Wednesday, July 14, 2010

And . . .

One of the worst things that can happen to an author is the incomplete thought that often comes up in conversation with a new acquaintance and then gets interrupted.
Friend: Let me introduce you to Donita K. Paul, she goes to our church and writes dragon books.
Strange look comes over new acquaintance's face. Could be interpreted as "I've never seen her in church." or "Aren't dragons evil?" or "Where have I heard that name?" Just a strange look that makes the author feel unsettled.
Friend: My teen loves her books, and I confess, I read them too and sent them to my Dad to read."
NA: another strange look.
Friend: We have them in the church library. DragonSpell, DragonQuest, DragonThis, DragonThat.
NA: nods in recognition. "Yes, I've read some of those."
Now the subject changes. Topic of books drops like a lead balloon. Did NA like the books? Did she burn them as sacrilege in her barbeque pit? Maybe her teen saw her reading one and confiscated it. We can always hope for that one. Maybe her teen wrote a scathing review anonymously on Let's not hope for that one.
My plea: If you tell an author you read her book, please say it with a smile so if your conversation gets interrupted, the author walks away with the hope that you liked her work.


  1. Loved the example! I have to remind myself not to talk loosely about the products of an individual's time, effort, care and sacrifice.

    My perspective doesn't even make a dent on the fullness of someone's work.

  2. Oh my! I loved the part where person #1 is telling NA about the dragon books and only gets a strange look. I've had conversations like that. I've also had serious arguments with some old family friends about whether I could or should write about magic and dragons. But then again, my mom's side of the family was very strict mennonite for generations and my dad's side... well, lets just say that magic, dragons, mermaids, and the like are certainly not welcomed to be discused. Ever.

    That said, one might not wonder why I turned to the internet to find other writers who work in my favorite genres. :)

  3. awwww... It sounded more like a shock and awe moment. Like; "REALLY?! This is the woman who writes those amazing novels?!" The person was speechless because they were star struck. ;)