CARE AND FEEDING OF YOUR AUTHOR

December 28th, 2005

It's the holidays again, which means a lot of authors are visiting with family members right now, many of whom may, while trying to be helpful, say the wrong thing, and hurt the author's feelings.

So I think this is the perfect time for a refresher course in the Care and Feeding of Your Author. While we may give the impression otherwise, the truth is that we authors are sensitive flowers who need constant nurturing and encouragement, or we may not be able to write any more books for your enjoyment. Instead, we will be too busy applying for assistant manager positions at the Gap, where we will be safe from people who say things to us like, “I don't really like your books, but I enjoy your blog,” or “How come we have no problem finding the complete set of the Left Behind series and all the Thomas Kinkade books in our local bookstore, but it never seems to carry YOUR books?”

While the people who say things like the above may think they are being helpful, really what they are doing is driving a stake through the author's heart. I know that authors are supposed to develop a tough skin due to all the rejections we have received over the years, but being rejected via the US Postal Service is very different than hearing someone tell you to your face (or your email inbox–or, worse, on your own message board, which you pay for and provide for readers at no charge to them) that they don't like/can't find your book (or think you write too many books).

I myself will admit that, having two new books out (AVALON HIGHand SIZE 12 IS NOT FAT, in case you missed them), I have heard some things no author wants to hear the week she has two new books out.

Especially when she is working on the sequel to one of those new books.

So here, once again, for your edification, are the THINGS NEVER TO SAY (or email) TO AN AUTHOR (if you actually want her to like you).

In other news, since GILMORE GIRLS was a rerun last night, I watched that new show BONES, which I should have known would be good, since it stars Buffy alumnus David Boreanaz, but, um, hello, I didn't think it would THAT good. It's so cute! It's ridiculous I haven't been TiVoing it since I can totally relate to the heroine of the show, being a total workaholic dork, just like she is. It was like watching a show about ME (only she works with dead bodies, not prose…which if you think about, it is a lot like working with dead bodies).

Anyway, everybody, watch that show. It's one of my new favorites.

Speaking of favorites, a lot of you seem worried that the ONLY shows, books, movies, etc that I like are the ones listed on the FAVORITES SECTION of my website. People, come on. Just because MOONSTRUCK isn't listed doesn't mean it isn't one of my favorite movies. I watch Lost, believe me, and Veronica Mars, and about a million other movies, books, shows, and musical artists, okay? There are just way too many for me to list. Or think of in one sitting. But I am not a freak who ONLY likes the ones listed on the site. Geez.

Meanwhile, I found the funniest DEGRASSI SITE ever. It's kind of offensive (especially if you are a Liberty fan), but in a humorous way, a hilarious take on a series that is, let's face it, pretty silly. Probably all of you have known about it for years and I'm only just finding out about it. But I already admitted I'm a dork. What more do you want from me?

And oh my God, did you read about this?

When I was a kid I used to fantasize that I would do something to save hundreds of people's lives. But I will admit my only motivation was that if I saved my entire school from, say, an attack by Darth Vader, I would probably get a week off from school as a reward. Tilly was motivated by much nobler sentiments. So you go, Tilly.

In other news, I went back to the vet with Henrietta yesterday, and nothing bad happened. Everyone was really nice to me. And I realized that what happened last week was not, contrary to popular opinion, due to perimenopause, but probably PMS. I AM only 38 and 11/12 years old, after all, people.

Last but not least, how much do I love Erika Sorroco? Erika is an example of someone who really knows how to care for and feed her authors. And, no, I don't know Erika! Except through her reviews. She's been exceedingly generous with mine throughout my career. So, thanks, Erika!

Although, seriously, I NEVER read my reviews on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.com. Never. Or check my rankings on those sites when I have new books coming out. Hourly. NEVER.

No authors do that. At least, not mature, self-actualized ones.

More later.

Much love,

Meg

PS Do you have something urgent you need to ask or tell me, and are tired of waiting for me to finish wading through my email inbox? Or did you read our book club pick of the month, HOLIDAY PRINCESS, and want to chat about it? Either way, come to our HOLIDAY PRINCESS live chat tomorrow, Thursday, December 29, 2005, at 5PM EST. I promise there will be loads of holiday cheer.