Saturday, July 28, 2007

Can't we do something about all these readers?

This week, while absent from The Blog, I interacted, often for hours at a stretch, with non-blog people. (Perfectly legal. Check your pre-nup.) These people knew, because my husband is over the moon about it, that I'd written a book. So I chatted with people over meals, and in elevators, and during briefings, about said book. I even sold four of them, and could have sold more, if I'd thought to alert the local bookstore to my close proximity. Next time, I'm doing that, even if it makes me feel like an egotistical idiot. (Maybe my husband will call the store for me. )

Anyhow, after filling them in on The Big Story of how I wrote Letters From Rapunzel, and how I won the contest, and how I waited, with the patience of a gargoyle, for it to be published, and then wrapped it all up with how little this has changed my life while simultaneously changing it forever, most, all of them...asked me: so what's your next book?

Thank God I could tell them about the manuscript I'd just completed. I wasn't even phobic about interrupting my muse, because I'd gotten through a complete draft and was sure the story wasn't going to dry up and evaporate like good smell on a dog. This enabled me to survive a few more conversations in a few more elevators and bathrooms.

But then, and you know what's coming don't you? Someone asked: so, do you have an idea for the one after THAT?

It's a tough audience out there, my blog friends. They eat thousands of words a day and don't even take a dictionary break before holding out their book-hungry hands for more. (Just look at the questions J.K. Rowling is getting.)

I, for one, am willing to do my part. But you guys that keep saying you're gonna write a book "some day" and then keep producing excellent readers instead (teachers, I'm talking to you!) or filling hospital beds with patients who can't sit up but read like they're on crack (surgeons, I blame you!) or actually expose books on labeled shelves and then press them, FREE, into the hands of complete strangers (librarians, I'm on to you!) ....well, you'd better start pulling some of this load, because otherwise, we authors are gonna start recommending some darn good TV.


  1. May I lift "patience of a gargoyle" and use it in a conversation -- if I am sure to credit you?


    Jules, who loves a good metaphor

  2. Oh my!
    I just had this SELFSAME SURREAL CONVERSATION last weekend! I thought discussing a couple would be great. But then they wanted, "and anything else?" so I went on to discuss the mss. that needs major revision before it's sent around again. And they still said, "And after that?" And I began to get a bit ...panicky. I wanted to reply, "And then you're going to write something, right?"

    Reader greed: it's a terrible thing to waste. Writers, start your keyboards.

  3. You may, jules. Although I may also require you to use it IN A BOOK. :)

    TadMack: "reader greed" that! Isn't it nice to be wanted???
    P.S. Are we going to get to see each other before the panel at SCBWI? Kelly and I are meeting up on Thursday, I think.

  4. Hey, you started blogging! Well, I'm late to the party but I'll have a lampshade on my head before long.

  5. That's the great thing about blogs, Katie...the party just keeps going all night, and I don't have to put out more chips or beer or anything. Welcome! :)

  6. Ouch! Guilty as charged. If/when I get my next library job, I'll start leading patrons over to the DVDs instead. Okay? Pressure's off.

    And the phrase I plan to borrow (steal) is "dry up and evaporate like good smell on a dog."

  7. Ha! You're so right to call out all those people feeding the Reading Machine. What are they thinking?

    Can't believe that person asked you whether you had an idea for your next book after your next one. What a hoot. Insatiable!

  8. I don't feel so guilty, reading AND writing. Nice post. I will have to snatch up your book and keep an eye out for number 2.

    May your imagination become rejuvinated- PRESTO! There... now you are ready for number 3!


  9. Amy, welcome! And thanks for the burst of energy...POW! I feel a third book coming on!

    What are you writing? (I promise not to ask what's after THAT?)

  10. BTW, Robin...I swear I wrote "like good smell on a dog" BEFORE I read about Bear's adventures today. How many days (hours) do you think his bath will last? ;)

  11. Sara, the bath seems to be holding. Thank you for your concern--I feel it as well.

  12. I am writing a regional ghost book. I have just begun in the writing game and took this contract as a great opportunity to earn my chops.
    I also write in my two blogs, and

    I have written a few book reviews for the local newspaper and hope to do a string of them while I follow my son's sandlot football team on victory road (yeah right)!

    Check out my blogs. Maybe I can inspire. Funny things happen to me ALL the time.


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