And other charming things to do…
“Even better fun than force-feeding diabetics candy-canes, leading blind people over open manholes, and telling kids and Dave Freer there is no Santa Claus” -Ima Meeni (the late Ima Meeni. How dare he say that about someone I’ve been good* all year** for.)
I think the best is telling them that writing is the easy life, and they should try doing a real job. You get really cool purple smoke out of their ears with that one.
It’s almost as good as “I wish I had as much free time as you.”
Mind you for really really explosive reactions try the the well-tested “I’ve got a great idea for a fantasy/sf thriller etc. I don’t have the time to research it or write it, but you do it and give me 50 (0r 70 or 90%) (yeah, like authors are short of ideas. Well, maybe some are, but they just rehash the current politically correct garbage and no one raises an eyebrow. Try money or sales. They are really interested in those. I’m looking for just one more of AMW this month.
Make that two. Someone returned it. I hope not after copying it:-( Not a lot I can do about that except hope they have the fleas of 1000 camels infesting their armpits and fingernails which turn to fishhooks.)
An injured “I’ve just bought your book. (because I know you, not because I want to read such tosh). At $26 for a paperback don’t you think you’re a bit greedy!” Don’t listen or reply when they point out they get 64 cents and are in danger of starvation.
Another great reaction can be got with “You’re my second favorite author, after (Insert someone suitably despised#).
Tell them if you’re a first reader: “Your lead character has the same name as in a really well known book, I just can’t place it.” And then when they change it, tell them you were wrong
Tell them they ought to do some research about something they cannot help knowing, and you plainly don’t. Tell Sarah Hoyt her Portuguese character/ setting would benefit from research, tell Kate Paulk it’s a pity she knows nothing about Autralians or computers, tell Dave Freer that his South African character is just too American to be believable.
Finally tell the world that the book they worked long and hard on making entertaining but layered and complex with just about everything having multiple meanings and stories within stories… is a good airplane read because it is light.
By this time they’ll be gnawing the legs off concrete tables, joining the Finnish Foreign Legion or shooting themselves messily on the lounge carpet, which is such fun to watch.
And yes, all repeated examples taken from life. So: how about a few of your finest?
*for certain values of ‘good’.
** Time is an illusion. And I can’t remember before yesterday.
# I have, among others, got Atwood – gahhhhhhhhhh! Must be the lack of squids in space, which I will rapidly have to remedy rather than have that fate again.