Thursday, 25 March 2010

Author Rage

Author rage is a worrying phenomenon that is occurring more and more frequently these days. Those affected have been known to burst into spontaneous rudeness on the telephone, at a dinner party, and even on social network sites. There is at present no known cure. However, if you suffer from this problem you are advised to avoid potential triggers which can include any or all of the following.

People who ask you for a signed copy of your book and then sell it on ebay
Your publisher giving your book a duff cover
Being asked if you have a real job
Your publisher changing the title of your book without telling you
Your editor being constantly at lunch/in Frankfurt/in Bologna/on maternity leave/away from her desk at the moment
Books that you absolutely hate becoming enormously successful
People who say they are going to write a novel ‘when they have the time’
Another writer whom you know well giving your book a bad review
No one reviewing your book at all
Being asked where you get your ideas from
Someone you don’t really know describing at great length their supposedly fantastic idea for a book
Someone you don’t really know describing at great length their supposedly fantastic idea for a book and then saying, ‘You won’t steal it will you?’
People who insist that everyone has a book in them
People who say ‘I don’t really have time to read books’
Being asked if you write your books in a shed


Paul said...

I was going to say something about empathy and trying to understand these nincompoops, but after re-reading your list, I think I understand the rage.

Which author was it who was told by her surgeon that he was going to write a book when he retired and she responded that when she retired she was going to be a surgeon?

Brian Keaney said...

You're quite right, Paul. One should be empathetic. But you do get tired of the same questions being asked. Here are a few more that have been suggested to me by other writers since this posting:
Being asked if you are rich
Being asked if you know J K Rowling
People saying, 'Can I send you something I've written?'
And people saying 'I hope you won't put me in a book'.

The author who replied so smartly to her doctor was Jill Dawson.

Jenn Ashworth said...

haha - I think I've got a terminal case of author rage, then - covered up by a very, very thin veneer of politeness.

Stroppy Author said...

I don't think I'd want Jill Dawson as my surgeon, nice though she is...