It’s one week until our second Noir at the Bar North East and today we have Jackie Baldwin, author of the forthcoming ‘Dead Man’s Prayer‘ which is out later this week, to talk to us about the wild card round.
Jackie’s name was picked out of the hat at the first Noir at the Bar and she gave a brilliant reading from her novel. I hope Jackie’s insight encourages you to put your name forward next week!
Thanks for being involved, Jackie. Can’t wait to have you back at Noir at the Bar!
The Wild Card Round
By Jackie Baldwin.
Calling all crime writers! Have you been slogging away on a novel or are you about to be published? Are you brave enough to throw your name in the hat for The Wild Card Round? In my head, at least, also known as Russian roulette.
On 1st June, I travelled across to Newcastle from Dumfries for Noir in the Bar NE. I had stuck the prologue for my debut novel in my bag but had no real intention of entering the wild card round, being of a disposition that makes shrinking violets look bold and brazen. My friend and my husband accused me of being a wimp. It stung but I had to admit they were right. Craftily, I glanced into the hat. There were loads of names in there. Maybe I could redeem myself by putting my name in the hat and not have it pulled out? I was gambling heavily but decided to roll the dice and play the odds.
I met loads of lovely new people and was just starting to relax as the evening drew to a conclusion, having enjoyed listening to all those lovely, poised authors. Then the unthinkable happened. My name was pulled out. The bullet had slid into the chamber. Bang!
I jerked to my feet like someone was pulling my strings, walked to the mike and started reading. My knees were knocking and my heart was pounding so hard I thought it was going to burst out my chest and flop about the floor. I was aware of the irony that the heart of the character I was reading about was doing a very similar thing. I finished and apparently ran rather than walked back to my seat. It was over. My first public reading.
Everyone was very kind and encouraging. I did not, as I had feared, have to change my name and go into my own version of witness protection to escape the horror that had unfolded. In fact, since then I have read again and each time it gets easier. I am one of the speakers at the upcoming event on 7th September and this time, I am almost (steady on!) looking forward to it.
So, what I have to say to any writers out there contemplating throwing their name into the hat is: DO IT!! If someone like me can do it and come back for more then YOU have absolutely nothing to worry about! That first time is as much a rite of passage for a writer as the first rejection slip. The audience will be right behind you, cheering you on. And guess who will be clapping for you loudest of all? ME!