The MTV Books Blog will close on October 31. Follow us to our new home at YA Outside the Lines on November 1!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Myths about Being an Author

It’s been about a year and a half since I accepted an offer from MTV Books for Shrinking Violet and during that time I have fielded many questions about being an author. I thought I’d share some of the more interesting questions with you. All in good fun of course, but I sure did get a kick out of some of these questions!

1. “Are you going to be as rich as J. K. Rowling?”
My answer: “I wish!”

2. “Do you need a personal assistant?”
My answer: “Are they giving those out for free?”

3. “Your book is with MTV? What Channel?”
My answer: I’m not answering that one. Enough said.

4. “Do you need someone to fly with you on your book tour?”
My answer: “Sorry, I already have a personal assistant for that.”

5. “Will you remember me when you’re famous?”
My answer: “Remind me who you are again.”

Whatever your profession is, I’d love to hear some funny questions that you’ve encountered along the way.


Jennifer Echols said...

Actually, when I tell people I'm an author, they do not want to talk to me. They back away. They assume I stapled my books together myself and I'm trying to sell them to everybody out of the back of my car.

(Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

I have learned that when I talk about being an author, one of the first things out of my mouth needs to be "Simon & Schuster." Then people say "ohhhhhh, Simon & Schuster," and edge closer again.

Jan Blazanin said...

I've had that same experience, Jenn! Most people hold their crossed fingers up to ward off evil until they hear that a publisher actually paid me--not the other way around.

Danielle, most of my best stupid questions came when I was teaching. You've probably heard most of them, like, "Do you sleep here {my classroom}?" No, it just feels that way. "Do you really get to school THAT early?" Unfortunately, I do. "Do you like checking papers?" Better than anything in the whole, wide world.

jenny said...

Jennifer - that's funny. I get the same impression, that people are like, "Oh, that's cute, you wrote a book." (no I've written 10). The thing is, everyone thinks they have a book in them. I had a former neighbor relay a "funny story that totally belongs in a book" about her garbage can mistakenly being taken by the garbage man. And people can say, "I'm a writer" and mean it - they write. But people also ski and how often do you hear people say, "I'm a skier." Or "I'm a basketball player." But for some reason when you tell people you're a writer/author you need to clarify to make it actually mean something to them, as in "I get paid to write."

Anonymous said...

I worked in Internet marketing for 10 years and people always asked, "So, what do you do? Spam people all day?" I found that question so condescending.

Danielle Joseph said...

No, i definitely get that too, people wondering if the book is really in the bookstore. And then there are all the people that either have started writing a book, have a "great" idea for a book or know someone that wrote a book.

That spam comment would definitely piss me off too. And Jan, when I taught my students were always stunned to see me out in the real world!