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.

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Author Spotlight – Helen & Lorri Carpenter

Welcome!

Thanks! We appreciate the opportunity!

Please introduce yourself.

We’re HL Carpenter, a mother/daughter duo. We write family-friendly fiction from our studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like our stories, is unreal but not untrue.

 

1. When did you start writing?

Helen had fiction published when she was young and she began writing seriously when her job was downsized shortly after her kids left home. A few years later, Lorri decided she also wanted to get serious with her writing, and a partnership was born.

 

2. What motivates you to write?

Researchers might say what motivates us to write is momoamine oxidase A. When we sit down at our computers and jump into a story, mood elevating neurotransmitters fire up, activating our happiness gene. The hours disappear in a blur of joyful contentment.
That’s probably the real reason. We’re certainly not going to admit we write the stories we do because we’re…weird. So let’s just say we like creating worlds that are one twist of the dial away from the expected. Okay, we’re weird.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

We’re multi-genre authors. Our works include fantasy, allegory, satire and mystery. We tend to get bored easily, so switching genres is a great way to keep the ideas and the words flowing. Another advantage is that there’s always something new to learn, because each genre has its own peculiarities.

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

Our goals change. When we started writing, our goal was to finish a complete manuscript (an entire book, whee!).
When we achieved that, our goal became having an editor respond favorably to our query.
Once that happened, the goal shifted to getting published.
Now…hmmm…let’s see… Oh, yes! Reaching the bestseller list and having a book optioned for a movie is definitely a goal.
After that happens…well, we’ll create the next goal when we get there. 🙂

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

No, we are quite fortunate. We think that’s one of the benefits of writing with a partner.

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

If you have a story to tell, tell it.
Then put the manuscript in a drawer and go study authors whose books you love. Ask yourself what draws you to those stories. Write or type out passages that resonate with you. After a couple of months of immersing yourself in your favorite books, take your manuscript out of storage and read it with fresh eyes. Revise it based on what you’ve learned. Repeat the process at least once more.
And all the while, believe in the wisdom of Dr. Seuss. Oh, the places you’ll go.

7. Please tell us about your work.

Our books span genres, yet they all have signature similarities: a strong, practical, intelligent female protagonist, a steadfast friend or two with a sense of humor, and a supportive if exasperating family or family substitute. They’re all “clean” too. You won’t find explicit sex, violence, or language in our stories. We strive to create a world where readers of any age are welcome.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

Thank you for inviting us!


About HL Carpenter:

HL Carpenter is a mother/daughter duo who write from their studio in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit HLCarpenter.com to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.


Connect with HL Carpenter:

https://www.hlcarpenter.com

https:// www.pinterest.com/hlcarpenter

https:// twitter.com/hl_carpenter

https://www.amazon.com/HL-Carpenter/e/B007SHS9LA


HL Carpenter books:

We have a page on our website with all our books listed: https://www.hlcarpenter.com/index.php/fiction/

Our books are also listed on our Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/HL-Carpenter/e/B007SHS9LA/

Cover Reveal and New Book Announcement – Written By Don Massenzio

Don Massenzio presents us the cover and an excerpt of his new book Kongo.com. I love the cover and the announcement, Don! Well done!


Well, after a great deal of time, effort and procrastination, I am happy to announce my new book, kongo.com, that will be released on

March 29, 2019.

 

Find the entire blog post here:

https://donmassenzio.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/cover-reveal-and-new-book-announcement/

Author Spotlight – Welcome Back Darlene Foster

It is a very special pleasure for me to welcome you back on ‘Writer’s Treasure Chest’. In your former visits we learned about your writing, your writing process and asked for some advice. But there are so many more questions to ask!

Let’s see what you can tell us today:

1. Would you please describe your writer’s spot?

If you mean where I do my writing, it is usually in my office in my home in Spain. It’s the spare bedroom which we have turned into my office with a desk, computer and comfy office chair. I’m surrounded by books, magazines, a dictionary, thesaurus and other writer’s aids. Pictures of my family grace the walls. It is not a neat and tidy place but it works for me. I also hand write in the car (while hubby is driving, of course) on airplanes and sitting on my sunny terrace.

2. Is there a particular plan or schedule you follow with your writing?

I am a usually very organized person who loves to plan. But with my writing, I don’t have a plan or schedule, I’m a genuine panster. I write when I get time and when I get ideas. I create a mind map, basically with locations and characters, to help me stay on track but it doesn’t always help. It gets very messy by the time I’ve finished the book. I sound totally disorganized, it’s a wonder I ever get anything written!

3. Do you think writers often are ‘introverted’ people, preferring to be alone rather than in company?

Some writers are introverted I’m sure, but not me. I love being around people, am energized by them and get my ideas by being around a variety of folks. Meeting new people is always a treat for me. You learn so much from others. I find it difficult to be alone and get bored quickly.

4. Do you publicly speak or have readings, and if yes, do you have any advice for beginners?

This is my favourite part of being an author. It’s a great way to connect with readers. I write books for middle-grade children so I contact schools and libraries and ask if I can do a presentation and reading. Kids love being read to, especially by a real live author. I always leave time for questions and answers. It is amazing how clever the readers are and the great questions they ask. If I’m unable to answer the question, I’m honest and say I don’t know or would rather not answer the question. (Like “How old are you?”) I sometimes get an email address and offer to get back to them later. Besides schools and libraries, I’ve done presentations at senior’s homes, coffee shops, hospitals, service groups and whoever will listen to me. Interaction with readers is a good way to increase sales and get ideas. And it is fun!

5. There are so many scams out there for writers and upcoming authors. Did you ever have experience with any of it and do you have advice on how to not get trapped?

I have not been caught up in any scams but I know they are out there. Like everything, one needs to be vigilant.

6. Do you have a particular marketing strategy for your books?

I do some pre-publishing promotion through guest posts and other social media. Around publication time I always do a physical launch at a bookstore and then book other bookstores, library and school visits. I continue to market the series all year long. Networking, on social media or in person, is still the best way to market any product, including books.

7. Did you publish more of your work since your last visit here? If yes, please tell us about it.

I haven’t published another book since Amanda in New Mexico-Ghosts in the Wind. I have however completed Amanda in Holland-Missing in Action which will be released September 1, 2019 and is available for pre-order. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07L9LVK4J/

In this book, Amanda is in Holland to see the tulips with her best friend, Leah, travelling the canals of Amsterdam, visiting Anne Frank House, checking out windmills and a wooden shoe factory, and taking pictures of the flowers of Keukenhof Gardens. While she’s there, she is keen to find out what happened to her great uncle who never returned from WWII and was declared missing in action. What she doesn’t expect to find and fall in love with is Joey, an abandoned puppy. While trying to find a home for him, she meets Jan, a Dutch boy who offers to help, a suspicious gardener, a strange woman on a bicycle, and an overprotective goose named Gerald.

Readers can follow Amanda around the charming country of Holland, filled with colourful tulips, windmills, and more bicycles than can be imagined. Once again, intrepid traveller Amanda encounters danger and intrigue as she tries to solve more than one mystery in a foreign country.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!

Thank you for having me as a guest once again. Your questions are always thought-provoking and fun to answer.


Darlene Bio:

Growing up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world, and meeting interesting people. She also believed in making her dreams come true. It’s no surprise she’s now the award-winning author of Amanda Travels, a children’s adventure series featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. When not travelling herself, Darlene divides her time between western Canada and the Costa Blanca, Spain with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot.


Connect with Darlene:

website http://www.darlenefoster.ca/

Blog https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DarleneFosterWriter/
Twitter https://twitter.com/supermegawoman
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/darlenefoster
Amazon author page https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Foster/


Darlene’s Books:

Author Spotlight – Ann Harrison-Barnes

 

Welcome!
Thanks for having me.

Please introduce yourself.
My name is Ann Harrison Barnes. I love writing fiction and have also written for many professional websites and freelance clients. Some of my hobbies include listening to music, podcasts, and audiobooks, spending time with my family and crocheting.

1. When did you start writing?
I started getting serious about my writing in 2003, although I dabbled in it since I was in about the fifth or sixth grade.

2. What motivates you to write?
Motivation and inspiration come in various ways, from something as simple as a snippet from a podcast or part of an episode from an old TV show to the windchimes out on my front porch and conversations with my characters.

3. What genre do you write in and what made you choose this particular genre?
I write mostly Christian mysteries, although my mysteries are turning into Christian thrillers. However, there are times when I throw in a romantic twist. I have published one children’s book and have two more that I’m working on.
The reason I write in genres like this is because I love to read Christian fiction and I love a good mystery. I often like to drift back to a time when life was simple by reading children’s books, so what better way to do this by writing them as well.

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?
My goal in writing is to share the message of God’s love through a simple, yet deep story. If I can touch the life of one person through my stories, then I know I’ve done my job.

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?
Though I hate to admit it, I do have those moments when the muse refuses to talk to me. When I can’t think of what to write, I go outside and sit in the porch swing, if it’s warm enough, and let the windchimes, melodies within me and often times my characters talk to me. Sometimes, I have to do something else for awhile in order for the muse to take me by surprise.

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?
If you have a story idea that’s been bugging you for a while, especially while you’re trying to sleep, don’t be afraid to put your butt in the chair and your hands on your keyboard and start typing whatever comes to mind onto the blank document before you. If handwriting is your thing, keep a notebook close by, so you can jot down little tidbits or story ideas that come to you. I don’t care what you write, just write something to start with. The more you write, the better you can hone your craft. I’m not saying you should write every day, although this process works for many authors, but write as often as you can. I also advise new authors to join writers’ groups or connect with other writers either online or locally. The support you get from your writing friends is valuable as your own writing improves.

7. Please, tell us about your work.
My full-length novel entitled A Journey of Faith, is about a young girl who has been plagued by vivid nightmares and a voice crying for help for the last sixteen years of her life. She takes a journey to discover what tragic accident she witnessed at the innocent age of twelve, so she can conquer her fear of climbing. Was this incident an accident or was it murder?
Stories Outside the Box is a collection of tails ranging from mystery, to stories filled with a bit of heavenly magic and more. One of the mysteries will take you into a twisted digital glitch.
Maggie’s Gravy Train Adventure, An Electric Eclectic Book is a charming little Fairy tail with a bit of mystery and adventure as you ride along with Maggie and her friends on a fun and exciting gravy train journey. The biscuit wheels roll seamlessly down a cookie track.
Inner Vision, An Electric Eclectic Book, is a Christian fiction novelette, with a bit of mystery, adventure and a little sweet romance thrown into the mix. Kelly wakes up in a strange hospital after what she’s been told is an operation. However, when she tries to get some information about the operation, no one can tell her anything, except for one doctor who searches through her medical history to find out why she lost her sight. She and her best friend Anna must go back to the scene of the accident, in order for her to learn how to use her Inner Vision.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!
It was a pleasure being here, thanks again for having me.


Ann’s bio:

Ann Harrison-Barnes is the author of four books: A Journey of Faith, A Stepping Stones Mystery, Stories Outside the Box, Maggie’s Gravy Train Adventure, an Electric Eclectic Book, and Inner Vision, an Electric Eclectic Book. She has also been published in several anthologies. Aside from her work as a Christian fiction author, Ann is a professional writer and she also crochets bookmarks and book covers to promote her books. To learn more about Ann and her work, visit her website at www.annwritesinspiration.com


Connect with Ann:

https://annwritesinspiration.com

http://bit.ly/visitEEbooks

https://www.facebook.com/annwritesinspiration

https://www.facebook.com/ElectricEclecticBooks/

https://www.twitter.com/annwrites75


Ann’s books:

Stories Outside the Box:

 

 

 

 

 

Maggie’s Gravy Train Adventure: An Electric Eclectic Book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inner Vision: An Electric Eclectic book

 

 

 

 

 


A Journey of Faith: A Stepping Stones Mystery
(Kindle)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H7SCQNM
(Paperback)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1720213240

…Seumas (Casper the Ghost?) Gallacher… – Written By Seumas Gallacher

Master Gallacher informs us what he’s been up to lately. We’re glad to hear you’re fine, Seumas. And we all are desperately waiting for you to return! Keep us updated. You’re sorely missed!


…my grateful thanks for some of my Guest Posters over the past few weeks who have helped to keep my blog alive, while I was BDOT (Busy Doing Other Things)… I make no apologies for the absence, as pressure of the day job (which pays the light bulbs and printer ribbons) have seen each day filled with ‘stuff’… part of that ‘stuff’, frankly, has been a commercial stream of business allied to my writing… I’ve alluded to it a few times last year, and it has grown into a sizable chunk of my waking day… ghostwriting… sum’how, (thankfully), the WURD has gone out that Master Gallacher ‘writes a bit, and writes rather well’ – so much so, I have just embarked on my eighth ghostwriting engagement in the past twelve months, doing autobiographies and family/corporate histories…

To read the entire blog post go to:

…Seumas (Casper the Ghost?) Gallacher…

Author Spotlight Phyllis Campbell

Welcome!

1. When did you start writing?

I won a short story contest when I was eleven.

 

2. What motivates you to write?

Several things motivate me to write. I write two bi-monthly columns for National Braille Press, and a monthly for the Blind Post. For these, I’m motivated to offer information. For fiction, many things influence me, an item in the news, a happening in the community, or in my own world. I try to keep a list of things that strike my interest.

 

3. What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?

My short pieces have ranged from romance to The Virginia Psychiatric Journal. My books have included my memoir, a mystery, Young Adult Inspirational, supernatural, and Christian (family) I think of a plot, and if I keep thinking about it, I write. As with what motivates me described earlier, many things may influence my choice of plot. For instance, some years ago, I was doing a short piece on the lot of women in the 1800s. At dinner, I wondered what it must have been for blind women, especially those who had ambition. “Like you,” a friend said. “They probably did even stay dead,” he further commented. “Out of the Night” supernatural was born.

 

4. What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?

I think we all secretly want a bestseller, but I would be content with steady sales, bringing a reasonable income, and that perhaps, leave something meaningful with the readers.

 

5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?

I seldom suffer from that dread condition. My husband has been dead for almost six years, but I can still hear him saying, “Leave it alone for a while. It will come.” I do, and it does.

6. What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?

Try to start small. Unless you’re a JK Rowling, likely you won’t have an immediate bestseller. Be happy with that small sale, more likely small sales. Get a feel for the market, and raise the bar. Study the markets, and follow guidelines carefully. They may seem silly to us, but they’re what the editors want, and there are plenty of writers out there, who don’t care how silly they sound. Look carefully at your dreams. Be sure they are practical, and go for them. Try not to get discouraged. Look at your work, just to be sure that you haven’t missed something important. Pick yourself up, and try again.

 

7. Please, tell us about your work.

As I stated earlier, I write in many genre. If it interests me, I write about it. I have written six books, published by both traditional and self-publishers. My latest book is “Where Sheep May Safely graze” Westbow Press, available from
http://www.amazon.com/author/psc-books-all
available both in print and digital formats.
You will find a listing of my books there, along with the link to purchase. I have also written a true-crime book under contract with the family of the victim, rights belonging to them.

Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!


About Phyllis:

Phyllis Staton Campbell, who was born blind, writes about the world she knows best. She calls on her experience as teacher of the blind, peer counselor and youth transition coordinator. She says that she lives the lives of her characters: lives of sorrow and joy; triumph and failure; hope and despair. That she and her characters sometimes see the world in a different way, adds depth to the story. She sees color in the warmth of the sun on her face, the smell of rain, the call of a cardinal, and God, in a rainbow of love and grace.
Although she was born in Amherst County, Virginia, she has lived most of her life in Staunton, Virginia, where she serves as organist at historic Faith Lutheran church, not far from the home she shared with her husband, Chuck, who waits beyond that door called death.


Connect with Phyllis:

Emails: Pcampbell16@verizon.net 
campbellphyllis17@gmail.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Phyllis-Campbell/e/B001KC40ZI/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Phyllis-Staton-Campbell-361675114286715/


Books by Phyllis Campbell:

Where Sheep May Safely Graze

Customer Review
5.0 out of 5 Where Sheep May Safely Graze This book was wonderful. It held my attention from the first page …
ByAFBon February 24, 2018
This book was wonderful. It held my attention from the first page until the end and I did not want it to end. I hope a second book will be forth coming. Kudos to you Phyllis for the best book I have read in a long time.

Other books by Phyllis Campbell…

COME HOME MY HEART, 1985.
REPRINTED IN 2001

 

 

 

 

 

FRIENDSHIPS IN THE DARK, 1996 Reprint 1997

 

 

 

 

 

The Evil Men Do 2006, true crime, written under contract for the family of the victim.

A Place To Belong August, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

Who Will hear Them Cry, April, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

Out of the Night February, 2014