Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Reading aloud...

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I've been busy as a one-armed paper-hanger lately, as the old expression goes. Mostly I've been rehearsing the hell out of the stuff I'm going to read this Monday night at The Painted Lady.
Of course, I'm nervous as hell, always terrified of causing a single yawn. The way I figure it, I owe the audience a great deal for making the effort to come out and hear me. No, they're not paying money but they are paying the most valuable thing they own - their time, their precious time, willing to spend what they will never ever get back.

I feel an enormous sense of responsibility. So the goal is to make sure what I'm giving them is even remotely worth that slice of time - what I'm giving them is somewhere within the realm of the other acts and experiences they could have taken part in or carried out instead of coming to see me.

In the end I just hope to distract people from their daily grind for a few moments - take them away from their dull routine - cuz we all have a dull routine. As a long gone friend of mine used to say, 'Life is mostly maintenance' and man, was she right. So much time spent on self-upkeep, and then a quarter to a third of your existence spent unconscious so that doesn't leave much - three-quarters of a century at the very most, a mere sliver of time, gone before you know it.

So I rehearse and rehearse, carefully re-write the passages I have chosen to be read aloud, when much of the descriptive linkage can be left out. No need to say a character shouted or sighed or whatever, I can do that while reading to the audience. So the manuscript must be altered slightly to eliminate that kind of redundancy, make it more visceral and less literary - re-create that world in three dimensions.

After doing a couple readings in the past 7 or 8 months, I'm still in panic mode while rehearsing, feeling as if I can barely breathe, stammering, ready to burst into tears. But when I get on stage, it all melts away and as long as I concentrate on the words, I'm fine. I guess that's the key, don't let your mind wander, stay inside the story, the scene, live in that world...

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Basil Papademos

Basil Papademos is the author of MOUNT ROYAL: There's Nothing Harder Than Love, published in the spring of 2012 by Tightrope Books, also available as an ebook in all formats from all digital retailers. His earlier novel, The Hook of it is, was published by Emergency Press. His upcoming novel, How To **** Your Psychiatrist, will be published in the fall of 2013.

Go to Basil Papademos’s Author Page