Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Spin, or no spin? (How many books have you written?)
There are no silly questions, right? Well, maybe a few. Such as, “How much do you weigh?” Or, “Are you going to eat that?” But when I consider questions a writer is asked by folks who don’t understand how long it takes to write a book, edit a book, sell a book (hopefully), market a book, and then start all over again, my head spins around á la Linda Blair. (Don’t worry, that typically only happens when I’m alone and sitting in front of my monitor.)
Anyway, should we really be totally honest when responding to questions such as, “How many books have you written?” Or, “Is this your first?”
It has to be confusing if I say, “I’ve written five or maybe it’s six if you count the entire overhaul of my third, when I completely changed the genre but if you throw in partials, it might be nine or ten, anyway, I finished writing my first book over twenty years ago, and at some point before I finally sold my third manuscript, I realized how poorly written the first and second ones were, even though I love those stories and characters and back then thought one of them, or both (!) might be a best seller as for the next, well, you do know about my second book, it came out in 2011 and I’m trying to get an editor or agent interested in a novel I co-wrote two years ago, but so far no luck in the meantime I’m pubbing a collection of five short stories, and that ebook should be out in a few months then I’m going to focus on the SF manuscript that’s nearly 50% complete or maybe another non-fiction I have two of those started wait, I have to change what I said earlier about how many I’ve written, I forgot to count those plus I do have three screenplays I co-wrote do they count and I also have a cool YA screenplay that I’d like to get back to, but I’m a fairly slow writer, so it might be a while.”
There goes my head. Around and around she goes.
Instead of being completely honest, is it fair to simply offer a smile, along with a business card? Perhaps accompanied by, “Publishing is a terribly slow process, but I do have a small collection of short stories coming out soon.”
Then again, perhaps I should learn to embrace the spin cycle!