Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Recently, I was at the hair dresser and had a conversation like this:

She: So what do you do?
Me: Oh, I'm a children's book author and illustrator.
She: Oh, that's cool. So you write kid's books?
Me: Uh-huh.
She: What books have you done?
Me: Oh, you probably wouldn't know any of them.

And that was the end of that conversation. I'm not sure why I am so lame when it comes to talking about my books to "normal" people. Over the year,I've gotten much better when it comes to the "literati"--librarians, booksellers, teachers--people whom I know have an interest in books (Note that I've said "better" not "good", a lot of kind of lame things come out of my mouth when I talk to them too); but to people whom books are not their specialty? I'm the queen of lameness.

Which is kind of backwards, now that I think about it. Because they are the people who probably are more in need of the hard sell. Teachers, librarians--they don't hold it against you if you're dork (usually), they judge you by your book--they have a basis for comparison. The average non-children's book reader (whom is only exposed to celebrity books and Harry Potter), however, is more easily swayed. A magnetic personality can inspire them with enough enthusiasm to go out and get the book, while a socially inept one probably leaves the author forgotten. Which I'm sure I was.

I did get a nice haircut, though.


alvinaling said...

Grace, make a promise to yourself that the next time this happens, you'll at least say the title of one of your books!

Elaine Magliaro said...


I think you should always carry a big pocketbook with some of your books inside--wherever you go. Then you can just pull the books out and show them to people!

Anonymous said...

You mean I'm not the only lame author? Well what do you know--misery does love company; this actually makes me feel better.

I get embarrassed. It feels like bragging rather than telling.


Anonymous said...

Ditto. I do the same thing. i don't know how many conversations I've had that happened THE SAME WAY.


Anna Alter said...

I'm the same way too. I just get depressed when the expectant excitement when they find out you are an author turns into a blank look on their face when you name your book and they haven't heard of it. Which as you said, if the book is not Harry Potter (especially if they don't have kids), is bound to happen.