try harder and make myself teach writing classes... You can beat me with a stick today at our impromptu booksigning. See you there.

    And everyone follow my link over to my blog where my guest is speaking about Jack the Ripper and yesterday's blog post is about what element you are... ~Skhye

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  3. Howdy, Anne Marie! You do an awesome job of coming out of your shell at book signings! Good luck today!

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  4. Anne Marie--I sure appreciate you being here. We shy writers must stick together, eh? Good luck at your signing. You, took, Skhye.

    Hi, Emma!

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  5. Hi, Anne Marie & Rebecca!

    Your interview was totally inspiring, Anne Marie. When I read it, I thought of the book by Susan Jeffers: Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway.

    Hope you sell tons of books today.

    Hugs,
    Monique

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  6. I so see myself in your hesitation to feel comfortable in crowds. I get it.
    But, this experience will make you stronger!

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  7. Hey Anne Marie, I'm the same way! It's difficult for me to speak in front of crowds, but it does get better the more I do it. I wish you all the best!

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  8. Hi Anne Marie, Shy people unite. I had to type that because I'm the same way. One-on-one or in a small crowd of people I know I'm fine, but at RWA conferences I'm a total wreck. I'm trying to get my nerve up for an RT now that I'm published - hard to do. The one time I had to do public speaking for my day job I almost fainted on the stage - thank goodness it was short and I could get off stage quickly.

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  9. Skhye,

    Darn, if I didn't forget the stick. Not much action at the bookstore, but we had fun!!!

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  10. Emma!!!

    We missed your smiling face at the book signing!!!

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  11. Hey Monique!!!

    Like I said: You gotta do, what you gotta do!!!

    I sold 4 books today. Not bad.

    Funny story: A couple of weeks ago, I had a dental appointment for my cleaning. The hygienist asked about my writing and I told her my latest book had just received a 5 Star review. Then she said she wanted to buy 4 books (2 copies of each). Unfortunately, I didn't have any with me, so I went the next week to deliver the books. I took a couple extra and the receptionist bought one, too!!!

    How cool was that???

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  12. Thanks, Mary.

    "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger!"

    Or so they say . . .

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  13. Tiffany,

    Yes, it gets a little easier, but I still stress out about it.

    I served two years as president of our local RWA Chapter and had to preside over the meetings every month. Talk about stress!!!

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  14. Hugs, Marie.

    Shy people do need to unite!!!

    I'll tell you a little secret: I don't like those huge conferences. I prefer smaller ones. Much more my speed.

    RT is supposed to be really fun. Gather your courage and go, if you want to!!!

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  15. Becky,

    Once again, thank you so much for having me here today.

    Shy people, UNITE!!!

    Happy Writing!!!

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  16. What a good post, AnneMarie. I imagine most of us identify with at least parts of it. Great for you writing and presenting a workshop, though--that's blowing the sides off the box!

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  17. Anne Marie, I'd say you've definitely come out of your shell. (I'm still a the starting gate.) Your post was inspiring to this newbie. Thank you for your insight.

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