Today I am handing over to author Carol Cooper, as she brings us a brilliant guest post … Over to you Carol …
Six Things Not to Ask an Author
The loveliest things happen when you’re an author. There’s the thrill of first seeing the finished cover, receiving the very first package of shiny new books, and finding your title in a bookshop (perhaps taking a crafty selfie with your phone).
It’s a bonus when people read your work. With luck, an author makes a difference, at least for the duration of a train journey.
I’ve had quite a few books published, if you include my non-fiction too, and I can truthfully say that the excitement has yet to wear off. There’s just one thing – oh, all right, six things – that can make an author’s heart sink. It’s questions like these.
“Should I have heard of you?”
Unless the author is in the stratosphere along with JK Rowling, the answer often depends on a person’s reading tastes (though my books are in WH Smith and other bookshops). One writer friend likes to reply, “I’m very exclusive.” Which is a lot more diplomatic than asking someone if they ever read, or prefer to crash out in front of the TV with a packet of pork scratchings.
“Is your book free on Amazon?”
OK, free is everyone’s favourite price. Giveaways are good for authors too, as they can help readers get acquainted with new books and new genres. But it’s a tad tactless to tell a struggling writer that you only ever load freebies onto your Kindle.
“So… which character am I?”
Ah. So they’ve read your novel. Every single word of it. Just not the bit on the back that says ‘Fiction’ and the disclaimer at the front that goes, “This is a work of fiction. All characters and events in this work, other than those clearly in the public domain, are entirely fictitious. Any resemblance to any persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.”
Novelists make things up, but nobody ever believes it, and friends and family still think they recognize themselves in stories.
“I’m Geoff,” insists my husband Jeremy. He has no discernible similarities with the doctor in my novels, though someone did once call him Geoffrey by mistake at a party.
“Yes, but what’s your real job?”
A Society of Authors survey revealed that an author’s average income is £12,000 a year. No wonder many writers need another job to keep the wolf from the door. Even so, most of them consider writing to be their true profession. It’s what they pour their heart into.
“Why don’t you get your book made into a film?”
If it were that easy, every author would be knocking on Hollywood’s door. It’s not, which is why, until we get the call, we’re selling our paperbacks at around £7.99 a pop. Not quite a fast-track to the Walk of Fame.
“Can you help me get published?”
Most authors are only too happy to encourage and nurture would-be writers. But that’s very different from being ambushed at a book launch by the guy who happens to have brought along his 600-page manuscript on watching paint dry.
Go on, ask me anything you like. But please, not these six questions.
Thank you so much for joining me today Carol! It’s a great post! What are your thoughts? Do you have any others that you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.
If you’re an author and would like to provide a guest post for me to feature, please email me at EmmaMitchellFPR@gmail.com using #AuthorTakeover in the subject line.
Hampstead Fever is Carol’s latest novel.
Hardwick Press (30 Jun. 2016)
It is high summer in London and trouble is brewing…
Ex-con Dan has it all. The perfect job and a new baby with his dream woman. So why is he still an outsider?
Laure had baby Jack at 40. It’s only natural she’s a little over-protective. Motherhood is terrifying.
After surviving serious illness, Sanjay’s got his life back. Now he wants adventure. Where does that leave girlfriend Harriet?
Karen’s love life is reduced to casual sex with the football coach. As a divorcee with four kids, romance is on her to-do list, just below the laundry.
Doctor Geoff’s relationship with actress Daisy is bound to be a bit dramatic. But why all the mystery?
A slice of contemporary multi-cultural London life to make you laugh, cry, and nod in recognition.
You can follow Carol’s news at the following sites:
Amazon author page Carol Cooper
Blog Pills & Pillow-Talk
Author, medical journalist, doctor.
I graduated in medicine from Cambridge University. To support my studies, I worked at supermarket checkouts, walked dogs, typed manuscripts in Russian, and made men’s trousers to measure.
After a string of parenting books and an award-winning medical textbook, I became a novelist. My fiction debut “One Night at the Jacaranda” was followed by “Hampstead Fever” in 2016. My novels are all about people looking for love, and they’re laced with inside medical knowledge.
In my other life, I write for The Sun newspaper, where I get to have my say on important health news, from radiation spills to celebs getting hurt as they stumble out of night-clubs.
I also work as a family doctor, teach medical students, and am President of the Guild of Health Writers. I’m involved with the Twins & Multiple Births Association and give talks to expectant parents of twins and triplets. And I’m fortunate to have three amazing sons of my own.
Like my fictional characters, I live in Hampstead, as well as Cambridge.