Deb Linda Says “What?! You mean people are going to READ my book?”

 

If I had my druthers, after my first book is published I’d hold it up in front of my family and friends, my name prominently displayed, and say, “See? I did it. Now, shoo. Go on about your business.”

Then I’d tuck the book away, out of their sight, so they wouldn’t be tempted to actually read it. I mean, I want them all to know I haven’t just been diddling around all these years, that I’ve accomplished what I set out to do, but, really, there’s no reason to bog them down with details.

So, why (you may be asking yourself) do I feel this way?

 

Well, for the same reason I’m more comfortable wearing an outfit like the one the left there, when I’m on the beach, than the one on the right.

(Notice how I very thoughtfully chose a brunette bikini model so nobody would think that’s me. No matter how understandable *cough* a mistake like that might be.)

See, it’s all about the exposure. As has been noted many times before, writing a book, even when it’s fiction, bares you. Leaves you open to a certain kind of speculative scrutiny.

(By the way, let me just say in advance that I’ve never been kidnapped by modern-day Vikings. In case you read my book one day, and find yourself speculating…)

People who don’t know you (or, at least, don’t know you well) have an easier time separating the writer from the work, I think. The work can stand on its own merits for them—they aren’t busy looking for hidden meanings in every passage.

Friends and family, now—it’s way too easy for friends and family to make assumptions about how your subject matter must reflect a deep (and possibly disturbed) part of your nature, and they may come away shocked (shocked, I tell you!) at what they think they’ve unearthed from your subconscious.

I’ve mostly come to terms with it. Really. Sure, some of my family members may be a bit…um, taken aback, shall we say?…at certain parts of In a Fix, but they’ll get over it. They’re grownups, and if bawdy humor isn’t to their taste, they can put the book down. And, you know, pretend they’re not related to me. (“Linda Grimes? Oh, heavens no! That’s not our Linda Grimes! Such a common name, isn’t it?”)

There is one thing that still makes me a teensy bit nervous,though. What will my writer friends think of my book? I’ve met, and come to respect, a whole lot of very good writers on my journey to publication. If/when they read it…eek! Palpitations, here we come!

And speaking of writers, there’s another group that makes quake when I think about them: the all-important Blurbers.

You know about blurbs, right? The quotes from well-known authors that appear on books in order to help sell them? The idea being, if a popular author recommends a book, then all their readers will want to read it, too. Which is a great idea, and I have to say it works for me. If a writer I enjoy has something good to say about a book by a newbie author, I’ll totally give it a try. Because I figure authors with a good rep aren’t going to risk that rep by recommending a crappy book.

Yup, and there’s the rub. Say you’re said newbie author. What if the authors you and your editor have convinced to read your book don’t like it enough to say anything good about it? What if the best they can come up with is “Hoo-boy, that’s a book, all right. It has chapters and everything!”

I used to have daymares (not nearly as much fun as daydreams) about just that. In these waking bad dreams, the wonderful authors my editor would ask for quotes would decide they couldn’t allow their names to appear in conjunction with mine, because it would be detrimental to their own careers. So my publisher would then be forced to go with other quote options (btw, none of them as good as the one Deb Molly came up with at the end of her post here).

Examples of my daymare quotes:

“Please buy this book so I can retire someday!” ~Linda’s husband.

“I don’t understand how this could happen…she was such a sweet child.” ~Linda’s mother.

“So that’s what she’s been doing in the house all this time!” ~Linda’s neighbor.

“It sure beats a root canal!” ~Linda’s dentist.

“Wow! And she always seemed like such a prude. Who knew?” ~Linda’s high school boyfriend.

“Meow, pffft-pffft-hissss…!” ~Linda’s part-time cat.

“At least she didn’t split any infinitives.” ~Linda’s high school English teacher.

(And, honestly? I can’t even swear I didn’t split an infinitive or two.)

Tell me, do you ever have daymares, writing-related or otherwise? Please share them with me. If it helps, think of it as therapy.

P.S. Recent indicators suggest I won’t be doomed to live out my daymares in real life. Whew!  Now, if only I can come up with a way to keep the more, um, proper members of my family from reading my books, I’m golden. Suggestions welcome.

41 thoughts on “Deb Linda Says “What?! You mean people are going to READ my book?”

  1. I have daymares all the time, they involve the computer and a big bang. As for having family members not read your book, I’ll let you borrow my mother. She refuses to read mine, matter of fact told the girls at her pinochle club I write gothic history (not Regency romance).

    • Gothic history? LOL! Is she trying to make sure they don’t read your books, either? (Er, no offense to gothic history fans.)

      Re the big bang: I fear that, too, which is why I back up my work compulsively.

  2. Oh, I needed all those chuckles this morning, Linda dear. Thank you!

    Oh, the mighty blurb. I’m told there are other words to strike fear in the heart of a writer, debut or otherwise: sales numbers, ratings. I’m fairly certain the daymares never end in that department.

    Luckily, we have books like IN A FIX to look forward to with all sorts of sexy distractions to shift our thoughts to dreamier places!

    • My pleasure. And thank you. 🙂

      And, yes, I fear you’re right. For a writer, there’s always plenty of fuel for the daymares. *wry grin*

  3. One of my daymares came true last week. After my husband informed my MIL I finally finished my first draft she replied via email, “Congratulations Kary. I hope to read a book someday.” Twelve years with her son and she still doesn’t even know how to spell my name. Can I put that blurb on my book jacket?

    Thanks for a nice chuckle this morning.

    • LOL! Er, sorry, but you just gotta laugh at stuff like that, don’t you? And, yes, I think that would make an excellent blurb…for my new Daymare Blurb Gallery, if not your actual book. 😉

    • Ouch! I also notice she says “I hope to read a book” — not necessarily yours, just A book. 🙂

  4. the blurb from your high school boyfriend? HA HA. it’s awesome, as i’m sure will be the real blurbs they put on your jacket!

    • Aw, thanks. *fingers crossed*

      Though I really think it would funny as all get-out to really see “daymare quotes” on somebody’s book. Heck, that’d be enough to make me buy it. *grin*

  5. My biggest daymare? I’ll die before I can delete all those really really rough drafts and my kids will read them when they clean out my hard drive before listing my laptop on eBay…or worse, they won’t clean out the hard drive before they sell it…

  6. The perils of being a writer — all that imagination to fuel the daymares! I have no worries about my family reading my stuff – mom and both daughters have beta read for me (the joys of college-student daughters: “No, your heroine *cannot* wear plaid Converse sneakers. Just no.” and “The architecture of this building is all wrong for a downtown office area.” And of course: “I’m going to skip commenting on this scene right here and resume once they have their clothes back on.”).

    My co-workers, on the other hand… It makes me a little nervous that these younger men that I work with may someday read books I’ve written. Books that will be shelved in SF/F, but that may have *those kinds* of scenes in them.

    I love the daymare blurbs you’ve come up with — they’d fit perfectly on a book with strong comedic elements! Maybe inside the back cover? So book-brousers will read the ‘legit’ blubs from best-selling authors on the back cover first.

    Looking forward to In a Fix!

    • Thanks! 🙂

      Yeah, my book will be shelved in SF/F, too. And it definitely has its share of bawdy/naughty humor in it. But I do take pride in that I never used the phrase “throbbing member,” no matter how tempted I was. No “heaving bosom,” either.

      Still, there are a few things my more skittish relatives may raise their brows at. I plan to tell them the publisher used a stunt writer for those scenes. 😉

  7. You’re right about family and friends reading our work. We can “fool” strangers, but those who know us best sometimes have a difficult time wrapping their minds around the idea of us being a writer, because they can still remember us as kids with scabby knees and snotty noses. Love your made-up blurbs. Maybe you should just go with them. Nah, you’re gonna get some awesome blurbs.

  8. This is EXACTLY why I haven’t opened that Facebook writer page door. I only want some people to read what I write. Not ALL of them! I, too, feel very apprehensive to let writer friends read anything. I value their judgment more than anything. Family and friends are a tough audience too because you have to face them every day. Okay, this isn’t helping is it?

    My daymares? My writer friends read what I write and then they go blind because of the excessive bleeding from their eyes. Then they all unfollow me on Twitter. I’m left with spammers and bots. SO SCARY!!!

    • Well, you’ll be happy to know my eyes have never once started bleeding while I’m reading your blog. So I think your fears are (thankfully) unfounded.

  9. THIS is why I first followed you, Linda! That sounded stalkery didn’t it? Erm…your blog, not you. It was the story about your determined mailman and a package that wouldnt fit, and it ended up being TG’s cigars. I laughed out loud through that post. Just like this one! I’m confident your voice will shine in your new book. You can quote me on that.

    “Well…at least I find her blog entertaining.” -One of the bloggers whose blog Linda comments on

    • Ah, yes. The mailman post. One of my faves. We still have the same mailman, and his latest difficulty is getting the mailbox closed after he delivers the mail. And not, I stress, because there’s anything preventing it, like a big box of cigars. No, it appears it’s just too darn much trouble to re-shut it. *rolls eyes*

      And thanks for the great blurb! I’ll add it to the blurb bunch. 😉

  10. This was so funny Linda! Especially the blurbs LOL. And look at how you’ve changed your blog! Is it still even blogger, or did you go to WordPress? I have daymares and horrible anxiety about just about everything, and nightmares that are worse than daymares, so not sure I should count in your poll. I for one can’t wait to read about modern day Vikings!

    • Thanks, Karen! I’m hoping a lot of people will want to read about modern day Vikings. Even my goofy ones. *grin*

  11. Letting friends or family read my work in its unpublished state was enough to make me queasy. If it ever gets out there, I’m going to need tranquilizers! I’m sure you’ll get more great blurbs than your jacket has room for.

  12. Haha! The daymere quotes are great…and not SO bad, right? I hadn’t really thought through the whole people I know possibly reading my story one day. Now they have and – yeah, I turned red SEVERAL times and toyed w/ not even telling my co-workers about it, but I got past that and overall it’s been a blast. My mom went from fearing I’d be forced to walk through society w/ a scarlet letter pinned to me to pushing the book at her Bunco group.

    Plus you certainly know how to laugh, so that’ll help tons. 😉

    • Hi Nicki! I love that your mom is now your book pusher. I guess sometimes the people whose reactions we’re most fearful of can really surprise, huh? That’s what I’m hoping, anyway!

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