Bring on the Zombie Hoards: Or, 10 ways to avoid the dreaded “are you published yet?” question.

Inevitably, if you’re a writer, especially one who isn’t yet published and is vying for print publication, you’ve received the question: “so, are you published yet?”

I hate this question. Despise it like a stinking, week old fish forgotten in the garage. And, if you’ve found yourself in the same situation, I have 10 ways to avoid the question altogether.

  1. Run away screaming. They probably won’t want to find you and ask you anything later.
  2. Stuff your mouth with crackers or other food making it impossible to speak clearly. Mutter something unintelligible around the food. Then smile somewhat manically, and back away.
  3. Point out the window. Shriek: “Zombies!” and run while everyone’s back is turned.
  4. Ask the interrogator what their job is, and ask hundreds of questions until your eyes cross and they forget they ever wanted to know what you did.
  5. Assure them the first million is in the mail, and you’re just waiting for the cheque – in fact, you’d better go see if it’s arrived. Back away quietly.
  6. Infect the food with a powerful virus known to create zombies (either steal or create virus earlier, you know, in your spare time – you’ve always wanted to do that just like they’ve always wanted to write a novel). Disappear to your secret lair as the outbreak starts (oh, and invent a cure; no day-job now, so you must have time, right?)
  7. Wear dark sunglasses, a trench-coat, and large hat at all time. If someone tries to ask you what you do, shush them quickly, looking over your shoulder suspiciously, and hissing: “I’ve already said too much. They know I’m here!” Then rush off. Again, such behaviour will probably not solicit follow-up questions.
  8. Become intent on hosting the party and running back and forth to the kitchen to serve and prep (no, it doesn’t matter if this is your party or not – the host and hostess can always use help, can’t they?)
  9. Start a new conversation talking about the latest apocalypse scare (trust your handy internet and the nut-jobs out there to supply dates and times to terrify everyone).
  10. Only talk to people you know, or other authors. They know better than to ask a question like this.

Okay, hope it helps, and sorry if they’re kind of lame. Sigh. I guess I might just have to figure out a better way to answer the question, or avoid it. Any suggestions out there?

Thanks for reading. Have a great week!

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