Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Things People Say To Fiction Authors

"You have to write the story of my life! It would make a great book!"

Seriously. I don't write non-fiction, so it's not likely I'd write someone's life story. (Besides, I don't think I want to know you that well.)

"You have to write about my experiences at work/in the Army/in college/in Pick-A-State."

It's true that life is stranger than fiction, but a story requires a plot, with conflict, great characterization, and it's put together and twisted and shaped into a finished product. Stories about life experiences are biographies or non-fiction.

"I've always had this great idea for a book. I can give it to you and you can write it."

If you're so excited about it, you write it. We can't expect another person to be as excited about our ideas as we are. And -- I have plenty of ideas of my own. Time and marketability are the issue.


  1. You forgot one, Cher. How about, "Wow, with all the books you sell, you must be rich!" LOL

    Care to tell us how you respond to that one?

  2. Yes! I simply respond with, "Yes, I am." Let them think what they will. And you know I truly am rich. I am so blessed with my family and my health and friends, and rich doesn't necessarily mean money, now does it? :-)

    But believe it or not, "How much money do you make?" is asked most often. No one would dream of asking someone in another profession how much they earn. To this one I answer, "You tell me how much you make and I'll tell you if you're hot or cold."

  3. Love those responses! I guess it's best if the world remains blissfully ignorant of how little writers are paid for months of work. But if they knew the truth, there would be no doubt that you do it for the love of writing, not for the pay.

  4. I'd like to write my memoir. I would hope if it was published, Cheryl, you'd want to read it. Granted it might be a bit depressing but it might help some people out too.

  5. I saw on another romance author's site a list of questions/comments that she says that she does not like to hear...some of the ones you mentioned are on it along with a few more including:
    Are the sex scenes from your real life? and
    When are you going to write a good book again?

  6. << When are you going to write a good book again? >>

    Oh, my goodness! What a RUDE thing to say. How can people be so rude?? Amazing, isn't it? What is her reply to that?

    I've heard, "So, when are you going to write a real book?" My reply: "When they stop paying me so well to write these fake ones."

  7. The author was Karen Hawkins and the entire comment was “I loved your second book but the last eleven aren’t as good. When are you going to write a good book again?” ...She compares that statement to someone telling you that your first child is ok, but the other three are ugly. She said that writing is a personal process and liking a book is subjective. Not everyone is going to have the same opinion. I have to agree with her.

  8. I loved your sharing this. Every occupation has it drawbacks and I found yours here very, very funny.

  9. That's amazing that people could be so rude as to ask how much money you make. You should ask them how much they make.