Monday, September 3, 2012

Discussing your book

Uhhhhhh...want to see an otherwise functional and intelligent adult morph into a babbling toddler? Yeah. I get cold sweats whenever random strangers/acquaintances ask: "Ohhhh you're a writer? So what is your book about?" It is more nerve-wracking than pitching to an agent. I mean...with an agent, I'm kinda already expecting the agent to either ignore me or reject me on the spot. Querying is very impersonal. However one-on-one conversations are nothing like that at all! You're forced to answer that one-on-one question with a one-sentence summary. "My book is about the Salem Witch Trials, Voodoo, slavery, lesbians, and um...werewolves?" 

This, of course, is followed by another question: "So who are your characters? What's the point?" I have two choices. I can continue the snarky route OR I can actually try to explain what my book is about. 9 times out of 10 I say something snarky because there's nothing more ANNOYING than a self-absorbed writer giving a long soliloquy about their fucking book. I refuse to be that writer. I really do. If I ever get famous (ha!) you're not going to find me on NPR droning on and on. I can't stand that! And I'm kinda uncomfortable talking about my book anyway. I care more about it than this random person and I don't want to waste their time discussing racial, feminist, LGBT politics. 

I need to be better at talking about my book to people...face-to-face. Perhaps I should say: "It's Toni Morrison meets Quentin Tarantino!" so they can scratch their heads and slowly back away from me. I've already decided on a "dedication" to put at the front of the book. "Dedicated to all the Pecolas and Preciouses of the world who found the teeth to bite back!" Yeah. I like the sound of that. 


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