I totally suck at small talk. Mostly because I am an introvert, When I tell people I’ve just met that I’m a writer and I’ve had three books published, the question I am asked most is never what I expect.
I’ve garnered comments such as “Mature protagonists? You mean your books are like Fifty Shades of Even greyer Grey?” and “It’s about time someone showed that women aren’t invisible after 40!” I like that comment.
There was also the well-meant, and very cringeworthy “Mr Turnbull, my wife can show you how to sex up a cost-benefit analysis,” to which, thankfully, the now-current Prime Minister of Australia offered a gracious smile.
I’ve been asked “What do you write?” and “Do you do research for sex scenes?” and even, “Have I ever read anything you’ve written?”
Yet, the the most frequent question is “When will your next book be published?”
I find that flattering and tremendously WTF at the same time before I remember the general public has no real idea how long it takes to write a book, let alone have it published.
Rather than become indignant, I get self conscious. I’ve drawn attention to myself, and I think I better, you know, get over myself and engage in small talk. So then I get a little teachery and FEEL THE NEED TO EDUCATE!
The man with the schooner of beer is waiting for me to answer his “When will your next book be published?”
I respond with:
True, some writers are able to hammer out a story in a few weeks. Others a few months,. Me? I take about 9 months to a year. Getting the book published can take even longer; from a few months to a year or even longer if the book is in print form. I have two books out there right now, both waiting to find a home. Yes, I have a publisher, but that does not guarantee my next two books will be accepted for publication, and even if they are, there is still the editorial process. The editorial process can take months. So this book I wrote two years ago, might not come out until next year.
Then I notice that his eyes have glazed over and his beer/rum-n-coke/champagne glass is empty and I totally sucked tremendously hard at the whole small talk thing.
Ho Ho Ho, Kids.
Looking for a smartassed presents to give to those who love to read smartass?
My three books go so well with coffee!