So here’s my thing (actually, just one of many, many things, but that’s another couple hundred stories….):
If you’re a writer who no one has heard of,
If you’re a writer who self-publishes and tries to hide it,
If you’re so unread in your genre that you’ve not read one of the foundational giants in your genre,
If you’re terrified of everyone finding out you are a talentless hack,
If you cover that terror with steely-eyed conviction that you know better about everything,
If you ruin a great pair of black boots with a froofy, blue dress thing,
If you’re a pushy, demanding, wench,
Then shut the hell up.
True story: at yesterday’s KidLit (a convention LuAnn organized centered on children’s literature) a writer I’ve never heard of went up to the incredible Richard Peck after Peck’s brilliant talk, shook his head energetically, and said, (I shit you not!),
“I’ve never read any of your books…I thought they’d be boring.”
I cracked a tooth my jaw hit the floor so hard. Officer Friendly was with me. He looks at me and starts to say, “Did she just say that?”
But he didn’t get it out because I said to him, “Did she just say that?”
Mr. Peck, to his credit, didn’t say a word, even as this idiot who publishes her own books (which I don’t have a problem with, I’ve done it myself) and hides that publishing history under the guise of a ‘publishing house,’ kept babbling and babbling.
I thought your books would be boring? Really? That’s what you want to say? To the man who created the young adult novel in 1972 with Don’t Look and it Won’t Hurt?
But that wasn’t the only brilliant thing this whackenhut nut job said to him. Later, in the book store, she said to the clerk (the inimitable Bob M, with whom I later debated the latest James Lee Burke novel…I think he’s done, Bob M thinks there’s at least one more): “Is this book depressing? I’m buying it as a gift but not if it’s depressing.”
Bob M was sort of stunned and went through what he loved about the book and she wandered off, the heels of her black boots clicking on the wood floor. She clodded right up to Mr. Peck and asked him if the book was depressing.
What? Shut the hell up, Pollyanna.
Other than that, it was a great conference, more so because it was the first. The turnout was good in spite of the weather and the rain that blasted everyone late in the day. Everyone seemed to have fun, parents and kids (and you know how much I ain’t no fan of no kids).
Damnit all to hell…just enough fun to have this damned thing again next year.