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.
- Run away screaming. They probably won’t want to find you and ask you anything later.
- 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.
- Point out the window. Shriek: “Zombies!” and run while everyone’s back is turned.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?)
- 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.
- 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?)
- 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).
- 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!