Monday, November 19, 2007

The Dirty Dozen: Twelve Things NOT to Say to a Writer

My writers group had fun with this tonight. Here’s the list we came up with:

1. I’d love to be a writer but I just don’t have the time.
2. I have this great idea for a book. How about if I tell you about it and you write it, and then we can share the money when it’s a bestseller?
3. I bought three of your books just last week at the used bookstore.
4. I’ve got your book on order at the library.
5. I’ve lent your book to everyone I know.
6. I liked your book, but…
7. How much money do you get for a book?
8. Will you read my manuscript and tell me how I can get it published?
9. Oh, you’re a writer! Are you someone I’ve heard of?
10. You write romance/fantasy/horror/mysteries? So are you ever going to write a real book?
11. Are the sex scenes in your novels taken from your own experience?
12. You’ve written TWELVE books? Wow, you must really churn them out!

Tomorrow, I hope to have some pictures up from my signing at Murder by the Book in Houston. In the meantime, Shauna Roberts at For Love of Words has an interview with me posted on her blog. She asked some great questions.


Blogger Charles Gramlich said...

This was a fun discussion. I'm going over to check out your interview at Shauna's.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Sigh of relief -- I've never said any of those things to a writer. What's interesting though is that before I had a better view into how the publishing industry works, I never thought twice about buying used books or borrowing from the library. I always assumed that anybody who'd published a book got paid gobs of cash for it. My husband is a painter and the same misconceptions apply. More than once when I've told people that he's a full time artist they've asked "is he rich?". As it is with writers, most full time working artists are in the small minority if they can support themselves doing it and they are supporting themselves pretty modestly. Don't even get me started about starving dancers and other performers.

I like to take all opportunities to make people aware that all "artists" need support and only a teeny tiny percentage of artists get rich doing what they do. People are always surprised.

1:17 PM  
Blogger Shauna Roberts said...

My least favorite exchange goes like this.

OTHER PERSON: What do you do for a living?
ME: I'm a writer.
OTHER PERSON: Have you ever published anything?
ME: It's hard to make a living at it otherwise.
OTHER PERSON, condescendingly: Well, if you ever get anything published, I'd love for you to send me a copy.
ME: I've had hundreds of magazine articles published, and I've got several more in press. What would you be interested in seeing?

After too many of those conversations, I now say I'm a medical writer, which heads the conversation instead down the track of "What does a medical writer do?"

1:28 PM  
Blogger Steve Malley said...

Thanks for that cheery little laugh on this groggy, groggy morning!

2:37 PM  
Blogger Trish Morey said...

Hey Candy, greetings from South Australia! I'm deep in deadline hell so I thought it was a perfect time to do a little bit of positive procrastination and here I am:-))

Love the list, so true! Also love "Give me a call if you need any help with your sex scenes." (yeah, as if) and the old classic - "Where do you get your ideas from?" Well, you see, there's this book called "Ideas for Writers", it's really handy... (because there has to be an easy way, right?)

Thanks for the smile. Hope you don't mind, but I'm going to print it out and take it along to our romance meeting at the Writers Centre tonight (yep, we're still meeting there, in case you ever want to drop by)

And yes, I owe you a letter, a long one... After the book, okay?:-)

6:51 PM  

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