Friday, November 09, 2007

An Author's Reputation

I live in a small town, and most of the people here know I'm an author. The majority of them have probably never read my books, but they know I'm an author because of things I do. In other words, I have a reputation for acting like an author.

Example 1: I have a chiropractor's appointment once a month. It's the only way to keep control of the knots that form in my shoulders from sitting hunched in front of the computer. The chiropractor's office is a mere five minutes from my house. Good thing, because I am almost always late for my appointments. Sometimes as much as 45 minutes late. Same scenario every month -- I rush into the office, apologizing profusely. The doc and his receptionist laugh. "We know you," Doc says. "You were busy writing and totally lost track of time." Well yes, that's exactly what happened.

This has happened enough that my hairdresser now calls me when it's time to leave to show up at her shop to have my hair done.

I give all these people free books, as an apology for my lateness, and so they'll see what I've been creating during this time.

Example 2: I visit my local post office two and three times a week with packages to be weighed -- manuscripts I'm mailing, copies of books and galleys to reviewers, or donations or giveaway books. "You come in here more than almost anybody," the woman behind the counter tells me. "It's all those books and manuscripts," the postmistress says knowingly.

Example 3: Both UPS and DHL make regular stops at my house with boxes of books, galleys and other communications from my publisher. The boxes of books are conveniently stamped on the outside with the title and author. "So you write these, huh?" the UPS man asked one day. "You write for Harlequin?" DHL asked after delivering the umpteenth package from Toronto. "Wow, I never knew a real writer before." You may touch the hem of my sweatshirt, sir.

Example 4: At a local function I am talking with a new neighbor. Another person joins us. "Cindi's a writer, you know," she says. Understanding dawns on the neighbor's face. "I was wondering what you did that allowed you to hang around the house all day."

Ah yes, the glamorous life of a writer. Hanging around the house all day (in between trips to the post office) waiting for DHL and UPS to show up, always late for appointments. Oh, and I somehow find time to write books.


Jennifer said...

Hi Cindi. Your post was very amusing. A hairdresser that reminds you to get your hair done, I like the idea.

I write but I'm not pub'd. I haven't told anyone outside my immediate family and my parents about my passion for words. I guess I'm afraid that I'll never get pub'd and then I wouldn't want people to know.

Cindi Myers said...

That's a tough one, Jennifer. On one hand, before I was published, I wanted everyone to know I was a writer, but I also got tired of people asking me when I was going to sell something -- as if my failure to do so was simply a matter of not trying! So it's a very personal call whether to tell or not.

Jennifer said...

Since it wouldn't encourage me, I don't have the desire to tell them. Besides they would never understand that if you don't get published it isn't because your story is awful, but could be the market is too tight to publish every good story. :)

Sometime when I get 'the call', I might mention it. *G* Until then I have a whole network of writer friends on the internet who know all too well the trials and tribulations of writing. They celebrate my successes and give me a boost when I need it. They are awesome.

Estella said...

Hope you can continue to find the time to write. I enjoy your books.

catslady said...

Hanging around, watching TV and eating bonbons of course lol.

Nathalie said...

You have a reputation... that is really funny!

Danny said...

I don't usually tell people about my writing, just friends, and even then, I hardly let them read anything.

It's been the first thing to come to mind since I was little, though. I've always said that I wanted to be a writer.

Maybe I'll have a reputation for it someday. x)

Cindi Myers said...

Danny, I knew I wanted to be a writer from the time I was 8 years old. It took me a long time, but I finally did sell, so don't give up!

Christa said...

As a reader, there are similarities in the reputation. The lateness in appointment because I'm reading a really good part in the book and couldn't put it down. Going to the post office and mailing books to friends and sometimes picking up packages, cause we're exchanging books. On first name basis with the UPS guy. I live alone so I don't have a child or a husband whining to get fed and will forget to eat because I'm so absorbed in the book or going for meals that can be easily made that won't take me away from the book long. I have friends who live in an apartment on the floor above me and sometimes they invite me to watch a movie and I turn them down. They know it's because I want to finish reading the book I'm on.
Hey I wonder if one of those delivery guys kept and framed your signature.

Christa said...

I forgot the part about staying in my pajamas all day

Lily said...

Cindi... just received my book... Thanks!