Never Ask An Author

By Monica F. Anderson

The life of the typical author revolves around nonstop promoting and marketing with bookstore signings, book club meetings, online/telephone chats, seminars, booths at conferences....We're on the road almost every weekend.

I turned my oven on yesterday just to make sure it still works. In the past three months, I've been to twelve states and I've taken pictures with everybody and their mama--literally. This is my fourth book so I know to expect certain things. For example, during a two-hour signing at Barnes & Noble, I will repeat the synopsis of my book 20-30 times. I don't mind. I will answer questions on every subject from my make-up to my age. I don't mind. My feet will hurt no matter what shoes I wear. That's life. I just wish people would not ask me the five following questions over and over and over again...

1. Is that you? (Pointing to my photo in the book.) You look different in person.

Answer: Thank you. With a lot of make-up and good lighting, you too can appear almost attractive. Sorry, to disappoint you with my age spots and wrinkles.

2.Is this a true story?

Answer: It is a novel. Novel means fiction. Fiction means I will not admit it has elements of truth, therefore, I will not subject myself to a potential lawsuit. And, I might actually have an imagination though it's hard to believe me after seeing that re- touched photo.

3.What do you do with your royalties/profits?

Answer: Why? I pay bills. What do you do with your paycheck?

4. Will you read my 800-page novel for free and tell me what you think I should change?

Answer: First, that's called editing and people make a living doing that full-time. Honestly, I'd love to help you immediately after I write my next book, work at my day job, take care of my family, update my website, pay bills, go to church, tour at my own expense, do interviews, volunteer in the community and write press releases. Yes, I do want to assist aspiring authors, but I cannot give away hours of my time and experience. Most writers have another job for a reason. I recommend reading books on the craft of writing, going to workshops, taking classes, or hiring a writing coach. Invest in yourself. That's what I did. I'm not mean. I'm tired.

5.You should go on Oprah!

Answer: Oprah doesn't interview fiction writers with novels that have happy characters, but if you can change her mind... Call me! We'll talk all day. And you can ask me anything. Absolutely anything.

Monica "Dr. mOe" Frazier Anderson
Bestselling Author and Speaker.




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