I’ve always enjoyed speaking to various groups and I especially enjoy speaking to writer’s clubs.I was invited to speak to a women's writing group called the Nite Writers. I got lost and arrived fifteen minutes late. I finally found the meeting hall and rushed into the building and hurried into the room where the meeting had already started. I introduced myself to the woman who was conducting the meeting and took my place at the podium.
I spoke for twenty minutes about writing and about the books I’d had published. I’d never had such an unresponsive audience. I’d always prided myself on my ability to make my audiences laugh but this was a group of forty stoney-faced elderly women who never cracked a smile.
I knew I had failed miserably, no doubt the worst reception in my career. I thanked them for their time and said I wished them all success in their writing.
The woman who had been at the podium when I arrived stood up and said, “Oh, we aren’t the writer’s group, we are the Daughters of the Confederacy, the Nite Writers meet down the hall.”
“But why didn’t you tell me I was in the wrong room?” I asked as I grabbed my bag of books and my coat.
“Oh, we didn’t have a program planned tonight so when you came into the room we just figured it was dumb luck and we’d listen to whatever you had to say,” she said.
I ran down the hall, found the room where the Nite Writers were meeting and explained I was the last Yankee taken prisoner by the Daughters of the Confederacy.
The leader of the Nite Writers shook her head and said, “Sadly, you aren’t the first speaker they’ve hi-jacked. In the future we’re going to meet our speakers in the parking lot.”
This October I have plans to speak at two libraries, a book club and a senior center.
I’ve learned my lesson, when going anywhere to promote my book, I will confirm the directions, arrive early and make sure I am in the right place and watch out for the Daughters of the Confederacy!
- April Knight