Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Questions (and the answers I wish I could give)

I’ve decided to look at some questions I’ve been asked about my writing – with the answers I WISH I could give if I was less than polite!

Q. What’s your book about?
A. If you buy a copy (and I’ll autograph it for you after I’ve taken your money), you’ll find out.

Q.  How long does it take you to write a book?
A.  How long is a piece of string?   And do you mean actually writing, or thinking about it, or getting critiques back and altering things, or revising or editing? 

Q.  Where do you get your ideas?
A.  I get blinding flashes of inspiration  (ha-ha, I wish!)

Q.  How much money do you make?
A.  ‘Scuse me, how much money do YOU make – or maybe, 'I'm thinking of going on a cruise' (no need to add 'on the local canal').

Q. Are you famous? 
Answer: Well, you’ve heard of me. 

Q. My husband/brother/friend has written a book about the history of Branston Pickle. Would you be willing to take a look at it?  
A.  Hate Branston Pickle

Okay, I made that last one up.  The other questions (not the answers!) are genuine, but I did once get asked to read a friend’s husband’s brother’s sci-fi story which had been rejected 30+ times.  I declined, saying I knew nothing about sci–fi, which is actually true.  Yeah, right, I chickened out.  I didn’t want to lose a friend.  But I did tell them to take heart because Harry Potter was rejected 20 times before being accepted.

Would love to know what you'd like your answers to be, or any other questions you've been asked about your writing.  


  1. Thanks, Emily. I decided it was time for a light-hearted blog after all the serious stuff!

  2. Thoroughly enjoyed your Q - highly entertaining :-) Love the cartoon, too!

  3. Too cute! I hate being asked how many books I've published (written several, but never submitted them) then being told I'm not a real writer. Excuse Me? I've published numerous newspaper articles, poetry and short stories, but it's not real?

    Thank you for the comments about the query I posted on my blog. I felt like the "hook" was too weak, but I've been told to keep it short since that is the job of the synopsis. I appreciate your help and support!

  4. LOL! Great answers. I get asked those types of questions when people see my soft sculpted cloth figures ( ) so I wrote the answers on a pdf and inserted it on my website for textile students.
    The one about How long does it take? is just as you say,how long is a piece of string? :O)

  5. Hi,

    I've been told (accused) of having the gift of changing the subject so neatly nobody notices until I've left the room or skipped their company! ;)


  6. Thanks, all.

    Sylvia - glad I was able to help with the query. Also how dare people say you're not a real writer!

    Madeleine - glad you agree about the piece of string. Of course, another possible answer is "673 hours, 35 minutes and 42 seconds" (or some other made up numbers :-)

  7. There's a definite skill in being able to do that, Francine :-)

  8. The question that always made me want to "high-tail" it was, "Haven't you finished writing that book YET?"

  9. LOL, Gail - love that one! Am now thinking how I would answer it. Straightforward answer would be 'No' or 'I'm getting there' of course, but I think I'd be very tempted to say 'It took J K Rowling 5 years to write the first Harry Potter book, so I till have 4 (or whatever) more years to go." Am sure you could find famous authors who took even longer if necessary!

  10. I think a couple of those questions are fair, but your answers are funny. Let's face it some people are curious and the questions they ask are probably totally legitimate to them.

    Tossing It Out

  11. Loved your answers, remined me not to ask any daft questions lol.

  12. I loved your posting. It does make you stop and think... I wonder what J K Rowling answers would be? :-) And I bet she been asked some pretty strange ones too.