Thursday, February 17, 2005

Wronging writers

Ah, the writer's life. Some people are very nice to writers. Others ... well, here's a real-life episode from a few years ago. I was attending a party at an apartment complex where I lived, and met a husband and wife in their late fifties or early sixties. Small talk ensued. They seemed affable enough at first - until the subject of my career came up.

Husband: What sort of work do you do?
Me: I write novels.
Husband: But how do you make money? Do you have some other job?
Me: No, I just write books.
Husband (skeptical): And you make a living at that?
Me: I try.
Husband: How many have you written?
Me: Fifteen by now. I do one a year.
Husband (shocked and disapproving): You're a full-time writer, and you write ONLY one book a year?
Me: Well, um, yeah.

Husband shakes his head in disgust and walks away. Wife lingers.

Wife: What sort of books are they?
Me: Suspense novels.
Wife:: Oooh, I love mysteries.
Me: Well, they're not exactly mysteries.
Wife: Whodunits. I love whodunits.
Me: Mine aren't really whodunits.
Wife: What are they?
Me: Well, they're mostly about, um, serial killers.
Wife (wrinkling her nose and baring her teeth): UGH!

Wife spins on her heel and marches off, leaving me alone.

Within two minutes, I had managed to elicit reactions of unmitigated contempt from two total stangers. I left the party a few minutes later - slipping out the back door like a common thief.

Mamas, don't let your children grow up to be writers ...

2 Comments:

Blogger Jeff Perren said...

Ignoramuses. I don't read crime thrillers (though I will be picking up yours on my next trip to town -- I live in a rural area), but that kind of reaction is just stupid.

Not to mention, rude.

Pay it no mind.

March 31, 2005 11:55 AM  
Blogger Michael Prescott said...

I found it pretty funny, actually. It made a good story, and I enjoyed it as such. But thanks for the words of support.

April 01, 2005 2:31 PM  

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