#RRBC SPOTLIGHT Author, Micki Peluso!!

As a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club, I occasionally get to showcase some awesome authors here. Today Micki Peluso is here to talk about her personal journey, and her book The Whippoorwill Sang. Take it away, Micki.

Facing My Fear of Public Speaking

I have always had a fear of public speaking and being the center of attention. That said, while other authors may enjoy the thought of speaking in front of strangers, for me it was about as much fun as facing a firing squad. My local Red Hat Ladies Club cajoled (forcefully pushed) me into doing a speech and book signing at a local restaurant. Panic set in as all kinds of catastrophic phenomena settled in my gut like a bag of cement.

The day arrived way too quickly but I’d gathered a few helpful hints from other writers. One told me to picture the audience naked. Well, I tried that first and now have a fear of naked people. Red Hat Ladies are not in their youth. Another good idea was to speak while focusing on only one person. That seemed logical since the room full of faces made me dizzy. The woman I chose began to twitch after ten minutes or so, broke into a sweat and finally got up and rushed from the room. I survived and relaxed when sitting at a table and signing my books during the luncheon.

The president of the Red Hat Ladies Society, called to tell me we were going to do a local cable TV spot in a few days. I considered packing fast and heading out of town. But there was no way I could avoid it. They were trying to help promote my book, which was a generous thing that deserved my thanks, not my cowardice. The morning of the live interview, I awoke to an attack of allergies, body aches, a sick stomach and every other ailment my subconscious mind could conjure up. I put on a false bravado and drove off into my worst nightmare. My husband, daughter and I got lost finding the place, in spite of Tinkerbell, our sarcastic GPS system. I was sure I’d get a reprieve at that point. Then a kind man gave us directions and I soon walked up the steps into my personal ring of fire.

The TV host had invited three other women to sit at a table much like the television show, “The View.” All had suffered a criminal loss of some kind. As the camera man called out, “Three, two, one,” it felt like I was having an out of body experience. I could see my husband and daughter in the small audience reserved for friends and family. That didn’t calm me as both can be my harshest critics. I avoided looking at the TV screen showing us live. God must have heard my morning prayers because I became completely detached from myself throughout the half hour program.

My family assured me that I gave a calm, cool and professional performance. I remember nothing, except for the blessed words, “Cut, we’re off the air.” Whew! I did it and my book was displayed on the screen, along with the interview. I’d helped fulfill my death bed promise to my dying daughter, Noelle, 26 years ago. I breathed a sigh of relief, quite proud that I’d faced my fears, thinking I’d never have to do this again. But no . . . .

The MADD organization I’d recently joined asked me to speak to one of the local school PTAs, as a victim of a DWI related death. I managed that due to the caring audience, many suffering losses of their own. I sold books at the PTA to interested parents, as we exchanged similar stories. Becoming involved in their losses changed my terror to empathy, making it a bittersweet evening. Will I ever get used to public speaking? I don’t think so, but I’ve learned to interact with my audience which helps make it an more enjoyable experience.

***

Micki Peluso began writing after a personal tragedy. This lead to a first time publication in Victimology: An International Magazine and a career in Journalism. She’s freelanced and been staff writer for one major newspaper, written for two more and has published short fiction and non-fiction, as well as slice of life stories in colleges, magazines and e-zine editions. Her first book was published in 2012; a funny family memoir of love, loss and survival, called, . . . And THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG which won the Nesta CBC Silver Award for ‘Writing That Builds Character’, won third place in the Predators and Editors Contest and first place for People’s Choice Monthly Award. This book is close to her heart since it’s a deathbed promise to her dying child. It has the humor of ‘Cheaper by the Dozen,’ with the heart of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird. Some reviewers liken her writing to a cross between Erma Bombeck and Harper lee. She has over a dozen short stories in ‘Women’s Memoirs’, ‘Tales2inspire’, and ‘Creature Features’. Two of her short horror stories were recently published in an International Award winning anthology called “Speed of Dark.” She is presently working on a collection of short fiction, and slice of life stories in a book collection called, ‘Don’t Pluck the Duck’, due to be released in late 2017. Her first children’s story, ‘The Cat Who Wanted a Dog’ will be released in June of 2017. Author Peluso is a multi-genre and speculative writer who plans to tackle novels next.

 

To learn more about Micki Peluso, or to purchase her book, …AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG,

please visit:

Twitter: @mickipeluso

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AndTheWhippoorwillSang

Website: http://www.mallie1025.blogspot.com/

Email: mallie1025@aol.com

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52 Comments

Filed under Writing

52 responses to “#RRBC SPOTLIGHT Author, Micki Peluso!!

  1. Oh God! This is my worst nightmare too, one I will be facing next month, and I can feel that heaviness in the pit of my stomach already. Thanks for sharing your experience, Micki, although I can’t say it’s making me feel any better lol! I guess it’s just something I have to get through. All the best to you, and good luck with your book.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Picked up a copy and will add it to my extensive TBR list. Blessings to you, Micki! I know what you mean about public speaking. I spoke to 50 fifth graders and had a great time but speaking to adults is a different beast; one I haven’t conquered yet. Best wishes for much success with all your books. 😘

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Reblogged this on Jan Hawke INKorporated and commented:
    More of Micki’s tour – about making live appearances including TV no less! Micki – you are amazing! I think the ‘performance’ side of being a writer is a major worry for a lot of us – I know I’d be sh*t-scared to do what you did there, so you’re a genuine hero to me now! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Olivia Stocum

    That would scare me too. As a fiction writer I’ve tried really hard not to do book signings or speaking, hoping to make up for it with an internet presence (what I have of one…) But then I end up not feeling like a ‘real’ writer by hiding behind my computer screen!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Nice to meet you, Olivia. The way things are now, Amazon has bought out or knocked out most bookstores so only B&N is left where I live and they rarely take Indie writers. But there are community events that are good places to start. And you are a ‘real’ writer!! Never forget that. I admire writers who can manage to sell well on the Internet!

      Liked by 3 people

  5. I suffer with the same fear of public speaking. At my first book signing I thought I’d pass out at any moment. Thankfully I had another author with me, who was a pro and never at a loss for words.

    The Cat Who Wanted a Dog sounds delightful for my grandchildren. Please let us know when it becomes available. I’ll never remember otherwise.

    Liked by 3 people

    • My first time was teaching a class, to adults. I survived, and do similar things regularly now.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Craig, I think if we do it often enough we begin to feel more natural with it. I had a run in with a tick, got Lyme and that has stopped my engagements because I never know when i might have to cancel until the day of the event. When i get over it, I’l have to face my initial fears all over again.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Count me in your club. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the 1980s. Shorter term, but three days in the hospital anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I hear that, Sue. I always took family with me, especially the cute grand kids who’d hand out flyers and ask people to buy their ‘Grandma’s’ book. The ‘Cat Who Wanted a Dog ‘ should be on Amazon any day now–so says my publisher. You can private message me on facebook or send me an email with your contact number and I’ll be sure to let you know. If you want print since it’s a coloring book too, I can mail you a book or a signed book plate autograph. Thanks so much for your support.

      Liked by 2 people

      • It’s a coloring book, too? Wow! Yes please. I’m leaving for vacation next week (squirrelling away my pennies), but I’m writing myself a note so I don’t forget to message you when I get back. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Craig. I want to thank you for being such a nice host and having me on your great website.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Craig, Rocky mountain fever from ticks is a bad one too. It’s so epidemic here that i think the bacteria is evolving as no one seems to get rid of it for good–just keeps relapsing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think public speaking was one of the things that put me off from writing for so many years. Now, since I write with someone else, I can pass that duty off to her. Whew. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I share this fear with her as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Oh yeah, having a partner is great. I always kept family members with me and/or friends. That way if I fainted they could just shove me under the table and carry on in my place.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged this on Nicholas C. Rossis and commented:
    A wonderful post by one of this blog’s frequent visitors, Micki Peluso!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. A wonderful post! Thank you, Micki and Craig 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  13. This may be coming in late, but I promised myself to look in. I hope all went well. 🙂 Thank you Craig for hosting her.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Wonderful post, Micki. So delighted to know you pushed passed the fear. Sharing your journey touches others deeply. Blessings to you.
    Thank you, Craig, for the warm welcome.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Thanks Natalie, I hope my experiences written half in jest, half in truth can calm the jitters of others like me.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Great tour, Micki!! Hope you enjoyed your awesome time in the RRBC Spotlight!!! 🙂 Thanks so much for hosting & supporting her, Craig!!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Mar, it was great fun. I loved meeting and talking to those I usually just see on twitter. I feel that i know so any of you better, now. Can I do this again soon? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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