Some Stupid Questions We Writers Get Sometimes

picture courtesy of Google.com

Lately, once again, I have been asked a bunch of those really, really dumb questions I keep hearing over and over again.

I was discussing books with someone, and that person tells me: “For years I plan to write a book, but I just don’t have time. I replied: “Time is not the only thing you need. It needs a lot more to publish a book.” – The question back: “Why would you know?”
My answer: “What do you think?”

Or another situation: We’re talking about hobbies, how we’re spending time off work, and people do things like cooking, sports (often means watching football), walking dogs and so on. Except me, I said. “I write.” And of course one asks me: “You mean, you’re writing a diary?”
I looked at the person and replied scornfully: “Oh, I’m sure writing my personal diary is important enough for me to mention.”
Let’s say, the embarrassment of my conversation partner was clearly visible.

The next question is even worse. “Oh – you published a book? Can I have one?”
I replied: “Of course, you can – the title is ‘Soul Taker,’ you can get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo…”
(Seriously: What do people think? Am I running around with a stack of my books in my purse to hand it out like candy?)

I’m sometimes surprised how insensitive some people are with authors. There are a few more of these, what I call ‘dumbest things you can ask an author.’

Is it good? What am I supposed to reply? No, it’s the biggest crap you can imagine, but buy it anyway?

Will I like it? What am I, a fortune teller?

How much are you making? So discrete and tactful, your question. (And yes, I’m sarcastic!)

Don’t you have a great time writing instead of having a real job? What the hell do you think I do? Sleeping in, typing three sentences into the computer and then wait until the book magically writes itself?

So you are a second J. K. Rowling then? No, not really. J. K. Rowling is one of the most extraordinary writing talents of the last century, and I admire her! But I don’t want to be a second J. K. Rowling – I want to be a first A. J. Alexander!

Can you write a book on teenage pregnancy/family inheritance rows/vampires and werewolves/superheroes/dystopian futures because I’d love to read that story? No. I’m not a performing monkey. I write what I want to write, what I’m interested in and what I love. Also, YOU (asker of said question) are almost definitely not my target audience!

 

There are so many more stupid questions one can ask an author; this is only a small portion of the insensitivity most of us a facing far too often.
If you have any experience with questions like this, funny situations or similar, let’s hear them in the comments, please. We’re curious.


In my January Newsletter, I asked my subscribers to help me collect stupid questions they are asked occasionally because I thought they make a funny blog post. Here are mine and the ones I got sent by Rachel Twomey. Thank you, Rachel.

25 thoughts on “Some Stupid Questions We Writers Get Sometimes

  1. Man have I heard a number of these questions and more. But the one I really want to give you a thumbs up for is the J K Rowling one. That is the EXACTLY the way I answer that question when it’s posed to me. “No I don’t want to be the next Stephen King, the world already has one, I want to be…” Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am mid way through the rough draft of my first Novel, I avoid telling people about it because of the moronic questions. I just tell them what they want to hear. It’s about celebrity vampires, battling speech impediments, finding love in the NBA, and looking for nannies.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been asked if I’m famous. I just kinda giggle and say, “No, but I’m not writing to become famous. I do it because I love it.” I’ve been asked how much I make as well. I usually just ask them how much they make at their job, and suddenly they realize they’ve asked a rude question. But yeah, my favorite is the “can I have a copy of your book question” mainly cause I can tell them they can download my first book free online. I don’t think one of them has bothered to do it, but meh.

    Liked by 1 person

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