Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Interacting With Readers and a Camp NaNoWriMo Update

This has been mentioned on this blog before—and will certainly be mentioned again, I'm sure—but I am one of those authors who's really not all that comfortable being an author in public. (Or just being in public in general, truth be told.)

I pretty much live in fear of being asked about my book. Or hearing that someone is reading my book. Or hearing that someone has read my book and now can't wait to talk to me about said book.

But when these things happen (which they occasionally do), I try to act like a somewhat normal human being capable of putting words into sentence doing (Name! That! Reference!) and, occasionally, I am somewhat successful.

But most of the time, I am just a big, blithering idiot who probably leaves every reader wondering how it is I managed to write a book at all.

Anyway, I recently had a pair of reader interactions I thought I would share with you. To my credit, I neither ran away nor hid under any tables at any point during these experiences.

—A gentleman—in front of a group, mind you—provided a passionate (and mostly accurate) recap of Effigy's plot—being sure to hit all of the darkest plot points, of course—during which I imagine I turned about a million shades of red. Upon finishing, this gentleman turned to me and asked, "How did such a sweet, quiet, little thing like you write such a dark book?" To which I responded, "If you think that book was dark, you really shouldn't read its sequel." (Also, it should be noted that I am not, in any way, shape, or form, a sweet, quiet, little thing.)

—A reader told me that she recently acquired a copy of Effigy and was really enjoying it. In fact, she was finding it rather difficult to put it down, and even read until 3am one night, because she didn't want to stop reading. Which, for me and all of my gross dysfunction, is just the highest compliment. As I wrote in a blog post a few years back, one of my goals was to write a book that make people (or person, as the case may be) want to stay up all night to read. So I am incredibly humbled that she feels that way about my book, and took the time to tell me so. Even though I was my usual social doofus self when she did.

—This conversation:

Potential Reader: I should really read your book.
Me: Oh, don't. It's terrible.
Potential Reader: Huh?

—And this conversation:

—Potential Reader: What's your book about?
—Me: Uh, well...there's this girl, and she's trying to....you know, not die.
—Potential Reader: Well...that's a good goal to have.




I'll keep working on that 'normal human being' thing...




Camp NaNoWriMo Update

Goal: 65,000 words

Words Written: 42,321

Words Remaining: 22,679

Days Remaining: 13

Biggest Issue: I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. There are 42,000 words in this damn thing, and I have yet to write the actual romance part. Methinks I am doing this all wrong.


31 comments:

  1. Maybe you need an interpreter?
    Just enjoy those moments, even if you don't know what to say.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I DO need an interpreter! I wonder if I could advertise for one of those in the local paper or on Craig's List or something.

      Delete
  2. So excellent about that person staying up all night to read your book!

    And "normal" is overrated. :)

    I have no advice re your Camp NaNo romance, but I am impressed with your word count. Keep going!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The best part is, only about 6,000 of those words are marked for deletion... :)

      Delete
  3. Oh, M.J. I can always count on you to make me laugh. I'm sure your readers love interacting with you and they don't think you say weird things at all. Just remember, nobody knows more about your stories than you. You went through all those revisons, millions of times. Plus, I'm sure you can manage a cheeky response when someone tries to be a know it all. I agree with Alex. Enjoy those moments.

    Good-luck with the rest of your NaNo goal. You're going strong. You got this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They have to think I say weird things. I mean, come on—I'm just so awkward! I don't know how they'd think anything else! :)

      Delete
  4. I think it's awesome about your readers and potential readers. I know I still stumble over talking about my stuff in public. You had great responses to the questions though. :)

    Woot on Camp NaNo! It looks like you're rocking it, even if you don't know where you're going.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I'm particularly impressed by, "Oh, don't. It's terrible." I am a marketing genius.

      And I'm starting to think that perhaps this Camp NaNo project just isn't meant to be a romance after all. I have no idea what that does make it, but perhaps I shall work it out in the next 13 days. *shrugs*

      Delete
    2. Lemony Snicket went to the bank over a dozen times with a check for books that he regularly told people not to read.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, I'm thinking Lemony Snicket is the kind of author who can get away with things like that. Me, probably not so much. :)

      Delete
  5. Has anybody died in your romance yet? If not, have you considered that the romance might pick up if you kill someone off?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I don't think anyone has died yet. Weird...this must be the longest I've gone without killing a character. It's certainly something to look into...Thanks!

      Delete
  6. Sounds like you're doing great with the NaNo project! Just keep going. You can figure out what it is when you revise later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, as long as I can keep coming up with story, there will be time to figure out what it all is next month. Or next year.

      Delete
  7. Ugh, I hope no one ever calls me a sweet, quiet little thing. Good luck with the romance thing. I have no idea how that's supposed to work anyway. I'm sure you'll figure it out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I'll either figure it out or finally decide that I'm not actually writing a romance novel. I wonder which one it will be. Smart money's on the latter...

      Delete
  8. You know, I often wonder about how my mental "picture" of you would match the actual you. I've never thought of you as a "sweet, quiet, little thing."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I'm really not. After he said that, the rest of the group laughed pretty long and hard about it.

      Delete
  9. Is that a Buffy reference? It sounds like something Buffy said once.

    You should have told the guy that still waters run deep. Or you keep the dark for your writing. I mean, Stephen King looks relatively normal, and look at what he writes.

    And I have read Effigy, so I can just imagine what plot points that guy was talking about.

    ReplyDelete
  10. HAHA!! Your conversations are hilarious. You're not on your own though. I'm a blithering idiot in public too, and the thought of public speaking terrifies the life out of me. Although I went to a public talk with Sandra Howard a little while back. She has a stutter, and she explained this at the beginning of her talk, but she still had the confidence to go through the entire thing. I was really impressed and thought there's hope for me yet :). Good luck with your nano project.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Handling promotional stuff and public persona stuff is WAY different than writing books. Be patient with yourself. That gentlemen is lucky it was you he called a "sweet quiet little thing" and not me. He'd have gotten a much less friendly answer from him after such a condescending, smarmy comment.

    @mirymom1 from
    Balancing Act

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ha! I love your response about the sequel! I'm sweet and quiet (though I know Teri was shocked when I said that at our meeting...I've been working on it, so I guess it's working) and I write dark stuff, too. I actually enjoy it. lol

    ReplyDelete
  13. Haha your conversations are too funny. That's awesome that a reader couldn't put your book down!
    I think I've gotten pretty good at deflecting the "what's your book about?" question. Especially with coworkers, who do not need to know what is going on inside my head. I suppose I'll have to tell them if I ever publish it, though!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Staying up waaay too late to read is one of the highest forms of compliment to an author.

    ReplyDelete
  15. That second convo with the potential reader happens to me often. I completely forget how to talk when someone asks me what my books are about.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Those sound like some great interactions with readers. I also stumble when a reader compliments my book. I've written out numerous elevator pitches to answer the question about what my book is about.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I swear whenever someone asks about my books, I look like a cartoon character with the big eyes going back and forth searching for a way to escape. Keeping a reader up is definitely a huge compliment!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I can only imagine how nerve-wracking it would be to talk to someone after they finish reading your book. I'm awkward enough when someone talks to me about my blog!

    ReplyDelete
  19. At least you're doing it. I've never give the NaNo a try. It just doesn't appeal to me. I'd write nothing if I had to press on the way it requires. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh that's a great compliment. You've written a book that someone cannot put down. Take that one to the bank.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Yeah having someone say they couldn't sleep because they're reading your book is awesome.

    I think all of us have those doofus writer moments, though. :-D

    ReplyDelete