Wednesday, March 24, 2010
A Visit by L. Diane Wolfe
L. Diane Wolfe "Spunk On A Stick"
Professional Speaker & Author
L. Diane Wolfe is probably already recognizable to many of my readers. Her wonderfully eclectic blog is informative and entertaining. Her blog offers advice on writing, speaking, and motivation; reviews; stories; links to other informational blogs; and even photos. Diane is an amazingly talented individual who does public speaking and authors books. Currently she is on her book tour promoting her newest release in her young adult literature CIRCLE OF FRIENDS series. She has already visited numerous other blogsites on her virtual book tour and if you are interested in checking out some of those other visits she has them listed on her site.
Today on Tossing It Out I had a few questions for Diane about speaking in public. Many of us have a mortal fear of standing in front of people and giving a speech. However, speaking is often part of the promotional job of an author. Part of Diane's business is helping to motivate people, but also she instructs people like writers how to promote themselves and their writing. So with that in mind I have some questions for our spunky expert.
How did you start? Do you do anything in particular to prepare (classes in school, clubs, church)?
I was involved with a motivational training program for ten years, and that’s where I learned public speaking.
I remember the first time I stood on stage in front of several thousand people. I only had to say a couple lines, but I was so nervous! Microphone in hand, I scanned the crowd and located a familiar face in the audience. That person’s smiling face gave me the confidence I needed and I survived my first ordeal without incident.
I’m a member of the National Speakers Association and they offer many opportunities to grow as a speaker. I always want to continue to improve my craft!
How do you overcome nervousness (if you become nervous)? Do you do anything special before an engagement to connect with your audience that helps you feel more comfortable?
I’m really only nervous when I give a talk for the first time or if I haven’t done a particular seminar in a while. There’s a little anxiety going on, but I tend to funnel my nervousness into enthusiastic energy. I may feel uneasy, but my audience only sees ‘Spunky.”
When speaking to an organization or business, I try to learn about the group before the event. What’s their focus? What will rock their world?
For my seminars, I keep in mind those people have come to learn. It may be old news to me, but for many, it’s the first time they’ve ever heard the information. I focus on how I can help them. They don’t care about me! They want to know how I can enrich their lives.
Why would improving one's speaking skills be important to a writer who might not feel particularly comfortable with speaking? Seems obvious to me, but I repeatedly read about authors who just want to write and not promote or speak in public.
*Chuckle* Besides the obvious?
Yes, the Internet is a powerful tool, but authors cannot rely just on the Web.
As authors, we’re gonna have to talk to people! We’ll need to speak at book signings and library events. We’ll speak to book clubs and writer’s groups. And we can’t forget the media! If we’re on TV or the radio, we are speaking.
Speaking makes us more marketable as an author. All of the possibilities I mentioned above revolve around speaking about our book. However, those opportunities expand ten-fold when we are able to speak professionally on a given topic. (And those venues appreciate us more when we talk about something other than our book. In fact, the media will demand it!)
Think of all the businesses, organizations, and events that need speakers. We open ourselves up to new audiences, ones we might not reach on our own. Many of these venues pay us to speak as well.
And a strange thing happens when we speak - more people buy our books!
Need I say more?
As far as I'm concerned that just about puts it in a nutshell. And in my book Diane's exactly right, but we're not here to talk about my book, today this is about L. Diane Wolfe's book. So thanks to Diane for some good advice and here's some information about her book which is now available:
THE CIRCLE OF FRIENDS
BOOK V … HEATHER
BY L. DIANE WOLFE
When confidence turns to frustration…
A new beginning awaits Heather Jennings. The position at Clemson means she will finally realize her dream of coaching basketball. Heather is ready to focus on her duties, using sheer force if necessary to prove her independence.
Sadly, her triumph is hampered as her father and greatest advocate lies dying of cancer. Battling her grief, she must also deal with a sister who appears incapable of responsibility or achievement. And once basketball season begins, a talented but cocky player who resembles her in every manner challenges all that remains of Heather’s patience.
Heather’s life changes when she encounters a man capable of handling her bold and feisty attitude. Straightforward and smug, he entices her to date him, and despite his gruff nature shows a great capacity for compassion. However, the last thing Heather needs is a serious relationship with a man equally fixated on work and opposed to marriage…
Release date: March 16, 2010, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
$19.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 282 pages, Fiction/YA
ISBN 978-0-9816210-5-0 / 0-9816210-5-8
How about these reviews!>>>
“Heather deals with real life and real situations.” 5 Stars
- Teens Read Too
“Curl up onto your favorite reading spot and journey along with Heather as she seeks the balance of family and work relationships. Be prepared to be pulled into Heather’s world and you will find yourself cheering her on and wanting to scold her at the same time. L. Diane Wolfe has created amazing characters with believable attributes and flaws; making Book V in the Circle of Friends series a true gem.”
- Donna M. McDine, Write What Inspires You Book Reviews
“Even after reading the novel, I am haunted by these characters… These characters are real to me, living breathing people that I now feel like I’ve known for years. This is the power of Wolfe’s writing.”
- The Book Pedler
Described as “encouragement personified”, Wolfe’s five-book Southern-based series portrays love and friendship overcoming all obstacles. Known as “Spunk On A Stick” to her fans, Wolfe is also a professional speaker. Originally from Oregon, she now resides in North Carolina. “With a positive attitude, any goal can be achieved!” http://www.thecircleoffriends.net/ http://www.spunkonastick.net/
L. Diane Wolfe
Professional Speaker & Author
Known as “Spunk On A Stick,” Wolfe is a member of the National Speakers Association. “Overcoming Obstacles With SPUNK! The Keys to Leadership & Goal-Setting”, ties all of her goal-setting and leadership seminar’s information together into one complete, enthusiastic package. Her YA series, The Circle of Friends, features morally grounded, positive stories that appeal to both teens and concerned parents. Ten years associating with a motivation training system and experience as a foster parent gave her the in-depth knowledge of relationships, personality traits and success principles. Wolfe travels extensively for media interviews and speaking engagements, maintains a dozen websites & blogs, manages an online writer’s group, and contributes to several other sites.
Links to purchase:
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Circle-Friends-Book-V-Heather/dp/0981621058/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265066454&sr=1-12
Barnes & Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Circle-of-Friends/L-Diane-Wolfe/e/9780981621050/?itm=12&usri=l++diane+wolfe
Dancing Lemur Press L.L.C. : http://www.dancinglemurpress.com/id18.html