So I went to the city and listened to the authors of ‘Queer Literature’ at the Wheeler Centre, although my book might not exactly fall into the genre, I thought it an interesting talk to attend. I was seen and heard, just maybe not for the right reasons.
I listened to them talk about how publishers would make better tyre companies churning out the same old shit. Then I was seen, as I walked away after being told by a well-known author that trying to give authors a Usb stick was the wrong thing to do, not wanting at all to listen to my story. Yes it probably was the wrong thing to do but yes I’m desperate for someone to hear my story. On the one hand here they were saying that if you are different and not main stream the publishers won’t listen and yet the authors themselves (sorry one in particular) didn’t want to listen either. I had only knocked on the door and felt it being slammed in my face already.
I’m going to get kicked in the teeth a few times whilst on this journey I completely expect that. In fact if it didn’t happen I wouldn’t be on any journey, I would be sitting at home. So I should be grateful and I am, it ignites the fire within me to a larger degree.
Anyway after (what felt like) being kicked out of the Wheeler Centre I was fuming. Doesn’t this woman remember what it’s like to have this fire burning a hole in your stomach. The fire of a message you need to be heard but when you touch and talk about it, it hurts. Walking back down Elizabeth Street I thought no I’m not walking away with any more pain than I need to and I turned around.
‘I’m going back’
I walked back to a relatively empty room and after a moment of realisation that yes it was her that I wanted to talk to she gestured to a corner. Then finally I was heard.
‘I feel like you completely shot me down’ I said through tears of fire.
‘I’m sorry’ she apologised, ‘I’m glad you came back, I was wrong’
And then she hugged me, people often write about awkward hugs, this was the worst, I didn’t want to be hugged and she was about a foot shorter than me which made it even stranger.
The energy, my energy had been re-aligned but why did I still feel so riled up? Now that I have calmed down I realise that this was fight mode and not flight, not my normal reaction at all. No-one likes conflict and yet I went back looking for it, knowing I deserved that apology. I’m quietly proud that I went back. I’m sure she herself has fought many battles and won but she lost this one.
‘Oh someone wants me to sign their book’ she said gesturing to the table.
‘I hope one day that you will be sitting signing books!’ She said
I nodded and walked away. Yes I will be sitting that side of the table and yes she will definitely be getting an invite to my book launch. My first experience of the Wheeler Centre was certainly eventful, I do hope to return and hope that next time, I keep my cool and make a better job of networking.
“How to Win Friends and Influence People” will be the next book I acquire.
Watch out world the fire is getting hotter, I may be starting to fly but I’m also ready for the fight.
My book Sharks & Lovers is available to download here: