People like to talk about other people, often in a generic way. One kind of person that seems to give endless conversational gambits to people is authors. People who write books. Novels.
Sometimes I end up in a conversation with such people and they don’t know that I’m an author. I feel somewhat odd at such times because it’s as if they are talking about me and I don’t know whether I should inform them that I’m one of the people they are talking about or if I should just shut up.
Their conversations seem to take one of two tacks. Either they are awed that anyone can write a story — or they wonder why authors pretend to work so hard when anyone could do what they do in a lot less time with a lot less effort.
If I tell them I’m an author, it’s as if I’m either asking to be congratulated or — if the conversation hasn’t been gentle on authors — they think I’m about to start an argument.
So I usually just shut up and hope they don’t ask what I do for a living. Because I’m not sure what I’d say.
After such a conversation the other day, I slunk back home and turned on my computer and hid in the story I’m writing, The Snow Queen. The heroine, Laurie, is a professional artist and that’s kind of similar to being an author. I’ll bet she’s been unwillingly involved in such conversations and I wonder how she handled them.
I think I’ll ask her.
Oops, maybe not because, as the author of The Snow Queen, I’d have to figure out what she’d say and I haven’t a clue.