Sunday, July 18, 2010

Christine Stovell on Being On Her First Panel - RNA Conference 2010

The Chot Lit Panel

I used to work in the research department of a trades union with a lovely colleague, Maureen, who, whenever I was gnashing my teeth about some woe, would smile serenely and say to me, ‘No-one died!’.  I took some comfort from Maureen’s words after my stint on Choc Lit’s panel on Saturday. 

The theme of our slot was ‘Sharing Our Choc Lit Heroes,’ and whilst Lyn, Christina, Sue and Jane did just that, my brain decided it wasn’t going to share mine, no way.  The talk that I had practised in my study went straight out of my head when I looked up and saw... faces!  Where did all those people come from?

I thought that caring deeply about my subject would make it easier, but in fact it made it twice as hard!  Despite smiles and nods from some kind souls in the audience (I’m truly grateful to you, you lovely ladies), I stammered and stuttered through my piece before staggering off wondering how it had all gone so wrong.  But then Maureen’s words came back to me.  So what if I’d made a bit of chimp of myself?  I got through it.  No-one died.

If anyone would like a copy of the talk I meant to give, just contact me at and I’ll happily email it to you!


Liz Fielding said...

Most people would rather stick pins in their eyes than talk in public, Chris and I'm sure you were great. We are all our own harshest critics.

Cara Cooper said...

Hi Christine I was in the audience, it was a great talk and no one would have known that it wasn't the one you had prepared. As they say, the show must go on and the show did go on. Well done!

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

I agree with Cara. I thought your talk was great and your words certainly inspired me.

Jane Lovering said...

And there was me thinking you were being all cool and professional! You are being too hard on yourself, the whole thing went down beautifully (and you were wearing a wonderful dress).

Chris Stovell said...

Liz, thank you for the reassuring comment. It was went fine in my room - but having people there threw me!

Cara,aw, thanks! You don't know how close that show came to stopping!

Debs, what a kind thing to say.

Jane, you were a tough act to follow! And thanks for comment about dress - family still reeling at seeing me in a frock!

Sarah Callejo said...

I'm sure you made a good impression, if only with your beautiful dress. And in any case, you were among friends and writers, who are mostly used to hiding behind computer screens and would never dare to speak before an audience (talking about myself, of course).

Bluestocking Mum said...

Ahh, I wish I'd been there Chris. Next year, I'm determined.

I just know you will have been wonderful and inspiring. I can imagine how daunting it must have been. Cut yourself some slack girl- it's all new. You'll be an old hand by next year!