I hate when strangers ask me about my writing. I know I’m supposed to say… Well, actually I have no idea what I’m supposed to say. That’s the problem.
I’m sure it’s something scintillating and insightful. Or maybe something scripted by the marketing department, such as “Yes! I’m a writer! You can find my books at the store just down the street. May I walk you there?”
That never seems quite right.
I am tremendously grateful to be a writer. It’s my dream job, and I’m blessed to be able to do it. I just develop sudden-onset neurosis when people ask:
“Would I recognize your books?”
My usual answer is, “Well, I didn’t write the Harry Potter books.”
Because, really, how many other middle-grade books do members of the general public recognize? I’m thinking: none. Even if I were a zillion times more successful, they wouldn’t know my work.
If we have to talk about my books, my favorite question is:
“Are you published?”
It’s a nice, open-ended question. It acknowledges that people can be writers without being published. And if I want, I can say, “Well actually, I’m thinking of working as a barista instead.”
And then run for the nearest cave and hang a “recluse in training” sign on the door.