So, Susan, what is your book about?

I’m torturing myself by sitting in front of a video camera and interviewing myself.  I even put on eye make-up and lipstick. I spent half the morning writing “conversational” answers to the question “what’s your book about?” I’m such a dweeb.

I can easily write journalistic descriptions of “Passion & Peril on the Silk Road.” And I could probably stand in front of an audience and give a speech about how the book transpired and what it’s about. But if someone just casually asks me so what’s it about? my mind goes blank. I don’t have the 30-second elevator pitch.

Last week I went to lunch with my new friend Nancy. On the way out of the restaurant, she introduced me to a table of 5 friends. “Susan’s an author! She just published a novel!” They were all ears. “What’s it about?” someone asks. I stammered out some nonsense… thriller… Pakistan… antiquities dealers… and quickly distributed the card with my website. I didn’t drool or faint, but I could have done better. Much better. I don’t have the short little declarative sentences that sound alive and spontaneous.

So I’m writing things out. And I do need a little “author video” for my marketing package.

The problem is that you can’t easily read a script into video — guess that’s what teleprompters are for — or memorizing — or finding a friend to interview me and actually (gasp) being spontaneous.

Deeper issues: I’m too aware of the nostrils on my upturned nose. Camera angle must be just right. And then the light glints off those lower werewolf canines of mine.

Ok, back to work.

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