As part of our current series of “Golden Oldies,” here’s a blog I wrote that was published a couple of years ago … but which I think stands the test of time.
*(BUT ISN’T TRUE)
(Lea Wait’s notes garnered during ten years/nine books worth of book signings, library appearances and general interactions with non-writers.)
1. All authors are rich.
2. Authors get as many copies of their published books as they want, free, from their publishers. Just ask them — they’ll give you one. If they don’t give you one, they’re not really your friend.(They’d also love to give a copies of their books to any charity that asks. The more giveaways the more readers! And all authors want are readers, right?)
3. Authors get their ideas from a) their dreams, b) the lives of their friends and relatives, c) the daily news and d) complete plots handed to them by strangers. They’d love to hear your ideas for their next book!
4) Authors have plenty of spare time. All they have to do is write down those stories people tell them. So any author would love to a) watch your children; b) walk your dog; c) serve on your organization’s board; or d) organize a benefit for your worthy cause and call all his or her writer friends to come and support it. (Remember: they’re all rich!)
5) Authors have staffs to take care of their scheduling and itineraries, answer fan letters, keep their mailing lists up-to-date, and do research for their next books.
6) An author may get some rejection slips at first, but after his first book is published, anything he writes will be published.
7) Authors spend a lot of time flying around the country, staying in fancy hotels, being wined and dined, talking with Oprah, and signing their books. The publisher pays for this. If an author is NOT doing this, it’s because he’s chosen not to.
8) Authors may not all smoke, the way they used to, but most of them still drink pretty heavily. Alcohol helps them be creative. They also drink because they’re lonely, sitting in front of their computers all the time. You’d do an author friend a favor by dropping in unexpectedly several times a week to cheer him up. And by bringing wine.
9) No matter what they say, authors really are their major characters.
10) Therefore, of course: romance writers have hot sex lives, picture book writers think like first graders, mystery writers want to kill people, and science fiction writers want to blow up the planet. YA authors who write about vampires … well … you know! College professors write literary fiction for other college professors to analyze.
11) Authors will be really pleased if you tell them you loved their book so much you loaned your copy to twenty of your best friends. They’ll be even more pleased if you tell them that, to save trees, you bought it used on Amazon to begin with.
12) Now that authors can publish their own books, only old-fashioned writers bother working with agents and traditional publishers. They can make a lot more money putting their book up on Kindle themself. If your author friend doesn’t know this, you’d do him a favor by telling him.
Anyone have any additions to my list?