In the two and a bit years since Fur-Face came out in paperback, I've sold my work at about 50 book fairs, street festivals, pet shows etc. and spoken about writing in front of an audience over 150 times (more than 100 of which were solo talks).
Given the choice, I'd much rather be at the back of the room, taking notes, but with thousands of new books published every week, I understand that, for most writers at least, coming up with the best story we can write might not be enough.
People often express surprise when I tell them I'm shy. I take that as a compliment because I work very hard to appear self-assured. During 2012, when I first made a determined effort to get out and about, I certainly became more confident but I still worry people won't like me or what I've got to say.
I find loud, lairy, music helps chase the nerves away. For most of this year, I've had Iron Maiden blaring out of the speakers every time I head out to give a talk. A few rock songs played at volume eleven seems to do the trick. I arrive at my destination, raring to go - I also practice a lot in front of the mirror, which definitely helps :)
How about you?
When you know you have to step out of your comfort zone, how do you boost your confidence?