Surprising Things People Have Said To Me As An Author

Being an author has been a rewarding and amazing experience. With that comes some strangeness, too. I mean, you have to be a little quirky to spend hours working on a manuscript about fictional people and their made up world. If you write often, your mind has to be open and aware of your emotions (and how everything makes you feel). I thought it would be interesting to switch things up and share some humorous things people have said to me on my author journey.

Keep in mind this is written in good humour. I hope to make other authors laugh a little (or a lot). I’m sure most of these commenters meant well and it probably wasn’t that deep.

Without further ado, here are some of the funniest and most interesting things I’ve heard from people after they found out I was an author (with some follow up dialogue from me).

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“Have you ever thought about writing something most people would like?”

I’m not sure if this was criticism or meant to be a helpful hint. I’m sure he meant well.

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Previous manager: “So I heard you’ll be leaving the company soon.”

Me (shocked): What? Why?! I had no plans to leave at all.

Previous manager: I heard you’re publishing your book.

(Awkward silence)

A common misconception is that authors can quit their day job once they publish their book. This was back when I was pitching agents and somehow she heard about it. Rest assured, most authors still have to work even after they sign a contract with a publisher. The advance often comes in installments and it may only be $2,000 or so.

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“You know, when you eat people, it goes to your brain. People get a brain disease after eating human flesh. Thought you should know …” – Past coworker

This was while I was posting a comedy on my blog about a girl who’s a wanna-be cannibal of the guys who played her. Some of my coworkers found my blog. Prior to this statement, she asked if my story was autobiographical. LOL Yes, I totally considered catching and eating the players I’ve met in my life. *Rolls eyes* I actually ended up deleting that story because I realized how bland the characters were (players are quite basic) – and it drifted from the light-hearted goofy comedy I was going for. In the end, it wasn’t a story from the heart but an experiment to see if I could do comedy well. It brings to light that people can be suspicious of authors doing the things they write about – I don’t understand why since actors will act out the characters in a movie/play and still be themselves once the job is done. It’s the same for writers. O.o

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“I could totally see you doing that.”

Is that character based on you?”

“She looks like you so I assumed it was based on you.”

These were comments about Mary, an outlaw in my novel The Broken & The Foolish. I admit it deflates the inspiration when people can’t separate you from your work. 100% truth: Mary’s personality is nothing like mine. While I can relate to some of what she did, I’m in no way an outlaw. Had I lived back then, I likely would have either gone the farming route or moved to the city to work in a factory. I guess it’s normal to be curious about the writer behind the story, but most authors aren’t flattered if you assume they’re like the characters they write about.

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“What if the villains in your stories wear off on you?”

It could have been a joke, but there’s often truth in every joke. The villains in my stories are loosely based on different people I’ve met. Many are an overdramatization for fictional purposes, of course. Much like with acting or drawing, the writer separates themselves from their work. I write villains for the purpose of showing the impact of their ill thinking and bad actions.

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“Thank you for signing my copy! If you become famous, I can make a lot of money off it.” πŸ˜€

I’m sure those types of comments are made in good humour, but they kind of prick the heart a little. I’ll only sign books for friends or people I’m really interested in. It’s meant to be special – and their first thought is dollar signs. O.O

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“Your work is too good not to be represented by a real publisher.”

It’s nice to encourage people, but not everyone wants to go that path. Sometimes you just have to accept that someone creates things for the love of it – and they don’t want to bother with the steps needed to get famous (or more well known).

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“Your name seems fake.”

“Is that your alias name?”

Why thank you for thinking my name is so unique that you think I’ve faked it. πŸ˜› Ask my parents. My birth name is indeed Sara Flower Kjeldsen.

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“You’ve got an alter ego online.”

I’m 100% myself online. I don’t hide behind a fake name or different persona (I don’t judge those who do). All thoughts shared here or other places are my own – I think being an introvert who opens up slowly over time can give the impression I’m different in person than I am online, but anyone who really gets to know me will see I’m just a person who has layers that can be peeled back and I have different moods – like everyone else.

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Writers are the lesser narcissists.”

That one came from a very dark place. I don’t know – spending loads of time creating something for others to enjoy or relate to feels pretty un-selfish to me. To each their own.

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I hope you enjoyed this post today! Please share with me some funny or weird author-related comments you’ve been told by people. I’d love to hear it. πŸ™‚

16 comments

  1. Many years ago I was working on a story that had a character that was a mischievous trouble maker. One day at work things were not going well, I had a coworker tell me that I needed to send the character home as he was making things way too difficult to work.

  2. Back when I worked retail and I talked about working on my manuscript people were very snotty about it. I just stopped talking about writing at work. People are very weird towards writers sometimes.

  3. Great fun! Mostly I just get ‘where do you get your ideas from?’ (if I knew that I could bottle it and sell it lol) but one person told me a book I’d based on a real life scenario was “totally unbelievable”…

    • Lol that’s the funny part is the real autobiographies people are skeptical, but then the pure fiction ones people wonder if its based on your life. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ True and with ideas, they do just come to us. I love that.

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