Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Humility is a virtue, or at least it had better be

Okay, so here's the thing. People don't mean to humiliate writers. It just happens. And it happens a lot.

Case in point: Recently I agreed to do an online discussion with a small group of mystery readers. The leader of the forum asked, and I said yes. It wasn't for the publicity; the group consists of only 18 members. But I figured they were nice enough to ask ...

To participate in the chat, I had to join the group, which means I receive the emails they send back and forth. Now we come to the humiliation part. When the forum's moderator announced that they would be reading and discussing my newest book, Dangerous Games, the response was, um, less than enthusiastic. One member said she was having so much fun reading and discussing J.A. Jance's mysteries that she didn't want to stop. Another opined that she already had so many books to read, she really didn't need to "try a new author." Someone else grumbled that she wouldn't actually go out and buy my book, but she would see if they had it at the library. (Hey, you know, it's a paperback - costs slightly more than a Value Meal at McD's. And it only represents a year of my life ...)

Overall, the attitude seems to be, "We were having so much fun talking about (and to) J.A." - they all call her J.A. like they're pals with her - "and now we have to read some other book by some guy we've never heard of."

The moderator, no doubt embarrassed for me, kindly stepped in and said that while she appreciated everyone's love of "J.A.," this Prescott fellow is pretty good, too. Which was nice, in a pitying sort of way.

Ah, well. The writer's life - it has a way of keeping us humble, and that, as
Martha Stewart would say, is a good thing.

5 Comments:

Blogger J. Carson Black said...

I guess it just goes to show, if you put your face outside the car window, it's going to get hit by a lightpole.

January 26, 2005 5:40 PM  
Blogger Michael Prescott said...

Sadly, this is very true. J. Carson Black, by the way, is the author of the recently released suspense novel Darkness on the Edge of Town - an exciting and powerful debut novel. Her Web site is www.jcarsonblack.com .

January 26, 2005 8:27 PM  
Blogger jaimeTampa said...

I am doing my best to get the word out. Michael Prescott is great! I am an inventory supervisor for Borders in Clearwater, so I am in contact with readers all the time. I always mention Mr. Prescott to readers looking for a new author. Hope it is helping the cause.
Keep writing and I will keep recommending.

January 27, 2005 1:51 AM  
Blogger jaimeTampa said...

And by the way, I also have J. Carson Blacks book ready to read too.

January 27, 2005 1:55 AM  
Blogger Michael Prescott said...

Thnaks, Jaime! Word of mouth is the best advertising. It's also the only kind I can afford.

January 27, 2005 12:30 PM  

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